USDJPY Breaks 115 (+7 Handles In 7 Days), Decouples From Less Exuberant Stock Market

Japanese bond yields have crept slowly higher since the big flush on Monday and Nikkei 225 is 2.6% below its highs on Monday seemingly pinned at 17,000. We note this as Abe & Kuroda’s currency collapses yet another big figure to 115.00 (up 7 handles in 7 days from pre-FOMC) – the highest in over 7 years. The crucial 120 line in the sand should be crossed early next week at this rate… What was the trigger for tonight’s exuberance, we hear you ask, why the Japanese market opening – which sent USDJPY instantly up 40 pips.

 

JGB yields creeping higher…

 

As USDJPY loses its beta to stocks…

 

No mo momo…

 

 

Charts: Bloomberg




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1si281R Tyler Durden

About That Year-Long “Critical” Saline Shortage

In addition to its previously discussed farcical seasonal adjustment that made a slumping unadjusted Employment index appear as if it was the highest in adjusted series history, which brought a smile to many faces, today’s Non-manufacturing PMI report had a far more curious datapoint that slipped largely under the radar: the ISM’s disclosure of the “commodities in short supply.”

Two of these were also quite comical.

One was labor, which would be a required condition to complete the spin of surging seasonally-adjusted labor conditions, however which would promptly dissolve into a puff of propaganda upon a quick glance at the other set of data, the one showing real hourly wages, and the fact that these have declined in 6 of the past 7 months (and since the data comes from the BLS using an incorrect estimation of inflation, the real wage situation is far more dire). So sadly, judging by the lack of rising wages, a labor shortage is the last thing the ISM’s goalseeked respondents have to worry about.

 

The second commodity in short supply makes far more sense: ammunition. Because one can only assume that for the second month in a row, all those 100+ million Americans that are out of the labor force or unemployed have to spend their time doing something. Shooting is as good a hobby as any.

But it was the third commodity that has been in short supply that caught our attention: a shortage that has lasted for 10 months now, or throughout all of 2014: medical IV solutions, aka saline.

A shortage of saline? And not just a shortage, but according to the FDA, a “critical shortage, which poses a serious threat to patients.” For some perspective on this quite peculiar shortage we go to the source: the US Food and Drug Administration, where we read in reverse chronological order.

[10/16/2014] In response to the ongoing shortage of 0.9% sodium chloride injection (normal saline), B. Braun Medical Inc. of Bethlehem, Pa., will temporarily distribute normal saline in the United States from its manufacturing facility in Germany. FDA is temporarily exercising its discretion regarding the distribution of B. Braun’s saline product from Germany, in addition to Baxter’s saline product from Spain and Fresenius Kabi’s saline product from Norway, to help address this critical shortage, which poses a serious threat to patients.

 

FDA inspected B. Braun’s facility in Melsungen, Germany where its normal saline product is made to ensure the facility currently meets FDA standards. FDA asks that health care professionals contact B. Braun directly to obtain the product. 

 

In addition to this source of normal saline as well as B.Braun’s normal saline that is manufactured in the U.S. , FDA will continue working with Baxter Healthcare Corp., Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC., and Hospira Inc. while they continue distributing their respective saline products and  seek to restore their supply of normal saline for U.S. hospitals and health clinics.

 

While the shipments described above continue to help reduce current disruptions, they will not resolve the current shortage of 0.9% sodium chloride injection.  Preventing drug shortages is a top priority for the FDA, and we are doing everything within our authority to alleviate this and other drug shortages.

 

[04/28/2014] In response to the ongoing shortage of 0.9% sodium chloride injection (normal saline), Baxter Healthcare Corp. of Deerfield, Ill., will temporarily distribute normal saline in the United States from its Spain manufacturing facility. FDA is temporarily exercising its discretion regarding the distribution of Baxter’s saline product from Spain and Fresenius Kabi’s saline product from Norway as needed to address this critical shortage, which poses a serious threat to patients.

 

FDA inspected Baxter’s Spain facility where its normal saline product is made to ensure the facility meets FDA standards. FDA asks that health care professionals contact the Baxter directly to obtain the product.

 

In addition to these sources of normal saline, U.S.-based manufacturers – Baxter Healthcare Corp. , B.Braun Medical Inc., and Hospira Inc., – are currently producing and releasing normal saline. Baxter’s saline product from Spain will be distributed temporarily in addition to Baxter’s FDA-approved version that is currently manufactured and distributed in the United States.

 

While the shipments described above will help reduce current disruptions, they will not resolve the current shortage of 0.9% sodium chloride injection. Preventing drug shortages is a top priority for the FDA, and we are doing everything within our authority to improve access and alleviate this shortage.

 

[03/28/2014] Due to the shortage of 0.9% sodium chloride injection (normal saline) Fresenius Kabi USA, LLC of Lake Zurich, Ill., will temporarily distribute normal saline in the United States from its Norway manufacturing facility. FDA is temporarily exercising enforcement discretion for the distribution of Fresenius Kabi USA’s normal saline product while it is needed to address this critical shortage that directly impacts patients.

 

FDA inspected Fresenius Kabi’s Norway facility where its normal saline product is made to ensure the facility meets FDA standards. FDA asks that health care professionals contact the Fresenius Kabi USA directly to obtain the product.

 

Hospitals and health clinics nationwide rely on normal saline to treat patients with hydration and other medical needs.

 

While these initial shipments will help, they will not resolve the shortage. However, FDA is working closely with manufacturers to meet the needs for normal saline across the U.S. in the coming weeks.

 

FDA will continue working with Baxter Healthcare Corp., B.Braun Medical Inc., and Hospira Inc. as they seek to restore their supply of normal saline for U.S. hospitals and health clinics. In addition, FDA is working with Fresenius Medical Care, which supplies normal saline to dialysis centers.

 

FDA remains committed to doing everything it can to address this shortage. While FDA cannot require a manufacturer to produce a product, the agency will continue to use all the tools at its disposal to mitigate this and other drug shortages.

And the very first FDA notice, together with the supposed reason for this saline shortage:

[01/17/2014] FDA is aware of the shortage situation for intravenous (IV) solutions, particularly 0.9% sodium chloride injection (i.e., saline) used to provide patients with the necessary fluids for hydration and other conditions. The shortage has been triggered by a range of factors including a reported increased demand by hospitals, potentially related to the flu season.

 

We are working with the three manufacturers of these products, Baxter Healthcare Corp., B.Braun Medical Inc., and Hospira Inc., to help preserve the supply of these necessary products. Addressing this shortage will depend on the increased demand and the manufacturing production of the current suppliers. Millions of these I.V. solutions are used each week by health care professionals.

Bottom line: a saline shortage that is “Potentially related to the flu season.” A shortage, which according to the ISM is now in its 10th month. That must have been some flu season.

Then again, counting back from October, the first month when there was a saline shortage was in January of this year (as confirmed here), when incidentally there wasn’t much if any major flu outbreak as most people were staying home and away from the infamous Polar Vortex.

Yet one key event did take place just around January of 2014. The WHO reminds us what:

On 26 December 2013, a 2-year-old boy in the remote Guinean village of Meliandou fell ill with a mysterious illness characterized by fever, black stools, and vomiting. He died 2 days later. Retrospective case-finding by WHO would later identify that child as West Africa’s first case of Ebola virus disease. The circumstances surrounding his illness were ominous.

Purely a coincidence, surely.

Then again, with flu season once again just around the corner, only this time with the added fear and threat of Ebola potentially on US soil, where the tiniest sneeze is likely to result in an ER visit, one can’t help but wonder: what happens if indeed there is a major flu outbreak this winter (or worse). Just as one can’t help but wonder: why and how can it be so difficult to restock on what is essentially plastic containers filled with water and 0.9% of salt thrown in?




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1si26af Tyler Durden

The Revenge Of A Government On Its People

Submitted by Raul Ilargi Meijer via The Automatic Earth blog,


Arnold Genthe 17th century Iglesia el Carmen, Antigua, Guatemala 1915

I know I’ve written a lot about Japan lately, and that for some it’s been enough for a while, but still, what happens today under the no longer rising sun is going to have such repercussions worldwide that it would be foolish not to pay attention. Moreover, there’s something about what Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda said this morning that both perfectly and painfully illustrates to what depths, economically as well as morally, the country has sunk.

BOJ’s Kuroda Vows To Hit Price Goal, Stands Ready To Do More

Bank of Japan Governor Haruhiko Kuroda, who last week stunned global financial markets by expanding a massive monetary stimulus program, said the central bank is ready to do more to hit its 2% price goal and recharge a tottering economy. Kuroda stressed the BOJ is determined to do whatever it takes to hit the inflation target in two years and vanquish nearly two decades of grinding deflation.

 

“There’s no change to our policy of trying to achieve 2% inflation at the earliest date possible, with a roughly two-year time horizon in mind,” the central bank chief said in a speech at a seminar on Wednesday. “There are no limits to our policy tools, including purchases of Japanese government bonds .. “The BOJ shocked global financial markets last week by expanding its massive stimulus spending in a stark admission that economic growth and inflation have not picked up as much as expected after a sales tax hike in April.

 

Kuroda said while inflation expectations have been rising as a trend, the BOJ decided to ease to pre-empt risks that slumping oil prices will slow consumer inflation and delay progress in shaking off the public’s deflationary mind-set.

 

“In order to completely overcome the chronic disease of deflation, you need to take all your medicine. Half-baked medical treatment will only worsen the symptoms ..” While he stressed that Japan’s economy continued to recover moderately, Kuroda said falling commodity prices could be risks to the outlook if they reflected weakness in global growth.

 

The Japanese economy was hit hard in Q2, suffering its biggest slump since the global financial crisis after an April sales tax hike dented consumption, and is expected to rebound only moderately in the third quarter as the effects of the higher tax take time to wear off.

 

Kuroda stuck to his view that the pain from the tax hike will gradually subside, but warned that the BOJ must be mindful of how the higher levy could affect companies’ pricing power, particularly if household spending stagnates. On the yen’s plunge against the dollar after last week’s monetary expansion, Kuroda reiterated his view that overall, a weak yen was positive for Japan’s economy.

You would expect falling oil prices to provide the Japanese, like Americans, with some very welcome, even necessary, financial breathing room. But PM Abe and BoJ’s Kuroda will have none of it. And no matter how you look at it, there’s something at best curious about a central bank that decides to throw ‘free money’ at an economy BECAUSE it sees falling resource prices, which would supposedly make money available already.

What Kuroda in effect says is that he won’t allow the Japanese to profit from, or even feel the relief of, lower oil prices, because they can’t be trusted to spend it. The Japanese government and central bank have no confidence at all – anymore? – that people will spend the money which they save on gas, on something else. They expect for people to, exclusively, sit on those savings. And they’re probably right, which says plenty about how the Japanese people feel about their economy: there is no confidence left whatsoever, not in Abe, not in Kuroda.

Moreover, of course, many, the poorest, the indebted, simply won’t have any extra spending cash even if they do save a few yen on gas. For them, Kuroda’s policies are very damaging. Which further undermines their confidence, and makes more people sit on more money. This goes way beyond a central bank pushing on a string. This is the picture of the trust between a government and its people having been irrevocably broken. And Abenomics doesn’t repair that trust, it only damages it further.

The people don’t trust the government, and the government doesn’t trust the people. Neither thinks the other will deliver what it desires. And since it’s ultimately the government which hold the reins of power, it’s using those reins to throw the people under the bus.

Abe and Kuroda’s ‘logic’ is ‘if the people don’t do what I want them to do, why should I take them into account, or care about them’? The line of thinking is borderline psychopath.

Adding insult to injury, a beggar thy neighbor fall in the yen is supposed to be good for exports, even though that hardly pans out at all so far. It also, and more importantly, makes imported goods more expensive. In Abe and Kuroda’s twisted logic that should drive up prices, but in reality it means people buy even less than before, which accentuates deflation instead of ‘solving’ it. Who do you think Abe blames for this?

And the psychopaths are not done with their people. They not only control the monetary base through what is by now QE9 (not of which, just like in the US, reaches main street), they have also seized control of Japan’s pensions. The rationale is: we’re going to take their pensions and spend them in the casino disguised as the global stock markets, because that MIGHT give a better return that sovereign bonds, especially Japanese ones.

If there’s one thing that’s kept Japan more or less standing upright over the past 25 years, it’s that the vast majority of its wealth was invested domestically. No more. And you might argue this is Japan exporting its deflation across the globe, but at the very least that’s not what pension beneficiaries will experience. They will simply, when markets tumble, see their pensions vanish into thin air.

US Will Benefit Most From Japan’s Pension Fund Reform

U.S. assets will be the biggest benefactor of the Japanese Government Investment Pension Fund’s (GPIF) decision to more than double its target allocation of foreign stocks to 25%, analysts say. The changes to the $1.1 trillion pension fund coincided with the Bank of Japan’s shocking decision to ramp up stimulus on Friday, which sent global equity markets soaring.

 

“The shift for international equities going to 25% of pension fund holdings is fairly big news,” said Tobias Levkovich, chief equities strategist at Citigroup. “It establishes a new incremental buyer of shares and the U.S. should be a significant beneficiary,” he said. The overall contribution to non-Japanese stocks could approach $60 billion of new purchases, half of which could go to the U.S. by the end of 2015, said Levkovich, noting that stocks on Wall Street should start to feel the benefit this year.

“Foreign investors typically buy large cap stocks which have greater index impact,” he said. “Thus, one cannot ignore the possibility that stock prices jump above our year-end 2014 S&P 500 target on this news.” Other analysts agree. “It’s pretty realistic [that the U.S. will receive most of the benefit] if you look at where the Japanese feel comfortable investing their money,” Uwe Parpart, managing director and head of research at Reorient Financial Markets told CNBC.

 

“This is a pension fund making the investment they are not going to punt into small caps or anything of that sort, they need large, liquid stocks that over decades have had a reliable return,” he said. But Parpart is not convinced the inflows would make a huge difference to stock market performance. “$30 billion sounds like a lot of money, but stretched over a period of time it’s not going to move markets,” he said. “But obviously it’s a nice shot in the arm.”

 

Furthermore, an increase in the pension fund’s international bond allocation to 15% from 11% should boost demand for Treasurys, driving further inflows into the U.S., analysts at HSBC said in a note published Tuesday. Meanwhile, the GPIF will reduce its domestic bond allocation to 35% from 60%. “The BoJ’s increase in asset purchases should be more than enough to cover the aggressive reduction in Japanese Government Bond (JGB) holdings planned by the GPIF, allowing JGB yields to stay pinned down,” said Andre de Silva at HSBC.

 

“Ultra-low JGB yields imply that the relative valuations for other core rates ie. U.S. Treasuries and other bond substitutes have been further enhanced,” he said. “Demand for yield-grabbing would intensify amongst Japanese investors, boosting overseas investments.”

 

 

De Silva estimates that over $100 billion could be reallocated into foreign bonds as part of this trend and highlighted U.S. Treasurys as the most attractive for Japanese investors. France, Australia, India and Indonesia government bond markets are attractive alternatives, he said. Japan’s pension fund is under pressure from Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to shift funds to riskier, higher yielding investments to help boost returns, at a time when his Abenomics agenda appears to be running out of steam.

So tell me, what do you think, is this still an attempt to fight – domestic – deflation, or has it become a revenge on the Japanese people for not doing what Abe ‘ordered’ them to do? Note that early this year, he said Abenomics would work if only the people believed it would.

In his view, they let him down. In their view, he’s an abject failure. He is. Unless the Japanese people get rid of Abe and Kuroda real fast, they’re going to cause a lot more destruction. We need to see this in the context of a society in which obedience is considered much more important than in the west.

In Abe and Kuroda’s eyes, the people fail, because they fail to obey their edict of increased spending. The people, too, have a hard time not obeying, but after 20 years of deflation, they find it too risky to go out and spend. That’s not just a deflationary ‘mindset’, as the powers that be would have you believe, it’s something much more real than that.

If the global markets start leaning on Japan, something that may happen any moment now because of its behemoth debt levels, the entire country could start going up in smoke. Abe has given signs of seeking to take the blame for his failures out on China, and the nationalist streak in the population may follow him to an extent, but it doesn’t look like there’s enough trust left.

In that regard, it’s undoubtedly for the better (though we don’t know who will succeed Abe). But it’s still a highly volatile situation that Japan finds itself in, with huge potential downside effects for the whole world because it’s such a large economy that’s failing here.




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

Republicans Lay Out Agenda: Repeal ObamaCare, Authorize Keystone, Save The Children

It would appear the blood-red pen of veto will be running dry by the time the President’s term is up based on Mitch McConnell and John Boehner’s WSJ op-ed explaining “now we can get Congress going.” As they begin, “Americans have entrusted Republicans with control of both the House and Senate. We are humbled by this opportunity to help struggling middle-class Americans who are clearly frustrated…

 

Via Speaker.gov and WSJ,

Americans have entrusted Republicans with control of both the House and Senate. We are humbled by this opportunity to help struggling middle-class Americans who are clearly frustrated by an increasing lack of opportunity, the stagnation of wages, and a government that seems incapable of performing even basic tasks.

Looking ahead to the next Congress, we will honor the voters’ trust by focusing, first, on jobs and the economy. Among other things, that means a renewed effort to debate and vote on the many bills that passed the Republican-led House in recent years with bipartisan support, but were never even brought to a vote by the Democratic Senate majority. It also means renewing our commitment to repeal ObamaCare, which is hurting the job market along with Americans’ health care.

For years, the House did its job and produced a steady stream of bills that would remove barriers to job creation and lower energy costs for families. Many passed with bipartisan support—only to gather dust in a Democratic-controlled Senate that kept them from ever reaching the president’s desk. Senate Republicans also offered legislation that was denied consideration despite bipartisan support and benefits for American families and jobs.

These bills provide an obvious and potentially bipartisan starting point for the new Congress—and, for President Obama , a chance to begin the final years of his presidency by taking some steps toward a stronger economy.

We’ll also consider legislation to help protect and expand America’s emerging energy boom and to support innovative charter schools around the country.These bills include measures authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which will mean lower energy costs for families and more jobs for American workers; the Hire More Heroes Act, legislation encouraging employers to hire more of our nation’s veterans; and a proposal to restore the traditional 40-hour definition of full-time employment, removing an arbitrary and destructive government barrier to more hours and better pay created by the Affordable Care Act of 2010.

Enacting such measures early in the new session will signal that the logjam in Washington has been broken, and help to establish a foundation of certainty and stability that both parties can build upon.

At a time of growing anxiety for the American people, with household incomes stubbornly flat and the nation facing rising threats on multiple fronts, this is vital work.

Will these bills single-handedly turn around the economy? No. But taking up bipartisan bills aimed at helping the economy that have already passed the House is a sensible and obvious first step.

More good ideas aimed at helping the American middle class will follow. And as we work to persuade others of their merit, we won’t repeat the mistakes made when a different majority ran Congress in the first years of Barack Obama’s presidency, attempting to reshape large chunks of the nation’s economy with massive bills that few Americans have read and fewer understand.

Instead, we will restore an era in which committees in both the House and Senate conduct meaningful oversight of federal agencies and develop and debate legislation; and where members of the minority party in both chambers are given the opportunity to participate in the process of governing.

We will oversee a legislature in which “bigger” isn’t automatically equated with “better” when it comes to writing and passing bills.

Our priorities in the 114th Congress will be your priorities. That means addressing head-on many of the most pressing challenges facing the country, including:

The insanely complex tax code that is driving American jobs overseas;

 

Health costs that continue to rise under a hopelessly flawed law that Americans have never supported;

 

A savage global terrorist threat that seeks to wage war on every American;

 

An education system that denies choice to parents and denies a good education to too many children;

 

Excessive regulations and frivolous lawsuits that are driving up costs for families and preventing the economy from growing;

 

An antiquated government bureaucracy ill-equipped to serve a citizenry facing 21st-century challenges, from disease control to caring for veterans;

 

A national debt that has Americans stealing from their children and grandchildren, robbing them of benefits that they will never see and leaving them with burdens that will be nearly impossible to repay.

January will bring the opportunity to begin anew. Republicans will return the focus to the issues at the top of your priority list. Your concerns will be our concerns. That’s our pledge.

The skeptics say nothing will be accomplished in the next two years. As elected servants of the people, we will make it our job to prove the skeptics wrong.

* * *

Good luck with that!




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

Gold, Bonds, & “Maybe History Has Stopped”

Via Paul Singer’s letter to investors,

THE TREND IS YOUR FRIEND… MAYBE

When markets are trending, they can appear unstoppable. Every sale in a rising market feels like a bad one, and every purchase in a rapidly falling market is punished by losses within minutes or hours. It is so much less painful to go along with the trend than to buck the trend – at least in the short or possibly medium term. Furthermore, in the modern world of super-leverage and group-think, valuations can go far beyond the estimates of every expert and practitioner. That is, of course, until they stop.

One of the main challenges of a long career in money management is that the distance (in terms of time and cost) between an intelligent conclusion that prices are massively wrong in either direction, and the actual reversal of valuations toward the range of “reasonableness,” can sometimes be too long to bear. One could have easily become stridently bearish on stocks in 1995 (as we did), when in America equity prices passed all-time highs by nearly every measure, selling at 22 times earnings, a level that was previously reached in only September 1929 and March 1972 (both serious peaks). But they did not top out until early 2000 at 40 times earnings. And, in October 2008, those who thought that markets had fallen as far as they possibly could, and backed that belief with massive buying, found themselves weeks or months away from what was an extraordinarily painful and confusing bottom, with horrifying losses mounting by the day.

Today, one could be bullish on the long-term value of gold and be not only sitting on losses but also experiencing incoming ridicule and schadenfreude. In the same vein, based on the extraordinary monetary policy being practiced by the world’s central bankers, one could be completely convinced that medium- and long-term bonds are staggeringly overpriced, with nowhere to go but down in price (up in yield). But watching bonds persist in their long-term uptrend regardless of money printing, and watching gold prices languish with no understanding by investors that throughout history gold has always been considered the only real money in a world of monetary fakery, is concerning to say the least. Maybe history has stopped.

We do not have a solution to the problem of assessing the outer boundaries of the price ranges of a host of financial assets, nor do we have a key to refining the timing of turning points in trends. The only appropriate answers are: “Who knows?” and, “Whenever they feel like turning.”

But we do have thoughts about survival as money managers, based on our own experience as well as observation and data. Every money manager with aspirations of a long career must govern his or her purchases to take into account the uncertainties we have described above. There must be a “Plan B” when purchasing or selling assets, so that capital is kept intact even if trends or turning points do not follow expectations. Being “wrong” may (or may not) be a temporary thing, but money managers who want to stick with long or short positions must determine how they are going to trade, hedge, or increase or decrease their positions if the prices continue to go against them. It is surprising how few money managers ask themselves: “What if I am wrong, or early? What do I do then?”

These are particularly important issues at present, with bonds across the globe still absurdly treated as “safe havens.” They are not safe havens with the 30-year euro swap rate trading at 1.85%, or the Japanese 20-year swap rate at 1.35%.




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

Bernanke Warns It Will Be “Very Difficult” For The ECB To Do QE

Speaking at Schwab’s IMPACT conference in Denver this evening, Ben Bernanke may not have earned his $250,000 but did unleash some uncomfortable truthiness – not unlike his predecessor’s comments last week. As CNBC reports, the ex-central bank chief warned all those front-runners out there – just as we have explained numerous times – The ECB faces significant political barriers to enacting a sovereign bond purchasing program (let alone a corporate bond buying binge).

Via CNBC’s Jeff Cox,

“The barriers to doing it are not really economic,” Bernanke said. “The legal and political barriers being thrown up are going to make it very difficult to do that.”

*  *  *

As we noted earlier, here are the best “disappointment” trades ahead of tomorrow’s announcement.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1vLBm30 Tyler Durden

Tonight on The Independents: The Day After, With Michael Barone, David Boaz, Bill Burton, and More

He's baaaaaaack! |||So
Barack Obama wants to
grab some bourbon
with Mitch McConnell, Rand Paul wants to

troll Hillary Clinton until it hurts
, Ted Cruz just wants
everyone to
spell his name right
, and the Western states continue
to secede from the drug war
. WHAT DO IT MEAN?

Tonight’s episode of The
Independents
(Fox Business Network, 9 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. PT,
with re-airs three hours later) gets to these questions and more,
with special guests:

* Political number-cruncher nonpaeril Michael Barone.

* Cato Executive Vice President David Boaz.

* Former
Deputy Obama Adminsration White House Press Secretary
Bill
Burton.

* Party Panelists Basil Smikle (Democratic
political strategist) and Kayleigh McEnany
(conservative commentator).

Online-only aftershow begins at http://ift.tt/QYHXdy
just after 10. Follow The Independents on Facebook at
http://ift.tt/QYHXdB,
follow on Twitter @ independentsFBN, and
click on this page
for more video of past segments.

from Hit & Run http://ift.tt/1vLw2N4
via IFTTT

Obama May Have To Shut Down Government To Halt The Keystone Pipeline

It would appear the first big test for President Obama’s ‘veto’ pen will be no lesser issue than the Keystone Pipeline. Reuters reports that Republicans will quickly introduce stand-alone legislation in the first quarter of 2015 that would approve the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada, Republican Senator John Hoeven said in an interview. “It’s really a good chance to see if the president’s willing to work with us,” Hoeven said, suggesting they would pressure Obama to act one way or another by attaching the bill to some must-pass legislation leaving Obama’s only option but to fold or shut down the government. As Reince Priebus exclaimed, “he’s going to be boxed in.”

  • MCCONNELL SAYS KEYSTONE EMPLOYMENT FIGURES ARE ‘STUNNING’

As Reuters reports,

Republicans will quickly introduce stand-alone legislation in the first quarter of 2015 that would approve the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline from Canada, Republican Senator John Hoeven said in an interview.

 

“I think Keystone will be one of the first bills we’ll be able to put up in the new Congress,” said Hoeven, from the oil-rich state of North Dakota.

 

“I’ve got a bill right now that’s got about 56 cosponsors. And with the election results, we’ll have over 60 who clearly support the legislation,” he said.

 

“It’s really a good chance to see if the president’s willing to work with us,” Hoeven said. If President Barack Obama vetoes the bill, Republicans would seek to attach it to must-pass legislation on other energy or appropriations issues, Hoeven said.

*  *  *

The background on Keystone (via FOX)

The TransCanada-built pipeline, which would cross over an aquifer in Nebraska, has been held up for six years by environmental and even diplomatic concerns. President Obama, under pressure from environmental groups, has repeatedly ordered reviews by the State Department.

 

Proponents say the alternative of transporting the oil south by rail is more of an environmental risk, and say the Phase IV expansion would bring more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day to U.S. refineries from Canada and the Bakken region.  The American Petroleum Institute claims a fully built pipeline could support 42,000 jobs and as many as 500,000 additional jobs in the U.S. by 2035.

*  *  *
 “I actually think the president will sign the bill on the Keystone pipeline because I think the pressure — he’s going to be boxed in on that, and I think it’s going to happen,” Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Tuesday.




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1vLrpm2 Tyler Durden

“Global Scramble” For Silver – Coins “Hard To Get,” “Premiums Likely To Jump”

Submitted by GoldCore

“Global Scramble” For Silver – Coins “Hard To Get,” “Premiums Likely To Jump”

Silver has had a torrid time in recent months and has fallen nearly 40% since July. In less than four months, it is down from $21.40/oz to $15.45/oz today. Silver is 70% lower since reaching over $49/oz in April 2011. The selling has accelerated in recent days and silver has fallen from $17.20/oz on October 28 and is down 12% in the last week. 

There is blood in the streets of the silver market with futures speculators long silver, again having their heads handed to them on a plate and incurring sharp losses. However, the silver sell off has again seen a global scramble for physical silver.


Silver in USD – Year to Date 2014 (Thomson Reuters)

In recent days, there has been a global scramble to acquire silver bullion coins and bars after the price falls according to Reuters. Maple Leaf silver coins are difficult to acquire according to bullion dealers, with the  Royal Canadian Mint on allocation from September. There is a concern that supply times will increase and premiums are likely to jump according to Reuters.

“A tumble in silver prices to four-year lows has triggered a global scramble by consumers to purchase silver coins and bars, as the spread between the price of the metal and gold reaches its widest in five years.

Retailers and distributors in Asia and the United States said they were struggling to get supplies of items such as Canadian Maple Leaf silver coins.

While demand for silver has been strong over the last few months, retailers say buying interest soared in recent days as the metal fell towards its lowest since 2010, along with gold.

Demand for silver coins and bars accounted for more than a fifth of total demand in 2013, according to a report by the Silver Institute. A sustained jump in demand should support silver prices, currently at just over $15 an ounce.

The price of silver is currently around 74 times cheaper than gold – the biggest spread since early 2009. Due to its greater affordability, silver sales tend to outstrip gold in volume terms and attract a lot more retail buyers.

The Royal Canadian mint had started allocating, an industry term meaning rationing, its popular Maple Leaf silver coins in September in response to high demand, according to a spokesman.

With the allocation of silver coins in place, the mint continues to produce and take orders for 2014 coins with no anticipated stoppage in shipments, he said.

But retailers are already finding it hard to get hold of the mint’s products as they sell out their existing stock.

Some Asian dealers said they have had to pull Maple Leaf coins from their lineup until they get the mint’s 2015 products.

In mid-April 2013, silver lost nearly a fifth of its value in two days, tracking a rout in gold, prompting a rush to snap up both the metals at a bargain price.

While the Royal Canadian Mint is rationing silver coins, it has no such system for gold.

The U.S. Mint is not allocating silver or gold at the moment. In June, the mint lifted its ration on silver American Eagle coins that had been in place since January last year as strong demand had depleted silver coin blanks.


The U.S. Mint sold 1.4 million ounces of silver American Eagle coins on Friday alone, the highest daily sales since Jan. 13 when the new 2014-dated coins first became available. October was the fourth highest month of silver eagle sales ever.

The Perth Mint, which runs the only gold refinery in No. 2 gold producer Australia, said it was not facing any supply issues as it usually launches a new line of products from September, unlike the other mints.

“We built up a lot of stock for those releases. So we have quite a few months worth of stock,” said Neil Vance, wholesale manager at the Perth Mint.

“If this had been a different time of the year, it would have been a different story.”

Reuters

Silver in USD – 5 Years (Thomson Reuters)

We have seen a significant uptake in demand for silver this week both for maples and philharmonics and for larger 1,000 oz bars. Silver maples are being snapped up by U.S. and Asian buyers as the premiums are lower than that for silver eagles. Silver philharmonics continue to be popular in Europe as they too are less expensive than the eagles and have a similar premium to maples.

Silver coin demand is for both delivery and storage, while bar demand is primarily for bullion storage in Zurich and Singapore. The demand is broad based and coming from both retail investors and indeed high net worth. 

Silver is down 70% in less than four years as stock and markets have surged to record highs. The gold: silver ratio has surged to a peak of 75.4 this morning, its highest since early 2009, as silver underperforms falling gold. Silver is great value today versus stocks and bonds and indeed versus gold. The smart money accumulates on dips and buys low, to sell high.

* * *

And in case you missed it, read the follow up to this article posted early this afternoon: “US Mint Sells Out Of Silver Eagles Following “Tremendous” Demand




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/10p1Oq4 Tyler Durden

What A Difference 2 Weeks Makes

Since Jim Bullard unleashed his “we’re gonna need a bigger QE” speech as the Dow-Data-Dependent Federal Reserve saw a 1000-point drop as the trigger for moar intervention, the world has changed. In fact, the exuberance is so effusive that, according to AAII, the percentage of Bullish advisors surged by the most on record… and yet we keep being told how negative everyone is?

Peak Manic Depression?

 

Source: @Not_Jim_Cramer




via Zero Hedge http://ift.tt/1y5MUjZ Tyler Durden