We will have a mirror site at http://nunezreport.wordpress.com in case we are censored, Please save the link

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Operation American Spring to Storm Washington D.C. tomorrow

Palm payments system takes off in Sweden

Cash, cheques, plastic, Paypal – there are already many ways to pay. And now a group of students at Lund University in Sweden have come up with a biometric payment system.

It works by touching the screen with your palm and entering the final four digits of your smartphone number.

The idea is called Quixter, and is the brainchild of Fredrik Leifland, an engineering student, who wanted to make paying faster and more secure.

He explained: “I had the idea when I was queuing in a supermarket. I realised that the most time-consuming part of the whole purchase was paying and I thought there must be a faster way to do this. And that was the start of Quixter.”

An infrared scanner recognises the unique vein structure in each person’s hand to identify them. The technology in itself is not new; in Japan it has been used for many years to access medical records and the system is now widely used to identify people. But Quixter claims it is the first company to use the technology in a payment system.

One early adopter was enthusiatic: “It is really convenient and you don’t have to carry cash with you all the time. Here on campus there are hardly any cash points so it’s great to be able to pay with your palm – and it’s very quick.”

According to Leifland, the system is more secure than using fingerprints, and avoids the problem of card cloning.

Credit to euronews

When The Head Of The European Central Bank Lies On The Record: Presenting Europe's "Plan Z"

Who can possibly forget the following exchange from April 2013 in which a very simple question was asked: so simple that apparently nobody else in the very serious media had ever even considered it.
Scott Solano, DPA: Mr Draghi, I've got a couple of question from the viewers at Zero Hedge, and one of them goes like this: say the situation in Greece or Spain deteriorates even further, and they want to or are forced to step out of the Eurozone, is there a plan in place so that the markets don't basically collapse? Is there some kind of structural system, structural safety net, especially in the area of derivatives? And the second questions is: you spoke earlier about the Emergency Liquidity Assistance, and what would have happened to the ELA in Cyprus, the approximately €10 billion, if the country had decided to leave the Eurozone?

Mario Draghi, ECB: Well you really are asking questions that are so hypothetical that I don't have an answer to them. Well, I may have a partial answer. These questions are formulated by people who vastly underestimate what the Euro means for the Europeans, for the Euro area. They vastly underestimate the amount of political capital that has been invested in the Euro. And so they keep on asking questions like: "If the Euro breaks down, and if a country leaves the Euro, it's not like a sliding door. It's a very important thing. It's a project in the European Union. That's why you have a very hard time asking people like me "what would happened if." No Plan B.

Secondly, I think the ECB has shown its determination to fight any redenomination risk. And OMT with its precise rules and acting within its mandate, is there to this purpose. So that's the answer to the first question.

The second question was about the ELA, but again it's related to "if Cyprus leaves"  and again we don't have that in mind, so.... No Plan B.
The full exchange takes place 57 minutes 45 seconds into the clip below:

While we certainly enjoyed the realization that the fine gentlemen at the ECB read Zero Hedge on a regular basis, we were left wanting because Mario Draghi's response did not seem rational: after all these are the so-called smartest people in the room - for them to have zero contingency plan would be simply idiotic. Which also explained why it had to be Zero Hedge who posed that question to Draghi: apparently the answer was so "clear" to everyone else (as was the preposterous idea that someone would even ask it), that it never dawned on any of the other fawning, institutional "reporters" at the ECB's monthly press conference.
We are happy to report that Zero Hedge is the first media outlet that Mario Draghi has very publicly, officially, and on the record, lied to.
Because as we learned overnight, Europe most certainly had a "plan in place so that the markets don't basically collapse." Only it wasn't as Margio Draghi called it, Plan B.
It was a different letter of the alphabet.
Thanks to the FT's Peter Spiegel we now know that just over a year ago, in order to preserve the myth that Europe's power echelons are so "confident" with the Eurozone staying together they did not even consider a break up as a potential outcome, Draghi explicitly and on the record lied.
Presenting Europe's Plan Z.
What is Plan Z? 
Unbeknown to almost the entire Greek political establishment,  a small group of EU and International Monetary Fund officials had been working clandestinely for months preparing for a collapse of Greece’s banks. Their secret blueprint, known as “Plan Z”, was a detailed script of how to reconstruct Greece’s economic and financial infrastructure if it were to leave the euro.

The plan was drawn up by about two dozen officials in small teams at the European Commission in Brussels, the European Central Bank in Frankfurt and the IMF in Washington. Officials who worked on the previously undisclosed plan insisted it was not a road map to force Greece out of the euro – quite the opposite. “Grexit”, they feared, would wreak havoc in European financial markets, causing bank runs in other teetering eurozone economies and raising questions of which country would be forced out next.

But by early 2012, many of those same officials believed it was irresponsible not to prepare for a Greek exit. “We always said: it’s our aim to keep them inside,” said one participant. “Is the probability zero that they leave? No. If you are on the board of a company and you only have a 10 per cent probability for such an event, you prepare yourself.”
But...  what about all that bullshit about "political capital that has been invested"? Apparently, the "political capital" was not nearly enough, if not in 2013 but over a year earlier, Europe was already preparing to pull the cord.
Here are the highlights of Plan Z's creation:
With most of the world’s economic leadership flying to Los Cabos, Mexico, for the annual Group of 20 summit the same weekend as the Greek vote, a small group of top EU officials stayed at their desks in case Plan Z had to be activated. They were led by Olli Rehn, EU economic commissioner, who cancelled his flight to Mexico to stay in Brussels. Mario Draghi, the European Central Bank chief, remained in Frankfurt and Jean-Claude Juncker, the Luxembourg prime minister who headed the eurogroup of finance ministers, was also on call.

When Grexit was first publicly broached during the November 2011 G20 summit in Cannes – where both Ms Merkel and host Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, pushed for an in-or-out referendum in Greece – there had been no planning for an outcome in which Greece opted to leave.

Several senior officials said they were stunned Ms Merkel and Mr Sarkozy had aired the idea that the eurozone could be left voluntarily, something that had previously been vigorously denied. Even officials who had worked closely with the two said they were caught unawares.

“I fell off my chair,” said one who had participated in closed-door discussions with both leaders. “For the first time, instead of the word being expunged out of conversations, they were using it. I remember thinking then: we’re heading for trouble now.”
Who was tasked with creating the plan? Primarily, four men, one of whom reported directly to, you guessed it, Mario Draghi.
Work on Plan Z began in earnest in January 2012, largely overseen by four men. Jörg Asmussen, a German who had joined the ECB executive board that month, was assigned by Mr Draghi to head a Grexit task force within the central bank. Thomas Wieser, a long-time Austrian finance ministry official, was appointed permanent head of the “euro working group” of finance ministry deputies and helped co-ordinate work in Brussels with Mr Buti. And Poul Thomsen, a Dane who had headed the IMF’s Greek bailout team since the onset of the crisis, provided input from the fund in Washington.

Work took place in absolute secrecy: one can see why it was paramount for Draghi to lie.
Efforts to keep information from leaking from the small teams around the four men were extreme for the same reason Mr Trichet had banned such planning: public discovery could be enough to cause the kind of panic that would force them to put their plan into action.

According to one participant, no single Plan Z document was ever compiled and no emails were exchanged between participants about their work. “It was totally fire-walled even within [the institutions],” said the official. “Even between the teams there was fire-walling.” A decision was made not to involve Greek officials out of fear of leaks.

Their firewalls worked. During a dinner between José Manuel Barroso, the commission president, and Ms Merkel at the chancellery in Berlin less than two weeks before the Greek vote, Ms Merkel asked for reassurance from Mr Barroso that a plan was in place in case Greece rejected bailout conditions and Grexit ensued.
The firewalls worked so well not even the head of the ECB knew about it.
Sarcasm aside, what is truly pathetic is that while Zero Hedge was doing what it can to expose the truth, a truth which would (and still will because nothing in Europe has been fixed which will promptly be revealed when liquidity tsunami finally ebbs) cost Germans billions if not trillions, none other than German Chancellor Angela Merkel did everything in her power to keep it hidden and a secret from her own voters.
Their firewalls worked. During a dinner between José Manuel Barroso, the commission president, and Ms Merkel at the chancellery in Berlin less than two weeks before the Greek vote, Ms Merkel asked for reassurance from Mr Barroso that a plan was in place in case Greece rejected bailout conditions and Grexit ensued.

Mr Barroso acknowledged the plan’s existence and offered to show it toMs Merkel but she said his word was enough, according to officials in the room. Under the German system, such documents can be requested by the Bundestag, and senior German officials were concerned they would be obliged to disclose such planning if they had it in writing.
And who knows what sheer chaos would erupt if the people of Europe's "democracies" were to know the actual truth for a change. As for Merkel, the bottom line was clear: "screw what the Germans want and think, the only thing that matters is my legacy"
The political discussion in Berlin surrounding Grexit was the most subjective. Many EU leaders who dealt directly with Ms Merkel say she has less sentimental attachment to the European project than did her Christian Democratic predecessors, such as Helmut Kohl and Konrad Adenauer. EU leaders attribute that to her pre-politics life in communist east Germany, where she moved as an infant and lived into adulthood.

At the same time, several officials said they had begun to sense the weight of history on her shoulders. Did she want to be the German chancellor who “potentially breaks up Europe, even though it’s not clear that would happen – but there’s a possibility?” said one German official

In mid-July, Ms Merkel left for her six-week summer break to weigh the advice. Although the chancellor was undecided, the cacophony of senior German politicians publicly calling for Greece to leave had reached a crescendo. “If Greece no longer meets its requirements, there can be no further payments,” Philipp Rösler, head of Ms Merkel’s junior coalition partner the Free Democratic party, said as he prepared for his own summer holiday. “For me, a Greek exit has long since lost its horrors.”
And then upon returning from vacation, she announced her verdict:
Ultimately, however, it would come down to Ms Merkel herself, and after six weeks of contemplation, the German chancellor returned to Berlin with her verdict. There would be no certainty for the scientist. A cautious politician by nature, she could not abide Grexit if none of her advisers could agree on its consequences.

“You all say: ‘Sorry, finally, we don’t know’; If you don’t know, then I won’t take this risk,” one adviser recalled her saying. “Her sense was: all these people, they might all be idiots, but they don’t know.”
What Merkel did know is that she was a career politician and she had to preserve her job or else the people would learn just how vastly they had been lied to. In other words, kick the can just so Merkel would get reelected the coming year, and her legacy would be preserved. As for Greece and the Eurozone? Well, nothing has been fixed, and Draghi managed to bluff the bond vigilantes under the table for a year or two, but the reality is that since 2012 Europe's debt has soared even more to even greater all time highs. And it is just a matter of time before it all collapses once again. Only this time the cost from Eurozone collapse to the German people will be far, far greater than it would have been even in 2012.
The rest of the story is largely known: details about Greek squabbling, all of which have for now had a happy ending as the epic global chase for yield has allowed even Greece to issue debt in the public markets. It has led the author, Peter Spiegel to state with full confidence that "Never again would Greece threaten the existence of the euro."
Oh but it will. Because as noted above, absolutely nothing that caused the European crisis in the first place has been resolved or fixed: there have been no reforms, no hard decisions, no changes in ruinous behavior - in fact it has all been kicked into the lap of the world's central bankers, from Bernanke to Yellen, to Draghi.
The same Draghi who history now has it, has his first official lie to the media on the record thanks to a blog that just happens to dare ask a question.
And while Merkel and her ilk may do everything in her power to usurp democracy and give power into the hands of a handful of drunk with power bureaucrats, we, hopefully not alone but the outlook is not so good, will continue to expose these central-planning charlatans, these naked emperors drunk on their own hubris, for the liars the really are.
Finally, the next time the Eurozone is on the verge of collapse and Grexit (followed by Spexit, exIt, and whatever) is on the frontburner again, the ECB will no longer have the luxury of lying that plans for a smaller, more compact Eurozone don't exist. Because as it turns out Europe's political capital, unlike Mario Draghi's bullshit, is very much finite.
Credit to Zero Hedge

US department of Agriculture to Purchase Submachine Guns

The United States Department of Agriculture is set to purchase an unknown quantity of submachine guns, leading to questions about where the weapons will be heading and for what purpose they will be used.

A solicitation (replete with spelling errors) posted on the Fed Biz Opps website states;

“The U.S. Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General, located in Washington, DC, pursuant to the authority of FAR Part 13, has a requirement for the commerical (sic) acquisition of submachine guns, .40 Cal. S&W, ambidextrous safety, semi-automatic or 2 shot burts (sic) trigger group, Tritium night sights for front and rear, rails for attachment of flashlight (front under fore grip) and scope (top rear), stock-collapsilbe (sic) or folding, magazine – 30 rd. capacity, sling, light weight, and oversized trigger guard for gloved operation.”

Hopefully, those operating the semi-automatic weapons will be better skilled than whoever is writing solicitations on behalf of the USDA, but the fact that the law enforcement division of the United States Forest Service, which operates under the USDA, is not mentioned in the request has prompted some to question where the guns will be going.

“They will no doubt attempt to justify their purchase of military hardware by explaining that they conduct criminal investigations and may need to do armed raids,” writes Bob Owens, adding, “This is part of a trend to arm every branch of federal government, whether the individual agency has a legitimate need for a paramilitary force or not.”

Concerns over large ammunition purchases by the Department of Homeland Security have raged over the past two years, although a recent Government Accountability Office investigation downplayed the issue as nothing out of the ordinary.

More pertinent than the amount of bullets purchased has been the type of ammunition and the DHS’ insistence that companies be able to supply them quickly if needed, which some have linked to the federal agency’s preparations for domestic unrest in the United States.

In May last year, the DHS sent out a request for information asking companies if they could provide 2 million bullets within a 30-60 day turnaround period.

In October 2013, the DHS acknowledged it was hiring armed guards to secure government buildings in the event of “public demonstration(s)” and “civil disturbances,” while also spending half a million dollars on fully automatic pepper spray launchers and projectiles that are designed to be used during riot control situations.

In February last year, Law Enforcement Targets Inc., a contractor that had previously done $2 million dollars worth of business with the DHS, was forced to apologize after producing “no more hesitation” shooting targets which depicted pregnant women, children, and elderly gun owners in residential settings as “non-traditional threats.”

More recently the DHS issued a solicitation for over 141,00 rounds of sniper ammunition, bullets known commercially as “Zombie Max,” a reference to their high power.

Credit to Prision Planet

Doc Marquis with the Hagmann and Hagmann

Meet The People Who "Fix" The Price Of Gold

Earlier today many were stunned when the historic, 117-year old, London Silver Fixannounced 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 fixgold.
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 10:30 am and 3 pm 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

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.

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

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".

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

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 insteadrelocated 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

Sometime in February or March - Deutsche ceases to be a market maker for forwards
Deutsche not a forward market maker now
April 25th 2014: Reuters reports that sources say Deutsche canot sell gold and silver seats due to US lawsuits
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
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
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."

May 13th 2014 - Deutsche's last day on gold and silver panels
... However....
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...
Credit to Zero Hedge

Out Of Control and more Horrific Than Anyone Anticipated

All Russian Missile Divisions to Receive Yars Simulators This Year

MOSCOW, May 15 (RIA Novosti) – All divisions of the Russian Strategic Missile Forces will receive new simulators by the end of the year, including simulators of the advanced Yars nuclear-capable ballistic missile, a military spokesman said Thursday.

“By late 2014, all the divisions, military units, universities and training centers of Russia’s Strategic Missile Forces will receive over 130 of the newest simulators. This is a 10 percent increase since last year,” Col. Igor Yegorov told journalists.

The Russian Strategic Missile Forces are due to receive up to 1,000 simulators for training specialists in the maintenance of advanced missile systems, Yegorov said.

“This year, some 30 tests will be conducted on simulators, including 3D graphics, to train specialists on the fifth-generation missile systems,” he said, adding that some 40 such tests were successfully carried out last year.

The fifth-generation RS-24 Yars (NATO reporting name SS-29) is an upgraded version of the Topol-M ballistic missile that was first tested in 2007.

The RS-24 can carry multiple independently-targetable nuclear warheads to a range of 12,000 kilometers (7,500 miles), which are designed to perform maneuvers to evade missile defense systems.

Credit to RIA Novosti

Czech Republic: ‘No NATO Troops on Our Soil’

Martin Stropnicky, Defense Minister for the Czech Republic whose country joined NATO along with Poland and Hungary in 1999, told Reuters, “We know well how any permanent stationing (of troops) is still a problem. I belong to the generation that experienced the 80,000 Soviet troops based here during the period of (post-1968) ‘normalization’ and it is still a bit of a psychological problem”.

Military Industrial Sales Rep: NATO and Allied ‘Supreme Commander’ General Philip Breedlove on another arms junket for the Pentagon.

NATO’s head spokesman, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, has been aggressively talking up a military expansion eastward and military confrontation with Russia ever since aWashington DC-backed military coup seized power in the Kiev at the end of February.

Between 2007 – 2010, Washington hit a political brick wall of Czech public opposition to Pentagon plans to install its U.S.-NATO missile “Defense Shield” in the country by George W. Bush and later by the Obama administration after massive public opposition to the plan. It’s worth noting here that the US and NATO had originally tried to sell the project as protection against “missiles from Iran”, but as events in Kiev have proven, the missile program was always designed for a planned confrontation with Russia.

Not keen to take on additional debt, the Czechs have also resisted keeping their military spending levels above NATO’s proposed target of 2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP).

The pressure on Czech leadership to comply with the wishes of Washington and Co. should not be underestimated. By not complying with the wishes of NATO and the international arms syndicate’s wishes, Czech risks becoming a target for an aggressive economic warfare, and a US State Department and CIA-backed regime change, or ‘colour revolution’ effort in their country.

Credit to 21centurywire

Military Training To Deploy In American Cities