Thursday, April 14, 2016
Back in July of 2014, we reported that in an attempt to obtain if not compensation, then at least confirmation of bank manipulation in the precious metals industry, a group of silver bullion banks including Deutsche Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC (later UBS was also added to the defendants) were accused of manipulating prices in the multi-billion dollar market.
The lawsuit, which was originally filed in a New York district court by veteran litigator J. Scott Nicholson, a resident of Washington DC, alleged that the banks, which oversee the century-old silver fix manipulated the physical and COMEX futures market since January 2007. The lawsuit subsequently received class-action status. It was the first case to target the silver fix.
Many expected that this case would never go anywhere and that the defendant banks would stonewall indefinitely: after all their legal budgets were far greater than the plaintiffs.
Which is why we were surprised to read overnight that not only has this lawsuit against precious metals manipulation not been swept away, but that the lead defendant, troulbed German bank Deutsche Bank agreed to settle the litigation over allegations it illegally conspired with Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC Holdings Plc to fix silver prices at the expense of investors, Reuters reported citing a court filing by law firm Lowey.
Terms were not disclosed, but the accord will include a monetary payment by the German bank.
It goes without saying, that there would have been neither a settlement nor a payment if the banks had done nothing wrong.
According to Reuters, Deutsche Bank has signed a binding settlement term sheet, and is negotiating a formal settlement agreement to be submitted for approval by U.S. District Judge Valerie Caproni, who oversees the litigation. A Deutsche Bank spokeswoman declined to comment. Lawyers for the investors did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
As noted above, investors had accused Deutsche Bank, HSBC and ScotiaBank of abusing their power as three of the world's largest silver bullion banks to dictate the price of silver through a secret, once-a-day meeting known as the Silver Fix.
None of this will come as a big surprise to readers, most of whom have been aware that this took place for years.
But wait there's more.
In a curious twist, the settlement letter reveals a stunning development, namely that the former members of the manipulation cartel have turned on each other. To wit:
“In addition to valuable monetary consideration, Deutsche Bank has also agreed to provide cooperation to plaintiffs, including the production of instant messages, and other electronic communications, as part of the settlement. In Plaintiff’s estimation, the cooperation to be provided by Deutsche Bank will substantially assist Plaintiffs in the prosecution of their claims against the non-settling defendants.”
The full shocking letter can be read here:
Since this is just one of many lawsuits filed over the past two years in Manhattan federal court in which investors accused banks of conspiring to rig rates or prices in financial and commodities markets, we expect that now that DB has "turned" that much more curious information about precious metals rigging will emerge, and will confirm what the "bugs" had said all along: that the precious metals market has been rigged all along.
Finally, we'll just remind readers that the US commodity "regulator", the CFTC in 2013 closed its five year investigation concerning allegations that the biggest bullion banks manipulate silver markets and prices. It proudly reported in September 2013 that it found no evidence of wrongdoing and dropped the probe. This is what it said:
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC or Commission) Division of Enforcement has closed the investigation that was publicly confirmed in September 2008 concerning silver markets. The Division of Enforcement is not recommending charges to the Commission in that investigation. For law enforcement and confidentiality reasons, the CFTC only rarely comments publicly on whether it has opened or closed any particular investigation. Nonetheless, given that this particular investigation was confirmed in September 2008, the CFTC deemed it appropriate to inform the public that the investigation is no longer ongoing. Based upon the law and evidence as they exist at this time, there is not a viable basis to bring an enforcement action with respect to any firm or its employees related to our investigation of silver markets.
In light of this confirmation that the CFTC's probe was "lacking" perhaps it is time for the so-called regulators who at the time was headed by ex-Goldmanite Gary Gensler (and assisted by "revolving door" expert and HFT lobby sellout Bart Chilton) to reopen its investigation?
Credit to Zero Hedge
After three decades of epic deficit spending and three years of extraordinary money creation, Japan’s economy is enjoying a rollicking inflationary boom. Just kidding. Exactly the opposite is happening:
(Reuters) – Japanese households’ sentiment worsened in the three months to March and their expectations of inflation fell to levels before the Bank of Japan deployed its massive asset-buying programme three years ago, a central bank survey showed.The survey’s bleaker outlook keeps alive expectations of additional monetary stimulus even as BOJ Governor Haruhiko Kuroda maintained his optimism that the world’s third-largest economy was recovering moderately.Kuroda, however, warned that he was closely watching how a recent surge in the yen and slumping Tokyo stock prices could affect the outlook.“Global financial markets remain unstable as investors are becoming increasingly risk averse due to uncertainty over the outlook of emerging and resource-exporting economies,” Kuroda said in a speech at an annual meeting of trust banks on Monday.“The BOJ won’t hesitate to take additional easing steps if needed to achieve its inflation target,” he said.The BOJ’s quarterly survey on people’s livelihood showed the ratio of households who expect prices to rise a year from now stood at 75.7 percent in March, down from 77.6 percent in December and the lowest level since March 2013.A separate index measuring households’ confidence about the economy stood at minus 22.5 in March, worsening from minus 17.3 in December to the lowest level since March 2015.The gloomy outcome underscores the dilemma the BOJ faces as it battles mounting external headwinds for the economy with its dwindling policy tool-kit.The BOJ’s adoption of a massive asset-buying programme, dubbed “quantitative and qualitative easing,” in April 2013 was intended to spur public expectations that prices will rise, and in turn, encouraging households and firms to spend.That has failed to materialise, forcing the central bank to add negative interest rates to QQE in January in a fresh attempt to accelerate inflation towards its ambitious 2 percent target.The move has failed to arrest a worrying spike in the yen or boost business confidence. Japan’s economy contracted in October-December last year and analysts expect it to post only feeble growth, if any, in January-March. Inflation has also ground to a halt, keeping the BOJ under pressure to ease again in coming months.A separate poll by private think tank Japan Center for Economic Research, among the most comprehensive surveys conducted on Japanese analysts, showed 39 of the 44 analysts surveyed projecting that the next BOJ move would be further monetary easing.
But Japan is a unique case; easy money is generating excellent growth and rising inflation pretty much everywhere else. Just kidding again.
The US, after multiple QEs and a doubling of federal debt, is looking a lot like Japan:
U.S. consumers’ expectations for inflation declined in March following a rise from record lows the month before, according to Federal Reserve Bank of New York data released Monday.The numbers, which have been highlighted recently as a potential cause for concern by top officials including Fed Chair Janet Yellen and New York Fed President William Dudley, may add to the debate over downside risks to the U.S. central bank’s 2 percent inflation target. These risks have contributed to policy makers’ cautious approach to tightening monetary policy this year following a decision in December to raise interest rates for the first time in almost a decade.The median respondent to the New York Fed’s March Survey of Consumer Expectations expected inflation to be 2.5 percent three years from now, down from 2.6 percent in the February survey. In January, expected inflation three years ahead was 2.45 percent, marking the lowest level in data going back to June 2013.The New York Fed divides survey respondents into two groups based on a short aptitude test: high-numeracy and low-numeracy. Expected inflation among high-numeracy respondents, which tends to be more stable than that for low-numeracy respondents, declined to a record low in March.The drop came despite a rise in expected gasoline prices. The median survey respondent in March expected the cost of gas to be 7.3 percent higher a year.
This is odd, since oil prices have stabilized and a consensus seems to be forming around the idea that inflation is about to pick up. Some talking heads are even wondering how the Fed will respond to the above-target inflation that’s coming. See Just how much of an overshoot on inflation will the Fed tolerate?
So what’s with all the pessimistic consumers?
Well, a data series from PriceStats (related to MIT’s Billion Prices project, I think) that measures a wide variety of prices in real time has the answer: Prices are actually falling faster than the official CPI number indicates, and have not picked up as oil has stabilized. In fact, the US has been in deflation for the past five months.
So it’s no surprise that people who are actually buying the stuff that’s falling in price would register this fact and answer surveys with deflationary sentiments. It’s also no surprise that central banks, which presumably see the same data, would be looking for ways to ease even further (Japan and Europe) or walk back their previous threats to tighten (the US Fed) - apparently in the hope that increasing the dose will cure the credit addiction.
Credit to Zero Hedge
The elite are fleeing major cities around the globe at a staggering rate. In fact, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that approximately 3,000 millionaires left the city of Chicago alone during 2015. The same study discussed in that Chicago Tribune article found that 7,000 millionaires left Paris, France last year. So why is this happening? Why are thousands of millionaires suddenly packing up and moving away from the big cities? Could it be possible that they have many of the same concerns that “preppers” do about what is coming?
For quite a while, I have been writing about how the elite have been preparing for the coming collapse. But I had no idea that literally thousands of them are packing up and permanently leaving our major cities. As I mentioned above, the Chicago Tribune is reporting that about 3,000 of them left the city of Chicago alone during the previous calendar year…
Millionaires are leaving Chicago more than any other city in the United States on a net basis, according to a new report.About 3,000 individuals with net assets of $1 million or more, not including their primary residence, moved from the city last year, with many citing rising racial tensions and worries about crime as factors in the decision, according to research firm New World Wealth.
But of course this is not just happening in Chicago, nor is it just an American phenomenon.
Actually, the two cities that lost the most millionaires last year are both located over in Europe…
Paris saw the largest exodus.The French city lost 7,000, or 6 percent, of its millionaires, followed by Rome, which lost 5,000, or 7 percent.
It is true that some of these millionaires are moving for tax reasons, but many others are quite concerned that humanity is hurtling toward a deeply apocalyptic future, and they want to get prepared for what is about to happen while they still have time.
In eastern Germany, one company known as “Vivos” has spent an enormous amount of money converting an underground facility built by the Soviets during the Cold War into the largest private shelter on the planet. It is called “Europa One”, and it is being billed as an ultra-luxury survival bunker for the elite.
The following comes from their official website…
Located in the heart of Europe is one of the most fortified and massive underground survival shelters on Earth, deep below a limestone mountain. Built by the Soviets during the Cold War, this shelter was a fortress for military equipment and munitions. Now privately owned, this 76 acre above and below ground hardened facility is capable of withstanding a substantial close range nuclear blast, a direct airliner crash, biological and chemical agents, massive shock waves, earthquakes, electro-magnetic pulses, and virtually any armed attack.This irreplaceable complex is now being re-tasked as Vivos Europa One, becoming the world’s largest and most fortified underground shelter for long-term, uncompromising protection of high net worth individuals, their families, and most precious assets when no other above-ground exfiltration solution will suffice.The complex includes over 21,108 square meters (227,904 square feet) of secured, blast proof living areas; and, an additional 4,079 square meters (43,906 square feet) of above-ground office, apartments, warehouse buildings, and its own train depot. Collectively there are over 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) of continuous tunnel chambers.
An RT report that was posted on YouTube right here contains some stunning visuals from the inside of this facility. Personally, I was quite stunned when I saw the extent of their preparations for the first time…
This is something that I could go on and on about, but I won’t. If you are interested in reading more, please see my previous article entitled “Superyacht Getaway Subs And Luxury Bomb Shelters: The Elite Are The Most Paranoid Preppers Of All“.
As I was preparing for this article, I remembered something that Zero Hedge just reported that I think relates to this subject. It turns out that “the smart money” has been net sellers of U.S. stocks for 11 weeks in a row…
Last week, during which the S&P 500 was down 1.2%, BofAML clients were net sellers of US equities for the 11th consecutive week. Net sales of $1.7bn were smaller than in the prior week, but all three client groups (hedge funds, institutional clients, private clients) remained net sellers, led by institutional clients.
So why are the elite dumping stocks like crazy right now?
Don’t they realize that the stock market has been going up?
Could it be possible that they have information that the rest of us do not?
Most people have absolutely no idea how vulnerable our society truly is, or how very easy it would be to plunge the general population into a state of utter chaos.
That is why I am so glad that Mike Norris (the son of Chuck Norris) is coming out with his new movie entitled “AmeriGEDDON”. This film imagines a time when a global terror organization disables the U.S. power grid and martial law is instituted. Rioting, looting and civil unrest break out, and the government moves in to disarm the citizens and “restore order”. You can watch the official trailer for this new film right here…
Could we actually witness such a scenario in our future?
Well, I don’t expect to see anything like this next month, but in my new book I explain why I believe that America is heading for a future that is even more apocalyptic than the one portrayed in “AmeriGEDDON”.
Everywhere you turn, our world is becoming increasingly unstable. Economic collapse has already gripped some areas of the planet, there is tremendous geopolitical instability in the Middle East, Islamic terror is on the rise, there have been outbursts of civil unrest all around the world, and just this week we have seen a series of very alarming earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
Many people believe that we are entering a period of time when an unprecedented confluence of events will combine to create a “perfect storm” which will shake the world to the core.
And it isn’t just “preppers” that feel this way. As you have just seen, thousands of millionaires are so concerned about changing conditions that they are fleeing the major cities.
So before you dismiss all of this apocalyptic talk as “nonsense”, perhaps you may want to consider what the elite may know that you do not.
Credit to Economic Collapse
The International Monetary Fund is expecting a 20 percent plunge in the markets in the United States, United Kingdom, Eurozone and China over the coming 24 months, according to a report in the Telegraph.
Jose Vinals, the chief of the organization’s financial stability division, said there are several contributing factors, including a huge “loss of market confidence” that would drag down the markets.
The IMF report, addressing global financial stability, said “financial and economic stagnation” looms unless governments find a way to avoid the “pernicious feedback loop of fragile confidence, weaker growth, low inflation and rising debt burdens.”
The Telegraph called it the “bluntest warning to date on the costs of policy inaction,” and outlined how investors can “lose faith in policymakers’ ability to revive the global economy.”
Vinals predicted the resulting slowdown could knock 4 percent from the world’s output, “relative to current expectations over the next five years,” and he noted a $1.3 trillion corporate debt in China poses “potentially serious challenges to financial stability if defaults pushed banks over the edge.”
Under the scenario he sees possible, Vinals said stocks in the U.K., U.S., Eurozone and China all would lose “a fifth of their value over two years.”
But IMF report did offer some stark warnings, estimating that more than 15 percent of commercial bank loans to companies in China were “at risk.” Those companies already are taking 72 days to pay suppliers, up from 53 days just four years earlier.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2016/04/imf-20-stock-drop-coming/#ivLxfu57DBwifMvA.99