Its hard to know where to focus right now – there is so much going on.
First of all this was “COMEX PM delivery week”, specifically, Wednesday was the big delivery day. So guess what happened to silver on Wednesday? It got crapped on – and not by a little either. Silver plunged more than 4%, and ended the day without even a hint of a bounce off the lows. Was there a big drop in open interest as the banksters rang the cash register on an exciting drop in price? No.
On Thursday and Friday – once first notice day was safely past – silver regained all of its losses, plus a little bit more. Amazing!
My guess: the banksters really don’t want people standing for silver delivery right now. Also – my code is having a very difficult time sorting out the trend in silver right now. The signals that used to work – they no longer work so well. Here’s that “deliveries” chart:
On the week, silver was up +0.14 [+0.62%], and that (weekly) bullish reversal “high wave” candle (chart below) had a very high rating. It may be that silver has put in a low. Have I said that before? Oh yeah. And then it dropped some more. This week saw a new multi-year low.
Gold also saw its low occur on “Delivery Wednesday” – looking a whole lot like silver, although with a much shallower plunge – and then it too bounced back strongly on Thursday/Friday.
Gold ended the week up +11.61 [+0.66%]. Gold printed a weekly (takuri line – highly rated) bullish reversal this week too, although the trend code isn’t quite as convinced just yet. You can see that gold didn’t make a new multi-month low, unlike what happened with silver.
The buck had a strong week, up +0.76%, making a new 12-month high on Thursday, only to sell off somewhat on Friday. Sorting out what moves the buck these days is not so easy. There’s the fate of the $1.2 trillion “child care = infrastructure” package, plus the $3.5 trillion “Grandpa’s Goodies for the Donors” package, and then there’s also the debt limit issue (which was temporarily raised this week). How will “the Mansion & Synema moderate Democrats” storyline play out? Is $5 trillion a bridge too far? Maybe the “moderates” will get super tough and hold out for “just $4 trillion.”
And there’s also the fuss about various nations running short on coal, and natural gas, which doesn’t bode well for “growth”, which might cause a flight to safety which remains (at least for now) the US dollar.
So the buck is in a mild uptrend – but it did print a (daily “swing high”) bearish reversal on Friday. So – no promises about the rally continuing.
While palladium [-2.41%] and platinum [-0.51%] remain in fairly strong downtrends, copper [-1.87%] appears to be holding up reasonably well, at least in terms of trend. Copper remains above its 200 MA, unlike all the other metals. Lumber [-0.31%] has been moving sideways for about a month now. Commercial shorts remain low for all these commodities. The banksters do not want to be short commodities. I think that’s a bullish signal. The well-connected banksters appear to be setting up for a commodities rally.
Crude made a new multi-year high this week, up +2.38% to 75.62 – scoring the highest intraday close since 2018. Crude is less than a buck away from price levels not seen since the big crude smash of 2014-2015. The master resource appears to be ready to break out to higher levels.
US crude production continues to slowly recover from the hurricane.
Equities fell this week [-2.21%], closing below the 50 MA for the first time in several months, and is now in a downtrend in all 3 timeframes. There was a bizarre bifurcation in the sector map this week: sickcare [-3.65%] & tech [-3.39%] led the market lower, while energy [+5.46%] screamed higher. That energy outlier-move appears to be about shortage – or at least projected shortage – rather than “increased economic activity” as the driver for price. This all continues to scream “continued inflation.” No doubt transitory. Right, Jerome? The flat financials also suggested that the banksters like what is going on. My guess – higher short-term rates are ahead. [peering at mortage rates: +13 bp this week alone! Yes, that seems to fit. Higher net interest margin = banksters are more profitable.]
The plunge in sickcare may have had to do – at least in part – with the potential “end of the pandemic” due to the miracle on-patent drug “Molnupiravir” [$700/treatment], which performed in perfectly-designed clinical trials a little bit worse than Ivermectin [$30/treatment]. But no matter – there was great rejoicing! MRNA [-21%] shareholders weren’t so pleased, however. “But what about our booster program!”
As mentioned – mortgage rates ticked higher. Rates will not stay at 3.01% if inflation becomes “non-transitory.” Unless Powell buys buy all the mortage-backed securities – in which case, the buck would – probably – crash if he did. Just a guess though. I don’t think we’ll be seeing 2.65% 30-year mortgages again.
Three economic series I watch were released this week:
- Durable goods: orders [+1.76%], shipments [-0.47%]. Mildly positive.
- Auto/light truck sales: headline [-11.96%], autos [-13.87%]. Tough to be a car dealer right now. I wonder if they’re regretting all those CCP supply chains which appeared “so cheap” for so long.
- GDP: headline [+3.09%], PCE [+4.31%], Fed Govt spending [-7.76%], State & Local gov [+2.81%].
I’m guessing that plunge in Federal spending is why President Grandpa’s handlers are so desperate for that $5 trillion spending package. “Goodies for the Donors” – plus all the random gotchas tucked away in the 2500 page bill. Example: max OSHA fine is setting up to be $700,000 – for “a single unvaxxed employee.”
How it started: “Black Lives Matter!” Burn down cities until we get those bad police defunded!
How it is going: “Unvaxxed Black People Can’t Eat At Restaurants!” = “Jim Crow 3.0!” Because – Science!!
I suspect most who voted for President Grandpa – he sounded so reasonable, and so non-Orange, in his basement! – couldn’t possibly imagine this would be the outcome. Grandpa’s handlers might think that $5 trillion in spending could paper over all of their failed policies with some temporary stimulus – enough to get them through the midterms.
Problem is, we’ve got shortages right now. We are witnessing a supply chain disaster. And some massive fossil-fuel shortages (coal, natgas, and – to an extent – crude). Now try dropping another $5 trillion in printed-money-spending into that environment. Do prices get cheaper, or more expensive? BLS-calculated inflation could be in the double-digits by November 2022. PPI might be 30%. It could happen.
Who does this hurt worst? Oligarchy won’t care. So the price of JP4 doubles. Yawn. Inflation is one of those regressive taxes – it hits poor and middle-class people worst of all. And those on pensions too. And savers. I.e. It hits the voters worst of all.
I can just imagine President Grandpa’s handlers (and their higher-ups) dutifully trying to rig the 2022 election in the same way they rigged the election of 2020 – but during a massive cost-push inflationary disaster which was brought about by their absurd spending and Fed printing. I do not think the outcome would be the same.
To President Grandpa: “Be careful what you wish for. You might just get it.”
News That Caught My Eye
Molnupiravir has arrived! As mentioned, the news devastated MRNA stock prices – but what’s the detail behind the excitement? First – Pharma press weighs in:
Merck’s COVID-19 pill cuts risk of death, hospitalization by 50% in study
A planned interim analysis of 775 patients in Merck’s study found that 7.3% of those given molnupiravir were either hospitalized or had died by 29 days after treatment, compared with 14.1% of placebo patients. There were no deaths in the molnupiravir group, but there were eight deaths of placebo patients.
Did you see what they did there? They combined “hospitalizations and deaths” and came up with a 48% reduction.
The study enrolled patients with laboratory-confirmed mild-to-moderate COVID-19, who had symptoms for no more than five days. All patients had at least one risk factor associated with poor disease outcome, such as obesity or older age.
Merck has said data shows molnupiravir is not capable of inducing genetic changes in human cells, but men enrolled in its trials have to abstain from heterosexual intercourse or agree to use contraception. Women of child-bearing age cannot be pregnant and also have to use birth control.
Interesting. Definitely no genetic changes. None at all. Merck says so! And yet…
Molnupiravir promotes SARS-CoV-2 mutagenesis via the RNA template
Preclinical data in cell culture revealed a dose-dependent increase in G to A and C to U transition mutations that correlated with increases in antiviral effects against coronaviruses. Molnupiravir is therefore classified as a mutagenic nucleotide analogue.
So let’s give it a shot, tell the boys not to have (heterosexual!) sex, note that nothing awful happened during the 29-day period even though the mechanism of action is to force (hopefully) “only the virus” to mutate (presumably in a mostly-non-productive way), and proclaim: “it’s all good!”
(*) definitely NOT capable of inducing genetic changes in human cells.
CCP Hikvision meets Siri meets Roomba meets Alexis meets Robocop! Brought to you by Bezos! With cartoon eyes and a cupholder! It just doesn’t get any cuter than this.
Amazon’s controversial vision for the future of your home security
During an invite-only press conference on Tuesday, the company showed off an autonomous, 20-pound dog-like robot named Astro with large, cartoon-y eyes on its tablet face and a cup holder. The robot — not unlike an Alexa on wheels — uses voice-recognition software, cameras, artificial intelligence, mapping technology and voice- and face-recognition sensors as it zooms from room to room, capturing live video and learning your habits.
On the Astro product page, Amazon notes the robot’s microphones, cameras and sensors will be disconnected when powered off. When Astro is recording, a light will turn green and it can be programmed to avoid certain areas of the house. In addition, images of faces can be deleted and anything that’s sent to the cloud will be encrypted. Astro does create a map of the home based on where the robot explores, but the company said that data, which is sent to the cloud, does not contain actual images or streamed video.
Oh yes. I’m going to trust apex-Oligarch Bezos with the intimate details of my life. Clearly Alexa just wasn’t intrusive enough.
I’m sure the adorable 20-pound “Astro” would never build a dossier and then summon the police if I showed any sort of “anti-vaxxer” or “insurrectionist” or … literally whatever ran against the prevailing Oligarchy narratives. “Astro” would never do that to me! He’s mine! Well, except for the software….and the upgrades…
But this tells you where Oligarchy intends to take things. Oligarchy Total Situational Awareness. With some “pretend-security” as the come-on.
Even CNN sounds a little iffy about the whole thing.
Taliban = good, Orange Man = bad!
Trump asks U.S. judge to force Twitter to restart his account
In the court filing, Trump argued Twitter allowed the Taliban to tweet regularly about their military victories across Afghanistan, but censored him during his presidency by labeling his tweets as “misleading information” or indicating they violated the company’s rules against “glorifying violence.”
In July Trump sued Twitter, Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, as well as their chief executives, alleging they unlawfully silence conservative viewpoints.
As we know things just continue to get more egregious w.r.t. censorship. It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Especially the “discovery” phase.
Bad Orange Man also mentioned that the censorship was executed by Twitter at the behest of the government. Could be an important case for all of us.
Building Back Better!
The US Postal Service will begin slowing deliveries Friday, part of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year plan to slash costs.
Nearly four in 10 first-class mail packages will be affected by the new standard changes, which will add an additional day or two to delivery time depending on distance, according to the USPS.
Mail gets slower. That’s Build Back Better in a nutshell – a declining standard of living.
United Airlines Will Let iPhone Users Show Proof of Vaccination in the Apple Health App
Flying during pandemic times just got a bit more convenient for iPhone users traveling on United Airlines.
On Friday, United announced that it would allow iPhone users demonstrate they’ve been vaccinated against covid-19 using the Apple Health app. In order to take advantage of this new service, you must be running iOS 15, which allows individuals to download their verifiable health records and covid-19 test results—via SMART Health Cards—and store them in Apple Health.
Woohoo! Thank you so much UAL and APPL! Now I know the team that is totally on my side!
I have just one question: what app do I use if I have durable, long-lasting natural immunity from prior infection?
AAPL? UAL? Hello?? Natural immunity?? Science??
For unvaccinated, reinfection by SARS-CoV-2 is likely, study finds
The study, published in the journal The Lancet Microbe, is the first to determine the likelihood of reinfection following natural infection and without vaccination.
Oh no! Natural immunity is just a short-run thing. According to this “study”. Well, except for all the other papers that came first. And that say something diametrically opposed. For instance:
During the initial, acute phase of the immune response, antibody levels peak rapidly; this peak is generated by short-lived immune cells called plasma cells. Turner et al.1 present clinical evidence, from people who have had COVID-19, that long-lived, memory plasma cells that produce antibodies are generated in the bone marrow. These cells provide long-term antibody production that offers stable protection at a level of 10–20% of that during the acute phase (blue line). Memory plasma cells are a cell type that can be maintained for many years, if not a lifetime.
And of course the real world evidence:
… Israelis who were vaccinated were 6.72 times more likely to get infected after the shot than after natural infection, with over 3,000 of the 5,193,499, or 0.0578%, of Israelis who were vaccinated getting infected in the latest wave.
“They” are really wrapping themselves around the axle in an effort to pretend that natural immunity does not exist. No doubt, it is for “health” reasons. Jut as everything our “health” agencies have done regarding COVID19 has been about “health.” Lockdowns = for “health.” Masks = for “health.” Mandated vaccination even of covid-recovered, and children-not-at-risk = for “health.”
None of this stuff will age well. I predict: a total collapse of faith in our “health” agencies – media – government – within the next two years.
If not sooner.
Steve Kirsch’s False Testimony On COVID-19 Vaccines Goes Viral The FDA described Steve Kirsch’s statements on COVID-19 vaccines as “not based in science.”
Looks like Steve Kirsch made an impact. I don’t believe anything until it has been ‘fact-checked’ or ‘officially denied.’ Steve’s FDA statement has now been both fact-checked AND officially denied! Steve is two-for-two!
So how’s that Evergrande thing going?
Evergrande misses second offshore bond payment
The company, reeling under a debt pile of $305 billion, was due on Wednesday to make a $47.5 million bond interest payment on its 9.5% March 2024 dollar bond, after having missed $83.5 million in coupon payments last Thursday.
That’s bad news if you’re a foreigner holding Evergrande debt.
One pessimistic fellow thinks this heralds a change in literally everything:
The Evergrande saga ‘is the beginning of the end of China’s growth model as we know it,’ one consultant says. It means the whole world economy will change
Since letting Evergrande default would rock the Chinese economy, Xi is at a crossroads between capitalism with Chinese characteristics and … something else.
“How do you prick a bubble that every single person, from homeowners to local governments, doesn’t want pricked?” Travis Lundy, an independent analyst in Hong Kong, told The Washington Post. “Nobody really wants to see this unwind. If this does, there is going to be a lot of pain.”
“This is the beginning of the end of China’s growth model as we know it,” Leland Miller, CEO of consulting firm China Beige Book, told The New York Times. “The term ‘paradigm shift’ is always overused, so people tend to ignore it. But that’s a good way of describing what’s happening right now.”
Friend-of-the-site Wolf Richter provides his analysis – which goes into a bit more detail:
China’s Crackdown on Debt, Tech & Evergrande Sends Frazzled Wall Street Titans to China
…There is a crackdown on debt to keep the financial system from imploding. There’s a crackdown on property speculation to tamp down on housing prices and on debt. There’s a crackdown on big tech – mostly internet, social media, and online gaming companies – for their monopolistic size and practices and a slew of other issues.
There’s a crackdown on education tech companies that sell off-campus educational courses that have driven the costs of education into the sky, discouraging Chinese couples from having more than one child. There’s a crackdown on all kinds of other activities that include reporting financial news and analysis in a way that the government doesn’t approve.
…In the Chinese markets, China’s crackdown has caused the shares of affected companies to plunge by a combined $1.5 trillion in a matter of months at the low point a little while ago.
But now these Wall Street titans that made huge amounts of money from China’s debt bubble, from the wild property speculation, from monopolistic tech companies, from the hype and hoopla, from their dealings in China, well, they’ve had enough of these crackdowns.
….A Wall Street delegation composed of top executives from Goldman Sachs, mega-asset manager BlackRock, PE firm Blackstone, Citadel, Fidelity, among others, had a three-hour powwow on Thursday with Chinese regulators that included the vice-chairman of the China Securities Regulatory Commission and the head of the People’s Bank of China.
So a bunch of Wall Street Oligarchy reps went to China to … do what exactly? Tell Xi to back off? Good luck with that. Xi has an army that isn’t focused on vax mandates and “white rage.”
The CCP sure seems to be pulling the plug on something. I like Wolf’s prognosis: Evergrande blows up, and the CCP will swoop in and bail out (at least to some degree) all the individual Chinese property buyers. Foreign bondholders will end up with zip, as will most of the shareholders. I’m also guessing that the CCP will confiscate some of those billions in “dividends” the CEO sucked out of the company. Not sure what happens to the Chinese people who invested in the high-interest “wealth management products.” If the CCP is smart, they’ll claw back any “dividends” issued in excess of profits, and distribute them to the bondholders.
It looks like the “Delta” wave has peaked, and is on the way down. The timeline for end-o-Delta lines up nicely with the EUA for $700/dose Molnupiravir (*) expected to appear before end of year.
(*) definitely NOT capable of inducing genetic changes in human cells.
One caveat: as winter approaches, the low-vitamin-D season is approaching in the Northern states. Will there be one more wave up north? The wave in the south coincided with the hot-air-conditioned-summer. A “winter wave” in the northern states is a “grey swan”. Its just too bad the CDC hasn’t done those seroprevalence studies which would tell us how close to actual herd immunity we are. I’d say CDC is grossly incompetent, but I think it is actually much worse than that.
We really need a clean sweep fore-and-aft of our “health” and “nat-sec” bureaucracies. Which we freaking pay for!!
Speaking of a possible “low-vitamin-D-season” wave, I’ll leave you with one more COVID-affecting nugget:
Below, find an “obesity prevalence” map: red = “the fattest states in the Union.”
Don’t look now – but this is something useful provided by CDC. Probably by accident.