Silver as an investment

Hedge Fund CIO: “Americans Voted For Real Change And It’s Coming”

Submitted by Eric Peters, CIO of One River Asset Management

The planet’s most powerful military threatened to reconsider NATO unless Europeans meet their spending commitments. Europe’s leaders repeated unfulfilled pledges to do just that, returning to their parliaments to find the funds. Earth’s biggest consumer threatened to impose 10% tariffs on another $200bln of imports from the planet’s largest producer. Beijing vowed to retaliate. Its deeply indebted economy, overleveraged to ever-rising global trade, now faces the opposite. Lady Liberty warned the West of immigration’s profound threat to cultural identity, domestic security, harmony. Americans voted for real change. And it’s coming.

Battle Lines:

Peter Navarro, White House Trade Director, published a 36-page paper last month titled: How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World. If you subscribe to the view that the current trade conflict with China will pass with some modest concessions, it’s a must read. Navarro also made a 30min speech on the topic, which emphasizes just how deep the conflict runs. America’s trade deficit is an issue, but far from the primary conflict.

“It’s very sad when Germany makes a massive oil and gas deal with Russia, where you’re supposed to be guarding against Russia, and Germany goes out and pays billions and billions of dollars a year to Russia,” said Trump. “You’ve given up all of your strength. I think it’s very bad for Germany. (more…)

US Deep State Hits Putin-Trump Summit With Preemptive Strike As Russiagate Fizzles Out

Authored by Robert Bridge via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

In order to save face over an investigation that has failed to produce a smoking gun regarding charges of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia, the US elite have opted to indict Russian intelligence officials for election meddling. Yet the evidence, once again, is missing in action.

Amid harsh criticism at home for its failure to provide proof of Russian collusion in the 2016 presidential election, at the very same time that Trump is preparing to meet with Vladimir Putin for a summit in Helsinki, the US Deep State has resorted to playing spoiler with the most overplayed hand in modern political history: the ‘Blame Russia’ card.

On Friday, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announced indictments against 12 members of Russia’s Main Intelligence Directorate of the General Staff, also known as GRU, for “conspiring to interfere with the 2016 presidential election.”

According to the 29-page indictment, the defendants devised fictional online personas to compromise computers affiliated with the Democratic National Committee, as well as Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta. The purported ‘hack’ led to the release of tens of thousands of stolen emails by WikiLeaks. These communications revealed what amounts to criminal behavior on the part of the DNC, including overt bias against Democratic presidential nominee Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton, as well as evidence that Clinton was fed the questions to public debates against Donald Trump. Those very serious findings have been sidelined amid the storm known as Russiagate.

The Russian Foreign Ministry vehemently rejected the accusations, saying it was a coordinated effort by “influential political forces in the US that are opposed to the normalization of relations between our countries and have spread open slander for the past two years.”

“The goal of this ‘information attack’ is obviously to spoil the atmosphere prior to the Russian-American summit,” the ministry said, referring to the forthcoming meeting between Putin and Trump. 

Indeed, the accusations leveled against the Russians ring hollow for several credible reasons.

(more…)

In Twitter Meltdown, Elon Musk Calls Thai Cave Diver A Pedophile

What does a billionaire Silicon Valley liberal (or perhaps socialist, or maybe republican) do when his giant “Thai cave rescue” diversion from his auto company woes goes sideways and authorities tell him to back off?

Why handle rejection poorly and question the rescue chief’s credibility, of course.

And what does said billionaire do when the Thai rescue chief tells him to “stick his submarine where it hurts” before being outed as a top donor to a GOP PAC?

Engage in a weird Twitter exchange with the Sierra Club about climate change to show the world you’re an environmentalist, then call the Thai rescue chief a pedophile.

After Musk’s boy-rescuing submarine was rejected by Thai authorities and his idea called a “PR stunt” by rescue chief Vern Unsworth, the Tesla CEO began melting down over Twitter – saying Unsworth had been “inaccurately described as rescue chief.” 

Unsworth, an explorer and expert cave diver who lives in Thailand’s Chiang Rai province, said that Musk was “asked to leave” the cave “very quickly” – and that the Tesla CEO had “no conception of what the caves would be like. 

Musk hit back – tweeting “Never saw this British expat guy who lives in Thailand (sus) at any point when we were in the caves … Only people in sight were the Thai navy/army guys, who were great. Thai navy seals escorted us in — total opposite of wanting us to leave.”

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As Goes China, So Goes The World

Via Nordea 

China and the CNY are key for the global cycle. If USD/CNY continues higher, it may worsen the global slowdown already predicted by our models.

In the latest FX weekly we suggested it was time for a little breather in the trade war, at least between the EU and the US. This has been temporary good news for e.g. cyclical equities but bad news for bonds. However, when we look a bit further ahead, we continue to see worrisome signs for the global industrial cycle, as for instance signalled by recent pain in industrial metal prices. We also suspect EM turmoil will “spill back” on Euro-area and US data after summer, see Global: Could spillbacks trigger a Buenos Aires accord?

Looking at China, the humongous trade surplus in June might also boost China/US tensions. USD/CNY has re-jumped above 6.70, spilling over negatively to ADXY (which has hit new lows), as well as buoyed USD/JPY (sadly erasing earlier performance from our NZD/JPY short).

CHART 1: WHAT CHINA ALLOWS, OR DECIDES, WILL BE KEY FOR THE GLOBAL CYCLE

What China allows, or decides, will be key for global assets and for the manufacturing cycle (a stronger dollar tightens EM financial conditions). If USD/CNY continues higher, then it may worsen the global slowdown already predicted by our models.

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Mueller Prepares To Target Key Individuals Once Special Counsel Probe Wraps Up

As special counsel Robert Mueller faces pressure to wrap up his investigation with or without the illusive collusion charge, the Washington Post reports that the Department of Justice and Mueller’s team have been preparing to pass the baton of various ongoing investigations once the probe is complete.

Meanwhile, inside the Justice Department, law enforcement officials have discussed several scenarios in which the prosecutions of people who may be charged as a result of Mueller’s investigation are farmed out to other offices to handle any future trials.

In those scenarios, these people said, some prosecutors on Mueller’s team could move with their cases to Justice Department headquarters or individual U.S. attorney offices, these people said. –Washington Post

The Post also reveals that “the transferring of some cases has already begun,” while Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said on Friday that Mueller’s case against 12 indicted Russian military officers would be handled by DOJ prosecutors at the Justice Department headquarters (it also doesn’t take that much to sit on a case that will never see a courtroom, and the open file may linger for years, but we digress). 

There are also practical reasons to begin shuffling cases and attorneys over to the DOJ. For one, President Trump could fire Mueller if this continues to drag on – a prospect made more and more likely as time goes on without the emergence of any actual evidence of collusion. But the most logical answer is that the investigation may simply be nearing its natural end, as cases against several individuals targeted by the probe are approaching resolution. Sentencing dates have already been set for two people who cooperated with Mueller’s probe and pleaded guilty to charges; George Papadopoulos and Richard Pinedo – a California man who was charged with operating a Russian internet trolling outfit. The Sentencing of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, however, has been pushed back several times, with the next court appearance being August 24. 

Then there are all the loose strings with Paul Manafort, the Podesta Group (ah who are we kidding), Michael Cohen and others the public may or may not know about. Mueller’s probe ballooned in size as “mission creep” set in and investigatory avenues led to yet more investigations – requiring more attorneys. 

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France Wins World Cup, Trump Congratulates Putin On “One Of The Best Tournaments Ever”

Despite the absence of a USA team, many have argued that 2018’s FIFA World Cup was the best in history and following France’s victory over Croatia by 4 goals to 2, President Trump added his congratulations: ” Congratulations to France, who played extraordinary soccer, on winning the 2018 World Cup. “

Macron was pleased…

And then, likely stirring the ‘resistance’ into fits, he dared to congratulate President Putin: ” congratulations to President Putin and Russia for putting on a truly great World Cup Tournament — one of the best ever! “

France were fantastic.

And for those who will immediately become football experts to proclaim Trump’s congratulatory proclamation, here is USA Today’s Martin Rogers to explain why Russia just staged the best tournament in history…

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Survival Of The Richest…

Authored by Douglas Rushkoff via Medium.com,

Last year, I got invited to a super-deluxe private resort to deliver a keynote speech to what I assumed would be a hundred or so investment bankers. It was by far the largest fee I had ever been offered for a talk  –  about half my annual professor’s salary  –  all to deliver some insight on the subject of “the future of technology.”

I’ve never liked talking about the future. The Q&A sessions always end up more like parlor games, where I’m asked to opine on the latest technology buzzwords as if they were ticker symbols for potential investments: blockchain, 3D printing, CRISPR. The audiences are rarely interested in learning about these technologies or their potential impacts beyond the binary choice of whether or not to invest in them. But money talks, so I took the gig.

After I arrived, I was ushered into what I thought was the green room. But instead of being wired with a microphone or taken to a stage, I just sat there at a plain round table as my audience was brought to me: five super-wealthy guys  –  yes, all men  –  from the upper echelon of the hedge fund world. After a bit of small talk, I realized they had no interest in the information I had prepared about the future of technology. They had come with questions of their own.

They started out innocuously enough.

Ethereum or bitcoin? Is quantum computing a real thing?

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“Such Hatred & Dissension In Our Country” – Trump Decries Media, Dems Predjudiced Criticism Of Putin Summit

Hours after CBS News aired an interview with President Trump where he described the EU, Russia and China as “foes” of the US when it comes to matters of trade (eliciting a shocked response from European Council President Donald Tusk) and said he’s going in to his summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin with “low expectations,” Trump continued to prep his followers for an outpouring of negative media coverage in a series of tweets where he lamented that no matter what he achieves in Helsinki, journalists will bash him for being “not good enough” or for “kowtowing to Putin.”

Trump began by reminding his followers of recent successes – and the lack of media coverage, “[t]here hasn’t been a missile or rocket fired in 9 months in North Korea, there have been no nuclear tests and we got back our hostages. Who knows how it will all turn out in the end, but why isn’t the Fake News talking about these wonderful facts? Because it is FAKE NEWS!”

Then he turned his attention back to Helsinki, and as he prepares to met with Putin, Trump complained that “no matter how well I do at the Summit, if I was given the great city of Moscow as retribution for all of the sins and evils committed by Russia over the years, I would return to criticism that it wasn’t good enough.

Greek Court Rules To Extradite Alexander Vinnik, Accused Of Laundering $4 Billion In Bitcoin

Authored by Helen Partz via CoinTelegraph.com,

A Greek court has ruled to extradite the alleged former operator of crypto exchange BTC-e, Alexander Vinnik, to France, local news outlet CNN Greece reported Friday, July 13.

image courtesy of CoinTelegraph

The 39-year old Russian national Vinnik, also known colloquially as “Mr. Bitcoin,” was indicted by U.S. authorities on charges of fraud and money laundering last year, reportedly involving up to $4 billion in Bitcoin (BTC).

Vinnik’s Greek lawyer Ilias Spyrliadis confirmed to Russian news agency TASS that “the court has granted France’s request for Vinnik’s extradition.” Spyrliadis also revealed that he is planning to appeal against the court’s decision in the Greek Supreme Court.

According to CNN Greece, Vinnik himself challenged the decision of the Greek court on extradition to France, denying the allegations of French authorities, who issued a warrant, in which the alleged BTC-e owner was accused of “defraud[ing] over 100 people in six French cities between 2016 and 2018.”

Vinnik responded that he was “transferring e-money through a platform,” considering it as “legitimate personal transactions.”

Vinnik’s lawyer Spyrliadis assured Russian BBC that the latest extradition to France would lead to a further extradition to the U. (more…)

Yield Curve Hysteria?