Potential target date November 21, 2018, 11-21-2018

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The meltdown's continue.


November 21, 2018, 6:03 PM GMT+1
Weaker-than-projected reports Wednesday on business investment, consumer confidence and the job market signaled the U.S. economy is shifting into a lower gear, leaving less cheer as Americans head into the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Orders placed with U.S. factories for business equipment were little changed in October, missing forecasts for a third month, Commerce Department figures showed. An index of consumer sentiment fell to a three-month low in November, according to a University of Michigan survey, while the Labor Department said filings for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level since late June.

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While another report showed sales of previously owned homes advanced in October, it was the first increase in seven months, a reminder that housing also may have peaked amid rising borrowing costs and high prices. With stocks erasing the year’s gains, the boost from tax cuts possibly ebbing and President Donald Trump’s trade war set to escalate, the latest data collectively point to a moderation in economic growth this quarter -- and beyond, if the weakness persists.

“The economy is losing momentum,” said Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc. in New York. That “isn’t surprising, but nothing alarming at this stage,” and is in line with his forecast for slower growth this quarter than in the July-September period, when gross domestic product expanded at a 3.5 percent annualized rate.

Investors see the Federal Reserve as still on track for a widely anticipated quarter-point interest-rate hike in December, its fourth such move this year. At the same time, the pace of tightening in 2019 looks less certain as growth cools and the benchmark rate nears the theoretical, so-called neutral level that neither stimulates nor restrains the economy.

U.S. stocks were higher on Wednesday following two days of steep declines, as technology shares rebounded. Yields on 10-year Treasuries were also up though were still near the lowest level since early October.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect growth to slow to a 2.6 percent pace in the fourth quarter, following the best back-to-back gains since 2014. It’s forecast to keep moderating, reaching a 2 percent rate in late 2019. The Atlanta Fed’s GDPNow tracker, updated after Wednesday’s data, predicts fourth-quarter growth of 2.5 percent.

What Our Economists Say...

The durable goods report suggests that the weak third-quarter investment print is more likely a trend than a one-off surprise. Momentum in core shipments -- a direct feed into investment in quarterly GDP -- decelerated last month, signaling that weakness from the third quarter is carrying over into the final quarter of the year.

Here are the details of Wednesday’s economic data:
Non-military capital goods orders excluding aircraft -- a proxy for business investment -- were little changed after a 0.5 percent decline in September that was worse than previously reported. The median forecast in a Bloomberg survey called for a 0.2 percent gain.

The University of Michigan’s sentiment index dropped to 97.5, the lowest level since August, from the prior month’s 98.6. The median estimate of economists was 98.3, which was also the preliminary reading released earlier this month.

Jobless claims increased by 3,000 to 224,000 in the week ended Nov. 17, potentially reflecting holiday-related volatility and California wildfires in what otherwise has been a strong labor market.

Existing-home sales rose from the prior month to an annual rate of 5.22 million, the National Association of Realtors said. While that narrowly exceeded economists’ projections for sales of 5.2 million, the pace was down 5.1 percent from a year earlier, the biggest drop since 2014.


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“The main signal from all the data in aggregate is that growth peaked in the second and third quarter,” said Michael Gapen, chief U.S. economist at Barclays Plc. “What I would caution is that, that doesn’t mean a recession is tomorrow.”

Gapen said that unlike in the previous recession, a downturn in housing is likely to be more a symptom of a cooling economy than a cause. And even with the latest weakness, the factory-orders data are still showing “pretty decent growth,” just not as strong as before, he said.
— With assistance by Alister Bull, Jordan Yadoo, Chris Middleton, and Kristy Scheuble


Deutsche Bank Lost $60MM On Trade Meant To Minimize Risk
11/21/2018 - 10:59
While Deutsche Bank may have a far greater headache now that it has been implicated as an accomplice in Danske Bank's giant money-laundering efforts, helping some $150 billion in funds transit out of Europe illicitly, in an amusing tangent showing how the biggest, and most troubled, German lender can seemingly get nothing right these days, the most troubled German lender had put on a hedge to minimize risk at its U.S. equities business. Instead, the company lost tens of millions on the trade.

According to Bloomberg, Deutsche Bank's New York traders pooled billions of dollars of positions into one portfolio, known as a central risk book, in an attempt to avert losses and potentially make more money (or maybe in hopes of recreating JPM's London Whale "hedging" behemoth). Alas, it did not work out quite as expected, and the trade backfired leading to a $60 million loss, and forcing Deutsche Bank to slash the book’s size.

A reversal of the "pod" or silo strategy popularized by such hedge funds as Millennium and SAC, central risk books have become a trend at some of the world’s biggest investment banks which have been seeking to minimize risk exposure. As Bloomberg explains, instead of dozens of workers across numerous desks working to limit possible losses, trades are transferred to a single CRB where they are managed by a small team, often with the help of complex algorithms.

But at Deutsche Bank, part of that strategy "didn’t perform as well as desired"... which considering the bank's recent "successes" in equity trading was to be expected, and judging by the bank's response, desired:

“Looking at isolated losses in central risk books is misleading since it does not take into account other related trading books or offsetting factors such as commissions earned,” Kerrie McHugh, a spokeswoman for Deutsche Bank in New York, said in an e-mail. She declined to elaborate on specifics.

While the size of the loss was manageable for one of Europe’s top investment banks, it represents a new glimpse into Deutsche Bank’s problems both at its equities business, which has reported quarterly declines in revenue since 2015, and in the U.S., where the Fed has been scrutinizing its controls.

DB%20equity%20trading%202018-11-21_10-01-24.jpg

Adding insult to injury, CEO Christian Sewing has targeted the stocks division for cutbacks since he took the top job in April.

Some more details from Bloomberg on the evolution of Deutsche's CRB:
Executives at the firm started increasing the size of the CRB for the U.S. equities business in late 2016 and continued until this year, when it contained about 2 billion euros ($2.3 billion) of trades, the people said. One person said the pool contained positions in both common stock and equity derivatives, complex contracts that derive their value from shares.

While CRBs are meant to allow banks to cut costs, improve profit and bolster risk management, this particular strategy floundered, partly because of issues with the CRB’s technology, the sources said, and as Bloomberg explains, one of the problems was how well the team’s algorithms analyzed the trading success of counterparties. Another source said that the CRB may also have become "too big to manage properly."

Deutsche Bank executives have since shrunk the size of the CRB to about several hundred million euros, the people said.

Ryan O’Sullivan, a trader who helped oversee the strategy, moved to the role of global co-head of electronic equities in May of this year, according to his LinkedIn page. Amusingly, according to McHugh, the DB spokeswoman, "he was promoted" confirming that all one needs to do to get to the top at the German bank is lose tens of millions.

And so with this latest failed attempt to prove to the world that its equities trading desk is competitive now safely in the rearview mirror, Deutsche Bank can focus on what truly matters: defending itself from the upcoming accusations that it helped Russians launder - by way of Danske Bank - some $150 billion in "hot money" into the US.


Amazon says it has experienced a data breach just hours before Black Friday
9:48 AM, Nov 21, 2018

Just as tens of millions of Americans are preparing to start their Black Friday shopping, the nation's largest retailer has admitted to a new data breach — but it's making only a few details public.

Amazon customers across the U.S. and in Europe report receiving a strange email, that appears to be a phishing scam.
An example of the email is listed below.

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Some tech blogs speculate that the email is a phishing scam, because of the way it is worded. In addition, the email asks users to not change their passwords, and the email signature that includes an "http" iURL instead of an "https" (which means the URL is secure).

But Amazon has confirmed to the The Register UK and The London Telegraph that the email and breach are real. Companies are required under British law to report any data breaches immediately, well before US law requires them to divulge an issue.

However, American customers are also reporting they have received the email.

What you should do

Amazon is not sharing how many customers were affected, if any information beyond email addresses were shared, and whether the company was hacked.

Coming just one day before the start of Black Friday shopping, it is concerning.
Several security experts suggest that user change their password anyway if they have received this cryptic message from Amazon.




 

SummerLite

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
This is a minor detail but thought I'd mention it. This is nothing new for JC Penny's a store I frequent. Maybe its been 5 years since they went on a serious reconfiguration of constantly having sales. So its been some time now since they started seeing profits decline and went into constant sales mode.

As far as the housing market slump, its not happening in my town where prices and demand are soaring and lots of building going on. Maybe people moving here from California as it slowly falls into the ocean, in a manner of speaking. In 2008, there was also a surge of new construction here which stopped with the market crash at that time. I've wondered if the same could happen again.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
This might be "a lot of waves" and never amount to anything but then again ...

November 25, 2018 - In Historic Move, Sen. Rand Paul Places Hold on $38 Billion to Israel
https://www.globalresearch.ca/in-hi...l-places-hold-on-38-billion-to-israel/5660890

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), who has a history of being skeptical about U.S. taxpayer funds going towards the Jewish state, has placed a hold on the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018, which provides Israel with $38 billion in military aid over the next decade.

This has caused backlash from organizations such as the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.
“This bipartisan legislation authorizes full funding of security assistance to ensure Israel has the means to defend itself,” AIPAC posted on Facebook with a link to “urge Sen. Paul to stop blocking aid to Israel.”

“We are working hard to gain a final vote on this critical legislation,” AIPAC spokesperson Marshall Wittmann told JNS. “We believe that it will be enacted before Congress adjourns for the year.”​
A hold is a procedure where a senator tells his or her floor leader that he or she does not want a specific measure to reach the floor for consideration, and therefore may filibuster any motion to proceed to debate the bill or other measure.

However, in this case, Majority Leader and fellow Kentucky Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell does not have to abide by Paul’s request.

Paul’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

The Senate and House of Representatives passed a version each in August and September, respectively. The former must pass its final version before U.S. President Donald Trump can sign it into law.

(Comment: The article below gives background and terms of the U.S.-Israel Security Assistance Authorization Act of 2018. (Welfare)

August 06, 2018 - US Military Aid to Israel Set to Exceed $3.8B, or $23,000 Per Year for Every Jewish Family Living in Israel
https://www.globalresearch.ca/us-mi...urce=article_page&utm_medium=related_articles
 

Voyageur

Ambassador
Ambassador
FOTCM Member
I'm not surprised in the least and yet the impact will be hard indeed. There had been a long history of car making in Oshawa by GM and it is now done it seems. Some comments were that GM did not build Oshawa, Oshawa built GM.

GM was bailed out under the Canadian corporate welfare program back in the late 2000's when it went economically sour. They took the money gladly of course and now can say hasta luego.

GM plant in Oshawa, Ont., to shut down | CBC News
The plant employs more than 2,500 people; union representing autoworkers to meet with GM Monday
CBC News · Posted: Nov 25, 2018 9:06 PM ET

Sources inside the government have confirmed that a General Motors plant in Oshawa, Ont., is set to close.
It's unclear how many employees will lose their jobs, since this is part of a larger global restructuring plan, the sources said.

According to GM's website, the Oshawa Assembly Plant employs 2,522 workers with Unifor Local 222. Production began on Nov. 7, 1953. In the 1980s, the plant employed roughly 23,000 people.
[...]
Outstanding loan for more than $1 billion

In 2009, as part of an effort to bailout the auto sector, GM received several billion dollars in loans and support from the Canadian and Ontario governments as it went through bankruptcy protection.

In October, Export Development Canada, the national export credit agency, showed there was an outstanding loan to GM Corp. for more than $1 billion.

The loan also appears to be attributed to a bankrupt version of the firm that was split off from a viable version of GM that year.
[...]
Aaron Wudrick, director of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation, said that "job losses are always unfortunate and governments are right to be seized with finding ways to help affected individuals adjust."

"But what is absolutely clear is that giving large corporations taxpayer bailouts is not the solution," he told CBC News in an email.
 

c.a.

The Living Force
FOTCM Member

Daybreak: Oil Prices Whipsawed. Deutsche Bank Raided. (Podcast)
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/audio/2018-11-29/daybreak-oil-prices-whipsawed-deutsche-bank-raided-podcast
November 29, 2018 — 2:21 PM CET Running time 05:31
In today’s San Francisco Daybreak podcast, we cover the biggest stories that happened overnight. A wild day in markets saw oil crashing below $50 a barrel and then popping. The Fed continues to dominate the economic discourse. Deutsche Bank slid as its offices were raided by prosecutors. Bloomberg’s Richard Jones discusses the Fed with host Christine Burke.

Former Glencore Exec Vaults Cargill in Russian Wheat Trade
By Anatoly Medetsky November 28, 2018, 6:00 AM GMT+1
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-28/former-glencore-executive-vaults-cargill-in-russian-wheat-trade
Zerno-Trade has become Russia’s No. 4 wheat shipper since 2014
Just four years after being founded by a former Glencore Plc executive and his mystery partner, Zerno-Trade last season leapfrogged Cargill Inc. to become Russia’s fourth-biggest wheat shipper.

The company is one arm of a business founded in 2014 by Sergei Potapov -- who worked for Glencore in Russia and was country manager in Kazakhstan -- and an unidentified partner he met while studying business administration at a Moscow university. The group has expanded rapidly by developing a supply chain that includes a grain terminal and a Swiss-based trader.

“We focus on a single product: wheat makes up 95 percent of our grain shipments,” Potapov said in an interview at the Global Grain conference in Geneva this month. “That helps us to achieve large volumes of export.”

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Zerno-Trade climbed one place in the rankings for Russian wheat shippers after the record crop season that ended in July, according to data from consultant ProZerno.

The company buys grain from Russian farmers and sells it to sister firm Orsett Trading SA in Lausanne, Switzerland, which ships it to customers worldwide, said Potapov, who also heads the Swiss trader. Cargoes transit the group’s Azov Sea terminal in the port of Taganrog, and Black Sea ports such as Novorossiysk and Tuapse.

Potapov, who rarely gives interviews, declined to name his business partner, describing him only as a “strong risk taker” who closely follows the company’s operations.
During its first year, Zerno-Trade was burnt by a sharp devaluation of the ruble, while rising domestic wheat prices prompted the government to tax exports.
“We ended our first year with a loss because we were not ready,” said Potapov, who combines his management duties with attending courses for an Executive MBA at the IMD business school in Lausanne. “We lost much money due to abrupt fluctuations of the foreign exchange rate.”

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Orsett also plans to increase its Ukrainian business, after exporting about 400,000 metric tons of wheat last season. It started to ship corn from Ukraine this year.

“In Russia, we have reached a certain ceiling with the current volumes,” Potapov said. “In Ukraine, we still have room for growth.”
As Orsett plans opening a Singapore office to expand into Asia and considers other commodities and markets from South America to Australia, its model is London-based Engelhart Commodities Trading Partners Ltd., according to Potapov. He’s visited ECTP’s Geneva operations and wants to mimic its department trading crop futures, admiring the balance the company strikes between trading futures and actual crops.

“I observe them with unconcealed delight,” Potapov said. “They started operations at about the same time as we did and have traveled a very interesting path.”





U.S. Consumer Spending Tops Estimates as Inflation Cools
Bloomberg Markets and Finance Published on Nov 29, 2018
Nov.29 -- Simons Mocuta, senior economist at State Street Global Advisors, and Nathan Thooft, head of global asset allocation at Manulife Asset Management, examine U.S. consumer spending for October. They speak on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
[U]c.a.[/U] Today at 9:30 AM

[URL='https://twitter.com/Ruptly']Ruptly @Ruptly
https://twitter.com/Ruptly/status/1067810353101209600
'We don't have a goal to shift away from the #dollar, the dollar is moving away from us' - #Putin
11:00 AM - Nov 28, 2018

~~~
Technically, Putin statement is true. The U.S. #dollar - petro dollar is backed by crude oil. A Blockchain platform is now entering the picture via trading in Bitcoin. It's a major development!

November 29, 2018 - Blockchain platform goes live for North Sea Crude Oil Trading
Blockchain platform goes live for North Sea crude oil trading | Reuters

Oil majors and trading firms can start finalizing crude oil deals on a live blockchain-based platform for the first time, in a move that could revolutionize the market.

Commodities trading firms have piloted similar schemes in recent years as blockchain technology has the potential to drastically cut costs in an environment of razor-thin profit margins.

London-based platform Vakt is the first of these to go live, with shareholder Gunvor Group saying it was rolled out on Wednesday, although no trades took place that day.

Blockchain, the platform behind cryptocurrency Bitcoin, is viewed by many as a solution to trade and settlement inefficiencies, as well as a way to improve transparency and reduce the risk of fraud.

Vakt was created in 2017 by a consortium that includes oil majors BP (BP.L) and Royal Dutch Shell (RDSa.AS), Norway’s Equinor, global energy trading firms Mercuria Energy Group and Koch Supply and Trading, as well as Gunvor.

These firms will initially be the only users of Vakt but access will be opened up in January next year.

Banks ABN Amro, ING and Societe Generale are other shareholders.

Vakt digitizes and centralizes what was previously a mountain of a paperwork shared between all the parties involved in each deal. It will be linked to another platform launched earlier this year, Geneva-based komgo, which will provide financing including digital letters of credit.

“Vakt is the logistical arm... Once a deal is executed through our book of records, it gets pushed through Vakt. The next leg is the financing and the link-up with komgo gives access to several banks,” said Eren Zekioglu, Chief Operations and IT Officer at Gunvor Group.

komgo, which is due to go live before the year end, is backed by a consortium including 10 global banks and most of the Vakt shareholders.

The financing platform will target the full spectrum of commodities trading, from oil to wheat.

Use of Vakt will at first be limited to contracts for the five North Sea crude grades that are used to set dated Brent, a benchmark used to price most of the world’s crude oil.

In early 2019, the platform plans to include U.S. crude pipelines and barges of refined products like gasoline in northern Europe.

“It’s an exciting time,” Andrew Smith, Shell’s head of trading, said.

“Collaboration with our peers and some of the industry’s key players is the best way to combine market expertise and achieve the scale necessary to launch a digital transaction platform that could transform the way we all do business.”


(Comment: I would imagine - these recent meetings - had as "one of it's priorities" - commodities trading with this Blockchain platform?)

* November 30, 2018 - Russian and Saudi Energy Ministers to meet at G20: RIA
Russian and Saudi energy ministers to meet at G20: RIA | Reuters

Russia’s energy minister Alexander Novak will meet his Saudi counterpart at the G20 summit in Argentina and discuss an oil output reduction in 2019, RIA news agency cited Novak as saying on Friday.

He was also reported to have said that Russia’s 2019 oil output is expected at the same level as this year but could be adjusted, depending on a deal between OPEC and non-OPEC members.

Producer group OPEC and its allies are meeting in Vienna next week to discuss oil production.


* December 1, 2018 - Saudi Crown Prince meet's Russia's President Putin; discusses Oil Market Rebalancing
Saudi Crown Prince meets Russia's President Putin; discusses oil market rebalancing | Reuters

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of G20 summit in Argentina on Saturday and discussed areas of cooperation including rebalancing the world oil market, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, of which Saudi Arabia is a key member, and Russia and other leading oil producers will meet in Vienna on Dec 6-7 to discuss the oil market, as prices have been declining due to oversupply.

Riyadh has suggested OPEC and its allies reduce output by 1 million barrels per day from January 2019 to stem the price falls.

Speaking in Buenos Aires, Putin said on Saturday that he had no concrete figures on possible output cuts but that Russia would continue contributing to reducing global output.


* December 1, 2018 - China supports Saudi Arabia in Economic and Social change: Xi
China supports Saudi Arabia in economic and social change: Xi | Reuters

Stability in Saudi Arabia is the cornerstone of prosperity and progress in the Gulf, and China firmly supports Riyadh in its drive for economic diversification and social reform, President Xi Jinping told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Meeting in Buenos Aires, host of the G20 summit of industrialized nations on Friday, Xi said China has always attached great importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported.

“China firmly supports Saudi Arabia in its drive for economic diversification and social reform, and will continue to stick together with Saudi Arabia on issues involving their core interests,” Xinhua cited Xi as saying.

The Saudi press agency reported early on Saturday that the crown prince and Xi discussed partnership between the two countries and harmonizing Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision with China’s Belt and Road Initiative, as well as Saudi energy supplies to China and mutual investment. China and Saudi Arabia have close energy ties.

Saudi Arabia is set to expand its market share in China this year for the first time since 2012, with demand stirred up by new Chinese refiners pushing the kingdom back into contention with Russia as top supplier to the world’s largest oil buyer.

Saudi Arabia, the biggest global oil exporter, has been surpassed by Russia as top crude supplier to China the past two years as private “teapot” refiners and a new pipeline drove up demand for Russian oil.

China also has good relations with Saudi’s regional rival, Iran, and has long had to balance its ties between Riyadh and Tehran.


* December 1, 2018 - US, China agree Trade War Ceasefire after Trump, Xi summit
U.S., China agree on trade war ceasefire after Trump, Xi summit | Reuters

China and the United States agreed to a ceasefire in their bitter trade war on Saturday after high-stakes talks in Argentina between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, including no escalated tariffs on Jan. 1.

Trump will leave tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports at 10 percent at the beginning of the new year, agreeing to not raise them to 25 percent “at this time”, the White House said in a statement.

“China will agree to purchase a not yet agreed upon, but very substantial, amount of agricultural, energy, industrial, and other product from the United States to reduce the trade imbalance between our two countries,” it said.

“China has agreed to start purchasing agricultural product from our farmers immediately.”

The two leaders also agreed to immediately start talks on structural changes with respect to forced technology transfers, intellectual property protection, non-tariff barriers, cyber intrusions and cyber theft, services and agriculture, the White House said.

Both countries agreed they will try to have this “transaction” completed within the next 90 days, but if this does not happen then the 10 percent tariffs will be raised to 25 percent, it added.

The Chinese government’s top diplomat, State Councillor Wang Yi, said the negotiations were conducted in a “friendly and candid atmosphere”.

[...] “The two sides agreed to mutually open their markets, and as China advances a new round of reforms, the United States’ legitimate concerns can be progressively resolved.”

The two sides would “step up negotiations” toward full elimination of all additional tariffs, Wang said.

After the 2-1/2 hour meeting, White House chief economist Larry Kudlow told reporters the talks went “very well,” but offered no specifics as he boarded Air Force One headed home to Washington with Trump.

Slideshow (15 Images)
U.S., China agree on trade war ceasefire after Trump, Xi summit | Reuters


(Comment: Reflecting on this emergence of a blockchain-based platform in relation to commodities and oil - I have to question the timing and motive behind the killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the media hype directed at pointing a finger at MBS? Why is Turkey's Erdogan at the forefront of these allegation's? Is it possible, one of the motives behind the Khashoggi killing - had to do with "this blockchain-based platform and Saudi oil"? Was the killing and backlash meant to remove MBS from attending the G20 Summit and scheduled meetings? )

* December 1, 2018 - Pompeo: No Intelligence directly links Saudi Prince to Khashoggi killing
Pompeo: no intelligence directly links Saudi prince to Khashoggi killing | Reuters

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Saturday he has seen all the intelligence possessed by the United States on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and repeated that no direct evidence links Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the incident. “I have read every piece of intelligence that is in the possession of United States government,” Pompeo said in an interview with broadcaster CNN in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the G20 summit.


December 2, 2018 - Kremlin hopes Putin and Trump can hold talks before June next year
Kremlin hopes Putin and Trump can hold talks before June next year | Reuters

The Kremlin hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin can meet and hold talks before a G20 summit in Japan in June next year, a Kremlin aide said on Saturday.

Trump canceled a planned meeting with Putin at the G20 summit in Argentina this weekend citing unease over Russia’s Nov. 25 seizure of three Ukrainian navy ships and their crews.

Trump and Putin instead had a very brief meeting when they bumped into each other on the sidelines of the summit in Buenos Aires, but did not hold proper talks.

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters he hoped it would be possible for the two leaders to meet properly before too long.

“Of course a new meeting is possible,” said Ushakov. “Now we need to again have talks about preparing such a meeting.”

When asked where that meeting might happen, Ushakov cited a G20 summit in Osaka Japan in June next year as one option. “But it seems to me that it’s very important for us and for them to find a way of meeting before then,” said Ushakov.


Former Glencore Exec Vaults Cargill in Russian Wheat Trade
By Anatoly Medetsky November 28, 2018, 6:00 AM GMT+1
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-11-28/former-glencore-executive-vaults-cargill-in-russian-wheat-trade
Zerno-Trade has become Russia’s No. 4 wheat shipper since 2014
Just four years after being founded by a former Glencore Plc executive and his mystery partner, Zerno-Trade last season leapfrogged Cargill Inc. to become Russia’s fourth-biggest wheat shipper.

The company is one arm of a business founded in 2014 by Sergei Potapov -- who worked for Glencore in Russia and was country manager in Kazakhstan -- and an unidentified partner he met while studying business administration at a Moscow university. The group has expanded rapidly by developing a supply chain that includes a grain terminal and a Swiss-based trader.

“We focus on a single product: wheat makes up 95 percent of our grain shipments,” Potapov said in an interview at the Global Grain conference in Geneva this month. “That helps us to achieve large volumes of export.”

Zerno-Trade climbed one place in the rankings for Russian wheat shippers after the record crop season that ended in July, according to data from consultant ProZerno.

The company buys grain from Russian farmers and sells it to sister firm Orsett Trading SA in Lausanne, Switzerland, which ships it to customers worldwide, said Potapov, who also heads the Swiss trader. Cargoes transit the group’s Azov Sea terminal in the port of Taganrog, and Black Sea ports such as Novorossiysk and Tuapse.

The financing platform will target the full spectrum of commodities trading, from oil to wheat.


* 20 Jul, 2016 - Russia dominates global wheat market (Note - article is from 2016 but Russia also holds the record for 2017-18.)
Russia dominates global wheat market

For the second year running, Russia is the world's top wheat producer with exports of 22.5 million metric tons of grain this year, according to the US Department of Agriculture.


* January 25, 2018 - Russia’s wheat dominance set to get bigger in the future
Russia’s wheat dominance set to get bigger in the future | The Western Producer

Ample wheat, weak currency boosts Russia's exports - While the weather will not always co-operate to produce bumper crops, Russia’s grain industry is gearing up to further expand its export capacity.

The Black Sea-Mediterranean system is by far its major outlet because of its proximity to its major wheat producing regions.

Russia in the past could use some of Ukraine’s port capacity, but the current tensions between the two countries rule that out.

The Black Sea ports, which are currently undergoing major expansions at grain terminals, are also useful because they are close to some of the world’s biggest wheat importers — Egypt, Turkey and Algeria.
~~~

(Comment: In regards to this above statement, "Cargoes transit the group’s Azov Sea terminal in the port of Taganrog, and Black Sea ports such as Novorossiysk and Tuapse" take in consideration, "the emergence of a blockchain-based platform in relation to commodities, oil and wheat" and the recent Incident in the Kerch Strait ? Was one of the hidden reasons for the Ukraine provocation, to blow up the new Crimean Bridge and block the Kerch Strait, cutting off imports/exports from the Azov Sea terminals, during the height of the wheat harvest season? Effectively - killing two birds with one stone?

Cross-Post from the Ukrainian thread:
Civil War in Ukraine: Western Empire vs Russia

[U]gdpetti[/U] Tuesday at 1:01 AM

Earlier today Russian Navy, Coast Guard and Aerospace Forces intercepted and captured three Ukrainian vessels as they attempted to pass through the Kerch Strait en route to Mariupol. Russian authorities claim the Ukrainians failed to coordinate the passage and illegally entered Russian territorial waters. Ukraine claims their ships were illegally seized during a routine transit of the Strait. A detailed account of the incident, including a video of the deftly executed collision with the tugboat, can be read on the SouthFront site and many other sites by now.

These types of incidents occur from time to time. Remember the Navy patrol boats seized by the Iranians? They’re eventually resolved after much huffing and puffing and diplomatic activity. What strikes me about this incident is the lengths the Russians went to in stopping one Ukrainian tugboat and two small gunboats. The passage under the Kerch bridge was blocked by a large cargo ship. Two each Su-25 aircraft and Ka-52 attack helicopters flew overhead. The surface fleet consisted of several Sobol and Mangust class fast patrol craft, and a Svetlak class corvette. That tugboat was not going to pass through the Strait or get close to that new Crimean Bridge. Was there more to this than a mere provocation or coordination SNAFU? The following anonymous comment is from a SouthFront article. It may be just a conspiracy theory from a tinfoil hat wearing crazy. The commenter definitely has a flair for the dramatic. It may be disinformation. But what if there’s some truth in it? If so, holy crap!

Very important Info appeared briefly on Russian media (before being scrubbed) that a NATO SADM, possibly a Diver deployable device, was being transported by Ukrainian and British Special Forces to the Kerch Straight to be used on the Crimean bridge.

The device was being tracked by the Russians and they knew it had been loaded on to a Ukrainian Tug (escorted by 5 warships!! – 3 in the Black Sea, including one NATO vessel, and 2 waiting in the Sea of Azov).

This is why the Russians acted!

They never react with force and have never blockaded the Sea of Azov. Ground attack jets and Helicopter gunships, plus a warship armed with ASM and Torpedos were waiting.

This level of force would not be used just for a tug and a few old Ukrainian ships. But a tug carrying a tactical nuclear device about to bring down one of the worlds most strategic bridges, a bridge hated by NATO – as per the recent Op Ed in the ‘Washington Examiner‘ (Ukraine should bomb the Crimean Bridge).

Ukraine regularly provokes Russia to little effect, but today the Russians acted to stop a terrible event.

Ukraine is now in panic mode and there may be direct NATO intervention if the to cover this, if the Russians make this public.
The device may have come from the UK.

The UK have been psychologically preparing their people for a war with Russia.

The SADM explosion would have brought down the bridge and melted the foundations, but looked like a conventional IED blast from above due to the underwater detonation and relatively low yield of less than 1KT.

This was a WW3 level provocation STOPPED by the Russian FSB and SF’s!

All traces of these reports are being scrubbed as I write!
Get this out before the story is completely scrubbed.
I will not contact you again. (SouthFront comments)
Source
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I've been following this prediction for a while and I had assumed Armstrong got this one very wrong. Remember, he said it would be more political rather than economic/market and on the level of 911 in impact.

It occurred to me the other day, the only significant political event from what I can see is in the process of unfolding right now. The yellow vests movement (Mouvement des gilets jaunes) had their first protest on November 17 and has been growing every weekend after that influencing movements in other countries. So that fits in with the November 21/22 date which he has bandied about as it falls between mass street protest number one and number two.
 

angelburst29

The Living Force
I've been following this prediction for a while and I had assumed Armstrong got this one very wrong. Remember, he said it would be more political rather than economic/market and on the level of 911 in impact.

It occurred to me the other day, the only significant political event from what I can see is in the process of unfolding right now. The yellow vests movement (Mouvement des gilets jaunes) had their first protest on November 17 and has been growing every weekend after that influencing movements in other countries. So that fits in with the November 21/22 date which he has bandied about as it falls between mass street protest number one and number two.

I would say - close enough for horseshoe's! The yellow vests movement could very well be the Political and social activism climate that Armstrong sensed was developing?
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
If there were behind the scenes motivations to put Armstrong in pretrial solitary confinement for years under indefinite contempt (approved by current Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor), then they might include, "I had 20 years worth of recordings that would have been enough to put all the major New York trading banks in prison."

I wonder what deal Armstrong stuck with the "kingmakers" to arrange his release from prison and to resume his economic consulting work. I would think the deal includes not providing the names of the "kingmakers" to the public.

"The World Trade Center 7 collapsed like a pancake when no plane ever touched it." I think the official explanation for the WTC7 collapse is one of the most obviously nonsensical stories of the September 11 attacks, and can be used as a gateway to demonstrate to anyone with an open mind that the official version of the September 11 attacks is false.

--

Posted Dec 31, 2018 by Martin Armstrong
VICE – The Dick Cheney/Rumsfeld Conspiracy
VICE – The Dick Cheney/Rumsfeld Conspiracy | Armstrong Economics

I went to go watch VICE – the story about how Dick Cheney took over the government with the aid of his wife – Lynne Cheney. Vice is a film that seeks to bring complicated information about the inner corruption in Washington and transform it into a digestible and entertaining format. There is no question that Christian Bale delivered a very impressive performance of how Dick Cheney really is – a secretive and distant man whose eyes were always filled with naked contempt. Amy Adams gave a fantastic performance as well and captured the real character of the former Second Lady Lynne Cheney who was very much like her husband – ambitious, and equally just as ruthless.

While the film captures the reality of what took place, it completely misses the real story behind the scenes as to even how Cheney came to be Vice President. The film shows that he was out of politics and had effectively retired for some time. It pretends that George Bush called him to be his Vice President and they negotiate that Cheney will have most of the power and Bush was too stupid to understand what he was agreeing to.

As always, for whatever reason, I seem to be always in the middle of just about every major event for the past 30+ years. I have stated before that I was asked to fly around the country and meet with Republicans who wanted to run for President. Prior to 1999, they were told I was there to advise them on the world economy and how it functioned. I have been to White House dinners and testified before Congress. I have taken calls from Washington in times of crisis. So meeting with people who wanted to run for President was nothing unusual for me.

The real issue was not that I was giving them advice, but I was to assess whether they were capable of comprehending how the world functioned economically as well as politically. I was regarded as the unbiased adviser around the world. Europeans loved me because I was not one of them. They knew I would advise according to the cycles and markets. I cannot even bring staff with me to meetings in Brussels today for the problem because they are European and will have skin in the game. The same was true when I was asked to fly to Beijing during the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis.

The real story how Cheney got that power is significantly different from how the movie portrayed that aspect. It did a fantastic job in covering what he did once in power, with the exception of the meeting when 911 took place. The film portrays everyone in that room and its sources were correct in saying they were all confused but Cheney was more concerned about talking to his lawyer in that meeting. What I do know is that the first World Trade Center bombers were in MCC prison in Manhattan and they were given markers by the recreation officer Mr. Kumb. They drew on the walls of their cell the twin towers with planes flying into them one year BEFORE the incident. In creating Home Land Security, Congress merely stated that various agencies had information but did not share it with one another. Cheney had personal offices in all the agencies and I believe he knew well what took place on 911.

The movie correctly portrays Donald Rumsfeld as his co-conspirator. Just the day before 911 on September 10th, the Inspector General reported that $2.3 trillion was missing from the Defense Department accounting. Rumsfeld stated before Congress an investigation was necessary. The next day, the plane that struck the Pentagon hit the precise room where all those records were stored.

The World Trade Center 7 collapsed like a pancake when no plane ever touched it. That building has all the evidence of many things we will never know about. I had 20 years worth of recordings that would have been enough to put all the major New York trading banks in prison. Tapes that admitted paying bribes to Russian officials to pull back all platinum for a pretend inventory and all sorts of market manipulations that even included rhodium. All of those tapes from my case vanished that same day. I personally believe that Cheney knew what was in the works. The mere fact that the terrorists drew the WTC on the wall of their cell 1 year before and the MCC took pictures and made a big deal out of it tells me that information had been passed on.

Now to the issue of Cheney becoming Vice President. I was asked to go to Texas to meet with George Bush, Jr during the early summer of 1999. I was told that “this is different. He’s really stupid.” Up to that point, the entire process I was involved in was to assess the qualification of those who wanted to run for President. Suddenly I was told this was different. When I asked why would you make someone stupid President, the response was “he has the name.”

I was then asked if I would accept the position of Chief Economic Adviser in the White House. I was told BECAUSE Bush was stupid, which they play well in the movie, that they needed to surround him with smart people. I declined because to take such a position meant I would have to shut down my operation. I said thanks, but no thanks.

The kingmakers who I would go visit potential candidates for selected the people to put around Bush – not Bush. Cheney had been Chief of Staff so he knew the game. He was inserted into the White House DELIBERATELY to be the default, President. The movie makes it sound that Bush Junior had to convince him to be his VP. That is absolutely NOT the way this selection process worked. They would NEVER have allowed the very person they said was “stupid” to select the people to run the country. They were selected to be the babysitters. I know this because I was one of the people asked and declined.
 

DianaRose94

Jedi Master
The next cycle date in Armstrong's Economic Confidence Model is January 18, 2020.

I don't know if something will happen precisely on that date. However, I think that things may move significantly in the third trimester of 2020. It's terrifying to realise that it's only three months away. What saddens me most, I think, from everything slatted to happen, is that people make plan. Serious plan. Like I know a couple of people who are currently trying to set up a business they are really passionate about and which they hope will help their family. And I'm watching them and I just think, "well, actually you shouldn't even bother". When the next crash hit (which will be very soon), all your effort will be lost. I don't know, it's kind of like we're all bumbling along, and there's no point to any of it.
 
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Kosma

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
The next cycle date in Armstrong's Economic Confidence Model is January 18, 2020.
I don't know if something will happen precisely on that date. However, I think that things may move significantly in the third trimester of 2020
I think that what Martin Armstrong is publishing is very collinear with C's messages. I'd even suppose that his wave model brings exact time frames that could specify what C's often refer to as 'soon' (2032 is the biggest date according to M.A. model)

A few important events will begin in just one, next week: Trump's impeachment trial, constitutional reform in Russia, meetings of central banks from Europe, USA, Japan and China. A lot may arise from these in short time span IMHO
 

Kosma

Jedi Master
FOTCM Member
So, indeed - a lot is happening and expected crisis has arived. There is a risk we may see paper currency cancelation in Eurozone this week (forcing people to declare it and pay taxes for) and a banking holidays. They also made a federalization of UE possible. Everything should settle down a bit before June/July, bo not for too long.
 

hlat

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
The next cycle date in Armstrong's Economic Confidence Model is January 18, 2020.
In hindsight, this is when covid tyranny started.

It seems the next cycle date is March 24, 2022.

Cycle dates for Armstrong Wave 935
1/18/2020 2020.05 major
3/14/2022 2022.2
4/10/2023 2023.275
5/7/2024 2024.35 major
6/2/2025 2025.421
6/30/2026 2026.496
2/16/2027 2027.124
6/28/2027 2027.491 pi target
8/25/2028 2028.65 major
 
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