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Feb 17, 2014

GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH February 17, 2014: Ted Butler: What really happened to Bear Stearns?

Ted Butler: What really happened to Bear Stearns?

Submitted by cpowell on 04:52PM ET Monday, February 17, 2014. Section: Daily Dispatches
7:50p ET Monday, February 17, 2014

Silver market analyst and market-rigging whistleblower Ted Butler argues tonight that the collapse of investment bank Bear Stears was caused not by sub-prime mortgages, as widely believed, but by short positions in Comex gold and silver. Butler's commentary is headlined "What Really Happened to Bear Stearns?" and it's posted at GoldSeek's companion Internet site, SilverSeek, here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

NYT | Asian Markets Today's Headlines February 18, 2014: U.N. Panel Says North Korean Leader Could Face Trial

The New York Times
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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Top News
Michael Kirby, the chairman of the Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, summarized in a letter to Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, an investigation's findings of crimes against humanity committed by officials that could be inferred to be acting under Mr. Kim's personal control.
U.N. Panel Says North Korean Leader Could Face Trial


A panel that investigated rights abuses in North Korea has told the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, that he may be held liable for crimes against humanity committed by those under his direct control.
Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on Monday in Tehran that
Little Optimism as Iran Nuclear Talks Are Set to Reconvene


Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, expressed his mistrust of the motives of the U.S. and its allies and said he sees little chance of success in the negotiation effort.
Pakistan Suspends Taliban Peace Talks Over Killings


A government committee refused to meet with Taliban representatives in the aftermath of the reported killing of 23 paramilitary soldiers in militant captivity.
For more top news, go to
Editors' Picks


A Test Europe's Banks Mustn't Fail


The E.C.B. needs to recall lessons from Japan and the U.S. on how to use stress tests.


Video VIDEO: The Hunter Collection
Alasdhair Willis is the creative director for Hunter, the English boot maker, and its new Hunter Original clothing. The advice from his wife, the designer Stella McCartney? Trust your instincts.
In Egypt, a Chasm Grows Between Young and Old


Many young Egyptians say the government's heavy-handed reaction to protests has hampered their ability to establish a role in shaping the nation's future.
Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany held her first known talks with the Ukrainian politicians Vitali Klitschko, left, and Arseniy P. Yatsenyuk at the Chancellery in Berlin on Monday.
German Leaders Meet With Ukrainian Opposition Leaders


Officials in Berlin cast the talks as part of a carefully choreographed series of moves designed to end the standoff between Ukraine's president and the opposition protesters.
Ivane Merabishvili, shown last May, was convicted Monday of charges stemming from a scheme of vote-buying before the 2012 elections.
Former Prime Minister of Georgia Convicted of Corruption


Ivane Merabishvili is the most senior official yet to be convicted in a series of seemingly politically motivated prosecutions that followed a change in control of the government in 2012.
For more world news, go to
Russian Business, Target of Cypriot Bailout, Still Loves the Island


Despite efforts by international officials to curb Cyprus's allure as a tax haven, it remains a magnet for investors and companies from Russia.
An ad for the electronic cigarette Vype, from British American Tobacco, will be shown on British TV despite rules against advertising cigarettes on the medium.
Cigarette Ads Return to British TV in a Cloud of Vapor


The ads, which will also run online, are made possible by a loophole in the British advertising code written years before e-cigarettes came into widespread use.
Tepid Economic Growth in Japan


A 1 percent expansion in the fourth quarter heightened concerns that the country's recovery might not be strong enough to weather a sales tax increase.
For more business news, go to
An IAI Heron 1 drone, developed by an Israeli firm and operated by the Singapore Air Force, on display at the Singapore Airshow.
At Asia Air Show, Plenty of Competition for Sales of Drones


Military contractors from Austria, Australia, Israel, the United States and other countries showcased unmanned aerial vehicles throughout the week at the Singapore Airshow.
Kickstarter Acknowledges a Breach of User Data


The platform for raising capital for creative projects and businesses said that hackers had gained access to some of its customers' data, but that the breach had been repaired.
For more technology news, go to
Meryl Davis and Charlie White of the United States took a victory lap around the ice after they won the gold medal in ice dancing at the Sochi Olympics.
Davis and White Give U.S. First Olympic Gold in Ice Dancing


Meryl Davis and Charlie White, who began skating together when she was 9 and he was 8, won the long program on Monday with a season best of 116.63 points and an overall score of 195.52.
. Exhausted Ice Dancers Have to Keep Their Smiles
The American two-man bobsled team Steven Holcomb, left, and Steven Langton, right, celebrate their bronze medal Monday.
Holcomb Ends Another U.S. Bobsled Drought


Steven Holcomb piloted an American sled to a bronze medal, the country's first in 62 years in the two-man event.
The American speedskater Heather Richardson on Sunday after the women's 1,500-meter race.


U.S. Speedskaters Are Running Short on Answers and on Time


They were projected to win 10 medals, but through 8 of 16 events they haven't won one, distracted by uniform concerns and dominated by skaters from the Netherlands.
For more sports news, go to
U.S. News
Eric J. Barron, shown in 2009, was a former professor and dean at Penn State University.
Penn State Finds Its New President at Florida State


Eric Barron, a nationally known climatologist, has been president of Florida State University for the past four years.
Behind Debt-Limit Retreat, a G.O.P. Eye on Retaking the Senate


With their party on offense in its push to capture the Senate, Republicans say they are determined to avoid the mistakes and stumbles that Democrats exploited in 2010 and 2012.
Students at Miami's iPreparatory Academy spend much of their time working independently, often lounging with laptops.
Magnet Schools Find a Renewed Embrace in Cities


In Miami and many other cities, public schools that admit students districtwide and focus on themes like art, law or technology are gaining popularity after largely falling off the radar.
. Photographs  Slide Show: Magnet Schools Resurface in Miami
For more U.S. news, go to


A Watchful Eye in Hospitals


Are hidden cameras a violation of patients' right to privacy?


New York's Broken Parole System


For low-risk inmates, early release into parole should be the default and the board should have to articulate a good reason to keep them locked up.
Bill Keller


South Africa's Growing Pains


A meaningful opposition party seemed possible, but only for a moment.
. Columnist Page | Blog
For more opinion, go to

Embry kicks the Bundesbank and Christian says 'Ouch!': GATA | THE GATA DISPATCH February 17, 2014.

Embry kicks the Bundesbank and Christian says 'Ouch!'

Submitted by cpowell on 11:59AM ET Monday, February 17, 2014. Section: Daily Dispatches
3:22p ET Monday, February 17, 2014
Dear Friend of GATA and Gold:
MineWeb's Lawrence Williams today notes the attack by CPM Group's Jeffrey Christian on Sprott Asset Management's John Embry, made Friday on Business News Network in Canada in response to Embry's expression of suspicion on BNN that impairment of the German Bundesbank's gold at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York is behind the slow pace of the Bundesbank's gold repatriation.
In his interview on BNN --
-- which runs about 10 minutes, Christian expresses confidence that nothing is amiss with Germany's gold and that questions have been raised about it only by people who are trying to scare investors into buying gold.
Certainly, as always, people in the gold sector are "talking their book" here. Embry and the Sprott people are advocates of and investors in the monetary metals, while Christian has described his company as having most central banks as clients, and of course most central banks, even central banks in gold-producing countries, are enemies of gold, gold being an independent and neutral form of money that competes with central bank money and restricts central bank power.
Maybe most people can agree that the Bundesbank is not as eager to repatriate its gold as, say, Venezuela recently was. Indeed, the Bundesbank well may not want to repatriate its gold at all. Some people think that the Bundesbank is making a show of arranging to get a little of its gold back simply to placate the political clamor that has been stirred up in Germany by paranoid gold bugs.
But the Bundesbank's repatriation schedule -- seven years to ship metal that easily could be shipped in seven months if not seven weeks -- nurtures suspicions, the more so in light of the longstanding refusal of the Bundesbank and the U.S. Federal Reserve to disclose whether they have or have had gold swaps with each other --
-- gold swaps and leases being, as confirmed by the secret March 1999 report of the staff of the International Monetary Fund, primary mechanisms of gold price suppression by central banks:
Really, it's a little too silly for Christian to get more indignant about insults to the Bundesbank's integrity than the Bundesbank itself can bring itself to get. Like most major Western central banks, having long participated in gold price suppression, the Bundesbank simply can't be candid and forthcoming about its gold activities. All the Bundesbank can do is issue the occasional misleading press release and then refuse to answer the critical questions that would give the game away.
Does Christian really believe that Western central banks are not involved surreptitously in the gold market every day, directly and through their gold broker, the Bank for International Settlements? Are the documents cited here, just a few of the many GATA has published, actually forgeries?:
If only BNN would try interviewing Christian about these documents, one by one. But maybe that would be too cruel. The guy is only trying to do a good job for his clients, and these are hard times for central banks as well as for the people who live in the world central banking is destroying.
Williams' commentary at MineWeb about Christian's attack on Embry is headlined "Christian vs Embry: Gold, Lies, and Video Interviews" and it's posted here:
CHRIS POWELL, Secretary/Treasurer
Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee Inc.

ADVFN III Evening Euro Markets Bulletin February 17, 2014.

ADVFN IIIEvening Euro Markets Bulletin
Daily world financial newsMonday, 17 February 2014

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UK stocks end on a high after quiet session
- FTSE closes up 72 points at 6,736
- Hammerson and RSA lead risers
- UK inflation due out tomorrow
- House prices up 3.3 per cent in February

techMARK 2,857.31 +0.90%
FTSE 100 6,736.00 +1.09%
FTSE 250 16,244.71 +0.83%

Stocks ended the day with strong gains, driven by both Hammerson and RSA Insurance on what has been a quiet day for markets.

The FTSE 100 settled 72.38 higher at 6,736, marking a gains of 1.09%.

The gains come ahead of tomorrow's release of monthly UK inflation figures, which are expected to show that January consumer prices held steady at 2%.

Helping drive today's rally was data out overnight from China, which revealed borrowing for January was above expectations. Loans for the four-week period leapt to 1.32trn yuan from 482.5bn yuan in December and 1.07bn in the same period a year earlier, indicating that borrowing hasn't been affected by fears over credit expansion.

Traders have also welcomed the departure of Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta last week. Letta fell on his sword after his party backed calls for a new administration, with Matteo Renzi, who has this morning been asked to form a new government, saying a change was needed to end the "uncertainty" and lack of action over the country's economic situation.

Meanwhile, and back in the UK, three former employees of Barclays have been charged by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in connection with its investigation into the manipulation of Libor, the inter-bank lending rate. The charges, all of which are for conspiracy to defraud, relate to events between June 1st 2005 and August 31st 2007. The FTSE is up 70 points at 6,734.

In other news, a survey of professional managers showed that fewer UK firms are planning on hiring new staff and instead opting to get the most out of existing employees. The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development revealed that 54% of firms surveyed between December 12th and December 24th said they were looking to recruit staff, the lowest proportion since the survey began in 2010.

UK house prices accelerate further in February

UK house prices rose in February as demand continued to outpace supply, according to estate agencyRightmove today. The average asking prices of homes was £251.964 this month, up 3.3% on January and the strongest monthly increase since October 2012. On the year prices were up 6.9% from February, the sharpest gain since November 2007. In January prices rose 1% on the month and by 6.3% year-on-year.

Hammerson leads the risers on strong results

Hammerson is in the top spot today, after it reported a rise in annual profits, driven by strong demand for retail property. The property group posted pre-tax profit for the year ended December 31st 2013 of £341.2m, up from £142.2m the previous year, as like-for-like net rental income climbed 2.1% to £282.8m. During the period the group secured £24m of new rents, compared to £19m in 2012.

Both Imperial Tobacco Group and British American Tobacco were performing strongly after the latter today began a TV advertising campaign for its new e-cigarette. Imperial is due to launch its own version later this year.

RSA Insurance was also charging higher following a report out over the weekend from the Financial Timesthat said the company is set to raise up to £350m in an emergency share sale that would avoid a rights issue. The group's shares have suffered since it was revealed accounting problems in Ireland had resulted in a huge hole in its balance sheet.

IMI shares climbed following the company's confirmation of a share capital consolidation taking place today.

Vodafone Group was given a lift by broker Jefferies, which upped its target from 216p to 238p.

Meanwhile, Aberdeen Asset Management shares declined following Goldman Sachs's decision to reduce its target from 600p to 540p.

On the second tier index, DCC rose strongly after analysts said the the impact of the weather wasn't as bad as had been feared. The group said both its operating profit and adjusted earnings per share for the year ending March 31st will be between 7-10% above the previous year, compared to the approximate 15% and 13% previously forecast. Despite this, Investec analysts reiterated their 'add' rating on the stock, while brokerJefferies restated a 'buy'.

FTSE 100 - Risers
Hammerson (HMSO) 560.50p +3.13%
Royal Bank of Scotland Group (RBS) 351.80p +2.69%
Imperial Tobacco Group (IMT) 2,357.00p +2.48%
RSA Insurance Group (RSA) 98.20p +2.45%
IMI (IMI) 1,530.00p +2.43%
British Land Co (BLND) 680.00p +2.33%
InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) 2,047.00p +2.20%
Persimmon (PSN) 1,415.00p +2.17%
Anglo American (AAL) 1,552.00p +2.14%
British American Tobacco (BATS) 3,108.50p +2.02%

FTSE 100 - Fallers
Rolls-Royce Holdings (RR.) 1,006.00p -1.85%
Aberdeen Asset Management (ADN) 394.00p -1.84%
International Consolidated Airlines Group SA (CDI) (IAG) 444.20p -0.49%
Mondi (MNDI) 1,023.00p -0.49%
SSE (SSE) 1,383.00p -0.43%
Pearson (PSON) 1,117.00p -0.18%
Tate & Lyle (TATE) 656.50p -0.15%
Meggitt (MGGT) 518.00p -0.10%
Johnson Matthey (JMAT) 3,300.00p -0.09%
William Hill (WMH) 346.90p -0.06%

FTSE 250 - Risers
DCC (DCC) 2,918.00p +4.78%
Bank of Georgia Holdings (BGEO) 2,268.00p +4.71%
Rank Group (RNK) 151.00p +4.28%
Polymetal International (POLY) 684.00p +4.03%
Computacenter (CCC) 683.00p +3.96%
Telecom Plus (TEP) 1,879.00p +3.75%
Wetherspoon (J.D.) (JDW) 849.00p +3.54%
Essar Energy (ESSR) 68.15p +3.26%
Micro Focus International (MCRO) 782.50p +3.23%
AL Noor Hospitals Group (ANH) 867.00p +3.21%

FTSE 250 - Fallers
Daejan Holdings (DJAN) 4,876.00p -3.45%
Rotork (ROR) 2,590.00p -3.14%
JD Sports Fashion (JD.) 1,379.00p -1.99%
KCOM Group (KCOM) 98.70p -1.79%
Xaar (XAR) 1,055.00p -1.68%
BH Global Ltd. USD Shares (BHGU) 11.31 -1.31%
Kenmare Resources (KMR) 16.70p -1.18%
IP Group (IPO) 196.00p -1.11%
UK Commercial Property Trust (UKCM) 78.15p -1.08%
F&C Commercial Property Trust Ltd. (FCPT) 120.30p -1.07%

FTSE TechMARK - Risers
RM (RM.) 147.25p +9.28%
Dialight (DIA) 774.00p +4.74%
Vectura Group (VEC) 163.00p +4.15%
Sarossa Capital (SRC) 1.48p +3.50%
Oxford Biomedica (OXB) 3.17p +2.42%
Skyepharma (SKP) 181.50p +1.68%
Promethean World (PRW) 33.00p +1.54%
CML Microsystems (CML) 615.00p +1.23%
Consort Medical (CSRT) 1,031.00p +0.59%
SDL (SDL) 385.00p +0.52%

FTSE TechMARK - Fallers
Kofax Limited (DI) (KFX) 473.75p -2.32%
Phoenix IT Group (PNX) 117.00p -2.30%
Torotrak (TRK) 21.50p -2.27%
DRS Data & Research Services (DRS) 23.50p -2.08%
Wolfson Microelectronics (WLF) 128.50p -1.91%
Ricardo (RCDO) 721.00p -1.90%
Optos (OPTS) 199.75p -1.60%
Innovation Group (TIG) 33.25p -1.48%
XP Power Ltd. (DI) (XPP) 1,750.00p -1.41%
NCC Group (NCC) 202.75p -1.22%

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European stocks little changed as Italy's Renzi begins coalition talks
- Italy's Renzi to start coalition talks
- Moody's lifts Italy's debt rating
- Japanese GDP rises
- UK house prices accelerate further

FTSE 100: 0.99%
DAX: 0.08%
CAC 40: -0.06%
FTSE MIB: -0.06%
IBEX 35: 0.04%
Stoxx 600: 0.43%

European stocks were little changed as Italy’s President Giorgio Napolitano asked centre-left leader Matteo Renzi to form a new government.

Napolitano’s request today follows the resignation of former Prime Minister Enrico Letta last week.

Renzi said he will begin official consultations to form a new government in the next 24 hours.

He expects to lay out full reforms to Italy's electoral law and political institutions by the end of February, to be followed by labour reforms in March, an overhaul of the public administration in April and a tax reform in May.

Separately, Moody's lifted its outlook on Italy's credit rating late last Friday, citing the government's resilient financial strength and reduced risk from contingent liabilities.

The agency affirmed Italy's 'Baa2' rating, which is two notches above junk bond status and raised the outlook to stable from negative.

Moody's also noted that it expects Italy's debt-to-gross domestic product (GDP) ratio to peak this year “at below 135% in its central scenario in which modest economic growth resumes”.

However, the credit rating agency mentioned that the resignation of Letta and the likely takeover by Renzi does not alter its expectations.

Eurozone finance ministers to meet in Brussels

Eurozone finance ministers will meet up in Brussels on Monday to continue discussions on the banking union and the economic situation in the region.

The Eurogroup is scheduled to begin its meeting on Monday at 13:00 London time with a press conference to be held at the end of the meeting at approximately 15:30.

In other Eurozone news, economists are split on their forecasts over whether the European Central Bank will change its policy next month.

ECB President Mario Draghi has signalled that he may act to counter low inflation as soon as March when he gets his hands on the release of more clear economic data.

Nineteen out of 38 responses in the Bloomberg Monthly Survey of economists predicted Draghi will ease monetary policy when officials hold their monthly rate-setting meeting in March.

SGL Carbon, Morpho

SGL Carbon edged higher after Bayerische Motoren Werke said it is building a second production hall at a factory jointly run with the maker of carbon materials to prepare for rising demand for carbon fibre.

MorphoSys AG gained as the German biotechnology company said it received a milestone payment from Novartis in connection with a clinical trial application and projected initiation of a Phase 1 clinical trial.

Polymetal International and Randgold Resources advanced as the price of gold, silver and copper rose.

Neste Oil Oyj dropped after Nordea Bank AB reduced its rating on the stock to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’.

Bouygues slumped after the French construction and telecommunications company said it will take a writedown in the fourth quarter of €1.4bn.

The euro increased 0.10% to $1.3707.

Brent crude futures fell $0.211 to $108.850 per barrel, according to the ICE.

US Market Report
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Brokers Tips
RSA, Randgold Resources, Anglo American
Gold miner Randgold Resources’ latest full year results showed a decrease in earnings per share when compared to the year ago period. Management, however, was nevertheless able to compensate for the falling gold price via increased output, those same figires showed.

That trend looked set to continue over the coming 12 months, with a step change in production expected by broker Numis.

The firm saw production coming in at between 1.13-1.2m ounces at a cash cost of between $650 to $700/oz Numis: 1.19Moz at $683/oz.

Exploration targets looked “very good” and the likelihood of improvements in mine plans looked high. In that regard, the broker referenced “spectacular hits” at the company’s Gounkoto mine and the growing number of prospects at Kibali.

Capital expenditure was expected to peak in the first half of 2014, which might place some strain on the balance sheet. Yet given current buoyant gold prices and some release of working capital a dip into the debt facility no longer seemed likely.

In fact, “substantive cash generation” was seen, as well as the chance of dividend upgrades in 2015.

Numis retained Randgold Resources as its ‘top pick’ in the sector while hiking its target on the shares to £55 from £50 previously.

Hot on the heels of market reports regarding RSA’s recapitalisation plans, Canaccord Genuity pointed out to clients the advantages of a share placement versus a rights issue. Namely, while a placing does not give existing shareholders any rights it can be done much more quickly and typically at a much smaller discount to the existing price.

That meant a smaller dilution for existing shareholders.

A share placement usually implies a discount of between 5-10%, instead of the 35% typically seen in a rights issue.

Furthermore, RSA might opt to raise only £350m via that channel, those same reports had indicated, considerably less than the £500m to £1bn which Canaccord had envisioned. That amount could be supplemented by asset sales, a dividend cut although that was not certain and more extensive reinsurance.

In line with the above, Canaccord raised its view on the stock to ‘hold’ and lifted its target to 95p from 85p.

“A 10% placing at a 5% discount would be approximately 9% dilutive before the impact of disposals and/or increased reinsurance costs, but we think would be well received by shareholders, who will also likely look to back the new Chief Executive Officer Stephen Hester,” the broker concluded.

New management’s efforts to restructure Anglo American are starting to bear fruit.

Thus, there are indications of improved operational performance at the company and a major restructuring of management is underway throughout the organisation, analysts at Credit Suisse wrote on Monday.

As a result, the above analysts now had greater confidence in the company’s targets for returns. They also saw an increased possibility for major divestments.

Following its latest full-year results and more specifically the second half figures, they believed that the company’s 15% target for 2016’s return on capital employed, while ambitious, was achievable.

In fact, over the three years to the end of 2016 they estimated that earnings before interest and taxes would expand by 36%, with an ‘upside’ case of 58% if management delivered just half of the targeted $2.5bn in efficiencies.

Platinum and De Beers remained the most obvious candidates for divestment, albeit most likely towards 2015 rather than next year.

For all of the above reasons the Swiss broker raised its recommendation on the shares to ‘outperform’ from ‘neutral’ and their price target to 1,900p from 1,650p.

The latter was the average of their forecast for the company’s 2016 price-to-earnings multiple, of 20, and their sum-of-the-parts valuation of £20 per share.