Less than a week after the official launch of the Chinese Yuan-denominated gold fix on the Shanghai Gold Exchange, a historic move which represents “an ambitious step to exert more control over the pricing of the metal and boost its influence in the global bullion market” and which will gradually transform the market of paper gold trading, in the process shifting the global trading hub from west (London) to east (China), overnight Hong Kong’s Chinese Gold and Silver Exchange (CGSE) Society revealed plans to do something similar for physical gold when it announced plans for what may end up being the biggest gold vault in the world.
As reported initially by SCMP, the Hong Kong gold exchange has teamed up with the world’s biggest bank by both assets and market cap, China’s Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) to launch gold trading services in the Qianhai free trade zone in September, providing custodial and physical settlement service targeted at commercial users and precious metals traders, according to the exchange head. Continue reading »
One place that provides some glimpse into true price discovery was the just completed government tender, in which a parcel of land sold by the government in the New Territories went for nearly 70% less per square foot than a similar transaction in September.
Tags: Argentina, Australia, Banking, Belgium, Canada, China, Denmark, Economy, Ecuador, EU, Europe, France, Germany, Global News, Hong Kong, India, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Sweden, U.K., Uruguay
Chinese stocks are trading at the lows of the day after Overnight HIBOR rates (Hong Kong’s interbank borrowing rate) exploded a stunning 939bps to a record high 13.4%. It is clear that banks are utterly desperate for liquidity and/or are extremely concerned about one another’s counterparty risk. This has dragged HSCEI down 5% (to its lowest since Oct 2011).
– Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Publicly Tells Citizens to “Act More Like Sheep” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Feb 18, 2015):
Hong Kong’s unpopular chief executive has infuriated pro-democracy campaigners by using a Chinese New Year message to urge the former colony’s citizens to act more “like sheep”.
“In the coming year, I hope that all people in Hong Kong will take inspiration from the sheep’s character and pull together in an accommodating manner to work for Hong Kong’s future.”
In case his message had been missed, Mr Leung noted that the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac had 12 individual “character types”. “Sheep are widely seen to be mild and gentle animals living peacefully in groups,” he said.
– From the Telegraph article: Hong Kong leader tells people to act like ‘sheep’
This is simply a spectacular admission from a clueless authoritarian. No wonder things are so volatile in Hong Kong with this clown in charge. Rather than quieting the mood, CY Leung’s comments are more likely to infuriate the island’s youth and strength their resolve. Not smart. Continue reading »
– BofA Banker Arrested In Hong Kong For Double Murder Of Two Prostitutes, One Victim Was Stuffed In A Suitcase (ZeroHedge, Nov 2, 2014):
The excesses of 1980s New York investment banking as captured best (and with just a dose of hyperbole) by Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho may be long gone in the US, but they certainly are alive and well in other banking meccas, such as the one place where every financier wants to work these days (thanks to the Chinese government making it rain credit): Hong Kong. It is here that yesterday a 29-year-old British banker, Rurik Jutting, a Cambridge University grad and current Bank of America Merrill Lynch, former Barclays employee, was arrested in connection with the grisly murder of two prostitutes. One of the two victims had been hidden in a suitcase on a balcony, while the other, a foreign woman of between 25 and 30, was found lying inside the apartment with wounds to her neck and buttocks, the police said in a statement.
As Reuters reports, the Hong Kong police said that a 29-year-old foreign man had been detained earlier that day after two women were found dead in an expensive apartment in Wan Chai, a central city district known for its night life. Continue reading »
… and rightfully so:
– China Claims US Behind Hong Kong Protests (The Diplomat, Oct 12, 2014):
A commentary in the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party on Saturday accused the U.S. of trying to foment a “color revolution” in Hong Kong.
The commentary, which was entitled “Why is the U.S. so keen on ‘Color Revolutions’?”, appeared on the front page of the The People’s Daily overseas editions on Saturday. The People’s Daily is the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party.
The commentary deems it “inevitable” that the U.S. actions towards Hong Kong “will be associated with the US involvement in the ‘Color Revolutions’ in the Commonwealth of Independent States, the Middle East, North Africa and elsewhere.” The People’s Daily then slams the U.S. for pretending to be interested in democracy when it is really only trying to advance its “strategic interests.” For the United States, the commentary claims, a “‘democratic’ country is one that conducts its affairs in line with American interests.”
The commentary ends by stating that “U.S. may enjoy the sweet taste of interfering in other countries’ internal affairs, but on the issue of Hong Kong it stands little chance of overcoming the determination of the Chinese government to maintain stability and prosperity.” Continue reading »
– Entire “Occupy Central” Protest Scripted in Washington (Activist Post, Oct 5, 2014):
Protest co-organizer Martin Lee sets stage, introduces “Occupy Central” characters in April 2014 talk before US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy.
The slogans, leaders, and agenda of the “Occupy Central” movement are supposedly the manifestations of Hong Kong’s desire for “total democracy,” “universal suffrage,” and “freedom.” In reality, the leaders of “Occupy Central” are verified to be directly backed, funded, and directed by the US State Department , its National Endowment for Democracy (NED), and its subsidiary, the National Democratic Institute (NDI). Continue reading »
UPDATE: According to the latest feed from OccupyCentral, protesters are refusing to leave the Lung Wo Road government building blockade…
After a night of ‘some’ discussions and a re-escalation of violence – which saw police use tear gas and pepper spray (in their words avoiding the use of batons and “reducing injuries”), OccupyCentral protesters have decided to leave the area outside the Hong Kong office of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in Mong Kok. Protesters are reportedly moving back towards the Admiralty site where thousands remain ahead of tomorrow’s deadline ultimatum from the HK leader. Officials are in full court press PR mode, explaining on every TV channel and media outlet just how significant the disruptions will be on Monday to the general public (notably the older generation as 95% of OccupyCentral protesters are between 15 and 25). Protest leaders have agreed to continue dialog with the government if protest sites are protected and while tomorrow’s deadline may see more escalation (in the name of public order), as The Telegraph notes, given the age of the protesters, Hong Kong could face decades of protests.
– Violence Erupts As Hong Kong’s Leader Threatens To Use “All Necessary Measures To Restore Social Order” (ZeroHedge, Oct 4, 2014):
Having tried (unsuccessfully) to break up the pro-democracy protesters in the heart of Hong Kong using local triad gangs (as opposed to the optics of actual police), it appears the Chinese government is rolling back from its “wait-and-see” approach and becoming more aggressive once again. Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying, as DPA reports, demanded protesters end their blockade of major roads by Monday, or the government will take “all necessary measures to restore social order.” Tensions continue to rise, with clashes breaking out sporadically, as the protesters have broken off talks with the government. As fears of another Tiananmen square debacle loom, former Hong Kong governor Chris Patten noted, “I cannot believe it would be so stupid as to do anything like send in the army.”
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury during President Reagan’s first term. He was Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. He has held numerous academic appointments, including the William E. Simon Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Georgetown University, and Senior Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University.
– US Government Is Funding The Hong Kong “Student Protests” (Paul Craig Roberts, Oct. 1, 2014):
US Government Is Funding The Hong Kong “Student Protests”
Guest column by Tony Cartalucci
By Tony Cartalucci
Global Research, October 01, 2014
Url of this article:
Just as the US admitted shortly after the so-called “Arab Spring” began spreading chaos across the Middle East that it had fully funded, trained, and equipped both mob leaders and heavily armed terrorists years in advance, it is now admitted that the US State Department through a myriad of organizations and NGOs is behind the so-called “Occupy Central” protests in Hong Kong.
The Washington Post would report in an article titled, “Hong Kong erupts even as China tightens screws on civil society,” that: Continue reading »
– US Openly Approves Hong Kong Chaos it Created (nsnbc, Sep. 30, 2014):
By Tony Cartalucci
The “Occupy Central” protests in Hong Kong continue on – destabilizing the small southern Chinese island famous as an international hub for corporate-financier interests, and before that, the colonial ambitions of the British Empire. Those interests have been conspiring for years to peel the island away from Beijing after it was begrudgingly returned to China in the late 1990′s, and use it as a springboard to further destabilize mainland China.
Behind the so-called “Occupy Central” protests, which masquerade as a “pro-democracy” movement seeking “universal suffrage” and “full democracy,” is a deep and insidious network of foreign financial, political, and media support. Prominent among them is the US State Department and its National Endowment for Democracy (NED) as well as NED’s subsidiary, the National Democratic Institute (NDI).
Image: The US now openly supports chaos on the streets of Hong Kong, this after condemning “occupy” protests in Bangkok earlier this year. The difference being in Thailand, protests sought to oust a US proxy, Hong Kong protests seek to put one into power.
Now, the US has taken a much more overt stance in supporting the chaos their own manipulative networks have prepared and are now orchestrating. The White House has now officially backed “Occupy Central.” Reuters in its article, “White House Shows Support For Aspirations Of Hong Kong People,” would claim: Continue reading »
– Stunning Drone Clip Reveals Massive Size Of Hong Kong Protest (ZeroHedge, Sep 29, 2014):
Ferguson was for amateurs.
For those curious why the Hong Kong protests over the weekend have sent shivers across the world’s capital markets, pushed the Hang Seng 2% lower, and impacted both European and US futures, not to mention leading to worries that China may get involved any second and result in another Tiananmen square event, the following clip from HK’s Apple Daily, taken by a drone, shows just how massive the demonstrations, which according to some estimates involved just why of 100,000 people, taking place in Hong Kong are.
As Mashable adds, “far from a small protest by a limited number of outspoken citizens, the video shows just how large the movement to preserve Hong Kong’s democratic elections has become. Currently, the protests have grown so large that parts of Hong Kong’s business district have been brought to a standstill, prompting the temporary closure of 17 local banks. In addition to the drone footage, Apple Daily has also posted a live video stream of the protests, allowing the world to watch as events develop in real time.”
– Hong Kong Stocks Tumble Erase 2014 Gains, Volatility Soars As Protests Freeze City: Full Summary (ZeroHedge, Sep 29, 2014):
The Hong Kong protests, which we covered over the weekend, and which took a dramatic turn for the worse overnight when thousands of students camped out and demand universal suffrage on the city streets and were in turn tear-gassed and arrested en masse by the local riot police demanding students disperse or else, and where the leader of the student protest, Joshua Wong – who had been previously arrested and was released on Sunday night – has openly called for the resignation of Hong Kong Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying in an interview with Hong Kong Cable TV, have done the unthinkable: they have impacted financial markets and the “wealth effect” transmission mechanism of the local billionaires.
Here as a summary of the latest market activity via Bloomberg:
- Hang Seng Index declines 2.25% after falling as much as 2.5%, most since Feb. 4; erases YTD gains
- MSCI Hong Kong Index drops as much as 3.2%, most since Nov. 2011
- HSI Volatility Index surges as much as 27%, most since Aug. 2011
- HKD weakens as much as 0.09% against USD to HK$7.7648, most since Dec. 2011 Continue reading »
– “Disperse Or We Fire”- Hong Kong Police Fire Tear Gas At Protesting Students: Live Webcast (ZeroHedge, Sep 28, 2014):
Yesterday we reported that the biggest riot over the weekend was not in Ferguson (although things there are hardly stable after a local police officer was shot in the violent town overnight) but in Hong Kong, where students and other mostly young people are protesting the recent loss of their democratic vote powers and thus “the loss of their freedom.” Since then things have gotten from bad to worse when late last night Hong Kong declared the start of the Occupy Central disobedience campaign, leading to violent skirmishes with the police, which over the past hour have included the use of tear gas by the police as well as the first outright warning by the cops demanding that the student protesters disperse or risk being fired upon.
A standoff between police and pro-democracy protesters intensified near where thousands have converged in the past days to demand free elections. Continue reading »
– This Riot Is Not In Ferguson, It Is In Hong Kong (ZeroHedge, Sep 27, 2014):
No, this is not Ferguson: it is, according to many, the world’s most capitalist city, Hong Kong, where over the past few hours, around 50,000 students are said to have massed on late Saturday, demanding more democracy, as tensions grew over Beijing’s decision to rule out free elections in the former British colony.
– What you can learn from the founders of Hong Kong (Sovereign Man, Feb 5, 2014):
As you may know, I’m an avid reader. I devour especially historical accounts of any kind, because I consider lessons of history to be invaluable. As the Latin proverb says: Historia magistra vitae est—history is life’s teacher.
One of my all-time favorite books is a novel by James Clavell, Tai-pan. It’s the second book in his series of six novels known as The Asian Saga—a fictional account of historical facts.
And why does it take 7 years to repatriate 19 % of Germany’s gold reserves?
– Bundesbank to Repatriate 674 Tons of Gold to Germany by 2020 (Bloomberg, Jan 16, 2013):
The Bundesbank will repatriate 674 metric tons of gold from vaults in Paris and New York by 2020 to restore public confidence in the safety of Germany’s reserves.
The phased relocation of the gold, currently worth about 27 billion euros ($36 billion), will begin this year and result in half of Germany’s reserves being stored in Frankfurt by the end of the decade, the Bundesbank said in a statement today. It will bring home all 374 tons of its gold held at the Banque de France and a further 300 tons from the New York Federal Reserve, it said. Holdings at the Bank of England will remain unchanged.
And the other 50%???
Back in the mid-1920s, the head of the German Central Bank, Herr Hjalmar Schacht, went to New York to see Germany’s gold. However the NY Fed officials were unable to find the palette of Germany’s gold bullion. The Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Benjamin Strong was mortified, but to put him at ease Herr Schacht turned to him and said ‘Never mind, I believe you when you when you say the gold is there. Even if it weren’t you are good for its replacement.’ (H/T The Real Asset Company)
Source: The Germans Don’t Trust Obama With Their Gold – And Can You Blame Them? (Telegraph, Jan 18, 2013)
Aaaannd it’s gone …
– Hedge fund managers: The Gold of the Bundesbank’s gone (Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, July 21, 2013):
The hedge fund manager William Kaye says it’s naive to think that the Federal Reserve would their bearings in the U.S. gold reserves ever get back. The former “German” Gold is no longer as such. U.S. banks have received from the Fed in order to suppress the gold price. The gold stocks entering the market. “Germany will never again see the gold,” said Kaye.
– Bird Flu Leads to Ban on Arkansas Poultry (5News, June 26, 2013):
Arkansas poultry has been banned in Russia, Japan and Hong Kong — and in Mississippi and Georgia — after bird flu was discovered last week at a Scott County farm, a state official said Wednesday (June 26).
In addition to those places banning the sale of Arkansas poultry, China is in discussions with state officials also about a possible ban, said Preston Scroggin, director of the state Livestock and Poultry Commission.
– Moody’s Retaliates At Hong Kong For Snowden Insubordination (ZeroHedge, June 24, 2013):
Uncle Warren appears unhappy with the humiliating can of whoop-ass Hong Kong unleashed on his favorite crony banana republic. So he has retaliated in the only way he knows: Moody’s.
- HONG KONG BANKING SYSTEM OUTLOOK REVISED TO NEGATIVE BY MOODY’S
- MOODY’S CITES CONCERNS ON PERSISTENT NEG REAL INTEREST RATES
- MOODY’S CITES POTENTIAL HK ‘PROPERTY BUBBLES’ – this one is really good.
But the best reason is:
- MOODY’S CITES HK BANKS’ GROWING EXPOSURES TO MAINLAND CHINA
Yup. Moody’s just figured out Hong Kong has exposure to… China. Of course, Hong Kong’s downgrade of US foreign policy to laughably pathetic, outlook hilarious on Sunday, was a complete coincidence.
He obviously doesn’t want to end up like Bradley Manning.
Update: NSA Leaker Seeks Asylum in Ecuador (ABC News, June 23, 2013):
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, who faces espionage charges for disclosing secret U.S. government anti-terrorism programs, has requested asylum in Ecuador, according to the country’s foreign minister.
“The Government of Ecuador has received an asylum request from Edward J. #Snowden,” Ecuadoran Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño Aroca tweeted today hours after a plane believed to be carrying Snowden landed in Moscow from Hong Kong, where Snowden had been hiding.
– WikiLeaks: Snowden going to Ecuador to seek asylum (The Seattle Times, June 23, 2013):
MOSCOW — Anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says a former National Security Agency contractor wanted by the United States for revealing highly classified surveillance programs is going to Ecuador to seek asylum. The group said in a statement Sunday that Edward Snowden is “bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.”
– Snowden on the run, seeks asylum in Ecuador (CNN, June 23, 2013)
– Edward Snowden, NSA leaker, reportedly lands in Moscow (Washington Post, June 23, 2013)
– Ecuador Says NSA Leaker Has Asked For Asylum (NPR, June 23, 2013)
– Snowden examined by Ecuadorian embassy doctor at Moscow airport upon arrival – RT source (RT, June 23, 2013):
The plane carrying whistleblower Edward Snowden has landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport. The former CIA contractor, who left Hong Kong in a bid to elude US extradition on espionage charges, is on his way to a ‘third country’ via Russia.
RT’s source reported a doctor from the Ecuadorian embassy in Moscow has examined Snowden on his arrival.
Earlier on Sunday, a spokesperson from the Hong Kong government confirmed that Edward Snowden had “legally and voluntarily” left the country.
“Mr. Edward Snowden left Hong Kong today (June 23) on his own accord for a third country through a lawful and normal channel,” said the Hong Kong government in a press release. The statement also said the documents for Snowden’s extradition submitted by Washington “did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law.”
“As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for a provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr. Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”
WikiLeaks legal aidWhistleblowing organization WikiLeaks has rallied behind Snowden and said they are assisting him in his bid for political asylum in a “democratic country.” The group announced on Twitter that they helped obtain “travel documents” and ensured his safe exit from Hong Kong. Diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks legal team were also accompanying the NSA leaker on his flight to Moscow, WikiLeaks said in a statement.
– Snowden exit: Hong Kong revels in its rule of law (AFP, June 23, 2013)
– UPDATE 1-US lawmakers slam Russia for abetting Snowden flight (Reuters, June 23, 2013):
HONG KONG — Hong Kong has risked the threat of US reprisals in allowing Edward Snowden to leave. But its government insists that the rule of law took primacy for a territory that jealously guards its separateness from mainland China.
– U.S. seeks Snowden’s extradition, urges Hong Kong to act quickly (Reuters, June 22, 2013):
The United States pressured Hong Kong on Saturday to act quickly on its request to extradite Edward Snowden, a former U.S. National Security Agency contractor charged with espionage for exposing secret U.S. surveillance activities.
“If Hong Kong doesn’t act soon, it will complicate our bilateral relations and raise questions about Hong Kong’s commitment to the rule of law,” a senior Obama administration official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Sources say Snowden, who has been hiding in Hong Kong, has sought legal representation from human rights lawyers as he prepares to fight attempts to force him back to the United States to face trial.
U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon told CBS News the United States had a “good case” against Snowden and expected Hong Kong to comply with its 1998 extradition treaty with the United States.
“We have gone to the Hong Kong authorities seeking extradition of Snowden back to the United States,” Donilon said.
Ex-CIA operative wants to remain in Hong Kong
– Whistle-blower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: ‘Let Hong Kong people decide my fate’ (South China Morning Post, June 12, 2013):
Edward Snowden says he wants to ask the people of Hong Kong to decide his fate after choosing the city because of his faith in its rule of law.
The 29-year-old former CIA employee behind what might be the biggest intelligence leak in US history revealed his identity to the world in Hong Kong on Sunday. His decision to use a city under Chinese sovereignty as his haven has been widely questioned – including by some rights activists in Hong Kong.
Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.
“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post.
“I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law,” he added.
Snowden says he has committed no crimes in Hong Kong and has “been given no reason to doubt [Hong Kong’s legal] system”.
“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” he said.
– In Hong Kong, ex-CIA man may not escape U.S. reach (Reuters, June 10, 2013):
Edward Snowden’s decision to flee to Hong Kong as he prepared to expose the U.S. government’s secret surveillance programs may not save him from prosecution due to an extradition treaty in force since 1998.
A 29-year-old former CIA employee, Snowden has identified himself as the person who gave the Guardian and the Washington Post classified documents about how the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) obtained data from U.S. telecom and Internet companies.
Full article here:
– It’s A “0.6%” World: Who Owns What Of The $223 Trillion In Global Wealth (ZeroHedge, June 2, 2013):
Back in 2010 we started an annual series looking at the (re)distribution in the wealth of nations and social classes. What we found then (and what the media keeps rediscovering year after year to its great surprise) is that as a result of global central bank policy, the rich got richer, and the poor kept on getting poorer, even though as we predicted the global political powers would, at least superficially, seek to enforce policies that aimed to reverse this wealth redistribution from the poor to the rich (a doomed policy as the world’s legislative powers are largely in the lobby pocket of the world’s wealthiest who needless to say are less then willing to enact laws that reduce their wealth and leverage). Now that the topic of wealth distribution (or rather concentration) is once again in vogue, below we present the latest such update looking at a global portrait of household wealth. The bottom line: 29 million, or 0.6% of those with any actual assets under their name, own $87.4 trillion, or 39.3% of all global assets.
Here are the key highlights via Credit Suisse:
Tags: Australia, Belgium, Ben Bernanke, Brazil, China, Economy, EU, Europe, Federal Reserve, France, Germany, Global News, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Society, U.K., U.S.
– Mystery Surrounding Collapse Of Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange Deepens; Four Arrested (ZeroHedge, May 26, 2013)
– Asian Buyers Snap Up Half of New London Homes (Wall Street Journal, Jan 22, 2013):
If you’ve just moved into a newly built apartment in central London, don’t be perplexed if your neighbors speak mostly Chinese.
Market-cooling measures in Asia have helped fuel interest in London’s real estate market—long a popular destination for property buyers on the prowl, says property consultancy Knight Frank. Last year, overseas buyers spent $3.5 billion on apartments undergoing construction in central London, up 22% from the year earlier.
Together, buyers from Singapore and Hong Kong snapped up nearly 40% of all such apartments in central London. Adding in buyers from Malaysia and mainland China, Asian buyers accounted for roughly half of all purchases. By comparison, U.K. buyers made up just 27% of all purchases of apartments under construction, according to Knight Frank’s latest figures. Such figures were generally consistent with those seen in 2011.