Trying To See Through The Fog Of War

April 11, 2022

Most of us pride ourselves on the fact – belief? delusion? – that we are rational and logical people who look at the available hard facts as the point of departure for us to perform objective analysis of a situation in pursuit of what is true and valid and what is not. In doing so, we will not allow ourselves to be swayed by news and claims that are not supported by credible evidence. Unfortunately, that is an empty statement, based on the available evidence from many quarters – including the longstanding disbelief of so many market observers in the fact that PM prices are being manipulated. Or the wide-spread acceptance that Wall Street is an ‘honest’ market with no intervention.

A case in point from the global stage to illustrate the lack of logic and rationality is when we react to news that fits a ‘reality’ to which we had become conditioned over time. We have been taught for a decade now that Vladimir Putin is both Stalin and Hitler incarnate. An absolute and cruel dictator who had tried to get someone he favoured into the White House for a second term and is now trying to resurrect the old USSR by launching an invasion of Ukraine in order to begin the expansion of his empire.

That Putin has openly stated from the beginning the invasion is a limited operation with specific objectives, which he enumerated – destroy the biolabs, eradicate the Nazi influence in the Ukraine military, ensure the Ukraine do not join NATO and to remain nuclear free – and where possible achieving these with only minimal civilian casualties is never mentioned. Even if the latter restriction means that more soldiers will die. Putin’s public image in the west is now worse than ever before. He is destroying cities with neighborhoods as a primary target, his troops are rounding up civilians and executing them, he is going to relase chemical and biological weapons of war and his military are suffering unimaginable losses.

These are the ‘facts’ that underlie most of public opinion. Given the voluntary bias of the mass media and the censorship of dissenting views and reports, one has to search the fringes of the internet to find out what is really happening – as far as these facts and reports are consistent from different sources and not equally biased. What seems to be a reasonably accurate picture of the invasion is that Putin’s troops remained outside cities, except for Mariupol – a major harbour on the Azov sea and home to the Nazi Azov battalion, accused of sustained violence against Russian speakers – which is a special target for Putin.

When the Russian advance as a whole stopped not far in from the Ukraine border, the conclusion of the US and other strategists was that Ukraine resistance has blunted the attack. Now that the Russians are withdrawing their ‘blitzkrieg’ units from near Kyiv and other deep raids into Ukraine – where the biolabs were one objective and adding pressure on Zelensky another, as well as destruction of infrastructure that is useful for the Ukraine military, such as railroads – even a Vic e-Marshall of the Royal Air Force believes that Putin has lost the war.

What is not reported in the mass media is that Zelensky had located an army of 60 thousand men near the Donbass region, opposite Donetsk, scheduled to attack the separatist Russian speaking Ukrainians on 8 March which had to be postponed for obvious reasons. Reports from Russia indicate that once the Azov force, ensconced in a large steelworks in Mariupol, has been neutralised, all Russian troops will be drawn back east to attack the Ukrainian force opposite Donetsk.

Available evidence – from different quarters – appears to substantiate what Putin had said 7-8 weeks ago; there is no intention to ‘conquer’ Ukraine. The larger cities and civilians in general were not targeted; there are videos of widespread instances of the distribution of food and water to civilians in distress, which Russia did despite adding this ‘overhead’ to an already overloaded logistical system needed to supply the troops. This and the whole way the war has been fought supports Putin’s statement of intent at the start of the invasion.

The West is now blustering about Russian aggression and war crimes; this after they had spent billions in arming the Ukraine and increasing pressure on Russia by having NATO encroach eastwards towards Russia, arming erstwhile USSR countries with ABM missiles, ostensibly for Iran as the aggressor, poking the Russian Bear until it reacted.

Now they restrict their assistance to their patsy by feeding Ukraine with replacement arms for what they have used or lost – behaviour that if the tables were turned and some country assisted an enemy of the US in that manner would be considered an act of war and invited immediate retaliation. There is no ‘no fly zone’ over Ukraine, as if the potential destruction of the Ukraine military is of no consequence.

The general view of Putin is as a harsh and ruthless dictator, say like Stalin or Hitler. Now imagine what these two would have done when an army unit or two disobeyed a clear and explicit stated policy; committing a transgression that caused great loss of face in the whole world, irreparably staining the reputation of his military campaign and casting blame and censure on all his troops. How much time do you think would have passed before there were military tribunals and firing squads with work to do? More so if many of the killed civilians had worn white arm bands to indicate support for the invasion? All of this with invitations to all the media to attend and film everything.

This brings us back to the opening paragraph. How many people are really aware of the degree of propaganda from official and other sources that is eagerly spread by the biased – and bought? – mass media, and make allowance for this by applying logica and common sense to what they read and see? Or is it human nature to make life simple and uncomplicated by accepting as true what one’s favourite source of news and information has to say in obedience to an acquired reflex?

It is inevitable that all of us will succumb to taking the easy way out and accept and believe what we see and read without question. Will this only happen as a lapse in our vigilance to evaluate what we hear, using reason and common sense? Or is it a reflex to accept and assimilate everything CNN or Fox News say as a true picture of reality?

Explore Telegram channels @ExposeAgenda and UKR LEAKS eng. Also look at this video, which you may have to search for at another location.

Euro–dollar. Daily close

Euro–dollar, last = $1.0875 (www.investing.com)

The dollar index remains in a range not far below 100 and the euro manages to hold in a volatile sideways range. The situation in the Ukraine is clearly too fluid and what the consequences will be too uncertain for it to set off in a specific direction for either the dollar or the euro; both the currencies to a greater or lesser degree face potential threats from what is happening in the war. Putin has already proven unpredictable in what was expected of him – unless the official prognostications of him starting a new empire were also pure propaganda and scare mongering to influence the masses.

DJIA daily close

Wall Street is in an even tighter range than the dollar and euro. Here it is less a case of uncertainty – too many investors want out and the Fed can’t allow Wall Street to turn bear without creating too many new problems for the economy – but rather one of the Fed trying to maintain a balance between taking the market too high or letting it slide too fast. A too strong Wall Street will prompt too many investors to take profit while the going is good and a steep dip could start a panic that will be costly to stop.

Daily volumes last week were mostly less than the 3-months average of die DJIA 30, but still much more than what the average used to be in late January, which means that the Fed still has to work hard to keep the stock market stable. One wonders how much stock the Fed’s traders have accumulated, or whether they have opportunity to off-load what they have bought to enforce rallies – whether the buying is in shares or, more likely, the indices.

DJIA last = 34721.12 (money.cnn.com)

Gold London PM fix – Dollars

Much the same comments as above for the euro and DJIA apply to the price of gold. Here it is also less a result of uncertainty than the balancing act required to keep the metal price in check without adding too much to the Cartel’s net short position. Putin apparently has rescinded the fixed link between the ruble and gold, which would have started to have effect now that the Russian currency broke below 80 to the dollar to result in a Russian price for gold that is closer to $2000 than the Comex price.

The odds nevertheless still favour a change to the mindset of PM investors now that they are aware that Russia is aware of the potential role of gold in its confrontation with the West and the possibility that this potential will be realised in the not too distant future, once the war is over and things return to what can be expected to be a new normal. The long wished for time when PM prices break free for many now will have a use by date and no longer not merely at ‘some future date in due course’. It could begin to happen soon.

Gold price – London PM fix, last = $1941.40 (www.kitco.com)

Euro–gold PM fix

Euro gold price – PM fix in Euro. Last = €1790.55 (www.kitco.com)

Like the dollar price of gold, the euro price is also holding in a bull channel, but it is less steep than dollar gold’s channel. The euro price has, however, already shown promise by setting a new all time high, while dollar gold is still battling to again break clear of the ceiling at $2000 and this time continue higher. Holding above support at line D is also something that whispers of bullish potential – as long as line D holds.

Silver price. Daily London Fix

The price of silver is not directly affected by what is happening with the ruble, but it is inevitable that if the price of gold happens to break loose and begin a good rally, silver will follow. Given the fragility of the debt laden global economy the industrial use of silver might not play as big a role as was anticipated. But silver will be a good copycat if the price of gold should advance higher.

Technically the price now should hold in bull channel KL to remain bullish for the near to perhaps medium term, which means we should see a good week for silver from as early as Monday. There was a little bounce off lines S and L, but the price has to break above channel XYZ to confirm that the bull is back – and then we have to wait and see whether there is a paradigm shift in the PM market.

Silver daily London fix, last = $24.625 (www.kitco.com)

U.S. 10–year Treasury Note

And yet again the yield on the US 10-year Treasury bill has ended the week close to significant trend lines after having spiked higher last week to extend the move that had started off the bottom of channel KL on March 1 at 1.716% to reach 2.704% for a gain of 57.6% less than 6 weeks later. The derivatives market on the US Treasuries is said to be a large fraction of all the financial derivatives and there must have been hectic times as major players in that market adjusted their positions to keep the risks in check. This while the value of their real investments went over the brink into a very steep fall.

One has to feel some pity for Deutsche Bank. It has long been rumoured that DB is in a delicate position and it is said that its data processing is being done at facilities in Ukraine and Russia. There are nevertheless as yet no signs that a problem could be brewing – or does the steep spike last week imply more than just higher inflation?

10–year Treasury note, last = 2.704% (Investing.com )

West Texas Intermediate crude. Daily close

The other inflation sensitive market – for energy – did not spike higher last week; on the contrary, the price of crude pulled back steeply off the recent high to reach and end at the top of the mostly sideways channel PQRS. This could be the result of the release of oil from the US strategic reserve. Will a million barrels a day make that big a real difference to the price, or is it the psychological effect of doing so supported by the media narrative that is having as much effect?

The contra-intuitive difference between the yield on the US 10-yeae Treasury and the price of crude at the same time could be fully explained by the release of oil from the reserve we will find out as time passes. However, in the background there still might be concern about a collapse of DB, which, were it to happen, is thought by some to be worse for the financial system than when Lehman Brothers Bank folded to accelerate the great financial crisis.

WTI crude – Daily close, last = $97.73 (www.investing.com)

© 2022 daan joubert

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