Euro breakup odds are increasing because none of the problems have been resolved since 2008. German inflation moves up to 2.2%. NY Teamsters pension runs out of money. Real consumer spending declines. Stores are closing at such a rapid rate that there is alot of commerical real estate vacant. US construction tumbles. Manufacturing tumbles. The US audit of gold is incomplete. Obama and Boehner put the debt ceiling off until March 2017 when Obama would not longer be in office. China and Russia warn US about putting THAAD in South Korea. Mosul coverage is completely misleading. US sets up a base in Manbij. US moving paid mercenaries around to create safe zones. USS Bataan leaves for the middle east. The deep state has now moved up the timeline of the next event.
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Current News – 03.01.2017
- most of the Eurozone’s existential problems remain unresolved, despite the ECB having frittered €3.7 trillion (or roughly 36% of Eurozone GDP) on keeping the leaking ship — and the region’s biggest banks — afloat.
- , Greece is arguably in even worse shape today than it was when the term Grexit was first coined, six years ago. It cannot leave the Eurozone
- but as long as it stays, its economy will continue to plumb new depths of depression. With no end in sight to the latest round of bailout negotiations,
- the Eurozone’s biggest problem — its 19 member nations and the complete absence (according to some, by design) of a fiscal transfer mechanism — will continue to fester. Even on the off-chance that Germany were to suddenly sanction a fiscal transfer scheme, it’s probably already too late in proceedings for it to change the course of events.
- Mark Blyth, a professor of political economy in the U.S. who was one of very few academics who correctly guessed three of the biggest political shocks of 2017, Brexit, Trumpism and the no-vote in Italy’s constitutional referendum, has warned that 2017 could even be the year that the euro ceases to exist:
- German inflation rose more than expected, printing at 2.2% above the 2.1% consensus estimate,
- the German central bank has warned that homes in large German cities are 15 to 30% overpriced, in a message that stoked further fears about the side-effects of the ECB’s stimulus.
- The New York Teamsters Road Carriers Local 707 Pension Fund has won the unfortunate award for “First Pension to Officially Run Out of Money.” According to the New York Daily News, and a host of angry former truck drivers who’ve had their pension benefits slashed, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has officially been forced to step in and take over payments to retirees of the Local 707, albeit at a much lower rate.
Teamsters Local 707’s pension fund is the first to officially bottom out financially — which happened this month.
“I had a union job for 30 years,” Chmil said. “We had collectively bargained contracts that promised us a pension. I paid into it with every paycheck. Everyone told us, ‘Don’t worry, you have a union job, your pension is guaranteed.’ Well, so much for that.”
“It’s a nightmare, it has just devastated all of our lives. I’ve gone from having $48,000 a year to less than half that,”
Central States Pension Fund — another looming financial disaster that could leave 407,000 retirees without pensions across the Midwest and South.
And it’s not just private-sector industries that are suffering, he added.
“Municipal and state plans are the next to go down — that’s a pension tsunami that’s coming,” he said. “In many states, those defined benefit plans are seriously underfunded — and at the end of the day, math trumps the statutes.”
for the ‘average joe’, facing a rising cost of goods, real personal spending plunged 0.3% in January: the biggest drop since September 2009.
- Finally, as a result of surging inflation, and disposable incomes suddenly unable to keep up, the real annual growth in disposable income per capita fell to just 1.5%, the weakest in over 3 years and a red flag
- Best Buy Co Inc (BBY.N) on Wednesday reported an unexpected drop in same-store sales for the holiday quarter, the latest example of an electronics retailer struggling with waning demand
- The retailer said sales at stores open for more than a year fell 0.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Analysts were expecting an increase of 0.5 percent, according to research firm Consensus Metrix.
- Retail chains – some due to bankruptcy or restructuring, others due to “foot-print rationalization” – have announced plans to shutter over 2,500 stores last year and so far this year, That adds up to some serious mall space. The pace of store closings will pick up from here. And it will go on for years to come.
- closing thousands of stores at already struggling malls around the country, in an industry – brick-and-mortar retail – that will remain on a sharp downward curve, cannot be so easily dealt with. And it will dog investors in that space for years to come.
- Headline US construction spending tumbled 1.0% MoM in January – the biggest drop since April 2016.
- The biggest driver was a collapse in Federal construction (tumbled 7.4% MoM) with public residential building crashing over 15% – the most since 2010.
- With real spending declining and core durables goods orders and shipments fading, it’s perhaps not a surprise that Markit PMI Manufacturing turned lower in Feb to 54.2 (missing expectations) with their chief economist warning “manufacturing is far from booming.“
Koos Jansen of BullionStar
- US Mint Releases New Fort Knox “Audit Documentation”: First Critical Observations
- In response to a FOIA request the US Mint has finally released reports drafted from 1993 through 2008 related to the physical audits of the US official gold reserves. However, the documents released are incomplete and reveal the audit procedures have not been executed proficiently. Moreover, because the Mint could not honor its promises in full the costs ($3,144.96 US dollars) of the FOIA request have been refunded.
- the PDF-package digitally sent to me is redacted, incomplete, includes pages copied twice and materials
- What is worrying is that the reports reveal the audit procedures have not competently been executed. Combine that with the fact the documents are incomplete and redacted, and the result is suspicion
- the US Treasury (owner of the gold), Federal Reserve Bank Of New York (second custodian), and the Office Inspector General of the US Treasury (head auditor), are reluctant to disclose information about the audits of the gold at the four largest depositories that store over 8,000 fine metric tonnes.
- according the US government 100 per cent of the Deep Storage gold has been audited in between 1974 and 2008 (page 4). This period can be divided in two chapters: the first runs from 1974 until 1986 when the Committee for Continuing Audit of the U.S. Government-owned Gold verified the majority of the Deep Storage metal. The second chapter covers 1993 until 2008 when the residual was examined under the supervision of the Office Inspector General of the US Treasury.
- The debt deal struck by President Barack Obama and the then House Speaker John Boehner back in October 2015, was done purposefully to ensure that the debt crisis would not unfold under Obama
- The March 15, 2017 marks the end of the debt deferral scheme struck by Obama and Boehner. When this delay expires, the deficit limit is supposed to be frozen at $20 trillion. .
- Trump inherits a pre-programmed time-bomb .
- The US economy is holding up the world for about 70% of the US economic output is generated by domestic consumption. If the American consumer stops, Europe and Asia collapse in overall economic growth with the former headed into depression.
- Russian and Chinese officials have repeatedly urged Seoul and Washington to reconsider the missile defense system’s deployment. At a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and Chinese Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Kong Xuanyou on Tuesday, the two sides reiterated their “grave concern and strong objection” to the THAAD deployment, and called on the US and South Korea “to respect China’s and Russia’s reasonable and fair concerns over security,” and not to threaten the strategic balance in the region.
- the THAAD issue could result in “a boycott by Chinese consumers of ‘everything Korean’, including the refusal to choose the country as a tourist destination, or to buy goods made in South Korea.”
- Therefore, while Seoul may be able to withstand political pressures at home and diplomatic pressures abroad, it remains to be seen how the country will deal with China’s economic countermeasures – including if the Chinese stop buying South Korean consumer goods, such as cars or mobile phones, en masse. This, Da Zhigang stressed, would lead to “slowed economic growth, stagnation and decline.
- In order to determine the truth when it comes to the mainstream media’s coverage of American-led offensives in the Middle East, be sure to scroll down to the bottom of any article. This is where the most important information can be found. As can be seen in a BBC report on the U.S.-backed offensive to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State, the last line of the article reads:
“The UN said in late January that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians. At least 1,096 have been killed and 694 injured across Nineveh province since the start of October.” [emphasis added]
- Compared with a separate BBC report on the Russian-backed offensive to retake the Syrian city of Aleppo, the media’s coverage of these two military operations can hardly be viewed as balanced. In that report, the idea that Russia is constantly killing civilians is laid out in almost every paragraph.
- In Mosul, 650,000 civilians are reportedly at risk, and as the U.N. has indicated, half of those being killed in the U.S.-backed operation are civilians. The notion that American bombs are safer and more precise than Russia’s has no evidentiary basis, nor does any suggestion that the troops the U.S. military is fighting alongside are less violent than Russian or Syrian authorities.
- The Russian Foreign Ministry is preparing for a previously agreed meeting between President Vladimir Putin and US President Donald Trump,
- “It is no secret that the agreement on this was reached during their telephone conversation. The Foreign Ministry is now engaged in preparing this momentous event,” Matvienko told
- On Tuesday, Russia and China vetoed a draft US, UK, French Security Council resolution, proposing sanctions on 11 Syrian military commanders, along with banning the supply of helicopters to its government – based on fabricated charges of its use of chemical weapons.
- Countries supporting the resolution included America, Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Senegal, Sweden, Ukraine and Uruguay.
- Besides Russia and China, Bolivia opposed it. Egypt, Ethiopia and Kazakhstan abstained.
- Neocon US envoy Nikki Haley lied, accusing Assad of using chemical weapons, despite no evidence proving it. None exists.
- She blasted Russia and China, disgracefully saying “they will cover the backs of their friends who use chemical weapons to kill their own people.”
- She indicated Washington and its EU partners will impose sanctions on their own – illegal without Security Council authorization.
- Syrian government forces along with their allies have recaptured Palmyra citadel from Daesh on Wednesday, securing complete control of the firing range over the city of Palmyra.
- “The army has regained control over the citadel in Palmyra and the mountain range to the southwest of the city. Now we are preparing to storm the city,“
- In recent days the Turkish Army moved into al Bab in Aleppo Province of Northern Syria after, by their unsubstantiated account, defeating ISIS
- And how much press coverage did humanitarian aid for al-Bab get? How about zero. There was , no UN, and no Red Crescent when we saw them in Aleppo the whole time.
- We confirmed that Turkey removed 950 fighters from al Bab, said to be “ISIS” and tried to move them to Manbij, a city 20 miles to the Northeast, held by both Syrian Army and Kurdish YPG Defense Forces, extremely hostile to Turkey.
- Turkey planned to keep ISIS in place, and simply rename them “Arab forces friendly to Turkey,”
- , Erdogan ordered air attacks on Syrian forces.
- Up to two dozen Syrians were killed, wounded were taken to Aleppo where they are being treated.
- Russia told Turkey that if they use aircraft to attack the Syrian Army again, Russia will respond.
- A high-ranking representative of the Syrian Democratic Forces, who wished not to disclose his name, has said that the US is “taking all necessary measures” to defend the Syrian city of Manbij from an attack by the Turkish military. It has set up a military base in the city and hung up its flag as a “warning sign” to Ankara.The US is “taking all necessary measures” to defend the Syrian city of Manbij in the Aleppo Governorate, 30 kilometers west of the Euphrates, which is currently under control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), “We [SDF] have said that in case of an attack on the city will be forced to halt the operation to liberate Raqqa and will redeploy our forces to Manbij,”The SDF representative further noted that US servicemen will be holding talks with representatives from Turkey and added that the US intends to increase its contingent in Manbij, sending heavy weaponry and tanks there in order to shore up the city’s defenses.
- During a trip to Beirut, US Central Command leader, General Joseph Votel, told top Lebanese officials that declaring safe zones in Syria would work once ground troops and other resources are in place.
- Syrian safe zones would be “a viable concept” in “areas that have already been secured where we already have humanitarian and stabilization activities ongoing,” Votel said,
- However, “You’ve got to have all of the resources,” Votel added. That would include ground troops, but the general reportedly did not go into specifics about which country or countries would provide the boots on the ground.
- 6 Totally Insane Things That Will Happen If Our Power Grid Goes Down
- And that’s why it’s so important for everyone to prepare for the possibility that one day our grid could go down in a big way, whether it be from a terrorist attack, cyber attack, nuclear war, or solar flare. If our society suffered a widespread power failure that lasted for weeks or months, it would be no different for us than if we were suddenly sent back to the 1800’s.
1. All commerce will cease. The ATMs won’t work, the banks won’t open, and the cash registers won’t…well, register. For a while cash will be king, but if the crisis goes on for more than a few weeks, then people will view it as worthless. We’d be back to a barter economy in short order.
2. Communications will shut down. If you think you can rely on your cell phone to work in a disaster, think again. In a crisis, when everyone instinctively reaches for their phone, that limit is quickly surpassed and the radios on the tower get sluggish, thus causing the fast-busy signal.b
3. Without electricity, all forms of fuel that our society relies on will stop flowing. All of our vehicles will be dead in the water, and more importantly, the trucks will stop delivering food. The grocery stores will be stripped bare in hours, and will not be replenished for a long time.
4. And of course many of those farms will lack water, as will your plumbing. For a couple of days after the power goes out, you’ll still have running water since water towers rely on gravity to feed the water to your home. However, electricity is required to clean that water and pump it into the tower. Once it’s out, that means that you won’t be able to flush your toilet. So not only dehydration be a major threat, but without the ability to remove human waste or wash your hands, every community will face daunting sanitation problems.
5. When the grocery stores are stripped bare, the pharmacies won’t be far behind.
law and order will break down at every level,