The people of Greece are nervous and they are making a run on the banking system to get their currency out of the banks. The unemployment rate in France has gone nowhere since 2013. Initial jobless claims moved up modestly. Student loan petition has been put up on the White House site to allow students to declare bankruptcy. Housing starts disappoint. FHA mortgage delinquencies are on the rise, if this continues it will be 2008 all over again. Big money is about to purchase gold, they say it is undervalued. Aetna CEO says Obamacare is a death spiral and people are dropping out of it. Deutsche Bank probes Trumps accounts and fines no links with Russia. The conversation with Flynn and Russia show absolutely nothing, he did not break any laws.Larry Klayman wants an emergency hearing to have the NSA stop spying on Trump. Those who removed Flynn by citing the Logan Act should be careful because others have violated it. Wikileaks exposes the CIA cyber hacking of French elections back in 2012. The deep state and CIA have been messing with other countries via regime change and election manipulation. Merkel looks like she will not win the elections so they want to make it legal for migrants to vote. Ukraine blames Russia for cyber attacking infrastructure. USS Porter location unknown when Russian jets flew near it. Libya is now calling in NATO to help. US will not coordinate with Russia in Syria.
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Current News – 02.16.2017
- Delays in the talks between Greece and its lenders have brought back the ghost of Grexit.
- The grave disagreement between the International Monetary Fund and the European lenders, Grexit bombshells flying around and Greece’s reluctance to accept additional austerity measures have increase uncertainty among citizens – for one more time.
- , what do citizens do when they feel political and economical insecurity? The run to banks and withdraw deposits.
2.5 billion euros left Greek banks in the last 45 days.
And this despite the capital controls that allow Greeks to withdraw a maximum of just 1,800 euro per month.
- the cash withdrawal in the last 45 days has set bankers in alert.
- According to a report of November 2015, more than 120 billion euros left the Greek banks during the years of the crisis. 45 billion euro left the banks during November 2014 – 2015. Eighty percent of this amount, that is some €36 billion are been kept in homes, company safes or in bank lockers.
- * * *
- Time to increase capital controls once again!!??
In Q4 2016, the average ILO unemployment rate in metropolitan France and overseas departments stood at 10.0% of active population, after 10.1% in Q3 2016.
- The unemployment rate back in 2013 was 10.4% and it has bounce around the 10% range since. The economy has gone no where.
- Gold is undervalued according to a record number of fund managers
- Last time gold was considered undervalued, the price surged
- BAML surveyed 175 money managers with $543 billion in assets under management
- 34% of investors believe protectionism is the biggest threat to markets
- Gold viewed as the best protectionist investment by a third of investors
- As Brett Arends writes on Marketwatch, this is significant:
- “The latest survey opinion is of more than passing interest. These guys typically do not hold gold in their portfolios. Indeed, to buy some, most of them will have to go through investment committees, which takes weeks or months. But if they are interested, and they stay interested, that will presumably drive more demand for gold as an investment in the months ahead.”
- But why are they only interested now, what has them running for gold and what does this mean for gold investors?
- Inflation, stagflation and protectionism
- The interest in gold comes from two parts.
- Firstly the clear risks on the horizon. Namely stagflation, inflation and protectionism. As well as rising interest rates and potential conflict (trade and otherwise) around the world. The second part is our increasingly familiar friend, uncertainty.
- Big money gets into gold
- Conclusion: unconventional appeal of gold as insurance
- the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, blasted US banks, saying that they still lacked sufficient capital to withstand a major crisis.
- When you’re applying for a mortgage or business loan, sensible banks are supposed to demand a 20% down payment from their borrowers.
- If you want to buy a $500,000 home, a conservative bank will loan creditworthy borrowers $400,000. The borrower must be able to scratch together a $100,000 down payment.
- But when banks make investments and buy assets, they aren’t required to do the same thing.
- Remember that when you deposit money at a bank, you’re essentially loaning them your savings.
- As a bank depositor, you’re the lender. The bank is the borrower.
- Banks pool together their deposits and make various loans and investments.
- But the larger point is that banks don’t use their own money to make these investments. They use other people’s money. Your money.
- A bank’s investment portfolio is almost entirely funded with its customers’ savings. Very little of the bank’s own money is at risk.
- But if a bank wants to make an investment, they typically don’t have to put down a single penny. .
- Nearly a decade later, Kashkari says that banks still aren’t sufficiently capitalized.
- Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini one of the country’s largest health insurerssays that Obamacare is in a “death spiral.” he says the “risk pools are deteriorating in the ACA” to a point that it would inevitably result in more withdrawals this year. Per The Hill:
“It’s not going to get any better; it’s getting worse.”: “I think you will see a lot more withdrawals this year. … There isn’t enough money in the ACA as structured, even with the fees and taxes, to support the population that needs to be served.”
let me see, i’m going to pay this much premium, i’ve got a $6,000 deductible, and when I go to the doctor i’m going to pay cash…so premium, plus deductible, plus paying cash…why do I do this? I’ll just pay the penalty and move on.”
- Over the course of Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, claims have been made that Trump’s continued reliance on Deutsche Bank loans worth hundreds of millions of US dollars despite his poor financial record indicated Russian involvement,
- The German-based bank’s internal review, which started in accordance with politically exposed persons (PEP) rules when Trump launched his presidential campaign, found that Trump’s loans were not guaranteed by Russia,
- WikiLeaks released CIA documents detailing espionage orders to infiltrate all major political parties in France — a strong US ally.
- The document, drafted in 2011 was classified SECRET//NOFORN, meaning no foreign eyes can view it — for obvious reasons. It details how analysts in CIA’s Office of Russian and European Analysis (OREA) closely watched the Oct 9th and Oct 16th Socialist primaries and will be closely monitoring the April 22nd and May 6th 2012 Presidential elections.
- According to the WikiLeaks press release:
All major French political parties were targeted for infiltration by the CIA’s human (“HUMINT”) and electronic (“SIGINT”) spies in the seven months leading up to France’s 2012 presidential election. The revelations are contained within three CIA tasking orders published today by WikiLeaks as context for its forth coming CIA Vault 7 series. Named specifically as targets are the French Socialist Party (PS), the National Front (FN) and Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) together with current President Francois Hollande, then President Nicolas Sarkozy, current round one presidential front runner Marine Le Pen, and former presidential candidates Martine Aubry and Dominique Strauss-Khan.
- According to the CIA orders, the intelligence agency assessed that Sarkozy’s UMP (Union for a Popular Movement) party was not assured re-election, so they needed to act to ensure they maintained influence over the outcome.
- The espionage campaign was vast in scope and required the spies to obtain opposition parties’ strategies for the election; information on internal party dynamics and rising leaders; efforts to influence and implement political decisions; support from local government officials, government elites or business elites; views of the United States;
- In December, former Congressman Ron Paul called it when he said, “The American people should be worried about the influence of our CIA in other people’s elections, I mean probably hundreds. It’s constant,” even going as far as to allude to “domestic assassinations” the CIA has allegedly taken part in.
- Non-naturalized migrants should be granted limited electoral rights, according to a migration policy paper, drafted by an expert panel led by the German government’s commissioner on migration, Aydan Oezoguz.
- The 50-page concept proposes a series of reforms aimed at making it easier for migrants from non-EU countries to settle in Germany as well as at giving them access to the German labor market and political system.
- The paper says that Germany has to face the new reality of becoming “a country of immigrants,” like the US.
- A strong majority of Germans do not think Angela Merkel should extend her 12 years in power and wish to see a new chancellor after this year’s federal elections.
- The most recent poll by YouGov, published on Monday, showed that 64 per cent of German voters are in favour of having a new chancellor.
- A significant 42 per cent said that it is “definitely” time someone else took on the most important job in German politics, and a further 22 per cent said it was “probably” time for a fresh face.
- Kim Jong Nam, , lived quietly in the Asian gambling hub of Macau, avoiding controversy and seemingly relaxed about personal safety, according to sources close to him.
- Five years ago, Kim Jong Nam pleaded with his half-brother, Kim Jong Un, to withdraw a standing order for his assassination, according to the South Korean intelligence agency.
- U.S. and South Korean government sources said they believed North Korean agents murdered Kim Jong Nam at an airport terminal in Kuala Lumpur on Monday.
- A source with ties to top officials in Pyongyang and Beijing told Reuters that North Korea was not behind the killing.
One defector who was a senior official in the North said, “It’s hard to believe that it took agents five years to execute an order given directly by the leader. Kim Jong-nam was an easy target who used to go to restaurants and casinos without bodyguards.
- In a preemptive move to limit foreign naval presence in proximity to China and especially the disputed South and East China Sea islands, China’s People’s Daily reports the Beijing is set to revise its 1984 Maritime Traffic Safety Law, which would allow the relevant authorities to “bar some foreign” (read U.S.) ships from passing through Chinese territorial waters. Chinese press, the draft would empower maritime authorities to prevent foreign ships from entering Chinese waters if it is decided that the ships may harm traffic safety and order.
“As a sovereign State and the biggest coastal State in, for example, the South China Sea, China is entitled to adjust its maritime laws as needed, which will also promote peace and stable development in the waters.”
- Ukraine on Wednesday accused Russian hackers of targeting its power grid, financial system and other infrastructure with a new type of virus that attacks industrial processes, the latest in a series of cyber offensives against the country.
- The Ukrainian government relies on a military resolution of its conflict in the southeast because it is not ready for steps toward peace, Russian President Vladimir Putin said
- 1. A “spy” ship? It’s an intelligence collection ship (the Viktor Leonov) and it’s a clearly marked, broadcasting vessel. If it was trying to conceal itself from the U.S. Navy in any way, it probably would have foregone the formalities.
Russian submarines patrolling off the US east coast are not cause for concern and pose no threat to the United States, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.
“So long as they are operating in international waters — as, frankly, we do around the world — and are behaving in a responsible way, they are certainly free to do so and it doesn’t cause any alarm within this building,” press secretary Geoff Morrell said at a Pentagon news conference.
- The position of the Porter has not been reported either. According to EUCOM and the Pentagon, the destroyer was “operating in international waters in the Black Sea” and “had just completed the ten-day Romanian-led multinational Sea Shield 2017 exercise”.
- The US Navy has released a picture of the Porter casting off from its berth at Constanta on the afternoon of February 8:
- , US records reveal a gap between the Porter leaving Constanta and passing through the Bosphorus, and out of the Black Sea, on February 11. The distance between the two is 197 nautical miles.
- The Porter’s top-rated speed is more than 30 knots, but its cruising speed is around 20 knots. At that rate, it would have taken about 8 hours to sail from Constanta to the Bosphorus. In fact, the vessel took three days. In other words, the Porter was sailing either north towards the Russian naval base at Sevastopol, Crimea; or east towards the Russian mainland,
- IF Porter had been heading either north or east, it would have reached Russian territorial waters by dawn of February 9. The interceptions, if they happened, did not occur for more than another 24 hours. That means the vessel was under constant Russian surveillance before the Ilyushin and the Sukhois arrived.
- After the US vessel’s reported engagement with the incoming Russian Air Force, the Turkish Navy reports that the Porter headed south for 24 hours and out of the Black Sea; that was on the afternoon of the next day.
- On the morning of February 15, the London Daily Mail headlined: “Russia tests the waters: Military jets buzz a US destroyer in the Black Sea, Moscow tests a new cruise missile in violation of arms treaty and deploys a spy ship off the coast of Delaware as Trump’s NSA is in disarray.”
- The newspaper’s version included this illustration of Russian Air Force acrobatic stunt aircraft, MiG-29s, not SU-24s, and six incoming, not four. Read the caption to follow.
- the US Defense Department has issued no official claim about the incident in the week since February 10.
- One day after US ground troops arrived in Romania for a deployment, another group of US troops deployed today to neighboring Bulgaria, with the expectation of heavy equipment and armored vehicles to follow.
- NATO has received a formal request from Libya for expertise and advice in establishment of defense and security institutions and will consider it, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said T
- The Libyan National Army is not under command of the UN-backed government in Tripoli. Gen. Haftar is supported by the Tobruk-based government.
- The second round of Astana talks is held in Kazakhstan’s capital on February 15-16. On Wednesday, Russian, Iranian, Jordanian and Syrian delegations held a number of technical meetings.
- “According to the agreement of the three parties [Iran, Turkey and Russia] other countries can be invited, we can invite them as observers,
- A newly declassified CIA document explored multiple scenarios of Syrian regime collapse
- The 24-page formerly classified memo entitled Syria: Scenarios of Dramatic Political Change was produced in July 1986, and had high level distribution within the Reagan administration and to agency directors, including presidential advisers, the National Security Council, and the US ambassador to Syria.
In our view, US interests would be best served by a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates. Business moderates would see a strong need for Western aid and investment to build Syria’s private economy, thus opening the way for stronger ties to Western governments. [pg. 24]
- Another section of the 2006 cable explains precisely the same scenario laid out in the 1986 memo in describing the increased “possibility of a self-defeating over-reaction” on the part of the regime.:
- An Islamic State in Damascus?
- While the 1986 CIA report makes a case in its concluding paragraph for “a Sunni regime controlled by business-oriented moderates” in Syria, the authors acknowledge that the collapse of the Ba’ath state could actually usher in the worst of all possible outcomes for Washington and the region: “religious zealots” might seek to establish “an Islamic Republic”. The words take on a new and special importance now, after the rise of ISIS: