The EU Parliament released a new study on Central Banks and digital currencies. From this report it looks like the central banks are making a push into cryptocurrencies. Central banks are pushing very hard to move into the crypto realm which would not be that difficult since 90% of currency used today is digital. New poll shows that the British people do not agree with May’s BREXIT proposal. Existing home sales have declined again, the housing market it starting to deteriorate very quickly. G-20 Communique shows the currency wars are now being pushed. IMF director warns G-20 leaders against tariffs. Trump signs an executive order helping small businesses. Peter Strzok wife was put into the SEC position to block all FBI investigations. Carter Page’s FISA exposes the hoax and this is the heavily redacted FISA application. Clapper blames everything on Obama, they are pointing fingers at each other because they know time is ticking down. Judicial watch calls for declassifying the IG report. NY Daily News fires half of its staff. Bush’s former heart doctor was killed while riding a bike, coincidence? Super rich are preparing to leave at a moments notice, they are buying citizenship in other countries. Iran and US trade threats, this is very similar to the tactic that was used in North Korea. Next step, new deal and peace. White Helmets evacuated out of Syria and into Jordan and Israel. This is what a mop up operation looks like.
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Current News – 07.23.2018
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- A study on issues of competition in fintech, commissioned by the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), was published July 20. It found that central bank-issued digital currencies could be a “remedy” for a lack of competition policy in the crypto sector:
“The arrival of permissioned cryptocurrencies promoted by banks, even by central banks, will reshape the current competition level in the cryptocurrency market, broadening the number of competitors.”
- The study mentions cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) as “technological and operational paradigms that are a source of disruption for the entire sector, including monetary policy and financial stability.” Other “disruptive and innovative applications” of new technologies include “AI, cloud computing, biometrics, digital identity, blockchain, cybersecurity, RegTech, internet of things (IoT), augmented reality.”
- image courtesy of CoinTelegraph
- According to the study, since closed cryptocurrency systems require a supervisory authority, central banks could be considering using “permissioned cryptocurrency systems” to “complement or substitute” the currencies already used.
- The study claims that CBDCs “will reshape the current competition level in the inter-cryptocurrency market” by adding to the pool of competitors:
- As it stands, there are four central banks that run the financial world, and those are the U.S. Federal Reserve, European Central Bank (ECB), Bank of Japan (BOJ) and the Bank of England (BOE). According to most experts, these institutions are definitely the most powerful, influencing the interest rates of over $41 trillion worth of Gross Domestic Product. Daily, they influence about an eighth of that.
- With this kind of power, some people believe that they are some sort of expert on any topic that impacts a worldwide industry. Unfortunately for cryptocurrency, the Big Four have been very vocal about their disdain for anything Bitcoin and related to it. In fact, the head of the Bank for International Settlements advises younger investors to “stop trying to create money. “
- Other bankers associated with these institutions have even said there is “no point” to even develop cryptocurrency, since the fiat currency currentl circulation does the job without help.
- There are still many crypto enthusiasts that can sing the praises of the digital industry, saying that Bitcoin or another popular token could easily take over the dollar
- Historically, the Big Four banks are responsible for many problems that have come through the financial world. the Big Four negatively drew out the housing bubble of the 2000s and were in the middle of the real estate and debt crisis around 2007. They even broke major protocols when they continually printed new money for eight years without a break, leading them to the overwhelming money bubble that arose.
- Instead of directly adapting to the technology, the banking business is working to ride in on the progress already made by them. They do not hold the same goals as the cryptocurrency platforms do, since they are seeking an upgrade on their current services, rather than a decentralized form of currency. They are not planning to let go of their control anytime soon, but they hope to make their processes more secure and efficient. Basically, they want more control than they already have, and they want to get rid of the cryptocurrency world that stands in their way.
- 90% of existing money is only digital – i.e., a digital currency. Only $6 trillion, or approximately 10%, of the world’s current money supply is in the form of cash . So believe it or not, you’re already using digital currency when you swipe your credit or debit card.
- With all of this value at hand, though, misinformation continues to permeate conversations about cryptocurrency. Most of these conversations are regurgitation of rumors and claims fortified by incomplete understanding. Three common arguments against Bitcoin I witness are:
- Bitcoin is used for illegal activities,
- Bitcoin is not backed by anything, and
- Bitcoin is unregulated.
- 1. Bitcoin Is Used in Illegal Activities
- One of the primary arguments is that Bitcoin is used for illegal activities. There has been many studies done on this behalf, and one of the most recently published research papers is Sex, Drugs, and Bitcoin: How Much Illegal Activity is Financed Through Cryptocurrency. In this paper (published in January 2018). researchers argue that “around $72 billion of illegal activity per year involves bitcoin, which is close to the scale of the US and European markets for illegal drugs.” Considering that the entire market cap of Bitcoin at the end of 2016 was only $14 billion, that speaks volumes (pun intended) to the amount of illegal activity conducted through the cryptocurrency.
- But there has come an inflection point in the adoption and use of Bitcoin; researchers in the paper point out that “in recent years (since 2015), the proportion of bitcoin activity associated with illegal trade has declined.” While one of the supposed reasons for this transformation argued by the research is “the emergence of alternative cryptocurrencies that are more opaque and better at concealing a user’s activity,” the other one is “an increase in mainstream and speculative interest in bitcoin.”
- In other words, as more people are starting to get interested in Bitcoin, the amount of transactions used for illegal activities is declining — the new wave of Bitcoin enthusiasts are embracing the idea of using it for different purposes, whether it is to conduct legal transactions, hold for investments, or other uses.
- But only 10% of all money exists as cash today; the other 90% already exists as digital currency. In other words, out of the $60 trillion in global circulation, only about $6 trillion of it is in cash
- Over 50% of cash in most countries is used to hide transactions…
- 2. Bitcoin Is Not Backed By Anything
- Another common critique of Bitcoin is that it isn’t backed by anything of value. But the current cash system isn’t back by anything, either.
- Bitcoin is also a supply and demand game. Because it isn’t regulated by a single entity, though, there is no control on the supply side, unlike with government-backed currencies.
- 3. Bitcoin Lacks Regulation
- Another argument against Bitcoin is that it is unregulated. Whether the lack thereof is an advantage or disadvantage is subjective and quite a matter of heated debate.
- Just because something is regulated or has rules doesn’t mean it’s good. It’s similar to receiving a new phone, only to find that it’s already full of bloatware — apps that you have no intentions of using but can’t delete. They only take up space, and at worst, slow your phone down.
- UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans to take the country out of the European Union are overwhelmingly opposed by the British public, according to a new poll.
- The YouGov survey conducted for The Sunday Times newspaper further highlighted the embattled PM’s political vulnerability as only 16 percent of voters said she was handling Brexit well.
- This is while 34 percent of British voters thought Boris Johnson, who recently stepped down as UK’s foreign minister over Brexit differences, would do a better job with the divorce.
- This is bad news for May, who has been struggling to regain his party’s full support for negotiating a deal with the EU and leading the Conservative Party into the next election with a little more than eight months to go before the Brexit deadline arrives on March 29, 2019.
- Following last month’s disappointing starts/permits data and home sales prints, hope was high for a June rebound but they are gravely disappointed. Existing home sales tumbled 0.6% MoM (vs expectations of a 0.2% rise) and even worse, it’s off a downwardly revised May print of 0.7% MoM, with median home price hitting a record high $276k.
- This is the first 3-in-a-row decline for existing home sales since Jan 2014…
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says closings inched backwards in June and fell on an annual basis for the fourth straight month.
- the final communique is out, and it has been endorsed by Steven Mnuchin and the US delegation. Notably, below we show the redline comparison of the first paragraphs in the March and July communiques, with the pledge not to engage in devaluation notably missing:
“We will refrain from competitive devaluations, and will not target our exchange rates for competitive purposes.”
- And instead has been replaced with the following:
We reaffirm our exchange rate commitments made in March.
- Here are the key differences.
The global currency war just got an official blessing.
- pledges made by G-20 member nations in their March statement to refrain from competitive devaluations were removed from the draft statement.
- IMF Director Christine Lagarde spoke about the impact of trade restrictions, the IMF forecasts, based on the restrictions in place so far.
- “In the worst case scenario, under the current measures and not taking in to account the most recent announcement is in the range of 0.5 percent GDP on a global basis,” said Christine Lagarde the IMF Director.
- On Thursday, President Trump signed an executive order to make a workforce initiative that will help create apprenticeships and on-the-job training for U.S. workers in a variety of U.S. companies.
- “I will be signing an executive order to establish the National Council for the American Worker. That’s a first. This Council will be made up of top officials across the government,” Trump said at the event, according to CNS News.
- “We’re also establishing an outside advisory board of industry leaders and experts, which we will announce in the coming weeks, very shortly. A lot of people want to be on that board very badly. I have some great people going on that board,” the president continued.
- The executive order follows Trump’s campaign promise to boost the American economy,
- Hours after the FBI found classified Clinton emails on Anthony Weiner’s laptop, Peter Strzok’s wife was promoted to a powerful position in the SEC and immediately blocked all criminal proceedings against the Clintons.
- Melissa Hodgman was promoted to deputy director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Enforcement Division literally hours after Strzok and FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe were debriefed about the Clinton emails found on Weiner’s computer.
- True Pundit reports: The FBI’s original warrant for Weiner’s laptop was issued in late September 2016 and a subsequent warrant was issued on Oct. 30, 2016 so that the FBI could use Huma Abedin’s & Hillary’s classified emails as evidence in the re-opened Clinton probe.
- Hodgman was promoted Oct. 14, 2016, literally hours after investigators started to examine the laptop’s contents for Clinton emails and assorted files, federal sources confirm.
- Federal sources said the FBI field office in New York, who handled the original Weiner warrant for then-US Attorney Preet Bharara, reported to Strzok and McCabe that they had found evidence pertaining to the Hillary Clinton email case on Oct. 12, 2016, federal sources said.
- About 36 hours later, Hodgman was promoted in the SEC.
- “There are no coincidences here,” one FBI source told True Pundit. “Not with this crew. They wanted his wife in that SEC slot for a reason.”
- With Hodgman at the SEC and Strzok at the FBI it would be virtually impossible to even know what cases linked to the Clinton Foundation had criminal merit, if each were trying to keep all things Clinton-related quiet.
- The Saturday release of the FBI’s heavily redacted FISA warrant application for Carter Page reveals that the Obama administration, eager to make a case to spy on a US citizen (and arguably the Trump campaign) cobbled together a combination of facts and innuendo from Page’s business dealings in Russia, several press reports of varying reliability, and of course, the infamous Clinton-funded “Steele Dossier,” which the FBI went to great lengths to justify despite being largely unable to verify its claims.
- Perhaps the most concerning takeaway, however, is the stark disconnect between the FBI’s multiple allegations against Page versus the fact that he hasn’t been charged with a single crime after nearly two years of DOJ/FBI investigations.
BREAKING: FBI’s FISA warrant actually cites as “evidence” to spy on Carter Page/Trump campaign “Senate Minority Leader” Harry Reid’s 2016 letter to Comey citing information he got from John Brennan who got it from the Clinton dossier — talk about circular evidence!
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) July 22, 2018
- In fact, aside from the Clinton-funded Steele dossier (“Source #1”), the FISA application cited no other evidentiary sources.
BREAKING: In all the FISA apps filed to spy on Trump advisor Page there is no evidentiary source listed other than “Source #1” — and “Source #1” is Christopher Steele. (There is no Source #2 or Source #3, etc. Just a single source — Source #1.)
— Paul Sperry (@paulsperry_) July 22, 2018
- The application also reveals that FBI agent Peter Strzok lied when he said he had nothing to do with the FISA application,
The FISA app also mentions a letter Page wrote to Coney denying the allegations made by Isikoff (through Steele).
Strzok used this as a pretext to interview Page. pic.twitter.com/hBdlPnZ5fG
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) July 21, 2018
- The FBI also went to extreme lengths to convince the FISA judge that Steele (“Source #1”), was reliable when they could not verify the unsubstantiated claims in his dossier – while also having to explain why they still trusted his information after having terminated Steele’s contract over inappropriate disclosures he made to the media.
- The warrant application also confirms a February report that the FBI received a copy of the dossier from the Obama State Department, after Steele provided it to senior DoS official Jonathan Winer. Winer was also approached by Clinton confidant Sydney Blumenthal with a separate anti-Trump dossier written by longtime Clinton pal Cody Shearer.
- So two separate Clinton-originated dossiers went from Steele and Blumenthal to the State Department, which then gave it to the FBI. Of course, the agency also had a copy it received in early August, 2016 directly from Steele himself, and we also now know that there were multiple versions of the document which went through various conduits before reaching the FBI.
So now we know. The Russian collusion fairytale was a hoax from the beginning.
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) July 21, 2018
Finally, by June, 2017 it’s obvious Carter Page isn’t a Russian agent
But FISA app is extended another 90 days to coincide with Mueller appointment
This would allow Mueller to use FISA surveillance to prosecute the Trump team for matters unrelated to purpose of surveillance
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) July 22, 2018
The 6/2017 FISA app was signed by McCabe and Rosenstein – immediately after Mueller was appointed.
Carter Page was no longer really “under investigation.”
Page and the warrant were a pretext to surveille the rest of Team Trump. pic.twitter.com/1BVwlUQumF
— Techno Fog (@Techno_Fog) July 22, 2018
Looking more & more like the Trump Campaign for President was illegally being spied upon (surveillance) for the political gain of Crooked Hillary Clinton and the DNC. Ask her how that worked out – she did better with Crazy Bernie. Republicans must get tough now. An illegal Scam!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2018
- Former Director of National Intelligence (DNI) James Clapper admitted in a CNN interview Saturday that former President Obama instigated the ongoing investigations into Donald Trump and those in his orbit.
If it weren’t for President Obama we might not have done the intelligence community assessment that we did that set up a whole sequence of events which are still unfolding today including Special Counsel Mueller’s investigation. President Obama is responsible for that. It was he who tasked us to do that intelligence community assessment in the first place
- House Judiciary Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) said that the American public needs to see an unredacted version of the Carter Page FISA application.
- A government watchdog group is urging President Donald Trump to step in and declassify 412 pages of top-secret documents related to surveillance conducted against former Trump campaign chairman Carter Page.
- The documents revealed that the Department of Justice and FBI relied heavily on the Democrat-funded Steele dossier in the FISA application to spy on Page.
- “These documents are heavily redacted but seem to confirm the FBI and DOJ misled the courts in withholding the material information that Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the DNC were behind the ‘intelligence’ used to persuade the courts to approve the FISA warrants that targeted the Trump team,” Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton said.
- “The warrants are controversial because the FISA court was never told that the key information justifying the requests” came from the dossier, the Judicial Watch statement noted.
- “Given this corruption, President Trump should intervene and declassify the heavily redacted material.”
- The New York Daily News announced plans on Monday to cut half of its newsroom as part of a broader restructuring plan at the newspaper, reports NBC News.
- Among those departing will be editor-in-chief Jim Rich and managing editor Kristen Lee.
- The paper’s staff was notified via email from the human resources department which also detailed a new direction for the paper – which will increase focus on breaking news with an emphasis on crime, civil justice and public responsibility. Local news and sports will still be covered, according to the email.
- Daily News Journalists were called to a 9 a.m. meeting and then told to wait for the email notifying them of the cuts.
- The layoffs come as local publications across the country are cutting jobs. According to a Pew Research Center report published Monday, over 1/3 of US newspapers laid off staff between January 2017 and April 2018.
- “The decisions being announced today reflect the realities of our business and the need to adapt [to] an ever-changing media environment,” the email stated. “They are not a reflection on the significant talent that is leaving today. Let there be no doubt: these colleagues are highly valued and will be missed.”
- Citizenship-by-Investment programs (CIPs) allows the super-rich a new nationality and an alternative or second passport,
- According to a new report by Bloomberg, the ultra-rich are spending a whopping $23 million for citizenship in another country.
- a second passport is a “security” measure, said Christian Kalin, chairman of Henley & Partners, which provides citizenship advice for CIP programs.
- Kalin said, clients want peace of mind in case a social disturbance or other upheavals in their native countries occur. In other words, if an economic or social collapse occurred in the United States, the super-rich would have the ability to jump on their Gulfstream or 74 foot Sunseeker yacht and bug-out to their second country.
- about ten countries offer prospective residents the ability to buy citizenship. This includes Austria, which commands an astonishing $23 million for citizenship; Malta, which requires $1 million; and Caribbean islands like Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda, which charge the affordable $100,000 apiece.
- IMF classifies eight of the countries mentioned above as offshore financial centers, t
- The Normandy Four meeting of political directors will be held at the end of this week in Berlin, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said on Monday. The group that includes Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France will discuss the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the Donbass referendum, .
- On July 22nd, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned the US that war with Iran is “the mother of all wars,” while not completely rejecting the idea of a peaceful agreement
- Rouhani’s exact words were “must understand that war with Iran is the mother of all wars and peace with Iran is the mother of all peace,” while speaking in front of diplomats in Tehran, as reported by Iran’s state news agency IRNA. The Iranian President also warned Donald Trump: “do not play with the lion’s tail, because you will regret it eternally.”
- President Rouhani’s comments also follow a July 22nd rhetorical assault of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. who comapred Iranian leaders, to the “mafia”,
- This came in front of a mostly Iranian-US audience in California. He called Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and Foreign Minister Javad Zarif “merely polished front men for the ayatollahs’ international con artistry,” in regard to the nuclear deal.
- Trump’s answer to Rouhani’s comments came late on July 22nd. It was a more-aggressive inits manner twitter diplomacy attempt: “To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!”
- what is happening since May 8th with Iran, and what transpired with North Korea and its leader Kim Jong-Un.
- Israeli Army has welcomed four top commanders of the Syrian rebel force in Quneitra province as the Syrian Army is increasingly gaining ground in southwest Syria.
- Overnight Saturday Israel evacuated 800 White Helmets members and their families from southern Syria in an operation that took them briefly into Israeli territory and then on to Jordan, where they are expected to be resettled in Britain, Canada, and Germany, according to officials in Amman.
- The transfer began at around 9:30pm local time with a large convoy of buses exiting a frontier area on the Golan Heights toward Israel.
- US President Donald Trump and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau asked Israel to evacuate the members of the controversial Western-backed White Helmets group from Syria, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has revealed.
- Jordan has taken as many as 800 members of the Syrian White Helmets and their families to further pass them on to the UK, Canada and Germany.
- Russia has sent the US a strategy for the return of refugees to Syria, a Russian defense official said, adding that the proposal is based on preliminary agreement reached by Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump in Helsinki. People currently living in refugee camps in Jordan and Lebanon are the focus of the plan, Col. Gen. Mikhail Mizintsev, who heads Russia’s Syria reconciliation center, told the media.