European commission says Greece cannot leave the Euro zone. UK housing sector is starting to slow. 19 states are now increasing minimum wage. Oil tycoon says these low prices will not last and they will go right back up. Blackstone’s Byron predicts a cyber attack which will shutdown the banks. Obamacare could lose 4 million insured people. Afghanistan President wants US soldiers to stay. France is trying to build an international coalition to invade Libya. Turkey and the US will sign deal to train the FSA. al-Qaeda is now threatening to use undetectable bombs. The U.S. government is preparing for the economic collapse and so should you.
Please check the Sentinel Alerts for the latest news on the economic collapse. The Sentinel Alerts are updated throughout the day. If you haven’t already, go to “The People” and join the community of people who are helping each through the economic collapse.
A country’s membership in the eurozone is “irrevocable,” a European Commission spokeswoman said Monday when asked about Greece’s possible exit the rule was enshrined in article 140, paragraph 3 of the Lisbon Treaty.
Preface: This handy set of rules covers most of the games which disinformation artists play on the Internet (and offline). When you know the tricks, you’ll be able to spot the games. Even if you’ve read this list before, you might be surprised at how useful it is to brush up on these tricks.
1. Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil. Regardless of what you know, don’t discuss it — especially if you are a public figure, news anchor, etc. If it’s not reported, it didn’t happen, and you never have to deal with the issues.
2. Become incredulous and indignant. Avoid discussing key issues and instead focus on side issues which can be used show the topic as being critical of some otherwise sacrosanct group or theme. This is also known as the “How dare you!” gambit.
3. Create rumor mongers. Avoid discussing issues by describing all charges, regardless of venue or evidence, as mere rumors and wild accusations. Other derogatory terms mutually exclusive of truth may work as well. This method works especially well with a silent press, because the only way the public can learn of the facts are through such “arguable rumors”. If you can associate the material with the Internet, use this fact to certify it a “wild rumor” which can have no basis in fact.
4. Use a straw man. Find or create a seeming element of your opponent’s argument which you can easily knock down to make yourself look good and the opponent to look bad. Either make up an issue you may safely imply exists based on your interpretation of the opponent/opponent arguments/situation, or select the weakest aspect of the weakest charges. Amplify their significance and destroy them in a way which appears to debunk all the charges, real and fabricated alike, while actually avoiding discussion of the real issues.
5. Sidetrack opponents with name calling and ridicule. This is also known as the primary attack the messenger ploy, though other methods qualify as variants of that approach. Associate opponents with unpopular titles such as “kooks”, “right-wing”, “liberal”, “left-wing”, “terrorists”, “conspiracy buffs”, “radicals”, “militia”, “racists”, “religious fanatics”, “sexual deviates”, and so forth. This makes others shrink from support out of fear of gaining the same label, and you avoid dealing with issues.
6. Hit and Run. In any public forum, make a brief attack of your opponent or the opponent position and then scamper off before an answer can be fielded, or simply ignore any answer. This works extremely well in Internet and letters-to-the-editor environments where a steady stream of new identities can be called upon without having to explain criticism reasoning — simply make an accusation or other attack, never discussing issues, and never answering any subsequent response, for that would dignify the opponent’s viewpoint.
7. Question motives. Twist or amplify any fact which could so taken to imply that the opponent operates out of a hidden personal agenda or other bias. This avoids discussing issues and forces the accuser on the defensive.
8. Invoke authority. Claim for yourself or associate yourself with authority and present your argument with enough “jargon” and “minutiae” to illustrate you are “one who knows”, and simply say it isn’t so without discussing issues or demonstrating concretely why or citing sources.
9. Play Dumb. No matter what evidence or logical argument is offered, avoid discussing issues with denial they have any credibility, make any sense, provide any proof, contain or make a point, have logic, or support a conclusion. Mix well for maximum effect.
10. Associate opponent charges with old news. A derivative of the straw man usually, in any large-scale matter of high visibility, someone will make charges early on which can be or were already easily dealt with. Where it can be foreseen, have your own side raise a straw man issue and have it dealt with early on as part of the initial contingency plans. Subsequent charges, regardless of validity or new ground uncovered, can usually them be associated with the original charge and dismissed as simply being a rehash without need to address current issues — so much the better where the opponent is or was involved with the original source.
11. Establish and rely upon fall-back positions. Using a minor matter or element of the facts, take the “high road” and “confess” with candor that some innocent mistake, in hindsight, was made — but that opponents have seized on the opportunity to blow it all out of proportion and imply greater criminalities which, “just isn’t so.” Others can reinforce this on your behalf, later. Done properly, this can garner sympathy and respect for “coming clean” and “owning up” to your mistakes without addressing more serious issues.
12. Enigmas have no solution. Drawing upon the overall umbrella of events surrounding the crime and the multitude of players and events, paint the entire affair as too complex to solve. This causes those otherwise following the matter to begin to loose interest more quickly without having to address the actual issues.
13. Alice in Wonderland Logic. Avoid discussion of the issues by reasoning backwards with an apparent deductive logic in a way that forbears any actual material fact.
14. Demand complete solutions. Avoid the issues by requiring opponents to solve the crime at hand completely, a ploy which works best for items qualifying for rule 10.
15. Fit the facts to alternate conclusions. This requires creative thinking unless the crime was planned with contingency conclusions in place.
16. Vanishing evidence and witnesses. If it does not exist, it is not fact, and you won’t have to address the issue.
17. Change the subject. Usually in connection with one of the other ploys listed here, find a way to side-track the discussion with abrasive or controversial comments in hopes of turning attention to a new, more manageable topic. This works especially well with companions who can “argue” with you over the new topic and polarize the discussion arena in order to avoid discussing more key issues.
18. Emotionalize, Antagonize, and Goad Opponents. If you can’t do anything else, chide and taunt your opponents and draw them into emotional responses which will tend to make them look foolish and overly motivated, and generally render their material somewhat less coherent. Not only will you avoid discussing the issues in the first instance, but even if their emotional response addresses the issue, you can further avoid the issues by then focusing on how “sensitive they are to criticism”.
19. Ignore proof presented, demand impossible proofs. This is perhaps a variant of the “play dumb” rule. Regardless of what material may be presented by an opponent in public forums, claim the material irrelevant and demand proof that is impossible for the opponent to come by (it may exist, but not be at his disposal, or it may be something which is known to be safely destroyed or withheld, such as a murder weapon). In order to completely avoid discussing issues may require you to categorically deny and be critical of media or books as valid sources, deny that witnesses are acceptable, or even deny that statements made by government or other authorities have any meaning or relevance.
20. False evidence. Whenever possible, introduce new facts or clues designed and manufactured to conflict with opponent presentations as useful tools to neutralize sensitive issues or impede resolution. This works best when the crime was designed with contingencies for the purpose, and the facts cannot be easily separated from the fabrications.
21. Call a Grand Jury, Special Prosecutor, or other empowered investigative body. Subvert the (process) to your benefit and effectively neutralize all sensitive issues without open discussion. Once convened, the evidence and testimony are required to be secret when properly handled. For instance, if you own the prosecuting attorney, it can insure a Grand Jury hears no useful evidence and that the evidence is sealed an unavailable to subsequent investigators. Once a favorable verdict (usually, this technique is applied to find the guilty innocent, but it can also be used to obtain charges when seeking to frame a victim) is achieved, the matter can be considered officially closed.
22. Manufacture a new truth. Create your own expert(s), group(s), author(s), leader(s) or influence existing ones willing to forge new ground via scientific, investigative, or social research or testimony which concludes favorably. In this way, if you must actually address issues, you can do so authoritatively.
23. Create bigger distractions. If the above does not seem to be working to distract from sensitive issues, or to prevent unwanted media coverage of unstoppable events such as trials, create bigger news stories (or treat them as such) to distract the multitudes.
24. Silence critics. If the above methods do not prevail, consider removing opponents from circulation by some definitive solution so that the need to address issues is removed entirely. This can be by their death, arrest and detention, blackmail or destruction of their character by release of blackmail information, or merely by proper intimidation with blackmail or other threats.
25. Vanish. If you are a key holder of secrets or otherwise overly illuminated and you think the heat is getting too hot, to avoid the issues, vacate the kitchen.
The president of the European parliament has demanded an explanation from US authorities over the latest revelation that EU diplomatic missions in Washington, New York and Brussels were under electronic surveillance from the NSA.
“I am deeply worried and shocked about the allegations of US authorities spying on EU offices,” said the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz. “If the allegations prove to be true, it would be an extremely serious matter which will have a severe impact on EU-US relations.”
“On behalf of the European Parliament, I demand full clarification and require further information speedily from the US authorities with regard to these allegations,” he added.
EU commissioner for justice, Viviane Reding, said the Union has contacted the US authorities in Washington and Brussels about a report in Der Spiegel magazine.
“We have immediately been in contact with the US authorities in Washington DC and in Brussels and have confronted them with the press reports,” she said in a statement. “They have told us they are checking on the accuracy of the information released yesterday and will come back to us.”
“Partners do not spy on each other,” Reding, suggesting that talks for a free trade agreement between the EU and the US should be halted until Washington provides explanations.
“We cannot negotiate over a big transatlantic market if there is the slightest doubt that our partners are carrying out spying activities on the offices of our negotiators,” she said.
Reding’s stance was backed by the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee head, Elmar Brok.
“The spying has taken on dimensions that I would never have thought possible from a democratic state,” he told Der Spiegel. “How should we still negotiate if we must fear that our negotiating position is being listened to beforehand?”
Germany and France want answers
Meanwhile, Germany’s justice minister also called for an immediate explanation from the United States saying the news that Washington bugged European Union offices was “reminiscent of the Cold War.”
“It must ultimately be immediately and extensively explained by the American side whether media reports about completely disproportionate tapping measures by the US in the EU are accurate or not,” Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger said in a statement.
It was also revealed on Sunday that the extent of NSA’s spying on Germany was bigger that previously thought as the US combed through half a billion German phone calls, emails and text messages every month.
France also wants Washington to clarify their intentions after the news that the NSA put EU offices under electronic surveillance.
“France has today asked the American authorities for an explanation,” Laurent Fabius, French foreign minister, said in a statement. “These acts, if confirmed, would be completely unacceptable.”
“We expect the American authorities to answer the legitimate concerns raised by these press revelations as quickly as possible,” he added.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The government is pushing back and the Obama administration and Central Bankers are being pushed into a corner. When cowards are pushed into a corner they lash out, they will lash out with a false flag to force congress and the American people to go to war with Syria. The false flag will be bloody, horrific and many lives will die to prove they were right and the US needs to get involved in Syria[/stextbox].
President Obama’s decision to provide military support to the Syrian rebels has sparked a backlash from liberal Democrats and Tea Party Republicans who are banding together to fight increased U.S. involvement.
House lawmakers introduced three bills this week — two with identical titles — that would restrict funds for arming to the Syrian opposition and prevent the administration from intervening without congressional approval.
Two of the bills came from Republican Reps. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) and Thomas Massie (R-Ky.), and one was bipartisan, with Reps. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.), Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.) and Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) backing the same measure.
The flurry of legislative activity represents a new urgency from intervention opponents in the wake of Obama’s move to provide military support to the rebels.
“It’s being spurred by the fact that things area developing quite rapidly in Syria… and now folks are sounding the alarm,” said Adnan Zulfiqar, a fellow at the Truman National Security Project. “Up until now, the activity that you’ve mainly been seeing on the Hill has been really from the advocates for greater intervention.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Tracking all the people without their permission, violates everyone’s rights. This way DHS can track the people where ever they go. When the collapse comes they will need to know where everyone is, what they are doing and they will need to find those groups that will cause trouble quickly.[/stextbox]
The Senate last week approved comprehensive immigration reform legislation that includes a requirement for DHS to implement a biometric exit data system at “the 10 U.S. airports that support the highest volume of air travel, as determined by DOT international flight departure data.”
The measure further requires DHS to establish within six years a mandatory biometric exit data system at “all the Core 30 international airports in the U.S., as so designated by the FAA.” A report to Congress analyzing the effectiveness of biometric exit data at the initial 10 airports is required within three years of enactment.
Further, the bill includes provisions requiring DHS by Sept. 30, 2017, to increase the number of trained Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers by 3,500, adding that “In allocating any new officers to international land ports of entry and high volume international airports, the primary goals shall be to increase security and reduce wait times of commercial and passenger vehicles at international land ports of entry and primary processing wait times at high volume international airports by 50 percent by fiscal year 2014 and screening all air passengers within 45 minutes under normal operating conditions or 80 percent of passengers within 30 minutes by fiscal year 2016. “
The measure as approved by the Senate does not include a requirement for international airports to provide adequate space and facilities — as determined by DHS and at no cost to the federal government –for the inspection of aliens arriving in the U.S. and the collection of biometric information from aliens departing the U.S. The proposal was filed as a potential amendment to the immigration bill, but never was offered formally. AAAE joined A4A, ACI-NA and other aviation groups in expressing opposition to the proposal.
It is uncertain at this point what action the House will take on the bill.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This is very interesting on how the the FBI and DHS are pointing the fingers at homegrown terrorists and extremists. Another False Flag warning. They are building the case of making the American people afraid of their neighbors and having the people tell on each other. Another tactic a closed society uses. [/stextbox]
When police officers around the country meet for their morning musters over the next week, many of them will likely be reminded by supervisors that fireworks – so popular around the Fourth of July – can be used to build bombs.
“Recent incidents in the Homeland demonstrate that consumer fireworks – widely used during the upcoming [July 4] celebrations – can be misused by criminals and violent extremists to construct improvised explosive devices,” the FBI and Department of Homeland Security said Friday in a notice to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies nationwide.
Such notices have become somewhat routine, acting as an “FYI” to the larger law enforcement community and rarely drawing on any fresh intelligence. Still, there is an added sense of caution around this Fourth of July because of how the Boston Marathon bombs were constructed.
Explosive powder from fireworks was used to construct the bombs used in that attack, according to federal authorities. And shells of fireworks were later recovered in a backpack belonging to one of the suspects, the notice issued Friday said.
According to FBI officials, homegrown terrorists and other extremists acting on their own “are of paramount concern” this Fourth of July as masses of revelers are expected to pack city centers and other locations. The officials worried such “crowd density” could be an “opportunity to perpetuate a mass casualty attack,” as illustrated by the Boston bombings.
In fact, the suspects in that attack originally planned to strike Fourth of July festivities in Boston, which hosts one of the biggest and most acclaimed celebrations each year, sources have said. But the bombers allegedly changed their minds and launched their attack months earlier when the homemade bombs were ready. For the first time this year, the FBI’s New York FieldOffice is sending at least two bomb-technicians to Boston to help their colleagues there over the holiday.
It’s unclear if other field offices are following suit. One law enforcement official said the assistance is simply “out of an abundance of caution” to boost manpower in a city recently rocked by a terrorist attack. As of Friday night, authorities had come across no specific, credible threats related to this holiday, one U.S. official said. Still, the official said, authorities can’t help but be “concerned about other knuckleheads” like those responsible for the Boston bombings.
Friday’s “Roll Call Release,” as such notices from the FBI and DHS are titled, offered law enforcement agencies and private security personnel tips to identify potentially suspicious behavior, including paying close attention to anyone asking questions “that go beyond mere curiosity about the potential damage fireworks could cause.”
The notice, obtained by ABC News, comes one day after federal authorities released a 30-count indictment against the surviving Boston bombing suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. He allegedly learned how to build bombs from Volume One of “Inspire,” the online magazine produced by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The magazine, first published in summer 2010, included detailed instructions for building homemade bombs using pressure cookers, shrapnel and explosive powder from fireworks, according to indictment.
Two months before the Boston bombing, the older suspect, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, drove to Phantom Fireworks in Seabrook, N.H., where he bought 48 mortars containing about eight pounds of low explosive powder, the indictment alleged. After the attack on April 15, authorities found fireworks emptied of their explosive powder in the younger suspect’s college dormitory room, according to the indictment. The pair is allegedly responsible for one of the worst terrorist attacks on U.S. soil since 9/11, killing three, including an 8-year-old boy, and injuring more than 260.
But even before “Inspire” magazine offered detailed bomb-making instructions to anyone with Internet access, homegrown terrorists tried to use fireworks in their plots against the U.S. homeland. In May 2010, Faisal Shahzad, trained by the Pakistani Taliban, used more than 150 small fireworks in his failed attempt to blow up a Nissan Pathfinder in New York City’s Times Square.
The notice issued Friday cited Shahzad’s case and mentioned last year’s theater shooting in Colorado, where authorities found consumer fireworks components in the main suspect’s apartment. Fireworks are available for purchase in most U.S. states, but they are banned in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, the notice said.
This week we saw international media moguls get orders to shift coverage away from the US and Western allies moving to continue drenching Syria in blood to have a better negotiation position when (and if) a political settlement conference is held.
But history has shown that the more blood that gets spilled, the more atrocities…the harder the positions become for making a peace. This may really be what the West is shooting for…play acting at supporting a peaceful settlement while working behind the scenes to make sure that never happens.
Henry Kissinger (and friends) pitched it this week as the Balkanizing of Syria solution, whereas Ziggy Brzezinski said the West’s policy was nuts. I agree with Ziggy.
The American never-ending historic failure to shepherd a peace between the Palestinians and the Zionists is a classic example. Our own declassified Intel reveals that Israel only ever participated in any of the agreements purely in bad faith, planning to negotiate the implementation endlessly and buy more time for settlement building.
Successive American administrations threw away any negotiating leverage with endless blank check promises to arm Israel to the teeth so as to have conventional military superiority over all of its neighbors. This allowed Israel to concentrate its own money into an offensive nuclear capability. So you could quite accurately say that Israel’s decades of aggression were “made in America.”
I can personally assure the world that if the Israelis had to be taxed to death to pay for all of Israel’s military expenditures they would have a hundred times more incentive to push their government to make peace with its neighbors. But the Israeli elites running the country and their outside ‘handlers’ do not want peace, but quite the opposite. They have made fools of America with the help of their Jewish Lobbies and disloyal American friends here like the Christian Zionists.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This is how you know that the government is completely has an agenda of spying on everyone for the upcoming collapse. When 911, Sandy Hook and the Boston Bombing, etc occurred the bills that consisted of hundreds of pages of writing that took away the peoples rights magically appeared and passed within days of the incidents. But now the government learns that one of the agencies has been spying on the people which violates the rights of the people, plus the agency that is spying lied to congress that they weren’t spying and they are mulling over bills. The question is does anyone really believe the government is for the people?[/stextbox]
In the three weeks since Edward Snowden revealed the National Security Agency’s widespread surveillance programs, the legislative response to his revelations on Capitol Hill has slowed to a glacial pace and public obsession has noticeably shifted from a debate on national security versus privacy to Snowden’s latest whereabouts.
Civil liberties advocates in Congress introduced a slew of bills in response to reports that the NSA has been collecting phone records from millions of Americans and mining electronic communications from nine major Internet companies:
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) proposed legislation would require the federal government to have a warrant based on probable cause in order to seize phone records from Americans;
Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who long warned of the government’s surveillance methods, are seeking to limit the government’s authority to collect data;
Unusual bedfellows Sens. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) co-sponsored a bill that would declassify FISA court opinions;
And this week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) introduced legislation to revisit the Patriot Act Section 215 and FISA Amendment Act Section 702, under which the NSA programs are lawful.
But the one thing they lack is a timeline for when, or if, anything will actually get done. While the need to address the scope of the NSA programs has been raised in Judiciary committee hearings held by Leahy, none of the bills aimed at doing that has progressed beyond picking up a few cosponsors.
I was able to reconnect with Jim Rogers this morning out of Spain, legendary co-founder of the Quantum Fund with George Soros, author of Hot Commodities, and chairman of the private Beeland Holdings.
It was an especially powerful interview, as Jim spoke towards the relentless downward pressure on gold, the upward explosion in interest rates, central bank money printing, and how to protect yourself ahead of the disastrous times he sees coming.
When asked if we’re seeing forced liquidation leading the smash down in gold this morning, Jim said,
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“We certainly are. There are a lot of leveraged players who are now being forced to sell. Usually when you have this kind of forced liquidation, you’re getting closer to a bottom, maybe not the final bottom, but certainly close to a bottom. I even bought a little bit [today].”[/stextbox]
With regard to the intense bearish news stories being published on gold, Jim suggested investors shouldn’t ”Pay [much] attention to other people. I pay attention to what’s going on… Obviously with gold collapsing I know about that – but I don’t listen to other people.”
Over the last few years Jim has spoken extensively on shorting government bonds, and more recently, the 10-year U.S. treasury yield has rocketed higher (with a corresponding collapse in value). When asked if now is a good time to be covering those short bond positions, he explained that,
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“I’m grappling with that question as we speak… I’m not short government bonds, [but rather] I’m short junk bonds on the theory that they will suffer the most when the bond market finally breaks. The junk bonds will go first, [along with] emerging market bonds. So I’m trying to figure out what to do, but I am not covering my shorts [just yet].”[/stextbox]
Commenting on the Fed’s historical ability to control the bond market, Jim said,
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“We’re getting to that point where either one of two things are going to happen; either central banks are going to stop all this [money printing], or the market is going to force them to stop it. It looks like we may be having a juncture of both… where the Fed is getting worried… and at the same time, the market is jumping in and saying, ‘Yes, it’s insane what you’re doing, and this has to end.’ So we may have a healthy convergence of both. And if it’s not ending now, it’s going to end sometime in the next year, because this cannot go on – it’s too insane.”[/stextbox]
When asked about the explosive riots occurring in Brazil, Jim warned to prepare for much more, in that,
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“This is the first time in history where you’ve had all the central banks in the world printing money at the same time. Europe, Japan, America, and the UK, all, are frantically trying to debase their currencies…I’m afraid that in the end, we’re all going to suffer perhaps, worse then we ever have, with inflation, currency turmoil, and higher interest rates. As I say, this has never happened before, it’s never been a good policy in the long run, so I’m afraid we’re all going to suffer for the rest of this decade from this crazy, crazy money printing.”[/stextbox]
As a final comment to investors looking to protect themselves from these impending disasters, Jim said,
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]
“The way to protect yourself is to own real assets… because that’s the only thing which will protect you as currencies debase.”
“If you have money in the financial system and the financial system collapses,” he added, “even though you may have done nothing wrong – you may suffer because somebody else did something wrong. So you need to be very careful about where your assets are in the financial system, or have strict control over them yourself, so that you’re not going to lose them.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Anyone else feeling the squeeze of inflation? I know I am…[/stextbox]
In the last two years, according to Intuit, Americans are reaching deeper into their pockets to cover family-related expenses. Given the current concerns over dis-inflationary pressures, we thought the following infographic might highlight just where that hidden liquidity-/credit-fueled inflation is leaking out.
Something is looming in the shadows that could help erode our basic rights and contaminate our food. The Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) has the potential to become the biggest regional Free Trade Agreement in history, both in economic size and the ability to quietly add more countries in addition to those originally included. As of 2011 its 11 countries accounted for 30 percent of the world’s agricultural exports. Those countries are the US, Australia, Brunei, Chile, Canada, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore and Viet Nam. Recently, Japan has joined the negotiations.
Six hundred US corporate advisors have had input into the TPP. The draft text has not been made available to the public, press or policy makers. The level of secrecy around this agreement is unparalleled. The majority of Congress is being kept in the dark while representatives of US corporations are being consulted and privy to the details.
The chief agricultural negotiator for the US is the former Monsanto lobbyist, Islam Siddique. If ratified the TPP would impose punishing regulations that give multinational corporations unprecedented right to demand taxpayer compensation for policies that corporations deem a barrier to their profits.
Though TPP content remains hidden, here are some things we do know:
Members of Congress are concerned that the TPP would open the door to imports without resolving questions around food safety or environmental impacts on its production.
Procurement rules specifically forbid discrimination based on the quality of production. This means that public programs that favor the use of sustainably produced local foods in school lunch programs could be prohibited.
The labeling of foods containing GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) will not be allowed. Japan currently has labeling laws for GMOs in food. Under the TPP Japan would no longer be able to label GMOs. This situation is the same for New Zealand and Australia. In the US we are just beginning to see some progress towards labeling GMOs. Under the TPP GMO labels for US food would not be allowed.
In April 2013, Peru placed a 10-year moratorium on GMO foods and plants. This prohibits the import, production and use of GMOs in foods and GMO plants and is aimed at safeguarding Peru’s agricultural diversity. The hope is to prevent cross-pollination with non-GMO crops and to ban GMO crops like Bt corn. What will become of Peru’s moratorium if the TPP is passed?
There is a growing resistance to Monsanto’s agricultural plans in Vietnam. Monsanto (the US corporation controlling an estimated 90% of the world seed genetics) has a dark history with Vietnam. Many believe that Monsanto has no right to do business in a country where Monsanto’s product Agent Orange is estimated to have killed 400,000 Vietnamese, deformed another 500,000 and stricken another 2 million with various diseases.
If the TPP is adopted the door will be open wider for human rights and environmental abuse. Some of the things we should expect to see include:
more large scale farming and more monocultures;
destruction of local economies;
no input into how our food is grown or what we will be eating;
increased use of herbicides and pesticides;
increased patenting of life forms;
more GMO plants and foods; and
no labeling of GMOs in food.
Together these are a step backwards for human rights and a giant step towards Monsanto’s control of our food.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]There will be no peace and the war will move forward. These meeting of peace are for the sleeping Americans who believe the US Government is trying to stop the war even though the US, Central Bankers, Israel are the cause of the unrest and the wars[/stextbox]
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has been having “positive” meetings in the Middle East, reports said on Friday.
Kerry and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met in Jerusalem on Friday afternoon, their second meeting in 24 hours.
The contents of the meeting were not disclosed, but an American official was quoted by Kol Yisrael radio as having said that the meeting was “detailed and meaningful.” The two agreed to meet for a third time on Saturday night.
Kerry, who is trying to break a protracted deadlock in the peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, met Netanyahu in Jerusalem before and after a visit to Amman for lunch with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.
A State Department official told AFP that Kerry’s two-and-a-half hour meeting with Abbas on Friday afternoon was “very constructive… (and) focused on the importance of moving the peace process forward”.
These two men will also meet again in Amman on Saturday, an official said.
After his meeting with Netanyahu, Kerry met President Shimon Peres at his residence in Jerusalem for talks and stayed for the Sabbath-eve dinner.
Welcoming his guest, Peres praised Kerry’s efforts in seeking to prepare the ground for peace talks.
“All of us admire your investment in creating really the right environment,” said Peres, according to AFP.
“It is difficult, there are many problems. But as far as I’m concerned I can see how (among) people, there is a clear majority for the peace process, a two-state solution, and a great expectation that you will do it and that you can do it.”
Kerry is expected to hold a press conference on Saturday night in which he will summarize his latest visit to the Middle East.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Are the Senators that stupid that they need to ask. The NSA is spying on Americans, other countries, placing people into groups. Instead of asking the NSA which lied to the Senate that they weren’t spying they need to dismantle it and dissect it to find who is on what list and what they are really doing[/stextbox]
Senators are questioning whether the National Security Agency collected bulk data on more than just Americans’ phone records, such as firearm and book purchases.
A bipartisan group of 26 senators, led by Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.) asked Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to detail the scope and limits of the National Security Agency’s surveillance activities in a letter released Friday.
“We are concerned that by depending on secret interpretations of the PATRIOT Act that differed from an intuitive reading of the statute, this program essentially relied for years on a secret body of law,” the senators wrote in the letter.
The NSA’s surveillance program has come under intense scrutiny following a leak revealing the agency harvested the phone metadata of millions of American citizens.
The senators noted that the federal government’s authority under Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act is broad and rife with potential for abuse. Among the senators’ concerns was whether the NSA’s bulk data harvesting program could be used to construct a gun registry or violate other privacy laws.
“It can be used to collect information on credit card purchases, pharmacy records, library records, firearm sales records, financial information, and a range of other sensitive subjects,” the senators wrote. “And the bulk collection authority could potentially be used to supersede bans on maintaining gun owner databases, or laws protecting the privacy of medical records, financial records, and records of book and movie purchases.”
The senators asked Clapper in the letter whether the NSA used PATRIOT Act authorities to conduct bulk collection of other types of records, and whether there are any instances of the agency violating a court order in the process of such collections.
Civil libertarians say such surveillance is a violation of privacy. However, the government has defended the program, saying it helped thwart several terrorist attacks and is minimally invasive.
Second Amendment groups and Republican members of Congress have long warned against the creation of a national gun registry. Fears of such a registry bogged down several attempts to forge a bipartisan gun-control bill in the Senate earlier this year.
“In this country, the government can’t just monitor your constitutionally
protected activities—like gun ownership—just because it wants to,” said Brian Phillips, a spokesman for Sen. Mike Lee (R., Utah), who signed onto the letter. “The justification that, ‘if you’re not doing anything wrong, you don’t have to worry about it,’ turns us into a police state very quickly. That’s why
Congress is right to seek broad oversight of the NSA’s data collection programs.”
Debt is deadly, and it’s made even worse with rising interest rates that can prevent you from eliminating the load. What happens with rising interest rates is that more of the payments go toward the interest and less to the principal. In fact, it’s what I call a death spiral of debt that worsens as rates move higher.
When individuals face excessive debt, often the solution is to reduce spending and adhere to a strict repayment program.
When corporations face excessive debt, they tend to streamline; but they must be careful when they do so, because any cost-cutting could impact the company’s growth. What generally happens is more debt or credit is issued.
But when governments build up massive debt loads, there is no definitive solution, and it becomes problematic. The national debt is estimated to reach $17.55 trillion by the end of this year, while the country’s total debt, including federal, state, and municipal debt, is earmarked at $20.54 trillion. (Source: USGovernmentDebt.us, June 18, 2013.)
Congress and Obama must resolve the national debt limit.
Take a look at the chart below of the national debt from 1970 to today (blue bars), and the projected national debt to 2018 (red bars). What’s made clear from this chart is not only the steady buildup of national debt but the rate of the buildup since early 2000, especially following the Great Recession in 2008. It’s obvious that the national debt is spiraling out of control.
Despite the popular adage “a picture is worth a thousand words,” this chart of the national debt can be defined by one word: debt.
That’s why the Federal Reserve and the U.S. government must deal with the country’s massive national debt load—and how it’s getting out of hand.
But not only is the national debt an issue, the debt buildup at the state and municipal level is also a major concern. By the end of this year, the debt amassed by the state governments is estimated to reach $1.19 trillion. (Source: Ibid.)
What’s alarming is that the municipal, state, and federal governments will inevitably be subject to a cash crunch when yields and interest rates ratchet higher.
As I recently mentioned in these pages, we’re seeing debt issues in many states that are vulnerable to rising interest rates, and not only with the federal debt.
Recall that California and its municipalities have accumulated a debt load of about $848 billion, which could eventually be eclipsed by $1.1 trillion, according to The California Public Policy Center. (Source: “Report: California’s Actual Debt At Least $848B; Could Pass $1.1T,” CBS web site, May 1, 2013.)
And then this past Monday, we found out that the city of Detroit, which has been ravaged by decades of slow growth and major population decline, has run out of money after defaulting on roughly $2.5 billion in unsecured debt. The city is trying to convince its creditors to accept $0.10 on the dollar to eliminate this debt. (Source: Williams, C., “Emergency manager: Detroit won’t pay $2.5B it owes,” Associated Press, June 14, 2013.)
But the problem won’t stop there, because Detroit will need new funds to survive, and based on the city’s default and low credit rating, the cost of the loan would likely be significant.
So, while the stock market rises to new records and new millionaires surface each day, the real problem will be when rates move higher and debt payments become unmanageable.
I would start to take some profits off the table, or move funds into more defensive sectors.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]So lets see, US government sends weapons to Jordan for a drill, now they are staying in Jordan, US government sending troops to Libya, Lebanon and Egypt as security advisers, the US government and Japan are holding drills off the coast of California. The Russians have missiles in Armenia pointed to Syria, US base not being renewed in Kyrgyzstan and Russia is modernizing the Armenia base and now Russia and Iran are having their own drills. Can anyone say war [/stextbox]
The Russian and Iranian navies are planning to hold joint exercises in the Caspian Sea in the second half of this year, a Russian military commander said Friday.
Nikolai Yakubovsky, deputy commander of Russia’s Caspian Flotilla, made the announcement after a meeting with the commander of a group of Iranian guided-missile boats that were visiting the port of Astrakhan.
Iranian navy representatives welcomed the opportunity to take part in the joint exercises, but declined to discuss the plans in more detail.
In 2009, Russia and Iran held their first joint naval exercise in the Caspian, involving about 30 ships.
Caspian Flotilla commander Admiral Sergey Alekminsky said in an interview with Moscow radio station Ekho Moskvy in November that the two navies could strengthen their collaboration in the future.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Lets use some common sense here, if Obamacare was so great would they need, celebrities, athletes, moms and the AARP to push it and push it hard. When something is good and helps the people, people see it and want it. Instead we are having this Obamacare pushed down our throats and if we don’t accept it you are penalized by a monetary penalty called a tax. Does this make sense to anyone?[/stextbox]
All those groups trying to get the “young, invincible” 20-somethings to sign up for Obamacare health insurance have identified a secret weapon.
Advocacy groups from “Moms Rising” to AARP are working to reach the healthy, young adults who don’t think they need insurance — and their mothers who think they do. The groups plan to use everything from paid advertising — to guilt.
“We’re going for the heartstrings,” said Nicole Duritz, vice president of health and family education and outreach at AARP, which will be stepping up messaging later this summer as the Oct. 1 sign-up date nears.
(Also on POLITICO: McConnell to sports: Stay away from ACA)
Getting a critical mass of younger and healthier people to sign up along with older and sicker ones is critical to making the insurance markets work. The White House wants 7 million people enrolled in the exchanges by March, 2.7 million of them young adults.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told reporters the messaging will include “creative ways” to reach out to young, healthy people who “may not get up every morning thinking about health insurance.”
“We know that for instance — and I take this very personally — that moms can be influential with that demographic group,” added Sebelius, who has two young adult sons of her own.
(QUIZ: Do you know Kathleen Sebelius?)
Breaking through isn’t easy. Younger adults have a high rate of uninsurance, and some research shows they are less likely to sign up for coverage than older adults, even when it’s subsidized by their job. They may not want to pony up for insurance when they’re paying off college loans, saving for a car, setting up their first home — particularly if they don’t expect to need coverage. Since the law was passed, people can stay on their parents’ health plan until age 26. But the advocates want them to age into another form of insurance, not into being uncovered.
Everyone working on the mom angle rushes to say that they are reaching out to dads, too. But they cite evidence that mothers are the primary health care decision makers and medical appointment-makers in the family, from the Band-Aid on the first scraped knee right up through those early years of not-quite all grown up.
“Our research shows the No. 1 most-effective messenger is their mother,” said Anne Filipic, a former Obama aide who is now president of Enroll America, a coalition working on public education and sign-up for the law. The group will reach out to moms in its campaign this summer and fall that includes volunteers going door-to-door in targeted communities.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]So this is the beginning of controlling the flow of information. Basically they are telling the people who work for the DoD what they can and can’t read. Keeping them in the dark and from the truth. This control of information will spread to mainstream very soon. The government always starts small then push their agenda to the masses.[/stextbox]
After the initial surge of web traffic to alternative news websites following The Guardian breaking the NSA spying story, traffic has slowed considerably despite the continued interest in the NSA story as well as other alternative headlines.
This dramatic drop in traffic may be due to broad censorship by the Department of Defense on “millions of computers”.
What began as a rumor that the military brass was ordering soldiers not to view news about the whistleblower revelations that the NSA is spying on all Americans has swelled into a confirmed military-wide censorship campaign using a high-tech computer filtering system.
The US News and World Report is reporting that the DoD is blocking access to all articles related to the NSA scandal from all DoD computers. The filter reportedly effects millions of computers and potentially thousands of alternative news websites.
According to U.S. News:
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]The Department of Defense is blocking online access to news reports about classified National Security Agency documents made public by Edward Snowden. The blackout affects all of the department’s computers and is part of a department-wide directive. “Any website that runs information that the Department of Defense still considers classified” is affected, Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Damien Pickart told U.S. News in a phone interview. According to Pickart, news websites that re-report information first published by The Guardian or other primary sources are also affected. “If that particular website runs an article that our filters determine has classified information… the particular content on that website will remain inaccessible,” he said. Pickart said the blackout affects “millions” of computers on “all Department of Defense networks and systems.”[/stextbox]
This is perhaps one of the most shocking display of blatant censorship in the history of the United States. The idea that classified information should still be treated as “off limits” to regular military personnel after its broad release to the public makes no sense.
Unless, of course, they don’t want soldiers learning the truth about what their government is doing for fear that they may recognize who the true enemies of the Constitution are.
Or this may simply be a beta test of the government’s technical capability to filter Internet traffic away from certain news stories and the websites that carry them.
In either case, this should be a HUGE story in itself. Draconian Internet censorship has finally arrived in a big way.
Since then, more incoming bogies raced across our radar screen. Ticking time bombs from Congress, the Supreme Court, sex, carbon emissions, Big Oil, NSA, IRS, Tea Party austerity. Relentless. Mind-numbing.
So many are tuning out. Denial. Truth is, bubbles are everywhere. Ready to blow. The evidence is accelerating, with only one obvious conclusion: Max 98% risk at a flashpoint. This 2014 crash is virtually guaranteed. There’s but a narrow 2% chance of dodging this bullet.
Here are the 10 bogies, drones targeting markets, stocks, bonds and the, global economy:
1. Bubble With No Name Yet triggers the biggest crash in 30 years
Juckes warns that we’re now trapped in the fourth megabubble fueled by the Federal Reserve in the last 30 years, since the rise of conservative economics. He calls this one, the Bubble With No Name Yet. OK, we invite you to send in your nomination to name the new bubble. But whatever you call it, do it fast, it’s close to popping, like the Asian, Dot-com and Credit crashes the last 30 years.
2. Marc Faber’s Doomsday warning on Bernanke’s disastrous QE scheme
” Faber “suggested that QE would basically be a part of everyday life for the rest of our lives,” adding that back in 2010 in the early days of Bernanke’s disastrous experiment, Faber warned “the Fed’s headed for QE99.
3. Economy is already crashing, GDP will get even worse in 2014-2016
That “dramatic downgrade of U.S. economic growth in the first quarter revealed the economy’s lingering weakness, exposed the folly of Washington’s austerity obsession and slapped the Federal Reserve’s newfound optimism right in the face.” And with politics deteriorating, it’ll get worse.
4. Precious metals: ‘Going dark! Economic cycles point downward
That’s the headline flashing red warnings. After reviewing 20 cycles tracked by 20 other experts, GoldSeek.com concluded: “There are many cycles that suggest a stock-market correction or crash is near … Preparation is important. You still have a little time remaining before the ‘window’ closes!”
Gross four months ago he warned the Fed is blowing a Credit Supernova, a new monetary bubble that would implode Bernanke’s arrogant risky experiment putting America’s future at great risk by bankrolling a Wall Street Ponzi Scheme and blowing a huge financial bubble.
6. Cycles happen. We’re now in the 5th year of a typical 4-year bull rally
7. Political wars guarantee intense volatility through 2014-2016 elections
The war between Congress with it’s abysmal 10% approval rating and the president, the war between the Dems, GOP and the tea party, is going to get even worse, upsetting markets and the economy even more.
8. Employment futures weak as pensions drain states, municipalities
Yes, pensions for retirees at state and municipal levels are preventing recovery. Corporate pensions are also a big problem, widening America’s inequality gap: Drug company McKesson’s CEO has been boss for 14 years, but will retire with a $159 million pension, while the income of America’s average wage earner has stagnated for 30 years.
9. Investors brains are so distracted, in denial, they won’t get out in time.
A Bubble With No Name Yet is still a bubble. But, Americans are too distracted, too numb, too in denial to hear the warnings. Reminds me of my headline back on March 20, 2000. “Next crash, sorry you’ll never hear it coming.”
But the crash hit. The economy tanked. The recession lasted 30 months. Wall Street lost over $8 trillion of our retirement money. In the first decade of the 21st century, from the 2000 dot-com crash till 2010 disaster Wall Street’s had a negative inflation-adjusted performance. Today Wall Street’s returns are just barely beating inflation. No wonder investors feel cheated by Wall Street’s casinos.
10. Economics is killing the economy, but like coke addicts we won’t stop
The theories, yes, and also the bad statistics traditional economists use to mislead America: The worst offender, GDP is a narrow, misleading measure of America’s long-term growth. And second, our obsessive focus on short-term numbers, daily stock closings, quarterly earnings, annual returns, is stunting America’s long-term growth.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]When I saw this I thought of the toy gun march scheduled for July 3, the march on all the capitals on July 4. This could lead into a potential false flag scenario with gun owners, stolen guns etc..[/stextbox]
The U.S. Park Police has lost track of a huge supply of handguns, rifles and shotguns, according to a report released Thursday on the law enforcement agency responsible for safeguarding the National Mall and critical American landmarks.
In the scathing report, the inspector general’s office of the Department of Interior faults staff at the agency for having no idea how many weapons they control and says the department has no clear policies or procedures for investigating missing weapons. The office said top managers, including the police chief, have shown a “lackadaisical attitude toward firearms management.”
“Historical evidence indicates that this indifference is a product of years of inattention to administrative detail and management principles,” deputy inspector general Mary Kendall wrote to Jonathan Jarvis, the director of the National Park Service, in a letter that accompanies the report.
While surveying Park Police field office armories, investigators found more than 1,400 extra and unassigned weapons that were intended to be destroyed. They also found 198 handguns that were transferred from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and stored in an operations facility firearms room without being recorded in an inventory system.
Investigators also found that an officer who had been detailed to President Obama’s inauguration in January retained a semi-automatic rifle without permission and stored it at his home. Another officer stored a shotgun at his home in San Francisco without permission, according to the report.
“We found credible evidence of conditions that would allow for theft and misuse of firearms, and the ability to conceal the fact if weapons were missing,” Kendall wrote.
The report, which was first reported by The Washington Post, concluded that the agency failed to fully investigate weapons it could not account for, including 18 pistols, shotguns, and rifles that were entered into a national database as missing or stolen.
As recently as April 2013, two automatic rifles were discovered during a firearms search at the agency’s aviation unit for which officials had no prior knowledge, the report states.
The watchdog agency said its report was triggered by an anonymous tip suggesting that the Park Police could not account for government-issued military-style weapons.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The bail-ins are working so well and the recovery is happening that Fitch had to downgrade Cyprus from CCC to Restricted Default. Every country should follow this, oh wait they are the template for Europe, England and America.[/stextbox]
Cyprus’s local-currency issuer rating was lowered to Restricted Default from CCC by Fitch Ratings after the nation completed an exchange of government bonds for longer-dated securites.
The downgrade reflects Fitch’s opinion that the swap constitutes a distressed debt exchange in line with its criteria, according to a statement issued by Fitch in London. The settlement date for the exchanged bonds is July 1 and shortly after that date the country will be raised to a rating that’s “likely to be low speculative grade,” Fitch said.
Cyprus yesterday offered to swap 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of domestic-law government bonds with new securities of equal coupon and maturities of five to 10 years. Fitch, which cut Cyprus’s rating to CCC on June 3, said it received confirmation from the Cypriot government that the exchange was completed today, according to the statement.
The country avoided a financial collapse in March by bowing to demands from creditors to shrink its banking system in exchange for a 10 billion-euro bailout from the euro area and International Monetary Fund. The bond exchange is part of commitments under the bailout and intended to facilitate cash-flow management, the Cypriot Finance Ministry said yesterday.
With foreign law bonds unaffected by the exchange, the long-term foreign currency issuer default rating was affirmed at B- with a negative outlook, Fitch said.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The government is building the propaganda about the cyber attacks hitting the power grid. A previous report issued in January warned that cyber threats to the energy sector were happening at “an alarming rate.” Be prepared something is about to happen[/stextbox]
The energy sector is reporting an enormous increase in the number of attempted cyber attacks in 2013, according to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security. Some of the new attempted attacks have included the industrial control systems of gas compression stations across the Midwest.
There were 111 cyber incidents reported by the energy sector during the six months ending in May 2013, compared to about 81 incidents reported in the preceding 12 months, according to the report issued by DHS’s Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT). A previous report issued in January warned that cyber threats to the energy sector were happening at “an alarming rate.” The new report indicated an emerging cyber threat actor involved in intrusions into both the energy and critical manufacturing sectors, but did not give any more details about whether it was a nation state actor or some other group.
Many governments around the world have realized that there is military advantage to infiltrating the critical energy infrastructure of potential future adversaries, said Ed Skoudis, an instructor with cyber security research and education organization SANS Institute. “Even networks that were well monitored before are getting attacked with increasing frequency,” Mr. Skoudis told CIO Journal.
Cyber incidents reported by the energy sector to DHS accounted for 53% of all incidents reported in the six months ending in May 2013. That’s up from 41% during the preceding 12 months.
In January and February of this year, DHS received a number of reports from companies that operate gas compressor stations. Those companies reported an increase in so-called brute force attempts to access their process control networks. Brute force attacks involve exhaustive trial and error to break a security system, often using automated tools. Those attempted attacks originated from 49 IP addresses but ultimately, none were successful.
Press TV has conducted an interview with Kamel Wazne, political commentator, about the former second ranking officer in the US military being probed for allegedly revealing details of the Stuxnet computer virus, which targeted Iran’s nuclear energy facilities. What follows is an approximate transcription of the interview.
Press TV: Mr. Wazne, first let address the issue of Stuxnet before we go to the revelations and what has that come up to. Do you think that this kind of cyber warfare that now the United States has admitted and actually carried out, can be in any way justified according to international law?
Wazne: Well obviously the United States launch every attack that can be against the Islamic Republic whether it’s for military implication or for media implication or for all kind of attacks that come or can be able to launch against the Iranian [Islamic] Republic, the United States is doing it.
But here it has more meaning because they come at the nuclear facility, the peaceful nuclear facility and this is a clear indication of the involvement of the United States on behalf of the Israelis to actually go after the facility commercial issues, of nature.
It is a peaceful commercial interest of the Iranian people and I guess by launching this investigation it tells in detail how the United States is involved by this new war called cyber attacks and this has opened the gateway for everybody to be engaged in this cyber war and the United States should be the first one to abide by allowing this free cyber place from any attack to that end.
Press TV: And we know Mr. Wazne that the United States has been speaking a lot against China and it has accused China of launching cyber attacks on its intelligence facilities, etc. but it is now clear that it’s on the same with Iran. So a lot of controversy again on its stance on this but also a lot of people have been saying whether we should consider these people who reveal these kinds of programs as traitors or as people who are sincerely concerned about these issues and want to reveal it to the world?
Wazne: Well obviously you hit the point because this is what the latest discussion that took place between the President of the United States and the President of China because there is a mutual accusation between the United States and China by using this cyberwar attack and this is probably, going to be the war to come.
I think the United States is using it heavily around the globe attacking everybody who the United States think they are enemies and they are using it as they use the drone war attacking people on the ground.
Here they are attacking the interest of other people in cyber space and I think the United States speaks in one tone and act in another way and this jeopardizes the whole agreement to have an internet free from any attack and I do not think the United States is abiding by that and this is a danger threat to the world stability because this is where most of the commerce take place.
Here we can have by cyber attack actually trying to destroy certain facility or circumvent others and this is I think it is a wake up call for the world not to allow this kind of attack on other countries because by doing that it is attacking the sovereignty of another nation.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Everyone started to dump the Treasury bonds after the FED announcement of tapering, so what did the FED to in stealth mode, increase the bond purchases, the bond bubble is getting bigger and bigger[/stextbox]
Yesterday the Fed released its latest balance sheet data: at $3,478,672,000,000, the Fed’s assets reached a new all time high of course, up $8 billion from the prior week and up $615 billion from last year – after all with 4 years almost in a row of debt monetization or maturity transformation, either the total holdings or the 10 Year equivalency of Bernanke’s hedge fund rise to new record highs week after week.
But that’s not the bad news: the bad news, at least for Bernanke, and why the Fed has no choice but to taper is monetizations (however briefly as following the next market crash Bernanke or his replacement Larry “Mr. Burns” Summers will be right back in) is that since the Treasury is about to print less paper (recall: lower budget deficit, if only briefly), and the Fed is monetizing the same relative amount of paper, the Treasurys in the private circulation book get less and less, as more high quality collateral is withdrawn by the Fed.
This is precisely what the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee warned against in May. This is also precisely why the Fed’s “data-dependent” taper announcement is pure and total hogwash: the Fed knows it can’t delay the delay (pardon the pun) of Treasury monetization as doing so only risks even further bond market volatility as less Treasury collateral remains in marketable circulation, and as liquidity evaporates with every incremental dollar purchased by the Fed instead of by the private sector.
So just how bad is the situation? Quite bad. As as of last night, courtesy of SMRA, we know that the amount of ten-year equivalents held by the Fed increased to $1.608 trillion from $1.606 trillion in the prior week, which reduces the amount available to the private sector to $3.603 trillion from $3.636 trillion in the prior week. There were $5.211 trillion ten-year equivalents outstanding, down from $5.242 trillion in the prior week.
After the Treasury issuance, maturing securities, rising interest rates, and Fed operations during the week, the Fed owned about 30.86% of the total outstanding ten year equivalents. This is above the 30.63% from the prior week, and the percentage of ten-year equivalents available to the private sector decreased to 69.14% from 69.37% in the prior week.
In other words, in 1 week the Fed’s “take over” of the bond market continued at a brisk pace of 23 bps, which is its average weekly uptake. This is roughly equivalent to 10% of total private collateral moving from private to Fed hands every year!
So basically every year that the Fed does not taper its purchases, Treasury issuance being equal (and it is declining), the Fed removes 10% of high quality collateral from the world’s biggest bond market.
And that, in a nutshell, is what Tapering is all about: the realization, and then the fear, of what happens if and when the Fed continues its monetizations of public debt to the point where there is so little left, that when a trade takes place the entire curve moves by 1%, 2%, 5%, 10% or more….
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The infrastructure is not only at risk from cyber attacks, emp blasts but from GPS disruptions. They are really building the case for a break down of the infrastructure.[/stextbox]
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has released an abbreviated fact sheet and a summary report on its evaluation of the risks to U.S. critical infrastructure from GPS disruptions.
The unsurprising “bottom line,” as the public summary put it: “U.S. critical infrastructure sectors are increasingly at risk from a growing dependency on GPS for positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) services. Such dependencies are not always apparent.”
The National Coordination Office for Space-Based PNT posted the documents on its website this week.
Among the “key judgments” in the public summary:
―GPS is increasingly integrated into sectors’ operations because it is accurate, available, reliable, and provided at no cost to users
―Awareness that GPS-supported applications are integrated in sector operations is somewhat limited, prompting the idea that GPS is a largely invisible utility
―Interdependencies exist between critical infrastructure sectors that use GPS.
Another conclusion: “Detecting, locating, and disabling sources of GPS disruption remain a challenge,” and remain a key, unfulfilled part of the mission that DHS was assigned more than nine years ago by a December 2004 presidential directive on U.S. Space-Based Positioning, Navigation, and Timing Policy.
Lack of funding and political urgency for that mission are the most common reasons given for the languishing effort to develop a GPS interference detection and mitigation capability in the United States.
Based on its investigation, the DHS assessed jamming disruptions to be more likely than spoofing incidents but said that the latter were “judged to be of higher consequence than jamming due to the potential duration of time before users or devices would detect spoofing.”
The latest DHS assessment stemmed from a November 2010 request from the National Executive Committee (ExCom) for Space-Based PNT (a Deputy Secretary-level interagency group that oversees PNT policy management) for a comprehensive risk assessment of the GPS signal. The DHS’s National Protection and Programs Directorate, Office of Infrastructure Protection, Homeland Infrastructure Threat and Risk Analysis Center (NPPD/IP/HITRAC) led the effort and coordinated the development of the “national risk estimate” (NRE) with the ExCom.
A “For Official Use Only” (FOFU) document, the NRE was released in November 2012 to “certain individuals who hold the proper clearance and access approval for the information.” It likely will play a role in a new White House effort reported by Inside GNSS last month to protect national critical infrastructure in which GPS is characterized as a “cross sector dependency” — that is, something essential to many, if not all, sectors of the critical infrastructure.
The NRE examined four critical infrastructure sectors (communications, emergency services, energy, and transportation systems) that derive PNT information from GPS to fulfill their missions. The FOFU document itself includes a classified annex that the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis produced “to assess availability of GPS jammers and threat actors’ capability and intent to disrupt GPS signals generally and for the four sectors.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]President Morsi is controlled by the US Government and they are doing everything in their power to stop a real uprising of the people. Their fear is that the people of Egypt will rise up and replace the puppet government and get rid of the central banks. The US can use this to their advantage to place troops, weapons and other assets in this area to fight the eventual war. [/stextbox]
Tens of thousands of supporters and opponents of President Morsi join protests across Egypt with violent clashes between the rival parties reported in Alexandria, where police used tear gas as one person was killed and over 70 got injured.
Security forces used tear gas to break up clashes between rival protesters in Alexandria, according to MENA news agency. Over 70 people were injured there. At least one person was killed by gunfire, a health official told Reuters.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in Alexandria were stormed by anti-Morsi demonstrators and set on fire, local media reported.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Most of the students today are defaulting on their student loans and many are having a tough time paying them. The reason is because the youth unemployment is around 50%, they cannot find jobs. So increasing the interest rate will only harder to pay and we will see increase defaults on loans.[/stextbox]
Seven million college students will see their student loan costs double on Monday, after a group of bipartisan lawmakers failed to agree on a plan to keep interest rates down.
The Senate adjourned for the July 4 recess on Thursday, but failed to keep interest rates on Stafford loans at the current 3.4 percent rate. The federally subsidized loans are set to expire on July 1, after which the interest rate cap will rise to 6.8 percent.
Congress’ Joint Economic Committee estimates that the average student will be paying $2,600 more starting July 1. On a $23,000 student loan repaid over 10 years, a student would be paying about $3,000 total interest.
“At one level it’s modest, but if you have an entry-level position or can’t find work, it starts to add up,” Terry Hartle, senior vice president of the American Council of Education, told Fox News.
In order to keep interest rates down, lawmakers would have to extend the cap, set a new one, or find another way to keep rates low. A bipartisan group of senators introduced the “Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act”, which would have secured a 1.85 percent interest rate on undergraduate Stafford Loans, a 3.4 percent rate on graduate loans, and a 4.4 percent rate on PLUS loans that are issued to parents of students. But after paying little attention to the issue for the past 11 months, lawmakers failed to agree on this proposal and spent the past few weeks arguing about a solution.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The government is building the case of why the internet is bad. Remember this is the only area of information they do not control and they need to control the blogger, alternative media from reporting other views of the news. So what they need to do is control the flow of information and by saying that the internet is the cause of the bombing they have started the process.[/stextbox]
What Dzhokhar Tsarnaev needed to learn to make explosives with a pressure cooker was at his fingertips in jihadist files on the Internet, according to a federal indictment accusing him of carrying out the bombings at the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured dozens more.
Investigators have been trying to determine whether Tsarnaev’s older brother, Tamerlan, who was killed while the two were on the run after the bombings, was influenced or trained by Islamic militants during a trip overseas. But the indictment released Thursday against 19-year-old Dzhokhar makes no mention of any overseas influence.
Before the attack, according to the indictment, he downloaded the summer 2010 issue of Inspire, an online English-language magazine published by al-Qaida. The issue detailed how to make bombs from pressure cookers, explosive powder extracted from fireworks and lethal shrapnel.
He also downloaded extremist Muslim literature, including “Defense of the Muslim Lands, the First Obligation After Imam,” which advocates “violence designed to terrorize the perceived enemies of Islam,” the indictment said. The article was written by the late Abdullah Azzam, whose legacy has inspired terrorist attacks in the Middle East.
Another tract downloaded — titled “The Slicing Sword, Against the One Who Forms Allegiances With the Disbelievers and Takes Them as Supporters Instead of Allah, His Messenger and the Believers” — included a foreword by Anwar al-Awlaki, an American propagandist for al-Qaida who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011.
The 30-count indictment provides one of the most detailed public explanations to date of the brothers’ alleged motive — Islamic extremism — and the role the Internet may have played in influencing them.
“Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s justice will be in the next world, but for his brother, accountability will begin right here in the district of Massachusetts,” Suffolk District Attorney Daniel Conley, whose jurisdiction includes Boston, said at a news conference with federal prosecutors on Thursday.
The indictment contains the bombing charges, punishable by the death penalty, that were brought in April against Tsarnaev, including use of a weapon of mass destruction to kill. It also contains many new charges covering the slaying of an MIT police officer and the carjacking of a motorist during the getaway attempt that left Tamerlan Tsarnaev dead.
U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz of Massachusetts said Attorney General Eric Holder will decide whether to pursue the death penalty against Tsarnaev, who will be arraigned on July 10. Three people were killed and more than 260 wounded by the two pressure-cooker bombs that went off near the finish line of the marathon on April 15.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was captured four days later, hiding in a boat parked in a backyard in Watertown, Mass. According to the indictment, he scrawled messages on the inside of the vessel that said, among other things, “The U.S. Government is killing our innocent civilians,” ”I can’t stand to see such evil go unpunished,” and “We Muslims are one body, you hurt one you hurt us all.”
The Tsarnaev brothers had roots in the turbulent Russian regions of Dagestan and Chechnya, which have become recruiting grounds for Muslim extremists. They had been living in the U.S. about a decade. There was no mention in the indictment of any larger conspiracy beyond the brothers, and no reference to any direct overseas contacts with extremists. Instead, the indictment suggests the Internet played an important role in the suspects’ radicalization.
6.28.13 – Horrific video of beheading raises questions of arms supply to Syrian rebels
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Lets think about this for a minute, the revolutionary people who are suppose to be Syrian are cutting off their own people’s heads. When the founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington etc where fighting against their government can you imagine them doing this to prove their point to the government. The US is now supporting this with weapons, the majority of these rebels are not Syrian and are paid mercenaries, this is why this does not look like a real revolution.[/stextbox]
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This seems like it would be another false flag event for the summer if all else fails. If Zimmerman is released and found innocent the riots like we saw during Rodney King might happen and the government can push this agenda into every city. Once all cities are rioting they could declare martial law.[/stextbox]
Yes, the George Zimmerman trial here has thousands of African-Americans getting ready for some serious bloodletting.
I don’t want to make idle and dire predictions but this nation has never been so divided and racially sensitive. Or African-American President took sides on this case at the very beginning. That ratified a George Zimmerman guilty verdict in the minds of millions.
There’s just one little problem, and that is the murder case should have never been filed. It was filed purely for political reasons despite the fact that it was a simple justifiable homicide.
Zimmerman was the block watch lookout program and followed a suspicious Trayvon Martin after he used an improper entrance to a gated community. Zimmerman was acting at the eyes and ears of the Sanford Police Department. Martin did not like being followed and knew that he could easily beat up the out-of-shape Zimmerman and did so.
The force was unequal and Zimmerman was getting his head pounded on the concrete sidewalk. Zimmerman was fighting for his life when he removed his Kel-Tec pistol and put a round into Martin’s chest.
The Sanford Police Department investigated the shooting and had no probable cause to arrest Zimmerman who regrettably cooperated with them fully. They made no arrest.
The Leftist gun rights hating media and African-American agitators could not wait to exploit this sad story. They used angelic pictures of Martin from his childhood and even broadcast doctored 911 tapes to make Zimmerman appear racist.
The propaganda fairy tale was so simple. An unarmed youngster was merely skipping along in an apartment complex carrying tea and candy. The lad was suddenly murdered by an armed monster stalking him because of his skin color.
It was the Seminole County Prosecutor that buckled under the political pressure and brought forward a wrongful prosecution feeding the propaganda. The case is now on trial and is set to end at the hottest point in our summer season.
The family produced a “star” witness, Rachel Jeantel who was on the phone with Martin at the time of the attack and subsequent shooting. Jeantel is a very slow-witted girl that was schooled by the Martin family and possibly their civil lawyer on what she should tell authorities.
The family and prosecutors soon claimed that Jeantel “Connected all the dots to this vicious racially motivated murder.” Unfortunately for Jeantel the dots all scattered everywhere today in court.
Jeantel tried her best to pull off the charade but could not keep her lies straight from one moment to the next. Today she had a very painful afternoon on the witness stand not only admitting lies, but she got caught red-handed in a perjury trap. They are far from being through with her yet!
The media and prosecutors claimed that Zimmerman was a ruthless vigilante that was racially profiling and stalking African-Americans to kill. They redundantly said he violated orders from the Sanford Police Department employees.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]As you can see this has nothing to do with humanitarian reasons, helping the revolution, it is about setting up a government and a central bank and switching the country back onto the petro-dollar.[/stextbox]
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“There are three possible outcomes. An Assad victory. A Sunni victory. Or an outcome in which the various nationalities agree to co-exist together but in more or less autonomous regions, so that they can’t oppress each other. That’s the outcome I would prefer to see. But that’s not the popular view.”[/stextbox]
After being introduced by the chair as “the honorable Dr. Kissinger”, the 90-year old power-broker began an interesting history lesson. Kissinger detailed how the current state of Syria was designed by European powers, as is the case with the neighboring state of Iraq:
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“First of all, Syria is not a historic state. It was created in its present shape in 1920, and it was given that shape in order to facilitate the control of the country by France, which happened to be after UN mandate. The neighboring country Iraq was also given an odd shape, that was to facilitate control by England. And the shape of both of the countries was designed to make it hard for either of them to dominate the region.”[/stextbox]
As a result of Syria’s a-historical origins, Kissinger explained, the current Syria was conceived as a more or less artificial national unity consisting of different tribes and ethnic groups. As the recent “revolution” is further spiraling into chaos, Kissinger comments on the nature of the current situation:
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“In the American press it’s described as a conflict between democracy and a dictator- and the dictator is killing his own people, and we’ve got to punish him. But that’s not what’s going on. It may have been started by a few democrats. But on the whole it’s an ethnic and sectarian conflict.”
“It is now a civil war between sectarian groups”, Kissinger went on to state. “And I have to say we have misunderstood it from the beginning. If you read our media they say: we’ve got to get rid of Assad. And if we get rid of Assad, then we form a coalition government. Inconceivable. I’m all in favour of getting rid of Assad, but the dispute between us and the Russians on that issue, was that the Russians say: you start with getting rid of not just Assad, that’s not the issue, but you break up the state administration and you’ll wind up like in Iraq- that there is nothing to hold it together. And then you’ll have an even worse civil war. This is how that mess has taken the present form.”[/stextbox]
Kissinger has commented previously on the desirability of breaking up dissenting nations into smaller fragments, after which the emerging chaos may facilitate their introduction into a global order. This, in essence, is the rule of divide and conquer. These recent comments by Kissinger are in step with previous statements in which he promulgates the idea that social upheaval and mass civil unrest are to be used as a means of merging nations (including, by the way, the United States) into an “international system”.
Residents of High River are furious after finding out that cops have forced their way into their homes and seized their firearms while they are blocked from returning to their town.
Firearms experts say police do not have the right to enter homes without a warrant and take property, flooding or no flooding.
“This is without precedent, this is unreasonable search and seizure,” said Ed Burlew, lawyer and firearms specialist in Ontario. “The entry was illegal, it’s against the charter, it was unreasonable search and seizure. There’s no judge that would uphold the evidence obtained through an illegal entry into a person’s home.”
RICK BELL: Tensions high in High River as Mounties seize guns from evacuees’ homes
Political leaders say since there is an emergency, police should do what they have to do.
“These are exceptional circumstances, in an emergency situation we have to have our police ensuring that there is law and order,” said Premier Alison Redford late Thursday.
The feds say the police were trying to keep the guns safe.
“We have been advised that during the course of searching for individuals unable to make their way to safety, the RCMP discovered firearms that were insecurely stored. Those firearms will be held safely by the RCMP and will be returned to their owners as soon as possible,” said Andrew McGrath, spokesman for the Ministry of Public Safety.
Legal experts say an emergency is no excuse to enter someone’s home and seize their property.
POLL: Did police have the right to confiscate these guns?
“There is no special provision in the Criminal Code that allows the police to enter the homes of gun owners during a time of an emergency,” said Solomon Friedman, lawyer and firearms specialist in Ottawa. “The firearms act is often used by police as a pretext to gain access to private residences that they would not be able to gain access to, the ironic thing here is that if these people were convicted pedophiles the police would not be allowed to enter their homes without warrant, it’s kind of sad that gun owners have to fight for the same rights as any convicted criminals.”
The annual renewal of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is underway on Capitol Hill.
On June 14, by a vote of 315-108, the House of Representatives passed the Fiscal Year 2014 version of the NDAA (HR 1960). Several amendments to the defense spending legislation were proposed, many of which were approved either by voice vote or en bloc. The first method of voting requires no report on how individual members voted, while the second method aggregates amendments, allowing them to be voted on in groups.
A few of the amendments represent significant improvements to the NDAA of 2012 and 2013. The acts passed for those years infamously permitted the president to deploy U.S. military troops to apprehend and indefinitely detain any American he alone believed to be aiding enemies of the state.
While the 2014 iteration doesn’t go far enough in pushing the federal beast back inside its constitutional cage, there are at least a few congressmen willing to try to crack the whip and restore constitutional separation of powers and shore up a few of the fundamental liberties suspended by the NDAA of the past two years.
First, there is the amendment offered by Representative Trey Radel (R-Fla.). Radel’s amendment requires the Department of Defense to submit to the Congress a report every year containing: (1) the names of any U.S. citizens subject to military detention, (2) the legal justification for their continued detention, and (3) the steps the Executive Branch is taking to either provide them some judicial process, or release them. Requires that an unclassified version of the report be made available, and in addition, that the report must be made available to all members of Congress.
Global Derivatives Market Has Already Suffered A Staggering $300 Trillion of Losses, Fed Lost $151 Billion in Bond Values, Gold Drops Below $1,200, Smart Money Is Heading For The Exits!!!
Jim Rogers: “This Is Too Insane–And I’m Afraid We’re All Going To Suffer For The Rest Of This Decade”
When asked about the explosive riots occurring in Brazil, Jim warned to prepare for much more, in that, “This is the first time in history where you’ve had all the central banks in the world printing money at the same time. Europe, Japan, America, and the UK, all, are frantically trying to debase their currencies…I’m afraid that in the end, we’re all going to suffer perhaps, worse then we ever have, with inflation, currency turmoil, and higher interest rates. As I say, this has never happened before, it’s never been a good policy in the long run, so I’m afraid we’re all going to suffer for the rest of this decade from this crazy, crazy money printing.”
$300 Trillion In Derivatives Losses To Lead Gold’s Rebound
Today Egon von Greyerz warned King World News that the global derivatives market has already suffered a staggering $300 trillion of losses. These massive derivatives losses, which are being hidden from the public, will help lead the rebound in gold as it begins the next of its bull market. Below is what Greyerz, who is founder of Matterhorn Asset Management out of Switzerland, had to say in this powerful interview.
Greyerz: “A few years ago when the problems in Greece started, it was found that the Goldman Sachs had helped them to hide the real truth of their economy by a major derivatives positions.
Now we’ve found out that Italy has done exactly the same thing. They took out derivatives in order to meet euro criteria back in the late 1990s. They had a total of $31 billion of derivatives and now they are finding that at least $8 billion of that is worthless. That’s about 30% of the entire position….
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The government is now building files on those people they will go after during the economic collapse. We are now living in a surveillance state. Our Constitutional rights are almost gone, your privacy is gone, many people on their lists, DHS working with Blackwater will be the force that the government uses to execute orders to round up the people on the lists.Welcome to Nazi Germany during WWII[/stextbox]
Judicial Watch announced today that it has obtained records from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) revealing that the agency has spent millions of dollars for the warrantless collection and analysis of Americans’ financial transactions. The documents also reveal that CFPB contractors may be required to share the information with “additional government entities.”
The records were obtained pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed on April 24, 2013, following the April 23 Senate Banking Committee testimony of CFPB Director Richard Cordray. The documents uncovered by Judicial Watch include:
Overlapping contracts with multiple credit reporting agencies and accounting firms to gather, store, and share credit card data as shown in the task list of a contract with Argus Information & Advisory Services LLC worth $2.9 million
Deloitte Consulting: solicitation issue date 11/30/2011, award effective date 05/29/2012;
Deloitte Consulting: solicitation issue date 11/30/2011, award effective date 05/29/2012;
Argus: solicitation issue date 02/14/2012, award effective date 03/15/2012;
Experian: solicitation issue date 07/03/2012, award effective date 09/24/2012
An “indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity” contract with Experian worth up to $8,426,650 to track daily consumer habits of select individuals without their awareness or consent
$4,951,333 for software and instruction paid to Deloitte Consulting LLP
A provision stipulating that “The contractor recognizes that, in performing this requirement, the Contractor may obtain access to non-public, confidential information, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), or proprietary information.”
A stipulation that “The Contractor may be required to share credit card data collected from the Banks with additional government entities as directed by the Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR).”
The full extent of the CFPB personal financial data collection program is revealed in a document obtained by Judicial Watch entitled “INDEFINITE-DELIVERY INDEFINITY-QUANTITY (IDIQ) STATEMENT OF WORK.” Issued by CFPB Contracting Officer Xiaoling Ang on July 3, 2012 the IDIQ document’s stated objective: “The CFPB seeks to acquire and maintain a nationally representative panel of credit information on consumers for use in a wide range of policy research projects… The panel shall be a random sample of consumer credit files obtains from a national database of credit files.”
To accomplish this objective, the CFPB describes the scope of the program accordingly:
The panel shall include 5 million consumers, and joint borrowers, co-signers, and authorized users [emphasis added]. The initial panel shall contain 10 years of historical data on a quarterly basis [emphasis added]. The initial sample shall be drawn from current records and historical data appended for that sample as well as additional samples during the intervening years [emphasis added] to make the combines sample representative at each point in time.
The CFPB data collection program has been highly controversial since the April 2013 hearing, when Cordray disclosed elements of the venture at a Senate Banking Committee hearing. At the time, the US Chamber of Commerce accused the CFPB of breaking the law by demanding the account-level data without a warrant or National Security Letter.
“The Obama administration’s warrantless collection of the private financial information of millions of Americans is mind-blowing. Is there anything that this administration thinks it can’t do?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “These documents show that the Consumer Financial Protection Board is an out-of-control government agency that threatens the fundamental privacy and financial security of Americans. This is every bit as serious as the controversy over the NSA’s activities.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Our entire way of life is changing and most of the people don’t even see it. When people are using their Constitutional rights to protests and the government deems is necessary to spy and maybe even kill these peaceful protesters the government is walking down a dark path [/stextbox]
Would you be shocked to learn that the FBI apparently knew that some organization, perhaps even a law enforcement agency or private security outfit, had contingency plans to assassinate peaceful protestors in a major American city — and did nothing to intervene?
Would you be surprised to learn that this intelligence comes not from a shadowy whistle-blower but from the FBI itself – specifically, from a document obtained from Houston FBI office last December, as part of a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by the Washington, DC-based Partnership for Civil Justice Fund?
To repeat: this comes from the FBI itself. The question, then, is: What did the FBI do about it?
Remember the Occupy Movement? The peaceful crowds that camped out in the center of a number of cities in the fall of 2011, calling for some recognition by local, state and federal authorities that our democratic system was out of whack, controlled by corporate interests, and in need of immediate repair?
That movement swept the US beginning in mid-September 2011. When, in early October, the movement came to Houston, Texas, law enforcement officials and the city’s banking and oil industry executives freaked out perhaps even more so than they did in some other cities. The push-back took the form of violent assaults by police on Occupy activists, federal and local surveillance of people seen as organizers, infiltration by police provocateurs—and, as crazy as it sounds, some kind of plot to assassinate the “leaders” of this non-violent and leaderless movement.
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what the document obtained from the Houston FBI, said:
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified [DELETED] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles. (Note: protests continued throughout the weekend with approximately 6000 persons in NYC. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests have spread to about half of all states in the US, over a dozen European and Asian cities, including protests in Cleveland (10/6-8/11) at Willard Park which was initially attended by hundreds of protesters.)[/stextbox]
Occupiers Astounded—But Not Entirely
Paul Kennedy, the National Lawyers Guild attorney in Houston who represented a number of Occupy Houston activists arrested during the protests, had not heard of the sniper plot, but said, “I find it hard to believe that such information would have been known to the FBI and that we would not have been told about it.” He then added darkly, “If it had been some right-wing group plotting such an action, something would have been done. But if it is something law enforcement was planning, then nothing would have been done. It might seem hard to believe that a law enforcement agency would do such a thing, but I wouldn’t put it past them.”
He adds, “The use of the phrase ‘if deemed necessary,’ sounds like it was some kind of official organization that was doing the planning.” In other words, the “identified [DELETED” mentioned in the Houston FBI document may have been some other agency with jurisdiction in the area, which was calculatedly making plans to kill Occupy activists.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This is directly related to what Naomi Wolf said, point number 8 control the press.[/stextbox]
The US Army confirmed on Thursday that access to The Guardian newspaper’s website has been filtered and restricted for its personnel. The policy is due to classified documents described in detail in the stories.
Gordon Van Vleet, spokesman for the Army Network Enterprise Technology Command, or NETCOM, said in an email to the Monterey Herald that the Army is filtering “some access to press coverage and online content about the NSA leaks.”
The spokesman said the procedure was routine part of “network hygiene” measures to prevent unauthorized disclosures of sensitive information.
“We make every effort to balance the need to preserve information access with operational security,” he wrote, “however there are strict policies and directives in place regarding protecting and handling classified information.”
“Until declassified by appropriate officials, classified information – including material released through an unauthorized disclosure – must be treated accordingly by DoD personnel,” Van Vleet explained.
In a later phone conversation he clarified that the filtering was “Armywide” rather than restricted to some US Army facilities.
Van Vleet said NETCOM, which is part of the Army Cyber Command, does not determine what sites its personnel can have access to, but “relies on automated filters that restrict access based on content concerns or malware threats.”
The Guardian’s website has posted classified information regarding the NSA’s surveillance activities, including PRISM, the massive domestic spying program that has Internet companies collude with military intelligence to keep tabs on Americans’ online habits.
The source of the leaks is Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and ex-staff member of a private contractor working for the NSA, who disclosed secret documents about US surveillance to several newspapers, including The Guardian.
The Herald inquired about the issue after staff at the Presidio of Monterey, a military installation in California, told the newspaper that they were able to access The Guardian’s US site, www.guardiannews.com, but were prevented from accessing articles on the NSA that redirected to the British site.
Check what Goldman, Cramer, and the FED governors are saying.
Obviously, trying the prop up the market before July 4th.
Trying to inflate it so they can sell into.
After the 4th, could be a major correction; especially since earnings reports come out in full force then.
I expect to see ugly numbers from some influential institutions.
Stay tuned for updates.
Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein said Thursday the markets’ big selloff was an overreaction to news the Federal Reserve may slow its bond purchases later this year.
In the aftermath of the record cash crunch in the Chinese interbank market, many financial institutions in China and abroad have been hoping that the PBOC would either end its stance of aloof detachment or at least break its vow of silence and if not act then at a minimum promise good times ahead. Alas, despite repeated confusion in various press reports that it has done that, it hasn’t aside from the occasional “behind the scenes” bank bailout. And at today’s Lujiazui Financial Forum, PBOC governor Zhou Xiaochuan kept the status quo saying the central bank will adjust liquidity “at the proper time to ensure market stability.” That time, however, is not now.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Very interesting that they switched the drill to July 18th. All other articles point to Friday June 28th. Seems like something is up. Changing the date at the last minute very suspicious. The date has been changed according to SIFMA[/stextbox]
Concerned that Wall Street is a likely target for a large-scale cyber-attack, the industry is set to drill its firms to determine its chances of preventing a devastating stock market crash.
Participants are not being informed ahead of time what the exercise will entail—giving current security systems among firms and the government a full test.
The training scenario, called Quantum Dawn 2, is coordinated by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), a trade group representing the securities firms, banks, and asset managers. The drill will be conducted on July 18.
According to Doug Johnson, vice president of risk management policy at American Bankers Association, who was part of the planning for Quantum Dawn 2, while the government is an active partner in the exercise, “What Quantum Dawn represents is us taking the lead.”
The financial sector is part of the nation’s critical infrastructures necessary for keeping the nation running, and therefore key targets for terrorist or military attacks. These include financial institutions, the energy grid, and transportation networks. The training scenario will test whether firms will effectively communicate crucial information about an attack in time to prevent significant damage.
The focus of the exercise is emblematic of the new threats facing businesses today. Just two years ago, the first Quantum Dawn simulated a more conventional attack on the financial sector—a group of armed militants attacking Wall Street with bombs and automatic weapons—similar to the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India.
Participants included New York Stock Exchange, NASDAQ, JP Morgan Chase, Federal Reserve, the U.S. Treasury, the Department of Homeland Security, Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and others.
The upcoming real-time drill will require firms to work together with the government while trying to prevent a simulated stock market from crashing. It will take place solely on computer screens.
6.27.13 – 50 YEAR OLD CARTOON PREDICTS THE FUTURE !!! NWO !!!
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Since North Korea is purchasing oil from Iran which by passes the US dollar the US government is trying everything they can to stop this from happening. By putting sanctions on the US government and the central bankers hope to sway North Korea to purchase oil from another country that uses the reserve currency[/stextbox]
The Obama administration said on Thursday it was sanctioning North Korea’s Daedong Credit Bank for its role in supporting Pyongyang’s weapons of mass destruction program.
The U.S. Treasury said Daedong Credit Bank has been providing financial services to the Korea Mining Developing Trading Corp, or KOMID, which it said was Pyongyang’s premier arms dealer, and the Tanchon Commercial Bank, or TCB, its main financial arm.
“Since at least 2007, Daedong Credit Bank has facilitated hundreds of financial transactions worth millions of dollars on behalf of KOMID and TCB,” the Treasury said. “In some cases, (it) had knowingly facilitated transactions by using deceptive financial practices.”
The Treasury said it was also sanctioning a Daedong front company called DCB Financial Limited, that company’s representative, Kim Chol Sam, and Son Mun San, the external affairs bureau chief of North Korea’s Bureau of Atomic Energy.
It said the front company had carried out international financial transactions as a way to avoid scrutiny by institutions trying to avoid doing business with North Korea.
The action generally prohibits U.S. citizens from engaging in any transactions with the entities or persons targeted, and freezes any assets they might have in the United States.
The fresh set of sanctions follows a decision by the United States in March to target North Korean’s Foreign Trade Bank, its main foreign exchange institution, to try to choke off cash to the government in Pyongyang.
Banks in the European Union have been reluctant to do business with FTB in the wake of the U.S. sanctions, and China’s biggest foreign exchange bank, the Bank of China, closed FTB’s account.
Treasury Under Secretary David Cohen told reporters on a conference call that he expects banks outside the United States to continue to limit or terminate their dealings with the sanctioned banks. “Being exposed to a financial institution like Daedong Credit Bank exposes those financial institutions to real risk, in particular reputational risk,” he said.
The US and Japan are preparing for a possible Chinese invasion of the Senkaku Islands. Using a small island off the coast of California, US and Japanese forces are mimicking an armed invasion and an amphibious assault to prepare for a real-life scenario.
The unprecedented drills, code-named Dawn Blitz, are being conducted on San Clemente Island, which is 75 miles northwest of San Diego, the Christian Science Monitor reports. They began with an assault led by 80 US Marines and three MV-22 Osprey aircraft, and were followed by a Japanese counterattack using 1,000 troops and two warships. Although Japanese officials claim they are not preparing to target a third country, the exercises have made Chinese officials uncomfortable.
China and Japan have long disputed the Senkaku Islands, which are located in the East China Sea but which the Japanese government purchased from private owners in 2012. The islands are uninhabited, but believed to hold rich oil and gas deposits. The purchase triggered violent protests that tens of thousands of Chinese took part in, and harmed Sino-Japanese relations.
In the months after the purchase, the Chinese navy practiced military exercises near the islands, and joint US-Japanese naval drills subsequently occurred in the waters of the island chain. The latest drills off the California coast are only adding to tensions regarding the Senkaku Islands. Chinese officials reportedly objected to the drills, but their concerns were ignored by Washington, the Christian Science Monitor reports.
“We’re aware of China’s objections, but from a Japanese and US perspective, the object of the exercise is to build a powerful deterrent and demonstrate that the two forces are seamlessly connected – to show the Chinese that they are battle-ready,” an official source familiar with Dawn Blitz told the Monitor on condition of anonymity. “There is nothing unusual in that.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Going back to 1913 the entire plan was to control the press, those who control the money and control the flow of information rules the world. So over the years the central bankers and government needed to control all information, so they consolidated all news agencies into 5 which receive the majority of news stories from the Associated Press. Perfect system. Then the internet was born and bloggers, alternative media channels were created and they cannot control the flow of information anymore. To control the flow they need to create laws and they will decide who can report on news.[/stextbox]
Is each of Twitter’s 141 million users in the United States a journalist? How about the 164 million Facebook users? What about bloggers, people posting on Instagram, or users of online message boards like Reddit?
In 1972 — long before anyone had conceived of tweets or Facebook updates — the Supreme Court, in Branzburg v. Hayes, considered whether journalists have a special privilege under the First Amendment to withhold the identity of their sources. Paul Branzburg, a reporter in Louisville, Ky., had written a series of articles about drug use in Kentucky that included anonymous quotes from drug users and a photograph of a pair of hands holding hashish. A grand jury ordered Branzburg to reveal the names of his sources. He refused and was held in contempt.
In Branzburg’s case, the Supreme Court ruled that there was no absolute privilege for journalists to refuse to reveal sources to a grand jury. The ruling did, however, seem to recognize a qualified privilege for journalists. Today, some federal courts recognize a qualified privilege for journalists, while others do not.
The vagueness of this decision has led 49 states, including Illinois, to recognize a journalist privilege by statute or common law. These laws state that a protected journalist cannot be compelled to disclose sources or documents unless a judge determines there is an extraordinary circumstance or compelling public interest.
But who should be considered to be a journalist?
For a few years now, a bill to protect journalists from revealing their sources and documents has been making its way through Congress. With no current federal statute recognizing a privilege for journalists, the so-called “media shield” law attempts to establish one.
Everyone, regardless of the mode of expression, has a constitutionally protected right to free speech. But when it comes to freedom of the press, I believe we must define a journalist and the constitutional and statutory protections those journalists should receive.
The media informs the public and holds government accountable. Journalists should have reasonable legal protections to do their important work. But not every blogger, tweeter or Facebook user is a “journalist.” While social media allows tens of millions of people to share information publicly, it does not entitle them to special legal protections to ignore requests for documents or information from grand juries, judges or other law enforcement personnel.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]So basically the government is building (probably already exists) a private network so they can communicate when the internet goes down from a cyber attack. It will be completely separate and secure and the government will have the ability to use it. They are continuing the propaganda that the Chinese are responsible for the cyber attacks and that most banks, financial institutions and companies are vulnerable to attacks. As always the mention the attacks on infrastructure, which includes power, water etc….[/stextbox]
The Defense Department is rewriting the rules of engagement for responding to computer assaults on military networks, Army General Martin Dempsey, the top U.S. military official said today.
To ensure that the military “is able to operate at network speed, rather than what I call ‘swivel-chair’ speed, we now have a playbook for cyber,” Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in prepared remarks for a conference in Washington. Those rules are being updated for the first time in seven years to improve command and control for military forces responsible for defending against cyber-attacks, he said.
Under directions issued by President Barack Obama that spell out how different parts of the U.S. government must respond to an attack on networks, the Pentagon “has developed emergency procedures to guide our response to imminent, significant cyberthreats,” Dempsey said at the event organized by the Brookings Institution.
Efforts to consolidate the Defense Department’s “sprawling mass” of 15,000 networks include “building a secure 4G wireless network that will get iPads, iPhones and Android devices online by mid-2014,” Dempsey said.
“In fact I have a secure mobile phone with me here today,” he said. “This phone would make both Batman and James Bond jealous.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this month cited “the growing threat of cyber-intrusions, some of which appear to be tied to the Chinese government and military.” His predecessor, Leon Panetta, said last year that “a cyber-attack perpetrated by nation states or violent extremist groups could be as destructive as the terrorist attack of 9/11.”
While the U.S. military has made significant progress in being able to defend against attacks on its networks, “our nation’s effort to protect civilian critical infrastructure is lagging,” Dempsey said. “Too few companies have invested adequately in cybersecurity,” which may allow adversaries to exploit weaknesses, he said.
Since Dempsey became chairman of the Joint Chiefs in October 2011, intrusions into U.S. critical infrastructure, including computer systems that operate chemical, electrical, water and transportation systems,“ have increased 17-fold,” he said.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]It seems the world is waking up and countries are starting to realize what is really going on. If you look at the statement of the Ecuador President he refers to the World Order is “Injust” and “Immoral’. He knows what is happening and letting the US know that he knows.[/stextbox]
It seems things are not going to according to plan for the US…
*ECUADOR PRESIDENT CORREA COMMENTS ON SNOWDEN CASE IN LOS RIOS
*ECUADOR’S CORREA SAYS WORLD ORDER ‘UNJUST’ AND ‘IMMORAL’
*CORREA SAYS U.S. GROUPS CAN’T ‘TERRORIZE’ ECUADOR WITH THREATS
*ECUADOR WON’T ACCEPT ‘PRESSURE OR THREATS FROM ANYONE’
*ECUADOR SAYS U.S. THREATS ‘CLEAR ATTACK’ AGAINST SOVEREINGTY.
We suspect it will be a while until the US gets its case read..
The biggest single most important item in the GDP report yesterday was the collapse in disposable income for Americans.
Most investors will focus on the drop in GDP growth for 1Q13 and view it as opening the door for the Fed to continue with QE 3 and QE 4 without any tapering in sight.
After all, the markets have believed that bad economic news is good news for the markets for four years based on the belief that a weak economy will mean more money printing from the Fed.
However, the real issue in the BEA’s report on GDP growth was the collapse in real per capita disposable income which fell at a annualized rate of 9.21%.
That is a truly staggering collapse in incomes. The last time we say anything even close to this was in the third quarter of 2008.
That was right after Lehman failed and the entire economy and stock market were melting down. Buckle up, things are getting worse in the US at a truly alarming rate.
I’ve been warning subscribers of Private Wealth Advisory that the economy was going to turn sharply weaker this year. It’s already begun.
Indeed, while most investors will look at the GDP report as indicating more QE is coming, commodities certainly didn’t get that signal at all. The commodity index continues to plunge diverging wildly from the S&P 500
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Lets break this down, the neighboring countries have central banks and these countries are trading oil to other countries in the US dollar. The troops are needed to protect the puppet government from the people in these countries. The uprising in Iraq, Turkey.Lebanon and Egypt are worrying the central bankers and the US government. So they use the cover up of training teams. [/stextbox]
US military commanders are examining ways the US could bolster security in Syria’s neighboring countries, and have recommended sending military trainers to Lebanon and Iraq.
Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, on Wednesday revealed US plans to strengthen military assistance in Lebanon and Iraq as the conflict in Syria begins to spill over its borders. Dempsey noted that Iraq is suffering the re-emergence of al-Qaeda. Terrorist fighters, including members of the al Nusra Front, are crossing from Iraq into Syria, he said.
“We’ve made a recommendation that as we look at the challenges faced by the Lebanese armed forces, the Iraqi security forces with a re-emerging al Qaeda in Iraq, and the Jordanians, that we would work with them to help them build additional capability,” Dempsey told reporters at the Pentagon on Wednesday.
To strengthen US security assistance in the region, he recommends that the US accelerate arms sales and send military training teams to Lebanon and Iraq. He already asked Gen. Lloyd Austin, the head of the US Central Command, to consider small deployments in upcoming weeks, Dempsey spokesman Col. Edward Thomas told CNN.
Thomas said that “it’s in the realm of the possible” that training teams will be sent back into Iraq – a move that would mark the first significant deployment since the US withdrew its troops in 2011. Dempsey emphasized that the US was not sending combat troops into Lebanon or Iraq, but noted that a Patriot missile battery and about a dozen F-16 fighter jets had already been left in Jordan, bringing the total number of American forces in the country to 1,000.
“Militarily, what we’re doing is assisting our partners in the region, the neighbors of Syria, to ensure that they’re prepared to account for the potential spillover effects,” Dempsey said during Pentagon briefing. “As you know, we’ve just taken a decision to leave some Patriot missile batteries and some F-16s in Jordan as part of the defense of Jordan. We’re working with our Iraqi counterparts, the Lebanese Armed Forces and Turkey through NATO.”
Lawrence Morrissey of Rockford, Illinois has left MAIG as reported by US News:
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]
“I’ve dropped out of a group called Mayors Against Illegal Guns,” Morrissey said at a June 22 town hall meeting, to loud applause. “The reason why I joined the group in the first place is because I took the name for what it said – against ‘illegal’ guns.”
In Rockford – Illinois’ third-largest city, with more than 150,000 residents – gun crime infrequently involves assault weapons, Morrissey said, but often involves handguns that are “usually in the hands of people who are prohibited from having them,” particularly convicted felons.
Morrissey joined MAIG because “I thought it was about enforcement of [the] existing gun laws” against illegal weapons, the three-term mayor said. “As the original mission swayed, that’s when I decided that it was no longer in line with my beliefs.”
Morrissey makes a compelling case.
A second Mayor has also come forward to tell a similar tale. This is not about enforcing gun laws. It is about changing them. Donnalee Lozeau of Nashua, NH took offense to the personal attacks on Kelly Ayotte as well as coming to the common sense conclusion that this was not about “illegal” guns.
The New Hampshire Union Leader reports:
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]
Lozeau told the New Hampshire Union Leader she joined the group after extensively researching it at the suggestion of a neighbor, following the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Connecticut.
She said she felt, “How could anyone have too much heartburn about joining a group that’s against illegal guns?”
But when she saw the group’s first ad criticizing Ayotte, “I said, ‘Wait a minute, I don’t want to be part of something like that.’ I told them, “You’re mayors against illegal guns, you’re not mayors for gun control.’
“I left the group immediately upon seeing the first ad. I don’t think I even made three weeks,” she said.
“I can’t imagine there is any mayor in the United States who is not against illegal guns,” Lozeau said. “There is no question that I and Nashua’s law enforcement community are interested in keeping firearms from those not legally entitled to bear them.
“Nowhere within the literature of this group was there any indication that there would be campaigns against members of Congress, particularly around issues that were not related to illegal guns,” said Lozeau. “I have known Sen. Ayotte for many years in many capacities, including her time as New Hampshire’s Attorney General. Senator Ayotte is a thoughtful, effective, decisive and hardworking advocate for victims and law enforcement.”
Kelly Ayotte got some help from Marco Rubio and his PAC to counter Bloomberg’s attack ads. In the end that might have been why Ayotte changed her mind on immigration. But she did stand strong in the heat of battle for a short time. Either way Lozeau also has a very valid argument. I am just not entirely sure how Ayotte might vote the next time. Be warned America. Kelly Ayotte can no longer be trusted.
So what is an illegal gun? If you ask someone who understands the intent of the second amendment they would have to think hard to find an answer to that question. I suppose that keeping guns out of the hands of criminals and those with dangerous mental defects is common sense. If you ask Michael Bloomberg what an illegal gun is he would likely say “All of them!”
Michael Bloomberg is trying to rewrite the constitution, not enforce it. It’s good to see a couple of Mayors come to their senses and get out. For the record Lozeau is in fact a Republican but Morrissey is an Independent.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This was planned way before the red line was crossed. Remember they (government | central bankers) need to get this war started. More and more countries are dumping the dollar and not using it for trade while the US is trying to put countries back on the dollar as the reserve currency. The US thinks if they can get Syria and Iran back trading on the US dollar and implement central banks in these countries everything will be ok. Russia and China are standing in their way and the American people are not up for another war. So what do they need to do next a false flag to get the American people begging for war[/stextbox].
The CIA is stockpiling arms in Jordan for US-trained Syrian rebels, which they will use in an offensive against Damascus starting August, according to The Wall Street Journal. Up to hundreds of fighters are to be armed and sent to the battlefield monthly.
The intelligence agency had stored Soviet-made arms at a network of secret warehouses in advance of the Obama administration’s decision to provide military assistance to the militants fighting against the government of Bashar Assad, the newspaper reports. The weapons include anti-tank missiles, which may be handed over to the Syrian rebels.
The CIA was chosen to deliver arms to the Syrian revels to limit public disclosures and restrict oversight to a small group of lawmakers, who would oversee the clandestine operation, the report explains.
Other countries may join the US program for arming the rebels. Washington is in talks with France about pre-positioning European-procured weapons in Jordan. Saudi Arabia is expected to provide some portable anti-aircraft weapons as well, the WSJ says.
The weapons are meant for Syrian rebels trained by US instructors, the report says. The CIA says it has an “elaborate” vetting system, which will supposedly prevent the American-trained and armed fighters from joining jihadist forces among the anti-Assad troops. The agency may co-opt aid from the US special operations forces and similar units in other countries like Jordan and the United Arab Emirates to train the rebels, the report says.
Up to several hundred troops may be sent into Syrian territory every month under the program, the newspaper says, citing diplomatic sources. The rebel troops will be deployed starting early August and will need four to five months before making “a meaningful difference” in the Syrian civil war, unnamed US officials told WSJ.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Prior to 1929 Europe was struggling and in a recession, but the stock market in the US was at all time highs just like today. Europe is now in a deep, deep recession and the unemployment rate is at its all time highs. Be prepared the collapse is here and moving across the globe.[/stextbox]
Economic growth in Ireland shrank by 0.6 percent, making its third successive quarter of contraction, and it’s official re-entrance into recession, Central Statistics Office reports.
The island nation’s gross domestic product contracted by 0.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted rate for a third successive quarter, meaning the economy is back in recession for the first time since 2009, the data shows.
Similarly, the statistics office has revised its GDP contraction in Q3 2012 to 1.0 percent, down from the 0.4 figure delivered three months ago, and five times the number originally forecast last winter.
Overall, the economy grew by 0.2 percent in 2012, missing the 0.9 predicted by economists.
Ireland lost out big on capital investment, which decreased by 19.8 percent from the previous quarter.
Gross national product performed better, as preliminary estimates for first quarter of 2013 increased by 2.9 percent, seasonally adjusted.
The recently bailed out euro member’s recovery from the financial crisis has been slow, and today’s data indicates it may be slower than originally anticipated. Ireland has one of the highest budget deficits, and will continue to cut spending and increase taxes in austerity measures.
The budget deficit is astronomical largely due to the burden inflicted by the failure of six banks and recapitalization of the main three – Bank of Ireland, Allied Irish Bank and Anglo Irish Bank. The total cost of the bailout is nearing 64 billion euros, of which 40 percent was paid by taxpayer contributions.
Prime Minister Enda Kenny is hoping to wrap up her country’s three-year international bailout plan by the end of 2013.
Economies across Europe are slipping back into recession. France’s economy shrank by 0.2 percent in Q1, and with the exception of Austria and Germany, all euro member states have been sluggish in their growth due to the general economic slowdown of the continent.
Bond market returns in Ireland had some investors optimistic that it was moving towards growth, and not contraction.
Bonds dropped Tuesday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi delivered a negative regional economic outlook, which he said will continue to necessitate monetary policy.
Overall the economy grew by just 0.2 percent last year, rather than the 0.9 percent initially thought, and the export-led recovery stalled in the second half of 2012 due to the slowdown in much of the rest of the eurozone.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The base in Kyrgyzstan is strategic because it is smack in the middle of China, Russia,Afghanistan and India. The Russians know that war is coming and they are cleaning house and setting up for war. Even though you see Kerry going over to Iran, Russia and China talking about peace they really don’t want peace because they know that they need to keep the US dollar as the reserve currency and they will do everything and anything to get this done, plus when the collapse comes they will need a war to cover it all up[/stextbox]
The United States will lose access to a vital military logistics hub in Central Asia in 2014 following the Kyrgyz president’s decision Wednesday to cancel a lease agreement for a military base.
President Almazbek Atambayev signed a law Wednesday that repudiates a 2009 lease agreement, with effect from July 2014, the president’s website said in a statement.
The Kyrgyz parliament approved the law last week.
Officially dubbed “Transit Centre,” the Manas air base has served as a supply hub for US troops in Afghanistan since 2001.
It has been the subject of much political bargaining between Washington and the Kyrgyz government in Bishkek.
In 2009, the US signed on to a new agreement under significantly higher lease payments of 60 million dollars annually.
That agreement expires in 2014 anyway, but the renunciation law prevents it from being renewed.
Washington has said that it wishes to continue using the base after 2014, when the majority of NATO troops leave Afghanistan.
Experts have linked the cancellation with pressure from Russia, which also has a military base in Kyrgyzstan.
The move is likely to please Russia as it vies with the West and China for influence in the resource-rich region, once part of Soviet Central Asia.
The Manas Transit Center outside the capital Bishkek, which numbers about 1,000 U.S. servicemen, has been in operation since the end of 2001. The Kyrgyz government said in a note issued prior to a vote in parliament: “Further functioning of this facility is unnecessary”.
Kyrgyz President Almazbek Atambayev, elected in 2011, has staked heavily on closer ties with Russia and repeatedly assured Moscow that the U.S. air base would be shut in 2014.
Ending its agreement on Manas with the United States, Kyrgyzstan will lose annually $60 million paid by Washington for the lease, and maybe more significant sums in indirect revenues from the base.
Kyrgyzstan is part of the Collective Security Treaty Organisation (ODKB) of several post-Soviet states, which is led by Moscow. It is also a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation dominated by Russia and China.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Americans don’t understand why we are even in Syria, they don’t care and believe that Syria should take care of themselves and we shouldn’t be involved. Since the government can’t get congress and the American people to beg for war they will need some type of horrific, bloody, shocking false flag to make everyone beg to go to war with Syria. [/stextbox]
The U.S. government has begun shipping weapons to Jordan for militant groups in neighboring Syria while the majority of American citizens have already expressed their opposition to militarily support anti-government forces in Syria.
Following U.S. President Barack Obama’s decision to approve arming the militant groups, 70 percent of Americans, surveyed by the Pew Research Center between June 12 and 16, said they were against such aggressive plans.
The survey showed there was a 7 percentage point increase in the number of those who opposed arming the militants, compared to the results of a March 2012 survey.
U.S. officials and diplomats told the Wall Street Journal that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) will send weapons to the Syrian militants within a month.
The weapons are being shipped to Jordan from a network of warehouses, according to the Journal.
In a separate survey conducted June 13 through June 16, only 15 percent of Americans said they followed U.S. media’s claims that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons against the foreign-backed militants.
During a recent speech at the Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan, former U.S. secretary of state Henry Kissinger has said that the U.S. media are not telling the truth about the current situation in Syria.
“In the American press it’s described as a conflict between democracy and a dictator- and the dictator is killing his own people, and we’ve got to punish him. But that’s not what’s going on,” said Kissinger.
The Los Angeles Time also reported earlier this month that the CIA and U.S. Special Operations Forces have been secretly training the militant groups.
The covert trainings have been conducted at bases in Jordan and Turkey, both neighbors of Syria, the Times reported.
In a recent video testimony, a former member of al-Qaeda, Sheikh Nabil Naiim who led an al-Qaeda training camp in Egypt, has revealed the leader of al-Nusra Front, the primary terrorist group in Syria fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, is a CIA operative.
The unrest in Syria erupted over two years ago. Since then, thousands of people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the conflict.
Damascus says the conflict is being engineered from outside the country, and there are reports that a very large number of the militants fighting in Syria are foreign nationals.
6.27.13 – The Resident: All Americans are terrorists
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The DHS and the rest of the government has been spying, tracking and placing us into groups so when the time comes they can get those who would cause a problem[/stextbox]
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,232.00, EUR 945.51 and GBP 806.07 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,229.00, EUR 942.85 and GBP 799.97 per ounce.
Gold fell $53.20 or 4.17% yesterday and closed at $1,224.10/oz. Silver slid to a low of $18.421 and finished down 5.46%.
Gold inched upward today after investors and speculators viewed the recent price falls as excessive and some began to dip their toes back into the market.
Gold tumbled to its lowest level in nearly three years yesterday after concentrated selling in electronic trading on the COMEX, less liquid Asian trading Tuesday night that led to stop loss orders being triggered and further price falls.
Bullion dealers, mints and refineries have seen a small increase in clients liquidating physical bullion in June but nothing that would justify the scale of price weakness seen. There has been a small bit of panic selling which suggests capitulation and the market may be close to exhausting itself to the downside.
There are also many retail and wealthy buyers looking to accumulate at these lower prices – both in western markets and in Asia.
Physical demand remains robust internationally especially in China and India where premiums are moving higher again. In China, physical demand remains robust and premiums remain at elevated levels near $35/oz. In India, premiums charged shot to $20 an ounce overnight from $8-$10 on Tuesday.
Demand in both countries and in Asia in general is set to continue due to real and valid concerns about currency devaluations.
Despite futures prices falling in India to their lowest in more than a month, gold premiums doubled as dealers struggled to meet surging demand after a ban on bullion consignment imports.
India, the world’s biggest buyer of gold, now requires importers to pay upfront for inventory, making it difficult for smaller jewellers with lower working capital to source supplies. The government also raised the import duty to 8% in May. India has ruled out a blanket ban on gold imports or any increase in customs duty from the current 8%.
Attempts to prevent Indians from buying gold are contributing to them buying poor man’s gold, or silver. There has been a massive increase in silver demand in India in recent months and the government’s meddling and controls in the gold market will likely led to even more demand for silver.
While India imported 1,900 tonnes of silver in 2012, in the first five months of 2013 alone, imports have touched 2,400 tonnes.
In a recent study orchestrated by the CDC and carried out by the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council, it was found that individuals involved in violent crimes who defended themselves using techniques other than carrying a gun were more likely to be injured when compared to those who were carrying a concealed firearm.
All-in-all, the Obama ordered report ended up finding more pros than cons in regards to the right to an open or concealed weapon. The report also reminds us of the numerous causes of gun deaths, citing that most gun deaths are at the hands of those who used a gun for their suicide — not homicide. The report highlights the poor state of America’s suffering mental health. The report states that suicide by guns outweighs the amount of deaths caused by violent crimes by 61%.
Anthony Gucciardi recently conducted an interview with Representative Joe Carr from Tennessee on this very issue: Report
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“Defensive use of guns by crime victims is a common occurrence […]. Almost all national survey estimates indicate that defensive gun uses by victims are at least as common as offensive uses by criminals, with estimates of annual uses ranging from about 500,000 to more than 3 million per year, in the context of about 300,000 violent crimes involving firearms in 2008.”[/stextbox]
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Bail-ins are coming, your money will be taken, frozen and traded for worthless bank stock. Capital controls will be instituted and everyone will not be able to get their money out from the banks.[/stextbox]
Turns out that for Europe, Cyprus was a “bail-in” template after all, and following an agreement reached early this morning, Europe now has a joint failed-bank resolution mechanism. Several hours ago, EU finance ministers announced that they had reached agreement on the principles governing the imposition of losses on creditors in bank ‘bail ins’. Having already agreed to establish “depositor preference” in the pecking order of creditors at risk, the stumbling block to agreement was the availability of flexibility at the national level to complement the bail in with injections of funds from other sources. Under the compromise achieved overnight, once a bail in equivalent to 8% of total liabilities has been implemented, support from other sources can be used (up to 5% of total liabilities) with approval from Brussels.
So investors (i.e. yield chasers) and not taxpayers will foot the cost of bank bailouts going forward for a change? Maybe on paper: “From 2018, the so-called “bail-in” regime can force shareholders, bondholders and some depositors to contribute to the costs of bank failure. Insured deposits under €100,000 are exempt and uninsured deposits of individuals and small companies are given preferential status in the bail-in pecking order.” In reality, last night’s agreement is the usual fluid melange of semi-rigid rules filled with loopholes designed to benefit large banks whose impairment may be detrimental to “systemic stability”.
To wit, from the FT: “While a minimum bail-in amounting to 8 per cent of total liabilities is mandatory before resolution funds can be used, countries are given more leeway to shield certain creditors from losses in defined circumstances.” In other words, here is the bail in regime… which we may decide to ignore under “defined circumstances.”
Next, since the “package must be agreed with the European parliament, a process that could stretch until the end of 2013” we urge no breath holding, especially since it was in late 2012 that news of a joint European bank regulator was announced, and one year later this concept has crashed and burned. In fact the bail-in deal will “open debate on further stages of financial integration, including on establishing a central authority to shut down eurozone banks” and “Germany is strongly resisting centralising such important powers to shut down banks under existing treaties.”
In other words, yet another European agreement that is at best worth the price of the paper it is printed on. In the meantime, if indeed some of the systemic European banks keel over and die – say Credit Lyonnaise, Natexis or Deutsche – the last thing that anyone will think about to avoid a systemic collapse will be impairing even more banks. As a reminder, these are the most undercapitalized banks in Europe as reported by Goldman yesterday:
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Of course people are removing their money. Who would want more of their money taken. Even with capital controls I am sure people show up at the bank everyday to remove as much as they can.Bail-ins will spread across Europe and then finally into America.[/stextbox]
Another month, another update on the inefficiency of Cypriot capital controls, where following the latest release by the central bank on the May level of deposits in the banking system, we learn that total cash holdings in Cyprus banks dropped by another EUR 1.4 billion in May to EUR55.9 billion, and 23% lower from the same month last year. And with ongoing and unchecked deposit flight continuing, with EUR 14 billion in cash pulled or confiscated since the start of the year, one can see why the administration and the president are about to throw in the towel and demand, this time for a real a bigger bailout for Cyprus as otherwise all that good money chasing bad will be for nothing. In the meantime, expect deposit flight to continue as anyone with half a brain can finally see the writing on the wall, if only with a slight delay and following much personal losses.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The gun control movement only has one purpose, to disarm the American people so they cannot defend themselves during a collapse. A people who cannot fight back are much easier to control than a people who carry arms. This type of law is null and void according to the 2nd Amendment. They are now pushing the gun control agenda forward, something will occur in the next couple of weeks.[/stextbox]
In the near future, Americans who own or want guns likely will be subject to rafts of new questions from social scientists, medical researchers and law enforcement officials intent to discover just what guns they own, why they own them and what they intend to use them for — not to mention where and how they keep them.
They will also likely have more researchers poring over such issues as whether childhood education programs against gun violence actually work; whether there actually is any relationship between violence in the media and in real life; and whether the safety plans that were drawn up by schools, colleges and communities in the wake of highly publicized mass shootings actually are effective.
Those and many other gun-related questions are the thrust of a new social science research agenda that the Obama administration hopes will keep the push for gun control alive for years to come.
The research agenda is intended to produce mammoth amounts of raw data on American gun owners, users and their circumstances, meaning that violence resulting from firearms use will be studied for “its causes, approaches to interventions that could prevent it, and strategies to minimize its health burden.”
This includes, for example, such things as “the potential health risks and benefits (e.g., suicide rates, personal protection) of having a firearm in the home under a variety of circumstances (including storage practices) and settings.”
The agenda, which aims to sidestep Second Amendment political and constitutional issues of gun ownership through its public health focus, was released earlier this month in a 124-page report titled, “Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearms Related Violence.” It was sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with financial support from private foundations.
If there is any remaining doubt in your mind about the fact that the federal government today has been completely overrun by sociopathic, freedom-hating enemies of the U.S. Constitution, some recent absurd statements made by South Carolina Senator (and full-fledged American traitor) Lindsey Graham, a Republican, should put all such doubt to rest.
When questioned recently about the unveiling of the massive and insanely illegal National Security Agency (NSA) spying and surveillance program, which involved tracking the online activities of innocent Americans without warrant, Graham expressed his full approval for the initiative. He also went a step further, indicating that he would also support intercepting and censoring postal mail as well if it was deemed necessary for “national security” purposes.
“In World War II, the mentality of the public was that our whole way of life was at risk, we’re all in,” said a deranged Graham to reporters. “When you wrote a letter overseas, it got censored. When a letter was written back from the battlefield to home, they looked at what was in the letter to make sure they were not tipping off the enemy. If I thought censoring the mail was necessary, I would suggest it, but I don’t think it is.”
Well, phew! Thank goodness Sen. Graham does not currently see fit to have government thugs rip open our mail and read our private letters without probable cause or a warrant, in direct violation of the Constitution. But the fact that he could approve of such illegal activity in the future shows just how much of a threat this domestic enemy is to American freedom.
Lindsey Graham, the type of domestic enemy our Founding Fathers warned us about
None of this is all that surprising really, given Sen. Graham’s extensive track record of trashing the Constitution every chance he gets – for your safety and security, of course. Concerning the brave and highly-patriotic whistleblowing activities of former NSA insider and CIA contractor Edward Snowden, for instance, Sen. Graham made the suggestion that this American patriot be followed “to the ends of the earth to bring him to justice.”
Snowden’s only “crime,” of course, was exposing a massive online surveillance program that makes the wiretapping activities of George Bush’s Patriot Act looks like mere child’s play. The real traitor and enemy in this case is none other than Sen. Graham, who should be immediately pulled from office and tried for treason for blatantly violating his oath of office, not to mention the many other traitors in Congress that are calling for Snowden to be prosecuted rather than hailing him as the hero he truly is.
“I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions,” wrote Snowden in a note accompanying the release of documents showing that the NSA is in the process of building an advanced, global spying machine. “(But) I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The NDAA is completely unconstitutional and all states need to nullify it. [/stextbox]
Last Friday, Alaska Gov. Sean Parnell signed a sweeping nullification bill providing broad protections against indefinite detention, violations of the Second Amendment and blocking implementation of a federal identification program in The Last Frontier.
HB69 prohibits “state and municipal agencies from using assets to implement or aid in the implementation of the requirements of certain federal statutes, regulations, rules, and orders that are applied to infringe on a person’s right to bear arms or right to due process or that implement or aid in the implementation of the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.”
“The people of Alaska got a three-for-one in this bill. This is the most sweeping nullification legislation ever signed into law. The Alaska legislature, along with Gov. Parnell, obviously take Madison’s assertion that states are ‘duty bound, to interpose for arresting the progress of the evil’ seriously.” The new law will make violations of the Second Amendment and DC-sanctioned kidnapping nearly impossible in Alaska, and it throws yet another roadblock in the path of an unconstitutional national ID program. The people of Alaska should be proud of the courage shown by their representatives,” Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey said.
The federal government depends on state resources to enforce its laws. By pulling the rug out from under the feds, and denying state and local assistance to federal agents, Alaska effectively nullified indefinite detention, along with unconstitutional federal firearms regulations. (You can read an in-depth analysis of the Second Amendment protections offered by HB69 HERE.)
Alaska becomes the second state to refuse cooperation with federal kidnapping under the National Defense Authorization Act, following Virginia’s lead last year. And the new law takes it a step further, protecting the people of Alaska from indefinite detention under any other purported federal authority past or present, such as the Authorization for Use of Military Force.
A state or municipal agency may not use or authorize the use of an asset to implement or aid in the implementation of a requirement of an order of the President of the United States, a federal regulation, or a law enacted by the United States Congress that is applied to deny a person a right to due process, or a protection of due process, that would otherwise be available to the person under the Constitution of the State of Alaska or the Constitution of the United States.
“A lot of Americans still don’t understand the threat these provisions of the NDAA represent. There is this ‘it can’t happen here’ mentality. But it has happened here. People who doubt the seriousness of this issue should go talk to some of the Japanese-Americans who spent Word War Two behind a barbed wire fences,” Maharrey said. “The president and most members of Congress keep telling us there is nothing to see here. But the administration continues to aggressively defend indefinite detention in federal court. If the power doesn’t exist, why in the hell are they so desperate to hold on to it?”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Lets go back in time to 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. All the way up to the crash the mainstream media reported that real estate was going to bounce back, the sub-prime market was contained and the market will go higher and higher. The FED sees no recession in the future. What happened? People lost their homes and their wealth. [/stextbox]
Ah, the wonderful life of a mainstream media journalist where everything is linear, where everything is perfectly explainable to an overeager public using “as” linkers, and where in the name of propaganda and keeping your editor happy, logic and objectivity is also known as “collateral” damage.
For example, take stocks, which can rise due to improving economic data…
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The FBI continually does this alot, they setup a person like the world trade center bombing, the FED bomb just last year and now this. One must think for a second, with all this spying by the NSA, DHS and all these agencies they really don’t have the ability to do anything. If all of this worked they would be able to stop almost all crime, stop 911, stop Boston Bombing and they would have caught Snowden, but they had no idea where he went.[/stextbox]
Well, it appears they may be running out of new ideas. The most recent to come out in the mainstream media actually involved a death ray.
That’s right — a death ray.
The Atlantic Wire reports:
First, the plan allegedly crafted by [Glendon] Crawford and alleged co-conspirator Eric J. Feight was ridiculous — the death ray wouldn’t work. The plan involved mounting a remote-control operated X-ray laser on top of a truck to kill people without them noticing.
Second, the death ray was inoperable. Crawford and Feight never got a real radiation source.
Third, the death ray was built with the help of the FBI. The undercover FBI agents or informants gave Crawford the tools to build his death ray — X-ray tubes — and technical specs on how to use it. (The specs were altered to change their output capacity.) Crawford had some engineering experience, and was trying to figure out how to make them more powerful. An FBI informant also financed the plot, giving Feight $1,000 to build the remote control device. Undercover agents told Feight they’d get him access to an X-ray assembly facility…
The list goes on and on about how, without the FBI, this would not have even happened (or at least never even remotely become a reality), and the men were unsure of the plan and were reluctant to actually kill anyone anyway.
Just as in nearly every other supposed terrorist plot since 9/11, the FBI has been involved in provocateuring alleged suspects from start to finish. That includes goading on the patsy, providing any bomb-making materials and other weaponry necessary, typically funding the ‘project’ and frequently pointing those involved towards high-value symbolic targets.
Once the plot is disrupted, the events are generally played up in the media as yet another attempted terror plot the public at large were saved from, and the role of FBI “sting” operation is casually mentioned later in the story, long after the headline has made national/global impact.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]When reading this and remembering the 2003 northeast blackout (which I believe was a test of how to shut the power off) and you compare it to all the propaganda of cyber attacks taking out the power grid and destroying transformers one must think that they are planning for this but using EMP pulses, sun flares etc.. as the cause so no one understands what they are really planning. The effect would be the same but the attack would be done by a cyber attack[/stextbox]
In 2009 the DHS commissioned a report into the threats posed by space weather. The fact that they did this is not surprising, we would all prefer that the government actually did something sensible like protect their citizens from the impact of CME’s, flares and such like.
The report was published in November 2011 and it states quite clearly on the documentation page that it’s an unclassified report that has been approved for unlimited public release.
With something that can impact millions of people in the US alone it’s amazing that few people have heard that such a report exists.
There are 22 nuclear reactors in the North-Eastern US, could that be the reason that the report is well buried? Or is it because after incidents like Katrina and Sandy the government proved over and over it couldn’t cope? Both of those examples were very, very small in comparison to having 130,000,000 people without power.
It’s a very comprehensive report; excellent reading if you’re into that kind of thing, but even if you’re not I suggest you look at section 4.3 of the document. Here’s a taster:
More than 300 EHV transformers destroyed.
130 million people lacking power for several years until damaged high-voltage transformers are replaced.
1-2 trillion dollars of economic loss.
The scenario is based on the ionospheric electrojet centred at 50 degrees North…which is around Lakewoods County Minnesota. It makes very scary reading. The Report
[stextbox id=”x22report”]You know what happens when the government tells you that everything is ok and they deny, deny and deny. It is always the opposite of what they are saying. [/stextbox]
The Italian treasury has denied reports in the Financial Times that Italy risked losing$10.4bn on derivatives contracts, and called the suggestion ‘absolutely baseless’.
The contracts were made in the late 1990s so Italy could meet the criteria to join the euro currency.
They were restructured at the peak of euro zone crisis in 2012 with foreign banks in order to reduce interest rates and currency risk.
The FT reported the Italian economy could suffer losses of up to $10.4 billion on the derivatives, which were calculated based on market prices on June 20.
Debt derivatives were used as a hedge against foreign exchange and interest rate risks, they don’t pose the astronomical financial threat reported by the media, the Treasury said.
Unease in the banking community ensued after the FT published its report, and raised concerns Italy was sitting on a ticking $10.4 billion time bomb of derivative debt.
The estimates on the derivative contracts were sourced from independent experts, and not the Italian treasury auditor itself, Bloomberg reported.
The wave of panic provoked an official statement from the treasury, as well as European Commission Bank President Mario Draghi, who was the head of the Italian Treasury in the late 1990s, when the contracts were issued.
“The market value of derivative instruments at a specific time… cannot in any case be treated as an actual loss,” the Treasury said.
In 2001, Draghi began work at Goldman Sachs, which was involved in derivative contracts in Greece, but Draghi denies any connection. The government admitted in March 2012 it had paid U.S. investment bank Morgan Stanley 2.57 billion euros to close derivatives contracts from 1994.
“Many mistakes were made during the 1990s to get Italy into the euro and today those are turning into more debt, hidden in the official accounts,” La Repubblica published an anonymous government official as saying.
So, good ol’ Uncle Ben comes out and states that QE is going to be tapered… but later.
All hell breaks loose and PM/Markets get hammered. Bond market jumps… causing BILLIONS in losses immediately and debt servicing costs to jump.
Why you ask?
There are sellers EVERYWHERE trying to raise CASH. This is a liquidation.
You now see Hedge funds short on PM and the COMMERCIALS on the LONG side. Central Banks are ADDING gold….
So what is going on?
The Central Banks came to the conclusion that no matter how much money they printed to re-inflate that it was IMPOSSIBLE. They would create such a large bubble that it would end in total destruction. A no win. It didn’t work and the public opinion is VERY negative. They very much fear now what would happen if people finally have “had enough”. Better find a new way.
So they have decided to let deflation kick in and try to manage it on the way down… currencies and govts are still toast to a certain degree and explains (in the US) for all the preparation for civil disorder, which they know is guaranteed. Those eat for free EBT cards will be one of the first to go.
New hard backed currency is on the way and it will be the PMs they are buying with the soon to be used for toilet paper currencies for cheaper and cheaper by the day.
By the time the music stops playing and everyone realizes what happened you will see all the CBs with the gold and a new currency born (or currencies)… back by gold.
Anyone that does not have hard assets — and I don’t care what type (land, property, metals, etc) is going to be totally wiped out ….and it is all coming very soon.
What is going on now with gold remind you or a semi-recent event?
We are weeks if not days away. I think we might see this go down VERY close to if not on July 4.
Something VERY BIG is about to collapse… and if you want to know what look to NY. Another lamb is being loaded with junk and being brought to the slaughter house.
This time the slaughter is going to have many other unintended victims. The fall shall begin…
Good luck everyone — some of have seen this coming for years and prepared, I hope you are among the group of wisdom.
Global Chaos Signals World Currency System Will Be Recast
As the two-year cyclical bearish phase in the gold and silver markets is coming to an end, today John Embry told King World News increased global chaos now signals “the entire world currency system” will be recast. Embry also spoke with KWN about how Western propaganda is being used to paint a false picture about the harsh reality of what is really taking place around the world. Below is what Embry had to say in this powerful interview.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Central bankers doing everything they possible can to get everyone out of gold and back into the dollar. All eyes on the stock market as the FED pushes it up higher. Gold and silver are now seen as a poor investment and the stock market seems like its the place to be. The FED and government did this during 2005-2008. Kept telling everyone to get into real estate and into the stock market. All those that listened lost their homes and their wealth was wiped out in the stock market. Gold was seen as a poor investment at the time gold was at ~$600 an ounce and once the crash started gold and silver skyrocketed. [/stextbox]
The unintended consequences of a centrally-planned world continue to peek through at the most unexpected of place, as moments ago the Indian Ruppe just plunged to a new all time record low against the USD, with the USDINR rising over 60 for the first time, triggering stops and overriding any potential USD selling intervention that the RBI may have attempted just below the resistance level which took place 59.985 according to Reuters.
A snapshot of events in India currently via Bloomberg:
Rupee drops 0.9% to 60.2250 per dollar; touches record 60.26.
USD/INR one-month implied volatility falls 32 bps to 11.60%; level suggests there is 68% chance rupee will drop to 62.2976 per dollar in a month (see that story here)
USD/INR risk reversal drops for third successive day, falling 17 bps to 1.80%; gauge of investor sentiment reached 2.23% last week, reflecting biggest pessimism on rupee in a year
Yield on nation’s 7.16% sovereign bonds due May 2023 rises 4 bps to 7.542%
One-year IRS falls 1 bp to 7.43%
Meanwhile the drubbing of gold and silver continues, with the yellow metal crashing to a three year low of $1224, down $50, silver down to $18.44, and the scramble to liquidate all metals into electronic pieces of “paper” accelerating.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]It seems like the entire region is becoming unstable and perfect scenario to start wars and revolutions. Syria’s fight is flowing into Lebanon, now Egypt and Turkey have mass protesting occurring. We have to ask ourselves why this happening? If we look the people are unhappy, especially those countries the US government and central bankers have placed a central bank in the countries and replaced the leader with a puppet. [/stextbox]
Tens of thousands of people took part in demonstrations in support of President Morsi over the weekend. The president’s opponents, who also began rallying, now say they plan to stage mass protests on 30 June, the first anniversary of Morsi`s election. Army in Egypt said it would intervene if the rallies grow violent. Dr. Said Sadek, political sociologist at American University in Cairo, shares his opinion on the highly volatile situation in Egypt with the Voice of Russia.
At this point how would you describe the situation in Cairo, the mood of the opposition and the mood of those who support Morsi?
It is very volatile. There is heavy political polarization, the regime wants to abort the mounting of masses who want to demonstrate on June 30th. This will be a second wave of the revolution that started in 2011. There is a lot of worrying and people are buying food and things like that because they think it will become difficult to reach supermarkets if there is long time of strikes. So, people are remembering the first wave of revolution and they think it is going to be the same.
It seems like everyone is worried now. It seems like people are in advance stocking up on food. So, it sounds serious from what you are saying to me.
Yes, there is concern and a lot of companies and offices that work usually on Sunday in Egypt are closing and many shops would be closed for security reasons and some gangs may exploit the population but people are taking precautions because the country is polarized and they fear there could be also a wave of crime during this period. And so the country is very tense inside and there is political polarization. The popularity of Morsi is going down. It is only 30 percent of the population, who are usually from the countryside, very conservative politically and socially who think that he represents Islam, Islamism and defending him is a sacred duty and they think those who oppose to him are infidels and that is why it is very disturbing.
The situation as you have described is really polarized there. June 30th marks the first anniversary of Morsi’s election. What’s this year been like for Egyptians?
[stextbox id=”x22report”]If Obamacare is great for everyone there is no need to promote it using celebrities or children. The only reason they need to promote Obamacare is because it is not good for the people. Any law that penalizes you (taxes you) for not taking it is not good for the people. Basically the government is forcing everyone to do something even though they don’t want to. Hitler used the youth and brainwashed them to do his bidding.[/stextbox]
Administration officials have a daunting task in the weeks ahead: making ObamaCare “cool.”
Marketing experts say a hip branding effort is what’s needed to draw people into the new health insurance exchanges set to launch in January.
Officials working to implement President Obama’s signature program recognize the need to generate buzz, and are working around the clock to come up with a marketing campaign that convinces young people to participate.
They’re reaching out to the NFL, the NBA and Hollywood for help, and counting down the days to Oct. 1, when enrollment in the exchanges officially begins.
The administration is in a good position to secure splashy endorsements, as Obama’s 2008 and 2012 campaigns had a deep bench of celebrity surrogates.
“Beyoncé all but took on the first lady’s ‘Let’s Move!’ platform, so imagine the pull Obama will have to sell healthcare,” said one former administration official.
“Maybe Jay-Z will even help out,” the official added.
Celebrity endorsements, slick ad campaigns and cutting-edge online enrollment would all serve one overriding purpose for the White House: connecting young, healthy people with their new healthcare benefits.
Without participation from that demographic, the new insurance exchanges will stumble out of the gate as older, sicker patients enroll. Younger, healthier people are needed to keep premium prices from skyrocketing.
But uninsured young people tend to be least concerned with purchasing health insurance and the least knowledgeable about the Affordable Care Act, according to polling.
That’s what the administration hopes will change as a product of its celebrity and sports partnerships.
“It’s this weird push-pull,” said one former senior administration official.
“The constituencies that have the most to gain are people under 35, but it’s a segment of the population that doesn’t think much of their health.
“I think [federal officials] know they have to do something that piques interest.”
One firm that’s in talks with federal officials is Global Philanthropy Group, headed by Clinton White House veteran Trevor Neilson. It represents Eva Longoria, John Legend and many other stars.
Neilson said his clients are “looking at ways to be involved,” and it’s unlikely that he’s the only Tinseltown representative in contact with the administration.
But using celebrity spokesmen for ObamaCare could easily backfire, advertising experts told The Hill.
“You don’t want a celebrity who is know for a high-flying lifestyle, who is out of touch with normal people,” said Brian White, a senior vice president at Vibrant Media.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The bail-ins will sweep across Europe and then into America. Everyone who still keeps their money in the banks are at risk. What happened in Cyprus is just the beginning.[/stextbox]
The decision on the banking union is on the agenda of EU summit to be held on 27 and 28 June. The major issue, however, is to rescue the banks in case of bankruptcy and like all show the “haircut” of deposits even below 100,000 euros assumed.
Germany and its satellites, Finland and the Netherlands are the ones who bring crucial issues allegedly not paying taxpayers banking meltdown as happened in Ireland and Cyprus. Mrs. Merkel and Mr. Schäuble proposed paying the bill who have made savings with lifetime efforts.
In German “front” reacts France, but rather the case is lost from hand to the French. Objections raised by Brussels for but who will have control over and decide when and how to bankrupt a bank.
According to the plan drawn up by the EU money to cover bank failure will come from deposits of large companies and bondholders following deposits over € 100,000 belonging to individuals and to businesses with fewer than 250 employees and revenues under 50 million.
The new Greek coalition government won’t make it to see the Christmas!
After the formation of the coalition government between ND and PASOK and relief purchases by avoiding elections, foreign media estimate that the “bread” of a few. The revenue shortfall and difficult decisions in front of, in particular the requirements of lenders for thousands of layoffs of public employees appreciate how soon will again threaten the government cohesion, the parliamentary majority this time be less.
“Few believe that he would see to complete the 4-year term, which expires in 2016 and the coalition could get to the point of splitting the fall, if foreign creditors demand more austerity measures to meet fiscal targets rescue program” , said analysts told Reuters.
And it is common belief. Neither Samaras does not believe what he says concerning the exhaustion of 4 years.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The DHS has been put in place to spy on Americans and place them into groups. These groups will be used to single out those who will be a problem when the collapse occurs. [/stextbox]
A 2012 study by DHS characterized Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” and “reverent of individual liberty” as “extreme right-wing” terrorists.
Except for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing most attacks against American interests were from Islamic jihad militants.
After 2001, when almost 3,000 people were killed by al-Qaeda and Saudi nationals during the September 11 attacks, there have been over 55 known jihadist plots or attacks in the U.S.
Today, reports are revealing that at least 12 different groups within the IRS were deliberately targeting conservative organizations in 2010-2012 who applied for tax-exempt nonprofit status, while virtually giving free passes to Obama or liberal organizations.
Curiously, a DHS study on U.S. terrorism emphasized that Americans who hold typical conservative or libertarian beliefs were classified them in the perspective of radical extremists.
The $12 million study called ‘Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970-2008’ funded by DHS essentially ignores Islamic terrorism.
The National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism at the University of Maryland launched by the DHS does not even mention the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
The DHS study emphases is on Americans who hold typical conservative or libertarian beliefs and classifies them in the perspective of radical extremism.
Americans who are “suspicious of centralized federal authority,” fear their “way of life” is under attack, or who are “reverent of individual liberty” were among the government funded study classified as potential terrorist.
As recently as April 15, 2013 two Muslim terrorists detonated two pressure cooker bombs in Boston during the Boston Marathon.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Building the case and now is naming the Chinese groups that are committing the cyber attacks. The propaganda is now going all the way back to 2008. The government will use the cyber attack as their main event if all else fails.[/stextbox]
U.S. oil and natural gas operations are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks that can harm the competitiveness of energy companies or lead to costly outages at pipelines, refineries or drilling platforms, a report said on Wednesday.
The energy business, including oil and gas producers, was hit by more targeted malware attacks from April to September last year than any other industry, said the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) report, citing data from a Houston-based security company, Alert Logic.
Cyber attacks on energy companies, which are increasing in frequency and sophistication, take two main forms, the CFR report said. The first kind, cyber espionage, is carried out by foreign intelligence and defense agencies, organized crime, or freelance hackers.
These parties covertly capture sensitive corporate data or communications with the goal of gathering commercial or national security intelligence. U.S. energy companies are subject to frequent and often successful attempts by competitors and foreign governments to access long-term strategic plans, bids tendered for new drilling acreage, talks with foreign officials and other trade secrets, the report said.
A campaign against U.S. energy companies by hackers based in China, called Night Dragon by McAfee, a leading security company that is part of Intel Corp, began in 2008 and lasted into 2011. The campaign stole gigabytes of material, including bidding data in advance of a lease auction. One unidentified energy company official believes his company lost a bid in a lease auction because of the attack, the CFR report said.
Many companies are either unaware of similar attacks or are afraid to disclose them for fear of upsetting investors, it said.
“That’s too bad because it makes it harder for Washington to help them and it also makes it harder for the public to be aware of what threats are out there,” said Blake Clayton, a fellow in energy and national security at CFR and a co-author of the report.
The second main cyber risk to energy companies is the disruption of critical businesses or physical operations through attacks on networks.
“This has a lower probability but potentially higher cost,” said Clayton.
The Stuxnet virus, said to have been created by the United States and Israel to attack Iran’s nuclear program, is an example of a campaign that ended up escaping from its intended target at the risk of causing harm to a U.S. company. Chevron Corp said late last year it had been infected by Stuxnet, but said without elaborating the virus was quickly controlled.
An attack dubbed Shamoon last year on Saudi Aramco, Riyadh’s state oil company, ultimately disabled some 30,000 computers. The company said the attack was aimed at stopping oil and gas output at the biggest OPEC crude exporter.
Oil production was apparently unaffected, but damage could have been more severe had the attack penetrated further into the network, the report said.
Hackers from a group called “Cutting Sword of Justice,” suspected to be insiders, claimed responsibility for the attack, which was believed to have been delivered using a USB drive.
I know that Bloomberg thinks the Constitution is old fashion and we should get rid of it, but it is still the law of the land. The rights of the people cannot be violated and you cannot search someone according to the 4th Amendment.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Two bills that would rein in controversial police tactics took a major step forward in New York City Council on Monday — even as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly warned that the bills would aid criminals and terrorists.
“Take heart, Al Qaeda wannabes,” Kelly said as he joined Bloomberg to trash the bills before the Council vote.
The bills would create an NYPD inspector general to oversee police activity and allow people to file lawsuits against the city if they believe officers used profiling to make stops or arrests.
Bloomberg said the bills would force cops to spend their time defending lawsuits instead of keeping the city safe.
“What are you going to say at the next eulogy you have to give after these bills are passed when the family is 100% convinced that had you not passed this bill, their child would still be alive?” Bloomberg asked Council members as they prepared to vote. “This is not a game. This is a life-threatening thing.”
Despite the warnings, the Council voted 41 to 8 to allow the bills to bypass a committee. They’ll get a full council vote this week.
Although bills typically need the approval of a committee to reach a full Council vote, supporters of the measures used an obscure procedure called a “motion to discharge” because Public Safety Committee Chairman Peter Vallone (D-Queens) refused to allow a vote by his panel.
It was the first time a “motion to discharge” has been used since Christine Quinn (D-Manhattan) became council speaker in 2006.
The bills had been in limbo until March, when Quinn, under heavy political pressure in her race for mayor, threw her support behind the inspector general measure.
She opposes the racial profiling bill but agreed to let it move forward despite her opposition.
On Monday, she voted to advance both bills, but said she planned to vote against the profiling bill when it goes before the full Council.
The profiling bill would allow New Yorkers to sue if they think they’ve been profiled based on their race, religion, sexual preference or other characteristics. Bloomberg said only lawyers would benefit if the bill passes. “Every tort lawyer is going to buy a new house and a new car right away,” he said.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The stock market is like a roller coaster, its a slow ride up but when you reach the top its a fast hard ride down to the bottom[/stextbox]
What does it look like when a 30 year bull market ends abruptly? What happens when bond yields start doing things that they haven’t done in 50 years? If your answer to those questions involves the word “slaughter”, you are probably on the right track. Right now, bonds are being absolutely slaughtered, and this is only just the beginning. Over the last several years, reckless bond buying by the Federal Reserve has forced yields down to absolutely ridiculous levels. For example, it simply is not rational to lend the U.S. government money at less than 3 percent when the real rate of inflation is somewhere up around 8 to 10 percent. But when he originally announced the quantitative easing program, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said that he intended to force interest rates to go down, and lots of bond investors made a lot of money riding the bubble that Bernanke created. But now that Bernanke has indicated that the bond buying will be coming to an end, investors are going into panic mode and the bond bubble is starting to burst. One hedge fund executive told CNBC that the “feeling you are getting out there is that people are selling first and asking questions later”. And the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries just keeps going up. Today it closed at 2.59 percent, and many believe that it is going to go much higher unless the Fed intervenes. If the Fed does not intervene and allows the bubble that it has created to burst, we are going to see unprecedented carnage.
Markets tend to fall faster than they rise. And now that Bernanke has triggered a sell-off in bonds, things are moving much faster than just about anyone anticipated…
Wall Street never thought it would be this bad.
Over the last two months, and particularly over the last two weeks, investors have been exiting their bond investments with unexpected ferocity, moves that continued through Monday.
A bond sell-off has been anticipated for years, given the long run of popularity that corporate and government bonds have enjoyed. But most strategists expected that investors would slowly transfer out of bonds, allowing interest rates to slowly drift up.
Instead, since the Federal Reserve chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, recently suggested that the strength of the economic recovery might allow the Fed to slow down its bond-buying program, waves of selling have convulsed the markets.
Today I was at #CIB Bank.. there was NO CASH everyone is rushing to withdraw money before #June30..Supermarkets are raided.. shelves r empty
There is no gas for cars in Egypt, markets and grocery stores are closing, no money in the banks, what the actual hell
CBE urges Egypt banks to keep extra cash in run-up to 30 June rallies
In advance of upcoming 30 June anti-govt rallies, Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) tells local banks to keep extra cash on hand to avoid possible currency shortages
The Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) has asked banks operating in Egypt to keep extra cash balances for at least five working days in order to prevent cash shortages in advance of planned anti-government demonstrations on 30 June, Al-Ahram’s Arabic-language news website reported on Tuesday.
The decision, signed by CBE Deputy Governor Gamal Negm, urged banks to maintain extra cash reserves at all their branches nationwide rather than concentrating reserves at their Cairo branches.
Hazem Hegazi, head of retail at the National Bank of Egypt, told Al-Ahram’s Arabic-language news website that the bank’s 305 branches would remain open on 30 June.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]They have now set the stage, the people of the world know about cyber attacks, they understand that they are more dangerous than a physical attacks. The governments and Central Bankers have worked on convincing the world that cyber attacks are the main threat. Be prepared the cyber attack will be the main event to do the following if not done already, declare martial law, get all guns from the people, rob the people of their money and wealth and get us into war.[/stextbox]
Cyber-Ark’s 7th Annual Advanced Threat Survey Finds More than Half of All Businesses Believe Hackers are Already Inside Their Networks; 57 Percent Put ‘Too Much Faith in Perimeter Security’
NEWTON, Mass. —
Eighty percent of C-level executives and IT security professionals believe that cyber-attacks pose a greater risk to their nation than physical attacks, while 51 percent believe a cyber-attacker is currently in their corporate network, or has been in the past year. The findings are part of Cyber-Ark’s 7th annual Global Advanced Threat Landscape survey – developed through interviews with 989 IT and C-level executives across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The full survey can be downloaded for free here.
Analysis of this year’s survey shows that continued reports of nation-based attacks on global critical infrastructure and businesses, combined with high-profile data breaches such as the NSA leak, have made the industry acutely aware of the threat that today’s cyber-attackers pose. Despite this awareness, businesses still have a lot of work to do to secure the enterprise from advanced attacks. Cyber-attackers are continuing to breach perimeter security at an accelerated rate. As a result, businesses need to assume the attackers are already inside their network and focus on securing the access points to the critical data and assets that the attackers covet.
Key findings of the 2013 survey include:
Advanced Attacks Represent Grave Threats to National Security, Business and the Economy
80 percent of respondents believe that cyber-attacks pose a greater threat to their nation than physical attacks.
In last year’s survey, 71 percent of respondents indicated they were more fearful of insider attacks than outside cyber-attacks, but almost two thirds of respondents indicated that external cyber-attack threats would become a greater security risk in 1 to 3 years1. This year’s survey validates that notion.
61 percent of respondents believe that government and legislative action can help protect critical infrastructure against advanced threats. This number was the lowest in the U.S., where only 57 percent believe legislation will be an effective tool, as opposed to 64 percent of respondents in Europe and 61 percent in APAC.
“People around the world are acutely aware of the global threat cyber-attacks represent. Cyber-attackers have repeatedly demonstrated the ability to disrupt national financial systems, cause harm to critical infrastructure and severely damage businesses and economies,” said John Worrall, CMO of Cyber-Ark. “To achieve their goals, outside attackers must steal the privileged credentials of an authorized user to gain the access necessary to meet their objectives. This level of threat requires a proactive approach to security that protects and monitors the access points to the critical data and assets that attackers are targeting.”
A former cybersecurity advisor to President George W. Bush says a sophisticated computer hack could have been the cause of the automobile accident that claimed the life of journalist Michael Hastings last week in Los Angeles.
Richard Clarke, a State Department official-turned-special advisor to several United States presidents, said the early morning auto crash last Tuesday was “consistent with a car cyberattack,” raising new questions about the death of the award-winning journalist.
Hastings died last week when his 2013 Mercedes C250 coupe collided with a tree in Los Angeles, California on the morning of June 18. He was reportedly traveling at a high rate of speed and failed to stop at a red light moments before the single-car crash. He was only 33.
Speaking to Huffington Post this week, Clarke said that a cyberattack waged at the vehicle could have caused the fatal collision.
“What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it’s relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn’t want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn’t want the brakes on, to launch an air bag,” Clarke told The Huffington Post. “You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it’s not that hard.”
“So if there were a cyberattack on the car — and I’m not saying there was,” Clarke continued, “I think whoever did it would probably get away with it.”
The Los Angeles Police Department said they don’t expect foul play was involved in the crash, but an investigation has been opened nonetheless.
In an email reportedly sent by Hastings hours before the crash, he told colleagues that he thought he was the target of a federal investigation.
“Hey [redacted}, the Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates,’” Hastings wrote 15 hours before the crash.
“Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the rada[r] for a bit,” he added. “All the best, and hope to see you all soon.”
The email was supplied to KTLA News in Los Angeles by Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who says he met Hastings while the journalist was embedded in Afghanistan in 2008. It was reportedly send to a handful of Hastings’ associates and was blind-copied to Biggs.
“I just said it doesn’t seem like him. I don’t know, I just had this gut feeling and it just really bothered me,” Biggs told KTLA.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Lets use some common sense here, if we use the real calculation of unemployment the unemployment rate is around 23%. Then we have those that foreclosed or had a short sales with their homes in 2008. The majority of people are under employed or are living pay check to pay check. Companies are now having mass layoffs, IBM etc, and retailers are closing thousands of stores and laying off people. So with all of this going on the real estate market is bouncing back? [/stextbox]
1. Housing Price Inflation without income growth: When prices of homes rise faster than incomes, buyers become priced out of the market. While home prices, year over year, are on the rise, average incomes are not keeping pace. This is not a good long-term trend. Cash buyers are currently 30% of the market, and cash buyers have no debt to income problems. These buyers are helping price some primary mortgage home buyers out of the market.
2. Demand light from first time buyers: Even with historically low-interest rates hovering in the 3.25- 3.75% range, we are hearing cries that mortgage lending is too tight, and that would be first time buyers are having trouble qualifying for a loan. Even in 2013, first time home buyers are running at a 30% level, lower than the historical norms of 40-43%. What happens when interest rates rise (as they inevitably will do) ? Unless we see good income growth, those that can’t qualify now will have a much harder time qualifying when mortgage rates are higher.
3. Mini-Bubble 2.0: The main reason home prices are rising at current pace is that on-sale inventory is so low. There continue to be problematic numbers of homes underwater, many Americans in the 90-99 LTV range, which means these homeowners will not be putting their homes into the for sale inventory. Further, there has been a big drop in home construction in the last 5 years. Though that number is getting better each year, we are not building homes fast enough to make a significant push into inventory. Finally, properties in distress take a long time to get to market and we have still have roughly 5 million homes that are either delinquent or in the foreclosure process. So long as these factors exist, then there remains the possibility that the few properties there are, are being inflated to unrealistic levels, and that mini bubble in prices will get bigger.
It would be wonderful if the good news being reported by many is actually good long-term news as well. But, in my view, the recent rise in home prices , without the corresponding increase in real incomes, and new home purchase mortgage applications being approved, then the truth seems to be more like the truth for our fateful Wooly Mammoth. Sometimes the initial problem becomes insignificant, though contributory, to the much worse problems to come.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Russia getting everything in place for the WWIII. They know its a matter of time and the US will not stop until they get the war going. The Central Bankers need the war to cover up the economic collapse.[/stextbox]
Russia considers its military base in Armenia to be vital for the South Caucasus country’s national security and will continue to strengthen it with modern weaponry, a visiting top Kremlin official said on Monday, Asbarez.com reported.
“I think the presence of Russian servicemen is a guarantee that there will be no negative developments in Armenia,” Nikolay Patrushev, the secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said at the headquarters of the base in the northwestern Armenian city of Gyumri.
“It’s a very modern, good military base that will continue to be modernized,” he told journalists there.
Asked what concrete forms that modernization will take, Patrushev said, “The [Russian and Armenian] ministers of defense are dealing with that. They have a plan. The military base will evolve and be modernized. I must point out, though, that it is already combat-ready and able to accomplish any task.”
Moscow has already bolstered the Soviet-era facility with new military hardware since the signing in 2010 of an agreement with Yerevan that extended the Russian military presence in Armenia until 2044. The agreement also upgraded the base’s security mission, leading Armenian officials to imply that 5,000 or so Russian soldiers serving there would intervene in case of another war with Azerbaijan.
As well as helping the Armenian military and strengthening its military base, Russia has been selling weapons to Azerbaijan, however. Patrushev effectively confirmed the sale of $1 billion worth of Russian tanks, artillery systems and other weapons to Azerbaijan, which was reported by Russian media last week. “Russia engages in trade with all countries and any country can legally buy weapons from Russia,” he said when asked about those reports.
The Russian arms supplies to Azerbaijan have prompted serious concern from Armenian analysts and opposition figures. Some of them have accused Moscow of betraying Armenia, its main ally in the region. The Armenian government has dismissed such concerns, saying that the reported deliveries will not change the balance of forces in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Patrushev traveled to Gyumri on the second day of his visit to Armenia that began with a meeting with President Serzh Sarkisian. A statement by Sarkisian’s press office said the two men discussed “regional developments challenges” and the Karabakh peace process.
Patrushev’s Armenian opposite number, Artur Baghdasarian, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service on Friday that the Russian official’s visit will result in a new Russian-Armenian agreement relating to defense and security. He declined to elaborate.
6.25.13 – Glenn Beck: Shocking Video- THIS Is Who We Are Helping In Syria?! SHARE WITH EVERYONE!
Worries about a credit crunch in China drive investors in Bonds and U.S. Treasuries. Although China’s central bank tried to dispel the fear, but experts see more risks than the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The Tokyoinvestors on the international markets do not come to rest.Hardly move the headlines on the European debt crisis somewhat in the background, a new construction is happening on. And this is precisely in China. The nervousness of investors is greater, because in the worst case threatens new financial crisis. ”A credit crunch in China could still have severe consequences, as we have seen after the Lehman collapse,” said Akira Takei of Mizuho Asset Management in Tokyo.
China’s heavily indebted banks trust, as has become clear in recent days, the ability to pay their own competitors and therefore no longer lend to each other only at very high interest money. At times, it had to be spent whopping 25 percent. The high boiling fear is that small banks with high outstanding loan portfolios without aid from the Chinese central bank may go bankrupt – and infect the entire industry. Thus, the economy could be affected in tow and then key international trading partners as well as Germany. Investors reminded of the collapse of U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers in the fall of 2008 and the subsequent banking crisis. They fear a repeat of history.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Europe is falling apart and Italy is on the edge of collapse[/stextbox]
Everyone knows Europe is insolvent; the only question is “when” will Europe be forced to finally admit this truism. The long overdue house of cards may start toppling in as little as 6 months, as The Telegraph reports, Mediobanca’s ‘index of solvency risk’ suggests “time is running out fast” for Italy. With the breakdown in Eurozone talks on a banking union and the Fed’s shift in policy, Europe “has become a dangerous place,” warns RBS. Unless Italy can count on low borrowing costs and a broad recovery, it will “inevitably end up in an EU bailout.” The current situation is as bad as when the country was blown out of the ERM in 1992 as “the Italian macro situation has not improved…rather the contrary; with 160 large corporates in Italy now in special crisis administration.” If the ECB doesn’t act, one analyst warns (pleads) it could see all the gains of the past nine months vanish in two weeks. Mediobanca said the trigger for a blow-up in Italy could be a bail-out crisis for Slovenia or an ugly turn of events in Argentina, which has close links to Italian business. “Argentina in particular worries us, as a new default seems likely.”
“Time is running out fast,” said Mediobanca’s top analyst, Antonio Guglielmi, in a confidential client note. “The Italian macro situation has not improved over the last quarter, rather the contrary. Some 160 large corporates in Italy are now in special crisis administration.”
The report warned that Italy will “inevitably end up in an EU bail-out request” over the next six months, unless it can count on low borrowing costs and a broader recovery.
Emphasising the gravity of the situation, it compared the crisis with when the country was blown out of the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1992 despite drastic austerity measures.
“The European Central Bank needs to take very aggressive steps to offset this,” said Marchel Alexandrovich from Jefferies Fixed Income. “We have a sell-off across the board. If the ECB doesn’t act, it could see all the gains of the past nine months vanish in two weeks, taking the eurozone back to square one.”
“We have clear signs in global finance of a generalised meltdown in assets right now.”
Mediobanca said the trigger for a blow-up in Italy could be a bail-out crisis for Slovenia or an ugly turn of events in Argentina, which has close links to Italian business. “Argentina in particular worries us, as a new default seems likely.”
Mr Guglielmi said Italy’s industrial output has slumped 25pc from its peak in the past decade, while disposable income has dropped 9pc and house sales have dropped to 1985 levels.
The 1992 crisis was defused by a large devaluation, allowing Italy to restore trade competitiveness at a stroke. Mediobanca said: “The euro straitjacket is clearly not providing a similar currency flexibility today. With the lira devaluation Italy managed to inflate debt away, which it cannot do today. It could take more than 10 years to revert to pre-crisis output levels.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]China and Russia are creating a rating agency to compete with the corrupt rating agencies in America. S&P is being sued by the government so they cannot give an honest rating other rating agencies are banned from rating the government.[/stextbox]
The new credit agency, the Universal Credit Rating Group, has been set up a rival the existing agencies Moody’s, S&P and Fitch. It will based in Hong Kong, and provide a check on the big three, whom some analysts say have contributed to the 2008 crisis.
Dagon, RusRating and America’s Egan-Jones Ratings will have equal shares in the venture, with an initial investment of $9 million.
The newcomer to the market is intended to provide some balance to the so-called Big Three which have strongly dominated the industry. Though rating agencies are a part and parcel of the global financial system, they were little known before the crisis. After the global turmoil broke out in 2008 Moody’s, S&P and Fitch were strongly criticized for over-estimating complex mortgage-backed investments and thus persuading investment in “bad assets” by those who initially didn’t want to take up the risk. It became one of the key triggers to the current economic crisis.
Ratings by the three global agencies have been used as guidelines for investors in their decision making, as they indicate to buyers of debt the probability of the debt being paid back.
Universal is to operate under a “dual-rating” system, which means other local agencies would also be involved and issue their own ratings. This will enable investors to “see there is a difference of view and then the investors can make their own mind up,” CNN quotes Universal CEO Richard Hainsworth, who is also president of RusRating.
Experts say the move is definitely in the right direction, but it’ll take Universal time to win credibility.
“Anything to introduce greater competition … will encourage everybody to have better discipline. But I think it will take time for this new rating agency to establish itself,” Avonechith Siackhachanh, senior advisor in the Asian Development Bank’s Office of Regional Economic Integration, told CNN.
Just a day before the deal Moody’s downgraded the Hong Kong banking sector outlook to negative, referring to negative interest rates and the chances of a Hong Kong property bubble.
South Korea has issued a cyber alert after an apparent hacking attack on government websites.
The website of the presidential office was one of several official and media sites hit by an apparently co-ordinated attack on Tuesday morning, reports said.
The identity of the hackers was not known, a government statement said.
The incident came on the anniversary of the start of the 1950-53 Korean War, which divided the Korean peninsula.
“The government can confirm a cyber attack by unidentified hackers that shut down several sites including the Blue House,” the Science Ministry said in a statement, referring to the presidential office.
The website for the office for Government Policy Co-ordination and some media servers were also said to be affected by the attack.
Messages praising North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and claiming that hacking collective Anonymous was responsible were left on the hacked websites.
However, Anonymous denied any involvement in the South Korean cyber-attacks on its official Twitter account, AFP news agency reported.
Instead, the “hacktivist” group was said to have planned attacks against North Korean websites.
A number of North Korean websites went offline on Tuesday morning and appeared to have been targeted by hackers on Tuesday, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported, citing unnamed sources.
These included the websites of North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency, newspaper Rodong Sinmun, and portal Naenara.
Anonymous has previously claimed to have hacked and vandalised social networking profiles linked to North Korea as part of its Operation Free Korea.
South Korea has raised its cyber-alert level, and asked citizens to review their internet security, the BBC’s Lucy Williamson in Seoul reports.
South Korean investigators say North Korea has frequently carried out cyber attacks in the South, our correspondent adds.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Everyone knows the FED is the market, if they leave the market goes with them. They are in the process of transferring as much wealth to themselves. If any investor or country is holding a treasury bond it will be worthless when it collapses.[/stextbox]
Mutual and exchange-traded funds hemorrhaged a record volume of bonds in June, according to a fresh report by TrimTabs Investment Research, as investors fear the impact of a scaling back of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s bond purchasing program.
“Fund investors are unloading bonds at a record pace. The combined outflow of $47.2 billion is the highest in any month on record, handily eclipsing the previous record of $41.8 billion in October 2008,” said TrimTabs CEO David Santschi, in a report released on Monday.
The global sell-off in bonds began on May 22, after the minutes of the Fed’s policy meeting signaled that its bond-buying program—which has suppressed yields and boosted stocks—could soon be pared back. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke echoed these comments at a press meeting last Wednesday, suggesting that asset purchases could be scaled back later this year, if economic data continued to show improvement.
(Read More: Bonds Could Lose $1 Trillion on Yield Spike: BIS)
Bond market outflows continued on Monday, pushing the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasurys to 2.61 percent, close to a 2-year high. Yields on euro zone government bonds also surged upwards, with German 10-year bund yields hitting 1.78 percent, a high not seen since April 2012.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Basically the bail-in did not work for Cyprus, it was not suppose to. It was a test of the FDIC/Bank of England document and to see how people would react to bank holidays and the robbing the people of their wealth. The test worked the people did nothing and now Cyprus is in a deep recession, business have closed, people are on the street and unemployment has never been higher.[/stextbox]
Cyprus is not seeking to renegotiate the memorandum agreed with the Troika, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said on Wednesday, commenting on a report by the “Financial Times.”
“For the government there was not and there is no question of renegotiating the memorandum,” Stylianides said commenting on the report.
“The President`s letter that was leaked to the press does not imply such a thing,” he pointed out, noting “the consistent and disciplined implementation of the memorandum is the best way to exit the memorandum and the loan agreement the soonest possible.”
Stylianides pointed out that “identifying some practical difficulties and looking for collective solutions with our partners within the European institutions does not translate, under any circumstances, into a refusal to implement the agreement.”
He recalled that such practical solutions have been given to Greece, Portugal and Ireland, which are under an adjustment programme.
“Cyprus may possibly need such adjustments on the basis of practical solutions. There is no question of renegotiating the memorandum. What we are seeking is to resolve practical problems, always in the context of implementing the memorandum,” he added.
On March 25, Cyprus agreed with the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund, collectively known as the Troika, on a €10 billion bailout, which included the winding down of the island`s second largest bank, whose assets and employees were absorbed by Bank of Cyprus (BoCY), the island`s largest lender, which is currently undergoing a major restructuring. Moreover, the bailout featured bailing in uninsured deposits in BoCY to cover the bank`s capital shortfall.
In his letter to Cyprus` lenders, Anastasiades said that the bail-in was implemented without careful preparation and underlined that as a result the economy is driven into a deep recession, leading to a further rise in unemployment and making fiscal consolidation all the more difficult.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The stock market is completely disconnected from the rest of the economy. This happened in the Great Depression and in 2008. [/stextbox]
Nothing says economic recovery like one of the most profitable and prestigious law firms in the nation announcing mass layoffs for the first time in 82 years. Yep, four years after the so-called “recovery” began, things are so good that Weil, Gotshal & Manges has decided to cut 7% of its associates and slash annual compensation for 10% of its partners by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
As the article below notes, there is still massive overcapacity in the legal profession and this announcement is likely to spark a wave of layoffs in the industry. Not to worry though, Blackstone will continue to place all cash bids on empty homes in Nevada and Arizona. From the New York Times’ Dealbook:
One of the country’s most prestigious and profitable law firms is laying off a large number of lawyers and support staff, as well as reducing the pay of some of its partners, a surprising move that underscores the financial difficulties facing the legal profession.
Sixty junior lawyers, known in law firms as associates, will lose their jobs. That amounts to roughly 7 percent of Weil’s associates. Roughly 30 of the firm’s 300 partners are having their annual compensation reduced, in many cases by hundreds of thousands of dollars. And 110 staff employees – roughly half of them legal secretaries – are being let go.
Dan DiPietro, chairman of the law firm group at Citi Private Bank, said that there were too many lawyers at the country’s largest firms, estimating the excess capacity at as much as 10 percent of the lawyer population. He believes that the profession could possibly experience a wave of job cuts.
“Our market share has been improving, but the market has been shrinking,” Mr. Wolf said.
“We believe that this not just a cycle but that the supply-demand balance is out of whack across the industry,” he said. “If we thought this was a cycle and our business was going to pick up meaningfully next year, we would not be doing this.”
The mass layoffs are the first in the 82-year history of Weil, which has 21 offices across the globe and headquarters high above Fifth Avenue in the General Motors building, one of New York’s most coveted business addresses. Last year, the firm posted revenue of about $1.2 billion, and its profits per partner ranked 13th of all firms nationwide.
Several industry experts informed of Weil’s decision applauded the move. Peter Zeughauser, a law firm consultant, said that many firms were in denial about the continued slack demand for their services, and Weil’s cutbacks could pressure them into getting leaner.
Do you want to know the primary reason why rapidly rising interest rates could take down the entire global financial system? Most people might think that it would be because the U.S. government would have to pay much more interest on the national debt. And yes, if the average rate of interest on U.S. government debt rose to just 6 percent (and it has actually been much higher in the past), the federal government would be paying out about a trillion dollars a year just in interest on the national debt. But that isn’t it. Nor does the primary reason have to do with the fact that rapidly rising interest rates would impose massive losses on bond investors. At this point, it is being projected that if U.S. bond yields rise by an average of 3 percentage points, it will cause investors to lose a trillion dollars. Yes, that is a 1 with 12 zeroes after it ($1,000,000,000,000). But that is not the number one danger posed by rapidly rising interest rates either. Rather, the number one reason why rapidly rising interest rates could cause the entire global financial system to crash is because there are more than 441 TRILLION dollars worth of interest rate derivatives sitting out there. This number comes directly from the Bank for International Settlements – the central bank of central banks. In other words, more than $441,000,000,000,000 has been bet on the movement of interest rates. Normally these bets do not cause a major problem because rates tend to move very slowly and the system stays balanced. But now rates are starting to skyrocket, and the sophisticated financial models used by derivatives traders do not account for this kind of movement.
So what does all of this mean?
It means that the global financial system is potentially heading for massive amounts of trouble if interest rates continue to soar.
Today, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasury bonds rocketed up to 2.66% before settling back to 2.55%. The chart posted below shows how dramatically the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries has moved in recent days…
Right now, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries is about 30 percentabove its 50 day moving average. That is the most that it has been above its 50 day moving average in 50 years.
Like I mentioned above, we are moving into uncharted territory and this data doesn’t really fit into the models used by derivatives traders.
The yield on 5 year U.S. Treasuries has been moving even more dramatically…
When an economy is at ‘full capacity’, (i.e. very low unemployment and all resources in the economy being used productively), a government may wish to spend say £20Bn on something everyone agrees is needed – it could be repaying govt debt, defending the country, building hospitals, whatever.
When it spends this money it inevitably causes inflation – this is because you have more spending chasing the same amount of goods and services. The amount of goods and services does not change because the economy is already at full capacity.
To enable the government to spend without causing an inflationary spiral, the government taxes by an equal amount to prevent the private sector spending by the same amount – so overall the spending (public and private) remains roughly constant, so no inflationary spiral.
So the extra tax is to prevent an inflationary spiral when the economy is at full capacity – it is not required to “finance” govt spending. This is why government economics is nothing like household economics.
However, when an economy is the position ours is in with excess capacity, spending by government is permissible without taxation as it doesn’t cause inflation.
Given that our economy has not been at full capacity for over 30 years (hence the high unemployment), the government does not need to increase taxes or cut spending elsewhere to “pay” the interest on govt debt or to “pay” for anything.
The big question is why does the government issue bonds at all and pay interest to private investors? Why doesn’t the government just create the money at the mint or Bank of England – this won’t be inflationary as there is spare capacity.
The vast majority of Americans are going to be absolutely blindsided by what is coming. They don’t understand how our financial system works, they don’t understand how vulnerable it is, and most of them blindly trust that our leaders know exactly what they are doing and that they will be able to fix our problems. As a result, most Americans are simply not prepared for the massive storm that is heading our way.
Most American families are living paycheck to paycheck, most of them are not storing up emergency food and supplies, and only a very small percentage of them are buying gold and silver for investment purposes. They seem to have forgotten what happened back in 2008. When the financial markets crashed, millions of Americans lost their jobs. Because most of them were living on the financial edge, millions of them also lost their homes.
#1 According to a survey that was just released, 76 percent of all Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.
2 27 percent of all Americans do not have even a single penny saved up.
#3 46 percent of all Americans have $800 or less saved up.
#4 Less than one out of every four Americans has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.
#5 Wages continue to fall even as the cost of living continues to go up. Today, the average income for the bottom 90 percent of all income earners in America is just $31,244. An increasing percentage of American families are just trying to find a way to survive from month to month.
#6 62 percent of all middle class Americans say that they have had to reduce household spending over the past year.
#7 Small business is becoming an endangered species in America. In fact, only about 7 percent of all non-farm workers in the United States are self-employed at this point. That means that the vast majority of Americans are depending on someone else to provide them with an income. But what is going to happen as those jobs disappear?
DHS is no longer conducting ordinary background checks because of the increase in the volume of amnesty applications which followed President Obama’s executive order, which took effect on 15 August last year. Skeptical lawmakers may wonder whether DHS can handle the millions of applications which will follow the immigration bill if it is passed, if the department cannot handle the hundreds of thousands which followed the executive order.
Last week Judicial Watch, a government watchdog group released a report showing that DHS is no longer conducting ordinary background checks because of the increase in the volume of amnesty applications which followed President Obama’s executive order, which took effect on 15 August last year.
The Foundry notes this move by DHS may persuade undecided senators to oppose the immigration bill, because they would wonder how DHS will manage more than ten million amnesty applications if an immigration bill is passed.
Under the Senate immigration bill, the majority of the 11.5 million illegal immigrants in the United States would have to pass a background check to be granted registered provisional status. DHS would now only have six months to prepare for the amnesty applications and background checks.
The agency will also have to create a border security plan, a biometric entry-exit system, administer new visas, oversee a new agricultural worker programs, and develop a new employment verification program.
The report, which Judicial Watch assembled from e-mails and other documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act, says that DHS agents operated under irregular and inconsistent orders when it came to managing Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. As a result, DHS, in September 2012, adopted a “lean and light” system of background checks, in which only a few randomly selected applications were processed.
The report goes on to say that three days after Obama was re-elected, DHS was told to “put all DACA work on hold until further notice.” Judicial Watch says it received no documents showing on when DHS will resume background checks, or whether they have been resumed.
The economy isn’t getting better and the unemployment numbers we keep seeing are far from accurate. According to CNN Money, 76 percent of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck.
Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com Monday.
Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all.
“It’s disappointing,” said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s senior financial analyst. “Nothing helps you sleep better at night than knowing you have money tucked away for unplanned expenses.”
Even more disappointing; The savings rates have barely changed over the past three years, even though a larger percentage of consumers report an increase in job security, a higher net worth and an overall better financial situation.
Meanwhile, a new Rasmussen Report shows the majority want the government to cut spending in order to spur economic growth. Source
Bonuses for Top 1% Bureaucrats Comin’ Again On Your Watch
Fed Crashes Markets to Defend against Dollar Collapse
Obama’s family vacation to Africa to cost taxpayers $100 million – Back to the Homeland
U.S. Military to Shred Thousands of Million-Dollar Armored Vehicles in Afghanistan
Emergency manager: Detroit won’t pay $2.5B it owes
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Lets think about this for a second, the banks created the securities, the banks then caused the problem, the banks then needed money to get out of the situation they put themselves into. So basically they stole the money from the people. [/stextbox]
Executives at the Anglo Irish Bank were recorded joking about how they lied to Dublin about the bank’s financial future in 2008, convincing lawmakers to invest in the failing bank with figures “picked out of my arse” – with no plans to pay them back.
John Bowe, the head of capital markets for Anglo Irish, was recorded laughing as he explained to Peter Fitzgerald, the former head of banking, how Anglo Irish had fleeced the Irish government into providing billions of euro to keep the bank solvent.
The 2008 conversation was captured by the bank’s internal recording system and published by the Irish Independent. Ireland still has yet to fully recover from the financial crisis, despite attempts to bring the country back to normalcy by way of a drastic austerity program set in motion in the four years since.
In the September 2008 conversation caught on the tape, Bowe admits he knew the €7 billion he initially asked for would not be enough to spare the bank, which was within mere days of a complete meltdown. When asked about the origin of that figure, Bowe referred to then-Anglo Irish CEO David Drumm.
“Just as Drummer would say, ‘picked it out of my arse,’ you know,” he said. “I mean, look, what we did was we basically said: ‘What is the amount we can securitize over the next six months? And basically say to them: ‘Look our problem here is time, it’s not our ability to create the liquidity, the enemy is time here.’”
Both Bowe and Fitzgerald can be heard laughing through the discussion. The tapes’ release also confirms the long-held suspicion that Irish bankers knew the initial government investments were far too small.
“Yeah and that number is seven, but the reality is that actually we need more than that,” Bowe said. “But you know, the strategy here is you pull them in, you get them to write a big check and they have to keep – they have to support their money.”
With US equities 7.5% off their all-time highs and on the verge of instigating a ‘Markets In Turmoil’ special, we thought it perhaps of note that the growth engine of the world continues to see real turmoil. Short-term funding rates remain elevated (7-day repo jumping 240bps to 10% today) as the ‘engineered’ credit crunch continues for China. The Shanghai Composite opened down today, crossing the 20% drop level from the recent Feb highs (and -16.5% in the last 16 days!) pushing the index to its lowest level since January 2009.
Last week, Noble Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama advised that his administration would be arming the Free Syrian Army with weapons to resist the armies of Syria’s President Bashar Assad. Furthermore, they would look to implement a Libya-style no-fly zone over the country, which like Libya, would likely involve widespread carpet bombing of suspected military strongholds and control centers.
With boots on the ground around Syria’s borders, the United States is without a doubt preparing for widespread engagement across the region yet again, with the aim of the new U.S. supplied weapons being more killing and destruction in a civil war that has left tens of thousands dead in the last year.
It is the assumption of the Obama administration that these weapons will tip the scales of power in favor of the rebels, many of whom have been identified as members of America’s arch enemy, Al Queda.
But Russia’s KGB-hardened President Vladimir Putin has other ideas.
This week, according to a British intelligence report, Putin reportedly passed on a diplomatic communique to the United States and France using British Prime Minister David Cameron as the intermediary.
According to the report from Syrian-based Dam Press and the Dyar Newspaper, the Russians aren’t backing off their Syria policy and they are getting ready to double down by supplying Assad’s military with weapons the have never before been seen in the Middle East.
6.22.13 – The U.S. Policy Coup Explained by 4-Star General Wesley Clark
General Wesley Clark, on the talk circuit in 2007, explained how the U.S. military planned to destroy the governments of seven countries in five years and enumerates them in this YouTube video.
US federal prosecutors have charged whistleblower Edward Snowden with espionage, theft and conversion of government property in a criminal complaint, and asked Hong Kong to detain him ahead of a move to extradite him.
Charges of espionage and theft are based on Snowden’s extraction of classified documents from NSA servers, which led to publication of several articles regarding the NSA’s surveillance programs, including PRISM, which is alleged to harvest private user data through cooperation with a slew of American corporations including Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple and Microsoft.
The implicated companies have denied granting US intelligence services “direct access” to their servers, though during an online chat on Monday Snowden alleged that they had been purposely deceptive in their responses.
When asked to “define in as much detail as you can what ‘direct access’ means,” Snowden went into greater technical detail:
“More detail on how direct NSA’s accesses are is coming, but in general, the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want,” he said.
The specific details of how Snowden transported the classified NSA documents are somewhat unclear, with The Guardian saying they were extracted using four laptops taken to Hong Kong, though subsequent reports suggested that Snowden simply copied secret files on USB drives. Even though the use of thumb drives is banned in SIPRNET, the Defense Department’s secret network, as a system administrator Snowden had much broader access to data.
Global financial markets are now in a very perilous state, and there is a much higher than normal chance of a crash.
Bernanke’s recent statement revealed just how large a role speculation had played in the prices of nearly everything, and now there is a mad dash for cash taking place all over the world.
After years of cramming liquidity into the markets, creating massive imbalances such as stock markets hitting new highs even as economic fundamentals deteriorated (Germany) or were lackluster (U.S.), junk bonds hitting all-time-record highs, and sovereign bond yields steadily falling even as the macro economics of various countries worsened markedly (Spain, Italy, Greece, and Portugal), all of this was steadily building up pressures that were going to be relieved someday.
Just over a month ago, Japan lit the fuse by destabilizing its domestic market, which sent ripples throughout the world.
NOMURA: It Was An ‘Epic Week’, The Rules Have Changed, And There Will Be No Reversing The Fed’s Big Bang
Here’s how you know we had a huge week in the market: Research analysts start using blogger terminology in their notes.
George Goncalves, the top interest rate strategy at Nomura, has a note out titled “The Fed’s Big Bang Moment, Reversible?” and it starts like this:
An epic week, to say the least, as markets re-priced to what some are calling the start of a new hawkish Fed world order.
And it gets better:
Unless one believes in time-travel, one cannot reverse the Fed‘s big bang moment. Given the rules changed, we need to respect the shift, take a step back and re-analyze our views for now.
So what exactly happened this week to prompt such talk of “epic” moves?
Well if you were only going to look at one chart, it would have to be the yield on the 10-year US bond.
As you can see on this chart via Bloomberg, the yield has been rising since the beginning of May, but in the last week it went vertical, with interest rates ending at 2.53%.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]False flag alert: Obama cannot let this happen, the central bankers need this war, so the government agencies will need to proceed with a false flag to convince the senate and people to go to war. [/stextbox]
Four bipartisan US senators have introduced a bill aimed at prohibiting the administration of President Barack Obama from providing military assistance to militants in Syria.
The legislation was introduced on June 20 by Democrats Tom Udall and Chris Murphy and Republicans Mike Lee and Rand Paul in an effort to bar the US Department of Defense and spy agencies from feeding anti-Syria Takfiri militants.
On June 14, Obama ordered his administration to provide the militants with weapons, which include assault rifles, shoulder-fired rocket-propelled grenades and anti-tank missiles.
Rand Paul said in a statement that the “president’s unilateral decision to arm Syrian rebels is incredibly disturbing, considering what little we know about whom we are arming.”
Chris Murphy also argued, “We should be extremely wary of allowing the United States to be drawn into a complicated proxy war that could mire our country for years at a potentially incalculable cost to US taxpayers and America’s reputation at home and abroad.”
Many members of the US Congress remain deeply skeptical about White House plans for transferring weapons to foreign-sponsored militants in Syria, while a number of others have been pressing for military aid to the Takfiris for months.
Washington announced its plans to arm the militants in Syria a day after it claimed that the Syrian army had used chemical weapons in its fight against the militants.
Syria strongly rejects such claims and says the extremists have used chemical weapons on several occasions, including an attack in the region of Khan al-Assal in the northwestern province of Aleppo on March 19, where over two dozen people died.
Turmoil has gripped Syria since March 2011, and many people, including large numbers of Syrian soldiers and security personnel, have been killed in the violence.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Since the gun control bill and UN arms treaty bill are pending in the senate and the government has lost traction they will need an event to push the agenda forward. To do this look for a false flag event, it will most likely be in July. This event will have to be horrific to make the people and congress push this gun bill through.[/stextbox]
The nation’s mayors are expected to ask Congress to push anew for stronger background checks for gun buyers.
Dozens of city leaders will consider a resolution demanding gun control legislation during the 81st annual U.S. Conference of Mayors conference, which begins Friday in Las Vegas.
The Democrat-controlled Senate voted against legislation in April that would have expanded background checks for firearm purchases to gun shows and online sales.
“If you do not have a safe city, you do not have a city,” Conference of Mayors executive director Tom Cochran said. “We remember those babies in Connecticut and the people who were shot in the Batman movie. At an annual meeting, it would be derelict on our part if we did not call attention to the need for Congress to take action.”
Gunmen’s rampages at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut and in a Colorado movie theater last year led to gun control advocates’ renewed push for more firearm restrictions.
At the meeting, big-city leaders including Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa will tell of their struggles with crime, foreclosures and unemployment rates, and share ideas for leadership strategies.
Mayors from Philadelphia, Baltimore, Atlanta, Phoenix and about 200 other cities were expected to attend. They plan to consider reports on a proposed nationwide Internet sales tax, and a limit on tax-exempt municipal bonds, and compete in several awards categories, including most livable city.
The background check resolution is sponsored by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, neither of whom are scheduled to attend the conference.
Emanuel has made gun control a key issue of his administration. At the conference’s winter meeting, he urged mayors nationwide to follow Chicago’s lead and sever ties with companies that make or sell assault weapons.
Bloomberg said that mayors are already on the front lines of gun violence on a daily basis, often comforting families of shooting victims, and has urged them to make clear that members of Congress could lose their jobs if they don’t support tougher gun laws.
On Friday, with that legislation stalled out, Biden will return to the mayor’s conference to give a keynote address. He is expected to support the background check resolution, which urges the “passage of important public safety legislation in Congress which would require a background check for every gun sale.”
British regulators have ordered its biggest banks to bolster their balance sheets by a total of £27.1 billion ($42.1 billion) to prevent a repeat of the 2008 banking crisis.
The Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) says Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) account for much of the shortfall. The state -backed RBS alone must find £13.6 billion, with Lloyds lacking £8.6 billion in capital. Barclays must boost its capital by £3 billion.
Given the pressure to increase lending to businesses and families to kick start the economy, the PRA requirement is putting additional pressure on British banks.
The PRA report comes months after the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee had asked to make sure the UK banks comply with the new Basel III guidelines on capital adequacy. The guideline agreed by international central banks, known as Basel III Core Tier 1 capital ratio, requires lenders to hold capital resources of at least 7% of their “risk-weighted assets”.
The PRA determined that as of the end of 2012, Barclays, Co-op, Lloyds, Nationwide and RBS “fell short of this standard.”
Despite some of the troubled UK banks already taking action to plug the capital hole to the tune of £13.7billion, four of five of them still don’t meet a 7% requirement, according to the PRA. Now the authority needs to look at the banks’ detailed game plans to provide for £13.4 billion that is still missing. All the planned remedies like restructuring or sell–offs should be presented by the end of 2013, the PRA says.
In an effort to shake off concerns, Lloyds said it aimed to boost its capital adequacy ratio to above 9 percent by the end of June and increase it further to 10% by the end of the year. RBS also said it “continues to target” a 9% guideline by the end of this year, with Barclays reaffirming it can collect the needed £3 billion through disposals.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The FED has proven that without it in the market it would collapse. So what will the FED need to do, pump it back up and keep the world mesmerized on the stock market instead of the economy. It doesn’t matter if the FED tapers or prints the outcome is the same, collapse. Most likely the FED will pump the market back up on Friday.[/stextbox]
Can you smell that? It is the smell of panic in the air. As I have noted before, when financial markets catch up to economic reality they tend to do so very rapidly. Normally we don’t see virtually all asset classes get slammed at the same time, but the bucket of cold water that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke threw on global financial markets on Wednesday has set off an epic temper tantrum. On Thursday, U.S. stocks, European stocks, Asian stocks, gold, silver and government bonds all over the planet all got absolutely shredded. This is not normal market activity. Unfortunately, there is nothing “normal” about our financial markets anymore. Over the past several years they have been grossly twisted and distorted by the Federal Reserve and by the other major central banks around the globe. Did the central bankers really believe that there wouldn’t be a great price to pay for messing with the markets? The behavior that we have been watching this week is the kind of behavior that one would expect at the beginning of a financial panic. Dick Bove, the vice president of equity research at Rafferty Capital Markets,told CNBC that what we are witnessing right now “is not normal. It is not normal for all markets to move in the same direction at the same point in time due to the same development.” The overriding emotion in the financial world right now is fear. And fear can cause investors to do some crazy things. So will global financial markets continue to drop, or will things stabilize for now? That is a very good question. But even if there is a respite for a while, it will only be temporary. More carnage is coming at some point.
What we have witnessed this week very much has the feeling of a turning point. The euphoria that drove the Dow well over the 15,000 mark is now gone, and investors all over the planet are going into crisis mode. The following is a summary of the damage that was done on Thursday…
-U.S. stocks had their worst day of the year by a good margin. The Dow fell 354 points, and that was the biggest one day drop that we have seen since November 2011. Overall, the Dow has lost more than 550 points over the past two days.
-Thursday was the eighth trading day in a row that we have seen a triple digit move in the Dow either up or down. That is the longest such streak since October 2011.
“Forget the official debt,” he tells Aaron in this clip. The “real” deficit – including non-budgetary items like unfunded liabilities of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the defense budget – is actually $202 trillion, the professor and author calculates; or 15 times the “official” numbers.
“Congress has engaged in Enron accounting,” says Kotlikoff, who recently penned an op-ed for Bloomberg entitled: The U.S. Is Bankrupt and We Don’t Even Know It.
Yet, the debt market continues to have an insatiable appetite for U.S. Treasuries; heading into Monday’s session, the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond (which moves in opposition to its price) was at its lowest level since April 2009.
Kotlikoff says that’s because the market is focused on the “mole hill” of official debt. In time, the U.S. will have a major inflation problem to rival that of Germany’s post World War I Weimar Republic, he predicts. “We have to think about the fact that unless the government gets its fiscal act in order we’re going to have the government printing lots and lots money to pay these enormous bills that are coming due over time.”
Russia and China have drafted a major oil contract, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Chinese State Council Executive Deputy Prime Minister Zhang Gaoli at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
“A major contract – it would not be an exaggeration to call it unprecedented – with the Rosneft Company has been drafted. Prospective crude deliveries to China will top hundreds of millions of tonnes and exceed 60 billion in the dollar equivalent,” Putin said.
The issue of increasing exports of Russian oil to China has been repeatedly raised this year. Rosneft’s intention to boost oil supplies to China has been underpinned by opening the second line of Russia’s East Siberia-Pacific Ocean (ESPO) pipeline in December 2012.
“Expansion of cooperation between Rosneft and China is utterly positive for the company, as it creates additional market outlet, which is important given the aggressive growth of its resource base,” according to Ivan Anoshkin, an analyst at Invetscafe.
Rosneft is the only Russian company producing oil for exports to China. Tatneft, Russia’s oil transportation company, also has contracts with China, with its oil exports estimated at 6 million tonnes a year. However, the oil transporter buys the commodity from Rosneft. Rosneft oil supplies to China stand at 15 million tonnes a year, which is planned to be boosted 250% – to 37.8 million tonnes.
Given that the projected capacity of the ESPO stands at 31 million tonnes a year, Rosneft needs to use alternative export routes. These might include via the pipeline network through Kazakhstan or via the Kozmino oil port.
“However, as a vector to the tightening energy relations between the two countries, the optimal variant looks to be to construct additional pipeline capacity,” the Investcafe analyst concluded.
6.20.13 – Ron Paul warned of STOCK MARKET CRASH on yesterdays show! Gold, silver dow in free fall TODAY!
Presenting the creeping take over of the world by “King Dollar” over the past year… or heatmaps for FX dummies.
The charts below show which currencies of the world have been bloodied by the USD (red) or are victorious (green).
Naturally, in the past 24 hours, the USD is crushing everyone as the global liquidation and flight to “dollar safety” unwinds. After all, somehow the thinking goes that despite having $216 trillion in debt and unfunded liabilities in 4 years, the Federal Reserve will simply pack up its toolbox (which really has just one tool inside of it – a printer), pretend it will not inflate away the debt, and just go home.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This article doesn’t tell the entire story, the US has attacked other countries using cyber attacks. So the ability is here right now. When everything is on IPv6 almost all systems will be vulnerable[/stextbox].
Cyber-attacks will become more destructive within three to five years, predicts Art Coviello, executive chairman of the security firm RSA.
“There’s about to be a big change,” he says in an interview at RSA Conference Asia Pacific in Singapore [transcript below].
Today, it’s difficult for cybercriminals to launch a destructive attack from the Internet without some manual intervention, Coviello says. But when the Internet migrates to IPv6, the whole environment will change, he says.
“In the next three to five years, when you have all of these control systems connected to the Internet, and as literally hundreds of millions of devices get deployed, you’re going to have an attack surface that’s just unbelievably large,” he says. “That will form the basis of potential for destructive attacks.”
Organizations need to fully understand the threats that are emerging to take appropriate preventive measures, Coviello says.
During this exclusive interview, Coviello discusses:
Why destructive cyber-attacks will become a bigger threat;
The example governmental bodies in Singapore are setting for other global markets on information sharing and cybersecurity training;
Unique challenges and opportunities for cybersecurity in Asia Pacific;
Coviello oversees RSA’s strategy and overall operations for information-centric security. The information security industry leader plays key roles in several national cybersecurity initiatives. Coviello has more than 30 years of strategic, operating and financial management experience at high-technology companies.
During August 2010, the People of The State of Missouri approved Proposition C and nullified key parts of “Obamacare.” As a matter of constitutional principle, may the People of the States lawfully do this? Or must they submit to every law made by Congress whether it is constitutional or not? Are federal judges the final authority?
I will prove that the States have the Right and the Duty to nullify unconstitutional acts of Congress. The only real question is whether Americans have the Will to reclaim our Constitutional Republic & the Rule of Law, or whether they will submit to the rulership of men who “don’t care” what the Constitution says, and who see Obamacare as a way “to control the people”.
Congress’ Powers are Enumerated
1. The U.S. Constitution, which created the federal government, permits Congress to make laws only on those few objects which are listed in the Constitution. The objects on which Congress has authority to make laws applicable throughout our Country are itemized at Art. I, Sec. 8, clauses 1-16 (and in a few of the Amendments).
2. Our Framers understood that civil governments seek to expand power at the expense of the People. And when they do so, their acts are VOID and INVALID! Thus, in Federalist No. 33 (next to last para), Hamilton says:
…But it will not follow …that acts of the large society [the federal government] which are NOT PURSUANT to its constitutional powers, but which are invasions of the residuary authorities of the smaller societies [the States], will become the supreme law of the land. These will be merely acts of usurpation, and will deserve to be treated as such… [caps are Hamilton’s; other emphasis mine]
3. Hamilton shows in Federalist No. 28 (7th para) that if the federal government invades the rights of the People, they can use the State government as the instrument of redress:
…in a confederacy the people … may be said to be … the masters of their own fate. Power being almost always the rival of power, the general [federal] government will … stand ready to check the usurpations of the state governments, and these will have the same disposition towards the general government. The people, by throwing themselves into either scale, will infallibly make it preponderate. If their rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress…. [emphasis added]
4. Think: Why would the States, which formed a Federation for the limited purposes enumerated in Art. I, Sec. 8; ask one branch of the federal government (judiciary) to opine on whether a “law” approved by the two other branches (legislative & executive), exceeds the enumerated powers of Congress and encroaches on the reserved powers of the States and the People (10th Amendment)? All three branches of the federal government have been unified against The Constitution, the States, and the People for a very long time! Why would States put themselves in the position of supplicants to a Court which has already shown itself to be contemptuous of the Constitution, and of the States’ and The Peoples’ reserved powers?
5. Will the States and the People surrender to the likes of former DNC Chairman Howard Dean who “doesn’t care” if the stuff passed by Congress is unconstitutional? To Democrat Congressman John Dingle who sees Obamacare as a means “to control the people”? Or will The People and the States man up and defend our Constitution?
We have instructions from the Author of the Declaration of Independence, the Father of the Constitution, and the Author of most of the Federalist Papers. They explain what our Constitution really means, and tell us what we need to do when the federal government usurps powers. Listen to them!
They are the highest Authority on the true meaning of our Constitution.
This is an (admittedly huge) list of words that supposedly cause the NSA to flag you as a potential terrorist if you over-use them in an email.
We found this on Reddit, where James Bamford, a veteran reporter with 30 years experience covering the NSA, is answering questions from the community. He just wrote a big profile for Wired on NSA director Keith Alexander that’s really good and well worth a read.
This list comes from Reddit user GloriousDawn, who found it on Attrition.org, a site that purports to follow the security industry, but the page was last updated in 1998. Take it with a grain of salt.
You may want to peruse this entire list yourself, but here are some of our favorites that stick out:
The QE Infinite parade officially ended yesterday when Bernanke hinted at tapering QE later this year or in mid-2014.
I first warned Private Wealth Advisory subscribers about this in mid-May writing,
If Bernanke is going to step down (as hinted by his decision to skip out on the Jackson Hole meeting) he’s not going to want to leave with the Fed going at QE 3 and QE 4 full throttle.
Instead his best bet would be to take his foot off the gas a little bit, giving his replacement a little room to maneuver if things get ugly.
Source: Private Wealth Advisory
This is precisely what Bernanke is trying to do. However, there is another far larger issue at work here.
The primary driver of stocks for the last four years has been the hope of more Fed stimulus. This hope has put a floor under ALL asset prices as market participants KNEW the Fed was involved in the markets. As a result EVERYTHING (stocks, bond commodities, even currencies) has been artificially propped.
By calling for the end to QE 3 and QE 4, the Fed has begun to remove these market props. Which means that the markets are now going to start adjusting to where assets prices REALLY SHOULD BE.
Take a look at the spike in the 10-year Treasury yield:
Moments ago, Caterpillar released its May 2013 dealer statistics breaking down the 3-month rolling average for machine retail sales. Curiously, unlike in previous months when Asia/Pac (i.e. China) was the worst performing region on a year-over-year basis, in May it was the US that showed the worst results. Just how bad: retail sales in the US clocked at a -16% clip, just barely above the -18% drop in April, and only the second worst print in the past 3 years. And just to put the CAT dump in perspective, the chart below correlates CAT North American retail data with a 3 month delay in Durable Goods Orders ex Transportation: has CAT become the best leading proxy for corporate CapEx, and if so, just how much more negative does it have to get before the recession-watchers join the bond vigilantes in waking from hibernation?
[stextbox id=”x22report”]There are many potential false flag events coming up this summer. Which will be the actual event nobody really knows. Please look at the right side of the site to see all the potential false flags. These seem to fit with the NYC chemical drill scheduled for July and this might be the event that they will use to bring us into war with Syria/Iran[/stextbox]
Why are role-playing actors being hired to portray biological/chemical attacks at political events this summer? Could it foreshadow a false flag attack, or are they just standard training exercises?
The government often hires actors or role players to participate in training drills to make certain disaster scenarios seem more realistic for the trainees.
Companies like IIF Data Solutions are contracted by government agencies to supply “crisis actors” for mass casualty drills. IIF Data, who boasts a senior staff with “more than 250 years cumulative experience serving with DOD agencies,” states on their website:
The utilization of moulaged Role Players significantly enhances the exercise training experience by more realistically simulating the conditions and challenges associated with disaster events.
IIF Data Solutions provides Role Player Support Services to Federal, State and Local authorities in support of their domestic exercise programs. Our management team has extensive experience working domestic exercises and has a proven track record of providing the absolute best Role Player Support Services available.
Besides providing role players for large annual drills like Vigilant Guard, they also work with more local training events. They are currently hiring actors for potential biological attacks at political events this summer. Below is a table outlining the scenarios and fake injuries needed for the drills:
IIF is now hiring for these political events this summer:
6/25/2013 – Alabama, June 7/15/2013 – Wisconsin, July 7/16/2013 – Colorado, July 8/26/2013 – California, August 2013
What does this have to do with the potential of a real attack at these events? Well, nearly all major “terror” attacks including 9/11, the London Tube bombings on 7 /7, and the Boston Marathon bombing all had drills taking place the same time depicting the exact attack scenario that played out.
And evidence has emerged that “crisis actors” were used at tragic events like the Boston Marathon bombing and the school shooting in Sandy Hook Connecticut.
What are the chances that the same woman (actor) was available to CNN to describe the mother of the Sandy Hook shooter and then reappear as a witness for two separate events that unfolded in Boston?
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This was a test of the markets, and yes the only reason the market is up is because of the money printing. The country is living in a land of illusions. But wait we already know that because the economy is already suffering and the stock market has nothing to do with the economy. This happened during the Great Depression and during 2008 crash[/stextbox]
If there’s one thing that individual investors can take away from Ben Bernanke’s latest Fed update, it’s that all confidence in the financial and economic systems of this country has been lost.
Within seconds of Ben Bernanke suggesting the Fed would taper monetary expansion and reduce their activity stock markets tumbled.
This proves one thing, and it’s what we and many other critics of Fed policy have been saying for nearly five years. The only thing keeping the entire system afloat is the fact that the U.S dollar is the world’s reserve currency, and that we can print it to infinitum.
Ben Bernanke simply spoke of pulling back the money printing and look what happened. Stock markets dropped almost instantly. Can you image what will happen when the Federal Reserve actually stops the printing, or even pulls back a little bit?
It would be financial chaos on an unprecedented scale.
Americans should be outraged that it has come to this. And one American in particular has no qualms about letting his feelings be known.
Watch CNBC’s Rick Santelli as he calls out Chairman Ben Bernanke, fed policies, unemployment statistics, and the blind followers who refuse to question the government’s widespread machinations.
This is one you don’t want to miss.
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]
On CNBC and all the channels that cover business, we have person after person after person, buy side, sell side, upside, downside. How is the economy? Economy is great. What about stocks? You got to buy them. What if they break? You have to buy the dips. What’s wrong with the economy? I don’t hear these people saying anything is wrong with the economy. So what’s wrong, Ben? Why can’t we get out of crisis management mode? There’s always going to be something. If you pull it away and the stock market goes down, where does it say in the Constitution that some form of the government has to guarantee that stocks go up? Or guarantee that you have a house? They don’t. Where have we gone off the rails? Enough is enough Why don’t these people kick the tires? They take a press release from the Federal Reserve and they think it was written by God.
Either things in China are now very serious (and Jean-Claude Juncker has been hired as chief propaganda officer), or the BOC hired Erin Callan as CFO. Either way, for now at least, the Bank of China “is fine”
I have long held the opinion that the markets, all of them, have been buoyed by what the Fed and the other central banks have done which was to pump a massive amount of money into the system. There are various ways to count this but about $16 trillion is my estimation. The economy in America has been flat-lining while the economies in Europe have been red-lining and while China has claimed growth their numbers did not add up and could not be believed.
In other words, the economic fundamentals were not supporting the lofty levels of the markets which had rested upon one thing and one thing alone which was liquidity. I have also stated often enough that the long awaited reversal would take place either due to an “event” or due to a change in the Fed’s position where the liquidity was going to be stopped. In one of the clearest and most open meetings ever conducted by the Fed, in my opinion, they said quite clearly that the end to its liquidity operations was coming and while the postulated this and that if the markets did this and that the message was quite clear; we are going to unwind what we have we have done.
Yesterday was the first day of the reversal. There will be more days to come.
What you are seeing, in the first instance, is leverage coming off the table. With short term interest rates right off of Kelvin’s absolute Zero there was been massive leverage utilized in both the bond and equity markets. While it cannot be quantified I can tell you, dealing with so many institutional investors, that the amount of leverage on the books is giant and is now going to get covered. It will not be pretty and it will be a rush through the exit doors as the fire alarm has been pulled by the Fed and the alarms are ringing. There is also an additional problem here.
The Street is not what it was. There is not enough liquidity in the major Wall Street banks, any longer, to deal with the amount of securities that will be thrown at them and I expect the down cycle to get exacerbated by this very real issue. Bernanke is no longer at the gate and the Barbarians are going to be out in force.
Yesterday was not pretty but today is likely to be worse. Gold is getting smashed, equity futures are down significantly, bonds are taking it on the chin and the only thing that is up is the Dollar. Then besides the Fed’s announcement; China is a rose dying on the vine. Their overnight repo rate hit 25% as the fear is palpable in Asia between the collapse of the Everbright Bank and the antics in Japan. The yield on China’s three year government bonds rose 12.5% last night while their flash PMI plunged to 48.2 which is the worst number in nine months.
Now you may be wondering what to do next. You will hear a lot of people in the media today saying that this is just a normal part of the market’s cycle.
This is not the case.
The Fed has signaled its intentions very clearly. You should be taking profits, taking money off the table and building up your cash positions. Your supplier of opiates has just informed you that your drugs are going to get cut off and preparations need to be made because there is no other supplier of this opiated cash. You can accurately think of the world’s central banks as a “cash cartel” and the distribution is being ended.
How bad it is going to be is uncertain but BAD, with capital letters, in my estimation. For four years we have lived on drug money supplied by the Fed and their colleagues and what the emperors’ can give; they can take away.
Eventually Treasury yields will go back down because the Fed will be buying more bonds than the Treasury needs to issue but for now the “leverage issue” will overcome that reality. Mortgage rates will be heading higher, the Real Estate market is going to correct and the days of wine and roses are now behind us.
[stextbox id=”highlight” shadow=”false”]“I’m neither traitor nor hero. I’m an American.” – Edward Snowden “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen.” – Samuel Adams[/stextbox]
There are weeks that change the course of human history. There are weeks when people must choose sides. There are weeks that expose the real American traitors. There is no middle ground in this debate. You are either on the side of freedom, liberty, truth, transparency and the U.S. Constitution or you are on the side of mindless obedience, oppression, deception, corruption and tyranny. A courageous young Millennial named Edward Snowden has risked his life and his future to expose the illegal, surreptitious surveillance programs being conducted by the United States government in clear violation of the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The NSA, with the full knowledge of Barack Obama and Congress, has been covertly collecting phone and internet records on millions of Americans with the full cooperation of Verizon and other mega media/data corporations. Our owners have been using the U.S. Constitution to wipe their asses. The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is so unambiguous that any intelligent politician, bright journalist or fifth grader in Miss Sabatini’s history class could interpret its meaning and intention. Our founding fathers believed in truth, clarity and simplicity. The traitorous sociopaths in control of our government today believe in obfuscation, ambiguity and complexity.
Do you believe the mass collection of metadata information from millions of Americans with no probable cause is an unreasonable search as defined by the 4th Amendment? Do you believe the complete lockdown of one of the biggest metropolitan areas in the country and the door to door search by heavily armed government security thugs for one wounded teenager, without warrants or probable cause, was a violation of the 4th Amendment? Do you believe secretive governmental agencies have the right to partner with the biggest internet/communications/mass media corporations in the world to record your phone calls, read your emails, and monitor your internet communications under the bogus justification of the War on Terror (you are more likely to be struck by lightning twice than to be killed by a terrorist)? Do you believe that government agencies tasked with revenue collection can be used to create an enemies list based upon whether you donated to the Ron Paul campaign, believe in liberty, or belong to a Tea Party organization? Do you believe allowing minimum wage government drones to molest little old ladies, paraplegics and three year old children, while conducting full body scans on all airline passengers really makes you safer from phantom terrorists? Do you believe having 30,000 high tech surveillance drones that can see you picking your nose in your driveway from 25,000 feet are not a violation of your privacy rights?
Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This has been reported many times about how the banks not just BOA but all banks keep foreclosed homes on their books because they are waiting for the real estate prices to go back up. The fact that they wouldn’t help with modifying loans is not a surprise. Lets put this into perspective, the banks, FED and government caused the entire 2008 crash, the FED printed money and gave it to the bank. They are giving 45 billion to the banks to purchase the toxic loans but are not allowing the banks to loan out the money to the people or help them with their underwater loans[/stextbox].
Employees of Bank of America say they were encouraged to lie to customers and were even rewarded for foreclosing on homes, staffers of the financial giant claim in new court documents.
Sworn statements from several Bank of America employees contain a number of damning allegations, the latest claims entered as evidence in a multi-state class action lawsuit that challenges the bank’s history with foreclosures.
According to testimonies obtained by journalists at ProPublica, supervisors at various Bank of America branches across the United States encouraged employees to regularly deny loan modification applications with no reason. At times, they were told to make up excuses to customers who risked losing their homes.
In one of the sworn statements, an ex-bank staffer said he would be directed to deny upwards of 1,500 loan modification applications at a single time with no apparent reason.
“To justify the denials, employees produced fictitious reasons, for instance saying the homeowner had not sent in the required documents, when in actuality, they had,” William Wilson, Jr., a former underwriter for the bank, wrote in his statement.
Elsewhere in his testimony, Wilson wrote that he was instructed to deny any applications for the Obama administration-created Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) that were older than 60 days, even in instances in “which the homeowner had provided all required financial documents and fully complied with the terms of a Trial Period Plan.”
Simone Gordon, a senior collector at B of A from 2007 through 2012, said, “We were told to lie to customers and claim that Bank of America had not received documents it had requested.”
“We were told that admitting that the Bank received documents ‘would open a can of worms,’” Gordon said, since the bank was regularly understaffed with regards to the process of reviewing the applications.
An average underwriter at B of A could have 400 outstanding applications awaiting review at any time, Gordon said in her statement. She also said collectors “who placed ten or more accounts into foreclosure in a given month received a $500 bonus.”
“Bank of America also gave employees gift cards to retail stores like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond as rewards for placing accounts into foreclosure,” she said.
Gordon also said that site leaders regularly instructed employees to prolong the loan modification process for customers because the longer proceedings were delayed, “the more fees Bank of America would collect.”
The statements were filed in federal court in Boston, Massachusetts last week, and the bank has already responded by condemning the claims.
“We continue to demonstrate our commitment to assisting customers who are at risk of foreclosure and, at best, these attorneys are painting a false picture of the bank’s practices and the dedication of our employees,” the bank said in an official statement. “While we will address the declarations in more depth when we file our opposition to plaintiffs’ motion next month, suffice it is to say that each of the declarations is rife with factual inaccuracies.”
Even outside of the bank, though, others in the industry say they suspect these practices indeed occurred.
“I’ve seen all of those things that this lawsuit has mentioned. Yes I have,” Jason McGrath a foreclosure attorney in Charlotte, North Caroline, told WSOCTV News. “It’s one of those things that it’s great for folks like me because we experience this on a day-to-day basis and we are finally glad to see it see the light of day,” he continued. “Some of my clients say I’m so glad to hear you tell me other people are going through this and it’s not just me. It’s weird since they feel better that other people are going through this as well.”
Christy Romero, the special inspector general of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, told Bloomberg that “It goes without saying that this is an outright abuse of consumers and government mortgage-assistance programs.”
The statements are just some of the latest testimonies against the bank, certainly not the first. Last year, Bank of America was among five mortgage servicers that divvied out a $25 billion settlement to state and federal regulators after coming under fire for their foreclosing practices.
Almost exactly 8 years after Greenspan’s now infamous “conundrum” comments about the unprecedented persistence of low, long-term interest rates, Bernanke is now “puzzled” at the dramatic rise in interest rates following his recent Taper remarks. Have no fear though, just as Greenspan noted, “I’m reasonably certain we would not automatically assume that it would mean what it meant in the past, ” Bernanke said today that the “sharp rise in rates”, was not about the Taper but “due to other factors, including optimism about the economy.”
Perhaps more importantly, today for the first time someone, not Hilsenrath of course, had the guts to ask Bernanke the hardest question: is the Fed’s “Stock not Flow” worldview broken, and was it wrong all along (as we have been alleging all along)? Of course, the implications of the Fed being wrong on this most critical aspect of monetary theory opens up a hornet’s next of Pandora’s boxes: just what else is the Fed wrong about, and how much will Bernanke be “puzzled” when one by one all of his flawed theories are revealed to be nothing but religious dogma. To summarize: bonds collapsing – no worries… it’s still the Stock… although not really… and optimism.
QUESTION: Mr. Chairman, you’ve always argued that it’s the stock of assets that the Federal Reserve holds which affects long-term interest rates.
How do you reconcile that with the very sharp rise in real interest rates that we’ve seen in recent weeks? And do you think the market is correctly interpreting what you think is most likely to be the future path of the Federal Reserve’s stock of assets? Thank you.
BERNANKE: Well, we — we were a little puzzled by that. It was — it was bigger than can be explained, I think, by changes in the ultimate stock of asset purchases within reasonable ranges, so I think we have to conclude that there are other factors at work, as well, including, again, some optimism about the economy, maybe some uncertainty arising. So I’m agreeing with you that — that it seems larger than can be explained by a changing view of monetary policy.
It’s difficult to judge whether the markets are in sync or not. Generally speaking, though, I think that what I’ve seen from analysts and market participants is — is not wildly different from what, you know, the committee is thinking and trying — as I tried today to communicate, I think the most important thing that I just want to convey again is — is that it’s important not to say this date, that date, this time.
It’s important to understand that our policies are economic-dependent, and in particular, if financial conditions move in a way that make this economic scenario unlikely, for example, then that would be a reason for us to adjust our policy.
Continuing a decades-long downward trend, fewer than one-fourth of Americans have confidence in newspapers, according to a recent Gallup poll.
The percentage of Americans saying they have “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in newspapers dropped to 23 percent this year from 25 percent last year, according to a report on the poll, which was released Monday.
American confidence in newspapers reached its peak at 51 percent in 1979, and a low of 22 percent in 2008.
But newspapers don’t stand alone. Confidence in television news has also been slipping — it’s tied with newspapers this year at 23 percent, which is slightly up from last year’s all-time low of 21 percent. Newspapers and television news rank near the bottom of a list of 16 “societal institutions,” according to the report. The only institutions television news and newspapers beat out this year are big business, organized labor, health maintenance organizations and Congress. Americans expressed the most confidence in the military, at 76 percent, and small businesses, at 65 percent.
Gallup attributed the drop in confidence to a number of factors, including a growth in social networking websites and an online audience that left news outlets struggling to find their place.
“Americans’ confidence in newspapers and television news has been slowly eroding for many years, worsening further since 2007,” the report says. “By that point, newspapers and television news had been struggling for years to figure out how to adjust their strategy for a growing Internet audience.”
Though all key demographic groups express low levels of confidence in the media, according to the report, the levels of negativity varied by age, education and gender. College graduates are less likely to trust the media than those with only a high school diploma, for example. The poll also found that women are slightly more confident than men in both television news and newspapers.
Much of the confidence can also be measured by political orientation. Conservatives remain the most critical of newspapers and television news, while liberals are the most supportive. Confidence in newspapers by party also mirrors their ideologies. Democrats are most confident, at 33 percent, while Republicans, at 16 percent, are least confident.
6.19.13 – Author Bob Wiedemer of The Aftershock Investor: Get Out of Stocks & Bonds, Gold Will Go to $6,000+
Today’s AM fix was USD 1,366.00, EUR 1,019.86 and GBP 874.91 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,378.50, EUR 1,030.35 and GBP 880.32 per ounce.
Gold fell $16.60 or 1.2% yesterday and closed at $1,367.10/oz. Silver finished down 1.01%.
Gold’s weakness continues and gold is now near the lowest level in four weeks, as a liquidity driven rally in stocks and investor caution over the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy is contributing to a nervous gold market.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The gun agenda has failed politically. But the haven’t given up because they events up their sleeves. Now its time to move it to the next step, a false flag. It looks more likely that July 4th with the gun march might be the perfect false flag for the gun control movement. [/stextbox]
Vice President Joe Biden insisted to a subdued audience Tuesday that he and President Barack Obama “haven’t given up” on gun control.
But his remarks came at the first White House event since the Senate’s failed April 17 background checks vote. And all that he had to show gun control supporters by way of progress was a list of completed or mostly completed executive actions — and a set of new guidebooks for churches and schools on how to deal with a mass shooting situation.
Over the past two months, the White House has dramatically dialed back its gun push.
Biden chief of staff Bruce Reed’s Friday White House strategy meetings for representatives of gun control groups ended weeks ago. The barnstorming tour Biden pledged would pressure senators who voted against background checks hasn’t materialized.
No new sponsors or votes for the background check bill have emerged publicly. Neither has any sort of timeline for when Congress might take up the measure again.
Biden conceded the obvious Tuesday: The White House gun push in Congress has faltered.
“I had hoped we would have assembled in this auditorium earlier,” Biden said. “I had hoped we would have assembled here a couple of months ago celebrating the first in a number of victories that we will have.”
So Biden conceded the obvious Tuesday: the White House gun push in Congress has faltered.
“I had hoped we would have assembled in this auditorium earlier,” Biden said. “I had hoped we would have assembled here a couple of months ago celebrating the first in a number of victories that we will have.”
Instead, Biden claimed a partial victory based on what he described as an evolution in the mood of the country. More voters, he said, are willing to punish members of Congress who oppose gun control measures.
“I assure you, the one thing that each of us have been saying to our colleagues about these votes is the country has changed,” Biden said. “You will pay a price, a political price, for not, for not getting engaged and dealing with gun safety.”
“I don’t know how much there is for [the White House] to do,” said a representative from one of the groups that had been meeting with Reed. “The president doesn’t twist arms and have lunch, there’s no money to put a post office or a research facility in somebody’s district. What do you do other than travel places — and now they don’t even travel.”
Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) said after Biden’s speech that the White House now has less influence on senators than the gun control groups do.
“The five or six senators who are going to move our way aren’t going to do so because of pressure from the White House,” Murphy said. “They’re going to do so because of political pressure from outside groups who have millions of dollars to spend against them.”
Yet Murphy said it will still be necessary for Obama and Biden to speak more about gun control.
“The White House should be talking about this every chance that they get,” he said. “I’m not disappointed in the level of interest, but if I could have the president and vice president talking about gun violence every day, I’d be happy.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]When we see more of our rights taken away we are getting closer and closer to the economic collapse.[/stextbox]
Everyone knows that when building a police state, it’s vital to strike a few Constitutional rights off the books. Now, we can add the right to remain silent to the graveyard of the American justice system. How can you expect the people to be properly subjugated with all those pesky freedoms that the Bill of Rights blathers on about?
The would-be totalitarians can chalk up another victory, because the Supreme Court has made the decision that if you opt to remain silent, that silence can (and will) be used against you in a court of law.
The Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees our right against self-incrimination.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
The Supreme Court said that unless a person specifically asks for their Fifth Amendment right to remain silence, that your silence can be used as an indication of guilt. The case was brought to court on the basis of an unconstitutional prosecution against Genovevo Salinas. Justice Alito, who has a history of excusing the most disturbing abuses in favor of the government, said,“[Salinas’] Fifth Amendment claim fails because he did not expressly invoke the privilege against self-incrimination in response to the officer’s question. It has long been settled that the privilege `generally is not self-executing’ and that a witness who desires its protection `must claim it.’”
So, the advice to sit there and keep your mouth shut, should you be unfortunate enough to have been accused of committing a crime, is no longer the best option. If the police fail to read you your Miranda warning, you must explicitly say that you are claiming your Fifth Amendment right not to incriminate yourself. In stating that, aren’t you, in fact, letting the police know that a crime, has indeed been committed by you? The right to remain silent is supposed to mean just that – you can refuse to answer questions and your silence will not be used against you.
Justice Breyer said, in his dissent:
“The need to categorize Salinas’ silence as based on the Fifth Amendment is supported here by the presence, in full force, of the predicament I discussed earlier, namely that of not forcing Salinas to choose between incrimination through speech and incrimination through silence. That need is also supported by the absence of any special reason that the police had to know, with certainty, whether Salinas was, in fact, relying on the Fifth Amendment—such as whether to doubt that there really was a risk of self-incrimination, see Hoffman v. United States, 341 U. S. 479, 486 (1951), or whether to grant immunity, see Kastigar, 406 U. S., at 448. Given these circumstances, Salinas’ silence was “sufficient to put the [government] on notice of an apparent claim of the privilege.” Quinn, supra, at 164. That being so, for reasons similar to those given in Griffin, the Fifth Amendment bars the evidence of silence admitted against Salinas and mentioned by the prosecutor.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]It doesn’t matter what color, religion or belief you have. In America we have something called the Constitution. People cannot be spied on according to the 4th Amendment.[/stextbox]
A lawsuit filed against the NYPD accuses the city’s police of regularly violating the civil rights of Muslims. The suit claims that the NYPD unconstitutionally profiles and intimidates them, thereby discouraging them from practicing their religion.
Civil rights lawyers filed the lawsuit in a federal Manhattan court on Tuesday. Shortly thereafter, supporters of the suit formed a rally outside of the New York Police Department’s headquarters to reinforce their complaints.
“Our mosque should be an open, religious, spiritual sanctuary, but NYPD spying has turned it into a place of suspicion and censorship,” Hamid Hassan Raza, an imam named as a plaintiff in the case, said at the rally.
The lawsuit was filed by civil rights lawyers on behalf of numerous religious and community leaders, mosques, and a charitable organization that were victims of the NYPD’s surveillance of Muslim New Yorkers. The lawsuit requests the court to declare such spy initiatives unconstitutional and order the destruction of records related to the program.
The suit is the third major legal action filed against the NYPD for its surveillance of Muslims, since information about the spy program was first revealed in 2011. The document lists Mayor Michael Bloomberg, police commissioner Raymond Kelly, and deputy commissioner of intelligence David Cohen as defendants. Bloomberg has long defended the controversial spy program, claiming that it helps thwart terrorist attacks. But victims of the surveillance believe the NYPD has gone too far, prompting them to change their lifestyles to avoid becoming a target.
“When a police department turns law-abiding people into suspects because they go to a mosque and not a church or synagogue, it violates our Constitution’s guarantees of equality and religious freedom,” Hina Shamsi, director of the ACLU National Security Project, said in a press release announcing the suit.
“No one questions that the NYPD has a job to do, but spying on innocent New Yorkers because of their religion is a wrong and ineffective way to do it,” Shamsi added.
The Brazilian government will deploy National Public Security Force in five cities hosting the FIFA football tournament in an effort to contain the ongoing protests across the country.
The announcement by the Brazilian Justice Ministry comes after a day of violent clashes between protesters and riot police.
The ministry decided to deploy the joint federal police force on Wednesday in response to violent rioting across the country. The troops will reportedly be tasked with mediating the conflict, rather than punishing protesters.
The National Public Security Force is usually deployed in Brazil to address serious security crises, such as prison riots or major gang violence.
The protests were sparked earlier this month by a hike in public transport fees and escalated into a massive anti-government movement, with hundreds of thousands of people marching to express anger at the state’s policies.
When a central bank like the Federal Reserve turns itself into a hedge fund, you know the lunatics have fully taken over the asylum. leverage is leveraged again. madness is the meme.
The Greenspan put has been around at least since 1998 when LTCM was so conveniently bailed out by the Reverend ” free money ” Al. Bernanke has continued the tradition.
The result has been a set of incredible bubbles around the world, in overvalued financial assets and stocks in the West, and in currencies, commodities, real estate, stocks and bonds in all emerging markets.
Without QE oil would certainly not be $100 a barrel, and one million Russian tourists a year would likely not be vacationing in sunny Thailand.
The unwind is starting. Europe is on a one way road to hell. Greece and Cyprus are already there. Spain, France, Portugal, Italy, Slovenia, and others are close behind. every European bank is basically insolvent. Turkey, Brazil, & Argentina are cracking. China is set for a total financial meltdown, mainly self-inflicted, but of course Ben’s easy money has kept the music playing right across Asia for far too long.
Abenomics? two weeks old and already a busted flush.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This is complete BS. At this point the NSA can say anything, how can anyone possibly believe them. There is no real information, its all fluff. The issue still remains, they lied, they violated the 4th Amendment, they lied under oath. These people have broken so many laws and lied to the world that their is no way to trust anything they say.[/stextbox]
To think it only took the world’s most (in)famous whistleblower to get the NSA to disclose that it had heroically managed to prevent terrorist attacks involving the New York Stock Exchange (we supposed they refer to the Manhattan-based TV studio and not the actual exchange where the servers are now housed in Mahwah, NJ) and the NY Subway. Because whereas there was a time in the past when the various US secret services would scurry at the opportunity to disclose their expertise to the general public, now it is a false negative that is supposed to disprove a positive (pervasive spying on the US population is good for you because…). Of course it takes one non-false positive to disprove a false negative, namely the Boston Bombers, who as far as we recall, used cell phones to communicate. But so much for details: now please praise the NSA, and also comply with the Administration’s push to rescind the second amendment. Or is Obama no longer pushing for “arms control”?
National Security Agency surveillance programs helped disrupt plots to bomb the New York Stock Exchange and the New York subway system, an FBI official told Congress on Tuesday.
The official, Deputy Director Sean Joyce, said that the programs also linked an American citizen in Chicago to the 2008 terror attacks on hotels in India and to a plot to bomb the offices of a Danish newspaper that published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.
Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director, told the committee that the programs had helped stop more than 50 “potential terrorist events” since the Sept. 11 attacks. He said he would provide classified details of all of them to the committee Wednesday.
“I would much rather be here today debating this point than trying to explain how we failed to prevent another 9/11,” Alexander said.
Joyce gave limited details on the foiled plots. In the stock exchange plot, he said, the NSA monitored an extremist in Yemen who was in contact with an operative in the United States.
In the subway plot, he said, the NSA intercepted an email from a terrorist in Pakistan in 2009 who was talking with someone in the United States about perfecting a recipe for explosives. He said that person turned out to be Najibullah Zazi, who later pleaded guilty in the plot and is in federal prison.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]This meeting probably went as follows, President Obama asking Putin not to get involved with the overthrow of Assad. Putin knows that this is not a civil war or a revolution, he know the US needs to get the country to use the US dollar for the trade of oil and to institute a central bank in the country then move on to Iran.[/stextbox]
President Obama failed on Monday to resolve disagreements with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the proper international response to Syria’s civil war.
Obama vowed after the two-hour meeting to not let his “differing perspectives” with Putin get in the way of closer cooperation on counterterrorism, arms control and other issues.
He opened his remarks on the margins of the G8 by praising Putin for a “very useful conversation” and thanking him for Russia’s “cooperation” with the investigation into the Boston bombing. He announced their intention to sign a new nuclear nonproliferation deal to replace the expired 1992 Nunn-Lugar agreement.
“This, I think, is an example of the kind of constructive, cooperative relationship that moves us out of a Cold War mindset into the realm where, by working together, we not only increase security and prosperity for the Russian and American people, but we also lead the world to a better place.”
Russian support for Syrian President Bashar Assad remains a main bone of contention between the two leaders, and the Kremlin made it clear ahead of the G8 summit in Northern Ireland that it was not swayed by Obama’s determination that Assad has used chemical weapons.
An unsmiling Putin told the press after their meeting that “our opinions do not coincide,” but vowed to press ahead with a U.S.-Russian last-ditch attempt at a negotiated settlement next month in Geneva.
“All of us have the intention to stop the violence in Syria, to stop the growth of victims, and to solve the situation peacefully, including by bringing the parties to the negotiations table in Geneva,” Putin said. “We agreed to push the parties to the negotiations table.”
After the meeting, the White House and the Kremlin released three joint statements vowing closer cooperation on a range of issues.
The White House confirmed that Obama would be traveling to Moscow on September 3-4 for a U.S.-Russia summit aimed at discussing “in greater detail the full range of bilateral and international issues.” The two leaders tasked Vice President Biden and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev with deepening trade and economic ties and agreed to launch regular dialogues between the two countries’ Defense and foreign affairs departments and their security councils.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]With all the trade agreements and the North America trade agreement, the borders between Canada, and Mexico are becoming blurred and soon will disappear once the collapse is complete. [/stextbox]
Canada’s prime minister recently addressed the CFR, a globalist think tank who have been a driving force behind the push towards deeper North American integration. The U.S. and Canada are now further advancing this agenda through the Beyond the Border agreement. Both countries are increasing bilateral border transportation and infrastructure coordination. This includes a common approach to border management, security and control. They are also integrating an information sharing system that would be used to track everyone crossing the U.S.-Canada border and entering or leaving the continent. Without much fanfare and seemingly little resistance, Canada is being assimilated into a U.S. dominated North American security perimeter.
In May, the Conservative government highlighted the benefits of the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border action plan which was announced back in 2011. The deal, “focuses on addressing security threats at the earliest point possible and facilitating the lawful movement of people, goods, and services into Canada and the United States, and creates a long-term partnership to improve the management of our shared border.” The goal is to further increase, “security, economic competitiveness and prosperity through numerous measures, including reducing border wait times and improving infrastructure at key crossings to speed up legitimate trade and travel.” The Beyond the Border Executive Steering Committee recently met to discuss the objectives that have already been achieved and the work that still needs to be done. Another important facet of the economic and security perimeter agreement is the Regulatory Cooperation Council action plan. A stakeholder dialogue session is planned for June 20, which will review its implementation progress and will seek further input regarding the next stage of U.S.-Canada regulatory integration.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The government is trying to sensor the people, not show what is really going on. The people are speaking but as usual the government is not listening.[/stextbox]
The Turkish government is working on a draft law to restrict social media in a bid to crack down on activists. Meanwhile, a new form of protest is sweeping Turkey, taking Twitter by storm under the hashtag ‘standing man.’
Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler said on Monday that the government was drafting a law to restrict social media content. Guler said the measures were being discussed in response to the influx of “provocative material” that has appeared on social media. The new law will grant the government powers to investigate and prosecute individuals who publish offending material.
The Turkish state department has already begun to examine around 5 million tweets about the Gezi Park protests, Turkish news outlet Hurriyet reported.
The minister claims that some of the material published by activists is false and is being manipulated to incite further protests. He previously posted on his Twitter feed a photo used by the protesters showing a man with several plastic bullet wounds on his chest with the accompanying caption, “Fascist dictator’s police did this to a protester with plastic bullets.”
Guler alleged that the image was actually from an Arab Spring uprising, and had nothing to do with the nationwide protests that have gripped Turket for the last two weeks.
“We have a study on those who provoke the public via manipulations with false news and lead them to actions that would threaten the security of life and property by using Twitter, Facebook or other tools of the social media,” Guler said, adding that citizens must not be allowed to carry out a “witch hunt” over Twitter.
The standing man
As the Turkish government moves towards a crackdown on social media, a new trend took Turkish-language Twitter by storm on Tuesday.
An artist’s unorthodox protest has captured the minds of demonstrators in Istanbul. Erdem Gunduz stood silently for eight hours straight in front of a portrait of the founder of modern Turkey, Kemal Ataturk, after Taksim Square was reopened on Monday.
Hundreds joined the silent protester before police arrived and arrested those who refused to disperse. Copycat protests then cropped up across the country on Monday night in emulation of Gunduz.
On Tuesday morning, the hashtag duranadam’ (“standing man” in Turkish) exploded onto Twitter’s top trends.
Turkey’s anti-government protest movement has gathered significant momentum over the past two weeks. The unrest initially started out as a protest against the redevelopment of Gezi Park, located in Istanbul’s central Taksim Square. Reports of police brutality and the heavy-handed tactics employed to disperse activists acted as a catalyst, drawing more public support.
Accusations have since been leveled at Prime Minister Erdogan’s government, with critics slamming his “authoritarian” approach to government and his imposition of conservative Muslim values on a secular society.
The government has adopted a zero-tolerance attitude towards protests, decrying them as illegal and driven by terrorists. The government intimated on Monday that the army could be brought in to bring the protesters to heel.
Back in Jan 2013 the President was going to use chemical weapons on the Syrian people and blame it on the Syrian government. Everyone needs to take a minute and think of the implications of this, since the US government was planning this then you must think of the following 1. The government has used the mercenary army to do this. The first report from UN said the rebels have used the chemical weapons on the people of Syria not the government. 2. President Obama uses drones and kills American citizens, kills incident women and children 3. Does President Obama really care about the children who are shot in Newtown or does he want to get the guns away from the American people.
Actions always speak louder than words and the Presidents actions shows a completely different story, he wants to take the guns away from all Americans, he would use ruthless tactics to get the US into war, he will kill women and children without giving it a second thought. If we take this further he will spy on Americans, use DHS and place people into certain groups before, during and after the economic collapse
London, Jan 30 (ANI): The Obama administration gave green signal to a chemical weapons attack plan in Syria that could be blamed on President Bashar al Assad’s regime and in turn, spur international military action in the devastated country, leaked documents have shown.
A new report, that contains an email exchange between two senior officials at British-based contractor Britam Defence, showed a scheme ‘approved by Washington’.
As per the scheme ‘Qatar would fund rebel forces in Syria to use chemical weapons,’ the Daily Mail reports.
Barack Obama made it clear to Syrian president Bashar al-Assad last month that the U.S. would not tolerate Syria using chemical weapons against its own people.
According to Infowars.com, the December 25 email was sent from Britam’s Business Development Director David Goulding to company founder Philip Doughty.
The emails were released by a Malaysian hacker who also obtained senior executives resumes and copies of passports via an unprotected company server, according to Cyber War News.
According to the paper, the U.S. State Department has declined to comment on the matter. (ANI)
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The bail-ins are coming to every country that has a central bank. This has been mentioned in previous episodes. The FDIC /Bank of England laid out the the instruction on how to do a bail-in back in Dec 2012, Cyprus was the test case. After the test countries like Switzerland, Canada, Japan and European Nations started to draft new documents for bail-ins. Those who leave money in the bank will see their money taken from them when the bail-in is declared.[/stextbox]
When the Cypriot government forced account holders to cover bank losses earlier this year most of the world assumed this was a one-off event, limited only to the people of Cyprus.
Though warnings urging depositors to get their money out of banks spread across the world, few have taken them seriously.
Perhaps now they’ll reconsider.
We’re all familiar with bail-outs, as in the government rescuing failed institutions, namely banks, by injecting them with tens of billions of dollars to prevent collapse.
But have you ever heard of a bail-in?
Japan’s Financial Services Agency will enact new rules that will forced failed bank losses on investors, if needed, via a mechanism known as a “bail-in,” according to The Nikkei. Mitsubishi UFJ (MTU), Mizuho Financial (MFG) and Sumitomo Mitsui (SMFG) are among those proposing amendments to allow them to issue the types of preferred shares or subordinated bonds that would be used in such cases, the report noted
Cyprus was a test run. It worked.
This is now the official policy of the country of Japan, and is a serious consideration throughout the Eurozone and the United States.
Euro zone finance ministers will discuss on Thursday how to decide which creditors will lose money and in what order during future bank rescues by the bloc’s bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism.
Just so we’re clear, we are all bank creditors by these definitions, thus the regulations being created apply not to just large bond holders, but every individual depositor.
Notice how they didn’t say “in case future bank rescues are necessary.” That’s because they know what’s coming.
The collapse of the global financial system is a foregone conclusion and it has just been confirmed by finance ministers around the world.
When the next banking crisis hits the United States you can be assured that creditors (i.e. individual depositors) will be forced to ‘bail them in.’
Given that that billionaire insiders are rapidly unloading millions of shares of financial stocks as we speak, there is a strong possibility that this scenario may soon unfold.
So, if you’ve got any significant amount of money at financial institutions, you’d better think twice about how safe it is.
Of course, this is the United States of America, where nothing of the sort could ever happen. According to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, here in the U.S. the crisis is contained and poses no risks to the broader economy or financial markets.
So, you can probably just move along and ignore this warning.
Nothing to see here… It’s just Japan and Europe, after all, and they are all the way on the other side of the ocean.
Following last week’s jump in headline PPI some expected a reversal in the recent trend of BLS-measured disinflation. No such luck: moments ago the BLS reported that according to its hedonic adjustments, May headline consumer price inflation rose by 0.1%, below expectations of a 0.2% increase, and up 1.4% from the prior year. Alternatively, core CPI, excluding food and energy rose by 0.2% in line with expectations, and up 1.7% from past year. According to the BLS, “The shelter index rose 0.3 percent and accounted for more than half of the seasonally adjusted all items increase in May. The energy index rose modestly, with the gasoline index flat but increases in the electricity and natural gas indexes accounting for the rise. The food index, however, turned down in May, with the food at home index falling 0.3 percent.” Should the recent surge in WTI continue, look for this “disinflation” to not persist, and certainly look for it to end as soon as the PBOC decides the time to get involved in markets returns.
Breaking down the CPI by component, fuel saw a -2.9% drop, while food supposedly declined -0.1% in May. This was offset by utility gas service rising 2.4% (and Energy services posting a broad 1.2% price increase), even though the Industrial Production data released previously by the Fed showed an underperformance in utility businesses. Go figure.
Elsewhere, the housing market, despite some so-called recovery, continues to be moribund, with both housing starts (914K, below expectations of 950K), and permits (974K, Exp. 975K) missing expectations. And the miss would have been much worse if one were to exclude the multi-familiy (rental) housing units, which after plunging by the most since 2006 last month, which once again spiked from 245K to 306K even as single-family housing unites stayed essentially flat in May at 599K vs 597K the last month. More notably, the single-family housing market was only boosted thanks to a jump of building in the south, where units jumped from 295K to 331K, while unit starts dropped in the Northeast, Midwest, and the West.
Seasonally-adjusted Starts data showing that the single-family housing market remains virtually unchanged for the past 5 years.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The economy is doomed if the FED tapers or continues to print money. The only difference is when the economic collapse will hit. If the FED tapers now the collapse comes sooner, if they continue to print they kick the can a little further but the the result is the same. [/stextbox]
“Be sure your seatbelt is fastened, because nothing has really come to rest. We have entered the New Abnormal, a period in which every market assumption must be questioned and the wise investor is prepared to be surprised.”
And that’s how famed economist Noureil Roubini and Ian Bremmer, the president of Eurasia Group, launch into an eight-screen Institutional Investor assault on all that’s going wrong with the global economy right now and on how new crises are most certainly headed our way.
Calling it the G-Zero world — referring to a leadership void where it’s every nation for itself — the two pepper the essay with warnings about China growth, another Europe meltdown or turmoil in the Middle East, a region they definitely see as not OK. Oh, and forget about the BRICS bailing out global growth.
Fast-fowarding past all that, central banks, mostly the Fed, get the last salvo from the doomsday duo, who devote several paragraphs largely to how that easy money policy is going to land us all in trouble. What markets and economist are hoping for as that two-day Fed meeting kicks off Tuesday is a slow and steady easy out of QE. That’ll fix everything, right? Wrong:
“…a slow exit risks creating a credit and asset bubble as large as the previous one, if not larger. Pursuing real economic stability, it seems, may again lead to financial instability. Thus the exit from the Fed’s QE and zero-interest-rate policies will be treacherous: Exiting too fast will crash the real economy, while exiting too slowly will first create a huge bubble and then crash the financial system.”
And when it comes time to tighten up, officials should expect even more chaos. In the last cycle, which began in 2004, the Fed took around two years to normalize policy, and that was against a backdrop of lower debt and unemployment.
“But if financial markets are already frothy, consider how frothy they will be when the Fed starts tightening — and then when the Fed finishes tightening. From 2001 to 2004 interest rates were too low for too long, and the subsequent rate normalization was too slow, inflation huge bubbles in credit, housing and equity markets.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The gun control bill and the UN Arms treaty are still pending in the Senate, we have seen violent events with the college in Santa Monica, shooting in NY and now in Chicago. The main false flag to get these bills passed is on the horizon. The July 4th march for gun owners to march on state capitals might be the incident they are waiting for to pass the gun laws and to declare martial law.[/stextbox]
Gun control talks haven’t progressed since April, but Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday will announce a progress report that finds the administration has “completed or made significant progress” on 21 of 23 executive actions President Barack Obama announced in January.
Biden is scheduled to speak at the White House at 1 p.m. Tuesday. The event will be the first at the White House to focus on gun violence since the Senate rejected expanded background checks in April.
Among the achievements touted in the report: Attorney General Eric Holder formed a gun crime enforcement working group and launched a “comprehensive review” on existing gun laws, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives published a letter with guidance on how to process already required background checks and the Justice Department proposed a rule that would give local law enforcement the ability to run a federal background check before returning a seized gun.
The report states that Congress passing gun control laws Obama sought after the December Newtown massacre “remains the single most important step we could take to reduce gun violence.”
On a background call with reporters Monday, a senior administration officials declined to say what if any meetings Biden has had with senators involved in the gun control push.
“This is something that continues to be at the top of the agenda for the president and the vice president,” one senior administration official said. “We’re not in a position to confirm that those individual conversations, but we’re definitely in a position to confirm that those conversations are ongoing because that is a legislative priority of ours.”
And asked why the administration didn’t complete all 23 executive actions, officials said it was because the White House grades itself on a tough curve. The two actions left uncompleted, according to the report, are getting Todd Jones confirmed as ATF director and finalizing Health and Human Services regulations on mental health benefits.
Jones had a hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee last week.
“I think you can make the case that we’re pretty tough graders when it comes to grading our own homework assignment here,” a senior administration official said. “I don’t know that all of those executive actions can be translated into something as simple as guns
[stextbox id=”x22report”]The paid for mercenary army were the ones that used the chemical weapons on the Syrian people. Since the mercenary army are not Syrian and they are paid for by the US government, they have no loyalty to the country. Just like the IRS, Benghazi, Wire Tapping, and Spying Scandal this scandal of paying mercenary armies will be the next one to break.[/stextbox]
The Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has warned that Europe “will pay the price” if it arms the rebellion against his regime.
In an interview with a German newspaper, he said that arming the insurgents would strengthen terrorism in “Europe’s backyard” and lead to chaos and poverty in Syria.
Speaking to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Mr Assad warned that lifting the arms embargo would also lead to “the direct export of terrorism to Europe.”
He said: “Terrorists will train for combat and return home equipped with extremist ideology. For Europe, there is no alternative to cooperation with the Syrian government, even if Europe doesn’t like it.”
The US announced last week that it would supply direct military aid to the rebels, after the Obama administration concluded that Syrian government forces were using chemical weapons.
Mr Assad insisted that it was “terrorists” who had used chemical weapons in Syria. “Everything that is said about the use of chemical weapons is a continuation of the lies about Syria. It is an attempt to justify more military intervention.”
The Syrian president used the interview to attack Britain, France and the US, whom he accused of seeking “lackeys and puppets” in the region.
He said: “We have refused [to cooperate]. We have always been independent and free what is happening in Syria is a chance for these states to push a country that will not be submissive to the edge, and seek a new president, who only ever says yes.”
6.18.13 – Judge Napolitano: We Live In Dangerous Times, Losing Liberty To Slippery Slope
The official gold holdings (rounded numbers) of the US Treasury Dept. are as follows (link is here):
Does anyone really think that gold is unencumbered, unleased, and actually physically there? Yes, I know…
a) They would not lie to us, right?
b) The official numbers must be true, right?
c) They seem like trustworthy people, right?
d) Why wouldn’t it be there?
Glad you asked that question. Why wouldn’t it be there? Gold is a bit like an “anti-dollar.” The Federal Reserve creates new dollars by the trillions – dollars are their product. Gold has been real money for 5,000 years world-wide. Federal Reserve notes have been passed off as money for a few decades, and in that time they have lost most of their value as measured against commodities such as wheat, gasoline, and cigarettes.
It could have been worse! Western central banks (officially) and governments sold a considerable sum of gold during the 1990s to help repress the price of gold and to slow the apparent decline in the value of paper money. They also “leased” an unknown amount of gold to bullion banks who also sold that gold into the market. The leases are still “on the books” so the central banks officially still own the gold, even though it is probably long gone – likely to China, Russia, India and the Middle East.
Yes, central banks and governments have motive, means and opportunity to suppress the price of gold. They want to support their product (dollars, euros etc.) and to defeat the competition – gold. If you were a central banker or treasury official who was inflating his currency and consequently reducing its purchasing power, wouldn’t you want to suppress the price of gold to delay recognition of your involvement in the devaluation process?
So why not just do an audit? This is a simple question with a complex set of answers. Here are a few.
a) The US gold has not been audited in over 50 years. This must seem strange to any thinking person but it appears unlikely to change.
b) If the Treasury agrees to an audit and the gold is not there, the result will be much unpleasantness – possible indictments, damaged reputations, social unrest, chaos, disillusionment, and destroyed trust – and there is plenty of disillusionment and destroyed trust already.
c) If the Treasury performs an audit and the audit claims the gold is actually there, will anyone believe the results of the audit? Is it truly unencumbered – not sold, leased, or hypothecated? Would we even believe an audit had been actually performed?
d) If the Treasury acknowledges the lack of a credible audit for over 50 years, and then says “we don’t think it is necessary,” will anyone take them seriously?
e) The Treasury might claim an audit would be too expensive, but the US government probably wastes the cost of an audit every few hours, so that explanation is likely to sound hollow and stupid.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Another sign the world economy is getting better. This is how it played out in the Great Depression. Europe was doing poorly and crashed and then it moved to America.[/stextbox]
When the S&P, always so conveniently ahead of the curve, yesterday revised its forecast for Europe from growth in the second half of 2013 to 2014 one couldn’t help but golf clap, as well as wonder if they finally started looking at the fundamental depressionary reality on the ground instead of the rating agency’s infamous “models.” A depressionary reality confirmed by the latest car sales number for May which just hit a fresh 20 year low.
European car sales hit their lowest level for the month of May in 20 years as the region’s recession dragged on, the European automakers’ association said Tuesday.
They meant depression instead of recession, but it’s an honest mistake.
Passenger car sale demand for May dropped by 5.9 percent on the same month last year in the 27-country European Union to 1.042 million units, the lowest level since May 1993, when sales dropped below 1 million, according to new figures released by ACEA. For the first five months of the year, sales dropped 6.8 percent to 5.07 million.
The economy of the 17 European Union countries that use the euro shrank by 0.2 percent in the first quarter of this year — the sixth such decline in a row — and unemployment is at 12.2 percent. Meanwhile, the wider 27-country EU has also seen its economy slide into recession, shrinking 0.1 percent in the first three months of 2013.
Europe’s recession has hit carmakers especially hard, as consumers put off purchases of high-ticket price items like cars under rising unemployment. Carmakers have announced factory closures and put off new car launches in a bid for survival and to return their struggling European operations to profitability.
And while the picture in the periphery has been bleak for a long, long time, the collapse in German car sales is certainly a novel development:
Even in Germany, Europe’s strongest economy, car sales dropped to a worrying 9.9 percent in May. In Europe’s other leading car markets, the picture was just as bad: Italy was down 8 percent, France saw a 10.4 percent drop, and Spain was off by 2.6 percent. Britain was the only major car market to post growth, up 11 percent.
Mass protests continued throughout Brazil on Monday, with hundreds of thousands of demonstrators converging in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, the capital of Brasilia and other cities.
Protests initially began last week following a government announcement of an increase in public transportation costs, which brought out students and young workers and led to more than 250 arrests.
According to reports by Brazilian media such as Jornal do Dia, the initially peaceful demonstrations last week became heated, and led to clashes with Brazil’s riot police that left at least 100 injured in the major cities of Brasilia, Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte.
Though the protests initially began following the announcement of bus fare increases, they have evolved to include a wide range of groups that have grown dissatisfied over everything from government corruption and income inequality, as well as to outrage over the police’s harsh response to protesters last week.
In a sign that public dissatisfaction was still simmering, soccer fans booed president Dilma Rousseff on Monday during the opening of a two-week tournament at a stadium in the capital Brasilia. The heckling only intensified when the president of the global soccer body, FIFA, reprimanded the crowed for failing to show the president “respect.”
Thousands are emigrating from Germany, one of Europe’s strongest economies, to seek opportunities elsewhere, citing “no safety for the future” and overcomplicated business legislation as the reasons behind their decision.
Some 130,000 people – the most in a generation – left Germany in 2012, RT’s Peter Oliver reported.
Recent government data has shown that unemployment in Germany climbed by 21,000 in May – four times more than economists forecast. At the end of May, the Federal Labor Office published unemployment statistics showing that 2.96 million Germans (3 percent of the country’s population) are currently jobless.
This, combined with mounting economic problems, has forced some Germans to look for career opportunities elsewhere, with Switzerland, the US, Australia and Canada among the top destinations.
Business owner Jens Blecker and his family have chosen to leave Germany for Canada; he will also be relocating his €2 million business.
“Germany is a nice place but right now the future looks really dark, so we are getting out,” Blecker said. “All they are doing is taking the debt higher and higher, and breaking their own rules. Look at the laws prohibiting bailouts, as soon as it suited them politically this just went out of the window. As a business man there’s no safety for the future.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Basically it seems like Ben Bernanke is testing the waters and wants to see how the markets react when he mentions tapering. We have to remember the market is being driven up by the money printing where the banks are receiving the billions of dollars and putting it back into the market. The everyday investors are mostly out of the market, so Ben is checking to see if the everyday investor will stay or leave. Ben always follows up with what he is going to do with it “depends” on unemployment and other factors.[/stextbox]
It seems not only the entire developed world is sick and tired of Hilsenrath’s “leaks” which have now become so grotesquely self-contradictory, not even Hilsenfollowers can make out the Hilsenfact from the Hilsenjoke. So it appears the Fed has now picked the FT as its interim pass through vehicle:
Ben Bernanke is likely to signal that the US Federal Reserve is close to tapering down its $85bn-a-month in asset purchases when he holds a press conference on Wednesday, but balance that by saying subsequent moves depend on what happens to the economy.
The Fed chairman has a double communications problem. Markets seem reluctant to acknowledge the improvement that is leading the Fed towards a taper of QE3. But they also appear to be assuming, incorrectly, that any taper means the Fed has become less willing to support the economy’s recovery.
A couple of complications exist. One is unexpectedly low inflation. Most Fed officials are sanguine about the drop in their favoured measure of core inflation to 1.1 per cent. Expectations of future inflation are holding up and a similar slide in 2010 did not end in deflation despite a weaker economy. So far, it is a minor factor in the Fed’s calculations, although it will weigh more heavily if expectations move or inflation defies forecasts and stays low.
The other complication is the rise in bond yields, triggered by the confused market response to a likely Fed taper, which has in itself tightened financial conditions. Market movements are unlikely to delay a Fed taper – but they are likely to make it cautious until it has got its message across.
Russia, a veto-wielding member of the U.N. Security Council, will not permit no-fly zones to be imposed over Syria, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on Monday.
“I think we fundamentally will not allow this scenario,” Lukashevich told a news briefing, adding that calls for a no-fly zone showed disrespect for international law.
Lukashevich spoke before planned talks between President Vladimir Putin and U.S. President Barack Obama on the sidelines of a G8 summit in Northern Ireland which were expected to focus on the conflict in Syria that has killed at least 93,000 people.
While we have been told vehemently that the Cypriot deposit confiscation was not a template, yet another European nation is embarking on an until-now-considered-safe asset class to recapitalize its banks. As The Telegraph reports, pensioners and other retail investors in the Co-operative Bank are facing massive losses under a GBP1.5 billion rescue plan for the ailing mutual as investors and the bank’s parent would make “a joint contribution” to the bank’s recapitalisation, without any help from taxpayers.
Holders of GBP370 million of permanent interest bearing shares (PIBS) issued by the Co-op and Britannia Building Society before its takeover are expected to have their coupons cancelled, making them effectively worthless. The group notes there could be an outcry among retail investors but argued there was little choice because of where they sat in the capital structure since the PIBS were the mutual equivalent of stocks (which would have been wiped out if the bank was public).
However, as one analyst notes, “the bail in represents a profound change in the business model of the Co-op bank,” as the typical owner of these PIBS are pensioners attracted by the steady guaranteed income. It seems the days of hoping for a bail-out are over and perhaps that is why European financial credit has been underperforming – as that reality has yet to strike equity holders.
It seems credit markets get it…
Pensioners and other retail investors in the Co-operative Bank are facing massive losses under a £1.5bn rescue plan for the ailing mutual.
Holders of £370m of permanent interest bearing shares (PIBS) issued by the Co-op and Britannia Building Society before its takeover are expected to have their coupons cancelled, making them effectively worthless.
About £60m of PIBS are held by members of the public, paying interest annually of between 5.5pc and 13.5pc a year. PIBS are typically owned by pensioners, attracted by the steady guaranteed income.
Roughly 7,000 retail investors will be affected and the bank said that, on average, they held less than £1,000 in these bonds.
The insider conceded the group was aware there could be an outcry among retail investors but argued there was little choice because of where they sat in the capital structure. PIBS are the mutual sector’s equivalent of shares, which arguably could have been completely wiped out had the
bank been listed.
“The bail in represents a profound change in the business model of the Co-op bank – from being an institution owned by members, to a bank which has shareholders. This change is likely to clash with the co-operative ethos of the bank and, in the longer term, this might undermine what has made the Co-op attractive to its staff and customers,”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]Keeping the people informed on how bad a cyber attack can be. How easy it is to rob the bank of its money. This plays right into the cyber attack main event of siphoning the money from the banks when the cyber attack hits. [/stextbox]
U.S. regulators are stepping up calls for banks to better-arm themselves against the growing online threat hackers and criminal organizations pose to individual institutions and the financial system as a whole.
The push comes as government officials grow increasingly concerned about the ability of a cyber attack to cause significant disruptions to the financial system. Banks such as J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. BAC +1.38% and Capital One Financial Corp. COF +0.41% have been targeted by cyber assaults in recent years, including potent “denial-of-service” strikes that took down some bank websites off-and-on for days, frustrating customers. Banks have spent millions of dollars responding to or protecting against such attacks, including a wave of attempted online assaults targeting major banks beginning last year that U.S. defense officials say had the backing of the Iranian government.
The warnings reinforce the message from Washington that the private sector has primary responsibility for fending off attacks, even from groups the U.S. believes are tied to a foreign government. Some banks have bristled at the suggestion they can fend off a foreign nation and have asked the U.S. to intervene to mitigate such attacks, either by blocking the attacks or moving against those mounting them.
A banking industry official said the onus can’t just be on banks to combat cyber attacks. “It needs to be collaborative; the industry can’t take on foreign countries alone,” the official said.
The U.S. has increasingly adopted a hard line toward firms whose systems are violated, holding companies more accountable for protecting themselves. Last year, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit against Wyndham Worldwide Corp. WYN +0.82% alleging the hotel chain failed to protect the credit-card information of its consumers. In 2011, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued guidance requiring companies to disclose to investors more details when their computer systems have come under attack by hackers.
Regulators and the banking industry are coordinating efforts to respond to the growing threat, including a major cyber “war game” exercise slated for later this month involving top regulators, the Department of Homeland Security and major banks. Organized by the Securities Industry and Financial Management Association and titled “Quantum Dawn 2,” the exercise is supposed to replicate a large, coordinated cyber attack to test the industry’s response.
“We’re a big target…. People don’t go out and physically rob banks anymore. This is the best way to get access to what banks have” including money and critical information, Mr. Schimmeck said.
[stextbox id=”x22report”]These types of laws always keeps weapons and ammunition out of the hands of law abiding citizens. Criminals don’t follow laws in the first place and more laws do not have any effect on them. [/stextbox]
Bill allows prison sentences of up to 20 years for any civilian convicted of illegally carrying or selling a fire arm.
Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro signed a gun control bill into law in a bid to rein in the country’s runaway violent crime.
“I hereby sign into law this gun control law, for peace in our nation,” Maduro said on Friday in an address in Vargas state.
The bill will allow sentences of up to 20 years in prison for any civilian convicted of illegally carrying or selling a firearm.
It also restricts the sale of ammunition to civilians, and bans weapons from being shown in public places.
“Any arm that is confiscated will be destroyed immediately … the sales of weapons and ammunition also ends,” said National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello.
There are some exceptions: people are allowed to use weapons to protect their property and themselves when in danger, and security personnel can use them when transporting valuable items.
The bill was promoted by late president Hugo Chavez, a leftist-populist in power since 1999 who died on March 5.
The ruling socialist party, or PSUV, and two opposition parties approved the bill.
In the first quarter of 2013, there were 3,400 murders. That followed another year of bloodletting that saw about 16,000 homicides nationwide in 2012, according to government data.
There were 15 million firearms – legal and illegal – in a country of 29 million in 2009.
That’s according to a well-respected author and investor, making a recent appearance on Yahoo Finance’s “Breakout.”
Peter Schiff, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital, says that the during President Obama’s second term, the country will face both a currency crisis and a sovereign debt crisis. “It’s going to be the same thing that is happening in Europe or Greece, but it’s going to be a lot worse.”
Schiff also said the country faces higher unemployment, higher food and energy prices, and “sharply higher interest rates.”
This isn’t the first time that Schiff has painted a grim outlook for the country. A few months ago, Schiff generated headlines by saying that the economic, financial, and employment collapse the country has endured in the past few years was only the beginning. He says what we experienced in 2008 “wasn’t the real crash. The real crash is coming.”
Billionaire Tells Americans to Prepare For ‘Financial Ruin’
The United States could soon become a large-scale Spain or Greece, teetering on the edge of financial ruin.
That’s according to Donald Trump, who painted a very ugly picture of where this country is headed. Trump made the comments during a recent appearance on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren.”
According to Trump, the United States is no longer a rich country. “When you’re not rich, you have to go out and borrow money. We’re borrowing from the Chinese and others. We’re up to $16 trillion in debt.”
[stextbox id=”x22report”]So let the bail-ins begin. Bail-ins are coming to everyone around the world. Remember what happened to Cyprus, people woke up the next morning and their money was gone. Cyprus is still on capital controls and this has been since March 2013[/stextbox]
The Co-operative Group has reached agreement with the City regulator that the hole in the Co-op Bank is around £1.5bn, I have learned.
This shortfall in capital, the funds all banks have to hold as a protection against losses, is near the upper end of expectations. An announcement is expected early Monday.
The Co-op will raise much of the needed capital by what is known as a “bail in”, converting loans to the group into shares which will be listed on the London Stock Exchange.
This contrasts with the many bank “bail outs” of 2007-8, in which desperate banks were kept alive by injections of funds from the public sector.
With a minority of Co-op Bank’s future shares tradeable on the Exchange, the Co-op Bank will begin to look more like a conventional bank and less like a mutual – although it will still be controlled by the mutual Co-op Group.
This forced conversion of bonds into equity is likely to be hailed by the regulator, the Prudential Regulation Authority, as an important precedent – because it will demonstrate that banks in serious difficulties can be rescued without recourse to money from taxpayers.
For the past few weeks, the Co-op has been in tense negotiations with the PRA over the future of its bank, after it belatedly recognised that it faced huge losses on commercial property loans and its debt was downgraded to junk by the ratings agency Moody’s.
Many of Co-op Bank’s loss-making loans were acquired when it merged with the struggling Britannia Building Society in 2009.
Although depositors in the Co-op will be relieved that their bank is being rescued, the nature of the rescue will be highly controversial – because it may well be seen as the Co-op Bank moving away from being a pure mutual.
As I have already mentioned, some of its bonds, or loans to the bank, will be converted into shares, which will be listed on the London Stock Exchange – although the precise terms and scale of this debt-for-equity swap will be subject to negotiations between the bank and the investors which own the bonds.
The Co-op Group is expected to remain the majority and controlling shareholder in Co-op Bank, but a significant minority will be held by commercial investors.
What is unclear at the time of writing is whether the debt-for-equity swap will apply only to hol
“There are no signs of recession. Employment growth is strong. Jobless claims are low and the stock market is up.” This is heard almost daily from the media mainstream pablum. The problem with a majority of the “analysis” done today is that it is primarily short-sighted and lazy, produced more for driving views and selling advertising rather than actually helping investors. For example: “The economy is currently growing at more than 2% annualized with current estimates near 2% as well.” If you are growing at 2%, how could you have a recession anytime soon? Let’s take a look at the data below of real economic growth rates:
January 1980: 1.43%
July 1981: 4.39%
July 1990: 1.73%
March 2001: 2.30%
December 2007: 1.87%
If you look at each of those dates, the economy was clearly growing. But each of those dates is the growth rate of the economy immediately prior to the onset of a recession.
You will remember that during the entirety of 2007, the majority of the media, analyst, and economic community were proclaiming continued economic growth into the foreseeable future as there was “no sign of recession.”
I myself was rather brutally chastised in December of 2007 when I wrote that:
“We are now either in, or about to be in, the worst recession since the ‘Great Depression.’”
Of course, a full year later, after the annual data revisions had been released by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), the recession was officially revealed. Unfortunately, by then it was far too late to matter.
It is here the mainstream media should have learned their lesson. But unfortunately, they didn’t.
The chart below shows the S&P 500 index with recessions and when the National Bureau of Economic Research dated the start of the recession.
There are three lessons that should be learned from this:
The economic “number” reported today will not be the samewhen it is revised in the future.
The trend and deviation of the data are far more important than the number itself.
“Record” highs and lowsare records for a reason as they denote historical turning points in the data.
For example, the level of jobless claims is one data series currently being touted as a clear example of why there is “no recession” in sight. As shown below, there is little argument that the data currently appears extremely “bullish” for the economy.
However, if we step back to a longer picture we find that such levels of jobless claims have historically noted the peak of economic growth and warned of a pending recession.
This makes complete sense as “jobless claims” fall to low levels when companies “hoard existing labor”to meet current levels of demand. In other words, companies reach a point of efficiency where they are no longer terminating individuals to align production to aggregate demand. Therefore, jobless claims naturally fall.
But there is more to this story.
Less Than Meets The Eye
The Trump Administration has taken a LOT of credit for the recent bumps in economic growth. We have warned this was not only dangerous, credibility-wise, but also an anomaly due to three massive hurricanes and two major wildfires that had the “broken window” fallacy working overtime.
“The fallacy of the ‘broken window’ narrative is that economic activity is only changed and not increased. The dollars used to pay for the window can no longer be used for their original intended purpose.”
If economic destruction led to long-term economic prosperity, then the U.S. should just regularly drop a “nuke” on a major city and then rebuild it. When you think about it in those terms, you realize just how silly the whole notion is.
However, in the short-term, natural disasters do “pull forward” consumption as individuals need to rebuild and replace what was previously lost. This activity does lead to a short-term boost in the economic data, but fades just as quickly.
A quick look at core retail sales over the last few months, following the hurricanes, shows the temporary bump now fading.
The other interesting aspect of this is the rise in consumer credit as a percent of disposable personal income. The chart below indexes both consumer credit to DPI and retail sales to 100 starting in 1993. What is interesting to note is the rising level of credit card debt required to sustain retail sales.
Given that retail sales make up roughly 40% of personal consumption expenditures which in turn comprises roughly 70% of GDP, the impact to sustained economic growth is important to consider.
Furthermore, what the headlines miss is the growth in the population. The chart below shows retails sales divided by the current 16-and-over population. (If you are alive, you consume.)
Retail sales per capita were previously on a 5% annualized growth trend beginning in 1992. However, after the financial crisis, the gap below that long-term trend has yet to be filled as there is a 23.2% deficit from the long-term trend. It is also worth noting the sharp drop in retail sales per capita over just the last couple of months in particular.
Since 1992, as shown below, there have only been 5-other times in which retail sales were negative 3-months in a row (which just occurred). Each time, the subsequent impact on the economy, and the stock market, was not good.
So, despite record low jobless claims, retail sales remain exceptionally weak. There are two reasons for this which are continually overlooked, or worse simply ignored, by the mainstream media and economists.
The first is that despite the “longest run of employment growth in U.S. history,” those who are finding jobs continues to grow at a substantially slower pace than the growth rate of the population.
If you don’t have a job, and are primarily living on government support (1-of-4 Americans receive some form of benefit) it is difficult to consume at higher levels to support economic growth.
Secondly, while tax cuts may provide a temporary boost to after-tax incomes, that income boost is simply being absorbed by higher energy, gasoline, health care and borrowing costs. This is why 80% of Americans continue to live paycheck-to-paycheck and have little saved in the bank. It is also why, as wages have continued to stagnate, the cost of living now exceeds what incomes and debt increases can sustain.
As I have discussed several times during the 4th-quarter of 2017:
“Very likely, the next two quarters will be weaker than expected as the boost from hurricanes fade and higher interest rates take their toll on consumers. So, when mainstream media acts astonished that economic growth has once again slowed, you will already know why.”
Not surprisingly the economic data rolling in has been exceptionally weak and the first quarter GDP growth is now targeted at less than 2% annualized growth.
However, it is not only in the U.S. the economic “bump” is fading, but globally as well as Central Banks have started to remove their monetary accommodations. As noted by the ECRI:
“Our prediction last year of a global growth downturn was based on our 20-Country Long Leading Index, which, in 2016, foresaw the synchronized global growth upturn that the consensus only started to recognize around the spring of 2017.
With the synchronized global growth upturn in the rearview mirror, the downturn is no longer a forecast, but is now a fact.
The chart below shows that quarter-over-quarter annualized gross domestic product growth rates in the three largest advanced economies — the U.S., the euro zone, and Japan — have turned down. In all three, GDP growth peaked in the second or third quarter of 2017, and fell in the fourth quarter. This is what the start of a synchronized global growth downswing looks like.”
“Still, the groupthink on the synchronized global growth upturn is so pervasive that nobody seemed to notice that South Korea’s GDP contracted in the fourth quarter of 2017, partly due to the biggest drop in its exports in 33 years. And that news came as the country was in the spotlight as host of the winter Olympics.
Because it’s so export-dependent, South Korea is often a canary in the coal mine of global growth. So, when the Asian nation experiences slower growth — let alone negative growth — it’s a yellow flag for the global economy.
The international slowdown is becoming increasingly obvious from the widely followed economic indicators. The most popular U.S. measures seem to present more of a mixed bag. Yet, as we pointed out late last year, the bond market, following the U.S. Short Leading Index, started sniffing out the U.S. slowdown months ago.”
You can see the slowdown occurring “real time” by taking a look at Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) which comprises roughly 70% of U.S. economic growth. (It is also worth noting that PCE growth rates have been declining since 2016 which belies the “economic growth recovery” story.)
The point here is this:
“Economic cycles are only sustainable for as long as excesses are being built. The natural law of reversions, while they can be suspended by artificial interventions, cannot be repealed.”
While there may currently be “no sign of recession,” there are plenty of signs of “economic stress” such as:
The shift caused by the financial crisis, aging demographics, massive monetary interventions and the structural change in employment which has skewed the seasonal-adjustments in economic data. This makes every report from employment, retail sales, and manufacturing appear more robust than they would be otherwise. This is a problem mainstream analysis continues to overlook but will be used as an excuse when it reverses.
While the calls of a “recession” may seem far-fetched based on today’s economic data points, no one was calling for a recession in early 2000 or 2007 either. By the time the data is adjusted, and the eventual recession is revealed, it won’t matter as the damage will have already been done.
As Howard Marks once quipped:
“Being right, but early in the call, is the same as being wrong.”
While being optimistic about the economy and the markets currently is far more entertaining than doom and gloom, it is the honest assessment of the data, along with the underlying trends, which are useful in protecting one’s wealth longer-term.
Is there a recession currently? No.
Will there be a recession in the not so distant future? Absolutely.
But if you wait to “see it,” it will be too late to do anything about it.
Whether it is a mild, or “massive,” recession will make little difference to individuals as the net destruction of personal wealth will be just as damaging. Such is the nature of recessions on the financial markets.
I hear a lot of talk lately in the alternative media (and even the mainstream media) of the potential for World War III. The general assumption when one hears that term is that “nuclear conflict” is imminent. But a world war does not necessarily have to be fought with nukes. For example, we are perhaps already witnessing the first shots fired in a global economic war as the Trump administration gets ready to implement far-reaching trade tariffs. This action might provide cover (or justification) for destructive attacks on the U.S. fiscal system by China, Japan, Russia, the EU, OPEC nations, etc. The ultimate attack being a dumping of their U.S. debt holdings and the death of the dollar’s world reserve status.
Of course, an economic “world war” between nations would in itself be a smokescreen for and an even more insidious internal war being waged against the global economy by central banks.
There is a longstanding misconception that central banks always manipulate economic conditions to make them appear “healthy” and that the main concern of central bankers is to “defend the golden goose.” This is false. According to the evidence at hand as well as open admissions by central bankers, these private institutions have throughout history also deliberately created financial crises and collapses.
The question I always get from people new to the field of alternative economics is — “Why would central bankers crash a system they benefit from?” This question is drawn from a flawed understanding of the situation.
First, there is the assumption that economic systems are static rather than fluid. In reality, vast sums of wealth can be transferred into and out of any notion on a whim and at the speed of light. The collapse of one economy or multiple economies does not necessarily include the destruction of banker wealth. Even if wealth was their top goal (which it is not), global banks and central banks do not see any particular economy as a “cash cow” or a “golden goose.” From their behavior and tactics in the past, it is more likely that they see national economies as mere storage containers.
Banks can pour their wealth, which they create from thin air, into one or more of these many available containers. They can circulate that wealth within the container for a time and then pour all their wealth out at a moment’s notice. One container is no more valuable to them than any other container, and sometimes sacrificing a container can be beneficial.
The perceived destruction of a national economy can often be exploited as a means to a greater end. Usually this “greater end” means exploiting the crisis to justify centralization of power or the transfer of power from the public into the hands of an elitist class.
I have outlined the history of such transfers on numerous occasions, including the liquidity crisis of 1914 (just after the establishment of the Federal Reserve) leading into World War I and the subsequent hoarding of financial power by banks as well as the creation of the League of Nations.
Or how about the artificial bubble in multiple asset classes created by the Federal Reserve in the 1920s through low interest rates? A bubble which was then burst through the aggressive raising of interest rates at the onset of the Great Depression. This crash coincided with other fabricated economic disasters in Europe and Asia, leading to social despair, the rise of communism and fascism and World War II. This crisis benefited the banking establishment greatly as thousands of smaller independent banks were crushed and a handful of major banks devoured all assets. And, let’s not forget that WWII led to the creation of globalist edifices like the United Nations, the IMF, World Bank, the beginning roots of the European Union, etc.
Every new economic calamity seems to consolidate property and bureaucratic control into the hands of the same class of technocrats. And each calamity is linked to a very important economic factor — massive debt dependency.
So, let’s fast forward to today’s era of burgeoning crisis and how central banks like the Fed are feeding the fire of disaster. I would like to focus most of all on our debt situation to illustrate how the Fed can and will trigger an explosion, a controlled demolition of our financial system. What is our debt situation in the U.S. today?
The Consumer Debt Bomb
Total American household debt skyrocketed beyond $13 trillion at the end of 2017, well beyond historic highs. This is the fifth consecutive year of household debt increases, including credit cards, auto loans, mortgages, student loans, etc. This trend suggests that the “economic recovery” so far has not actually been based on any legitimate wealth creation or resurgence, but an even greater dependence on the same debt that helped cause the crash of 2008. The Fed’s money printing did NOT trickle down to consumers as was originally promised.
While these sectors of consumer debt did not necessarily enjoy the same near-zero rates as banks and corporations did after the crash and the bailout bonanza, their rates are now rising along with the Fed’s rate increases. This is affecting numerous asset classes including housing markets and auto loans.
The cold hard reality is that as the Fed raises interest rates all other areas of the economy come under pressure. The average citizen, with his/her record debt levels, is now subject to the machinations of the central bank through the arbitrary shifting of a single data point like “inflation”.
The Corporate Debt Bomb
This debt bomb is possibly the most subversive and the least understood. I have been warning about how corporate debt and rising interest rates could cause a stock market crash for quite some time, but only recently have mainstream analysts caught up to this realization.
Today, institutions like S&P Global Ratings are showing that at least 37% of 13,000 corporations examined have a debt to earnings ratio of five times, making them “highly leveraged.” This debt level is also even higher than it was in 2007 just before the collapse of Lehman and the beginning of the credit crisis.
The concern goes beyond debt holdings, though. Consider the fact that corporations have been exploiting low interest rates to borrow incredible sums of cash for the sole purpose of purchasing their OWN stocks. Stock buybacks are basically a legal form of market manipulation in which companies buy stocks back from the public and greatly reduce the number of existing stocks circulating in the market, thereby artificially increasing the value of each stock overall and keeping the Dow in the green.
Stock buybacks have been the primary fuel for the longest bull market in history, a bull market so fake that even the mainstream media has been questioning its validity lately. Stock buybacks are completely dependent on cheap debt, and cheap debt is disappearing as the Fed continues raising interest rates. The natural reaction by stock markets will be a crash.
Some people may question whether or not the Fed is actually doing this “deliberately,” or if they are simply ignorant. I would refer them to the recently released Fed minutes from 2012, in which Jerome Powell, now the chairman of the Federal Reserve, talked repeatedly of the negative reaction that would occur within markets once the Fed began cutting its balance sheet holdings and raising interest rates after addicting equities markets to the drug of easy profits.
Jerome Powell himself is recorded as knowing exactly what will happen as interest rates rise, and he is continuing to raise them anyway, while also cutting the Fed balance sheet far faster than was originally telegraphed to the public. How can anyone in their right mind argue that the Fed is not bringing the U.S. economy down deliberately?
The National Debt Bomb
This debt bomb has a much longer fuse that the other two, but in the wake of a potential global trade war (World War III), the question arises as to how long it will take before major U.S. treasury bond holders like China dump their holdings in retaliation.
With Trump refusing to take a stand against the continued raising of the national debt ceiling, and the addition of his $1.5 Trillion infrastructure spending plan, there is little doubt that our national debt will continue to rise. Therefore, foreign investment is essential.
It is important to remember that the Federal Reserve used to be the largest purchaser of U.S. debt or the “buyer of last resort.” Now, the Fed has ended quantitative easing and is cutting its balance sheet swiftly. So, the only buyers left are foreign central banks and investors. My prediction is that the Fed will not step in if a trade war escalates to a treasury bond dump. Or, that they will not step in until it is far too late to stall the resulting crisis.
In Barack Obama’s eight years as president the national debt was essentially doubled. This is a unsustainable rate of debt issuance, even for a nation with the world reserve currency. If we lose foreign investment and the world reserve currency then that debt accumulation will come back to haunt us.
It is important to remember that whatever happens within our economy and the global economy, central banks like the Fed have fully facilitated the bubbles produced as well as the inversions that result. The Fed knows exactly what it is doing. And all other factors, from the Trump trade wars to foreign dumping of U.S. treasuries and the dollar, will be a distraction from the banking elites truly culpable.
Economic warfare can in some cases be just as devastating as nuclear warfare. It can wipe out entire populations, give rise to tyrants and enslave the minds of individuals through the weaponization of resource scarcity. Such wars, though less psychologically immediate as our cinematic fears of atomic doom, should be taken very seriously, and the culprits behind them have to be dealt with harshly.
Alas, fakery isn’t actually a solution to fiscal/financial crisis..
This chart of “debt securities and loans”–i.e. total debt in the U.S. economy–is also a chart of the creation and distribution of new money, as the issuance of new debt is the mechanism in our financial system for creating (or “emitting” in economic jargon) new currency: when a bank issues a new home mortgage, for example, the loan amount is new currency created out of the magical air of fractional reserve banking.
Central banks also create new currency at will, and emitting newly created money is how they’ve bought $21 trillion in assets such as bonds, mortgages and stocks since 2009. Is there an easier way to push asset valuations higher than creating “money” out of thin air and using it to buy assets, regardless of the price? If there is an easier way, I haven’t heard of it.
Which brings us to the question: how much longer can we get away with this travesty of a mockery of a sham? How much longer can we get away with creating “money” by issuing new debt/liabilities to grease the consumption of more goods and services and the purchases of epic bubble-valuation assets?
Since humans are still using Wetware 1.0 (a.k.a. human nature), we can constructively refer to the Roman Empire’s experience with creating “money” with no intrinsic value. The reason why the Roman Empire (Western and Eastern) attracts such attention is 1) we have a fair amount of documentation for the period, something we don’t have for other successful empires such as the Incas, and 2) we’re fascinated by the decline and collapse of the Western Empire, a structure so vast and successful that collapse seemed impossible just a few decades before the final unraveling.
The key takeaway is that climate change undermined the production of grain while the arrival of previously unknown diseases via trade routes stretching from Rome to China, India and the interior of Africa decimated the productive populace. Add in the rise of well-organized “barbarians” and the political instability born of a self-serving, ossified elite and voila, you have an excellent recipe for crisis.
Crises tend to reduce tax collections and increase government/Imperial costs, and this creates a fiscal/financial crisis. The Romans didn’t have a fiat currency that a central bank could create out of thin air, so they did the next best thing which was to replace their mostly-silver coinage with new base-metal coinage that had been washed in silver. That is, they debased/devalued their money, replacing coinage with an intrinsic value of silver with coinage with little to no intrinsic value.
They got away with this debasement/ devaluation for quite a few years, and so naturally they reckoned they could get away with it forever. But alas, debauching the currency is not a permanent solution to insolvency; it is a one-time trick that fools the market and populace for a time but soon enough people catch on and bad money drives out good money (Gresham’s law) as people hoarded the old silver coins and tried to trade the worthless new coins for anything but more worthless “money.”
In the present, we see this process at work in Venezuela, where the government has debauched the nation’s currency, the bolivar, to the point that inflation (i.e. loss of purchasing power) is running around 7,000% annually.
So how long can we get away with creating “money” out of thin air and using it to pump up asset prices? The Roman leaders who in desperation debased the Empire’s currency/coinage must have been chortling at the fast one they pulled on the Empire’s merchants, markets, farmers and soldiers, and we must forgive their avid willingness to believe that they could get away with it essentially forever.
Alas, fakery isn’t actually a solution to fiscal/financial crisis. At this moment in time, our “leadership” is basking in the hubris-soaked confidence that we can get away with it if not forever then for decades to come: we can borrow currency into existence in as many trillions as we desire, and inflation will remain dormant, consumption will remain robust and everyone will accept the debauched currency as having value.
Until they don’t. This is typically a sudden and unexpected event, as this chart of the exchange rate of the bolivar to the US dollar shows: the slide from 10 bolivars to the USD to 25 bolivars to one USD was gradual, but the implosion to 200,000 bolivars to the USD was frighteningly rapid.
No doubt the Romans said, “it can’t happen here”–but they were wrong.
So without any evidence, no investigation and proof these countries want answers from Russia. This is a push to get Russia off of the UN Security Council. The deep state cannot push their agenda with Russia vetoing everything they want to do.
Update: Just hours after Macron issued the statement below demanding “more proof” and decrying May’s “fantasy politics,” it appears a phone call with the UK has changed the attitude and Germany, US, and France have now issued a statement that says they agree with UK that “Russia must be responsible” for the UK attack.
The countries are “horrified” at the attack, according to the joint statement, and explain in full-Haley (Colin-Powell-esque) fearmongery, warn the attack “threatens the security of us all” and Russia must explain the UK attack.
As AP reports, the leaders of the United States, France, Germany and Britain say they are united in blaming Russia for a nerve agent attack on former spy Sergei Skripal.
In a rare joint statement, President Donald Trump, President Emmanual Macron, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Prime Minister Theresa May say “there is no plausible alternative explanation” to Russian responsibility in the March 4 attack in England.
They say Russia’s failure to respond to Britain’s “legitimate request” for an explanation “further underlines its responsibility.”
First use of nerve agent in Europe since World War II “threatens all of our security”
The leaders say the use of a chemical weapon is “an assault on U.K. sovereignty” and “a breach of international law.”
“We call on Russia to respond to all questions connected with the attack in Salisbury,” particularly those relating to its Novichok program
Britain has expelled 23 Russian diplomats and suspended high-level contacts with Moscow over the incident. Russia is expected to take retaliatory measures soon.
* * *
As we detailed earlier, UK Prime Minister made many of her European allies uneasy (particularly those who, like Germany, rely on Russia for supplies of LNG) on Monday when she accused the Russian government of masterminding an attack on former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia Skripal – an attack that left 18 bystanders and one law-enforcement officer hospitalized.
And with Russia threatening to retaliate, France’s Emmanuel Macron – hardly a far-right authoritarian – is speaking up and undermining May’s push to rally international support for another round of sanctions against Russia, according to RT.
Macron said he wants more proof linking Russia to the attack – which occurred at a shopping center in Salisbury earlier this month. So far, the UK government has essentially admitted that its strongest evidence was the presence at the scene of a nerve agent known to have been developed in Russia. May has threatened sanctions in response to the attack. And on Tuesday, she ordered 23 Russian diplomats to leave the country. The reaction resembled the UK’s response to the death via radiation poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko.
Via a spokesman, Macron accused May of engaging in “fantasy politics.”
On Wednesday, May announced the expulsion of 23 Russian diplomats and the suspension of bilateral talks. May claimed Russia was “culpable” for the poisoning of former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, which amounted to “unlawful use of force against the UK.”
However, President Emmanuel Macron’s spokesman suggested May was acting prematurely. “We don’t do fantasy politics. Once the elements are proven then the time will come for decisions to be made, Benjamin Griveaux told a news conference in Paris.
Griveaux added that France was waiting for “definitive conclusions” and evidence that the “facts were completely true” before taking a position. He said that the Salisbury poisoning was a “serious act” against a strategic ally, but France would await evidence of Russian involvement before taking a position.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has asked the UK for a sample of the toxin that it’s citing as evidence so that it might be examined by Russia.
Lavrov has also threatened to retaliate by expelling British diplomats. Russia has also refused to respond to the UK’s demand that it furnish an explanation for how the nerve agent came to be found at the scene. Did Russia deliberately plan the attack? Or did it simply recklessly lose track of dangerous chemical weapons? The UK said it would give Russia a day to respond, infuriating the Kremlin.
In addition to refusing to share the toxin, the UK is resisting settling the issue through the proper channels – ie the Organization of the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons. Russia and the UK are both members.
Moscow’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Vassily Nebenzia, said Wednesday that “we demand that material proof be provided of the allegedly found Russian trace in this high-resonance event. Without this, stating that there is incontrovertible truth is not something that we can take into account.”
Even Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has also challenged May’s evidence of Russian culpability. Corbyn believes there is not enough proof to conclude Russia was behind the incident.
“The government has access to information and intelligence on this matter which others don’t. However, there is also a history in relation to weapons of mass destruction and intelligence which is problematic, to put it mildly,” said Corbys spokesman Seumas Milne. “I think the right approach is to seek the evidence to follow international treaties, particularly in relation to prohibitive chemical weapons.”
* * *
However, as one Twitter user pointed out, if Russian President Vladimir Putin really did personally authorize the “wet job” – FSB-speak for assassination – then for a reportedly ‘smart guy’, he picked a remarkably ill-time moment to carry out such an attack…
This Putin guy is really something: at the height of anti-Russian hysteria in the west, and right before both the Russian election and World Cup, he decides the time is right to execute a spy living openly in the UK since 2010 using a Russian nerve agent.
The U.S. exported a stunning amount of gold since the turn of the century. As the price of gold surged along with the massive increase in U.S. debt, gold exports jumped to record highs. In 2012 alone, the United States exported nearly 700 metric tons of gold. The total amount of U.S. net gold exports over the past 17 years equaled the combined gold reserves of six high ranking countries.
While the U.S. exported nearly 8,000 metric tons (mt) of gold since 2001, it also imported a great deal as well. Thus, we arrive at a “net export” figure by subtracting gold imports from gold exports. During the past 17 years, there were only four years where the U.S. imported more gold than it exported. These net gold import years were in 2004-2005 and 2010-2011 and totaled only 322 mt.
However, U.S. gold net exports were the mainstay as a staggering 2,340 mt of gold were shipped abroad. If we look at the chart below, U.S. gold net exports picked up during the 2007-2008 U.S. Housing and Investment Banking collapse:
From 2012 to 2017, U.S. net gold exports totaled 1,354 mt or 43.5 million. That’s one heck of a lot of gold. Of course, the United States produces a lot of gold, 210-225 mt annually, however, domestic demand consumes a large percentage of that amount.
Now if we compare U.S. net gold exports versus the official reserves at top-ranking countries, the number turns out to be quite large. The combined official gold holdings of the U.K., Saudi Arabia, Portugal, Taiwan, European Central Bank and India of 2,512 mt is about the same amount of U.S. net gold exports (2,430 mt) from 2001 to 2017. Moreover, Italy (2,452 mt) and France (2,436 mt) which rank 4th and 5th respectively in official world gold reserves, are approximately the same amount of U.S. net gold exports during the same period (official gold reserves: source, World Gold Council).
The majority of U.S. gold exports were shipped to Switzerland, the U.K., and Hong Kong. These three countries received more than 80% of U.S. gold exports during the 17-year period.
When the U.S. Dollar finally loses its world reserve status, Americans are going to wish that they held onto their gold instead of sending it overseas, ending up mostly in China and India.
First, I would like to say that the timing of Donald Trump’s announcement on expansive trade tariffs is unusual if not impeccable. I say this only IF Trump’s plan was to benefit establishment globalists by giving them perfect cover for their continued demolition of the market bubbles that they have engineered since the crash of 2008.
If this was not his plan, then I am a bit bewildered by what he hopes to accomplish. It is certainly not the end of trade deficits and the return of American industry. But let’s explore the situation for a moment…
Trump is in my view a modern day Herbert Hoover. One of Hoover’s first actions as president in response to fiscal tensions of 1929 was to support increased tax cuts, primarily for corporations (this was then followed in 1932 by extensive tax increases in the midst of the depression, so let’s see what Trump does in the next couple of years). Then, he instituted tariffs through the Smoot-Hawley Act. His hyperfocus on massive infrastructure spending resulted in U.S. debt expansion and did nothing to dig the U.S. out of its unemployment abyss. In fact, infrastructure projects like the Hoover Dam, which were launched in 1931, were not paid off for over 50 years. Hoover oversaw the beginning of the Great Depression and ended up as a single-term Republican president who paved the way socially for Franklin D. Roosevelt, an essential communist and perhaps the worst president in American history.
This is not to say Hoover was responsible for the Great Depression. That distinction goes to the Federal Reserve, which had artificially lowered interest rates and then suddenly raised them going into the economic downturn causing an aggressive bubble implosion (just like the central bank is doing right now). But Hoover did actually aid the Fed in their undermining of economic stability by pursuing policies which were poorly timed.
I’m hitting readers with all of this because I am growing rather tired of the contingent of Trump apologists in the liberty movement scrambling to defend every single Trump action no matter how illogical. These people should know better. Sorry, but Trump is not “playing 4D chess” against the globalists. His primary initiatives have only served so far to create a useful distraction away from the globalists.
The disturbing key to all of this is the fact that many of Trump’s policies are things that I and many others have argued for in the past. The problem is, he is implementing them out of order and with bad timing, which will only make such policies appear destructive in the end, rather than constructive.
In terms of the implementation of tariffs, the people who are defending this action at this time do not seem to understand the basics of international trade. Tariffs can only be enacted from a position of economic strength and resource development. This strength comes from internal self-sufficiency in production; meaning, in order for the U.S. to force a trade balance (which is what tariffs are supposed to do) the U.S. must have a strong industrial base and MUST be capable of producing most if not all necessary goods and goods in broad demand.
The fact is, U.S. manufacturing has been utterly outsourced by the very corporations Trump just gave a 10% tax cut to, and rebuilding that industrial base would take decades. Why? Because there are no incentives for corporations to bring manufacturing back.
Will this stock buyback bonanza even generate new highs in the Dow? Probably not. But I’ll explain why that is later.
If Trump had given tax incentives for corporations to bring manufacturing back into the U.S., and then given those corporations a few years to make the shift, only then would tariffs have been an effective action. But as the situation stands now, we have minimal tangible production in this country, and, historic debts held by the same overseas competitors that Trump is now seeking to “teach a lesson.”
Who is going to purchase this debt, I wonder? Over the past several years the largest buyer of U.S. treasury debt was the Federal Reserve through fiat money creation. Now, the Fed has tapered quantitative easing and is dumping their balance sheet at a rate faster than anyone expected. The Fed is pulling the plug on its artificial support of the economy.
The next largest buyers are major foreign central banks in countries like China, Japan and to some extent the supranational EU. If the debt buyers of last resort are now the very same countries Trump is seeking to enact tariffs over, how do you think this little theater will end? Yes, with a dump of U.S. treasury bonds and perhaps the dollar as world reserve by those nations.
But what about the U.S. consumer? Isn’t the consumer market in America so enticing that nations like China would “never dare” dump U.S. debt or the dollar? No, not really. If we are talking about a trade “war,” then a country like China, which has a vast manufacturing base and which has also been building up its own domestic consumer market, would be willing to make the sacrifice. America would be hurt far more by the threat of debt default and the loss of the dollar’s international buying power than China ever would be by the loss of American consumers. With tariffs being implemented, they may lose the American consumer anyway.
All of these negative effects are weighing down our economy while the Federal Reserve is quickly deflating the fraudulent markets that the establishment used during the Obama administration to argue that America was “in recovery.” Of course, alternative economists have known since the beginning that this was a lie, and that the only thing propping up the economy and stock markets was central bank manipulation.
The Fed under Jerome Powell has made it crystal clear that they WILL be raising interest rates and cutting the Fed balance sheet, perhaps more than their dot plots had indicated in the past. Without low rates and a steadily rising balance sheet we have already seen the results. Stocks in particular have gone crazy compared to the past few years, dumping nearly 10% one week, spiking about half that the next week. One thing is certain, the supposedly endless bull market induced by the Fed years ago is now over. Stocks are in heart attack mode.
It is no coincidence that the first two times the Fed reduced its balance sheet the Dow plunged over 1,000 points. The latest dump of $23 billion at the end of February resulted in a drop of around 1,500 points. It is too early in this process to know what the trend will be, but it seems to me that stocks are being steam valved down every month. With a marked decline just after a balance sheet dump, followed by a less impressive dead cat bounce the week after.
In the meantime, Trump’s “trade war” is now being blamed in the mainstream for the decline in stocks that the Fed is actually responsible for. As I have always said, Trump is the ideal scapegoat for the inevitable economic crisis the central bankers have staged. Trump’s tariffs might exacerbate the problem, just as Hoover’s policies did in the beginning of the Great Depression, but the blame rests squarely on the Federal Reserve and central banks around the world. Will the average person understand this dynamic once the dust settles on our financial system? Probably not.
So, to summarize, while Trump has indeed set in motion policies that conservatives in general tend to approve of, he has done so in an impractical way that will ultimately be blamed for a market crash the Fed created. If conservative ideals such as limited government and sovereign trade protection get the blame for an unprecedented economic crisis then this could sabotage conservatism for generations to come. If elections are still even a factor as this crisis unfolds, the chances of the public accepting a socialistic nightmare regime after Trump exits the White House are high. And, the banking elites that conjured the whole mess will escape once again without any punishment.
The question we must ask is this – Is Trump aware that his policies are creating a perfect distraction for those same banking elites? I believe we will know for certain the answer to that before 2018 is over.
As gunman Nikolas Cruz went on a rampage at Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, firing on students and teachers until his semiautomatic AR-15 jammed, Broward Deputy Scot Peterson cowered outside behind the safety of cover, “pointing his gun at nothing.”
Peterson publicly stated that he thought gunfire was happening outside on campus, not inside the building – perhaps to justify not going in to stop the shooting which claimed 17 lives.
Internal radio dispatches released by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office Thursday reveal Peterson immediately focused on Building 12 and radioed that gunfire was happening “inside.”
What’s more – Peterson warned his fellow officer to stay away – despite wounded students and staff inside who required assistance. Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO) policy requires deputies to engage an active shooter and eliminate the threat.
“Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away,” shouted a panicked Peterson as people screamed in the background.
The timeline of events and audio recording of police radio chatter shed new light on the response by the BSO.
The records appear to support Broward Sheriff Scott Israel’s contention that Peterson, a longtime school resource officer, should have entered Building 12 to engage Cruz and try to prevent deaths. They also appear to show that other deputies may have refrained from rushing into the school at the direction of Peterson and a Parkland captain. The response by the agency has been the subject of national scrutiny, and is currently under review by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. –Miami Herald
BSO police union president Jeff Bell welcomed the release of the audio and timeline of events.
“It certainly backs up that he never went into the school,” Bell said of Scot Peterson. “At one point he says to keep back 500 feet. Why would he say that?”
Cruz was dropped off at the school by an Uber at 2:19 p.m. Two minutes later, he entered Building 12. He began firing within 15 seconds. Peterson, at the time, was near the administration building.
At 2:22 p.m. the fire alarm was triggered, blaring throughout the entire campus. The first 911 call also went out, via Coral Springs emergency dispatch center.
“Be advised we have possible, could be firecrackers. I think we have shots fired, possible shots fired —1200 building,” Peterson radioed at 2:23 p.m.
At that moment, according to the video, Peterson arrived at the southeast corner of Building 12, where he appeared to remain “for the duration of the incident.” “We’re talking about the 1200 building, it’s going to be the building off Holmberg Road,” Peterson said frantically seconds later.
“Get the school locked down, gentlemen!” he shouted.
As the shots intensified, other deputies began racing to the scene, radioing in. One believed he heard shots by the football field, something Peterson mentioned in a statement released last month by his attorney, arguing that the school resource deputy thought shots were coming from outside the 1200 building.
“BSO trains its officers that in the event of outdoor gunfire one is to seek cover and assess the situation in order to communicate what one observes with other law enforcement,” Peterson’s attorney said.
But Peterson, according to the timeline and radio dispatches reviewed by the Miami Herald, remained focused on Building 12.
“All right… We also heard it’s by, inside the 1200,” Peterson said at 2:25 p.m.
Joseph DiRuzzo, Peterson’s attorney, did not respond to an email and a call to his office. Peterson resigned eight days after the shooting rather than be suspended without pay pending an internal affairs investigation.
As the shooting progressed, calls began “blowing up” the 911 call centers. Students were spilling out of the campus. Peterson radioed to make sure “no one comes inside the school.”
At 2:27 p.m., six minutes after Cruz went into Building 12, the shooting stopped. Cruz ditched his AR-15 in the third-floor stairwell and left.
Five seconds later, Peterson radioed for officers to “stay at least 500 feet away at this point.” A dispatcher repeated, “Stay away from 12 and 1300 building.”
Coral Springs officer Tim Burton had just arrived at Douglas High. At 2:28 p.m., he radioed out the first description of Cruz: “White male with ROTC Uniform Burgundy Shirt” — exactly what the shooter was wearing when he was arrested later. How Burton obtained the information was unclear from the timeline.
At 2:29 p.m., as officers began encountering wounded students, Burton met with Peterson outside Building 12.
The chaos continued. Deputies tried getting into Building 13 next door, but it was locked. A fleeing student appeared to be stuck in a fence; a deputy asked for bolt cutters. One deputy called for a command post to be set up.
“We need to get units in here so we can try to find this guy,” a deputy radioed.
At 2:31 p.m., BSO Capt. Jan Jordan, whose supervision of the response has also been scrutinized amid questions about whether she slowed police response by ordering a perimeter, speaks for the first time: “Do we have a perimeter set up right now and everyone cleared out of the school?”
“That’s negative,” a dispatcher responds.
It was at 2:32 — 11 minutes after the shooting began — that four Coral Springs officers and two BSO deputies made the first police entrance into the building, helping to “extract a victim.”
Jordan is back on the radio one minute later: “I want to make sure that we have a perimeter set up (unintelligible), all the kids are getting out, but we need to shut down around this school.”
By 2:35 p.m., officers were seen transporting a victim on a golf cart. One minute after that, 10 officers burst into Building 12 through an east-side entrance.
Down the street, Cruz had entered a Walmart and bought a drink at the Subway inside. At 3:40 p.m., a Coconut Creek officer saw Cruz and arrested him without incident. Cruz was indicted Wednesday on 17 counts of first-degree murder and 17 counts of attempted murder.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office released the timeline Thursday following weeks of mounting pressure to make the details of its police response public. The Miami Herald, South Florida Sun-Sentinel and CNN sued the agency last month to force it to release surveillance video outside of the 1200 building, and their lawyers argued in court Thursday that it was in the public interest to release the footage.
Also Thursday, the sheriff’s office released 911 calls received by dispatchers and police documents related to its handling of calls to Cruz’s various addresses detailing his family’s troubled domestic life.
The sheriff’s office tweeted about the case Thursday evening.
“BSO agreed in court today with the media that surveillance video from outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High should be released publicly. Legal exemptions block the release unless a judge approves. The judge took it under advisement and we hope for a ruling shortly.”
Bitcoin’s Tokyo Whale (not to be confused with that Tokyo Whale) revealed on Wednesday that he has sold off about $400 million in bitcoin and bitcoin cash since late September. Nobuaki Kobayashi, bankruptcy trustee for Mt. Gox, the largest bitcoin exchange in the world before hackers absconded with tens of thousands of customers’ bitcoins worth billions at recent prices, said he started selling in late September, meaning it’s quite possible he sold at least some of the coins at the highs reached toward the end of last year.
Kobayashi made his disclosure in the report from the 10th creditors’ meeting, which took place Wednesday.
In the report, he said he’d started selling off the bitcoin and bitcoin cash to raise money for disbursements that the trustee will soon need to begin making as bankruptcy claims are being evaluated, per Bloomberg.
Which brings us to the crash of Bitcoin from December 2017 through February 2018.
Matt Odell (@Matt_Odell) presents the full list of transfers out of their wallet.
As Odell points out “More than half of the bitcoin they sold (18k btc) was transferred to an exchange on Feb 5th. The day before bitcoin hit its 3 month low of ~$6000. They panicked and sold the bottom. Market absorbed it well.”
This is what Kobayashi’s “sells” look like on the chart of Bitcoin…
Odell explains “The arrows on the chart above mark the dates of each Gox wallet transfer. Worth noting, these aren’t the dates of the sales, those most likely happened right after, these are the dates of the transfers to the exchange.”
So that explains – or reveals – the mysterious man on the offer-side of Bitcoin for two months.
Still, Bloomberg reports that Kobayashi is sitting on another approximately $1.9 billion, which he says he plans to offload soon…
* * *
Notably, buried deep in the report, Kobayashi disclosed that he’s asked US prosecutors for more information about the arrest of Alexander Vinnik, a Russian national who was charged with laundering $4 billion in stolen Mt. Gox profits through his old exchange, BTC-e.
It’s unclear whether Kobayashi is planning on trying to recover some of these funds…
The means by which the vast majority of Americans are deceived to believe fake ‘news’ that’s based on fake ‘history’, will be described here, so as to enable America to be understood correctly, as a fake ‘democracy’, the perpetual-war-for-perpetual-peace nation that the entire world considers to be by far the most dangerous nation, the biggest threat to world peace, anywhere on this planet. The system of mass-deceit in America, will be the subject, and examples will be cited here as embodiments displaying this system of mass-deceit — the mass-deceit that enables the U.S. Government to be the world’s most aggressive, most destructive, not only in Iraq, and in Yemen, but shamelessly, and repeatedly, destroying worldwide, with no respect for international laws that this Government blatantly violates, and is never held accountable for having violated. How is this mass-deceit, and total impunity, to be understood correctly, truthfully? That’s the question addressed here.
TIME magazine’s cover-story, “VOICES FROM THE RUBBLE: Syrians on living in the line of fire”, issue-date 12 March 2018, was co-authored by Wendy Pearlman, who recently published a book of narratives from many Syrian-war victims who blame Bashar al-Assad (whom the U.S. Government wants to overthrow) for the miseries they’ve suffered since the “Arab Spring” started in 2011. Her co-authored article in TIME reads like a brief version of her sole-authored book. To read either the book or the article is to receive the impression that Assad must be a monster, and that he certainly is an extremely unpopular person in Syria. However, both impressions are demonstrably false. This isn’t necessarily to assert that Pearlman doesn’t believe what she writes, but only that there’s a great willingness on the part of U.S.-and-allied ‘news’-media to spread (i.e., to hire and publish propagandists who write such) extremely one-sided accounts that support the U.S. Government’s regime-change story-line (in today’s Syria, just the same as it was in 2003 Iraq — but then it was against Saddam Hussein), so that America’s ‘news’media might as well be controlled by the very same people who control America’s invasion-craving international corporations, like Lockheed Martin and ExxonMobil. Accounts from the other side of this war — the side that will here be documented to be the truth, namely that Bashar al-Assad is overwhelmingly popular amongst the Syrian people — have been published online-only, by terrific investigative journalists such as Vanessa Beeley, and Eva Bartlett, among others; but, none of those high-quality journalists have been accepted for publication by mainstream members of the U.S. and allied ‘news’-media. That side regarding this war, the “inconvenient” truth about it, is instead blacked-out, by the mainstream ‘news’ media — the U.S. regime’s PR mouthpieces.
Perhaps what’s even worse is that ‘alternative-news’ media in the U.S. and its allies, have, likewise, almost universally, given voice only (or, in other cases, mainly) to the anti-Assad side of this war. Are they, too, controlled by the U.S. aristcracy?
The following report exposes one faux-‘progressive’ war-monger and propagandist for U.S. invasions of countries that never invaded nor even threatened the U.S.: Amy Goodman, and her “Democracy Now!” ‘alternative’ ’news’ media for Democratic Party billionaires’ international operations (such as for regime-change in Syria). These propaganda-operations (just like the acknowlegedly mainstream ones, such as TIME) promote using U.S. taxpayers’ money (the U.S. military, which is the most respected institution amongst Americans and thus receives “the benefit of the doubt” regarding any atrocities it may perpetrate — such as its having poisoned Iraq with depleted uranium, for example) — using taxpayers’ money for so-called ‘humanitarian’ reasons that are actually just sales-angles for American billionaires’ bloody conquests of resistant foreign countries (in this case, Syria). This propaganda is aimed at fooling liberals, or even “peaceniks,” into supporting what are actually hidden financial benefits for these behind-the-scenes billionaires.
Exposed here will be the depths that hypocrisy and psychopathy (both of which are pervasive at the very top of society, amongst the aristocrats and their retainers) plunge down to, in American ‘news’. This type of operation can be done only by taking advantage, especially, of well-intentioned Democrats, in order for billionaires to become enabled to use taxpayers’ money, to boost actually the private wealth not only of Democratic Party billionaires, but even of Republican Party billionaires — even of ‘the political opposition.’ The example that will be presented in detail here, typifies a depraved scheme for the warfare-state (not the welfare-state, which instead becomes proportionately reduced as the warfare-state becomes increased), a scheme (support of the military-industrial complex, or “MIC,” and its permanent-war-for-permanent-peace economy) which largely controls America, in order to build and maintain the public’s support for obscenely high ‘defense’ spending and billionaires’ ‘defense’ profits, which government-spending produces catastrophes for the victim-nations, such as Iraq 2003, Libya 2011, and Syria 2012-, all of which invasions are especially profitable for the owners of America’s ‘defense’ contractors such as General Dynamics and Lockheed Martin, which depend upon war in order to funnel money from the domestic masses, to the domestic classes, via taxes. And, of course, American resource-extraction corporations, such as oil-and-gas giants, also benefit handsomely from it, by grabbing foreign resources. Megabanks benefit, too. After all: it’s the U.S. aristocracy that’s behind this, the ultimate paymasters for these propaganda-operations (and some details of this fact of aristocratic sponsorship will be documented here).
Goodman opened her February 23rd youtube,
As Death Toll Rises in Eastern Ghouta, Has International Community Abandoned the Syrian People?
Democracy Now! 23 February 2018
“A ‘monstrous campaign of annihilation’ — that’s how the United Nations is describing the Syrian Government’s recent barrage of air strikes and artillery fire against the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta.”
and she introduced there what were actually her carefully vetted neoconservative-neoliberal three guests, to discuss why Syria’s Government is (supposedly) the enemy of the Syrian people, and thereby, also supposedly, America’s enemy (though it’s actually neither — but it is instead the enemy of American, Saudi, and Qatari, billionaires):
”On Thursday [February 22nd], we hosted an extended web-only conversation with Rawya Rageh of Amnesty International, Syrian-American journalist Alia Malek and Wendy Pearlman, author of ‘We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria’.”
The first thing that was hidden from her viewers was that all three guests are propagandists whose careers are heavily dependent upon their having won approval from U.S. billionaires and centi-millionaires, and from those individuals’ foreign colleagues.
The Wikipedia article about Raya Rageh lists the numerous employers and sponsors of her career, such as Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and Al Jazeera — the broadcast network controlled by the royal Thani family, who own gas-rich Qatar (and who want a gax-pipeline to be built through Syria into the European Union), and whose media-strategy (since they’re allies of U.S. billionaires) is to broadcast pro-jihadist propaganda inside the country that they own (Qatar), in its Arabic language, which few Westerners can understand, but to broadcast anti-jihadist propaganda in Western languages in Western and anti-jihadist countries.
A year later, Orb polled again, and found (“Table 3”) that 47% of Syrians said that Assad had a “positive” effect on the country (this question hadn’t been asked in the year-earlier, 2014, poll); 37% said “Arab Gulf Countries” (the U.S. Government’s allies) did; 36% said “Free Syrian Army” (America’s proxies or boots-on-the-ground fighting against Assad) did; 25% said “Nusra Front” (Al Qaeda in Syria, which trained and led the Free Syrian Army) did; and 21% said “Islamic State” (ISIS or ISIL) did. 76% said ISIL had a “negative effect” on Syria, and a full 82% of Syrians said (Table 26) “ISIL is produced by the United States.”
Jihadist groups became powerful in Syria because blood flowed for months while the opposition’s cries for assistance went ignored. Had the international community acted earlier, these extremists might never have emerged on the scene. Most Syrians view al-Qaeda as another form of tyranny. Many have risked their lives to protest agianst [against] it. It is a cruel irony that the United States, which championed the “war on terror,” now leaves besieged civilians to fight al-Qaeda on their own. …
In Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. imposed regime change from the outside. In Syria, an anti-regime struggle emerged from the grassroots. …
It’s the way to achieve mass-indoctrination, which the Ministry of Truth specializes in. Thus, among the reader-comments to that bold article, the top-listed one under “sort by best” (in other words, the most popular) was the anti-Russian “Have you counted how many neo-Nazis are in the Russian army as well?”
But instead of The West’s recognizing publicly that the ethnic-cleansing program exists, The West’s propaganda-vehicles (called ‘news’ media by Big Brother) accuse Russia of ‘aggression’ for arming Donbass’s residents and bringing in food and medicine so that these people can stay there instead of emigrating into Russia. Russia is doing what it can to help them, but turned down the residents’ pleas to become admitted as a new region into Russia. Russia had gotten hit badly enough with America’s sanctions which resulted from Russia’s taking on the burden of protecting and allowing to become Russians again (as had been the case until the Soviet dictator in 1954 transferred them to Ukraine) Crimeans.
So: this ugly mindless and misinformed hate, which America’s ‘news’ media foment by constant lies and distortions against Russia, is being fomented for a reason: conquest. Conquering Ukraine wasn’t enough — the US regime wants, ultimately, to conquer Russia; and, so, that’s what all of this hate build-up is actually about. It’s the prelude to an invasion. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be done, at all. Invasion of Russia, is the sole sensible ultimate reason.
The American people would not tolerate, even for just ten seconds, Russia overthrowing Canada’s Government – our next-door neighbor – in order to place missiles on our border, but people who say such things as “Have you counted how many neo-Nazis are in the Russian army as well?” are, in effect, approving of our country doing that to the Russian people.
Ukraine is Russia’s equivalent to our Canada. And, America’s media constantly feed this stupidity and hate, by Americans against Russia, and blindly ignore the hate that the US regime has already unleashed in Ukraine, against Ukraine’s next-door neighbor, in preparation for an invasion of Russia. Never has the US sunk so low, at least not in modern times, but the direction in which we are heading is toward even worse, even lower than now, even more like Hitler’s Germany. Candidate Trump had promised to be the non-Obama, but turns out, on the most important matter of all, to be instead the super-Obama. This is playing with fire — a global fire. And the US Government is doing it with the most-evil intent imaginable. And the media play right along with it, and they whip the hatred even higher than they already have done.
Things aren’t looking good. There are too many lies, for any intelligent person to be able to feel at all comfortable about where we’re headed.
The sound of those two minutes of hate is becoming unbearable, for anyone with the ears and brain to hear it. It’s now all around us.
Financial guru Peter Schiff, who accurately predicted the recession of 2008, says the problems we face now are even bigger. We will live through another Great Depression if Schiff is correct. And one of the main concerns is something very few dare to even mention or show a concern about: the national debt.
Schiff’s podcast from a few days ago highlights a very important problem with not only the economy as we know it but the mainstream media as well. Unable to take their attention off gun control regulations for even a moment to focus on a much bigger concern, the national debt, the mainstream media is effectively trying to hide what’s coming down the pipe. The lack of coverage seems to be spurring a lackadaisical attitude about the almost $21 trillion debt.
“The bad news is, we are going to live through another Great Depression and it’s going to be very different. This will be in many ways, much much worse, than what people had to endure during the Great Depression,” Schiff says. “This is going to be a dollar crisis.”
“These hot inflation numbers that we’ve been getting are going to get a lot hotter…all this inflation that has been in the financial markets, in the stock markets, in the bond market, in the real estate market, everybody loved inflation when it was making you rich…the problem is going to be when it makes you poor. That’s when it starts showing up in the cost of living; all the things you need to buy end up being a lot more expensive.”
“When you are talking about the magnitude of the debt we have, that extra money [raising interest rates] is big. That’s going to be a big drain on the economy to the extent that we have to pay higher interest to international creditors…a lot of this phony GDP is coming from consumption, while the average American who is consuming is deeply in debt and they are going to impacted dramatically in the increase in the cost of servicing that debt…given how much debt we have, and how much debt is going to be marketed the massive increase in supply will argue for interest rates that are higher.”
“The Fed thinks they create economic growth…by [saying] ‘let’s jack up the stock market and then the economy’s going to grow and people are going to go out and spend more money.’ It’s actually doing damage. If you create a bunch of phony wealth, and people end up spending money that they otherwise would have saved, you are undermining economic growth.”
“Everything the Fed has done has undermined real economic growth, that is why this coming collapse is going to be so devastating,” says Schiff. “It’s shrinking government that grows the economy. When you make government smaller and you free up resources back into the private sector, that’s what grows the economy.”
Schiff again suggests looking at gold as a way to protect yourself against the dollar’s collapse.
If the U.S. economy is in good shape, then why has economic growth been so anemic for more than a decade? It has been 12 long years since the economy grew by at least 3 percent, and for most of that time my website has been one of the leading voices chronicling America’s long-term economic problems. In 2017, U.S. GDP increased by just 2.3 percent, but at least that was better than the pathetic 1.5 percent figure that was posted for 2016. With Donald Trump in the White House, we have taken some steps in the right direction, but we must never forget that our long-term economic and financial problems continue to steadily get worse.
As I travel around Idaho’s first congressional district, I often tell voters that we have not had a year of 3 percent economic growth since the middle of the Bush administration, and a lot of people have a really hard time believing that this is accurate. But of course it is 100 percent true, and earlier today CNS News published an article highlighting this fact…
This drought is highly, highly unusual. In fact, before this 12 year stretch the previous record was just four years…
Before the current period, when the nation has seen twelve straight years without 3 percent growth in real GDP, the longest stretch of years in which real GDP did not grow by at least 3 percent was during the Great Depression—when there were four straight years (1930-1933) when real GDP did not grow that much.
Have we entered a new era of low economic growth?
Is 3 percent the best that we can hope for from now on?
I have pointed out many times that Barack Obama was the only president in all of U.S. history never to have a single year of 3 percent economic growth, and he had two terms to try to achieve that.
Of course the U.S. economy began struggling far before Obama entered the White House. As the U.S. has increasingly embraced socialism, our once vibrant economy has really had a tough time. In fact, since the end of the Reagan administration our economic growth numbers have not been good at all…
The last time it grew by more than 7 percent was 1984, when Ronald Reagan was president. That year, it grew by 7.3 percent.
In the years after 1984, the highest level of economic growth achieved by the United States was in 1999, when real GDP grew by 4.7 percent.
The U.S. economy is way overdue for a recession, and many believe that the next major economic downturn is right around the corner. We just witnessed the worst February for stocks in 9 years, and the Dow ended the month on a huge down note. Hopefully things will rebound in March, but there is absolutely no guarantee that will happen.
The following are some more facts about what transpired in February from Zero Hedge…
We are less than 80 days away from May 15th, and it is an exceedingly close race between me and three other major candidates.
If you live in Idaho’s first congressional district, please mark May 15th on your calendar. Our numbers are surging and we feel very good about the race, but without a doubt we are going to need every single vote that we can get.
Though the media often attempts to twist the gun rights debate into a web of complexity, gun rights is in fact a rather simple issue — either you believe that people have an inherent right to self defense, or you don’t. All other arguments are a peripheral distraction.
Firearms are a powerful epoch changing development. Not because they necessarily make killing “easier;” killing was always easy for certain groups of people throughout history, including governments and organized thugs. Instead, guns changed the world because for the first time in thousands of years the common man or woman could realistically stop a more powerful and more skilled attacker. Firearms are a miraculous equalizer in a world otherwise dominated and enslaved by everyday psychopaths.
The Founding Fathers understood this dynamic very well. Despite arguments from the extreme left falsely insinuating that the founders are essentially barbarians from a defunct era that were too stupid to understand future developments and technology, the fact is that they knew the core philosophical justification for an armed citizenry was always the most important matter at hand. Today’s debates try to muddle meaningful discourse by swamping the public in the minutia of background checks, etc. But the following quotes from the early days of the Republic outline what we should all really be talking about:
“The laws that forbid the carrying of arms are laws of such a nature. They disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes…. Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man.” – Thomas Jefferson, Commonplace Book (quoting 18th century criminologist Cesare Beccaria), 1774-1776
“To disarm the people…[i]s the most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788
“Before a standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed, as they are in almost every country in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops.” – Noah Webster, An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution, October 10, 1787
“Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined…. The great object is that every man be armed. Everyone who is able might have a gun.” – Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Ratifying Convention, June 5, 1778
“The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered, as the palladium of the liberties of a republic; since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers; and will generally, even if these are successful in the first instance, enable the people to resist and triumph over them.” – Joseph Story, Commentaries on the Constitution of the United States, 1833
“On every occasion [of Constitutional interpretation] let us carry ourselves back to the time when the Constitution was adopted, recollect the spirit manifested in the debates, and instead of trying [to force] what meaning may be squeezed out of the text, or invented against it, [instead let us] conform to the probable one in which it was passed.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Johnson, 12 June 1823
The inborn right to self defense and the ability of the people to maintain individual liberties in the face of tyranny supersedes all other arguments on gun rights. In fact, nothing else matters. This key point is so unassailable that anti-gun lobbyists have in most cases given up trying to defeat it. Instead of trying to confiscate firearms outright (which is their ultimate goal), they attempt to chip away at gun rights a piece at a time through endless flurries of legislation. This legislation is usually implemented in the wake of a tragedy involving firearms, for gun grabbers never let a good crisis go to waste. Exploiting the deaths of innocent people to further an ideological agenda is a common strategy for them.
This leads us to the recent mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida. The narrative being constructed around this event is the same as usual — that stronger “gun control and background checks” are needed to prevent such things from ever happening again.
Of course, Nikolas Cruz, the alleged perpetrator of the shooting, obtained his firearms legally and by passing existing background checks. Being that these background checks have been highly effective in stopping the vast majority of potential criminals from purchasing firearms through legal channels, one wonders what more can be done to make these checks somehow “foolproof.”
So, the question is, did background checks fail in the case of Nikolas Cruz? And would any suggested amendments to current 4473 methods have made any difference whatsoever in stopping Cruz from purchasing a weapon? The answer is no. No suggested changes to ATF background checks would have made a difference. But there are stop-gaps to preventing mass shootings other than the ATF.
Could the FBI have prevented the killings in Parkland by following up repeated warnings on Nikolas Cruz? I would say yes, it is possible they could have investigated Cruz’s threats, verified them and prosecuted for conspiracy to commit a violent crime, or at the very least, they could have frightened him away from the idea.
Was the Parkland shooting then a failure of background checks or a failure of the FBI? And, if it was a failure of the FBI, then shouldn’t anti-gun advocates focus on revamping the FBI instead of pushing the same background check and gun show “loophole” rhetoric they always do?
They aren’t interested in instituting changes at the FBI because this could help solve the problem, and they do not care about solving the problem, they only care about pursuing their ultimate goal of deconstructing the 2nd Amendment for all time.
Gun control advocates will conjure up a host of arguments for diminishing gun rights, but just like the background check issue and Nikolas Cruz, most of them are nonsensical.
They’ll make the claim that guns for self defense are fine, but that high capacity military grade weapons were never protected under the Constitution. “The founding fathers were talking about single shot muskets when they wrote that…” is the commonly regurgitated propaganda meme. This is false. High capacity “machine guns” (like the Puckle gun and the Girandoni rifle) and even artillery were actually common during the time of the founders and were indeed protected under the 2nd Amendment. In fact, the 2nd Amendment applies to all firearms under common military usage regardless of the era.
They’ll claim that high capacity “assault weapons” are not needed and that low capacity firearms are more practical for self defense. They obviously are ignoring the circumstances surrounding any given self defense scenario. What if you are facing off with multiple assailants? What if those assailants are mass shooters themselves and obtained their weapons on the black market as the ISIS terrorists in Paris did in 2015? What if the assailant is a tyrannical government? Who is to say what capacity is “practical” in those situations?
They’ll claim that tougher gun laws and even confiscation will prevent mass shootings in the future, yet multiple nations (including France) have suffered horrific mass shootings despite having far more Orwellian gun laws than the U.S.
Criminals and terrorists do not follow laws. Laws are words on paper backed up by perceived consequences that only law abiding people care about. The vast majority of successful mass shootings take place in “gun free zones,” places where average law abiding citizens are left unarmed and easy prey.
So, what is the solution that gun grabbers don’t want to talk about? What could have stopped the shooting in Parkland? What is the one thing that the mainstream media actively seeks to avoid any dialogue about?
The solution is simple — abolish all gun free zones. If teachers at the high school in Parkland had been armed the day Nikolas Cruz showed up with the intent to murder, then the entire event could have gone far differently. Instead of acting helplessly as human shields against a spray of bullets, teachers and coaches could have been shooting back, actually stopping the threat instead of just slowing it down for a few seconds. Or, knowing that he might be immediately shot and killed before accomplishing his attack, Cruz may have abandoned the attempt altogether. There is no way to calculate how many crimes and mass shootings have been prevented exactly because private gun ownership acted as a deterrent.
Most gun grabbers are oblivious to this kind of logic because they are blinded by ideological biases. Some of them, however, understand the truth of this completely, and they don’t care. They are not in the business of saving lives; they are in the business of exploiting death. They want something entirely different from what they claim they want. They are not interested in life, they are interested in control.
As of the latest reporting by the Treasury Department, the US gross national debt rose by $41.5 billion on Thursday, February 22, to a grand total of $20.8 trillion.
Here’s the thing: On September 7, 2017, five-and-a-half months ago, just before Congress suspended the debt ceiling, the gross national debt stood at $19.8 trillion.
At that time, I was holding my breath waiting for the gross national debt to take a huge leap in a single day – as it always does after the debt ceiling gets lifted or suspended – and jump to the next ignominious level. It sure did the next day, when it jumped $318 billion.
And it continued. Over a period of 8 weeks, the gross national debt jumped by $640 billion. Four weeks after that, it had ballooned by $723 billion, at which point Fed Chair Yellen – whose cheap-money policies had enabled Congress to do this for years – said that she was “very worried about the sustainability of the US debt trajectory.”
Then Congress served up another debt ceiling – a regular charade lawmakers undertake to extort deals from each other, beat the White House into submission, and keep the rest of the world their on their toes. It goes like this: First they pass the spending bills, directing the Administration to spend specific amounts of money on a gazillion specific things spread around specific districts. Then they block the means to pay the credit card bill.
That debt ceiling was suspended on February 8, at which point the gross national debt began to surge again, adding $1 trillion ($960.4 billion rounded to the nearest 100 million), a 5% jump in the gross national debt in just 5.5 months:
In the chart, note the somewhat technical jargon (marked in green) of what will happen going forward. The past week saw record issuance of Treasury debt, and that surge of Treasury debt issuance will continue. The Treasury department now expects that the debt will increase by $617 billion by mid-year.
The debt ceiling is like playing toss with a loaded gun: The gun will normally not go off because almost everyone is trying very hard to catch the gun without pulling the trigger. And historically speaking, it hasn’t gone off yet, and everyone hopes that it will never go off. It’s dramatic, and sound bites from those playing toss permeate the media, but what it really does is distract from the consequences of the fiscal policies that these same people are hammering out in Congress. Those consequences are best summed up over time in the gross national debt.
The trillions fly by so fast these days, we can’t even see them anymore. And afterwards we wonder: What was that? Where did it go?
The Treasury Department, in its Financial Report for fiscal 2017, which it just released, and which was silenced to death by the media, shows where that money came from and where it went. Now, just add the tax cuts and the ballooning expenditures.
Economists report the household debt to be at its highest in decades. Yet, at the same time, we are being told that the economy is doing great. Does anyone see a serious contradiction?
In fact, the current economy only favors the wealthy owing to their flourishing financial assets such as stocks and bonds. Owing to the lack of real assets such as property and commodities, the middle and lower classes are becoming overwhelmed due to the serious consequences of the spending/debt cycle.
American consumers have a collective outstanding household debt of about $13.15 trillion of which nearly $1 trillion is the credit card debt alone, households are truly on a debt binge. These figures should be a wake-up call to all the Americans. The convulsive household debt has surpassed the bubble of 2008 and is still escalating. The economy may not be doing so great, after all.
Compared to 2008, the automobile credit balances have increased to $367 billion whereas the outstanding student loans are around $671 billion. Moreover, 67 percent of household debts belong to consumer mortgages. In 2016, twenty-five percent of all the Americans purchased a new or used vehicle and two-thirds of them are repaying through high-interest, long-term loans.
In fact, the consumer debt has exceeded their income for majority of the Americans.
Consumers have become accustomed using easy credit to maintain a lifestyle unaffordable for them otherwise. If this trend continues, and facts indicate that it will, we will be facing a monumental credit crisis in the near future.
A huge portion of credit card debt is the interest. Credit cards are a convenience and consumers readily pay for the privilege. However, it is necessary for consumers to know how credit card interest actually works.
Take the Smiths, a typical family with $2,000 in credit card debt. The Smiths don’t have a considerable cash reserve and only make a minimum monthly payment of $60.00 at 20 percent interest. The monthly payment against the principal is $26.67 while the interest amount is $33.33. With this payment schedule, the Smiths will pay $4,240 over a period of 15 years.
Mortgages are also a part of the household debt. While outstanding mortgages haven’t reached the bubble of 2008, they have still increased indicating the possibility of another housing crisis in the not-too-distant future. Moreover, with the rising interest rates, the consumer credit may default. Some families rely on credit cards to meet the basic needs. This is the opposite of economic growth.
The decline in automobile sales is already an indication of the future consumer debt crisis. If lenders continue to provide easy access to credit regardless of its looming default and delinquent potential, retail purchase will face a sharp decline in 2018. This will have serious consequences on the overall economy.
The Federal Reserve and other global lenders are a significant contribution to the problem. They allow printing of trillions of dollars and yens for the lenders to distribute to the borrowing consumers at a high interest, leading to a worldwide inflation. All this printed wealth is merely an illusion yet it is raising the cost of living. Prices are rising at an alamingly faster rate compared to the consumer income. There is no increase in real assets. All this is but a mere mushrooming of debt.
The consequences of federal policy will be inescapable unless reversed and there are no signs of any reversal in near or distant future. At this rate, the consumers will soon face a critical financial bubble. Financial assets, such as stocks and bonds, risk losing substantial value. The wealthy can absorb the losses but the poor and middle class will face financial ruin. Consumers need to seriously consider the need to increase their “real” assets, such as real estate and commodities to prevent a long-term financial nightmare.
The chart below shows how the real assets have curved to an all-time low.
It is high time for the American consumers to wake up and stop believing in the magic of easy credit before it is too late. Their upgraded lifestyle is a bubble of an illusion that will burst soon enough.
The central banks’/states’ power to maintain a permanent bull market in stocks and bonds is eroding.
There is nothing natural about the stability of the past 9 years. The bullish trends in risk assets are artificial constructs of central bank/state policies. As these policies are reduced or lose their effectiveness, the era of artificial stability is coming to a close.
The 9-year run of Bull-trend stability is ending as a result of a confluence of macro dynamics:
1. Central banks are under pressure to reduce, end or reverse their unprecedented monetary stimulus, and the consequences are unpredictable, given the market’s reliance on the certainty that “central banks have our back” is ending.
2. Interest rates / bond yields may well plummet in a global recession, but if we look at a 50-year chart of interest rates, we see a saucer-shaped bottoming in play. Technician Louise Yamada has been discussing the tendency of interest rates/bond yields to trace out a multi-year saucer bottom for over a decade, and we can now discern this.
Even if yields plummet in a recession, as many analysts predict, this doesn’t necessarily negate the longer term trend of higher yields and rates.
3. The global economy is overdue for a business-cycle recession, which is characterized by a retrenchment of credit and the default of marginal debt. The “recovery” is the weakest recovery in the past 60 years, and now it’s the longest expansion.
4. The mainstream financial media is telling us that everything is going great in the global economy, but this sort of complacent (or even euphoric) “it’s all good news” typically marks the top of stocks, just as universal negativity marks secular lows.
5. What happens to markets characterized by uncertainty? Once certainty is replaced by uncertainty, markets become fragile and thus exposed to sudden shifts of sentiment. This destabilization is expressed as volatility, but it’s far deeper than volatility as measured by VIX or sentiment indicators.
Market participants have become accustomed to an implicit entitlement: that investors / speculators will earn consistently positive returns on their capital, as central banks and governments have both the power and the mandate to “save” participants from losses and generate phantom wealth (“gains”).
This entitlement is ending, as the central banks’/states’ power to maintain a permanent bull market in stocks and bonds is eroding, and I suspect few participants have a strategy for a permanently riskier environment going forward.
How much will risk assets have to decline for “wealth” to return to the production of real-world wealth in the real-world economy? Clearly, the answer is “a lot.”
Stock markets have settled down after an awful couple of weeks earlier this month. On Feb. 5, the Dow Jones suffered its largest-ever drop in terms of points. It was down 1,600 at one point and ultimately lost 1,175.21 points, a 4.6% drop that day. At one point during that week, the Dow was off 10% in correction territory. But everything is calm now and most of the mainstream is once again feeling bullish and optimistic.
Peter Schiff spoke at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2018 last month before the market tanked. But his message remains relevant in the aftermath of the plunge and the subsequent recovery because the dynamics in the market remain pretty much the same. Conditions are still ripe for a 1987-style market crash.
Investors have not been this optimistic…since 1987. They are even more optimistic than they were at the height of the technology bubble, the dot-com bubble, the new era. Of course, 1987 didn’t end well, right? We had a stock market crash, and there’s a lot about what’s happening today that reminds me about what was happening in ’87.”
“The economy has not improved under Trump. We don’t have a booming economy. I mean, Trump keeps telling us we have a booming economy, but nothing is booming.”
“When Donald Trump was a candidate for president, he said that the unemployment numbers were phony. They were fake. They were a fraud. They were a con. He said the real unemployment rate is 30%, 40%. Now, every time there is an unemployment number that comes out, he’s tweeting about how great it is we have this record low unemployment and we should all give him credit for it.”
“Now, the tax cuts, are they going to grow the economy? No! Because they didn’t cut government spending. See, you don’t get government for nothing. Taxes pay for government. But if you cut taxes and you don’t cut government, how do you pay for that government?”
“I believe the debt and inflation we have to create to finance the tax cuts will be a bigger drag on the economy than the tax cuts are a boost.”
“Where there will be growth is in the budget deficits and that kind of is where I see some of the similarity now in the 1980s – 1987 – because these big budget deficits are going to be a big problem.”
“Rather than having continuous economic growth, I think the economy is going into recession. Now, I believe that had Donald Trump lost that election, the US would already be in recession. I think we were clearly headed to recession before he won. And when he won, he created this huge burst of misplaced optimism that probably postponed the onset of that recession by another year or two.”
“The most recent trade deficit hit the highest level I think in six years… The trade deficit is heading much higher and so is the budget deficit. You have these twin deficits. And the last time they were a big problem was 1987.”
“I believe that this year, the dollar is going to hit an all-time record low. I think we’re going to crack below 6-to-1 in yuan.”
“If the dollar is going down, why would anyone outside the United States want to buy a 10-year Treasury yielding 2.6%?”
“Here’s the problem. America’s broke. America has more debt than ever before … The debt has more than doubled since the financial crisis. Why did we have a financial crisis? We had too much debt!”
“What has really been propping up the US economy is cheap money and cheap gas.”
“Here is the self-perpetuating spiral that we’re in. As the deficits go up, now we have to sell more bonds. Well, that puts more downward pressure on bond prices and more upward pressure on interest rates. So, as rising interest rates create bigger deficits, those bigger deficits create rising interest rates.”
The irony that is most gagging is that America’s power elite is destroying the nation’s social order by its concentration of wealth and abuse of power.
The irony of the Deep State’s obsessive focus on “Russian meddling” in the precious bodily fluids of our hallowed democracy is so overwhelming that it’s gagging. The irony is a noxious confluence of putid hypocrisy and a comically abject terror at the prospect that the citizenry may be awakening to the terrible reality that America has lost its soul as well as its democracy.
The foul stench of hypocrisy arises from the long and sordid history of America’s meddling in the internal politics of virtually every nation on the planet— a deeply entrenched policy of meddling on such a vast scale that the Deep State minions tasked with projecting a wounded astonishment that some foreign power has the unmitigated gall to attempt to influence our domestic politics must have difficulty restraining their amusement.
America’s foreign policy is one of absolute entitlement to influence the domestic affairs and politics of every nation of interest, which to a truly global empire includes every nation on the planet to the degree every nation is a market and/or a potential threat to U.S. interests.
Assassination of elected leaders–no problem. Funding the emergence of new U.S.-directed political parties–just another day at the office. Inciting dissent and discord to destabilize regimes–it’s what we do, folks. Funding outright propaganda–one of our enduring specialties. Privatizing public assets to reward our cronies and domestic corporations–nothing’s more profitable than a public monopoly transformed into a privately owned monopoly.
(If your nation hasn’t been targeted for intervention and campaigns of hard and soft power influence, we apologize for the oversight. We’ll get to destabilizing your political order and economy just as soon as the queue of pressing interventions clears a bit.)
One of our most effective means of meddling is economic. First we press the targeted foreign government and civilian power centers–universities, corporations, banks and other institutions–to liberalize the economy and banking system to allow foreign credit and investment in, under the guise of encouraging beneficial development.
Then we flood the economy with cheap, abundant credit, first to buy up natural resources and the most valuable assets, and secondly to fuel a consumption binge that feels like Utopia to credit-starved residents and enterprises: suddenly there’s credit to buy almost everything consumers could hope for, and credit to expand production, tourism, etc.
The government is encouraged to borrow to fund large-scale infrastructure projects (which are of course built by foreign firms) and other development projects, with great big slices of the borrowed billions carved off for politicos, functionaries and others in line for bribes, fees and offshore accounts of stolen millions.
This monumental expansion of debt eventually undermines the nation’s currency and its economy, as the addictive gush of credit quickly moved beyond sensible, productive projects into speculative ventures with little prospects beyond the initial profits earned by insiders.
As all these marginal projects default, the credit spigot is suddenly shut off, and waves of creditors who thought the good times would last forever go bankrupt.
This destabilization was not an unfortunate side-effect–it was the goal from the start. With the target nation’s currency in a freefall and enterprises defaulting left and right, U.S. firms flush with U.S. dollars and banks with nearly unlimited lines of credit in dollars swoop in and offer to ease the pain by scooping up devalued assets for dollars, or extending credit denominated in dollars.
Compared to the scale of these interventions, $100,000 in Facebook adverts is like a pin prick. The indignation and outrage of America’s power structure is a tell: how dare you give us a taste of our own medicine–only we’re entitled to meddle and intervene as we see fit.
The other source of pungent irony is the failure of America’s power structure to maintain the pretense of a functioning democracy and social contract. The nation we inhabit has strayed so far from the nation’s founding principles and values that it is unrecognizable. In place of democracy, we have a permanent unelected, impervious-to-the-people Deep State and a pay-to-play system in which political power is auctioned off to the highest bidder.
A mercantile nation that sought to protect sea lanes and trade routes and avoid foreign entanglements has metastasized into an entitled Imperial Project, a Project that enriches domestic corporations and veritable armies of national defense / national security functionaries, think tank and university employees, philanthro-capitalist toadies, media factotums–a nearly endless profusion of beneficiaries of Imperial aspirations.
America’s power elite isn’t just entitled to intervene and meddle at will globally; it also feels entitled to select America’s elected leadership. Elected leaders are anointed in the media, and the citizenry is expected to march to the drumbeat.
That the people failed to follow the directives of their betters was a shock that is still reverberating, hence the power elite’s hysterical need to locate a source other than the power elite itself that can be publicly blamed and crucified.
Projection is a well-known psychological coping mechanism. That the loss of the nation’s democracy and soul are the direct consequence of the self-serving power elite’s own concentration and abuse of power–this is unacceptable. And so the responsibility must be pinned on some external demonic force.
The irony is the American social contract is in tatters due to the self-enriching extremes of the New Gilded Age: an era of unprecedented concentrations of wealth and power in which the citizenry has been reduced to dry tinder awaiting a spark.
Washington and the technocrats are aghast at reports that the opportunistic efforts of Russia-based groups to sow discontent ended up generating 300 million impressions says more about the corruption and abuses of power that have undermined the social order than it does about the diabolical effectiveness of amateurish front groups.
If the U.S. wasn’t a nation of haves and have-nots, a nation stripmined by the few at the expense of the many, a nation befuddled by a grotesquely Orwellian media that goes into full propaganda mode if its group-think is questioned, a nation that until recently lauded tech giants whose profits flow exclusively from advertising aimed at users whose engagement is encouraged by just the sort of divisive, emotionally disturbing “news and opinion” that the Russian groups paid for–if the U.S. wasn’t a rotten-to-the-core fake-news, fake-recovery, fake-democracy nation, then the modest efforts of the Russian interlopers would have been lost in a sea of legitimacy and authenticity.
The irony that is most gagging is that America’s power elite is destroying the nation’s social order by its concentration of wealth and abuse of power, yet this power elite claims a handful of social media sites undermined our democracy. How pathetic is that?
The tragedy is so few act when the collapse is predictably inevitable, but not yet manifesting in daily life.
That chill you feel in the financial weather presages an unprecedented–and for most people, unexpectedly severe–winter of discontent. Rather than sugarcoat what’s coming, let’s speak plainly for a change: none of the promises that have been made to you will be kept.
This includes explicit promises to provide income security and healthcare entitlements, etc., and implicit promises that don’t need to be stated: a currency that holds its value, high-functioning public infrastructure, etc.
Nearly “free” (to you) healthcare: no.
Generous public pensions: no.
Social Security with an equivalent purchasing power to the checks issued today: no.
As for the implicit promises:
A national currency that holds its value into the future: no.
High-functioning public infrastructure: maybe in a few places, but not something to be taken for granted everywhere.
A working democracy in which common citizens can affect change even if the power structure defends a dysfunctional and corrupt status quo: no.
A higher education system that prepares its graduates for secure jobs in the real-world economy: on average, no.
Cheap, abundant fossil fuels and electricity: during recessionary head-fakes, yes; but as a permanent entitlement: no.
High returns on conventional capital (the kind created and distributed by central banks): no.
A government that can borrow endless trillions of dollars with no impact on interest rates or the real economy: no.
Pay raises that keep up with real-world inflation: no.
Ever-rising corporate profits: no.
You get the idea: the status quo will be unable to keep the myriad promises made to the public, implicitly and explicitly. The reason is not difficult to understand:
Governments jealously protect their right to create currency (“money”) out of thin air. This is known as seigniorage. Technically, it’s the profit earned by issuing “money” with a market value above the cost of production. For example, if a $100 bill costs 10 cents to produce, the central state’s seigniorage is $99.90.
(Central banks are part of the central state. Even though America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, is privately owned, it nonetheless functions as the federal government’s central bank.)
To reward cronies and win elections, politcos promise everyone more of everything. Major campaign donors are promised tax breaks; powerful corporations are promised government-mandated cartels or monopolies. Private banks are promised cheap credit. Public unions are promised higher wages and heftier benefits. Voters are promised more infrastructure, more education and social spending, and more entitlements.
And so on.
Funding all these ever-expanding promises with cash would require higher taxes. Any attempt to trim the gravy train promised to one group will arouse that constituency to a frenzy of lobbying and noisy proclamations of disaster if even a penny of their promised gravy train is cut.
As for raising taxes, not only is that politically unpopular, it has an economic impact: every additional dollar taken in taxes is one less dollar available to households and enterprises to spend, save or invest.
If every additional tax dollar was recycled into the economy with the same efficiency as private spending and investment, i.e. the new spending decreased household and enterprise costs proportionately, the effects might be roughly neutral or even beneficial, if the public spending leveraged some new efficiency that was available to everyone.
(If a new tax radically reduced the cost of college tuition for every college student, at least some households would be able to offset the higher taxes with significantly lower expenses. The problem with this swapping of public spending for private spending is politically powerful constituencies typically get the extra public spending, and so the citizenry end up subsidizing political favored groups rather than broadly beneficial programs that actually reduce household/ enterprise expenses.)
So how can politicos fulfill their ever-more costly promises without generating political or economic blow-back? Borrow and/or create the money needed to fund the promises. Actually, these are one mechanism, as Japan has shown: the government borrows a trillion, then the central bank creates a trillion out of thin air and buys the government bond with the new trillion.
If central banks can keep interest rates low, the cost of servicing the new debt is modest–or the interest can be paid with more borrowed money. If the central bank buys the new debt, it’s like a perpetual-motion financial machine: the government can borrow unlimited currency, as every new Treasury bond is helpfully purchased by the central bank with new currency created out of thin air.
You see the self-reinforcing feedback loop this creates.The ease of borrowing and the initially modest costs of servicing this additional debt encourages more reliance on borrowing as the politically practical way to meet all the promises while placating powerful constituencies and winning re-election.
The consequences of runaway currency creation/government borrowing are not immediately visible, as the financial system’s buffers compensate / subdue the adverse effects.
In other words, the unlimited money-creation/borrowing regime appears stable and sustainable as the risks and consequences are buried in the financial system as a whole.
But the apparent lack of consequences doesn’t mean there are no consequences. It means the imbalances and extremes are piling up beneath the surface as the system’s buffers thin. New extremes are required to keep the system afloat, but there doesn’t seem to be any upper limit on money creation or new government debt.
Until the buffers give way, and all the accumulated consequences manifest in sudden fashion. Here is a chart of the black market (“free”) Venezuelan Bolivar to the U.S.dollar (data courtesy of dolartoday.com).
We’re assured “that can’t happen here,” but history tells us that eventually it always “happens here.” Ten years ago, few middle-class Venezuelans would have believed their national currency could sink to the point that a 100,000 bolivar bill was worth a mere 41 cents in US dollars.
The chart reveals the dynamic: the currency can be debauched for years with little apparent consequence, and then the buffers suddenly collapse and the currency is essentially worthless.
The collapse of the purchasing power of a currency can be slow or fast. Ten years of 10% annual inflation in an economy of near-zero wage inflation will do the trick, or a sudden crisis of faith creates a bidless market for the currency: nobody wants to part with anything of value for the currency.
The terrible financial hurricane wipes out all the accumulated savings (i.e. accumulated purchasing power) of everyone holding the currency as a “store of value.” Only those who transferred their currency into durable stores of value before the collapse (stores of value that the desperate government can’t expropriate) conserved their savings/ purchasing power.
Just as structures weaken imperceptibly before they collapse in a heap, the undermining of national currencies by excessive issuance of currency/credit and government debt is also imperceptible. The politicos and functionaries in charge of the debauching of the currency are at first nervous that the market might sniff out the debauchery; but the complacent acceptance of their fraud by the markets and the public gives them the green light to increase the issuance of currency and debt.
Their confidence that they can get away with paying yesterday’s promises with money borrowed from the future essentially forever builds into an inevitably fatal hubris.
The tragedy is so few act when the collapse is predictably inevitable, but not yet manifesting in daily life. Screaming but we wuz promised won’t nullify the hurricane.
Two days after Bloomberg reported that over 100 Russian fighters – mercenaries fighting on behalf of Syria’s president Bashar al-Assad – were killed in Syria on February 7 by US air strikes – the Russian foreign ministry slammed these reports about alleged “dozens” or “hundreds” killed Russian military servicemen in Syria as “classic disinformation” that was “launched by anti-government militants.”
During her weekly news conference, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that reports by both Reuters and Bloomberg that Russian servicement were killed by US-led coalition strikes, stemmed from anti-government fighters in Syria, who spread them accompanied by doctored images.
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“The reports on the deaths of dozens, hundreds, of Russians is classic disinformation,” Zakharova said, who nonetheless admitted that some Russians did die, although in Moscow’s official estimation, the number was far lower, no more than “5 people.”
“Preliminary data shows the armed confrontation, the reasons of which are currently being investigated, could have resulted in deaths of five people, presumably Russian citizens,” she said, adding that their citizenship still needs to be checked.
More importantly, Zakharova added that those who were killed in the airstrike did not serve in the Russian armed forces: she had to make that distinction because as we discussed earlier this week, the fact that the Kremlin was covering up death of armed men in Syria could quickly become a political scandal for Putin:
Vladimir Frolov, a former Russian diplomat and lawmaker who’s now an independent political analyst in Moscow, said the clash marked the first such armed exchange between the two powers since the Vietnam War.
“This is a big scandal and a reason for an acute international crisis,” Frolov said. “But Russia will pretend nothing happened.”
Indeed, and as we noted last night, if and when the deaths are officially confirmed, it could turn into a political scandal for Putin, with the public demanding why the government is keeping military deaths under wraps. Already Grigory Yavlinsky, a veteran liberal politician who is running for president in elections next month, has called on Putin to disclose how many Russians had been killed in Syria and in what circumstances.
“If there was large-scale loss of life of Russian citizens, the relevant officials, including the commander-in-chief of our armed forces (Putin), are obliged to tell the country about it and decide who carries responsibility for this,” Yavlinsky said in a statement released by his Yabloko party.
The scandal started with a US attack on February 7, when the Pentagon said it killed more than 100 Syrian militiamen allied with the government of President Bashar Assad. This was after some 500 fighters had targeted “well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters” in Deir al-Zor province in what the Pentagon called an “unprovoked attack.”
The Russian Defense Ministry later said 25 Syrian militia fighters had been wounded in the airstrike. The ministry added that they came under attack while conducting a reconnaissance operation that was not coordinated with the Russian side. No Russian military servicemen were in the area, according to the ministry, although that narrative now appears to have also changed with “at least” 5 Russians admittedly killed.
For many decades the Federal Reserve has rigged the bond market by its purchases. And for about a century, central banks have set interest rates (mainly to stabilize their currency’s exchange rate) with collateral effects on securities prices. It appears that in May 2010, August 2015, January/February 2016, and currently in February 2018 the Fed is rigging the stock market by purchasing S&P equity index futures in order to arrest stock market declines driven by fundamentals, and to push prices back up in keeping with a decade of money creation.
No one should find this a surprising suggestion. The Bank of Japan has a long tradition of propping up the Japanese equity market with large purchases of equities. The European Central Bank purchases corporate as well as government bonds. In 1989 Fed governor Robert Heller said that as the Fed already rigs the bond market with purchases, the Fed can also rig the stock market to stop price declines. That is the reason the Plunge Protection Team (PPT) was created in 1987.
Looking at the chart of futures activity on the E-mini S&P 500, we see an uptick in activity on February 2 when the market dropped, with higher increases in future activity last Monday and Tuesday placing Tuesday’s futures activity at about four times the daily average of the previous month. Futures activity last Wednesday and Thursday remained above the average daily activity of the previous month, and Friday’s activity was about three times the previous month’s daily average. The result of this futures activity was to send the market up, because the futures activity was purchases, not sales. http://www.cmegroup.com/trading/equity-index/us-index/e-mini-sandp500_quotes_volume_voi.html
Who would be purchasing S&P equity futures when the market is collapsing from under them? The most likely answer we can come up with is that the Fed is acting for the PPT. The Fed can actually stop a market decline without purchasing a single futures contract. All that has to happen is that a trader recognized as operating for the Fed or PPT enters a futures bid just below the current price. The traders see the bid as the Fed establishing a floor below which it will not let the market fall. Expecting continuing declines to make the bid effective, they front-run the bid, and the hedge funds algorithms pick it up, and up goes the market.
If central banks can produce zero interest rates simultaneously with a massive increase in indebtedness, why can’t they keep equity prices far above the values supported by fundamentals? As central banks have learned that they can rig financial asset prices to the delight of everyone in the market, in what sense does capitalism, free markets, and price discovery exist? Have we entered a new kind of economic system?
The illusion that risk can be limited delivered three asset bubbles in less than 20 years. Has anything actually changed in the past two weeks? The conventional bullish answer is no, nothing’s changed; the global economy is growing virtually everywhere, inflation is near-zero, credit is abundant, commodities will remain cheap for the foreseeable future, assets are not in bubbles, and the global financial system is in a state of sustainable wonderfulness.
As for that spot of bother, the recent 10% decline in stocks: ho-hum, nothing to see here, just a typical “healthy correction” in a never-ending bull market, the result of flawed volatility instruments and too many punters picking up dimes in front of the steamroller.
Now that’s winding up, we can get back to “creating wealth” by buying assets–$2 million homes in Seattle that were $500,000 homes a few years ago, stocks, bonds, private islands, offshore wealth funds, bat guano, you name it. Just borrow whatever you need to borrow to buy more.
(But don’t buy bitcoin. No no no, a thousand times no. It is going to zero, Goldman Sachs guaranteed it.)
Ahem. And then there’s reality: something has changed, something important. What changed? The endlessly compelling notion that risk has magically vanished as the result of financial sorcery is now in doubt. If risk hasn’t been made to disappear, and even worse, can’t be corralled into a shortable instrument like VIX, then–gasp–every asset and instrument might actually be exposed to some risk.
As I’ve noted many times here, risk cannot be made to disappear; it can only be transferred onto others or off-loaded into the financial system itself. Risk can be cloaked or masked, and indeed, that is the beating heart of financial alchemy: we can eliminate risk by hedging via exotic instruments.
Once risk has been vanquished, then we can safely invest in all sorts of high-yield ventures that were once risky: junk bonds, emerging market debt, private wealth funds and so on.
But if risk cannot be destroyed, then where is it? If we can locate and isolate it, then we can hedge it, right?
But what if risk has been pushed into the vast machinery of the global financial system itself? This was the unwelcome (and as yet unlearned) lesson of the 2007-08 Global Financial Meltdown: risk, we were told, was confined to the subprime mortgage corral, and if you avoided that corral, your exposure to risk was near-zero.
That turned out to be false. The belief that risk exposure is near-zero generates an irresistable desire to load up on high-yield riskier assets because, hey, why not? If risk is near-zero, why leave all that low-hanging fruit on the tree?
This is a self-reinforcing feedback loop: the higher the yields available on risk assets, and the lower the perceived risk exposure, the greater the incentives to move more borrowed money into ever-riskier assets, which then pushes systemic risk ever higher.
The end-game of this self-reinforcing feedback loop is collapse, as risk inevitably emerges where it is least expected. Home mortgages were safe and boring. Well, not quite, after financial alchemy was applied to vanquish risk and thus unleash enormously profitable financialization.
Nobody knows where systemic risk might emerge, or how much risk exposure is lurking in assets. What was once safe is now less certainly safe. So where do you earn those fat returns without risk, the returns the world has come to see as entitlements due capital everywhere, at all times?
The illusion that risk can be limited delivered three asset bubbles in less than 20 years. Each bubble collapse caused more structural damage, and each central bank “save” introduced higher levels of systemic fragility, which is another way of saying systemic risk.
Though no one in the financial sector dares say this in public, the possibility that central banks can no longer sustain the illusion that risk has been vanquished is now front and center. If risk can’t be corralled and quantified, then it can’t be offset with any degree of confidence. If risk can’t be corralled and quantified, it can’t be offloaded onto unsuspecting others without the possibility that the system itself will collapse once the risk that’s been piling up in the global machinery manifests.
Something has changed, but nobody dares talk about it. That tells those who listen to what’s not being said something of great value.
How can central banks “retrain” participants while maintaining their extreme policies of stimulus?
Human habituate very easily to new circumstances, even extreme ones. What we accept as “normal” now may have been considered bizarre, extreme or unstable a few short years ago.
Three economic examples come to mind:
1. Near-zero interest rates. If someone had announced to a room of economists and financial journalists in 2006 that interest rates would be near-zero for the foreseeable future, few would have considered it possible or healthy. Yet now the Federal Reserve and other central banks have kept interest rates/bond yields near-zero for almost nine years.
The Fed has raised rates a mere .75% in three cautious baby-steps, clearly fearful of collapsing the “recovery.”
What would happen if mortgages returned to their previously “normal” level around 7% from the current 4%? What would happen to auto sales if people with average credit had to pay more than 0% or 1% for a auto loan?
Those in charge of setting rates and yields are clearly fearful that “normalized” interest rates would kill the recovery and the stock bubble.
2. Massive money-creation hasn’t generated inflation. In classic economics, massive money-printing (injecting trillions of dollars, yuan, yen and euros into the financial system) would be expected to spark inflation.
As many of us have observed, “official” inflation of less than 2% does not align with “real-world” inflation in big-ticket items such as rent, healthcare and college tuition/fees. A more realistic inflation rate is 7%-8% annually, especially in the higher-cost regions of the US.
But setting that aside, there is a puzzling asymmetry between low official inflation and the unprecedented expansion of money supply, debt and monetary stimulus (credit and liquidity). To date, most of this new money appears to be inflating assets rather than the real world. But can this asymmetry continue for another 9 years?
3. Stock markets are soaring but sales and profits are stagnant. Everyone knows central banks are still pumping billions of dollars per month into the financial system, and this (coupled with central bank purchases of stocks and bonds) has been pushing stocks sharply higher for the past 9 years, with only a few hiccups along the way.
This is pushing valuations out of alignment with traditional metrics of valuing assets such as sales and profits–a process known as “price discovery.” In essence, traders and investors have habituated to central banks driving private-sector markets higher, not because the assets are generating more value or profits. but simply as a function of centralized money creation and asset purchases.
All of these extremes generate mal-investment, diminishing returns and perverse incentives for ramping up unproductive and risky speculation, leverage and debt. Yet the central banks have trapped themselves in this risky trajectory because they’ve pushed the accelerator to the floorboard for 9 years. Any extreme held in place for 9 years has long slipped from “temporary” to permanent.
Participants have now habituated fully to central banks extreme stimulus of financial markets, and in a sense they’ve forgotten how to price assets based on real-world private-sector measures.
How can central banks “retrain” participants while maintaining their extreme policies of stimulus? The only possible answer is: they can’t.
This essay was drawn from Musings Report 2018:1. The Musings Reports are emailed weekl to constributors, subscribers and patrons. Than you for your financial support of my work.
We haven’t seen this kind of a bloodbath on Wall Street since the great financial crisis of 2008. Prior to this week, the largest single day decline for the Dow Jones industrial average that we had ever seen was 777 points. That record was absolutely shattered on Monday when the Dow fell 1,175 points, and on Thursday the Dow dropped another 1,032 points. This was the third decline greater than 500 points within the last five trading days, and the Dow is poised to post its worst week since the dark days of October 2008. So is this just a “correction”, or has the financial crisis of 2018 officially arrived?
At this point, many of the experts are pointing to the bond market as the primary reason why stock prices are crashing. The following comes from CNBC…
There’s a not-so-quiet rebellion going on in the bond market, and it threatens to take 10-year yields above 3 percent much faster than expected just a few weeks ago.
As a result, the bumpy ride for stocks could continue for a while.
And without a doubt, analysts such as Jeff Gundlach clearly warned that there would be big trouble for stocks as bond yields rose…
Gundlach had correctly predicted that if the 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield went above 2.63 percent, U.S. stock investors would be spooked.
“Clearly, the market gets shaky when the 10-year hits 2.85 percent,” Gundlach said. “Just look at this week, and today. Makes one consider what could be coming if 10s push over 3 and 30s (30-year Treasury bond) over 3.22 percent.”
The 10-year yield is currently trading around 2.83 percent. Gundlach said it is “hard to love bonds at even a 3 percent” yield. “Rising interest rates are a problem and the U.S. is in debt and there is massive bond supply,” Gundlach said.
Moving forward, it will be important to keep a close eye on bond yields. Every time they start going back up, we are likely to see stock prices go down…
“We’re in a vicious cycle here. If the yields go up, you have to sell stocks. If you sell stocks, and they crash, yields come back down,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR.
The bond market’s struggle to price in higher interest rates has been kneecapped each time the stock market reacts and sells off. Strategists expect the two markets to ultimately find an equilibrium but not without more sharp swings.
This is one of the reasons why the budget deal going through Congress right now is such a bad idea. Hundreds of billions of dollars of additional spending on top of what we are already doing is going to push up bond yields, and that is just going to make the pressure on Wall Street even worse.
Of course the folks over at the Federal Reserve could intervene, but they don’t seem inclined to do that at this point. Late last year the Fed finally removed artificial life support from the financial system, and at first everything seemed to be going well. But now a new crisis is brewing, and we shall see if the Fed still remains determined to keep raising rates. The following comes from Peter Schiff…
“The Fed were dragging their feet in raising rates while Obama was president. They talked about raising rates but at the end of the day, they barely moved them up. The pace of hikes has increased since Trump was elected, but part of the reason for that…I mean, the media is not talking down the economy; if anything they’re overhyping the economy. Everybody’s talking about how strong the economy is, how everything is great. Everybody is taking credit for this great economy. The Fed wants to take credit for it, Trump wants to take credit for it, so if everybody wants to talk about how great the economy is, the Fed doesn’t have any excuse if it doesn’t raise rates…in order to keep up the pretense that the economy is as strong as everybody thinks, the Fed is in this box where it has to raise rates.
But they [the Fed] can’t tell the truth that it’s really a bubble, and if we raise rates, we’re gonna prick it, so they’re kinda in this bind. And they are still telegraphing that they’re gonna raise rates three or four times this year. And that is the problem.“
It has been my contention for a very long time that the greatest financial bubble in human history would not be able to continue without artificial support from the Fed and other global central banks.
Once the Fed finally ended their artificial support for the markets late last year, I anticipated that there would be trouble, but stock prices continued to rise through the holiday season.
But now reality is setting in, and investors are rushing like mad for the exits. I really like how Brandon Smith described the current state of affairs in his recent article…
After I predicted the election of Donald Trump, I also predicted that central banks would begin pulling the plug on life support for equities markets. This did in fact take place with the Fed’s continued program of interest rate increases and the reduction of their balance sheet, which effectively strangles the flow of cheap credit to banking and corporate institutions that fueled stock buybacks for years. Without this constant and ever expansionary easy fiat, there is nothing left to act as a crutch for stocks except perhaps blind faith. And blind faith in the economy always ends up being smacked down by the ugly realities of mathematics.
Without artificial support, gravity will try to pull stock valuations back to their long-term averages. That would mean a decline for the Dow of at least 10,000 more points, but major financial institutions are so highly leveraged and Wall Street has become such a giant casino that our system literally cannot handle that sort of a decline.
The only way that the game can continue is for the Fed and other global central banks to intervene and prop up the absurd financial bubble that they originally created.
Absent that, this crisis is likely to go from bad to worse, and we may soon find ourselves facing a financial panic unlike anything that we have ever seen before.
Ignoring or downplaying these fundamental forces has greatly increased the fragility of the status quo.
The term dead cat bounce is market lingo for a “recovery” after markets decline due to fundamental reversals. Markets tend to bounce back after sharp declines as participants (human and digital) who have been trained to “buy the dips” once again buy the decline, and the financial media rushes to reassure everyone that nothing has actually changed, everything is still peachy-keen wonderfulness.
I submit that the past 9 years of market “recovery” is nothing but an oversized dead cat bounce that is finally ending. Here is a chart that depicts the final blow-off top phase of the over-extended dead cat bounce:
Why are the past 9 years nothing but an extended dead cat bounce? Nothing that’s fundamentally broken has been fixed, and none of the dynamics that are undermining the status quo have been addressed.
The past 9 years have been one long dead cat bounce of extend and pretend, i.e. do more of what’s failed because to even admit the status quo is being undermined by fundamental forces would panic those gorging at the trough of the status quo’s lopsided rewards.
This 9-year dead cat bounce was pure speculation driven by cheap central bank credit and liquidity. Demographics, environmental degradation, the decline of middle class security, the erosion of paid work, the bankruptcy of public and private pension plans, the global debt bubble, soaring wealth and income inequality, the corruption of democracy into a pay-to-play bidding war, the destruction of price discovery via market manipulation by those who have turned markets into signaling devices that all is well, the laughable distortion of statistics to mask the real world decline in our purchasing power (inflation is near-zero–really really really), the perverse incentives to leverage up bets in financial instruments that have no connection to the real-world economy–none of these have been addressed in the market melt-up.
A lot more will have to happen before this turns into a crash; and markets are not there yet.
With all this wailing in the media about stocks, you’d think there’s at least some blood in the streets. But no. Not a drop.
The Dow fell 4.6% today to 24,345. This 1,175-point drop, as it was endlessly repeated, was the biggest point-drop in history – but irrelevant given how relentlessly inflated the industrial average had become. The percentage drop today, combined with the drops of last week, took the Dow down just 8.5% from its all-time high on January 26.
For the year, the Dow is down merely 1.5%. I mean, what horror. The last time this sort of debacle happened was way back in ancient history of January and early February 2016.
The Dow is not even in a correction (defined as -10% from its recent high). But that messy Friday and Monday, following a record 410-day streak without a 5% decline, did break the recently pandemic illusion that you cannot lose money in stocks.
When the Dow gained 1,000 points in the shortest time ever, after having already booked the fastest-ever 1,000-point gains in prior months and years, no one was complaining about it. These rapid-fire 1,000-point-gains had become the new normal. So today, one of those 1,000-point gains has been unwound.
The S&P 500 dropped 113 points, or 4.1%, to 2,648. This took the index back to December 8, 2017. The past six trading days were the worst decline since … well, since the weeks leading up to February 7, 2016, at which point the S&P 500 was off 19%, not quite enough for a dip into an official bear market.
The Nasdaq fell 272 points today, or 3.8%, to 6,967, below 7,000 for the first time since the end of December, but remains, if barely, in positive territory for the year.
What’ll happen next? Dip buyers will come in, maybe at this very moment, or maybe later, and some of them will likely get plowed under, but there is way too much cash lined up in hedge funds specifically set up to profit from sell-offs. And dip-buyers have been rewarded relentlessly over the past eight years, and it’s not until the dip buyers get massively destroyed and stop dip-buying that the market is in real trouble.
Because nothing goes to heck in a straight line.
But already, the coddled soothsayers on Wall Street are blaming the Fed. These are the same ones that could never get enough QE, that insisted on calling QE-3 “QE Infinity,” clamoring at the time for eternal scorched-earth-monetary policies so that asset prices would recklessly get inflated to the moon. They’re the same ones now clamoring for the Fed back off its “normalization” strategy.
They just sound like silly little crybabies that cannot deal with markets attempting however briefly and feebly to do some price discovery on their own.
Compared to the sell-off that has been crushing cryptocurrencies – even the largest ones have plunged 50% to 80% from their peak a month ago – the sell-off in stocks so far is mild. Oil sold off too. As did some other commodities and assets. And as confidence in them began to wobble, there are some things that have been rising over past few days, including gold prices.
As usual when too many retail investors suddenly realize that something is up, and they want to get their goods onto dry land, it didn’t work. The websites of a number of online brokers, mutual fund firms, and fintech robo-advisers went down at least briefly under the onslaught of traffic. They included Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard Group, T. Rowe Price, robo- adviser fintech startups Wealthfront and Betterment, and others.
This sort of thing happens frequently: When retail investors are rattled and are trying to sell, the system breaks for them. This shows how hard it can be for those waiting to sell at the absolute peak — if they could even identify it — to be able to get out at that peak, when everyone is trying to get out at the same time.
So do Friday and Monday count as a “rout?” Yes. But a crash? No. Far from it. A lot more will have to happen before this turns into a real crash, and markets are not there yet. But many people will need to get used to a new sensation in their lives: losing money in stocks.
In terms of bonds, it’s only a question of how disruptive the adjustment will be, whether it will be just a painful sell-off or junk-bond mayhem.
The last time the U.S. Congress pushed back against the Imperial Presidency and the over-reach of the nation’s Security Agencies was 43 years ago, in 1975.
The last time the U.S. Congress pushed back against the Imperial Presidency and the over-reach of the nation’s Security Agencies was 43 years ago, in 1975. In response to the criminal over-reach of the Imperial Presidency (Watergate) and to the criminal over-reach of the security agencies (FBI, CIA, et al.), the Church Committee finally resusitated the constitutional powers of the Congress to serve the interests of the citizenry rather than the interests of political elites and the rogue agencies of the federal government.
The constitution grants the greatest powers to the elected representatives of the citizenry. The power to declare war, for example, has been eroded to the point that the Imperial Executive can wage essentially unlimited wars with little actual oversight by Congress.
There is a bitter irony in the Democrats’ rush to “defend” the indefensible over-reach of the FBI and CIA to those whose rights were abused by the FBI and the CIA in the blatantly illegal COINTELPRO programs aimed at destroying the anti-war/ anti-civil rights movements in the 1960s and early 1970s.
(It has been estimated that up to 80% of the FBI’s resources were devoted to targeting a handful of draft resisters and civil rights groups in this era. While TV programs presented a propaganda facade of incorruptible crime fighters, in the real world FBI and CIA agents broke into private offices, hired thugs to beat up anti-war leaders, conducted illegal surveillance, and so on.)
The irony is that the agencies the Democrats are now rushing to defend were targeting the “progressives” who dared to resist the foreign policies and domestic oppression of the federal government.
(So much for the bona-fides of the current crop of self-proclaimed “progressives.” Those of us hauled in for interrogation by the FBI for resisting state policies have a different definition of “progressive;” note to Democrats: rushing to defend the politicized American Stasi is the opposite of “progressive.”)
We know from the Church Committee reports that the FBI and CIA broke numerous federal laws and violated every constitutional limit on their powers as a matter of daily policy. The abuses of power were not the work of rogue agents; they were the work of rogue agencies, from the top down.
And here we are again, with rogue security agencies abusing their powers. All that’s changed is the political parties have switched places; where the Republicans were defending the status quo abuse of power then and the Democrats were pushing for a transparent investigation of the agencies’ abuses of power, now it’s the Democrats who are defending the agencies’ abuses of power while the Republicans are pushing for a transparent investigation of the agencies’ abuses of power.
I don’t care which party is pushing for the unmasking of these undemocratic Shadow State agencies; I only care that Congress awakens from its decades of surrendering power to the out-of-control “security agencies” and the Imperial Presidency, which characterizes both Democrat and Republican presidents.
The task of uncovering security agencies’ abuses of power is made more difficult by the rise of political polarization. Unmasking abuses of power shouldn’t be a partisan issue, and the nation’s best hope is the rise of independents who view both parties with revulsion born of the status quo’s profound failures to defend the rights and livelihoods of the bottom 95%.
I’ve written extensively about state over-reach and illegal suppression of dissent: remember, the state exists to enforce the dominance of Elites: everything else is propaganda, misdirection and obfuscation.
No wonder the Ruling Elites loves political correctness: all those furiously signaling their virtue are zero threat to the asymmetric plunder of the status quo.
The Ruling Elites loves political correctness, for it serves the Elite so well. What is political correctness? Political correctness is the public pressure to conform to “progressive” speech acts by uttering the expected code words and phrases in public.
Note that no actual action is required. This is why the Ruling Elite loves political correctness: conformity is so cheap. All a functionary of the Ruling Elite need do is utter the code words (“hope and change,” “we honor diversity,” “thank you for your service,” etc.) and they get a free pass to continue their pillaging.
Those placated by politically correct utterances accept symbolic speech acts as substitutes for real changes in the power structure. This glorification of symbolic gestures–virtue signaling via social media, the parroting of progressive phrases, etc.–is as cheap as the mouthing of PC platitudes. Everybody gets to feel validated and respected at no cost to anyone: the progressives feel smugly superior because the Ruling Elite now feels compelled to parrot “progressive” speech acts in public, and the Ruling Elite is free to pillage without any demands for a radical restructuring of the incentives and distribution of the nation’s wealth and income.
The rise of “progressive” speech acts and political correctness parallels the decline of the fortunes and incomes of the bottom 90%. While the “progressives” focus on cheap symbolism, the laboring classes are being gutted by the centralized financialization that rewards the few at the expense of the many.
Here’s median family financial assets: back to the levels of 1995:
Here’s civilian participation in the work force–back to the levels of 1975:
Here’s the percentage of income going to the top 1% and the bottom 50%:
So while the “progressives” focus exclusively on their own ineffectual virtue-signaling and the empty “victories” of Ruling Elites mouthing the acceptable code words, our economy, society and the social contract are being shredded. No wonder the corporate media promotes empty gestures, virtue signaling and political correctness: all that phony compliance leaves the current wealth-power structure unchanged, and the Ruling Elite firmly in charge of the economy and governance.
No wonder the Ruling Elite loves political correctness: all those furiously signaling their virtue are zero threat to the asymmetric plunder of the status quo.
Devin Nunes (R-CA) said that the investigation leading up to the four-page FISA memo released on Friday was only “phase one,” and that the House Intelligence Committee is currently in the middle of investigating the State Department over their involvement in surveillance abuses.
“We are in the middle of what I call phase two of our investigation, which involves other departments, specifically the State Department and some of the involvement that they had in this,” said Nunes.
“That investigation is ongoing and we continue work towards finding answers and asking the right questions to try to get to the bottom of what exactly the State Department was up to in terms of this Russia investigation.”
#BREAKING: Devin Nunes says this is just the first memo to be released. He says there will be another one dealing specifically with the State Department’s role in everything that happened. pic.twitter.com/kpHVDQ44WX
While it is unclear what role the State Department may have in surveillance abuses, the Washington Examiner‘s Byron York noted last month that former MI6 spy, Christopher Steele, was “well-connected with the Obama State Department,” according to the book Collusion: Secret meetings, dirty money, and how Russia helped Donald Trump win” written by The Guardian correspondent Luke Harding and published last November.
Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele
Harding notes that Steele’s work during the World Cup soccer corruption investigation earned the trust of both the FBI and the State Department:
The [soccer] episode burnished Steele’s reputation inside the U.S. intelligence community and the FBI. Here was a pro, a well-connected Brit, who understood Russian espionage and its subterranean tricks. Steele was regarded as credible. Between 2014 and 2016, Steele authored more than a hundred reports on Russia and Ukraine.These were written for a private client but shared widely within the State Department and sent up to Secretary of State John Kerry and to Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, who was in charge of the U.S. response to the Ukraine crisis. Many of Steele’s secret sources were the same sources who would supply information on Trump. One former State Department envoy during the Obama administration said he read dozens of Steele’s reports on Russia. The envoy said that on Russia, Steele was “as good as the CIA or anyone.” Steele’s professional reputation inside U.S. agencies would prove important the next time he discovered alarming material, and lit the fuse again.
Aside from the infamous 35-page “Trump-Russia” dossier Steele assembled for opposition research firm Fusion GPS (a report which was funded in part by Hillary Clinton and the DNC), Congressional investigators have been looking into whether Steele compiled other reports about Trump – and in particular, whether those other reports made their way to the State Department, according to The Examiner.
…they are looking into whether those reports made their way to the State Department. They’re also seeking to learn what individual State Department officials did in relation to Steele, and whether there were any contacts between the State Department and the FBI or Justice Department concerning the anti-Trump material.
It will be interesting to see how the State Department – and in particular Secretary of State Rex Tillerson – responds to “phase two.”
Moments ago, the House Intel “FISA” memo authored by Devin Nunes was officially declassified, and according to the Washington Examiner’s Byron York who has access to an early released version, a key point is that the salacious and still unproven Steele dossier formed the essential part of the initial and all three renewal applications against Carter Page, in line with what as previously leaked.
As York also explicitly highlights, “The FBI’s Andrew McCabe confirmed to the committee that no FISA warrant would have been sought from the FISA Court without the Steele dossier information.”
This, as Fox News confirms, means that absent the dossier, at least one of the surveillance warrants in the case would not have been obtained, and – by implication – the entire Mueller probe is thus on shaky legal ground.
Back to the memo, which as York adds, “the political origins of the Steele dossier were known to senior DOJ and FBI officials, but excluded from the FISA applications.”
More House Intel memo key point: The political origins of the Steele dossier were known to senior DOJ and FBI officials, but excluded from the FISA applications. https://t.co/jzSl1tzhfc
As Dow Jones confirms, DOJ officials knew Steele was being paid by democrats, and that officials at the DOJ and FBI signed one warrant, and three renewals against Carter Page.
York also notes that DOJ official Bruce Ohr was relayed information about Christopher Steele’s bias. Steele told Ohr that he, Steele, was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected president and was passionate about him not becoming president.
All else equal, sounds like a clear case of bias, and when extended, it would imply that the entire Mueller probe is base on grounds that could be overturned in court.
The Steele dossier formed an essential part of the intial and all three renewal FISA applications against Carter Page.
Andrew McCabe confirmed that no FISA warrant would have been sought from the FISA Court without the Steele dossier information.
The political origins of the Steele dossier were known to senior DOJ and FBI officials, but excluded from the FISA applications.
DOJ official Bruce Ohr met with Steele beginning in the summer of 2016 and relayed to DOJ information about Steele’s bias. Steele told Ohr that he, Steele, was desperate that Donald Trump not get elected president and was passionate about him not becoming president.
As a reminder, the FBI and Justice Department mounted a months-long effort to keep the information outlined in the memo out of the House Intelligence Committee’s hands. Only the threat of contempt charges and other forms of pressure forced the FBI and Justice to give up the material.
Once Intelligence Committee leaders and staff compiled some of that information into the memo, the FBI and Justice Department, supported by Capitol Hill Democrats, mounted a ferocious campaign of opposition, saying release of the memo would endanger national security and the rule of law.
But Intelligence Committee chairman Devin Nunes never wavered in his determination to make the information available to the public. President Trump agreed, and, as required by House rules, gave his approval for release.
Finally, the memo released today does not represent the sum total of what House investigators have learned in their review of the FBI and Justice Department Trump-Russia investigation. That means the fight over the memo could be replayed in the future when the Intelligence Committee decides to release more information.
Moments after the announcement that the memo was declassified, Trump spoke to reporters and was asked if the memo makes it more likely that he will fire Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein, to which Trump responded.
When asked if the memo makes it more likely he will fire Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, Trump responds: “You figure that one out.” pic.twitter.com/8eyAtm8uKF
Watchdog group Judicial Watch released 42 pages of heavily redacted State Department documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which reveal that the Obama State Department provided Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) a “dossier of classified information on Russia” in order to undermine President Trump, according to Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.
“These documents show the Obama State Department under John Kerry gathered and sent its own dossier of classified information on Russia to Senator Ben Cardin, a political ally in the U.S. Senate, to undermine President Trump,” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. “Judicial Watch will pursue information on who pulled this classified information, who authorized its release, and why was it evidently dumped just days before President Trump’s inauguration.”
The documents show Russian political interference in elections and politics in countries across Europe.
According to a March 2017 report in the Baltimore Sun: “Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin received classified information about Russia’s involvement in elections when the Obama administration was attempting to disseminate that material widely across the government in order to aid in future investigations, according to a report Wednesday … Obama officials were concerned, according to the report [inThe New York Times], that the Trump administration would cover up intelligence once power changed hands.” –Judicial Watch
In March 2017, Former Obama Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Evelyn Farkas, made some stunning admissions during an interview with MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski.
While discussing the mad scramble by the Obama administration to collect and preserve intelligence on alleged Russian election hacking before Obama left office, it appears that Farkas accidentally implicated the Obama White House in the surveillance of Trump’s campaign staff:
The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with Russians, that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would not longer have access to that intelligence. –Evelyn Farkas
Furthermore, Farkas effectively corroborated the March New York Times article which cited “Former American officials” as their anonymous source regarding efforts to leak this surveillance on the Trump team to Democrats across Washington DC.
I became very worried because not enough was coming out into the open and I knew that there was more. We have very good intelligence on Russia. So then I had talked to some of my former colleagues and I knew they were trying to also get information to the hill.
That’s why you have the leaking. –Evelyn Farkas
Farkas resigned from the Obama administration in September of 2015 – begging the question as to how she knew so much about what the previous administration and intelligence community was up to.
A section of the documents obtained by Judicial Watch is titled “Pro-Kremlin NGOs and Think Tanks,” refers to “the Russian government funded Caucasus Research Network, which helped to spread anti-EU and NATO reports throughout the region. Also discussed is the Human Rights Accountability Global Initiative, which was founded by Natalia Veselnitskaya. The Initiative was reportedly “working to erode support for the Magnitsky Act (which imposes sanctions on … gross human rights violations). The organization screened an anti-Magnitsky film at Washington’s Newseum in June.”
Veselnitskaya infamously obtained a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. through associates of opposition research firm Fusion GPS, wherein she attempted to discuss the Magnitsky act before Trump Jr. shut down the meeting.
The Magnitsky Act attracted public attention earlier this year when it was reported Veselnitskaya obtained a meeting with Donald Trump Jr. with the purpose of seeking to undermine the act. It was reported that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to repeal the act at least in part because it targeted top Russian officials who had committed human rights violations and were the beneficiaries of a $230-million tax fraud that Magnitsky exposed. –Judicial Watch
Republicans are reportedly planning to kick off the month of February by releasing the infamous FISA memo alleging “egregious abuses” of FISA surveillance powers by the FBI, Reuters reported citing a Trump administration official who said on Wednesday that the memo is “likely to be released on Thursday.”
The four-page memo has circulated among the House, and has been seen by the president and his chief of staff, John Kelly. Trump has until Friday to decide whether the memo should remain classified.
The news comes after the FBI yesterday issued a “rare public statement” condemning the memo as factually inaccurate, saying it had “grave concerns” about its release, which it said could be detrimental to national security.
Even Democrats, who initially said the memo was intended to challenge the Mueller probe are now admitting that its contents could be damning, and raise questions about the bureau’s decision to wiretap Trump campaign aide Carter Page – evidence that was used to help justify the launch of the Trump investigation. Adam Schiff, the top Dem on the House Intel Committee, reportedly said yesterday that it could lead the firings of Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein and Special Counsel Mueller.
Earlier this week, Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe announced his resignation, reportedly under pressure, as reports of an internal probe leaked. McCabe, along with Former FBI Director James Comey and Rosenstein are all reportedly named in the report.
Trump previously said this week that he was “100%” going to release the memo following a question from a Republican lawmaker following the State of the Union.
According to lawmakers who have reviewed the memo, it contains a discussion about the infamous dossier that was put together about then candidate Donald Trump by a British spy. Most of the claims in the scandalous dossier have not been verified. Most involve alleged ties to Russian entities.
As we reported earlier, the White House is still pondering whether to release the memo’s supporting documents along with the memo.
Update: Of the three passengers that were aboard the dump truck, one has died, according to Fox News and the Washington Post.
BREAKING: Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) tells me 3 passengers aboard the hit truck. 1 is dead. 2 injured. He and other lawmakers helped carry one of the injured truck passengers to an ambulance with local medical personnel.
According to CNBC, one member of Congress has been sent to the hospital, but their identity has not yet been revealed.
* * *
A chartered train carrying dozens of Republican lawmakers to a Republican retreat in West Virginia collided with dump truck near Charlottesville, Virginia on Wednesday – but fortunately no lawmakers are believed to have been injured in the accident.
“We’re fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck,” Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., wrote on Twitter.
We’re fine, but our train hit a garbage truck. Members with medical training are assisting the drivers of the truck. pic.twitter.com/0I9jOwHTmb
According to the Associated Press, a GOP aide said the train is partially derailed. GOP Rep. Tom Cole told the AP that a person in the truck may have been seriously injured.
Cole said he’s not aware of any injuries on the train. A GOP aide speaking on condition of anonymity says no lawmakers were injured.
Cole said he believes the accident occurred south of Charlottesville. The train was en route to the Greenbrier resort in White Sulfur Springs for a three-day issues retreat featuring appearances by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence.
Rep. Bradley Byrne tweeted: “The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay. Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries.”
The train carrying GOP members to our retreat had a collision, but Rebecca and I are both okay. Security and doctors on board are helping secure the scene and treat injuries.
In the second article of my three part series, I addressed how we got to the current state of this financial chaos. In this last article, I explain where we are heading and how cryptocurrency could be the last chance to create a sustainable economic system.
Where to go from here?
If trust and sustainability were the two conditions that allowed for the transition from physical gold to paper currency, it is from this basis that we must start to analyze where we are going and what effects the next economic crisis could have.
In 2008, confidence in central banks saved the global economy. But as Mario Draghi said, the bazooka of quantitative easing was fired and a second hit during a crisis would have proved ineffective. The reason is complex and must be clearly explained. Most people are paid in a currency deposited in the bank, because that is where one keeps one’s currency, able to withdraw it at any time. But in the event of an economic crisis, priority is given to the banks, whatever remaining liquidity being for the customers. The reason why there was no bank run in 2008, which would have led to the collapse of the global banking system, lies in the trust that ordinary people continued to place in the financial system, courtesy of what the corporate-controlled media told them.
The problem concerns the next financial crisis and how the world population will react. The path already seems to be traced, especially in geopolitical terms. Countries like China and Russia have created their own alternative banking and financial system to escape dollar sanctions; but they have also begun to de-dollarize by accumulating gold and using different payment methods to the US currency. In the same way, the desire to escape from a centrally controlled financial system, and the attendant need to remain anonymous, has produced a technological evolution known as cryptocurrency, much as the need to quickly communicate and globally exchange data in real time produced the Internet. Both evolutions find common roots in the American security services. The Internet stems from a DARPA project, and blockchain was outlined in NSA documents back in 1996.
It is easy to imagine that governments and central banks have been caught flat footed by the birth of the cryptocurrencies, but it would be better not to underestimate nations that have been ruling the world for decades and have their finger on the pulse. Although Washington’s aggressive foreign policy has accelerated de-dollarization, one must consider the reason why cryptocurrencies have not been declared illegal.
Let us go back for a moment to the devastating effects of the loss of the gold standard. Looking at a chart, it is easy to see how the start of world debt coincided with the end of the dollar being linked to gold. This has led to an increase in inflation, calmed only by false economic data and a powerful financial manipulation by central banks in collusion with each other. Purchasing power has plummeted and the average person has as a result become impoverished.
When the ordinary person is overwhelmed by debts and sees his purchasing power steadily declining over the years, while continuously being told by the media that the exact opposite is happening, dissatisfaction and frustration increases to a point of passing a tipping point.
In the US in 2008, the burden of the bailout fell on the shoulders of ordinary citizens. Once bitten, twice shy.
People are placing less and less trust in the media and the banks.
From Gold to Money to Crypto.
In this sense, we can perhaps understand why bitcoin and blockchain technology have been able to prosper in complete freedom. It is conceivable that the project reflects an evolving world in which paper money disappears in favor of the digital one. How this transition could take place, and why some nations devoted to de-dollarization will find themselves in a privileged position compared to economies entirely tied to the dollar is a matter open to debate. The possible economic-shift must be considered real and probable for the sustainability of many nations, accompanied by the inevitable technological change and the need to anchor the global economy back to real values. The natural passage is a return to physical gold or to virtual gold, precisely the block chain and the value we bring with it.
We should not underestimate the power of central banks and their plans to invent their own cryptocurrency as a mean to perpetuate their Ponzi scheme.
What will make the main difference in the future is what backs up these virtual currencies.
For example, Russia and China have accumulated many tons of gold and diversified their assets, dumping USD in exchange for tangible goods. A Crypto-Yuan or Ruble will eventually be valued more than an empty crypto-dollar without any counter-value. In a not to long distant future, Yuan and Ruble will be backed with gold or other financial assets like bitcoin while new virtual currencies will continue to perpetuate their empty value as with fiat currency. No surprise that with the next financial crisis, fiat money will pour into gold and crypto market looking for a safe haven from the devaluing dollar.
In the next couple of years we can expect central banks such as those of the US, Europe and Japan develop their own crypto-currency and start pushing conversion from fiat money into their crypto, advancing their project of keeping the system centralized. We should not exclude drastic measures, such as banning non-state-actor cryptos, from governments when central banks start realizing having lost their competitive edge on currency manipulation.
The last straw will be related to US military power trying to enforce the use of USD. In a scenario of steady economic and military decline of power, the US will find itself unable to force certain countries to use their currency, therefore losing its main weapon to create chaos in the world to advance its geopolitical goals. Without the dollar as the main world reserve currency, Washington will be forced to reconcile with the rest of the world, understanding that the unipolar moment is over and the neoliberal hegemonic planes to rule the world are forever gone.
The noose around the now former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe appears to be getting tighter.
Just hours after news that McCabe was departing the FBI, allegedly forced out from his position, the Chair of the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Republican Bob Goodlatte released a a letter urging FBI Director Christopher Wray to preserve Mr. McCabe’s emails, and all other communications, before his official departure from the agency.
“Today’s news that FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe is stepping down from the Bureau is overdue. Recent revelations call into question Mr. McCabe’s leadership in the top operational post in the FBI. However, Mr. McCabe’s departure certainly does not mean that we are done rooting out the problems at the FBI. I continue to be extremely troubled by the decisions made by the FBI during the 2016 presidential election and the role senior FBI officials played in these questionable decisions and irregularities.
“The only way to ensure the FBI remains the premier law enforcement agency in the world is to ensure that the leadership at the Bureau holds the trust of the American people. This change in leadership at the FBI is a good first step in repairing the damage to their reputation.”
And from his letter, highlights ours:
Deputy Director McCabe’s decision to step down comes at a time where a confluence of events and reporting show serious irregularities in the FBI and DOJ’s investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s mishandling of classified information. Deputy Director McCabe was prominently involved in both that investigation and the FBI’s pre-Special Counsel investigation into allegations of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. It is essential that the FBI preserve Mr. McCabe’s emails, and all other communications, before his official departure from the agency.
Here is the request to preserve McCabe’s emails and documents:
This Committee currently has an investigation open on the FBI’s handling of the events surrounding the 2016 election. It is therefore essential that we have all of Deputy Director McCabe’s documents and communications pertaining to the 2016 election. It is also in the public interest that all documents and communications pertaining to Mr. McCabe’s involvement in the pre-Special Counsel Russia investigation be preserved from destruction or deletion. These measures are critical to ensure that this Committee and others can perform necessary and robust Congressional oversight.
Many have suggested that the timing of McCabe’s abrupt departure – just as the FISA memo was set to be released -was not accidental. Although confirmation will have to wait, at least until such time as the FBI assures the public that Hillary Clinton’s Bleach-Bit wasn’t used on its own servers to delete a few thousand emails…
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