ECONOMY

Oct 14 07:53

Saudis Dump Oil To Increase Leverage Over U.S. Middle East Policies

During the last years U.S. president Obama talked a lot about energy independence:

In his fifth State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama celebrated the efforts his administration has made to cut greenhouse gas emissions, while also praising recent increases in domestic oil and gas production.

Obama said early in his address that there is now more "oil produced at home than we buy from the rest of the world," for the first time in two decades.

Obama did not say that the increase in U.S. fossil fuel production was only possible because international oil and gas prices had increased above the magic $100 per barrel equivalent. Below that price shale gas and oil extraction as well as oil production from tar sands are only marginally profitable or not profitable at all.

Oct 14 07:12

German government slashes 2014, 2015 growth views

Germany slashed its growth forecasts for this year and next, citing a weak global economy amid a series of international crises, in a step that follows a slew of poor data for Europe's biggest economy.

Oct 14 07:10

Swiss Gold Referendum “Propaganda War” Begins

The referendum for the Swiss Gold Initiative is scheduled for November 30th and the propaganda war - between the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and the Swiss Parliament on one side and the Swiss People's Party (SVP) on the other - has begun and we expect it to escalate as the day draws nearer.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Three guesses who opposes the measure! And the first two don't count. :)

Oct 14 07:06

Foreclosures Surging in New York-New Jersey Market

The epicenter of the U.S. foreclosure crisis is shifting to New Jersey and New York, threatening a housing rebound in one of the country’s most densely populated areas.

Oct 14 07:05

Government To Investigate Chinese Firm's $2 Billion Purchase Of Waldorf-Astoria Hotel

U.S. officials said Monday they are reviewing the Oct. 6 purchase of the Waldorf by the Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group, which bought the hotel from Hilton Worldwide for $1.95 billion. Terms of the sale allow Hilton to run the hotel for the next 100 years and call for "a major renovation" that officials say has raised eyebrows in Washington, where fears of Chinese eavesdropping and cyber espionage run high.

Oct 14 07:03

Russia’s two largest banks plan SWIFT alternative

The two biggest banks in Russia, Sberbank and VTB, are in talks to create an alternative to the SWIFT global system for interbank financial communications, VTB head Andrey Kostin said.

According to Kostin, Russia has two options: either use the system run by the Russian Central Bank or create a new homegrown transaction platform.

“There is an alternative, we can use the Central Bank system that is already in operation, and we may make our own, we are already in discussions with Sberbank,” Kostin told reporters in Washington DC, where he is for the annual fall meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank.

However, the catch with the Central Bank’s international transaction system is the price.

“It’s expensive, in fact several times more expensive than the SWIFT payment system,” the VTB head said.

Oct 14 07:02

Greece plans early exit from largest IMF rescue package in history

Athens has informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it will end its obligations to the unpopular rescue program, which placed crippling austerity measures on the country, more than a year early.

Oct 13 11:36

“De-Dollarization”: Iran, Russia Planning to Establish Joint Bank

Iran and Russia plan to establish a joint bank as an effort to multiply bilateral trade and bypass sanctions on the Islamic Republic’s banking sector.

Head of the Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce Asadollah Asgaroladi said that Tehran and Moscow are studying the possibilities of opening a new chapter in trade relations that could break the domination of Western currencies over bilateral exchanges.

“Since Russian banks fear the implications of working with Iran due to sanctions, we want to establish the joint Iran-Russia bank with the help of our central banks and private sectors,” Asgaroladi said.

“Such a bank would be able to exchange money between the two sides using rials and rubles and put aside dollars, euros and pounds,” he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Very smart economic thinking, on the part of both Iran and Russia.

Oct 13 10:09

Russia dumping dollars to use to protect currency and falling oil prices

Despite the reassuring narrative from The West that Russia faces "costs" and is increasingly "isolated" due to sanctions for its actions in Ukraine, the most recent data suggests reality is quite different. First, capital outflows slowed dramatically in Q3 (from $23.7 billion in Q2 to $13 billion in Q3) with September seeing capital inflows for the first time since Sept 2013. Second, Russia's current account surplus was significantly stronger than expected ($11.4 billion vs $8.8 billion expected) driven by increased trade. Third, and perhaps most crucially, Russia paid down a massive $52.8 billion in foreign debt as Putin "de-dollarizes" at near record pace, reducing external debt to the lowest since 2012.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

(Sigh) it has become keenly apparent that the most sought-after capability for anyone working for this administration is their pathological inability to think any scenario through to its logical conclusion.

These anti-Russian sanctions appear to have blown up in the face of this administration like a really bad trick cigar.

It has forced China and Russia closer together economically, and caused the US dollar to be bypassed nearly completely in their trading.

And, in the midst of all this, let us not forget that instead of having a budget surplus, the US government has an extraordinary budget deficit, which does not appear to be getting addressed at any time in the near future.

Oct 13 10:01

Saudi Arabia's "Oil-Weapon" Hits Europe

We first exposed the "secret" US-Saudi deal in September which led to the inevitable bombing of Syria. We then progressed to explain the quid pro quo of the deal in lower oil prices (benefiting US consumers into an election and crushing Russian revenues). In today's Wall Street Journal we get the final piece of the puzzle as it is clear that what Saudi Arabia loses in 'price' it will make up in 'volume' as The Kingdom is taking the unusual step of asking buyers to commit to maximum shipments if they want to get its crude. Simply put, "they are threatening [European] buyers" to discontinue sales if they don't agree with the full fixed deliveries. The 'oil weapon' grows stronger...

Days after slashing prices in Asia, Saudi Arabia is now making an aggressive push in the European oil market, traders say.

The kingdom is taking the unusual step of asking buyers to commit to maximum shipments if they want to get its crude.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, the quid pro quo for slashing its prices was that the US was going to accomplish regime change in Damascus, ousting Al-Assad once and for all.

This bothers me tremendously, both morally and legally.

We are bombing a sovereign nation which has done absolutely nothing against the United States; we are destroying its oil infrastructure; its food infrastructure; and its civilian infrastructure (by bombing residential areas).

And why?!?

Ultimately, to force regime change in Teheran, something Tel Aviv and certain elements in DC want to see happen.

The P5+1 meetings regarding Iran's nuclear energy program are just for show, and I would almost bet real money that by the end of next month, there will be neither a viable agreement will be reached, nor a desperately-needed extension of these talks.

And again, members of our American military will fight, be killed outright, or maimed for live; all in the service of private, corporate, profit.

Oct 13 09:45

China, Russia Sign CNY150 Billion Local-Currency Swap As Plunging Oil Prices Sting Putin

One place where Russia has been hit the hardest as a result of tumbling oil prices, is the crashing currency, with the Ruble hitting new record lows against the USD on a daily basis. In fact, as Bloomberg reports, Russia has been forced to spend a whopping $6 billion in just the past 10 days to slow down the tumble of the RUB.

Russia’s central bank intervened in the past 10 days to stabilize the ruble, central bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina told lawmakers in Moscow today. The action, which comes as President Vladimir Putin orders a withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukraine’s border, has so far failed to halt the ruble’s decline amid a domestic foreign currency shortage stemming from sanctions. The cost of swapping rubles into dollars widened to a record.

Oct 13 08:32

Oil Price War Throws the Fed into Crisis Mode

It was only a matter of time until the evidence became irrefutable that the only way out of a global deflation on the order of the Great Depression was to address the fact that 571 U.S. billionaires simply don’t have enough hours in the day to spend adequate money to buy enough goods that would require the restocking of shelves, create new factory orders and thereby ramp up job hiring to keep a nation of 317 million people afloat.

A nation where the top 10 percent reaps more than 50 percent of the income is doomed to end up in the quicksand of deflation, dragging down the rich along with everyone else. The Federal Reserve’s timidity to address this reality since the crisis of 2008, as the national debt ballooned and its own balance sheet quadrupled, has now put it in a dire pickle at a most inopportune time.

Oct 13 07:55

ObamaCare Clusterfuck: Covered California gives no-bid contracts to cronies

Corrente readers could see this coming in May 2013: "California exchange spending and contractors exempted from open records law". I'm sure there are plenty of rationalizations for exemptions like that, but it's hard to think of any good reasons. And so we come to today's story from AP:

AP Exclusive: California gives no-bid health pacts

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- California's health insurance exchange has awarded $184 million in contracts without the competitive bidding and oversight that is standard practice across state government, including deals that sent millions of dollars to a firm whose employees have long-standing ties to the agency's executive director. ...

Oct 13 07:34

When the euphoria in flipping slows down: Culver City small home with large price tag. Sales volume continues to slow.

People have a hard time understanding that low interest rates in today’s market are largely a reflection of a negative outlook on the economy. Central banks around the world are more concerned about financial assets and the secondary impact on real estate is just that, secondary. The market took a beating last week and you get people saying “hey, at least rates will be low for that $700,000 crap shack!” This is the kind of isolated California logic that puts people into a bubble regarding macro trends. It is also the same kind of reasoning that caught so many people off guard during the last crisis.

Oct 13 07:31

Counterfeiting Trillions of Dollars in US Treasury Bonds And Other Crimes.

So the Bankers are allowed to take more than $405 billion a year from you because they can counterfeit Treasury bonds. The Federal Reserve has 21 primary dealers who handle Treasury transactions through the New York branch of the FED.

Is there any evidence that there are large amounts of fake Treasury bonds floating around? Yes. There is. There is a rather intriguing story from June 2009 about two Japanese men headed to Switzerland who were detained in Italy with 134 billion dollars in US Treasury bonds. The bonds turned out not to be genuine according to the US Treasury. It is illegal to possess counterfeit securities, but the men were sent back to Japan without being charged. Bloomberg did a story a few days later saying this was merely bizarre news.

Oct 13 07:12

China will use gold and gold pricing to force global currency reset

On Sept. 30, statistician and economist Dr. Jim Willie was a guest on the Caravan to Midnight radio show to talk about current financial, economic, and geo-political events. During his three hour interview, Dr. Willie stated that one of the purposes behind China's creation of the new Shanghai gold exchange is to eventually take over global price controls for the monetary metal away from the Comex, and then force a global currency reset by raising the price of gold to its true or actual value.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If the price of gold cannot be kept low, people will abandon the stock market and their savings accounts for the metal. Worse, the holders of gold commodities contracts will be unwilling to settle the contracts for the cash value if gold is heading up, and the sellers of those contracts, who printed and sold far more contracts than they have gold to cover, will default.

Oct 13 07:05

Ebola-related shares rally in premarket as Texas nurse tests positive

Shares of companies that are part of the growing effort to find an effective treatment for the deadly Ebola virus were sharply higher in premarket trade Monday, after a nurse who cared for the Ebola patient who died in Dallas last week tested positive for the disease.

Oct 13 06:52

Gold purchases limited to 5 grams in Ukraine

Googe Translate: National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) has amended its ruling stabilizing ?540, extending the restrictions imposed on the sale of foreign currency in cash for precious metals. Corresponding changes are fixed by the NBU on October 3 ?626.

Now, citizens will be able to fly in one banking institution during the workday precious metals for an amount equivalent of 3 thousand. UAH. In addition, the NBU has limited the issuance of bank metals with current and deposit accounts of clients at 15 thousand. UAH (equivalent at the official exchange rate) per day: so far this limitation applied only to cash foreign currency.

Oct 12 08:05

As Monday Looms, Experts Warn Japan's Half-Trillion Dollar Fat-Finger-Trade "Could Absolutely Happen" In The US

Just over a week ago, the Japanese stock market participants were stunned when stock orders amounting to a whopping $617 billion (yes Billion with a B) - more than the size of Sweden’s economy - were canceled for reasons still unknown in what was one of the biggest 'fat finger' trading errors of all time. Since then, US equity markets have suddenly become notably more volatile - and fallen significantly, VIX has seen odd intraday 'spikes', S&P futures saw the very odd 'satan signal', and USDJPY has suffered its worst losses in 3 years. This raises the question of whether US market microstructure is any better than Michael Lewis' Flash Boys' book describes.. (as we head into a bond market holiday, dismal liquidity, and a potential Black Monday), “That could absolutely happen here,” Tabb Group's Larry Tabb warns Bloomberg.

Oct 12 07:40

Bob Herbert Tells Bill Moyers How Corporations and the Big Banks Have Hijacked the Country

Three years ago, reporter and former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert took to the road and traveled across the United States to gather research for his new book, Losing Our Way. In it, Herbert tells the stories of the brave, hard-working men and women he met who have been battered by the economic downturn. He found an America in which jobs have disappeared, infrastructure is falling apart and the “virtuous cycle” of well-paid workers spending their wages to power the economy has been broken by greed and the gap between the very rich and everyone else.

Oct 12 07:40

Mass protests slam US-EU trade deal as 'corporate power grab'

Tens of thousands of people are flooding the streets of cities all over Europe on Saturday in mass rallies against a controversial trade agreement between the US and the EU.

Talks on the pact, called the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), started last February and, having been mostly held behind closed doors, have raised widespread concerns in the European Union and beyond.

Social networks have been mobilized for a mass campaign that has been calling on Europeans and Americans to take action against “the biggest corporate power grab in a decade.”

Oct 12 07:39

Senator: Valerie Jarrett Was Involved in IRS Scandal

Republican Kansas Sen. Pat Roberts said Friday that he thinks the IRS targeting scandal was driven by Valerie Jarrett’s office in the White House, according to information that he saw that Democrats tried to “whitewash.”

Roberts told talk radio host Hugh Hewitt that he participated in a Senate Finance Committee investigation into the IRS scandal but “the effort was made by the majority, by the Democrats in the Congress, to simply end that investigation,” which he called a “whitewash.”

“I’m convinced that even Valerie Jarrett was involved,” Roberts said.

Oct 12 07:32

History Repeats Itself? The American Empire Mirrors The Fall Of The Roman Empire

The Roman Empire lasted 500 years but the American Empire may not surpass 300 years

Oct 11 08:53

Details of How Mandatory Ebola Vaccines Will Soon Be a Reality

What I learned from the meeting is that 0ver the next several days, the public is going to see several journalists revealing both classified and non classified material l related to the Ebola outbreak, and the subsequent deliberate spreading of Ebola through governmental inaction. The American people are also going to hear about operational details about how the government plans to deal with the Ebola outbreak.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The big pharmaceutical corporations are already drooling over the coming tsunami of cash, and indemnified by the Homeland Security Act and the "Fast track" legislation, are about to foist a whole array of unproven and possibly dangerous concoctions on a gullible public. We have seen these manufacturers make some pretty bad mistakes in the past. The recent "epidemics" of measles and mumps overwhelmingly hit children who had received the MMR vaccine. Those who had not had the vaccine suffered much lower infection rates. The current Enterovirus outbreak is primarily hitting the children who had the "Triple whammy" of the MMR, Seasonal Flu, and polio vaccines. The symptoms of this illness are very close to those of polio, including permanent paralysis and some deaths, and may be a repeat of the disaster in India in 2011 in which a polio vaccine triggered polio symptoms such as permanent paralysis in 47,500 patients. India is now suing the promoters of the polio vaccine campaign.

In 1976 there was an outbreak of Swine Flu in the United States and the US Government ordered mandatory vaccinations, which had to stopped when it turned out the vaccine was killing 50 times as many people as the flu itself. During a more recent Swine Flu scare, the vaccines triggered an epidemic of Guillain-Barre syndrome. The 2009 "When Pigs Fly" flu was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, only after it artificially lowered the threshold of number of cases needed to make that headline-grabbing claim. People were stampeded into purchasing Tamiflu. Later studies showed that Tamiflu was no better at dealing with the flu than ordinary acetaminophen!

Today the big money is in the HPV vaccines, supposedly administered to prevent Cervical cancer, and given to girls (and oddly enough boys) too young to engage in sexual activity, and requiring an additional shot when they reach maturity. One of the most popular HPV vaccine, Gardasil, has harmed a great many patients, with symptoms that include sterility! Many nations, such as Japan, are dropping support for mandated HPV shots.

Fraud is rampant in the vaccine industry. In one case a researcher "testing" a new HIV vaccine spiked the test samples with HIV antibodies to make it look like the vaccine was working.

For a long time, parents of children who developed autism following the 36 vaccinations now recommended for children claimed there was a link between the vaccine and autism, most likely tied in with the mercury based preservative Thimerosal. But in 2004 the CDC released a report claiming that no link was found between MMR vaccines and autism. More recently, one of the doctors who worked on that report for the CDC, William W. Thompson, has blown the whistle that the CDC rigged the 2004 study to protect the vaccine industry profits. Despite this revelation, the orthodox medical establishment still cites the 2004 CDC report to assure parents that vaccines do not cause autism. The US has an autism rate of 1 child out of every 68, higher than any other nation on Earth. It is worth noting that among the American Amish, who refuse vaccines for religious reasons, the rate of autism is1 in 10,000.

Back in 1918, at the end of WW1, a pandemic swept the globe ultimately killing more people than had died in the war itself. The public was told it was a "Spanish" flu to obscure its real origins in a series of vaccine trials at Camp Funston (now Fort Riley) in the US, from which it spread to the rest of the globe with the deployment of infected US troops.

So now the same corporations that did all the above (and even worse) along with the same government that lied to you about the Spanish Flu, Saddam's nukes, and the 2004 CDC autism study want to make a fast buck selling you a miracle cure for one of the most deadly diseases known to humans, and expect us to trust them when they start pumping who knows what into our arms.

I don't think so!

Oct 11 07:58

Fracking Setback in Poland Dims Hope for Less Russian Gas

Poland’s ambition to achieve energy independence from Russia is being undermined by drillers giving up on the nation’s shale wells after disappointing results.

The highest test flows during the country’s five-year search for unconventional gas were just 30 percent of what’s needed for commercial production, said Pawel Poprawa, a geologist at the AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow. The number of active shale permits has fallen 43 percent from a high in January 2013 and explorers probably won’t extend all those expiring this year, according to Slawomir Brodzinski, the nation’s deputy environment minister.

Oct 11 07:51

"De-Dollarizing" Russia Pays Down Near-Record $53 Billion In Debt In Third Quarter

espite the reassuring narrative from The West that Russia faces "costs" and is increasingly "isolated" due to sanctions for its actions in Ukraine, the most recent data suggests reality is quite different. First, capital outflows slowed dramatically in Q3 (from $23.7 billion in Q2 to $13 billion in Q3) with September seeing capital inflows for the first time since Sept 2013. Second, Russia's current account surplus was significantly stronger than expected ($11.4 billion vs $8.8 billion expected) driven by increased trade. Third, and perhaps most crucially, Russia paid down a massive $52.8 billion in foreign debt as Putin "de-dollarizes" at near record pace, reducing external debt to the lowest since 2012.

Oct 11 07:21

Why Oil Is Plunging: The Other Part Of The "Secret Deal" Between The US And Saudi Arabia

Two weeks ago, we revealed one part of the "Secret Deal" between the US and Saudi Arabia: namely what the US 'brought to the table' as part of its grand alliance strategy in the middle east, which proudly revealed Saudi Arabia to be "aligned" with the US against ISIS, when in reality John Kerry was merely doing Saudi Arabia's will when the WSJ reported that "the process gave the Saudis leverage to extract a fresh U.S. commitment to beef up training for rebels fighting Mr. Assad, whose demise the Saudis still see as a top priority."

Oct 11 07:20

Russia dumping dollars to use to protect currency and falling oil prices

As the United States expands its proxy war against Russia and the BRICS nations through a newly discovered secret deal with Saudi Arabia to force down global oil prices, Russia is firing back to this monetary attack against their currency and economy.

Oct 11 07:02

Critics to Obama: 'Draconian Cuts' Have Been to US Public Services, Not War Budget

President Obama's comments on Wednesday that U.S. military spending is under threat of "draconian" cuts were met with immediate rebuke from analysts, who say the poor are bearing the brunt of austerity while the war budget remains largely untouched.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And that is a major reason this nation is not really prepared to handle an Ebola outbreak here!

Oct 10 07:04

FLASHBACK - Vice President Biden Acknowledges 'Immense' Jewish Role in American Mass Media and Cultural Life

In a remarkable but under-reported address, Vice President Joe Biden recently acknowledged that the “immense” and “outsized” Jewish role in the US mass media and cultural life has been the single most important factor in shaping American attitudes over the past century, and in driving major cultural- political changes.

Oct 10 07:03

Sen. Wyden: NSA Tech Spying Hurts Economy

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and other Silicon Valley executives say controversial government spying programs are undercutting the Internet economy and want Congress to step up stalled reform.

"We're going to end up breaking the Internet," warned Google Inc.'s Schmidt during a public forum Wednesday convened by U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., who has been an outspoken critic of electronic data-gathering by the National Security Agency. Schmidt and executives from Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp. and other firms say revelations of extensive NSA surveillance are prompting governments in Europe and elsewhere to consider laws requiring that their citizens' online data be stored within their national borders.

Oct 10 06:46

Obama to Hide Obamacare Rates Till After Election Day

HealthCare.gov, the online portal where millions of Americans must by health insurance, will not display premiums for 2015 until after the 2014 elections, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.

Oct 10 06:37

The US ranks #36 in the world for respecting property rights. Is this freedom?

Yet despite so much ‘danger’, this was one of the greatest periods of wealth creation in history, simply because people were free to make things happen.

People were free to enter, compete, and make choices in the market. Their freedom and property rights were protected by a clear rule of law.

However, just 50-years later, this positive trajectory was cut short with the establishment of the Federal Reserve.

Oct 10 06:32

Pepsi and Coke take hammering in Mexico as junk food tax starts to bite

Mexico has become one of the few places Pepsi and Coke have seen declining sales after the country adopted anti-obesity laws last year. Concerned over the losses the US beverage industry seems determined to stop similar legislation at home.

PepsiCo saw a 3 percent drop in snack sales volume in Mexico, while reporting a higher quarterly profit in global sales on Thursday.

Its main rival Coca-Cola has also reported beverage volume declines in the Latin American country for the first half of the year, AP reports.

Oct 10 06:30

Exclusive: Feds take jobs from disabled Americans, send them to Central Asia

Sibyl Mikell has worked in the same New Orleans warehouse by the Mississippi River docks since 1980, one of dozens of blind workers who make the mess trays sent to U.S. military forces overseas — including her own son, who finished his second tour of duty in Afghanistan earlier this year.

This operation is an integral part of AbilityOne, a program that awards government contracts to nonprofits that employ blind and disabled people to produce basic products for the military. But Ms. Mikell and 42 coworkers were recently and abruptly laid off from their jobs at Lighthouse for the Blind in New Orleans because of a little-known change in federal procurement rules that encourages military forces in Afghanistan to buy from manufacturers and brokers in Central Asia.

Oct 09 09:52

Energy Wars: Russian Shale Boom Unlikely As Sanctions Force Another Company Out

The payoff for both Russian and western companies might have been enormous. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that Russian shale deposits are the largest in the world, at 75 billion barrels.?

First, it was the U.S. company ExxonMobil. Then, France’s Total. Now western sanctions against Russia have led Royal Dutch Shell to discontinue its work with Gazprom Neft extracting shale oil from a field in Siberia.

In announcing Shell’s suspension on its website, Gazprom Neft, part of the Kremlin-run gas monopoly Gazprom, said it will continue work “by itself” on the first horizontal exploratory drilling at the Bazhenov shale in Siberia, which began last week.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These sanctions will ultimately have a boomerang effect, particularly against Europe, which is poised to have a bitterly cold winter.

Oct 09 09:49

Here's What Happened When One City Gave Homeless People Shelter Instead of Throwing Them in Jail

Salt Lake City crunched the numbers. And the prescription was clear. The city was spending $20,000 per homeless resident per year – funding for policing, arrests, jail time, shelter, and emergency services. Homelessness was not going down. Instead, for $7,800 a year through a new program called Housing First, the city could provide a person with an apartment and case management services.

In 2005, the city was spending $40 million to address chronic homelessness. Several years after starting the Housing First program, in 2013, spending was down to $9.6 million.

And more importantly, chronic homelessness has dropped 72 percent.

Oct 09 09:30

Ebola drug maker Chimerix's stock tumbles after Dallas patient dies

Shares of Chimerix Inc., the maker of an experimental drug to combat Ebola, sank Wednesday after the death in Dallas of a patient with the disease who received the medicine.

About two hours after officials announced the death of Thomas Eric Duncan, the Durham, N.C., company’s stock was trading at $30.54, down $2.69, or 8.1%. The shares had hit an all-time high earlier in the day before the announcement.

Oct 09 09:28

Russia’s Gazprom buys Europe’s biggest gas storage facility

Russia will acquire Europe's largest underground gas storage facility this autumn from Germany’s BASF, continuing the development of its Nord Stream operations. In return, the Germans will get access to large gas reserves in Western Siberia.

Oct 09 09:27

‘Disgusting’: Anti-homeless cages installed at UK university

One of the UK’s most prestigious universities has installed cages over warm air vents, as a way to ward off the city’s homeless sleeping on them.

The cages, which have been placed around the universities campus, completely cover the area surrounding the warm air vents near the college buildings.

Students say they are “disgusted”by the cages, saying that the move shows a lack of love and compassion for the less fortunate.

Oct 09 09:12

L.A. Fashion District Is Awash in Drug Money

The next time you're shopping in Santee Alley for a pleather handbag or a $20 pair of distressed jeans, look around you. The vendor selling you that fine Cucci wallet might be laundering money for one of the globe's largest drug cartels.

Some of downtown L.A.'s clothing retailers and wholesalers are so awash in dirty cash that the federal government this week announced that it will be requiring "additional reporting and record-keeping obligations" for nearly the entire L.A. Fashion District.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Drug lords will usually set up some kind of legitimate business where there is a lot of cash traffic, such as convenience stores, multi-screen cinemas, office supply stores, and those weird stores that sell ceramic statues and kitty-themed items that make you wonder just how they stay in business month after month while stores selling essentials are dropping like flies.

The fact is that these legit business will blend the drug money in with their actual sales receipts to launder it. The good news is that the public really are not buying those weird and pointless toys or albums of really awful music.

Oct 09 06:37

EU approves Hinkley Point nuclear power station as costs raise by £8bn

The European commission on Wednesday gave Britain the green light for a huge government subsidy that will open the way for the first atomic power stations to be built for nearly 20 years.

Oct 09 06:30

Serious Financial Trouble Is Erupting In Germany And Japan

There are some who believe that the next great financial crash will not begin in the United States. Instead, they are convinced that a financial crisis that begins in Europe or in Japan (or both) will end up spreading across the globe and take down the U.S. too. Time will tell if they are ultimately correct, but even now there are signs that financial trouble is already starting to erupt in both Germany and Japan. German stocks have declined 10 percent since July, and that puts them in "correction" territory. In Japan, the economy is a total mess right now. According to figures that were just released, Japanese GDP contracted at a 7.1 percent annualized rate during the second quarter and private consumption contracted at a 19 percent annualized rate. Could a financial collapse in either of those nations be the catalyst that sets off financial dominoes all over the planet?

Oct 09 05:55

Fear of Ebola could have “catastrophic” economic costs, World Bank predicts

A report issued Wednesday by the World Bank forecasts that the total economic impact of Ebola could exceed $32 billion by the end of 2015 if the virus spreads from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone to neighboring countries.

That single dollar amount doesn't fully convey the extraordinary human toll of a virus that kills four in five of its victims and could infect as many 1.4 million people by January. Yet the World Bank's estimate is a reminder that sickness and death are only part of what could be a developing regional crisis.

Oct 08 11:56

Shift to elected officials a smart move in Detroit

The mayor and council will now be running city government for the first time in 18 months

Oct 08 11:53

World Bank issues dire warning about Ebola's economic impact

The economic impact of the Ebola epidemic could reach $32.6 billion by the end of next year if the disease ravaging Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone spreads to neighboring countries in West Africa, the World Bank Group said Wednesday.

Oct 08 11:53

Panic Buying Ensues After FOMC Minutes Unleash Weaker Dollar

If you liked King Dollar, you'll love Dumping Dollar... Gold, Treasuries, and Stocks are surging after the release of the FOMC minutes suggested The Fed will keep rates lower longer. The USDollar is dumping - just as The Fed suggested it was worried about a strong dollar. Stocks remain negative on the week and below the levels of the last FOMC...

Oct 08 11:33

Dow jumps to triple-digit gain after Fed minutes

U.S. stocks on Wednesday jumped to fresh session highs after the release of minutes from the last meeting of Federal Reserve policy makers. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +1.27% was last up 139 points after showing a gain of just 83 points shortly before the release of the minutes, which indicated that several top Federal Reserve officials wanted to re-write their guidance that short-term interest rates were likely to stay low for a "considerable time" -- but held off.

Oct 08 10:48

FLASHBACK - **LEAKED RECORDING FROM CFR SWINE FLU SCARE MONGERING

Oct 08 09:57

Libya Takes Goldman Sachs to Court to Recover $1.2 Billion from a Series of Derivatives Trades

Libya’s sovereign wealth fund took Goldman Sachs to court in London on Monday to recover $1.2 billion from a series of derivatives trades made during Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

The Libyan Investment Authority claims that its international inexperience and a relationship of trust with the bank was “exploited” by Goldman Sachs, which disputes the allegations.

The Wall Street bank allegedly made $350 million in up-front profits from the trades, although the deals were rendered worthless for the LIA when they matured in 2011.

Oct 08 09:04

“Voters will remember this”: Scott Walker administration says $7.25 an hour is a “living wage”

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker has rejected a labor group’s effort to increase the state’s $7.25 an hour minimum wage.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reports that a coalition led by the group Wisconsin Jobs Now had seized on a provision in Wisconsin law which states that the minimum wage must be a “living wage” – defined as “reasonable comfort, reasonable physical well-being, decency and moral well-being.” However, the Journal-Sentinel noted, state law also allows governors to weigh such factors as the wage’s impact on the labor market. (Studies show that state increases in the minimum wage don’t harm job growth.)

Citing the living wage provision, the coalition last month urged the Walker administration’s labor department to raise the state’s minimum wage. In rebuffing the effort, the Walker administration isn’t just citing the other factors a governor is allowed to consider – it’s actually asserting that $7.25 an hour is a living wage.

Oct 08 08:59

IMF: China overtakes US as world’s largest economy

Chris Giles at the Financial Times flagged up the change. He also alerted us back in April this year that it was all about to happen.

Basically, the method used by the IMF adjusts for purchasing power parity, explained here.

The simple logic is that prices aren’t the same in each country: A shirt will cost you less in Shanghai than San Francisco, so it’s not entirely reasonable to compare countries without taking this into account.

Though a typical person in China earns a lot less than the typical person in the US, simply converting a Chinese salary into dollars underestimates how much purchasing power that individual, and therefore that country, might have. The Economist’s Big Mac Index is a great example of these disparities.

So the IMF measures both GDP in market exchange terms, and in terms of purchasing power. On the purchasing power basis, China is overtaking the US right about now and becoming the world’s biggest economy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the reason that we may well be looking at a major war between the US and China; it would be the US government's (ill-advised) attempt to put China's economic growth on hold.

Oct 08 08:13

Sears shares tumble after report of vendor halting shipments

Shares of Sears Holding SHLD, -14.76% tumbled as much as 14%, before paring some losses, following a report that at least one vendor was halting shipments to the department store chain because insurance firms for the suppliers are seeking to reduce coverage.

Oct 08 08:11

Banker Pleads Guilty Over Libor Manipulation, In Secrecy

Oct 08 07:53

Koch Industries Responds to Rolling Stone – And We Answer Back

I find it, frankly, amusing that a company that has been convicted of six felonies and numerous misdemeanors; paid out tens of millions of dollars in fines; traded with Iran, and been so reckless in its business practices that two innocent teenagers ended up dead, attempts to impugn my integrity, and on the basis of my association with Mother Jones — where I worked as an editor in the late 1990s and early 2000s, on a team that was twice nominated and once awarded a National Magazine Award for General Excellence.

Oct 08 07:47

FLASHBACK - DHS Orders Bagpipes? So Much for Sequester Cuts

Apparently the head of the Department of Homeland Security is not even trying to save the government any money. Yesterday DHS ordered a new supply of musical instruments including bagpipes and drums. There is music writing software included in the order as well as the many small parts that go into caring for bagpipes.

I guess Napolitano didn’t get the memo. We are supposed to be saving money here! How exactly are we “securing the homeland” with bagpipes and drums? The problem here is, that Democrats keep saying that the sequester cuts were too much and that we weren’t going to be able to continue life as we know it without this money. Well obviously, that’s just not true.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"No, no, no, no, NO! You don;t understand. The austerity is for you slaves, not us! You silly!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Oct 08 07:26

Swiss Move to Back Franc with Gold for Real?

Asking the Swiss National Bank to hold a fixed portion of its assets in gold would hinder monetary policy, the government said today. Switzerland will vote on the initiative "Save Our Swiss Gold" on Nov. 30 that would force the central bank to hold at least twenty percent of its assets in gold. It would also forbid the sale of any such holdings and require all the gold be held in Switzerland. – Bloomberg

Oct 08 07:12

Ebola: Why don't we just ban flights from Africa?

The World Health Organization has said repeatedly it does not recommend travel bans on the countries affected by the Ebola outbreakl because that would leave the countries cut off from the rest of the world, “resulting in detrimental economic consequences, and hinder relief and response efforts, risking further international spread.” http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/statements/2014/ebola-2nd-ihr-meet...

The key problem in travel bans, says the WHO and others, is that ending flights in and out of affected countries hinders these countries’ ability to receive the new supplies they so desperately need. As well, there are already not enough health workers on the ground in the affected countries. What foreign worker would willingly fly into the epidemic to offer assistance knowing they might not be allowed to fly back out?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is about protecting the profits of the airline corporations as we head into the holiday travel season. The fact is that the United States maintains a military airlift capability that is the rival of any commercial airline and can go wherever they need to go. The US Government is still treating Ebola as a political and economic issue. They want people to keep buying airline tickets. They want people to flood into the shopping malls for the Christmas shopping season. They want to make sure everyone shows up to vote next month. And mostly they don't want people to start thinking that maybe it is time to stop waging wars against countries on the other side of the globe and spend the taxpayer's money to protect the US from a major epidemic.

Oct 08 06:35

US lifts sanctions on Turkish arm of Russia’s biggest lender

The US Treasury Department has taken a bank off its “naughty” list, Turkey’s DenizBank, a subsidiary of Sberbank. Russia’s largest bank was placed under sanctions in September, and now DenizBank is no longer blocked from American capital markets.

Istanbul-based DenizBank fell under sanctions because it is more than 50 percent (99.85 percent) owned by Sberbank, which acquired it in September 2012. The Department of the Treasury sanctions apply to any bank that is majority-owned by a sanctioned Russian bank.

Sberbank acquired Denizbank, Turkey’s eighth largest, from Belgium’s Dexia for $3.5 billion, as part of an effort to grow outside the former USSR.

Oct 08 06:33

Russia to force card issuers to use domestic payment system

Two Russian deputies have submitted a bill to the State Duma that would require all foreign and domestic payment card issuers to work exclusively with the new National Payment System in Russia.

"National System of Payment Cards (NSPC) will be an operational and payment center, banks and international payment systems shall interact only with NSPC - we need to understand what processes are happening in the territory of Russia,” Vedomosti quotes Marina Mukabenova, one of two deputies who submitted the bill.

Some countries, like Turkey, are already using such a scheme, Mukabenova said.

Oct 08 06:32

Powerhouse Germany gets own spoonful of austerity

German industry is feeling the most pressure since the peak of the global financial crisis in 2009, putting Berlin in a difficult position as it preaches tough austerity to its neighbors. Russian sanctions are only exacerbating the economic misery.

Industry orders tumbled 5.7 percent in August from July, the fastest since January 2009 when they dropped 7.7 percent, the Germany Economy Ministry in Berlin said Monday. The drop was much higher than economists at Bloomberg (1.5 percent) and Reuters (2.5 percent) forecast.

Germany factory orders, adjusted for seasonal swings, were 4 percent less in August than in July, the biggest drop since 2009.

Oct 07 11:17

Walmart Cuts Health Care Coverage For Most Part-Timers In Wake Of Obamacare

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation's largest private employer.

Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that starting Jan. 1, it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week. The move affects 30,000 employees, or about 5 percent of Wal-Mart's total part-time workforce, but comes after the company already had scaled back the number of part-time workers who were eligible for health insurance coverage since 2011.

"We had to make some tough decisions," Sally Welborn, Wal-Mart's senior vice president of benefits, told The Associated Press.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And what do you want to bet that starting 1 January 2015, NO ONE WILL BE WORKING OVER 30 HOURS AT WAL-MART?!?

Sometimes, workers may have pre-existing conditions which may make it impossible to find adequate health insurance, particularly with what Wal-Mart pays them.

Corporations, in their lust for profitability over everything else, tend to have the morals of a trout; this decision makes that painfully clear on the part of to Board of Directors at Wal-Mart.

Oct 07 11:11

The new AIG lawsuit should enrage every American taxpayer

Imagine you have a friend who drinks a lot and often.

Until now, they always seem to have a good time. He tells the best stories, gets all the girls. He’s the life of the party.

Then, one day, he wrecks his car. And you and some buddies, who happened to be in the neighborhood, see your pal trapped. Of course, you rush to the rescue. You try to break open the door with a tire iron. Ultimately, you smash the window and pull the poor fellow out. And just when you’d think this guy would sober up and see the recklessness of his ways, he looks you in the eye and says without blinking: “You need to pay for my door and windshield.”

This is the story of American International Group Inc. AIG, -2.10% and its longtime leader, Maurice “Hank” Greenberg.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And THAT is real Chutzpah!

Oct 07 09:55

The new subprime is in auto loans: One third of all new auto loans are of the subprime variety. Repossession are up 70 percent.

Leave it to Wall Street to resurrect the subprime loan. This time, subprime has found a comfortable home in the automotive industry. In the car addicted US culture, subprime debt is back in a massive way. Subprime auto debt is the new risky debt product. This is a big deal. $924 billion in total auto debt is rummaging around the economy. What is even more disturbing is that delinquencies on auto debt are surging. Repossessions are up 70 percent because people simply can’t make their auto payments. What do you expect when you are pumping out subprime debt trying to churn more sales on marginal buyers? Most Americans are living paycheck to paycheck so taking on another debt payment isn’t necessarily a wise move. How big is this market? The latest data shows that a stunning one third of new auto loans are in the form of subprime debt. This is telling given that FICO is planning on being more lax with credit scores.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem is not people who do not have credit. The problem is people who cannot find jobs to pay those car loans!

Oct 07 07:17

False Flag Warning: Khorasan Terrorist Group Is Back And A US Attack Is Imminent

Germany orders plunge to new lows. Euro zone sentiment falls in October. HP laying off 5,000 employees and the company could be split up. UK, US and Turkey attacking free speech on the internet. More cases of Ebola which might trigger more advanced screenings at airports. Hong Kong protests seems to be losing steam. New Islamic State document found implicating Russia in its plan. 5,000 paid mercenaries being trained in Saudi Arabia. Russia blamed for attacking JP Morgan. China implicated in cyber attacking companies. FBI director says Khorasan terrorist group is planning to attack the U.S. Be prepared for a false flag.

Oct 07 06:50

Europe's Triple-Dip Recession Arrives: German Industrial Production Crashes Most Since February 2009

Yesterday it was German manufacturing orders which cratered 5.7% in August following a freak, 4.9% rebound in July, prompting Goldman to warn that "the underlying dynamic has weakened further at the end of Q3" ...

... And then a few hours ago we finally got undeniable confirmation that Europe is once again in recession, its third since Lehman, only this one is worse: it is led by the "core" countries, with Germany in the forefront, a Germany which just reported industrial output which suffered its biggest monthly decline in more than five years in August.

Oct 07 06:45

Retired CUNY Professor Gets $560k/Year Pension: 'Darn Right I Deserve It'

McManus, who has written groundbreaking books on slavery, retired in February 2012 after teaching history and constitutional law for more than 50 years. His final salary was $116,364. “They don’t pay you much when you’re working, but the pension is certainly good,” McManus told The Post. “Darn right I deserve it.”

Oct 06 11:41

Obama Threatens More Sanctions Against Zimbabwe Over Russian-Platinum Deal

As Martin Armstrong exclaims, Obama is out of control. According to NewZimbabwe.com, Washington has said it will accelerate sanctions imposed against Harare in 2003, due to the Robert Mugabe-led government's closer ties with Russia over the US$3 billion Darwendale platinum project. Herald columnist Nathaniel Manheru (who is thought to be Mugabe's spokesman), reported, Washington explained its expectations on Zimbabwe, namely that Zimbabwe was expected (read required) to support those sanctions by avoiding any association with companies sanctioned by the Americans and their Western allies, or their subsidiaries or affiliates. Manheru said "it was ridiculous for the US to refuse to lift sanctions against Harare and then demand support for its measures against Moscow... This is where I am tempted to tell the American government to go and hang, hang on a banana tree, bums up."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Well, looks like we just found ISIS is Zimbabwe, if you understand what i mean!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Oct 06 11:29

Looting Operation: Corporate Elite Divvies up Detroit as Bankruptcy Plan Confirmation Looms

As the Detroit bankruptcy moves into its final stage, it becomes ever more clear that the corporate-financial oligarchy is implementing the wholesale privatization of an entire US city.

With the full backing of a federal court acting on behalf of powerful corporate and financial interests, a cabal of capitalist politicians and legal and financial bagmen are looting virtually all of Detroit’s basic public infrastructure—including street lights, garbage collection, the water and sewerage department, as well as the city’s world class art museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA).

Oct 06 09:38

War! What Is It Good For? (Hint: These 4 Companies)

Led by Lockheed Martin, the biggest US defence companies are trading at record prices as shareholders reap rewards from escalating military conflicts around the world.

Oct 06 09:37

US Government Debt Jumps by $1.1 Trillion in Fiscal 2014

When it comes to the Federal deficit, reliable numbers are as elusive as unicorns. Not that there aren’t plenty of numbers out there, but they don’t match reality. And reality is ultimately the change in the gross national debt which shows in its unvarnished manner just how much money the federal government actuallyhad to borrow to fill the fiscal holes.

Regardless of what has been proffered by the White House, the Congressional Budget Office, and others, the total gross national debt outstanding of the US of A hit $17.824 trillion in fiscal 2014 ended September 30. A jump for the fiscal year of $1.086 trillion.

Oct 06 09:15

Young and not buying into the American dream: Homeownership among young households is simply not picking up and shifting demographic trends.

If the American dream means owning a home, many younger Americans are opting out of that dream. Part of the reason may be a generational shift in having smaller families and a growing number of dual income no kid (DINK) households. That is part of it but a bigger reason is many younger Americans are financially in poor shape and unable to buy. Many are now part of a growing renter class. The recent Census data shows no reversal in this trend. Why would it? Many young Americans are also carrying high levels of student debt and in high cost areas like California, 2.3 million young adults are living at home with their parents because of financial challenges. This change has also impacted home builders since there is less of a need for large new homes when the demand is more for affordable rentals. Builders are keen to see this and that is why multi-family building permits are way up. What impact will this trend have on the housing landscape of America?

Oct 06 09:03

Biden's Speech Might Backfire on Washington: Former Assistant Secretary of Treasury

Speech of the US Vice President Joe Biden can backfire on Washington, as it embarrasses the European Union members and demonstrates the US has intimidated them, Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, believes.

"One of the possible consequences is that his speech embarrasses European governments by showing that Europe is Washington's vassal," Roberts told RIA Novosti on Friday. "The other is that by pressing Europeans to act against their own interests, Washington might have been too much of a bully and hurt its future influence in Europe."

US Vice President said Thursday that the United States and US President Barack Obama, in particular, had forced the European Union members to "take economic hits to impose cost" on Russia.

Oct 06 08:29

Surging dollar may be triple whammy for U.S. earnings

The suddenly unstoppable U.S. dollar is posing a triple threat to American companies' profits: driving up the costs of doing business overseas, suppressing the value of non-U.S. sales and, perhaps most worryingly, signaling weak international demand.

Oct 06 08:27

Hewlett-Packard to split into two public companies, lay off 5,000

Hewlett-Packard Co (HPQ.N) said it would split into two listed companies, separating its computer and printer businesses from its faster-growing corporate hardware and services operations, and eliminate another 5,000 jobs as part of its turnaround plan.

HP said its shareholders would own a stake in both businesses through a tax-free transaction next year, the details of which still needed to be worked out.

Oct 05 06:58

Consumers 'picking up bill'

Consumers have been left to pick up the bill for "poorly conceived and managed" contracts worth £16.6 billion for renewable energy, MPs have warned.

Oct 05 06:58

Dancing with The Bride of Dracula at the Ebola Debutante's Ball.

Oct 05 06:55

Manipulated Unemployment Rate Drops As The Economic Collapse Accelerates - Episode 483

Oct 05 06:43

WHY HAVEN'T LAWMAKERS BEEN INDICTED AND CHARGED FOR THIS?

"The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation is encouraging banks to sign up illegal aliens in the banking system, calling the growth of the market "a compelling incentive for U.S. banks to enter this largely untapped market." And the FDIC program demonstrates that unbanked Latin American immigrants can be brought into the financial mainstream.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Setting aside the illegality of this,. what is going on is that the bankers are trying to build a new bottom layer for their financial pyramid by offering loans to illegals, from which they can create new money out of thin air to keep the pyramid going. But that only works if there are new jobs for these new borrowers, which there are not. There are already 90 million legal Americans unable to find work. Every illegal that takes a job takes it away from a legal American. That legal American, in turn, is no longer able to pay back their loans to the banks. So the system will collapse anyway. This is the sort of mess one sees the nation get into when the government starts to believe its own propaganda, such as the claim that unemployment is below 6%!

Oct 04 06:56

Exclusive - G20 finalising flexible 'bail in' bond deal for big banks: sources

The world's biggest banks may be able to count surplus capital towards new buffers of special bonds being imposed by regulators, two sources familiar with draft proposals said.

In order to secure a deal the regulators have agreed to a more flexible approach to cater for differences in banking models across the world, both sources said.

The proposed new rule for the world's biggest banks is part of a wider plan for making banks safer after governments had to shore up lenders during the 2007-09 financial crisis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The banks will be made safer by transferring the risk onto the customers!

Oct 04 06:24

Biden says US 'embarrassed' EU into sanctioning Russia over Ukraine

“We’ve given Putin a simple choice: Respect Ukraine’s sovereignty or face increasing consequences,” Biden told a gathering at the John F. Kennedy Jr. Forum at Harvard University's Institute of Politics on Thursday.

The consequences were the sanctions which the EU imposed on Russia, first targeting individual politicians and businessmen deemed responsible for the crisis in Ukraine, then switching to the energy, defense, and economic sectors.

“It is true they did not want to do that,” Biden admitted.

“It was America’s leadership and the president of the United States insisting, oft times almost having to embarrass Europe to stand up and take economic hits to impose costs,” the US vice president declared.

Oct 03 16:08

Who Are Politicians Truly Representing? Russell Brand The Trews

Oct 03 14:32

German Push to Accelerate Bank Bail-Ins Joined by Dutch

Germany, the Netherlands and Finland want to speed up European Union plans to force losses on senior bondholders of failing banks, three European government officials said.

The three AAA rated euro-area states last week called for regulators across the EU to gain so-called bail-in powers as soon as 2015, rather than in 2018 as currently proposed, said the officials, who declined to be identified because the talks are private. The European Central Bank has warned that 2018 is “far too far away” for the new rules, which seek to insulate taxpayers and the euro area’s firewall fund from rescue costs.

Oct 03 13:46

Why Ben Bernanke Can’t Refinance His Mortgage

An employee of a think tank owns a house in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Washington. He wants to refinance his mortgage, but the bank won’t give him a loan.

It is perhaps not the most shocking story in the world, but it becomes so when you learn that the think tank employee is Ben S. Bernanke, who was until earlier this year the chairman of the Federal Reserve, charged with setting the course of interest rate policy for the United States economy.

And it seems downright absurd when you consider that he now makes a reported $250,000 for giving a speech and has signed a book contract that is surely in the seven figures. His income this next couple of years will surely dwarf the value of his house (he and his wife bought it for $839,000 in 2004, and it is currently assessed at $815,000, according to District of Columbia property records).

Oct 03 10:20

Labor Participation Rate Drops To 36 Year Low; Record 92.6 Million Americans Not In Labor Force

While by now everyone should know the answer, for those curious why the US unemployment rate just slid once more to a meager 5.9%, the lowest print since the summer of 2008, the answer is the same one we have shown every month since 2010: the collapse in the labor force participation rate, which in September slid from an already three decade low 62.8% to 62.7% - the lowest in over 36 years, matching the February 1978 lows. And while according to the Household Survey, 232,000 people found jobs, what is more disturbing is that the people not in the labor force, rose to a new record high, increasing by 315,000 to 92.6 million!

And that's how you get a fresh cycle low in the unemployment rate.

Oct 03 09:55

‘Obama to be remembered as someone who betrayed his supporters’

President Obama has turned out to be another failed big government president, who put America into a new war, spied on its own citizens, and made a disastrous health care reform, Executive Director of the Libertarian Party Carla Howell told RT.

RT: The US strikes on ISIS have already cost it around $780-930 million, which is not pleasant news for the American taxpayers but makes a profit for the industries involved. Does President Obama even know about discontent among his citizens?

Carla Howell: I’m sure he is fully informed; he has got an enormous staff to keep him informed of what is going on. Clearly, what he is trying to do is take credit for ending the war in Iraq, and yet at the same time he is beholden to the military industrial complex in America, their special interests, that want more military funding regardless of whether our Generals even want it or not. So he is trying to walk that line.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This President has been an epic fail on everything in which he has intervened.

On immigration; wars in the Middle East; Obamacare; Ebolagate; IRSgate, APgate, and NSAgate, he continues to to undercut working Americans, and makes life worse for most American people.

But you have to understand that such behaviour is completely predictable for a man beholden to the large corporations (including the banks) which have funded the election cycles in which he was (allegedly) elected and re-elected.

Large corporations love illegal immigration, because it cuts the cost of doing business; large corporations love wars, because wars mean profit, for so many companies; and large pharmaceutical corporations love illness, because treatments - rather than cures - are far more profitable.

His faux populism is just an act, and not a terribly convincing act at that; no more, no less.

At the end of the day, this man is a slave to all those who put him in power for one reason, and one reason only; profit.

And he has, and continues, to deliver that for them.

Oct 03 08:18

U.S. factory orders post record decline on aircraft payback

New orders for U.S. factory goods posted their biggest decline on record in August, payback for an aircraft-driven jump a month earlier.

Oct 03 08:18

Fannie And Freddie Shares Are Collapsing, And That's Bad News For Some Big Hedge Funders

Shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac opened down about 40% respectively after investors lost a suit to change who collected the profits from the two mortgage insurers' dividends.

Since the financial crisis, the U.S. Treasury has been collecting almost all of Fannie's and Freddie's profits as part of the government's bailout deal with the companies.

Oct 03 06:48

Ebola Virus Hammers Airline Stocks, Boosts Pharma Stocks

The Ebola virus has become the unlikely arbiter of the latest winners and losers in stocks.

The first diagnosis of an Ebola patient in the U.S. may be driving airline stocks lower, while shares of pharmaceutical companies move higher.

It's not the first time an international health concern has led to fears that people will travel less frequently around the world.

"I think airlines are down for reasons beyond just Ebola, but people may remember that SARS was quite negative for air travel," Neal Dihora, Morningstar senior equity analyst, told ABC News.

Oct 03 06:35

BEX ALERT - US jobless rate falls to 6-year low of 5.9 pct.

U.S. employers added 248,000 jobs in September, a burst of hiring that helped drive down the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent, the lowest since July 2008.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And JUST in time to help the Democrats in the mid-term elections next month!

This claim of 5.9 unemployment is about as real as Saddam's nuclear weapons. Looking at the labor participation rates at the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, we find that the labor participation rate for September 2014 is actually 62.7%. That is the percentage of Americans willing and able to work who actually have a job. That means the real unemployment rate, Americans willing and able to work but who don't have a job, is actually at 37.3%, and even this number is suspect due to various manipulations under the rubric of "seasonal adjustments". The Bureau of Labor Statistics counts a part time job as a job, and one person working three part-time jobs as three jobs for the purposes of this calculation. Looking at the charts, it is clear that the labor participation rate has been in a decline all summer long.

Oct 02 13:04

No Obamacare Bailouts for Insurers Without Congressional Approval, Says GAO

y forcing Americans to buy their products, President Obama's signature Affordable Care Act is widely seen as a winning proposition for health insurance companies. Conscripted customers! What more could a well-connected business want? But the law's complex rules require insurers to cover the costs imposed by older and ailing customers with the payments from young and healthy customers. Potentially, a company could end up with a disproportionate ratio of sick customers drawn by the promise of subsidized coverage—drowning the seemingly winning proposition in red ink. If that happens, says the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the administration can't bail out insurers without permission from Congress.

Oct 02 12:28

Toxic finance: Reckless payday lender Wonga wipes mountain of debt

Thousands of customers who took loans with controversial pay day lender Wonga are to have their debts written off, in an action expected to cost the ‘legal loan shark’ more than 200 million pounds.

The company will wipe the debts of 330,000 customers who are trapped in arrears of 30 days or more, while a further 45,000 customers will get to repay their loans exempt from interest.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If Wonga can do it, so can the FED!

Oct 02 12:20

Send them to Plum Island with Hannibal Lecter.

There will be no peace. There will be no harmony of social equilibrium. There will be plenty more conflict, an increase in plagues like Ebola and continuously intensifying Stasi type police composed of moronic thugs and this last you will have UNTIL you strip the 1% of their money and influence and the central bankers are rendered obsolete.

Oct 02 09:54

Federal Judge: Stockton pensions can be cut in California bankruptcy

Public-employee pensions are not protected when a city goes belly-up, according to a ruling Wednesday by the judge overseeing Stockton’s much-watched federal bankruptcy case. Judge Christopher Klein’s few words have re-energized the state’s disheartened pension-reform movement – and left the nation’s most-powerful pension fund reeling.

One can’t go a day in Sacramento without hearing about a “historic” piece of legislation or a “groundbreaking” decision, but the Stockton case – held in a downtown Sacramento courthouse – could change everything on the pension front. Klein said in the verbal ruling that pensions are just another contract: “Impairing contractual obligations – that’s what bankruptcy is all about.”

Oct 02 08:52

Russia, Iran to boycott US dollar in bilateral trade

Russia and Iran have agreed to use their own national currencies in bilateral trade transactions rather than the U.S. dollar.

Iran’s IRNA news agency reported that the plans were announced in a meeting on Tuesday in Tehran by Iranian business magnate and head of the Iran-Russia Joint Chamber of Commerce, Asadollah Asgaroladi.

An original agreement to trade in rials and rubles was made earlier this month in a meeting between Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh.

Similarly, Russia and China also agreed to trade with each other using the ruble and yuan in early September, following a Russian deal with North Korea in June to trade in rubles.

The move away from the U.S. dollar is yet another reaction to Western sanctions placed on Russia since it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in March.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

For the zillionth time: Russia did not "annex" Crimea; after the duly elected Ukrainian government was overthrown in a coup, Crimea voted, in what was generally described as a free and fair election, to join the Russia Federation.

Annexation of Crimea never, ever happened, and that is the truth.

Whoever wrote that last paragraph should have someone manifest in their dreams, and sing badly to them...for the rest of their miserable life!!

But this is making Western sanctions harder on those who imposed them, rather than on the countries upon which they were imposed.

And neither Iran nor Russia will be hurting from this move.

Oct 01 14:54

Century of Enslavement: The History of The Federal Reserve

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a full-length feature film documentary. Bookmark and save for when you have an hour and a half to watch it!

Oct 01 14:16

FLASHBACK - James Traficant - Americans are Prisoners of the Fed

American Patriot, Congressman James Traficant, left, died Saturday at age 73. He represented Youngstown Ohio from 1985-2002 - re-elected eight times. He was framed for "corruption" in 2002, expelled from Congress and spent seven years in prison.

In a 1993 speech (below), he explained that Americans had lost their freedom because their personal property and wealth are pledged against the national debt. No doubt, this is the rationale behind the emergence of the US Police State. The international bankers are ensuring they can collect. Terrorism is just a pretext. Just two months ago, Traficant began a grassroots campaign "Project Freedom USA" to put people pressure on Congress to get rid of the IRS and "divorce" the Federal Reserve.

Oct 01 13:02

Goldman Global Leading Indicator Drastically Revised, Collapses Into "Confirmed Slowdown"

Just 2 short weeks ago, Goldman nervously admitted that possibly perhaps maybe their Global Leading Indicator was indicating a "slowdown" was coming, but remained hopeful that the rest of the month would see data pick up and prove them wrong. Now that the final data has been released for the various components of the index, the 'exuberant' recovery of the last few months has been massively revised lower. As Goldman itself notes, the September Final GLI came in at 2.6% YoY, providing a clear signal of "Slowdown", with the data now in hand further suggesting that the GLI first may have entered the ‘Slowdown’ phase back in July.

Oct 01 13:01

Russia’s second biggest lender reduces dollar loans

Russia’s second biggest bank VTB has reduced its US dollar lending, Andrey Kostin the bank’s head said on the sidelines of the Russia Calling! forum on Wednesday.

Oct 01 11:34

Specter of Russian Capital Controls Puts Market on Edge

Holders of Russia’s ruble-denominated bonds, stung by the worst losses in emerging markets in the third quarter, are weighing the consequences of possible capital controls as the currency sinks.

“It would be very negative for your investments in the local currency,” Peter Schottmueller, who helps manage $17 billion as head of emerging-market fixed income at Deka Investment GmbH in Frankfurt, said by e-mail yesterday. Foreign ownership of ruble bonds has dropped and any curbs on capital flows would further “increase the investment risk,” he said.

Russia removed its last restrictions eight years ago after imposing them in 1998, when the ruble’s drop led to a default on sovereign local-currency debt. Implementing the curbs again risks further damaging President Vladimir Putin’s ambition of turning Moscow into a financial hub at a time when escalating U.S. and European Union sanctions over the Ukraine crisis are already limiting access to global capital markets.

Oct 01 10:30

Most Prestigious Financial Agencies Say Global Economy Is In Real Trouble

Bad Government Policy Has Made It Likely We’ll Have a New Financial Crisis

Oct 01 07:13

The FED (Federal Reserve Bank) is a Commercial Privately Owned Bank

Let's start with a quote from U. S. Congress Representative Louis T. McFadden, Chairman of the Committee on Banking and Currency for 12 years, quoted from the Congressional Record:

"The Federal Reserve Board has cheated the Government of the United States and the people of the United States out of enough money to pay the national debt, Our people's money, to the extend of $1,200,000,000 has within the last few months been shipped abroad to redeem Federal Reserve Notes and to pay other gambling debts of the traitorous Federal Reserve Board and the Federal Reserve Banks ... "

Below is the list of the owners of the 12 Central Banks:
- Rothschild Bank of London
- Rothschild Bank of Berlin
- Lazard Brothers of Paris
- Israel Moses Seif Banks of Italy
- Warburg Bank of Amsterdam
- Warburg Bank of Hamburg
- Lehman Brothers of New York
- Kuhn Loeb Bank of New York
- Goldman, Sachs of New York
- Chase Manhattan Bank of New York

Oct 01 07:07

60 Percent of Voters Want Obamacare to Be Repealed

A new poll finds that three-fifths of likely voters support the repeal of Obamacare. A large plurality — 44 percent — wants to see Obamacare repealed and replaced with a conservative alternative. A much smaller group —16 percent — wants to see it repealed but not replaced. Less than one in three respondents — 32 percent — would like to keep Obamacare, whether in its current form or in amended form. So, with a conservative alternative in play, 60 percent of Americans support repeal, while only 32 percent oppose it.

Sep 30 12:55

THE WRH BANKER ARTICLES: ALL IN ONE CHUNK

I have received many emails regarding the various articles I have written about the problems with the current economic system of being forced to borrow all currency at interest from a privately-owned central bank. This is, of course, the very system of banking the United States fought a revolution to be free of, only to be sold back into said banker slavery not just once, but three times by corrupted congresses and corrupted presidents.

I have been asked to collect all those articles into a single page to make it easier for people to send to their friends, and this collection is the result.

Optional Banner: 
WRH Exclusive
Sep 30 12:15

Joe Biden and the Ghost of Shylock

Napoleon once famously remarked that “in politics, stupidity is not a handicap.” In few cases does this seem more apt than in that of Vice-President Joe Biden, perennial lapdog to the ADL’s Abraham Foxman. Biden has recently added to last year’s faux pas by recently committing the egregious sin of using the word “Shylocks” to describe mortgage lenders. The slip came in a speech to the Legal Services Corporation, which provides lawyers to Americans who could not afford them otherwise. In his remarks, the Vice-President described the experience of his son, Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden, who was deployed for one year in Iraq:

People would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being — I mean, these Shylocks who took advantage of these women and men while overseas.

Sep 30 10:34

Russia could ditch US dollar in 2-3 years – head of Russia's #2 bank

Two to three years would be enough time for Russia to switch to international settlements to the ruble, Andrey Kostin, head of Russia’s second-biggest bank VTB, said.

“Two to three years is enough, not only to launch [settlements in rubles], but also to complete these mechanisms. But much will depend on how banks will cope with the task,” Kostin said in an interview with Izvestia newspaper.

Kostin first put forward the idea of switching to national currencies in international settlements about a decade ago, which means a move to the ruble shouldn’t be considered a counter-sanction measure.

"I did not find understanding in this matter with the previous leadership of the Central Bank [10 years ago ] They believed that since the [US] dollar works, we shouldn’t do anything, and settlements in rubles will just bring additional risks. Under the new leadership the position of the Central Bank changed. I think that soon we will achieve a major breakthrough,” Kostin said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With the ever growing frailty of the US economy (except for the already super-rich), I frankly doubt that it will take quite as much time for this to happen as Mr. Kostin postulates.

Sep 30 10:29

Strip private banks of their power to create money - Martin Wolf (Financial Times)

“Printing counterfeit banknotes is illegal, but creating private money is not. The interdependence between the state and the businesses that can do this is the source of much of the instability of our economies. It could – and should – be terminated.”

Sep 30 10:20

Raising minimum wage reduces poverty while increasing GDP in Brazil

The Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) released a research paper today that looks at social and economic indicators, as well as policy changes that have occurred since 2003 in Brazil.

“The lives of tens of millions of Brazilians have been transformed by the economic and social policy changes of the past decade,” said CEPR Co-Director Mark Weisbrot, lead author of the paper. “A sharp increase in economic growth, combined with increased social spending, large increases in the real minimum wage, and increased bargaining power for labor allowed for greatly reduced poverty and unemployment, as well as declining inequality.”

“These changes appear to be durable, having mostly withstood the world recession and the slowdown in worldwide economic and trade growth of the past few years.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"No, no, no, no, NO! WE are supposed to have all the money! We are doing God's work! You wanna go up against GOD! Huh? HUH??" -- Gold in my Sacks

Sep 30 10:04

Did The Winter War Just Begin? Russian Gas Supplies To Europe Plunge 15%, Ukraine Transit Slashed 54%

Just a week ago, the Russian energy minister made the first public 'threat' of gas supply "throttling" disruptions to Europe but judging by the data that has just been released, it appears the 'throttling' has begun. Bloomberg reports that Russian gas supplies to Europe fell 15% year-over-year in Q3 - the most in over two years - as natural gas transit through Ukraine plunged 54% year-over-year. In 2013, Gazprom sent 60% of its supply via Ukraine pipelines, in August that dropped to 39%, and in September only 34%. Of course, Europe remains confident its storage efforts will buffer any "Winter War" disruptions, as we noted here, but as Citi warned previously, "if colder weather arrives, storage levels will be drained," and then there is the Spring (and German industry needs).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The corporate media is spinning this as an evil plot on the part of the Russians, but fails to mention that Kiev has not fully paid for the gas they get from Russia since the Junta and is arrears in the bill. Russia has every right to shut off the valves just as your gas company will do if you do not pay the bill.

Sep 30 09:49

“Very pleased we have entered into relations again with American Government” -Rothschilds, 1878

In 1878, the Rothschilds were back in business with the US government (after having been chased out of DC by Andrew Jackson in the 1830’s), as detailed by this cable discussing the Rothschild refinancing of American debt:

Messrs. Rothschild & Sons to Mr. Sherman.
[Cable message.]

April 12,1878.
Hon. John Sherman,
Secretary of the Treasury, Washington D. C.:

Very pleased we have entered into relations again with American Government. Shall do our best to make the business successful.

ROTHSCHILDS.

We’ve now established that the Rothschilds “entered into relations” with the US government in 1878.

Sep 30 09:46

Worker Groups 'Alarmed' White House May Delay New Minimum Wage, Overtime Rule

It was once part of President Barack Obama's "We Can't Wait" economic agenda. But now the wait might be getting even longer.

The Labor Department is considering delaying a long-awaited rule that would extend new workplace protections to home care workers -- a possibility that has advocates for low-wage workers steamed.

In a letter addressed to Labor Secretary Tom Perez on Monday, more than 40 labor and advocacy groups said that they were "alarmed" by suggestions that officials might delay the new regulations and put a "historic workplace victory in jeopardy."

"The basic rights of two million home care workers -- predominantly women and disproportionately women of color -- once again hang in the balance, as the administration appears at risk of faltering in the face of opposition," they wrote.

The letter included signatures from the AFL-CIO labor federation, American Psychological Association and the National Employment Law Project, among others.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A memo to the members of these groups: did you ever, for one millisecond, believe that this man, the ever-faithful servant of the banks and large corporations, represented YOU?!?

IF so, I would imagine that the absence of movement on this cause is a very rude awakening.

Obama's faux populism is simply that; an act, nothing more, nothing left. I am sorry that hurts right now, but it is the cold, hard reality.

By the time a national candidate is carefully vetted by the major corporations in this country, which expect those candidates to do their will, they no longer represent the people of this country at all.

Sep 30 09:31

US AFRICOM to establish its own Air Command

Come the start of October US Air Forces Africa will be activated and given the designation of the 17th Air Force.

This announcement was made at Ramstein Air Base in Germany by General William Ward, Commander of US Africa Command (Africom).

Welcoming the US Air Forces Africa to Africom he said it was a major undertaking involving hard work to establish a new air force service component command from the ground up.

The airborne component of Africom, Ward said, will have the same mission. That is to In concert with other US Government agencies and international partners, conduct sustained security engagement through military to military programmes, military sponsored activities and other military operations as directed to promote a stable and more secure African environment in support of US foreign policy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is simply about determining who gets Africa's vast natural resources, and assuring that those resources will only be sold in US dollars.

Sep 30 09:28

In the shadow of Iran a new UAE oil port is transforming energy sector

In response to Iran’s strategic grip over oil passing through the Strait of Hormuz, a new export route for crude from the Persian Gulf is growing on the coast of the Arabian Sea, with the potential to transform global energy markets.

Giant tankers now queue in lines stretching for miles to load oil or refuel at Fujairah – a sleepy sheikhdom in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – after the government invested billions of dollars into building a giant oil pipeline across the rugged Hajar mountains, with the aim of ending the potential stranglehold that Iran could place on the nation’s exports of crude.

The 21-mile-wide Hormuz channel handles a third of the world’s oil-tanker traffic and connects the Persian Gulf’s sheikhdoms to the Arabian Sea. Fears that Tehran could choke off exports shipped through it have been a concern weighing on oil markets for decades.

Sep 30 09:02

One-Fifth of U.S. Workers Were Laid Off in Past Five Years

One in five U.S. workers was laid off in the past five years and about 22% of those who lost their jobs still haven’t found another one, according to a new survey that showed the extent Americans have struggled in the sluggish labor market since the Great Recession ended.

Those who did find work had a difficult time with their job search and the effects of unemployment, the survey by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University found.

Nearly 40% said it took more than seven months to find employment and about one in five of laid-off workers said all they could find was a temporary position.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is no "recovery" economically, except for the one percenters.

Sep 30 08:59

Average Americans Grow Poorer as U.S. Per Capita Wealth Reaches New High

A study by economists at the University of Michigan for the Russell Sage Foundation showed that, in 2013, the median American household saw its total assets fall by 36% from 2003. Over the same time period, the total wealth in the United States grew by over 80%.

With total wealth growing and median wealth declining, the average American’s nest egg is getting smaller and smaller despite greater wealth per person in the country. A Credit Suisse study from earlier this year showed that an American’s median net worth was just $45,000. In other words, the typical American has total assets that are just 15% of the actual per capita wealth in the United States.

At the same time, the average millionaire in the United States has $50 million in total assets.
Debt, Wealth Per Capita

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This situation is totally unsustainable, economically.

Sep 30 08:38

House prices see widespread slowdown in July

Here’s one sign that the cooling off for housing appreciation has become widespread: The hot San Francisco housing market actually saw home prices drop in July, marking the city’s weakest result since early 2012, according to data released Tuesday morning.

Sep 30 08:31

Federal Judge Rules Detroit Residents Have No “Fundamental Right” to Water

Rhodes dismissed a lawsuit filed by victims of the water shutoffs, which argued that the city’s policy was doing irreparable harm to residents and threatened to create a public health disaster. The residents argued that the city’s policy violated the 14th Amendment’s prohibition against a state “depriving any person of life, liberty, or property without due process of law” and the principle of “equal protection” under the law, since service to major corporations, which failed to pay, had not been discontinued.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Sep 30 08:29

Ebola-stricken Liberia is descending into economic hell

Liberia, the West African nation hardest it by Ebola, has begun a frightening descent into economic hell.

That’s the import of three recent reports from international organizations that seem to bear out the worst-case scenarios of months ago: that people would abandon the fields and factories, that food and fuel would become scarce and unaffordable, and that the government’s already meager capacity to help, along with the nation’s prospects for a better future, would be severely compromised.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Agenda 21? NSS memorandum 200? Just bad luck?

Sep 29 12:38

AT&T’s congestion magically disappears when it’s signing up new customers

AT&T yesterday began offering “double the data for the same price” to new customers and existing customers who sign new contracts, apparently forgetting that its network is so congested that speeds must be throttled when people use too much data.

Like other carriers, AT&T slows the speeds of certain users when the network is congested. Such network management is a necessary evil that can benefit the majority of customers when used to ensure that everyone can connect to the network. But as Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler has argued, the carriers’ selective enforcement of throttling shows that it can also be used to boost revenue by pushing subscribers onto pricier plans.

Sep 29 11:04

A (yacht)

M/Y "A" is a luxury motor yacht designed by Philippe Starck and Martin Francis,[6][7][8] and constructed by Blohm + Voss at the HDW shipyard in Kiel, Germany.[5][9] It was commissioned in November 2004, and delivered in 2008 at a rumoured cost of US$300 million.[10][11] With a length of 119 metres (390 ft) and displacing almost 6,000 tonnes, it is one of the largest motor yachts in the world.[9][12]

Named for the first initial of its owners, Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko, its provocative styling has polarized opinions since its launch.[13] It has evoked comparisons with submarines and stealth warships, while commentators have referred to it as the "most loved and loathed ship on the sea".[14][15]

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This yacht was here in Hawaii not too long ago. A reminder of how ostentatious the money-junkies love to be! A friend on Kauai said they were glad to see it leave following the owners' acting like they could go anywhere and do whatever they wanted on shore without regard for local laws.

Sep 29 09:40

The Plunge Protection Team Is Opening An HFT-Focused Chicago Office

For several days we had heard a persistent rumor, that one of the most famous members of the New York Fed's Markets Group, also known as the Plunge Protection Team, Kevin Henry was moving to the HFT capital of the world, Chicago. We refused to believe it because, let's face it, when the trading desk on the 9th floor of Liberty 33 needs to get its hands dirty in stocks, it simply delegates said task using just a little more than arms length negotiation, with the world's most levered HFT hedge fund: Ken Griffin's Citadel. Why change the status quo.

And then, it turned out to be true...

Sep 29 09:33

Mississippi Sued Over 'Hellish' Conditions in For-Profit Prison

At the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, sometimes incarcerated people are forced to resort to starting fires to get attention from negligent staff. (Photo: ACLU)

Denial of food and medical care. Cells and floors soiled with blood, urine, and feces. Excessive force by prison guards. Weeks, months, and years in solitary confinement.

These are the conditions found at a "special needs" for-profit prison, the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, which is tasked by the state's department of corrections with incarcerating 1,200 people, approximately 1,000 of whom have severe psychiatric disorders, according to a legal motion filed Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

THIS is what happens when you allow criminals to be incarcerated in for-profit prisons.

Of course, these contracts were well and truly purchased by these corporations, most probably in the form of bribes to the officials of the Mississippi Department of corrections.

This country has not been able, collectively, to make up its mind as to whether to punish or rehabilitate, so it winds up punishing, which nearly guarantees higher rates of recidivism.

Sweden is emptying its prisons, because of its commitment to rehabilitation; the US's prison population keeps growing. What is wrong with this picture?!? BLOODY EVERYTHING!!

Sep 29 08:58

KRUGMAN: Mario Draghi Probably Can't Save Europe On His Own

In an interview, Paul Krugman explains why Mario Draghi — despite his recent stimulus measures — probably can't save Europe's economy on his own.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Europe's economy (nor the US) cannot and will not be saved until people are ready to confront the fact that private central banks, which by design create more debt than money to pay that debt, are the cause of the problem.

Sep 29 08:08

Bank CEOs are the New Drug Lords

Bank CEOs are the New Drug Lords. Here is a list of some of the banks managed by Bank CEOs, aka the new Drug Lords, that were fined billions of dollars for fixing LIBOR rates and stealing money from clients: Lloyds Bank, RP Martin, Barclays, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, Société Générale, JP Morgan, Citigroup, Barclays, United Bank of Switzerland and Rabobank. Here is a list of some of the banks in which the Bank Lords fixed FX rates and are currently negotiating fine amounts with the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA): Citigroup, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, JP Morgan and United Bank of Switzerland. HSBC had to pay nearly $2B in fines after its Bank CEO was allegedly caught overseeing the laundering of $7B in drug money for the notoriously violent and ruthless Sinaloa drug cartel and committing a wide array of other crimes like laundering $290MM from Russian mobsters that told HSBC bankers that their vast profits came from a “used car business”.

Sep 29 07:36

The US Has No Banking Regulation, And It Doesn’t Want Any

It is, let’s say, exceedingly peculiar to begin with that a government – in this case the American one, but that’s just one example -, in name of its people tasks a private institution with regulating not just any sector of its economy, but the richest and most politically powerful sector in the nation. Which also happens to be at least one of the major forces behind its latest, and ongoing, economical crisis.

That there is a very transparent, plain for everyone to see, over-sized revolving door between the regulator and the corporations in the sector only makes the government’s choice for the Fed as regulator even more peculiar. Or, as it turns out, more logical. But it is still preposterous: regulating the financial sector is a mere illusion kept alive through lip service. Put differently: the American government doesn’t regulate the banks. They effectively regulate themselves. Which inevitably means there is no regulation.

Sep 29 07:17

Vaclav Klaus: the West’s lies about Russia are monstrous

Whatever we decide to call the current system, he adds, it clearly isn’t working for Europe. ‘I am really shocked to see leading EU and European politicians pretending that everything is OK, which is ridiculous and funny,’ Klaus says. ‘I recently read an article by a well-known German economist, Professor Sinn, who has studied the situation in Italy. He presented statistical data which showed that GDP in Italy has declined by 9 per cent since 2000. It’s unimaginable! I don’t think communist Czechoslovakia would have survived such a long-term decline. At the same time, industrial output declined in the same period by 25 per cent! One quarter of the economy simply disappeared.’

Sep 29 06:45

Penalty for Opting Out of the Affordable Care Act Is Large ($12,240) and Growing

If you're opting out of the health-care coverage required by the Affordable Care Act, make sure you understand how much you'll owe Uncle Sam as a result.

For a family of five, the penalty could be as high as $12,240 for the 2014 tax year, experts say. And for many people, the penalty will rise sharply in 2015 and 2016.

Sep 28 07:45

Couple says eviction notice served at wrong property

Even on the eviction notice the address was listed as the house next door.

"I just can't imagine sending someone out and not identifying with specificity what you’re supposed to take custody of and what is none of your business," said Arthur Weatherly.

The Weatherlys said they also noticed that someone also had taken some of their valuables inside, including heirloom silverware.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Shaddap, already. Sooner or later we're going to own it all, anyway. What difference does it make just when it happens!" -- Gold in my Sacks

Sep 28 07:25

You Won’t Believe How Much Money Michelle Obama’s Ridiculous School Lunch Program Wastes On A Daily Basis

According to a WCPO report, Michelle Obama’s new school program is costing American taxpayers $4 million. And that’s not over the course of an entire year. That is how much it is costing American taxpayers on a daily basis. That’s right; $4 million each day.

A whopping 81 percent of schools have seen an increase in the number of lunches that now end up in the trash. The report also “shows that 60 percent of fresh vegetables and 40 percent of fresh fruit are being thrown away.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Would you be comfortable with your doctor's spouse operating on you? How about riding in a passenger jet where the controls were in the hands of the pilot's significant other?

Being the first lady does not mean Michelle is competent at anything (other than her ability to seduce and marry Obama). And just as you do not allow a doctor's spouse or a pilot's fiancee to take over their duties, nor should the first lady be accorded any authority over our lives merely because of who she married.

Sep 27 20:41

"Hope Is Not Good Policy" - Saxo Bank Warns The Entire World Is Headed For A Minsky Moment

‘Interest on debt grows without rain’ – Yiddish proverb

This proverb explains most of what goes on in policy circles these days. We are now watching Extend-and-Pretend, Episode VI: Promises for improvement amid ever growing debt levels.

In brief, we’re still working with the same dog-eared script we were introduced to all of five years ago, when markets had stabilised in the wake of the financial crisis: maintain sufficiently low interest rates to service the debt burden.

Sep 27 20:40

Iceland: Bankers convicted, unemployment down

Remember Iceland? During the high-flying early 2000s, its three main banks went berserk, paying high interest rates to international investors that accumulated deposits equal to more than 100% of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) and making loans equal to 980% of GDP. When the collapse came, Iceland took a route not taken by Ireland, Spain, and other EU countries: Rather than bail out the banks, the government simply let them go bankrupt. The value of the krona fell by about half, the country was embroiled in disputes with the Netherlands and the United Kingdom over paying off Dutch and British depositors, and it had to take an International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan just to stay afloat.

Sep 27 09:16

Primed for work but out of a job: 1 out of 4 Americans 25-54 not working and the continued expansion of those not in the labor force.

For most Americans, the best indicator of a healthy economy is having a job. With many Americans entering older age, the number of those not in the labor force is booming. It doesn’t appear to be on the radar of people that the reason the unemployment numbers look the way they do is because a massive number of Americans simply are not counted in the labor force. This ability to ignore a large portion of your population allows the numbers to appear better than they are. But this is for the entire US population. If we look at those 25-54 we find that 1 out of 4 is without a job. This is the prime working years for many Americans. The Great Recession has been a challenge for many working families. The lack of good paying work, weaker benefits, and inflation has dug deep into the pockets of many Americans. When 1 out of 4 Americans in their prime working years is out of work, something else has to give.

Sep 27 08:01

The Secret Goldman Sachs Tapes

The reporter, Jake Bernstein, has obtained 46 hours of tape recordings, made secretly by a Federal Reserve employee, of conversations within the Fed, and between the Fed and Goldman Sachs. The Ray Rice video for the financial sector has arrived.

Sep 26 12:47

6 Restaurants Struggling With High Food Prices

We’re taking a look at six chains that are all facing a different set of challenges, yet all are having problems dealing with the rise in the cost of food. Some are able to pass the increases off to their customers, while others are not. Strategies for getting these companies back on track vary wildly, but the fact remains that they will all need to figure out a way to adapt going forward. Here are six restaurant chains struggling mightily with rising food prices.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Being customers of some of these chains I have observed that one way they are dealing with the rising cost of food is smaller portions, an excess of cheap garnishments, and a LOT of low-cost fillers! In some cases I can almost taste the sawdust!

Sep 26 11:56

Apple shares lose £12bn as iPhone 6 is hit by new fault: Stock loses all gains it had made since launch of device last week

More than £12billion was wiped off the value of Apple yesterday after its latest iPhone was rendered unusable by a software update.

The 3.5 per cent drop in the share price meant the company’s stock lost all gains it had made since launching the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus last week.

Users of the brand new devices were cut off from telephone signal and data networks, meaning they could not make or receive calls and text messages or go on the internet away from wifi signal.

The update for the iOS 8.0.1 operating system also killed off the Touch ID function, a much-trumpeted feature that allows users to log on to their phone using their fingerprint.

Sep 26 11:27

Public Pension Funds Face $2 Trillion Shortfall, Moodys Warns

"Despite the robust investment returns since 2004, annual growth in unfunded pension liabilities has outstripped these returns," Moody's warns in its latest report on the state of public pension systems. As Bloomberg reports, the 25 biggest systems by assets averaged a 7.45% return from 2004 to 2013, but liabilities tripled over the same period leaving them facing a $2 trillion shortfall as investment returns can’t keep up with ballooning obligations. The top 25 funds account for 40% of the entire US public pension system with Illinois, Kentucky, Connecticut, and Louisiana at the top of the 'most underfunded' list.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The reasons the pensions are underfunded is because ion 2008, Wall Street's pet ratings agencies rated the mortgage-backed securities as Triple-A, which made it legal for pension funds to invest in them. Of course, the mortgage-backed securities turned out to be a gigantic fraud (for which no Wall Street executives were ever arrested) and that is why pensions are in trouble, only nobody has the courage to point the finger of blame where it belongs!

Sep 26 11:25

1 in 4 Americans 25-54 Not Working

A new chart from the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee shows a startling fact: Almost 1 in 4 Americans between the ages of 25-54 (or prime working years) are not working.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"And simply by waving my magic statistical wand, PRESTO CHANGE-O, the unemployment rate magically shrinks to only 6%!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Sep 26 09:59

Imagine banks that support prosperity for everyone - not just the rich.

The Public Banking Institute is an education, research, and action organization dedicated to fostering a new economy based on a network of publicly-owned banks that operate in the public interest. This is not a new or radical idea - there are abundant successful examples of public banking around the world - but currently only one in the US, where Wall Street has tried to erase the idea from our collective memories for over a century.

Sep 26 09:56

Tapes showing meek oversight of Goldman are about to rock Wall Street

Wall Street is about to be rocked by secretly recorded audio tapes that purport to show a too-cozy relationship between the New York Federal Reserve Bank and the financial institutions it is supposed to regulate.

The 45 hours of tapes, made by Carmen Segarra, a former NY Fed worker, capture former co-workers, whose job was to keep banks like Goldman Sachs in line, instead deferring to the banks, being unwilling to take action and being extremely passive, according to NPR’s “This American Life,” which obtained the tapes and is scheduled to air a program about the matter Friday night.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A privately-owned central bank was given the task of regulating Wall Street, who are their best customers? Oh yes, that makes sense!

Sep 26 09:26

Russia’s Gold Reserves Continue To SOAR

Latest official gold reserve data from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) shows that Russia again added to its gold reserves in August, with the Central bank of the Russian Federation purchasing 232,510 ozs (7.23 tonnes) and bringing its total gold reserves to 35.769 million ozs or 1,112.5 tonnes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The more Russia (or anyone else) buys gold, the harder it is for the Federal Reserve to replace the gold they "borrowed" from other parties!

Sep 26 09:20

Currency Wars ! Russia, Kazakhstan Buy Very Large 30 Tons Of Gold In August

Russia and ex Soviet States Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Azerbaijan continued to accumulate significant gold reserves in August in a trend that we highlighted last month.

Sep 26 09:19

Standard & Poor’s Warns on Germany as Anti-Euro Political Party Soars in Popularity

German parliamentary elections are coming up on Sept. 22, and Chancellor Angela Merkel has a problem on her hands. A euro-skeptical political party known as AfD is rising in the polls and could deny her Christian Democratic Union and its coalition partners the majority they need to continue governing.

AfD, or Alternative for Germany, currently holds no seats in the Bundestag, and until recently it barely registered in public-opinion polls. But a survey released on Sept. 4 by the Forsa polling group showed it with 4 per cent support—just shy of the 5 per cent needed to win Bundestag representation.Peter Matuschek, Forsa’s chief political analyst, says the poll may have underestimated the party’s strength. Many supporters, he told Spiegel, “are too embarrassed to admit that they are planning to vote for the AfD,” which wants Greece, Spain, and other crisis-hit countries to leave the euro zone, and possibly break up the existing monetary union itself.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No problem. I'll bet the bastards who rigged Scotland's referendum to keep it slaved to the Bank of England are already headed to Berlin to repeat the favor for the ECB!

Sep 26 08:34

JIM ROGERS WARNS: PREPARE , WE ARE ON THE BRINK OF A VERY SERIOUS COLLAPSE THAT WILL END WITH CURRENCY TURMOIL, FOOD SHORTAGES, PANIC, SOCIAL UNREST AND A TOTAL SHAKEDOWN OF AVERAGE CITIZENS.

It’s pretty scary what’s going on in Europe…when they start taking money out of people’s bank accounts. I, for one, am making sure I don’t have too much money in any single bank account anywhere in the world.
Now there is a precedent…The IMF has said loot the bank accounts. The EU has said loot the bank accounts.
So you can be sure that other countries, when the problems come, are going to say… let’s do it too.

Sep 26 08:25

Survey: Three Out Of Four Americans Feel Like Recession Continues

Americans have a bleak view of the economy and their own financial situations, according to a new study from the Public Religion Research Institute.

While the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009, only 21 percent of Americans believe it's really over, while 72 percent believe it continues.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Let's check that!

Sep 26 05:58

Terrorism Financed by HSBC and JP Morgan - Everett Stern-Blows Whistle

Sep 26 05:47

Max Igan regarding the worldwide debt slavery and Israel

Sep 25 13:04

What Does a Porn Star Have to Do With Your Bank Account?

In the last few months, US banks have closed down tens of thousands of accounts of “politically incorrect” customers. They include gun sellers, coin dealers, fireworks suppliers, dating services, US citizens living abroad, Muslim students, money services businesses, diplomats from third-world countries, and, yes, porn stars like Teagan Presley.

Sep 25 12:47

Lifestyles of the money-junkies - The World’s Most Expensive Watches: 8 Timepieces Over $1 Million

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A lot of people really do not see the wealth gap between the money-junkies and ... us. As I mentioned in the article about the HYT H1 Hydro-Mechanical Watch, I have a resonance with the art of fine watch making. But the $45,000 price tag for the HYT seemed a bit impractical to me, especially since my CASIO has far more functionality for only $100. But the watches in this article, topping out at $2.5 million for a wrist decoration, make anyone wearing the $45,000 HYT look like a pauper!

Sep 25 12:37

Wall Street Journal thinks $400,000 a year is just barely getting by

Webmaster's Commentary: 

But the people demanding an increase in the minimum wage are to blame for the failing economy!

Sep 25 11:43

Homeland Security Headquarters Building Is $1.5 Billion Over Budget

A massive construction project to house the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) headquarters in Washington is running over $1.5 billion over budget and 11 years behind schedule, all because of faulty government cost estimate practices.

Sep 25 11:41

Obamacare Website Costs Top $2 Billion, Almost Triple Government Estimates

What's the opposite of government efficiency? In a double-take-instigating headline, the federal government’s Obamacare enrollment system has cost about $2.1 billion so far, according to a Bloomberg Government analysis of contracts related to the project. BGOV’s analysis shows that costs for both healthcare.gov and the broader reform effort are far greater than anything publicly discussed. However, that pales into insignificance when considering health reform has cost American taxpayers $73 billion in the last four years... and counting.

Sep 25 11:39

Major Sell Program Trips 50-DMA, Sends Stocks Sliding

A "huge" institutional sell order, covering almost 200 individual stocks, is rumored to have been responsible for getting this morning's weakness across stocks going as equity indices catch down to bonds and credit. The S&P 500 broke key support at its 50-day moving-average (for first time in 2 months) and is back at 6 week lows. The Russell 2000 is now down 4.25% from the FOMC meeting last week...

Sep 25 11:38

No More Foreplay: Russia Threatens European Gas Supply Disruptions

It appears Vladimir Putin is willing to hit'em while they're down. Early European equity weakness (and safe-haven flows) on asset-freeze threats have accelerated as Bloomberg reports, Russian energy minister Alexander Novak threatens gas supply disruptions if the EU continues to re-export Russian gas to Ukraine.

Sep 25 11:14

The Campaign Against ISIL Could Cost $1.5B a Month

On September 22, the air campaign against ISIS expanded into Syria in a coordinated attack that included 47 Tomahawk missiles and nearly 50 coalition aircraft. This action had been all but inevitable since the commencement of overflight reconnaissance in Syria on August 26. Significantly, these strikes also included targets of the Khorasan Group, an al-Qaeda affiliate unrelated to ISIS. Also significantly, five Arab militaries—Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Qatar—participated in the operation. At this stage, there are three important questions to address: the targeting of the strikes, the implications of this action, and potential challenges that might await the operation moving forward.

Sep 25 09:49

AIG shareholders sue government claiming their $182 bn bailout wasn’t favorable enough

Maurice Greenberg, former head of the American International Group (AIG), recruited prominent Wall Street players to contribute several million dollars to a lawsuit that alleges the US government bailout of AIG in 2008 was unfair to company shareholders.

Sep 25 09:49

US losing 200 million dollar every week on isis bombing.

$22-30.000 per hour fly.
$20.000 per rocket dropped
Successful flight and dropped missiles cost between $84.000 and 142.000
$ 500 billion plan on isis said that 500 billion devided to the members of isis is $30 million each.

Sep 25 08:40

Where Is Venezuela’s 366 Tonnes Of Gold?

Is any of the country’s gold encumbered, loaned or leased to Goldman Sachs or other banks?

* Bank of America economist on visit to Venezuelan central bank last week was allowed to view the bank’s gold vault and the gold repatriated by Former President Hugo Chavez

* Is there a possibility of this given the Venezuelan economy’s weak position?

* An arbitration court of the World Bank ruled that Venezuela needs to immediately repay $740 million to US mining company ‘Gold Reserve’.

* Repayment is connected to Venezuela having terminated Gold Reserve’s gold and copper mining project in 2009 as part of Chavez’s nationalisation of energy and mining projects

* This ruling could set a precedent for other companies to seek compensation from Venezuelan government during a time in which Venezuelan economy is weak and heavily indebted

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"THAT'LL teach Venezuela to take their gold back from us!" -- Gold in my Sacks

Sep 25 07:50

Stocks drop amid global worries; Dow falls 200 points

U.S. stocks declined on Thursday, a day after the S&P 500 jumped the most in more than a month, as Wall Street weighed reports that Russia was considering a measure that would allow its courts to seize foreign assets.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Yeah, yeah. Sure, sure. It's all Russia's fault! Blame Russia! That's it. Russia! Sure, sure!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Sep 24 15:32

The New Normal for the American Dream – 3 Cornerstones: Low wage jobs, high levels of college debt, and a retirement that consists of working until you pass away.

There seems to be a growing acceptance that the American Dream is hardly as accessible as it once was. Low wage jobs, higher education tuition pushing many into untenable levels of debt, and a new vision of retirement all seem to connect into one new theme. The new theme revolves on a much more challenging road in achieving the American Dream. The majority of working Americans have no sizable portion of stock wealth. In fact, close to 90 percent of stock wealth is in the hands of 10 percent of the population. That is why in spite of the rise of the stock market by 200 percent since 2009, many Americans remain gloomy when it comes to the economy.

Sep 24 15:18

Taxpayers may get legal fees from county jail debacle

Michael Grundy, Tahir Kazmi, David Edwards and Zayd Alleban - all Wayne County officials, all indicted on criminal charges and responsible for their own legal bills.

But Wayne County says that won't be the case with the latest three current and former officials charged with wrongdoing.

Shortly after Steven Collins, Carla Sledge and Anthony Parolovecchio were arraigned this morning on charges of misconduct in office and neglecting their duty in overseeing the disastrous jail deal, the county says it will cover at least $30,000 of their legal fees.

"There is no indication that we've been provided with," Collins said. "That they tried to line their own pockets or this was for personal profit or personal gain."

Collins said that it is a case by case basis when the county pays for the legal cost for a county employee.

Sep 24 12:53

The Biggest Tax Scam Ever

Some of America's top corporations are parking profits overseas and ducking hundreds of billions in taxes. And how's Congress responding? It's rewarding them for ripping us off

Sep 24 12:40

Royal Bank of Scotland chairman to move to GlaxoSmithKline

Sir Philip Hampton to exchange similar roles from bailed out bank to embattled pharmaceutical company at the end of 2015

Sep 24 10:42

U.S. Treasury's Office of Terrorism and Financial Intelligence

"The Justice department would like to the see the UANI lawsuit go away as it is aware that what is being described as "law enforcement" documents would include both privileged and classified Treasury Department work product relating to individuals and companies that it has investigated for sanctions busting. Passing either intelligence related or law enforcement documents to a private organization is illegal but the Justice Department's only apparent concern is that the activity might be exposed. There is no indication that it would go after UANI for having acquired the information and it perhaps should be presumed that the source of the leak is the Treasury Department itself."

Sep 24 09:22

FLASHBACK 1941 - "Germany Must Perish" By Theodore N. Kaufman

This dynamic volume outlines a comprehensive Jewish plan for the extinction of the German nation and the total eradication from the earth, of all her people. Also contained the possible territorial dissection of Germany and the apportionment of her lands.

Webmaster's Commentary: 


Click for larger image

In case you were wondering how we got into the last big mistake!

Sep 24 08:23

The new ‘Blair rich project’: Pushing Trans-Adriatic pipeline against Italians’ objections

Why should an olive farmer from sunny southern Italy remember Tony Blair, the former British prime minister who led the UK into the Iraq war to destroy Saddam’s imaginary weapons of mass destruction?

Sep 24 08:17

Not a saviour: Qatar says it won't liberate Europe from dependency on precarious Russian gas

Wealthy gas producer Qatar has no plans to pitch in as an alternative supplier as Europe seeks to reduce its reliance on Russian gas, Doha's energy minister told a German newspaper Tuesday.

"Qatar doesn't see itself as an alternative to other producers and exporters. We producers complement each other," Energy Minister Mohammed al-Sada told the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung daily.

Sep 23 09:54

China won’t support sanctions against Moscow

China will never support any sanctions against Russia and will never join them, Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Russian parliament’s upper house said, citing Chinese President Xi Jinping, with whom she met on Tuesday.

Sep 23 07:44

Americans “Driving Less as Gas Sales Plummet”, Toll Roads Filing for Bankruptcy. “Recession Over” is BS. What Next?

Those obscene profits posted by Big Oil in the last few years are coming back to bite them… that mony taken from cash-strapped Americans at the pump is drying up.

Sep 22 14:18

Breaking the silence: Lois Lerner cops a plea in first ever interview

The former Internal Revenue Service official who has practically become a household name for her role in a major scandal involving her section of arguably the nation's most powerful agency, is now on the record in a Monday interview with a left-leaning Internet news and commentary website. She claims she's innocent of any wrongdoing and that she's not sorry for anything she did while at the IRS. In the vernacular of law enforcement, "she copped a plea."

Lois Lerner, who was the director of the IRS's Office of Tax Exempt Organizations, consented to an interview with Politico, the first ever. When questioned under oath by members of the U.S. Congress she twice invoked her Fifth Amendment constitutional right to "remain silent."

Sep 22 13:18

Want Obamacare? Get Ready to Share the Details of Your Life Changes With the Feds.

Americans receiving tax credits for health care they get through the Affordable Care Act are likely to take a hit on their tax refunds, warns USA Today. That's because they took an advance against those tax credits when they signed up for coverage, but come tax filing time, actual numbers may not square with earlier estimates. If that's the case (and when do financial estimates ever line up with reality at the end of the year?) the tax collectors will demand money back.

Sep 22 13:18

The American Middle Class Hasn’t Gotten A Raise In 15 Years

In 1988, the typical American adult was 40 years old, white and married, with a high school diploma. If he was a man, he probably worked full time. If she was a woman, she probably didn’t.

Twenty-five years later, Americans are older, more diverse and more educated. We are less likely to be married and more likely to live alone. Work is divided more evenly between the sexes. One thing that hasn’t changed? The income of the median U.S. household is still just under $52,000.

Sep 22 11:33

Fitch Warns: When the Dollar’s ‘Pre-Eminent Reserve Currency Status’ Erodes…

It’s very risky for an American credit ratings agency to downgrade the US Government.

Standard & Poor’s found out when it stripped the US off its AAA rating in 2011 over the debt-ceiling charade. The Department of Justice then sued S&P over its role in the financial crisis, i.e. for slapping AAA-ratings on toxic securities to pocket fatter fees from issuers. But the other ratings agencies did the same thing and have not been hounded. So S&P claimed that the “impermissibly selective, punitive and meritless” lawsuit was “in retaliation” for the downgrade.

Though the Government denied the retaliation angle, it was a lesson no credit ratings agency within the long and sinewy arm of the Government would ever forget. But now Fitch is inching gingerly toward that abyss. While it affirmed (text) the US at AAA, Outlook Stable, it threw in some potentially devastating caveats.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is not a question of IF the US dollar will lose its global reserve currency status: it is a question of when.

Intelligent people, world-wide, are already factoring that into their financial decisions.

Sep 22 11:29

Black Listed News Front Page Follow Us Trending Search Advertise Contact Blog RollSenators look to lame-duck session to pass Internet sales tax bill

Top Senate lawmakers think they have found a way to allow states and local governments to tax Internet purchases: Link online sales taxes to separate legislation prohibiting Internet access taxes and pass it in the post-election lame duck session of Congress. The moratorium on access taxes runs out Dec. 11. A bill by Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., titled the Marketplace and Internet Tax Fairness Act, would extend the moratorium for a decade while allowing states to require online merchants to charge sales taxes. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin, D-Ill., the number-two ranking Democrat, is a co-sponsor. The backers are hoping that access taxes — which would slap levies on customers for their Comcast or Verizon Internet accounts — will be the more unpopular of the two provisions and that Congress will accept the sales taxes to get rid of them. -

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable. These folk in Congress are so collectively crooked that they have to screw their socks on in the morning.

Sep 22 10:53

Indiana toll-road operator files for bankruptcy

The debt-stricken operator of an Indiana Toll Road filed for bankruptcy protection Sunday with a plan to restructure some $6 billion in debt by selling its assets or reorganizing its business.

Sep 22 10:22

All Wars Are Bankers' Wars - FULL version

Webmaster's Commentary: 

BUMP TO THE TOP!

This is a new copy of the YouTube video, one which Facebook is not yet blocking, so feel free to post this to your Facebook friends. now!

Sep 22 09:30

US Existing Home Sales Fall in August

Fewer Americans bought homes in August, as investors retreated from real estate and first-time buyers remained scarce.

Sep 22 09:02

Banksters Gut Silver To Protect Fiat Paper Ponzi -- Kranzler

Sep 22 08:39

FTC shuts down $11M online diploma mill

The Federal Trade Commission on Friday pulled the plug on an online high school diploma mill that allegedly raked in $11 million since opening its virtual doors in 2006.

The FTC says the mill generally charged between $200 and $300 for its “diplomas.” Let’s call it $250. That means 44,000 individuals had “graduated” from this “school” since 2006.

Sep 22 08:31

Oil Being Sold in Rubles ~ Insider Update from Jim Willie

INITIAL GAZPROM NEFT TRANSACTIONS TO EUROPE HAVE BEGUN, THE PAYMENTS IN RUBLES… TWO TRANSACTIONS HAVE BEEN COMPLETED… THE RUSSIANS WILL PROBABLY ROLL OUT OTHER VENDORS FOR THE SAME RUBLE PAYMENT, SINCE THE TEST CASE HAS WORKED WITH SUCCESS… NEXT COMES EXCHANGES TO SET THE CRUDE OIL PRICE IN RUBLES… THE PETRO-DOLLAR IS DYING.

Sep 21 14:56

Western Sanctions to Boost Russian Industry Development: Kremlin Administration Head

Western sanctions could spur the development of Russian industry and the cooperation of Moscow with other nations, the head of the Kremlin administration Sergei Ivanov said in an interview published Sunday.

Sep 21 13:40

China advances gold exchange launch, Singapore delays contract

China will launch its international gold exchange 11 days ahead of schedule, sources said on Tuesday, racing ahead in the scramble to set up an Asian bullion benchmark as rival Singapore is forced to delay its gold contract due to technical issues.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The significance of China's gold exchange is that the western banking system will no longer be able to dominate the price of gold to protect their paper assets.

Sep 21 09:50

Russia warns West over 'foolish' sanctions

Russia has described as “foolish” the Western sanctions imposed on the country, warning that European countries won’t be able to return to the Russian market once the sanctions are removed.

“These foolish sanctions will pass, but international relations will continue. And currency markets will open up,” Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with Vesti 24 TV channel.

“The niches in our [Russian] economy, which will by then be occupied by local produces or other foreign producers... our European counterparts wouldn’t be able to come back,” he added.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Look, I know people in Europe are suffering from the sanctions, but no price is too great to pay to GET THOSE @#$%ING ROOSKIES!!!!!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Sep 20 19:20

French farmers torch tax office in Brittany protest

French vegetable farmers protesting against falling living standards have set fire to tax and insurance offices in town of Morlaix, in Brittany.

The farmers used tractors and trailers to dump artichokes, cauliflowers and manure in the streets and also smashed windows, police said.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned protesters for preventing firefighters from dealing with the blaze.

The farmers say they cannot cope with falling prices for their products.

A Russian embargo on some Western goods - imposed over the Ukraine crisis - has blocked off one of their main export markets.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The money-junkies in their banks order government to raise taxes and prices even as they take away the means by which the people can pay. Sooner or later, the people reach their breaking point.

Sep 20 19:18

HYT H1 Hydro-Mechanical Watch Powered with Bellows and Pistons

The saying “time is money” probably just got a completely new interpretation with the HYT H1 watch from Vincent Perriard & Company. I say this because this exclusive watch is priced at $45,000 (£29,600).

If there aren’t many watches priced that high, tell me how many watches you know whose movement is powered by bellows and pistons? The HYT H1 has pistons that move the bellows, which push and pull fluorescein around the circumference of the dial.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

File this one under "things money-junkies buy to prove they are money-junkies."

This is an interesting example of the art of mechanical watch-making, but at $45,000, not something you will see in your local middle-class shopping mall this holiday season!

Sep 20 18:56

This Is Why China Russia & China Are Now "The Enemy"