ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Jan 30 09:52

International alliance of democratic forces opposing the Euro

The groups already involved at that time coming from France, Spain and Austria were again present. Only the Greek participants could not come for obvious reasons but pledged to continue their participation. (See the Assisi call with the detailed names of the groups involved. ) The Finnish Independence Party joined in.

Jan 30 08:29

Senate approves Keystone XL pipeline despite veto threat

The Republican-controlled Senate passed a bipartisan bill approving construction of the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, prompting a showdown with President Barack Obama, who has promised to veto the legislation.

Jan 30 08:27

Occupied By Wall Street – The Latest TARP Taxpayer Screw-Job Is Revealed

The Treasury-created market has benefited a few savvy investors, while saddling taxpayers with a loss. Three private funds, which the report didn’t name, have won almost half the shares available at auction, often netting either a profit on paper or on the resale, according to the special inspector general for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. The Treasury, which has held 185 auctions to date, said it has raised about $3 billion on TARP investments that were originally valued at $3.8 billion, for a loss of $800 million at the auctions.

The Treasury “set up this market where investors could come in quickly and flip and profit,” said Christy Romero, TARP’s special inspector general, in an interview.

Jan 30 08:26

‘Being poor is not a crime’: Civil group files lawsuit to help man imprisoned for failing to pay fines

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a federal lawsuit against officials in DeKalb County, Georgia after a judge imprisoned a black teenager who was too poor to pay $838 in fines. It all started with a traffic ticket near his home.

Jan 30 08:13

Reagan Economist: Washington Will Do Anything It Can To Stop BRICS

Jan 30 08:09

Bank of England chief 'delusional' to claim UK escaped debt trap - economist

Mark Carney’s claim that Britain has escaped a “debt trap” common to Eurozone states has been dismissed by UK economist Michael Burke as “delusional.” Burke says Britain's debt has merely been transferred from private firms to UK homeowners.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When all the currency is loaned into circulation at interest, there is no escape possible from the debt trap. Britain should remember that the United States fought a revolution against Britain to break free of the Bank of England's predatory practices.

"The refusal of King George 3rd to allow the colonies to operate an honest money system, which freed the ordinary man from the clutches of the money manipulators, was probably the prime cause of the revolution." -- Benjamin Franklin

Jan 30 08:06

EU to Greece: ‘No question of cancelling debt’

"There is no question of cancelling the Greek debt. Other eurozone countries will not accept this," said Juncker Wednesday as quoted by Le Figaro. He added that Brussels is open to dialogue and didn’t want to threaten Greece.

The Greek government was forced to implement austerity measures in exchange for a €317 billion bailout from the troika of creditors of the ECB, IMF and the EU.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Half of Greece's debt was created through fraud between former Greek President Papandreou and Goldman Sachs. The goal of the fraud was to conceal Greece's debt through currency swaps, but the plan actually doubled Greece's debt (and made a fortune for Goldman Sachs). The Troika would have been well advised to consider that portion of the debt odious and drop it. But their greed in demanding the Greek people pay for Papandreou's fraud has brought them to this place where their fear of debt-reduction demands from other EU members will not allow them to reduce Greece's debt, which in turn will drive Greece from the EU and default on their debt, triggering a collapse of the credit default swaps sold against Greece's debt.

Jan 30 07:50

Birth Pangs Of The Coming Great Depression

The signs of the times are everywhere – all you have to do is open up your eyes and look at them. When a pregnant woman first goes into labor, the birth pangs are usually fairly moderate and are not that close together. But as the time for delivery approaches, they become much more frequent and much more intense. Economically, what we are experiencing right now are birth pangs of the coming Great Depression.

Jan 29 13:08

Republicans to open February with vote to repeal Obamacare

House Republicans will kick off February with a vote to repeal Obamacare, providing new members the chance to put their opposition on the record as the party chips away at the overhaul and devises some reforms of its own.

“We will begin the month renewing our commitment to individual freedom and opportunity,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said Thursday in a memo previewing next week’s votes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh? and what about all the people whose expensive Obamacare compliant insurance policies didn't cover their hospital bills?

Jan 29 12:08

Keystone filibuster fails, pipeline poised for approval

The Keystone XL pipeline is closer than it’s ever been to approval after the Senate overcame a Democrat-led filibuster Thursday and was headed for a final passage vote later in the day — setting up an eventual showdown with President Obama, who has promised a veto.

Jan 29 12:08

Why medical debt – and bankruptcy – are growing problems

Burdensomely high medical costs are often blamed for pushing many Americans into bankruptcy. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau some 43 million Americans have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports.

Medical debt isn’t like other debt. It is not because of unwise purchases, but often because of unforeseen circumstances, like an illness or accident. Unpaid medical debts can harm credit scores, which can make it harder to apply for loans, apply for credit cards or apply for a lease.

My own research on medical debt shows that medical expenses are the predominant factor in 18% to 26% of consumer bankruptcy filings – the leading causal factor.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not mentioned in this report is the sky-high cost of American medical care, driven upward by insurance company "discounts" forced on hospitals, and made worse by Obamacare, whose approved policies, although more expensive, offer little coverage at all.

Jan 29 10:58

Soros as Kiev’s Central Banker and Ridiculous US Laws

If it comes to pass, and it cannot unfortunately be ruled out, recent media rumors say that naturalized US billionaire hedge fund speculator and philosopher, George Soros, a very weary-looking 84-year-old who continues to try to weaken the Russian economy as he did back in 1998, might become the head of the Ukrainian National Bank in Kiev. Soros as head of any central bank in my view is putting the old fox to guard the hen-house. That would complete a quartet of foreign technocrats that clearly would do no good to the shattered real economy of Ukraine nor to peace in the world.

Jan 29 10:06

Pentagon documents: Obama to request big defense budget hike

Obama will ask for $534 billion for the core budget of the Defense Department — a $38 billion increase — according to "pre-decisional" Pentagon documents obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday. That means there could be some slight changes when the budget actually comes out Monday.

The Pentagon witnessed major budget cuts with the imposition of so-called budget sequestration in 2013 and has been held at a freeze since then. Military brass say the bleaker budgets have forced cuts in flying hours, troop training and maintenance of military equipment. The agency was due for just a $3 billion increase under caps set in a 2011 budget pact.

The increases are likely to find support among defense hawks on Capitol Hill, but Republicans controlling Congress are only in the early stages of figuring out how to pay for them. Simply taking the money from domestic agencies is sure to be opposed by the White House and could lead to gridlock in Washington.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Republican-controlled Congress will do what it has traditionally done to enhance the military budget; gut social programs as completely as humanly possible to avoid making up the short fall in new taxes.

Jan 29 09:59

Big Business “Regulators” and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Opening the Floodgates to Corporate Plunder

A new leak concerning the talks around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) indicates that the floodgates could be opened even further for corporate influence. The leak has been analysed by the corporate watchdogs CEO and LobbyControl and shows that corporate influence on EU and US policies might dramatically increase via the chapter on so-called ‘regulatory cooperation’.

The leak of the EU draft negotiating proposal dated January 23rd makes unmistakably clear that the EU is seeking a very ambitious chapter that strengthens the role of business in future regulatory legislation possibly via a new institution, the Regulatory Cooperation Body (RCB). Its role would be to coordinate the process of regulatory coherence between the US and the EU and would effectively limit policy space and sideline the public and civil organisations.

Jan 29 09:44

How the ‘Rich’ get ‘Richer’

Do you really want to know how the ‘rich’ get ‘richer’?

Well, you can plow through this long list at Mother Jones, or if you prefer, I’ll sum it up for you – in one word – DECEPTION.

Jan 29 09:33

Comcast Renames Man ‘Asshole Brown’ After He Tries to Cancel Cable

Comcast probably doesn’t relish being one of those companies that many Americans love to hate. But sometimes, the cable giant makes this way too easy.

Consider the case of Ricardo Brown. After Brown’s wife had a disagreement with the cable company recently, Comcast started sending him monthly statements under the name “Asshole Brown.”

The disagreement happened when Brown’s wife Lisa tried to cancel her cable. She got referred to one of the company’s dreaded “retention specialists,” who apparently didn’t like being told “no,” as Lisa Brown told the blogger Christopher Elliott, who first reported the story.

“I was never rude,” she told Elliott. “It could have been that person was upset because I didn’t take the offer.”

Jan 29 09:32

Yanis Varoufakis – Who Called Austerity "Fiscal Waterboarding" – Appointed Greek Finance Minister

Greece's new economic chapter begins as unrepetent bailout critic takes helm ahead of promised bailout re-negotiations

Jan 29 08:57

Chinese yuan now top 5 major intl payment currency

The Chinese currency is the 5th most-used currency in international payments, according to the SWIFT network responsible for international financial transactions. Breaking into the top 5 is symbolic to balance dollar-denominated payments.

Jan 29 08:40

Runaway treasure hunter refuses to reveal gold’s location, arrested in Florida

A treasure hunter who allegedly bilked investors after recovering tens of millions of dollars worth of gold from a shipwreck was arrested in south Florida after years on the run and was due to appear in federal court there on Thursday.

Tommy Thompson was detained on Tuesday night at a Hilton hotel in Palm Beach County, said Barry Golden, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in the Southern District of Florida.

U.S. marshals in Ohio said Thompson would be extradited in a matter of days to that state, where he was charged in 2012 with criminal contempt for failing to appear in federal court to reveal the location of gold and funds from his treasure hunt.

Jan 29 08:17

Greece’s new prime minister wants Germany to pay for Nazi war crimes

Syriza has vowed to renegotiate the crippling debts saddled on the Greek economy by European lenders — a move that some fear could threaten the unity of the eurozone. Tsipras and his allies, meanwhile, see their ascension as a historic opportunity, as WorldViews discussed here.

But it's not just the future that's on Syriza's agenda. In what was virtually his first act as prime minister Monday, Tsipras journeyed to the memorial site at the Kaisariani rifle range, where in 1944 Nazi soldiers executed some 200 Greek activists in retaliation for the death of a German officer killed in a Greek ambush.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The part the Washington Post isn't talking about is that Germany forced Greece to loan it billions which were never repaid. If, as the IMF claims, debt is sacrosanct, then with accumulated interest, Germany may owe Greece more than Greece owes the IMF!

Jan 29 08:15

Subprime Bonds Are Back With Different Name Seven Years After U.S. Crisis

The business of bundling riskier U.S. mortgages into bonds without government backing is gearing up for a comeback. Just don’t call it subprime.

Hedge fund Seer Capital Management, money manager Angel Oak Capital and Sydney-based bank Macquarie Group Ltd. are among firms buying up loans to borrowers who can’t qualify for conventional mortgages because of issues such as low credit scores, foreclosures or hard-to-document income. They each plan to pool the mortgages into securities of varying risk and sell some to investors this year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts predict as much as $5 billion of deals could get done, while Nomura Holdings Inc. forecasts $1 billion to $2 billion.

Jan 29 07:35

President of Soros Founded Economic Institute Says Global Elite In Panic Mode

It wasn't that long ago that Wall Street legend Barton Briggs told super rich to buy farms away from megacities and stock up on food and guns. Many plans have been put forward such as floating cities and armed luxury vessels that will be deployed international waters to keep the 'brigands at bay'. The average working family have surely noticed the price of food and other goods rising but the neo-aristocracy have technocrats and economic forecasters at their disposal and they know the ledge. I wonder how many degenerate French nobility escaped the guillotine? Destabilizing paranoia is rife among the rich but the Soros-backed INET must have some interesting revelations that they won't share with the rest of us.

Jan 28 21:28

‘National moral disgrace’: Over 1 in 5 US children on food stamps & living in poverty

Over 20 percent of US children ? an estimated 16 million youths ? are on food stamps, according to the latest government figures. That number has almost doubled since the Great Recession began in 2007. Nearly a quarter are living below the poverty line.

Jan 28 15:16

The Canadian court case the mainstream media will not cover

The Bank of Canada, unlike the Federal Reserve in the U.S., is wholly owned by the people of Canada. It was nationalized in 1938 and was used very successfully to fund infrastructure, social programs, education, etc, for the benefit of all Canadians. It was used to bring us out of the depression, funded WWII, to build highways such as the McDonald-Cartier freeway, public transportation systems, subway lines, airports, the St. Lawrence Seaway, our universal healthcare system and our Canada Pension Plan.

Unfortunately, since Canada adopted economist Milton Friedman’s theory of monetarism in 1974 this has not been the case and one can track the progression of the dismantling of Canada since then.

Jan 28 12:10

'Patient' Fed shows no signs of wavering on rate hikes

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday gave no sign that it is wavering on hiking interest rates sometime in the second half of 2015. The U.S. central bank was upbeat about the real economy, citing "solid" growth and "strong" job gains.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here we see the danger of believing ones own propaganda!

Jan 28 12:09

Democrats who wrote Obamacare tell Supreme Court to reject lawsuit

The congressional Democrats involved in writing the Affordable Care Act told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that they intended for consumers in all states to be eligible for subsidies, and they argue that the law they drafted reflects that intention.

Opponents have challenged the Obama administration’s enforcement of the law, arguing that it only allows subsidies to be paid in states that set up their own exchanges, but not to customers in most of the country who use the federal exchange.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

TRANSLATION: "Yes, it's a flustercluck, but we meant well, so leave it alone!"

Jan 28 11:52

Washington will do whatever it can to stop BRICS, maintain power - economist

Jan 28 10:19

The spreading alchemy of central bank money-printing

Two years ago, I sat in the hushed fortress of the Bank of England, listening to one of its secretive boffins, a languid fellow named Paul Fisher, explain the creation and meaning of money.

He reached into his wallet and fished out a 10-pound note.

This note is worth 10 pounds, he said, because you and I and all the people walking around on the streets out there believe it's worth 10 pounds.

That's it. That's the only reason it has any value beyond the intrinsic value of the paper and ink itself. It's all about trust and belief.

Jan 28 10:15

BEX ALERT - Russian spy cell in New York 'plotted Wall Street meltdown': Men tried to crash high-frequency radio messages used for trading

Russian spies operating a cell in New York were trying to find ways to cause an economic meltdown, according to court documents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, if I understand this right, when the US economy collapses, which now seems inevitable, it won't be because of decades of Wall Street fraud and Washington DC corruption, it won't be the trillions in unregulated derivatives hanging over the top banks, it won't be the debt created by a ponzi-scheme private central bank issuing all of the public currency as a loan at interest; oh no, no, no, no, no, NO, it will be an eeeeeeevil plot by the Russians!

And if you believe THAT one, I have some of Saddam's nuclear weapons to sell you!

Jan 28 09:41

Russia, Turkey announce new gas route with hub in Greece borders

The first gas pipe with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters will be operational by December 2016.

Six hundred and sixty kilometers of the new Turkish Stream pipeline will go through the old South Stream corridor and a further 250 kilometers will head in the direction of the European part of Turkey.

The four threads which make up the pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, Gazprom said in a statement following Tuesday’s meeting between CEO Aleksey Miller and the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz.

The company will apply to carry out design and exploration work in Turkish territorial waters on Wednesday, January 28.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So much for Russia being "economically isolated" by sanctions!!

And after this weekends elections in Greece, the country's ruling majority must be feeling pretty chipper at the speed with which this deal unfolded, because the economic implications of this deal will be terrific for the new Greek government.

Jan 28 09:19

AU, China agree big infrastructure deal

Addis Ababa - China and the African Union agreed on Tuesday an ambitious plan to develop road, rail and air transport routes to link capitals across the continent.

African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma praised the proposal at "the most substantive project the AU has ever signed with a partner", although the ambitious project that includes highways and high speed railways is at present just a commitment to develop the infrastructure, and contains few details.

The memorandum of understanding was signed at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, ahead of a summit meeting of the leaders of the 54-nation pan-African bloc on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF fully implemented, this agreement could mean substantial economic growth for Africa, and a real coup for Chinese business entities.

Jan 28 09:16

America Unites Against the 1%

Black, white, hispanic; middle class, working poor and veterans; from the streets of Detroit to the mountains of West Virginia, Americans are waking up and beginning to understand the need to unite against the scourge we call the 1%.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And THAT is what they are most afraid of, which is why we get all this fanning of racial tension by the government across the nation.

Jan 28 09:15

Obama drops plan to raise taxes on ‘529’ college savings accounts

The Obama administration said it would drop a plan to tax so-called 529 college savings accounts, after the proposal sparked widespread criticism over its potential impact on the middle class.

Jan 28 09:11

Greece’s new dream team vows to defy foreign creditors

In a taste of what lies ahead, Yanis Varoufakis, the flamboyant new finance minister, said on his way to the government’s swearing-in ceremony that negotiations would not continue with the hated troika of officials representing foreign lenders.

“They have already begun but not with the troika,” said Varoufakis, an economist who has disseminated his anti-orthodox views through blogs and tweets almost daily since the debt crisis exploded in Athens in late 2009 – something he promised on Tuesday to continue to do. “The time to put up or shut up has, I have been told, arrived,” he wrote on his blog. “My plan is to defy such advice.”

Jan 28 08:39

S&P lowers Atlantic City general obligation rating by four notches

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut Atlantic City's rating four notches to junk at 'BB' on Tuesday, the second Wall Street rating agency to issue a super-downgrade in the days before the city plans a $12 million note sale.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Who listens to S&P these days, after the 2008 fiasco?

Jan 28 08:31

UK govt ‘gags & intimidates’ charities that criticize austerity policies

British charities say they have been targeted in a “subtle” yet “menacing” fashion by prominent political figures for publicly criticizing the coalition’s austerity policies. Others are silenced by gagging clauses in government contracts.

Jan 28 08:11

All Eyes On Yellen Who Better Not Disappoint

So will Yellen save the day again?

The problem is that at this point it is unclear just what that means: if she continues ignoring the global deflationary pressures and not relent to delaying the rate hike, then the USD will surge even more (which at this point is no longer a good thing as explained in "When A Soaring Dollar "Reflects Loss Of Investor Confidence And Is Potentially Devastating""), pressuring US exports and corporations that much more until finally something snaps and the decoupling theme so prevalent for the past 6 months is ruined.

Jan 28 08:05

‘If SWIFT gets weaponized, an alternative system is absolutely realistic’

While the West may try to slap Russia with more sanctions, the SWIFT banking payment system will try to stay out of political crossfire, economist Max Fraad Wolff told RT, adding that if it eventually gets weaponized, an alternative will emerge.

Jan 28 08:01

Koch Brothers Prepared To Unleash Nearly $1Bn Leading Up To 2016 Election

Conservative American oligarchic industrialists Charles and David Koch plan to raise $889 million to spend on political operations ahead of the 2016 election. The sum would be more than twice as much as the Koch network spent during the 2012 election.

Jan 27 15:44

Frm Canadian Minister Of Defense Talks About Banker Takeover of Canada

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Money is supposed to serve the people, not people serve the money!

Jan 27 13:30

Is The US Preparing To Blame The Next Market Crash On "Russian Spies" And HFT?

On the surface this sounds like your plain vanilla diplomatic escalation, in which a lowly spy, or rather alleged spy, is exposed to show the displeasure of the host regime toward the opposing country, an action which will surely result, within 24-48 hours, in a comparable arrest of a US spy in Russia.

And yet, reading through the complaint we were dumbfounded when we encountered the following exchange:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What the US is calling espionage looks like market research or journalism to me. It';s not like this Russia was video-taping 9-11 and cheering as the buildings came down!

Jan 27 13:19

IBM denies rumor of 100K layoffs but confirms ‘several thousand’ layoffs

IBM denies the rumor about the layoffs of more than 100,000 IBM employees. The company says that only “several thousand” IBM employees will be affected by the layoffs. In an email statement from IBM to Reuters, IBM officially denied the rumor concerning as many as 112,000 employees. According to the Jan. 26 Reuters report, “IBM is in the process of layoffs, as disclosed in its latest earnings report last week, but it will affect ‘several thousand’ employees only.”

Jan 27 13:18

This Is The Beginning Of The End For The Euro

The long-anticipated collapse of the euro is here. When European Central Bank president Mario Draghi unveiled an open-ended quantitative easing program worth at least 60 billion euros a month on Thursday, stocks soared but the euro plummeted like a rock. It hit an 11 year low of $1.13, and many analysts believe that it is going much, much lower than this. The speed at which the euro has been falling in recent months has been absolutely stunning. Less than a year ago it was hovering near $1.40. But since that time the crippling economic problems in southern Europe have gone from bad to worse, and no amount of money printing is going to avert the financial nightmare that is slowly unfolding right before our eyes.

Jan 27 13:03

Iran's central bank stops US dollar transactions, adopts RMB

Iran's central bank has announced that it will stop mutual settlements in the US dollar with other countries, with the Chinese yuan or renminbi being named as one of the alternatives.

Jan 27 12:27

EU to consider new sanctions against Russia on January 29

January 29, the EU Council to consider new restrictive measures against Russia. This is stated in the statement of the Heads of State and Government of the European Union on Tuesday in Brussels, according to TASS.

"Due to the deteriorating situation we ask the EU Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs to assess the situation in Ukraine and consider any appropriate measures, in particular, further restrictive measures against Russia, aimed at the rapid and full implementation of the Minsk Agreement," - the document says.

Jan 27 12:26

If SWIFT would be banned... "there will be strict response" - Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev promised a harsh response from the Russian side in the event of a decision to limit the participation of Russian banks in the system SWIFT.

"In the case of such decisions would like to note that our economic response, or indeed any other, will be without limits" - quoted by "Interfax" statement of the prime minister.

Medvedev drew attention of the meeting that in addition to budget shortfalls in Russia today is "an extra set of constraints that we have also encountered - a limitation on finance, liquidity." Closing foreign currency markets can not but affect the domestic situation.

Jan 27 12:24

Bank executive, 31, jumps to death from workplace ‘after dispute with girlfriend’

A 31-year-old man jumped to his death from a bank tower in Hong Kong's Central this morning after an argument with his girlfriend, according to a police source.

The man, identified by the source as Lui Yau-man, was wearing a business suit when he was found lying unconscious on an elevated platform by security guards at the Citibank Plaza at around 7.30am.

The source said Lui worked as an assistant vice-president in the risk-management department of Industrial Bank.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am not buying 'argument with girlfriend.'

Jan 27 11:12

Obama's Fed Nominee, Who Was Busted And Quit For "Impropriety", Reports Up To $40 Million In Assets

Three weeks ago, when reporting on Obama's close personal friend and Bank of Hawaii "community banker" appointee to the Fed board, Allan Landon, we emphasized an apparently trivial data point that had somehow managed to slip through the background due diligence process. Namely, that about a decade ago, the same Landon stepped down as board member from the Seattle Federal Home Loan Bank after he was found - always in the passive voice - to have "failed to comply with a rule requiring the disclosure of conflicts of interest by a director by failing to make disclosure to the Seattle Bank board of their institutions' planned redemptions." The full story can be read here, but in a nutshell a banker that the president himself has appointed to join the US money printing authority was on the cusp of being investigated for embezzlement, and was forced to quietly disappear into the night despite denying "any wrongdoing."

Jan 27 11:11

The Greeks Have A Simple Message To Europe

Sunday's Greek vote for anti-austerity left-wing Syriza shows the people's eagerness to stop the current bailout scheme and renegotiate a deal that's more favorable for the Greek economy. In the next several days and weeks, we'll learn a lot more about the implication of the vote, and what new leader Alexis Tsipras is capable of accomplishing; but as Bloomberg Businessweek reports, perhaps this banner displayed produly at last night's victory rally says it all...

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The ECB is taking a hard line position with Greece's debt, as any concessions made to Greece will trigger demands for debt reduction from the other EU members. The EU's position is "pay or leave", and with Russia already putting out the welcome mat, Greece might leave the EU, which in turn will trigger other member nations to consider departing the union, which has worked very well for the owners of the ECB and very badly for the people.

Jan 27 10:57

Evidence Grows Showing Wall Street as a Negative Economic Force

Clifton has a theory on why America’s crisis in creating new businesses is a well-kept secret. He writes:

“My hunch is that no one talks about the birth and death rates of American business because Wall Street and the White House, no matter which party occupies the latter, are two gigantic institutions of persuasion. The White House needs to keep you in the game because their political party needs your vote. Wall Street needs the stock market to boom, even if that boom is fueled by illusion.”

Jan 27 10:52

Comparing the inflated cost of living today from 1938 to 2015: US Dollar losing an enormous amount of purchasing power since 1938.

People have a hard time understanding how inflation erodes their purchasing power. Little by little the cost of everything goes up and people simply assume this is normal in an economy. The $2 movie ticket becomes a $8 movie ticket. That can of tuna just got smaller but the price remains the same. The cost of going to college went from manageable to needing large student debt merely to complete a four year degree. Inflation is argued to be a purely monetary outcome. You have too much money, in the form of cash or credit in today’s case, chasing fewer goods. In our current economy, debt is the fuel accelerating inflation.

Jan 27 09:32

Greek Election Could Cause World Economic Crisis - Michael Rivero - Jan. 26, 2015

Jan 27 09:07

Welcome To The Wreckovery: Who Could Have Possibly Anticipated Caterpillar's Disastrous Earnings And Guidance?

Moments ago, Caterpillar was added to the great and growing list of bellwether companies that have reported disastrous Q4 earnings misses, when it announced that not only did it wildly miss its EPS estimate of $1.55, reporting only $1.35 in Q4 Adjusted EPS (and $1.23 on a GAAP basis), but worse, slashed its 2015 sales and profit outlook as follows:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So with all these major companies reporting missed earnings, plus events in Europe, what is keeping the US stock market propped up?

That is a rhetorical question, of course; we all know about the plunge protection team. But here is the part you should remember. If market rigging is used to keep prices high, it means the entire stock market is over-valued. That means the worth is not there to support the prices.

When a major sell-off happens, an over-valued market will plunge. The higher the over-valuation, the harder the drop. The first people to sell will get their cash out, and everyone else will be left with nothing more than a piece of paper from their broker with an impressive looking number at the bottom.

Jan 27 08:56

New G20 Rules: Cyprus-style Bail-ins to Hit Depositors AND Pensioners

On the weekend of November 16th, the G20 leaders whisked into Brisbane, posed for their photo ops, approved some proposals, made a show of roundly disapproving of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and whisked out again. It was all so fast, they may not have known what they were endorsing when they rubber-stamped the Financial Stability Board’s “Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution,” which completely changes the rules of banking.

Russell Napier, writing in ZeroHedge, called it “the day money died.” In any case, it may have been the day deposits died as money. Unlike coins and paper bills, which cannot be written down or given a “haircut,” says Napier, deposits are now “just part of commercial banks’ capital structure.” That means they can be “bailed in” or confiscated to save the megabanks from derivative bets gone wrong.

Jan 27 08:52

IBM's stock gains amid reports that a massive layoff is coming

Shares of IBM Corp. IBM, -2.28% are rising 1.2% in premarket trade Monday, on the heels of reports that the technology giant is prepping for a reorganization that will lead to the largest corporate layoff in history. Reports from multiple sources suggest Big Blue will will slash its global workforce by 26%, which would represent about 112,000 of the approximately 431,000 people IBM employs globally.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IBM is now denying these reports, which means the initial story could be a "pump and dump" scam.

Jan 27 08:45

Gold: Its Time Has Come

Governments, confidence, and prices rise and fall. The current collapse in gold prices from August 2011 to November 2014 has been typical for a once-per-decade gold price decline.

Jan 26 13:37

“Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution”

I must begin with an apology—that I’ve provided readers with such a confusing title to have to digest. It sounds like the sort of title that would be created by some committee. Or worse, by a group of governments that are trying very hard to conceal the purpose of some especially nefarious agreement that they’ve just colluded on.

Well, as luck would have it, that’s just what it is. The “Adequacy of Loss-Absorbing Capacity of Global Systemically Important Banks in Resolution” agreement is the title of a decision that was reached by the G20 countries, to approve an across-the-board Cyprus-style bail-in.

Jan 26 13:12

Saxo Bank: The Syriza Victory Is A Disaster For Europe

The result was worse than expected whatever the final outcome - the anti-austerity vote is massive, but it could be an empty gesture as Greece in reality has little choice: Comply with the Troika or leave the EUR. I doubt the later will happen with the same vote as the Greeks are tired of austerity but not off being European.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Jan 26 11:37

S&P downgrades Russia's credit rating to junk

Webmaster's Commentary: 

S&P was one of the Wall Street Ratings agencies that assured us all those mortgage-backed securities were AAA in 2008, so it's not like anyone will listen to them now.

Jan 26 11:29

Benzer pleads guilty in massive Las Vegas Valley HOA scheme

Benzer, who once owned Silver Lining construction, and 10 others were indicted in the scheme in January 2013, and several months later Benzer was indicted again on charges of evading $1.2 million in personal and company taxes. The charges were related to more than $7 million Benzer and his company obtained from a fraudulent contract with the Vistana condominium development to do construction defect work.

Five of the 10 defendants charged in the first indictment with Benzer, including attorney Barry Levinson, previously pleaded guilty and are waiting to be sentenced.

The sweeping investigation that led to the indictments, spearheaded by the Justice Department’s Fraud Section in Washington, is thought to be the largest public corruption case federal authorities have brought in Southern Nevada. The FBI, Las Vegas police and IRS all played key roles in the long-running investigation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am bumping this story back to the top because this is very important.

Organized crime is targeting Homeowner's Associations across America. Complicit property managers will purchase "improvements" from Mafia-owned businesses which provide shoddy products and services at hugely inflated prices which the homeowners have no choice but to pay! This contributes to the skyrocketing rental prices!

Jan 26 11:25

Super Bowl for the Rich: Upper-Class 91, Middle-Class 9

Just 10 percent of Americans own 91 percent of the nation’s stocks and mutual funds, according to economist Edward Wolff (Table 7). Most of the remainder is held by a “middle class” that is steadily losing ground. The bottom 60 percent is almost entirely shut out (Table 2).

Stock owners, some of whom made billions of dollars last year, can defer their income taxes indefinitely, pay a reduced capital gains tax when they decide to cash in, or pass on the capital gains tax-free to their heirs.

Making money is all a game to the super-rich — redistribution toward the top, trickle-down delusions, tax avoidance, and even, for some of them, dabbling in criminal activities. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) once said, “It’s really American to avoid paying taxes, legally…It’s a game we play…I see nothing wrong with playing the game because we set it up to be a game.”

Jan 26 11:23

What’s good for Greece is bad for Israel

While most of the world (at least the 99 percenters) are congratulating Greeks at the dawn of their new age of dignity, the Jerusalem Post warns that victory for Syriza is bad news for Israel. Upon reading the article, I could see why they’re concerned:

Jan 26 10:41

JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man's Trick

Webmaster's Commentary: 

BUMP TO THE TOP

This is three and a half hours long, so you may want to bookmark this and watch it in sections, but it is worth it, as it confirms much of what I wrote in "All Wars are Bankers' Wars!"

UPDATE: Once I started watching this, I could not stop. I took a break at the half-way point, but wound up watching it all the way through!

Jan 26 10:09

Negative Interest: A ticking time bomb

Many Americans have been predicting this for well over a decade, but it appears the big axe is finally set to swing at America. Amidst a spate of global currency moves causing seismic shifts in global assets, military conflicts are fast enveloping the planet. An increasingly dysfunctional US government struggles over war with Iran, which incidentally just dumped the dollar, in a domestic environment that is steeped in racism, police brutality and irrational fear without end. Our water supply is being swiftly contaminated, all over the country, by fracking. And above all, corruption and lies are being exposed on the internet at breakneck speed, making it painfully obvious, to even the most political clueless, that something terribly wrong is about to happen.

Jan 26 10:06

Greece elections: Merkel has lost, hope has won

In the aftermath of Greece’s seismic election, I assumed the eurocrat elite would follow the diktat, “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all.” So, I cranked up the Twitter machine and within 5 seconds, I encountered this ‘gem’ from our old friend Carl Bildt. Bildt was the the Swedish Foreign Minster – and one of America’s favourite European poodles – until his own electorate voted him out last year.

Bildt’s Tweet is important because it reveals a mindset among the elite. They extol the benefits of democracy for others, while pouring scorn on the results, if they fail to suit their own agendas. An example was when they forced Ireland to vote again (twice) after initial rejections of EU treaties. Or when they speak of bringing free elections to the Middle East while refusing to deal with Palestine’s elected government, or even recognise the state’s existence.

Jan 26 10:04

Historic Victory for SYRIZA Greece

The leader of the left-wing SYRIZA Party, Alexis Tsipras, claimed a jubilant victory in Athens, Greece, on Sunday. SYRIZA took 36.5 percent of the electorate compared with the 27.7 percent for Antonis Samaras of the New Democracy Party. This is according to official election data. The far-right Golden Dawn placed third at at 6.3 percent, followed by To Potami garnering 5.9 percent of the vote party. To Potami Party is considered a potential ally of SYRIZA.

Whether it is a clear majority is yet unclear at the time of the interview. But one thing is clear: the Greek people have won a battle of reversing austerity economic policies championed by the New Democracy conservative party.

Jan 26 10:04

Iceland's Stabilized Economy Is A Surprising Success Story

Faced with the possibility of financial failure, Iceland had to think on its feet. Instead of bailing out banks USA-style, the country forgave mortgage debt for the population – and completely started over from square one.

A country with a small population of roughly 320,000 citizens, Iceland‘s entire banking structure “systemically failed” in the early days of the 2008 recession. Despite the fact that Iceland is still on the road to recovery, the country ranks high as a politically and economically stable nation. Their success over the last few years has been largely under-reported, and the story behind it is quite fascinating.

Jan 26 10:03

Triangle of Sin: Greece’s new Fin Min aims to destroy Greek Oligarchy

Listening to this man speak is like taking a breathe of fresh air after years of suffocating in a cesspool of lies.

It’s clear that he knows exactly what needs to be done as he points to the troika of rent seeking developers, bankrupt bankers, and media moguls who together are strangling his nation.

The question is, will he succeed, which turns in part on whether he survives. I for one hope he does. He is not only a genius, but a man with morals, extremely rare among finance ministers.

Jan 26 09:53

Greek leftist party Syriza sweeps to power

Greek voters handed power to a radical leftist party in national elections on Sunday, a popular rebellion against the bitter economic medicine Greece has swallowed for five years and a rebuke of the fellow European countries that prescribed it.

With nearly all votes counted, opposition party Syriza was on track to win about half the seats in Parliament. In the wee hours of the morning, it clinched a coalition deal with a small right-wing party also opposed to Europe’s economic policy to give the two a clear majority.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ooooooh, Radical, Radical, RADICAL! How dare they oppose the private central bankers!!!!!! :)

Jan 26 09:39

‘Monstrous democratic slap to EU’: Le Pen hails Greek anti-austerity party victory

The victory of Greece’s anti-austerity Syriza party is a monstrous democratic slap to the European Union, believes Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s far-right National Front party, adding that for her this success means "the trial of the euro-austerity.”

Jan 26 09:38

‘5yrs of humiliation, suffering over’: Anti-austerity party to form govt in Greece

Greece leaves behind five years of humiliation and suffering, fear and authoritarianism, said the leader of the winning Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras. He’s moving on Monday to build a stable government and plans to get rid of Athens’ three main creditors.

Tsipras was addressing thousands of cheering supporters at a rally in Athens. Syriza won 149 seats in the 300-seat parliament election.

Tsipras was sworn in as next Greek PM later on Monday. By Wednesday he will have a government in place, a Syriza official told Reuters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Needless to say, this is not getting a huge amount of coverage here in the US! The idea that a people can vote themselves free of the private central bankers is not an idea that Wall Street wants the American serf class to think about!

Jan 26 08:54

Radical Leftists Win Election In Greece – Future Of Eurozone In Serious Jeopardy

Radical leftists have been catapulted to power in Greece, and that means that the European financial crisis has just entered a dangerous new phase. Syriza, which is actually an acronym for “Coalition of the Radical Left” in Greek, has 36 percent of the total vote with approximately 80 percent of the polling stations reporting. The current governing party, New Democracy, only has 28 percent of the vote. Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras is promising to roll back a whole host of austerity measures that were imposed on Greece by the EU, and his primary campaign slogan was “hope is on the way”. Hmmm – that sounds a bit familiar.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the start of a flood of what will be attacks by corporate media on Greece for DARING to want to run their country for their own people. The new definition of "Radical" is anyone not willing to live their lives in servitude to the private central banks, and I predict that the private central banks of the world will engage in massive economic dirty tricks to crush this upstart government that values people above bankers' profits!

Jan 25 11:35

Greek election: Syriza says 'hope has won' – live updates

With 100% of data processed: MRB exit poll for Star TV, give Syriza 10-point win, seat projection 148-154

Jan 25 10:28

More homeless camps are appearing beyond downtown L.A.'s skid row

Evicted four months ago from their Highland Park apartment, Louis Morales and his 18-year-old stepson, Arthur Valenzuela, live half-hidden by brush along the nearby Arroyo Seco riverbed.

Morales, 49, keeps a framed bible verse and a stuffed monkey in his tent. Water hauled by bike from a park heats up on the camp stove.

Next door, their friend Johnny Salazar fixes bikes and shattered computer screens on the cheap for people who live in the neighborhood. A brother and sister Morales has known for years live up the river, and three couples stay down by the bridge.

Jan 25 10:16

IRAN DITCHES US DOLLAR IN FOREIGN TRADE TRANSACTIONS

It took Iran quite some time to take this step… Now how long will it take the US and her master to react? And how will they react? Will the MEK be unleashed all over the US? Will Bibi, at long last, get his war against the Islamic Republic of Iran?

Jan 25 10:04

Greeks elect new parliament amid EU withdrawal concerns

Greeks are going to polling stations on Sunday to elect a new parliament. The populist radical-leftist party Syriza has won the hearts of many austerity-ridden people with its message of reverting wages cuts and renegotiating debt obligations.

Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was forced to call a snap vote in December after the parliament failed to elect a president. His center-right New Democracy party is now running behind Syriza, with opinion polls showing a gap of several percentage points.

Syriza leader Alexis Tsipras urged his voters to give his party an outright victory of 40 percent, which would allow him to form a government with no help from other parties.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That is because the last time Greece held elections, Syriza won, but the pro-banker politicians refused to form a coalition government, forcing a second election that Syriza lost by a razor thin margin amid reports of wide-scale election fraud.

Jan 25 10:01

Over 3mn German workers live below poverty line – report

Being employed in Germany is no longer enough to make ends meet, as around 3.1 million workers receive salaries below the country’s poverty threshold. People have been forced to cut back on food and heating in order to survive, German media reported.

Jan 25 09:52

Get Ready For Negative Interest Rates In The US

With Fed mouthpiece Jon Hilsenrath warning - in no lesser status-quo narrative-deliverer than The Wall Street Journal - that The ECB's actions (and pre-emptive collapse in the EUR) means the U.S. economy must deal with a rapidly strengthening dollar that will make American goods more expensive abroad, potentially slowing both U.S. growth and inflation; and Treasury Secretary Lew coming out his crypt to mention "unfair FX moves," it appears The Fed (and powers that be) are worrying about King Dollar. This suggests, as Mises Canada's Patrick Barron predicts, the Fed will start charging negative interest rates on bank reserve accounts as the final tool in the war on savings and wealth in order to spur the Keynesian goal of increasing “aggregate demand”. If savers won’t spend their money, the government will take it from them.

Jan 25 09:37

Ekloges 2015: Greece Votes In Historic For Europe Election

What is at stake for Greece today? Largely the same things as in 2012, which means an appropriate question is what is at stake for Europe. The answer: a lot, because suddenly the fate of the European monetary union is in the hands of some 9.8 million eligible to vote Greeks: something the unelected bureaucrats in Brussels had hoped to avoid in perpetuity. And with the leading candidate on war footing with Brussels (if only for the time being) the next few days in Europe will be quite interesting: "In Greece, democracy will return," the party's 40-year-old leader Alexis Tsipras told a throng of cameras as he voted in Athens. "The message is that our common future in Europe is not the future of austerity."

Jan 25 09:36

Euro crisis looms as Greek Left lead poll: Fears victory for anti-austerity party could trigger panic - and force country into bankruptcy

The euro stands on the brink of its biggest ever crisis today as Greeks vote in their general election – with the anti-austerity party Syriza maintaining a four-point lead in the polls.

With the euro at its lowest value against sterling in seven years, a Syriza victory could trigger panic in the EU and the eurozone – risking bankruptcy for Greece and its exit from the euro.

Jan 24 11:17

Bill Gates: Get on your knees and beg for your jobs

He might not have said it in so many words, though I wish that he had because only that kind of candor can get Americans to wakeup and do what is necessary to survive this stealth and brutal war, calculated to destroy their lives.

Microsoft cofounder Bill Gates isn’t going to sugarcoat things: The increasing power of automation technology is going to put a lot of people out of work. Business Insider reports that Gates gave a talk at the American Enterprise Institute think tank in Washington, DC this week and said that both governments and businesses need to start preparing for a future where lots of people will be put out of work by software and robots.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Bill misses a key point. Software and robots do not earn wages to pour back into the economy. Bill's vision of the future is 300 million Americans starving in the streets while the factories and stores are filled with robots standing around with nothing to do!

Jan 24 10:57

Remembering The Currency Wars Of The 1920s & 1930s (And Central Banks' "Overused Bag Of Tricks")

Commodity price declines were the symptom of sharply deteriorating economic conditions prior to the 1920-21 depression. To be sure, today’s economic environment is different. The world economies are not emerging from a destructive war, nor are we on the gold standard, and U.S. employment is no longer centered in agriculture and factories (over 50% in the U.S. in 1920). The fact remains, however, that global commodity prices are in noticeable retreat. Since the commodity index peak in 2011, prices have plummeted. The Reuters/Jefferies/CRB Future Price Index has dropped 39%. The GSCI Nearby Commodity Index is down 48% (Chart 1), with energy (-56%), metals (-36%), copper (-40%), cotton (-73%), WTI crude (-57%), rubber (-72%), and the list goes on. In some cases this broad-based retreat reflects increased supply, but more clearly it indicates weakening global demand.

Jan 24 10:24

Greek Right Fears First Left Government in Greek History

Dimitri Lascaris reports from Greece that a near six point lead for SYRIZA is raising memories of the fascist coup and civil war

Jan 23 14:46

Maintain Economy - China refuses to Saudi Oil

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In short, increased Russia/China oil cooperation may have added pressure for Saudi Arabia to lower oil prices.

Jan 23 13:29

SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy

The company behind the in-flight catalog SkyMall filed for bankruptcy protection, a victim of evolving rules and technology that now lets airline passengers keep their smartphones and tablets powered up during flight.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Along with the fact that most things in the catalog were not really practical!

Jan 23 13:01

CNY homeowners sued, told they can't park pickup truck in driveway

A homeowners' association has filed a lawsuit seeking to bar a resident in the town of Manlius from parking his own pickup truck in his driveway.

The Kimry Moor Homeowners Association has filed a lawsuit against residents David and Arna Orlando in Onondaga County Supreme Court because they are parking their 2014 black Ford 150 pickup in their driveway at 511 Kimry Moor, just outside the village of Fayetteville.

The association wants an injunction to stop the couple from parking their pickup in the driveway of their home.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This hits close to home as I am going through a similar headache with the homeowner's association where I live. Following a recent re-topping of the parking lot with the cheapest sealant they could find, all residents were told that they would be fined for oil spots on their parking stalls. As I have an older car (and did find and repair a leak) I am now parking on the street. BUT ... other people, including vehicles used by homeowner's association contractors, are using my stalls, and leaking more oil on the pavement.

The homeowner's association won't allow me to put down a permanent cover like plywood, and insist I am responsible for the costs of damage from oil leaking from vehicles that park in my stalls without my permission!

I think these homeowner's associations have become one of the biggest threats to personal freedom and common sense!

Jan 23 12:05

LaRouche Warns: Wall Street's Growing Desperation Is Fueling Global Thermonuclear Showdown

Wall Street is on the edge of another financial tsunami, and this is driving the world towards general war, with the latest provocations in Ukraine serving as the immediate trigger for confrontation with Russia.

As Citibank was the latest of the Wall Street too-big-to-fail banks to post serious fourth-quarter losses, and as the Wall Street banks were announcing 50,000 layoffs, half-way around the globe the Ukrainian government was launching new provocations against Russia, meeting with top NATO generals and announcing a draft to call up 100,000 new troops to launch a military offensive against its own citizens in eastern Ukraine.

Jan 23 11:38

Hard-hit worker wonders where the economic resurgence is

Ask Joshua Thevenin — who since last month has been a newspaper salesman, fireworks vendor and tele-marketer — what he thinks about assertions the economy is roaring toward recovery and you'll get a sigh and a shake of his head.

"I don't see it. If it is, I don't know where," he said.

Jan 23 11:36

eBay Lays Off Thousands After Obama Touts Company in State of the Union Address

THE POLITICO reports that President Obama, during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, gave shout outs to a number of American companies in an effort to highlight the strength of the U.S. economy. Nearly all of those companies, it turns out, are big political spenders and have contributed heavily to Democrats.

One of those companies was eBay, which Obama cited as an example of how “millions of Americans [are working] in jobs that didn’t even exist 10 or 20 years ago.” That now seems like an unfortunate choice, because less than 24 hours after Obama’s speech, eBay announced it was cutting 2,400 jobs, or about 7 percent of its workforce. Investors welcomed the layoffs, and the company’s stock jumped more than 4 percent on the news.

Jan 23 11:35

Now Begins The Greatest Heist Since Bernanke Bailed Out Wall Street In September 2008

Well, he finally launched “whatever it takes” and that marks an inflection point. Mario Draghi has just proved that the servile apparatchiks who run the world’s major central banks will stop at nothing to appease the truculent gamblers they have unleashed in the casino. And that means there will eventually be a monumental crash landing because the bubble beneficiaries are now commanding the bubble makers.

Jan 23 11:15

Greece Set To Reject Austerity And Financial Oligarchy

In two days time Greece is due to go to the polls and Syriza, a party looking to say no to ridiculous and unmanageable debts, is set to take power. This has the potential to cause a huge shift in economic policy throughout the world as it identifies austerity as a failed policy route. But not everyone in the Euro thinks it is a bad idea for the Greeks to do this, Hollande had no issue here but subsequently had his nation fall victim to a terrorist attack. This has the potential to cause huge changes in a world currently dominanted by Anglo-American financial hegemony.

Jan 23 11:13

SYRIZA Heads Towards a Majority in Greece as Elections Approach

The coalition of the radical left SYRIZA Party is poised to win the parliamentary elections on January 25 in Greece. If SYRIZA win, they could form the next government and confront the catastrophic austerity agenda that has plagued Greece and thrown it into a severe economic crisis. The possibility of SYRIZA-led government is sending chills down the spines of the European power centers in Berlin and in Paris and at the European Union headquarters in Brussels.

Jan 23 11:13

The Grand Strategy To Cast Off the Corporate State

If the strategies and tactics within this document are implemented successfully, our movement will be more united, driven, connected, funded, and determined than ever before. The corporate state will be broken in both finances and spirit.

Jan 23 11:12

Next Week's Bloodbath At IBM Won't Fix The Real Problem

To fix its business problems and speed up its “transformation,” next week about 26 percent of IBM’s employees will be getting phone calls from their managers. A few hours later a package will appear on their doorsteps with all the paperwork. Project Chrome will hit many of the worldwide services operations. The USA will be hit hard, but so will other locations. IBM’s contractors can expect regular furloughs in 2015. One in four IBMers reading this column will probably start looking for a new job next week. Those employees will all be gone by the end of February.

Jan 23 09:33

VTB Bank Head: End of Banking Relationship with US Would Lead to War

The head of a leading Kremlin-owned bank warned on Friday that further banking sanctions would lead Russia and the U.S. to the “brink of war.”

Jan 23 09:18

UPS warns of disappointing results

United Parcel Service, Inc. warned of disappointing fourth-quarter and full-year results, as higher-than-expected seasonal expenses and currency headwinds dragged down earnings.

Jan 23 09:17

DreamWorks stock slumps 13%, analysts adopt cautious tone

Shares of DreamWorks Animation fell close to 13% in pre-market trade Friday as investors reacted to a new strategic plan that calls for the slicing of 500 jobs, or 18% of its workforce, and the scaling back of original filmmaking.

Jan 23 09:16

Deere to layoff 910 employees in Iowa, Illinois

Deere & Co. said it will place 910 employees on "indefinite layoff," from facilities in Iowa and Illinois that make agricultural equipment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is the backlash from the world's rejection of American GMO produce!

Jan 22 19:07

Currency expert: Euro going ‘well below parity’

The euro plunged to an 11-year low on Thursday, after the European Central Bank announced that it would begin a 60-euro monthly asset purchasing program. But it could still have a ways to fall.

Jan 22 16:30

Citations, vehicle impoundment cases tied to Uber concluded

The Nevada Transportation Authority on Thursday wrapped up the adjudication of 24 citations and vehicle impoundment cases connected to the illegal operation of the Uber ride-sharing app.

At the authority board’s monthly meeting, the three members unanimously approved in one vote the findings of hearing officers that reviewed each case.

The 24 cases involving Uber drivers and their vehicles was nearly half of the month’s cases involving unlicensed drivers offering motor transport in violation of state statutes.

Uber officials, who directed operations in Las Vegas, Reno and Carson City between Oct. 23 and Nov. 26, believe the company should not be subject to transportation regulations because it considers itself a technology company that arranges rides through a smartphone app and are not the transporters.

Regulators think otherwise.

Jan 22 15:44

Countries Race To Repatriate Gold, Reveals Concern Over Impending Financial Crisis

The great gold repatriation has begun…

Germany’s Bundesbank announced that the country repatriated 85 tons of gold from New York in 2014, far surpassing its previous estimates of 30 to 50 tons — and laying to waste a Bloomberg article you might have seen last summer insisting that the Germans were happy to keep their gold in American vaults. Turns out, not so much happiness. You might really label it: concern about keeping their gold in America.

Jan 22 14:06

When is Your Wealth Not Your Wealth?

Thanks to a loyal reader, Lloyd, the full interview with Harry Markopolos that started a whole new leg on my journey is presented below. Please listen BEFORE reading this article in order to fully understand the depth of lies and alleged theft that are being perpetuated against YOU and ME as you are reading. It is mind blowing.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Harry Markopolos is the man who tried to alert the SEC to the fraud being committed by Bernie Madoff-with-the-loot, but was shunned by SEC investigators, many of whom actually gave their resumes to Bernie while they were supposed to be investigating him!

Jan 22 13:51

Bank of America CEO Says Public Anger At Banks Is 'Understandable'

The head of one of the U.S.' largest banks Wednesday said that public anger at financial institutions has been “understandable” and acknowledged that Americans remain concerned about whether public policymakers have adequately protected the country from another financial crisis.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am so glad you understand. Mind holding this bag of feathers and standing still while I get this pail of tar?

Jan 22 13:46

BOMBSHELL: IRS Has Active Contract For MILLIONS With Company HHS FIRED Over Botched Healthcare.gov

Seven months after federal officials fired CGI Federal for its botched work on Obamacare website Healthcare.gov, the IRS awarded the same company a $4.5 million IT contract for its new Obamacare tax program.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Adding insult to injury!

Jan 22 13:31

SocGen Explains That Since The ECB's QE Will Fail, It Will Need To Be Increased To €3 Trillion, Include Stocks

There are a bunch of things in the ECB post-mortem note just released by SocGen's Michel Martinez, reproduced below, but here are the punchlines.

First, on the impact of ECB QE on the economy: "we argue ECB QE could be five times less efficient than in the US. In December, press reports suggested that the ECB had run studies suggesting that a €1000bn QE programme would only boost price levels by 0.2-0.8 after two years, five to nine times less efficient than the studies for the US or the UK. The impact on GDP is not provided, but it would be reasonable to assume the same impact as on inflation on a cumulated basis."

In other words, it will be an outright failure as it "triest" to boost inflation expectations and the European economy in its current format. That, as a reminder, is its stated purpose.

So what does SocGen suggest? Simple: the same thing every Keynesian says when justifying why a piece of occult economic voodoo fails to work: it wasn't big enough. To wit:

Jan 22 13:30

The Euro Crashes To 12 Year Lows And Now The US Commerce Secretary Starts To Grumble About A Strong Dollar

now that the exports of Europe - the single largest economic block in the world - are cheap enough to compete with Japan's just as cheap, thanks to currency debasement, goods and services in the global arena, it means that the biggest loser is obvious: the United States, whose currency has soared to nosebleed levels on expectations that the Fed will hike and that the US will somehow decouple from a world that is drowning in economic malaise.

Jan 22 12:52

Asset Ownership and Our System of Deepening Debt-Serfdom

Debt-serfs who make the difficult and risky transition to small-scale business owners find they have simply moved to another class of serfdom.

The core dynamic of debt-serfdom is that debt-serfs must borrow money to buy essentials while the wealthy borrow to invest in productive assets.

This is not merely a random result of free-market capitalism; it is the structure of cartel-capitalism in which highly profitable goods and services must be paid for with highly profitable debt.

Jan 22 12:37

Ukraine requests fresh IMF bailout

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has asked the IMF for a new and broader rescue package, IMF head Christine Lagarde said on Wednesday (Jan 21) as the war-torn country fights to save its reeling economy.

Lagarde met Poroshenko on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos and said Ukraine requested that the Washington-based IMF deepen its relationship with Kiev.

The meeting took place soon after Poroshenko told an audience of the world's financial elite in Davos that 9,000 Russian troops were backing Ukrainian separatist fighters.

Jan 22 12:35

European Commission's Clever Ruse To Introduce Corporate Sovereignty Regardless Of Ratification Votes In EU

Because of the complicated nature of power-sharing in the European Union, some international agreements require the approval of both the European Parliament and of every Member State -- so-called "mixed agreements." It is generally accepted that both the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) and TAFTA/TTIP are mixed agreements, and will therefore require a double ratification: by the full European Parliament, and all the EU governments. Indeed, the European Commission has frequently cited this fact to bolster its assertion that both CETA and TAFTA/TTIP are being negotiated democratically, since the European public -- through their representatives -- will have their say in these final votes.

Jan 22 12:34

European Commission's Clever Ruse To Introduce Corporate Sovereignty Regardless Of Ratification Votes In EU

Because of the complicated nature of power-sharing in the European Union, some international agreements require the approval of both the European Parliament and of every Member State -- so-called "mixed agreements." It is generally accepted that both the Canada-EU trade agreement (CETA) and TAFTA/TTIP are mixed agreements, and will therefore require a double ratification: by the full European Parliament, and all the EU governments. Indeed, the European Commission has frequently cited this fact to bolster its assertion that both CETA and TAFTA/TTIP are being negotiated democratically, since the European public -- through their representatives -- will have their say in these final votes.

Jan 22 12:31

Greek Bank Withdrawals Reached €4.2 Billion in 3 Days

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yep; It's a bank run!

Jan 22 12:11

Second Canadian Company Completing Tar-Sands Pipeline into the U.S.

For six years, TransCanada has negotiated federal and state laws, and contended with the opposition of environmental organizations and landowners, to build the Keystone XL: a 36-inch-diameter, 1,700-mile pipeline that, if completed, would transport 830,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Canadian tar-sands oil from Alberta, Canada, to the Gulf Coast.

The U.S. State Department has not issued the required presidential permit, which would declare the importing of tar-sands oil in the “national interest.” And the Nebraska Supreme Court just heard oral arguments on a landowners’ lawsuit that could cost TransCanada another year if it has to reapply for its permit in the state.

The stalled process has led one equities analyst to observe that, “Keystone XL doesn’t look like it will ever get fully up and running.”

Jan 22 11:30

Look Who’s Dragging Down the Global Economy Though No One Is Allowed to Say it

The “wealth effect” exists. The top 1% benefited from it. Their assets
were bailed out by central banks. Their confidence grew, and they increased their leverage by borrowing at near-zero cost to buy even more assets that they were sure would continue to increase in price because central banks were continuing to print money and serve up ZIRP that would encourage more leverage and more buying. And they bought more assets and drove up prices further, which made them feel even better and more confident. They increased spending, and it started that “virtuous circle” where the 1% got richer and richer and the top 80 folks in the world made out like bandits.

Alas, there aren’t enough of them to have any real impact on the economy

Jan 22 10:31

Greece - By The Numbers

Greece is reeling from the effects of the biggest economic crisis in its recent history. Here are 12 statistics, via The Wall Street Journal, underscoring the severity of the crisis now reaching into all aspects of Greek life...

Jan 22 10:30

Royal Mint sells gold bars directly for the first time

For the first time in 47 years, the Royal Mint is manufacturing gold and silver bars which are available for everyone to invest in

Jan 22 10:24

Shadow banking now poses top risk to US stability, warns IMF

Non-financial lending has reached $15 trillion since the crisis and is outside the control of authorities warns the Fund's deputy chief

WEBMASTER ADDITION: What this means is that people are starting to do business without going through the privately-owned central banks, and the bankers are worried they may lose their monopoly.

Jan 22 10:01

SNB official defends 'best option' for franc

Switzerland would have had to spend more than $100 billion this month alone if it had continued efforts to hold down the value of its currency, a senior central bank official said on Thursday.

Jan 22 09:56

A Billionaire Lectures Serfs in Davos – Claims “America’s Lifestyle Expectations are Far Too High”

If you listened closely this morning, you could hear humanity vomit as JP Morgan CEO, Jamie Dimon, began to speak at Davos. In what amounted to some of the most egotistical and delusional statements heard at a conference filled with egotistical and delusional participants, Mr. Dimon didn’t disappoint. Here are a couple highlights courtesy of Twitter:

Jan 22 09:55

Greece Elections – Why The Entire World Is Watching!

This Sunday the citizens of Greece will be voting in a national election that will serve as a referendum on the EU-invoked austerity program that the country has been living through!

At stake is the decision that a newly elected government might make to pull Greece out of the Eurozone in what has widely become termed Grexit.

At stake also is the impact that a win by an anti-austerity and anti-EU party might have on the politics of other Eurozone countries that face similar issues and, perhaps, on the viability of the Eurozone itself.

Jan 22 09:16

U.S. Steel to idle two oil, gas pipe plants, laying off 756

U.S. Steel Corp. said it will shut down two more oil and natural gas pipe plants and lay off 756 workers, highlighting the fallout from the global collapse in the oil prices, which analysts say could muddy the company's turnaround plans.

Jan 22 09:16

2,000 jobs threatened as United mulls outsourcing at US airports

The Chicago-based carrier, an arm of United Continental Holdings Inc UAL 4.67% , informed employees Monday that jobs up for review included baggage handlers and gate and customer service agents at 28 airports that are not hubs, ranging from Atlanta to Anchorage. It has yet to make any decisions.

Jan 22 09:15

Schlumberger to cut 9,000 jobs on oil-price plunge

Schlumberger Ltd, the world's No.1 oilfield services provider, said it will cut 9,000 jobs, or about 7 percent of its workforce, as it focuses on controlling costs in response to a continuing fall in oil prices.

Jan 22 09:14

One Of The Biggest Oil Companies In The World Says It Will Lay Off Thousands

Oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Inc. said it expects to lay off about 7,000 employees, days after industry leader Schlumberger Ltd said it would cut jobs as drilling activity slows due to a steep fall in oil prices.

Jan 22 09:13

Biz Break: eBay to lay off 2,400, could split into three parts

Today: eBay announces that it will lay off more than 2,000 workers, and it may split off its enterprise unit in addition to PayPal. Also: Microsoft shows off Windows 10, Apple makes an acquisition.

Jan 22 09:13

American Express to cut more than 4,000 jobs over this year

A representative for the company told CNBC that it is planning to cut the jobs but that this is only a gross figure, and that the firm will also continue to hire selectively in parts of the organization. Additionally, American Express reported quarterly earnings that slightly beat analysts' expectations on Wednesday, and CEO Ken Chenault said in a release that "tight controls on the cost side of the ledger" had benefited the company.

Jan 22 09:12

Macy's closing 14 stores, including 1 in N.C., announces layoffs

The 14 stores are expected to close by early spring. The 14 account for $130 million in annual sales. The company expects some of that to be retained by nearby stores and online sales.

The company said employees displaced by store closings will be offered positions in nearby stores where possible or be given severance benefits.

Jan 22 09:05

Jobless Claims Over 300k For 3rd Week, Spike In Shale States

Not "unambiguously good" as Shale states see initial jobless claims spiking. Overall initial jobless claims missed expectations for the 4th week in a row, holding above 300k for the 3d week in a row (for the first time since July). At 307k, this week's print is below last week's but well above the 300k expectation. However, across TX, CO, ND, PA, and WV, initial claims (1 week lagged) rose to over 75k (from 30k in October)... "crisis has passed"?

Jan 22 08:35

Corporations Use Spies To Undermine Nonprofits

Jan 21 13:47

Former White Official Exposes Shocking Real Reason For Historic 58-Sigma Move By Swiss

What actually happened was the Swiss National Bank realized that the balance sheet of the central bank’s ratio to the Swiss GDP had already reached a level of nearly 100 percent. And given what’s going on in the world — we’ve got inflation of 23 percent in Argentina, it’s projected to be 17 percent in Russia — inflation is picking up rapidly in many parts of the world and social unrest is unfolding. All of that gives Switzerland inbound capital flight from other countries.

They concluded that the combination of euro quantitative easing, plus the inbound capital flight and the likelihood of more geopolitical confrontation with Russia, which also pushes money into Switzerland — all of that put them on a trajectory so that if they would have continued to defend the currency peg, the Swiss National Bank's balance sheet would have been over a staggering 200 percent of GDP within one year.

Jan 21 13:32

Right on cue: ECB to flood the market with cash

A proposal from the European Central Bank’s Frankfurt-based executive board calls for bond purchases of roughly €50 billion ($58 billion) a month that would last for a minimum of one year, according to people familiar with the matter, an indication that officials are weighing massive stimulus to shore up the eurozone’s fragile economy and boost inflation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So the ECB (like the FED) creates a ton of cash out of think air to buy up government and corporate bonds, which means eventually the ECB (like the FED) basically own the governments and corporations ... and all for the cost of ink and paper.

Jan 21 13:18

RICKARDS: BRACE FOR FINANCIAL STORM 6x LARGER THAN 2008

Over the coming months, I believe we could see an economic meltdown at least six times the size of the 2007 subprime mortgage meltdown…

The next financial collapse, already on our radar screen, will not come from hedge funds or home mortgages. It will come from junk bonds, especially energy-related and emerging-market corporate debt. The Financial Times recently estimated that the total amount of energy-related corporate debt issued from 2009-2014 for exploration and development is over $5 trillion. Meanwhile, the Bank for International Settlements recently estimated that the total amount of emerging-market dollar-denominated corporate debt is over $9 trillion.

Jan 21 11:50

Over US$ 100 Trillion Additional Credit Needed to Support Global Growth

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, the only way to keep the debt-based economy working is to force massive additional debt onto the people.

Jan 21 09:27

The GOVERNMENT Intends to CONFISCATE EVERYTHING YOU OWN!

When a small group of people subvert the laws that make everyone equal and place themselves above the law, it is only a matter of time before freedom becomes forced servitude.

The actions by the U.S. government are giving the tell tale signs of complete destruction of liberty and the institution of what can only be called slavery of the masses.

Those at the top are engaged in the transformation of the nation into a feudal society where a few are very rich and the rest are subjected to poverty and earning a meager existence at best.

Jan 21 09:08

Nick Turse, A Shadow War in 150 Countries

From the point of view of the U.S. military and the national security state, the period from September 12, 2001, to late last night could be summed up in a single word: more. What Washington funded with your tax dollars was a bacchanalia of expansion intended, as is endlessly reiterated, to keep America “safe.” But here’s the odd thing: as the structure of what’s always called “security” is built out ever further into our world and our lives, that world only seems to become less secure. Odder yet, that “more” is rarely a focus of media coverage, though its reality is glaringly obvious. The details may get coverage but the larger reality -- the thing being created in Washington -- seems of remarkably little interest.

Jan 21 08:58

CIA Insider Warns: "25-Year Great Depression is About to Strike America"

In an exclusive interview with Money Morning, Jim Rickards, the CIA's Financial Threat and Asymmetric Warfare Advisor, has stepped forward to warn the American people that time is running out to prepare for this $100 trillion meltdown.

"Everybody knows we have a dangerous level of debt. Everybody knows the Fed has recklessly printed trillions of dollars. These are secrets to no one," he said.

"But all signs are now flashing bright red that our chickens are about to come home to roost."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 21 08:56

Shipbuilding Industry Claims McCain Is Threatening National Security

The shipbuilding industry is launching a counteroffensive against Republican Sen. John McCain's effort to repeal a protectionist law that artificially raises domestic shipping costs.

Jan 21 08:53

Manufacturing Hit by Oil-Price Plunge? Southeast Worst Since Financial Crisis

The collapse in the prices of oil, natural gas, and natural-gas liquids has started to make its imprint on the largest hydrocarbon producer in the world, namely the US of A. Oilfield layoffs and project cancellations are raining down on the oil patch on a daily basis. Suppliers are hit too. Many energy stocks are in the process of evisceration. Energy junk bonds are in a rout.

But consumers love it – those who aren’t losing their jobs over it – because they spend less on fuel. Consumers are voters. So politicians love it because voters love it. Hence, it’s good for the economy. I get that.

Jan 21 08:48

Here's What Austin's Newest Housing For the Chronically Homeless Looks Like

Plans are moving ahead in the Austin area to house about 200 people who are chronically homeless. Community First Village has been about a decade in the making and in just a matter of months, it will break ground.

Jan 21 08:27

Financial Repression Is Financial Authoritarianism

Financial repression is a term used to describe measures sometimes used by governments to boost their coffers and/or reduce debt. These measures include the deliberate attempt to hold down interest rates to below inflation, representing a tax on savers and a transfer of benefits from lenders to borrowers. Financial repression is also used to describe measures to facilitate a domestic market for government debt and the imposition of capital controls. The combined effect of all these measures means funds are channeled to the government that would otherwise flow elsewhere.

Jan 21 08:25

Peter Boehringer – This is Suspicious to Say the Least – Show Me the GOLD!

Now we find out that the Bundesbank [here after referred to as BuBa] announces they were able to pry 85 tons of gold out of the hands of the Federal Reserve in New York and an additional 35 tons out of France. Of course this was done under the watchful eye of the Bank for International Settlement (BIS) and all the gold was stamped with 2014 dates. The German people, according to Peter Boehringer, have no proof that BuBa actually received any gold, from anywhere. No documentation, no photos, no assays, no nothing, no shipping manifest; nothing. How can take possession of an item, any item, especially something as sensitive as YOUR NATIONAL GOLD, and not be provided with any paperwork? Really? The time I checked I did not see “fool” tattooed on my forehead. We are suppose to believe the BIS supervised the shipment, assayed the gold and accounted for all the bars but they can not provide ANY paperwork!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remember after the scandal erupted over the missing gold from the New York Fed, there was an editorial from CNBC that stated that it didn't matter if the gold was really there or not, so long as the official records said it was there. So maybe what the BIS is doing is simply moving paper records around.

Jan 21 08:07

Why Are Central Bankers Surprised by Monetary Disasters?

Again we see the adoption of a dialectical position. The mainstream media has been in full cry over the necessity for money printing and central bank bond purchases.

Now, comes a BIS former official – apparently someone with considerable clout – who says exactly the opposite thing. William White has come onto the record warning against what the European Central Bank plans to do as soon as possible.

Jan 21 07:58

Russia To Collapse Dollar, White House Prepares For Civil Unrest

Is the Pentagon preparing for civil unrest in the United States?

With the Russian Ruble about to collapse Russia and China are pushing for a collapse of the U.S. dollar. It’s a race between the superpowers to see which currency will collapse first.

Experts have said that the U.S. and Europe cannot survive for much longer, and with Russia’s economic surplus, its looking likely that the Ruble will out-live the dollar.

Jan 21 07:36

Identity theft insurance: Is it worth it?

FROM THE COMMENTS: A long time ago people use to keep their money under the mattress. The problem was if the house burned down, you lost your life savings. So people started putting their money in banks for safekeeping. Now the banks are telling us they are not capable of safeguarding our money and they're going to need to start charging a monthly fee for identity theft insurance over above the service fees we already pay them. Well if the banks are incapable of safeguarding our money, maybe we need to rethink the mattress!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maybe it is time to drop the plastic and go back to a cash system, if the banks are not able to keep our money safe (and are using negative interest rates on our savings accounts, and allowed to loot our savings when things get tough)

Jan 20 18:36

Michael Rivero - January 19, 2015 - Escalating War in UkraineThreat to World Peace?

Jan 20 14:05

The Swiss That Broke the Camel’s Back

This is it. The hammer has fallen, the line in the sand is breached, and the camel’s back is fractured. The foundation of the financial house of cards just gave it’s first tremor. The move by the Swiss National Bank (SNB) to unpeg the franc from the euro will go down in history as the first shot in this war. The likelihood that a derivatives time bomb has been lit is near certain. Currency market moves are often the most sensitive, the most deeply tied into the interwoven system of financial ‘trading’.

Jan 20 13:44

Netanyahu forced to look for new markets in Asia as the EU rejects Israeli goods in face of Illegal Settlement Policy

The current anti-Israeli feeling in Europe has led to manufacturers and retailers opting for non-Israeli products and produce as more importers decide not to buy goods from a state that treats the United Nations and human rights law with such contempt.

Up to now, the EU has been Israel’s primary, bilateral trading partner but the political climate has radically changed in recent months as Europe loses patience with the Netanyahu government and its all too obvious moves to prevent the establishment of a Palestinian state. The EU urgently wants a settlement to the Palestinian conflict but now sees that the current right-wing, Israeli administration of Binyamin Netanyahu is not, and never will be, a partner for peace.

Jan 20 13:28

Silver Tops $18, Gold Nears $1300 - Highest in 5 Months

As stocks, copper, crude, and bond yields plunge this morning, gold (and silver) prices are surging. With gold near $1,300 - 5-month highs, and silver topping $18 - 4-month highs; it appears investor demand for non-fiat currency is growing (and not just for China and Russia)...

Jan 20 11:29

Russia and China ‘Furiously’ Buying Up Gold

A larger global currency shift is underway.

And it may be happening much more quickly than anyone has realized.

Things are definitely in motion. Call it a game of musical chairs, or an exercise in rearranging chairs on the Titanic, or just that a tilting balance of power. Just don’t make the mistake of thinking this is all routine.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I invested in gold coins, but I discovered that they lose their value if you eat the chocolate part inside!

Jan 20 10:47

China’s Undisclosed Gold Reserves: A Dagger Pointed At The Heart Of The Dollar

China has a 4-way global gold supply domination strategy. And it’s starting to corner the market.

First, China buys physical gold in world markets, fabricates it where necessary into “good delivery” bars – in Switzerland or the Middle East – then ships the bullion, transparently through Hong Kong or Shanghai (or quietly through Beijing and other ports of entry).

Second, it keeps virtually all domestically mined gold “in house.”

Jan 20 10:32

First It Refused To Bail Out Its Insolvent Banks; Now Iceland Set To Officially Withdraw European Union Application

Iceland may be a small country, but when it comes to dealing with big problems it is truly the modern equivalent of David in the battle against the status quo Goliath. First, it was Iceland, and only Iceland, refusing to bail out its banks, when every other western nation was being held hostage by those who stood to lose the most from a financial collapse, and even going so far as throwing some of its banking executives in prison. And now, as MBL reports, Iceland's con­ser­v­a­tive In­de­pen­dence Party will sup­port a res­o­lu­tion in par­lia­ment to for­mally with­draw Ice­land's ap­pli­ca­tion to join the Eu­ro­pean Union.

Jan 20 10:26

60 U.S. malls on life support

FBN’s Jeff Flock reports on the state of the shopping mall.

Jan 20 09:58

Obama to gloat over resurgent U.S. economy in State of the Union address

Exactly six years after President Obama took office in the depths of the recession, the economy has finally improved enough for the president to brag about it Tuesday night in his annual State of the Union address.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 20 09:56

Majority of French Citizens Say Mistral Ships Should Be Delivered to Russia

According to a recent opinion poll, 72 percent of French citizens believe that failure to deliver Mistral-class helicopter carriers to Russia will have direct negative consequences for France's defense sector and affect other contracts.

Jan 20 09:46

H&R Block: ‘No One Can Understand’ New Obamacare Tax Code

H&R Block, the nation’s largest retail tax preparation company warns that the newly released Obamacare tax code, officially called the Affordable Care Act, is likely to confuse millions of taxpayers who try to tackle their tax returns for 2014.

“Now that the Affordable Care Act has made health care a tax issue, no one can understand it,” H&R Block flatly tells taxpayers in a video that resides on its dedicated Obamacare web site.

A former IRS Commissioner agrees, and cautions that the new tax requirements will be a “shock to the system,” especially afflicting low-income earners who have never itemized on their tax return.

Jan 20 09:44

Are Plunging Petrodollar Revenues Behind the Fed’s Projected Rate Hikes?

Why is the Fed threatening to raise interest rates when the economy is still in the doldrums? Is it because they want to avoid further asset-price inflation, prevent the economy from overheating, or is it something else altogether? Take a look at the chart below and you’ll see why the Fed might want to raise rates prematurely. It all has to do with the sharp decline in petrodollars that are no longer recycling into US financial assets.

Jan 20 09:43

50,000 Wall Street jobs cut

There’s blood on the Street.

In a wild swing of the ax that has shocked many pundits, Wall Street’s biggest banks have slashed nearly 50,000 jobs, and bonuses and expense money are being cut as profit opportunities dry up.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Awwwww ... let's all feel weally bad for the poo widdle bankers. Boo Hoo Hoo!

Sorry guys. You plundered the American people for a fast buck and it was a hell of a ride, but now that the entire system is coming down because of your antics, don't expect the American people to shed a single tear over your misfortune, because these things are relative and even in your declines, you are living far higher than the rest of the people.

Jan 20 09:12

Gold Is Indicating Fear

Gold continues to power higher on safe-haven buying ahead of the ECB’s stimulus announcement on Thursday and the Greek election scheduled for Sunday. Except for palladium, which I believe is not only responding in sympathy with gold but also moving higher on fundamental supply issues, the other industrial metals continue to lag.

Jan 20 09:11

Gold Price Model Says Gold Still Undervalued

In my opinion gold reached an important low in November, and in spite of a rising dollar, has rallied since then in dollar terms, and even more in most other fiat currencies.

However gold is still undervalued by about 16% according to my long-term empirical model. Further, gold has potential to rally far higher and is likely to overshoot the 2014 equilibrium price of $1,527 calculated by the gold model. Gold could easily reach $2,000 by late 2015 or 2016.

Jan 20 08:55

First Schlumberger Fires 9,000; Now Baker Hughes Unleashes 7,000 More Layoffs

Another day, another unambiguously bad announcement from America's bettered energy sector which are bolting down ahead of the crude storm, and firing thousands. Last week it was Schlumberger which announced it would fire 9000, today it is Baker Hughes which just warned it too will hand out about 7000 pink slips in the first quarter. And as a reminder, when it comes to comp: each Baker Hughes job is equivalent to about 10 waiter and bartender jobs, which have been the basis of this "recovery."

Jan 19 17:00

SOTU address: Obama to bash the wealthy as Iranians and Russians sign deal

As President Barack Obama prepares to give his highly-anticipated State of the Union address in which he's expected to target the people he believes are America's real enemy -- the American people who possess wealth -- the nations of Iran and Russia plan to sign what is a significant memorandum of understanding (MOU) on increasing the two nations' military cooperation.

Jan 19 13:19

"Next Time Around The Feds Are Going To Have To Confiscate Stuff"

In short, enjoy the $2.50-a-gallon fill-ups while you can, grasshoppers, because when the current crop of fast-depleting shale oil wells dries up, that will be all she wrote. When all those bonds held up on their skyhook derivative hedges go south, there will be no more financing available for the entire shale oil project. No more high-yield bonds will be issued because the previous issues defaulted. Very few new wells (if any) will be drilled. American oil production will not return to its secondary highs (after the 1970 all-time high) of 2014-15. The wish of American energy independence will be steaming over the horizon on the garbage barge of broken promises. And all, that, of course, is only one part of the story, because there is the social and political fallout to follow.

Jan 19 13:14

Chinese Stocks Crash Most Since Feb 2007, Futures Limit-Down After Regulatory Crackdown On Margin-Trading

*SHANGHAI COMPOSITE HEADS FOR BIGGEST LOSS SINCE FEBRUARY 2007
*CHINA CSI 300 INDEX FUTURES FALL BY 10% LIMIT

Jan 19 11:01

Would forgiving Greece’s debt really be that bad?

"A debt is a debt and it is a contract," IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde told The Irish Times in an interview on Monday when asked about the general idea of holding a debt conference. "Defaulting, restructuring, changing the terms has consequences on the signature and the confidence in the signature," she said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The instant Greece's debt is forgiven, every other EU member will demand the same. That is the reason for Christine Legarde's hard line.

Jan 19 09:58

"De-Dollarization" Deepens: Russia Buys Most Gold In Six Months, Continues Selling US Treasuries

The rumors of Russia selling its gold reserves, it is now clear, were greatly exaggerated as not only did Putin not sell, Russian gold reserves rose by their largest amount in six months in December to just over $46 billion (near the highest since April 2013). It appears all the "Russia is selling" chatter did was lower prices enabling them to gather non-fiat physical assets at a lower cost. On the other hand, there is another trend that continues for the Russians - that of reducing their exposure to US Treasury debt. For the 20th month in a row, Russia's holdings of US Treasury debt fell year-over-year - selling into the strength.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Worth a repeat

Jan 19 09:53

Switzerland May Be Preparing for the End of the Euro

If you haven’t been paying attention in the last 24 hours, the currency and equity markets have been rocked by a surprise move to delink the existing currency peg between the Euro and the Swiss Franc. This move has set off what many are calling a “financial tsunami” that could leave behind a path of destruction across the continent.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is a "Bash the Swiss" article, but the reality is that with the ECB about to launch QE across Europe, the Swiss saw the losses from the resulting inflation as too great to accept.

Jan 19 08:23

Rents and housing prices unaffordable to middle class in Los Angeles: The typical LA renter needs to earn $33 an hour just to afford a basic apartment.

Last year there was a report highlighting that LA and Orange County ranked number one in being the bubbliest housing markets in the US. The report essentially found that people in the area lagged in income relative to housing values compared to folks in New York or San Francisco and most in SoCal basically funneled a large portion of their net income into housing. LA and OC are also expensive to rent in.

Jan 19 08:05

Netanyahu says Europe's 'Islamization' pushing Israel to expand Asia trade

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that a wave of anti-Semitism and what he called “Islamization” in Western Europe are factors in the government’s push to expand trade with Asia.

Jan 19 08:03

Middle class decline looms over final years of Obama presidency

Barack Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue.

Jan 19 07:59

ECB Stimulation: The Trap Closes

European Economy ... No More Excuses for Draghi ... For months, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi has hinted that he's ready to announce a full-blown program of quantitative easing. [Now] the EU Court of Justice's advocate general cleared away a possible legal obstacle.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... which triggered the Swiss unpegging.

Beyond that, there is a simple process at work here. In a world using a debt-based currency issued by private central banks, the process of QE is how those bankers, using just ink and paper and numbers in a computer, come to own all the hard assets of planet earth.

Jan 18 22:15

"De-Dollarization" Deepens: Russia Buys Most Gold In Six Months, Continues Selling US Treasuries

The rumors of Russia selling its gold reserves, it is now clear, were greatly exaggerated as not only did Putin not sell, Russian gold reserves rose by their largest amount in six months in December to just over $46 billion (near the highest since April 2013). It appears all the "Russia is selling" chatter did was lower prices enabling them to gather non-fiat physical assets at a lower cost. On the other hand, there is another trend that continues for the Russians - that of reducing their exposure to US Treasury debt. For the 20th month in a row, Russia's holdings of US Treasury debt fell year-over-year - selling into the strength.

Jan 18 22:14

Hedge Fund Manager Who Survived Five Debt Crises Wiped Out Overnight on Swiss Franc

Marko Dimitrijevic, the hedge fund manager who survived at least five emerging market debt crises, is closing his largest hedge fund after losing virtually all its money this week when the Swiss National Bank unexpectedly let the franc trade freely against the euro, according to a person familiar with the firm.

Jan 18 22:12

Will China be the next forex peg to break?

The surprise move by Switzerland to scrap its currency ceiling against the euro EURCHF, +0.76% last week is a reminder there can be unexpected collateral damage from central banks waging currency wars. As markets digest last week’s turmoil, expect focus to turn to other fault lines on the global currency map.

Here China stands out, as like the Swiss, it runs an implicit currency peg that is becoming increasingly painful to maintain.

Jan 18 14:48

RadioShack prepares to file for bankruptcy

Troubled electronics retailer is considering selling its assets out of bankruptcy to a private equity firm.

Jan 18 09:32

Berlin in constant fear ECB will be lender of last resort

The European Central Bank faces another moment of truth as its governors debate whether to buy up the sovereign bonds of euro zone countries to avert a deflationary spiral. At issue still is the attitude of the German faction in the bank, which is resolutely opposed to such moves. But what explains this stance?

The stock response is that German hypersensitivity over the use of central bank printing presses can be traced right back to the country’s painful encounter with hyperinflation in the 1920s, when the Weimar Republic printed more and more banknotes to finance expenditure.

Jan 18 08:52

Everest Macro Hedge Fund Blows Up After Nearly $1 BIllion In Swiss Franc Losses

We also added that "We have yet to find out just which hedge funds were blown up yesterday", for the simple reason that unlike public banks who have an obligation to reveal news, especially bad, to their shareholders, hedge funds PMs hope to avoid the LP firing squad until the last second. Alas, there is only so long that the day of reckoning can be delayed.

One such fund is the Everest Capital Global macro fund, which went from just shy of a billion to zero in milliseconds as a result of a near wipe out due to a massive CHF-short position.

Jan 18 08:48

Welcome to the Oligarch Recovery – Majority of Public School Students are in Poverty for First Time in 50 Years

“When they first come in my door in the morning, the first thing I do is an inventory of immediate needs: Did you eat? Are you clean? A big part of my job is making them feel safe,” said Sonya Romero-Smith, a veteran teacher at Lew Wallace Elementary School in Albuquerque. Fourteen of her 18 kindergartners are eligible for free lunches.

She helps them clean up with bathroom wipes and toothbrushes, and she stocks a drawer with clean socks, underwear, pants and shoes.

From the Washington Post article: Majority of U.S. Public School Students are in Poverty

It’s a recovery so lopsided only Timothy Geithner or an oligarch could love it. Since 2008, U.S. economic policy has concentrated on funneling as much money as possible to billionaires, keeping the poor alive and submissive through government programs, and squeezing the middle class to death while at the same time holding out the carrot of hope that things will return to how they were before (they won’t).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Please be aware that numbers like this do not just happen by accident.

Obama has been a master at waving his faux populism about,in order to get the masses to believe that he actually thinks this way.

But at the end of the day, he is no less a flunky to the monied classes who got him elected twice than was his predecessor, George Bush.

Jan 18 08:46

Wall street banks trying to secure themselves for the collapse?

your savings

image: http://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/icon1.png
, pensions, insurances etc. will all be gone, as derivatives are now the most protected assets according to the new law…

Jan 18 08:39

Greek Bank Runs Herald Exit From Eurozone

A fiat currency is only worth what people think it is worth. That goes for a country’s banking system as well. In Greece, where the Eurozone crisis started almost five years ago, it seems the Greek people do not have much faith in their banking institutions.

The bank runs have started. Who knows where this current round of Greek tragedy will end? I can say it will not end well.

Jan 18 08:28

Chief of Obamacare rollout resigns amid allegations of misconduct

The top Obama official overseeing the so-called rollout of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) of 2010, commonly called ObamaCare, has notified the administration on Friday that she his leaving her position after serving five years. Marilyn Tavenner, the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) administrator, said she will official vacate her office in February.

Tavenner's service included the rollout snafu in which the multi-million dollar HealthCare.gov website cause enormous problems for both the Obama administration and the Americans attempting to enroll. It also included allegations of "gaming the numbers" when it was discovered the administration released a report containing inflated enrollment statistics.

Jan 17 10:42

Muscular Swiss franc creates financial havoc in Poland and Hungary

The fallout from the decision taken by the Swiss National Bank to remove the cap on its currency is a dream for some and a nightmare for others.

In Geneva queues formed outside foreign-exchange offices as those with Swiss francs hastily changed them into euros while the going was good.

One such man expressed his delight: “For me it is excellent news, for everything, for holidays, for shopping. I do a lot of shopping in France it is cheaper than in Switzerland and now its even cheaper we must seize the moment.”

Not much chance for cheer in Poland where more than 1.5 million are exposed to higher interest repayments on Swiss loans.

Jan 17 10:40

Moody’s Downgrades Russia’s Government Bond Rating to Baa3

Moody's has downgraded the government bond rating for Russia from Baa3 to Baa2, the agency has said in a statement, adding that it expects the country's GDB to contract by 5.5 percent this year and by 3 percent in 2016.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Of course, Moody's also told us those mortgage backed securities were Triple-A back in 2008, so I wouldn't pay any attention to them when they talk about Russia!

Jan 17 10:34

ALL WARS ARE BANKERS' WARS - PDF version

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It has been brought to my attention that someone, intending to discourage the public from reading this article, has circulated a PDF version of "All Wars Are Bankers' Wars" that is causing damage to the computers of people who try to read it. This link is the only official WRH PDF version of this article.

Jan 17 10:02

Budget delay screams time to panic

Despite a slowing economy, massive layoffs, declining oil prices and general volatility, Federal Finance Minister Joe Oliver would like Canadians to know that it is definitely not time to panic.

Unfortunately, even though that’s what he’s saying, almost everything Oliver is doing suggests panic has already taken root in Ottawa.

Jan 16 15:18

Is The Dow Jones Industrial Average On The Verge Of Collapse?

When the stock market starts to behave like a roller coaster, that is a sign that a major move to the downside is right around the corner. As I have stated repeatedly, when the market is very calm it tends to go up. But when the waters start getting really choppy, that is a clear indication that stocks are about to plummet.

Jan 16 15:17

Bill Fleckenstein: The Bull Market In Gold Has Resumed

I don’t want to make too much of today’s news and market action, but on the other hand, I want to make sure to acknowledge what importance it does have and the fact that I think today will be looked back on as a red letter day for “administered rates” on the part of the central planners who call themselves central bankers.

Jan 16 13:24

Missing AIG executive dead, family says

Family and friends of missing AIG executive Omar Meza announced via Facebook Thursday evening that the Los Angeles man has died.

Details weren't provided in the post on the "Find Omar Meza" Facebook page, but the family thanked supporters for their search efforts while asking that their privacy be respected as they grieve.

A Friday morning press conference with the family has been canceled.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maybe he shorted Swiss Francs?

Jan 16 12:39

24-hour Spot Chart for Gold

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Headed up!

Jan 16 12:35

Currency Carnage: Why did the Swiss Pull the Peg?

As usual. Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the US treasury, provides crucial (and scathing) analysis of both US government policies and recent events in FOREX markets. He offers this simple explanation for why the Swiss central bank removed the currency peg they initiated on their franc only three years ago, leaving behind a landscape littered with currency carnage:

The answer is that the EU attorney general ruled that it was permissible for the EU central bank to initiate Quantitative Easing–that is, the printing of new euros–in order to bail out the mistakes of the private bankers. This decision means that Switzerland expects to be confronted with massive flight from the euro and that the Swiss central bank is unwilling to print enough new Swiss francs to maintain the peg. The Swiss central bank believes that it would have to run the printing press so hard that the basis of the Swiss money supply would explode, far exceeding the GDP of Switzerland.

Jan 16 12:17

Majority of U.S. public school students are in poverty

For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.

Jan 16 12:02

The U.S. Corporate State has Become the Monarch Our Founders Despised

The colonists who wrote the founding documents of the United States detested the British Empire, and vowed to do whatever it took to gain their freedom and sovereignty from a foreign power that was depleting the wealth of the country without giving anything in return. Just as King George extracted wealth and resources from the colonies for his own gain in the 18th century, the current U.S. corporate state is extracting wealth and resources from the American people, at a much greater rate than King George could have ever hoped for. If the outrage that swept the U.S. in the last months of 2014 continues to escalate, 2015 may just be the year that a new revolutionary movement coalesces to bring this hopelessly corrupt, parasitic, and toxic system to a halt.

Jan 16 11:55

It's Not Just 'Retail': Head Of European FX Sales Out After Citi Admits Massive Loss

All morning, mainstream media has been down-playing the insolvency of various retail-focused FX brokers using words like "contained" and even suggesting retail 'moms-and-pops' should not be allowed to trade FX. Now, we get more news from a non-retail institution:

*CITIGROUP SAID TO LOSE MORE THAN $150 MLN ON CURRENCY MOVES

So should Citi be banned from FX trading too? It appears so - Citi's head of European FX sales is 'said to leave' the company.

Jan 16 11:20

Economists: Michigan faces $325M deficit

State economists agreed Friday that general fund tax revenue will come in $324.6 million below previous estimates, creating a likely deficit four months into a new fiscal year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"But, but, but ... Washington DC assured us we only have a 5% unemployment rate!!!" :)

Jan 16 10:52

Euro hits fresh 11-year low against the US dollar

The euro continued to extend losses against the U.S. dollar, hitting a fresh 11-year low of $1.156.

Jan 16 09:42