ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Dec 18 07:08

For-Profit Policing

A bill introduced in the Texas legislature would do just that – giving cops credit card readers, as an adjunct to their radar detectors. Instead of just, license, registration and proof of insurance, please – it’ll be: License, registration, proof of insurance… and Visa or Mastercard, please.

And no, I am not making it up.

The bill is HB 121 and you can read all about it here. It was introduced about a month ago by a – you guessed it – “conservative” Republican. You can always count on “conservative” Republicans to bed down with law enforcement – and rape due process.

Especially if there’s a buck to be made.

Dec 18 07:06

Foreign Bankers Rape Ukraine

William Engdahl
Activist Post

If it were not for the fact that the lives of some 45 million people are at stake, Ukrainian national politics could be laughed off as a very sick joke. Any pretenses that the October national elections would bring a semblance of genuine democracy of the sort thousands of ordinary Ukrainians demonstrated for on Maidan Square just one year ago vanished with the announcement by Victoria Nuland’s darling Prime Minister, “Yat” Yatsenyuk, of his new cabinet...

Dec 18 06:53

If You Do Not Have Your Assets Outside of the US Yet, What Are You Waiting For?

Jeff Berwick

The trajectory is clear. Painfully clear.

The US government is so beyond bankrupt it isn't even worth belaboring the point. We've spent the last five years here doing so.

What is more important, if you are an American who still has most of your assets inside the US, is that the walls are closing down around you at an unprecedented rate. Nearly daily the proof continues to mount...

Dec 17 19:53

NYPD opens counterterrorism unit in Israel

“The best police department in the world”, reads a sign hung at the new NYPD office. However, it looks as if New York taxpayers may be footing the bill.

Dec 17 19:00

$4.20 Per Pound: Price of Ground Beef Climbs to Another Record

The average price of a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high — $4.201 per pound — in the United States in November, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Dec 17 17:21

Obama’s Rogue Agenda

snip: Obama is thirdworldizing America. He’s banana republicanizing it. He’s turning it into a dystopian backwater. A race to the bottom reflects official policy.

Administration policy prioritizes wealth, power and privileged interests. It lets vital popular needs go begging. Obama’s operated this way throughout his tenure.

He consigned growing millions to poverty, unemployment, underemployment, hunger, homelessness and despair. He’s got more human wrecking in mind.

He wants US resources used for militarism, warmaking, and homeland repression. He wants ordinary people left high and dry.

Dec 17 16:47

US Targeting Hundreds of Millions of Russian Civilians

White House officials are openly expressing happiness with their siege/war tactics that they say are throwing Russia into an economic collapse and are, as a scholar defending the siege notes, “hurting the Russian public’s ability to buy food or heat homes”. This eagerness to starve and freeze children is particularly relevant given the recent publicity of the US’s tactics of starving and freezing innocent detainees as well as people claimed to be “suspects”.

Dec 17 16:44

Freedom to Fascism Part 2 1

Dec 17 16:42

When Banks Become the Lawmakers

Dec 17 16:42

The War on Drugs Born 100 Years Ago

The War on Drugs is 100 years old today. It kills thousands of people, destroys untold number of lives, and wastes hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Plus it prevents us from using three of the most miraculous plants on the planet, even for their “legitimate” uses.

Dec 17 16:18

Saginaw County's Hemlock Semiconductor to shutter massive, $1.2 billion Tennessee plant

It was four years ago when Tennessee lawmakers and residents of an up-and-coming community thought all of the answers to their town's challenges were coming in the form of a $1.2 billion polycrystalline silicon plant.

Thomas Township-based Hemlock Semiconductor had plans to build a massive plant in Clarksville, Tennessee, consisting of as many as 50 buildings on a 1,215-acre site.

It was going to create "amazing opportunities for all people, especially young people," a Clarksville County official said in 2010.

On Wednesday Dec. 17, Hemlock Semiconductor officials announced that its Clarksville site, located roughly 45 minutes northwest of Nashville, is closing permanently because of sustained adverse market conditions created by oversupply of polysilicon and ongoing challenges presented by global trade disputes.

Dec 17 15:46

The Engineered Fall of the Russian Ruble

Saudi Arabia, the most influential member of OPEC, and the United States are working together to destroy the Russian economy and destabilize the country.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem with waging an economic war is how easily it can become a shooting war.

Dec 17 15:20

Dollar Collapse For Dummies

Dec 17 14:44

Central Bankers suppressing Russian economy

Webmaster's Commentary: 

If Putin starts arresting the owners of their Central Bank, the US attack will not be far behind!

Dec 17 14:24

U.S. Declares (Currency) War On Russia

U.S. economic terrorism (i.e. the One Bank’s economic terrorism) has hit a new extreme this week. This crime syndicate has launched what can be termed nothing less than an all-out effort to destroy the economy of Russia.

Its modus operandi is, once again, currency manipulation. What is the quickest/easiest way to destroy an economy? Drive the value of its currency as close to zero as possible. The effect of such a manipulated “devaluation” is a massive explosion in inflation. And the effect of that is to make all Russians much poorer.

The economic destruction caused by this economic terrorism affects Russians, and the Russian economy on a percentage-for-percentage basis. Each percentage lower that the banksters drive the ruble with their criminal manipulation makes Russians, and the Russian economy 1% poorer.

Dec 17 14:02

Gold Repatriation and The Monetary Crisis: Austria, Belgium and The Netherlands Want Their Gold Back

To say that events are now taking place at the speed of light is an understatement. It was just last Monday, I wrote a missive entitled “The Mother of all Bank Runs”. In it I wrote about the German and Dutch repatriations of gold which was then followed by the Belgians beginning discussions on the same topic. As a final speculation, I mentioned that “logically the Austrians would be next”. There was no way you could have told me it would be less than one week until the same news would actually come out of Austria! Unlike the Germans, Dutch and Belgians who have gold held in N.Y., Paris, and London, Austria holds 80% of their 280 tons of gold concentrated in London. http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-12-12/breaking-austria-considers-re... This is truly big news for several reasons which we will explore and it certainly brings up a few more questions.

Dec 17 13:39

RUSSIAN BANK RUN COULD BE ‘IN THE CARDS,’ URALSIB CAPITAL SAYS

“A full-blown currency and financial-crisis scenario seems to be unfolding in Russia in what was supposed to a quiet week as we head into the holiday season,” Slava Smolyaninov, deputy head of research, wrote in an e-mailed report today. “There is a risk that the economy will come to a sudden stop, along with the banks and the overall financial system. Hence, we may have underestimated the level of financial risk in the event of a full-fledged panic. A bank run could be in the cards.”

Dec 17 11:33

This Is What a Currency Collapse Looks Like: Shopping Frenzy: “We Have A Lot Of Rubles Losing Value Every Second”

It’s a scenario we’ve seen repeated throughout history when a nation’s currency was threatened with destruction and it’s one we may soon witness in America should confidence in the dollar as the world’s reserve currency ever be lost.

Dec 17 11:23

Central Bankers suppressing the Russian economy

Economic hardship is being created by the foreign-controlled Bank of Russia's monetary policies, to spread mass discontent and facilitate a Maidan in 2015 to remove Putin. So claims Evgeny Fedorov, citing the colonialist Central Bank law, established after Washington's victory in the Cold War, and the system of fifth-column levers, methodically operated to steer the revolution.

Dec 17 11:23

Crash the Dollar?

• U.S. interventionism has China, Russia allying to prevent WW3.

“Russia and China are pushing the U.S. into a currency crisis,” squealed The Washington Times on November 18. The article went on to claim that Russia and China have been acting in concert to create a “de-Americanized world” by dethroning the dollar as the international reserve currency. But what the Times failed to mention is that the Russians say they want to collapse the dollar for the sake of peace.

Dec 17 11:09

How Change Is Stymied — Paul Craig Roberts

The Phillips curve illustrated that an increase in employment had to be “paid for” by accepting higher inflation, and a reduction in inflation had to be “paid for” in terms of higher unemployment. The trade-offs between inflation and unemployment were worsening. The dilemma came to a head when Milton Friedman showed that the Phillips curve trade-offs had broken down and that higher inflation now brought higher unemployment.

Dec 17 11:01

Rouble vs. Dollar Games - From a Perspective of a Russian Businessman

The task is simple - we need to drop the rouble to the bottom, and then buy all the roubles that we can, giving away the dollars that are no longer needed and not guaranteed by anything. This will help concentrate all of the roubles inside the country and to assign their price independently, while holding and releasing more money to the market.

Dec 17 10:57

EU: Greek Defiance on Debt Would Be 'Suicidal'

A refusal by Greece to repay bailout debts would be "suicidal" for the country, the European Union's top finance official said Monday in a clear warning to the country's popular opposition.

EU Finance Commissioner Pierre Moscovici made the remarks after a three-hour meeting with conservative Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

"The idea of contemplating the possibility not to reimburse a huge debt is suicidal ? it's not possible, you'll be in default and that's what we've been trying to avoid for years," Moscovici said.

Moscovici's two-day visit went ahead despite stalled negotiations between Greece and bailout creditors, and took place ahead of a parliamentary vote that could topple Greece's pro-bailout government this month.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

A memo to EU Finance Commissioner Moscovici: it sure as heck was NOT suicidal when Iceland did it. They repudiated their odious debt, threw the politicians and the banksters responsible for creating their financial mess into prison, and their economy is doing quite well, thank you very much!!

I frankly think it is a GRAND model, sir, and one that the Greeks might well think about emulating.

Dec 17 10:14

Pepe Escobar, Eurasian Integration vs. the Empire of Chaos

Welcome to the new trans-Eurasia choo-choo train. At over 13,000 kilometers, it will regularly traverse the longest freight train route in the world, 40% farther than the legendary Trans-Siberian Railway. Its cargo will cross China from East to West, then Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Germany, France, and finally Spain.

The Yiwu-Madrid route across Eurasia represents the beginning of a set of game-changing developments. It will be an efficient logistics channel of incredible length. It will represent geopolitics with a human touch, knitting together small traders and huge markets across a vast landmass. It’s already a graphic example of Eurasian integration on the go. And most of all, it’s the first building block on China’s “New Silk Road,” conceivably the project of the new century and undoubtedly the greatest trade story in the world for the next decade.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What does Chinese government do to get the things it wants economically?!?

It pushes technology, and drives win/win deals.

What does the US government do to get what it wants economically?!/ It wages wars.

And what is wrong with this picture?!?

BLOODY EVERYTHING.

Dec 17 09:36

CRISIS IN RUSSIA: Seven reasons why Obama should’ve nixed the Congressional sanctions

Nothing shows more clearly just how little Americans have learned than their foreign policies. Belligerent, trigger-happy and naive, in recent years the blundering motivation behind them has been compounded by a naked desire to prosecute energy (and other raw materials) imperialism that will satisfy the infinite greed of its dominant neoliberal franchise.

What never ceases to baffle me is the American citizen surprise when, on going abroad (and over 74% of them never do) they discover the profound degree to which US interference in other people’s affairs has made them widely loathed. It is equalled in my experience only by the inability of Germans to understand why they get poor service in Greek restaurants.

Dec 17 09:29

FedEx's stock slumps after profit, sales disappoint

FedEx's stock FDX, -4.71% slumped 3% in premarket trade Wednesday, after the package delivery giant reported fiscal second-quarter profit and sales that missed expectations.

Dec 17 09:21

European stocks slump; ruble gains as central bank steps up defense

European stocks dropped Wednesday, resuming their recent run of losses as investors wrestle with economic and political uncertainty throughout the region.

The Stoxx Europe 600 SXXP, +0.19% fell 0.7% to 326.62, with all major sectors swimming in the red.

In Frankfurt, the DAX 30 index DAX, -0.12% fell 1% to 9,459.54. France’s CAC 40 PX1, +0.61% declined 0.9% to 4,058.65 and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 UKX, +0.11% declined 0.9% to 6,274.87.

At the same time, attention turned once again to Russia’s currency, which advanced against the dollar Wednesday following a report the Russian finance ministry has started to sell foreign currency in an effort to halt the ruble’s slide. The dollar was buying 64.674 rubles USDRUB, -15.46% compared with 67.893 late Tuesday.

Dec 17 08:47

Missing - the 50,000 jobless teens who have dropped off the radar

More than 50,000 people aged 16 to 18 not in education or work have “gone missing” from official statistics and are receiving no support, according to research published today.

It warned that the problem of Neets - young people not in education, employment or training - is much bigger than local authorities realises because tens of thousands of them have “disappeared off the radar”. In London alone, an estimated 15,000 youngsters have “gone missing”.

Dec 17 08:40

16 Important Rules of Survival and Preparedness

by Gaye Levy

Having a survival mindset means you are always ready to take on new challenges, right? Although I fully believe that new challenges are a good thing, it is sometimes downright frustrating to recognize that prep as we do, we are never really ready.

Part of the disconnect from being totally prepared is having the knowledge that we will never be able to prepare for everything. As recently as four years ago, we were preparing for the end of the world as we know it and a global economic collapse. And now? The flavor of the month is a pandemic, a cyber attack, and the potential for another world war...

Dec 17 08:32

Surprise! Guess which currency has stronger fundamentals— the dollar or… ruble?

The US Federal Reserve only has a basic capital ratio of 1.26%. Talk about razor thin. (This is down from 4.5% just a few years ago)

That means if the value of the Fed’s assets declines by only 1.26%, the issuer of the world’s dominant reserve currency becomes insolvent.

Now, what happens to the liabilities of an insolvent entity? They decrease in value. Just like how Greek bonds (the liabilities of the Greek government) collapsed a few years ago.

What are the Fed’s liabilities? Open your wallet. Those green pieces of paper aren’t ‘dollars’. Just look. They have “Federal Reserve Note” (i.e. debt) printed on them.

So the Fed’s pitiful financial condition directly affects the value of the dollar over the long-term.

On the other hand, the Russian central bank’s ratio is 12.5%—literally almost TEN TIMES GREATER than the Fed.

Dec 17 08:22

Upper House plans probe into Central Bank role in ruble crash

Federation Council Chair Valentina Matviyenko has ordered a vote on a parliamentary investigation into the recent activities of the Central Bank and its alleged role in the worst-ever plunge of the ruble rate.

The motion was initiated by Senator Evgeny Tarlo (Tambov Region) who sits in the Upper House committee for economic policy.

“I suggest to start a parliamentary investigation into activities of the Central Bank that has allowed violations of the citizens’ Constitutional rights, including the right for property,” the RIA Novosti quoted Tarlo as saying on Wednesday.

Dec 17 08:10

Total Chaos: Massive Market Moves Spark Selling-Panic Into Close

Incredible Volatility today - 100 point roundtrip in the S&P, and 800 points in the Dow - all driven by a halt in Ruble Trading, the European close, and Kuwait pissing on the US market's fireworks...

Dec 17 08:02

Are You Really Ready for the World to be Ruled by Bankers?

Believe it or not, Citigroup announced on Friday that it would move its headquarters from New York to the actual U.S. Capitol Building, in Washington, D.C., in early 2015. Yes! They might as well had since they got everything they wanted.. Could you imagine Citi outbid JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs to lease thirty thousand square feet of prime real estate on the floor of the House of Representatives.

This is just jumping off the cliff. Not only did these people grease enough palms to repeal Dodd Frank, they are now virtually leasing space right in the Capital Building and managed to increase the donation limitation from $32,400 to $324,000. They own Congress.

Dec 17 07:55

Western Banks Cut Off Liquidity To Russian Entities

As Zero Hedge first reported today, shortly before noon one (and subsequently more) FX brokers advised clients that any existing Ruble positions would be forcibly closed out because "western banks have stopped pricing USDRUB", over concerns of Russian capital controls.

Dec 17 07:52

Big food corporations committing massive organic fraud - investigation

(NaturalNews) Expected to reach an estimated $35 billion in profits this year, the organic market has become attractive to food companies on all sides of the spectrum, opening up the door for potential abuses.

Under-the-table financial contributions to politicians in Washington have allowed Big Food companies to hijack the organic industry by selling products blatantly in violation of strict organic standards set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Dec 17 07:41

Euro Crisis Deepens

James Hall
Activist Post

The alarm warnings are going off in Europe. International markets under pressure, global tensions rising and the financial system stressed to the point of breaking. Europe is ready for a relapse. It may be a very cold winter without Russian gas. Yet the technocrats in Brussels just go on their merry way in dictating the future to the vastly different societies and economies that make up the EU block...

Dec 17 07:35

Worldwide Game of Thrones

The truth is that the crisis the US is drumming up is designed to cripple several economies at once, of which Russia is just one. Moreover, Russia is not as helpless as the Guardian and others want to make it appear. Russia could impose its own capital controls, among other real economic measures, that could send the whole world’s paper wealth into a tailspin.

The US government knows this but doesn’t care about the tens of millions of extras whose life savings (and livelihoods) will be wiped out in this game of thrones. Instead, behind the scenes, Congress has quietly and steadily increased the pressure, creating the economic conditions for a perfect storm in Russia (and the world) and the legal framework to bring Ukraine fully into the fold of hegemony.

Dec 17 07:32

Russia Contagion Spreads To European Banks : French SocGen, Austrian Raiffeisen Plummet

We recently noted the rise of counterparty risks in the financial system due to oil prices dropping (and leveraged derivative exposures) but as the Russia situation has deteriorated so dramatically this week, a renewed focus on bank exposures has sent stocks reeling (and credit risk soaring) among many European (and US) banks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Only because those American and European banks were already in a fragile state ... but let's blame Russia for the mess, shall we?

Dec 17 07:28

Stocks Bounce But Credit & Crude Continue Slide

Hope abounds once again this morning. Stocks are up (albeit off their overnight highs) thanks to AUDJPY and the Ruble is 'stabilizing'. However, the two crucial factors for recent volatility - crude prices and credit spreads - continue to slump. WTI crude is back below $55 (trading as low as $54.60 this morning) and HY credit spreads have pushed back to their wides around 406bps (disagreeing with stocks modest bounce).

Dec 17 07:16

IMF Now Ready To Slam The Door On The U.S. And The Dollar

Brandon Smith
Activist Post

As I write this, the news is saturated with stories of a hostage situation possibly involving Islamic militants in Sydney, Australia. Like many, I am concerned about the shockwave such an event will create through our sociopolitical structures. However, while most of the world will be distracted by the outcome of this crisis (for good or bad) for at least the week, I find I must concern myself with a far more important and dangerous situation...

Dec 17 07:16

NEW BANKING ORDER: SINGLE OVERARCHING EUROPEAN BANKING AUTHORITY SET FOR LAUNCH

The Single European Mechanism (SRM) will be launched over the next three months, with the aim of rescuing or winding up stricken banks with minimal recourse to taxpayers’ money. The SRM will consist of a board and a fund, and will cover banks overseen by the Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) which became operational last month, and represents a concluding part of the new Banking Union.

Dec 17 07:03

Sony hit with class action suit over hacked employee info

On Monday, attorneys representing two former Sony workers filed paperwork in United States District Court for the Central District of California asking that a jury be assembled to weigh in on what could become a class action lawsuit between upwards of 15,000 current and past employees and the major motion picture company over the massive security breach suffered earlier this month.

According to the class action complaint, Sony should have been better prepared to protect against the hackers who recently pilfered troves of company data, especially in light of similar lapses suffered by the company in years past.

Dec 17 07:02

Commodity Trading Giant Exits Physical Gold Due To "Lack Of Physical With A Documented Origin"

But the biggest surprise in this story was the reason why Gunvor chose to discontinues its gold trading. Per Bloomberg, "executives decided to abandon the precious metals trading business partly because of difficulties in finding steady supplies of gold where the origin could be well documented, one of the people said."

And while we would certainly love to learn more about this problem of "undocumented" physical gold, just like that we have the most definitive confirmation yet that the story surrounding China's rehypothecated commodities scandal in the port of Qingdao which as previously reported included copper and aluminum and which mysteriously disappeared just as abruptly as it first appeared, not only also involved the precious yellow metal but never really went away, and instead what appears to have happened is that "robosigned" physical gold - or gold whose ownership traders are unable to validate - has now flooded into the global trading infrastructure.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Note the China-bashing without any mention of the problems nations are having getting their gold back from the New York Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, and the Bank of China!

Dec 17 06:51

Bloomberg Foresees Russia's Demise?

Bloomberg was in full cry last night regarding a failing Russian economy. We've never seen anything like it on Bloomberg: The front page of the website carried a box on the top left hand corner filled with blaring stories.

The Collapse of Putin's Economic System
U.S.-China Economic Role Reversal Roils Emerging Markets
Russian Crisis Hits Pimco Fund Wipes Out Options as Ruble Sinks
Apple Stops Online Sales in Russia Over Ruble Fluctuation
Is the Russian Collapse Wrecking Your 401(k)?
Rate Jump Fails to Stop the Ruble Crash
Russian Stocks Drop 12 Percent
View: Russia's Problems Are Everyone's Problems

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Of course, corporate media has been telling us that Iran and North Korea's economies are on the verge of collapse for the last twenty years and it hasn't happened yet.

This economic turmoil was started with the US-backed overthrow in Kiev last January, and accelerated by the US sanctions, and now that everything is about to implode, the rush is on to convince the world that this is all somehow Russia's fault!

Dec 17 06:48

California leaders vow to continue climate change action

California's political leaders pledged Monday to advance the state's landmark laws on climate change and fend off challenges from opponents such as oil companies..

"We're just at the beginning," Gov. Jerry Brown said. "There's still lots of skeptics and lots of deniers."

Dec 17 05:58

BEWARE: Putin The Wounded Animal

Ruble down 50%, good buying opportunity?

Dec 16 20:33

Social Security continuing to pursue claims against family members for old debts

The Social Security Administration, which announced in April that it would stop trying to collect debts from the children of people who were allegedly overpaid benefits decades ago, has continued to demand such payments and now defends that practice in court documents.

Dec 16 20:24

The IRS Is Returning This Woman’s Seized Cash But Reserves The Right To Take It Back At Any Time

A year and a half after seizing $33,000 from a small-business owner who supposedly deposited the cash incorrectly, the Internal Revenue Service has reluctantly agreed to give the Iowa woman her money back.

Dec 16 19:56

Banks loosen lending standards to levels seen before financial crisis

The largest U.S. banks, such as Wells Fargo, have continued to erode standards for some of the riskiest lending, a sign that weak underwriting is returning to levels seen before the 2008 financial crisis.

Dec 16 18:49

The Process of Capital Destruction

Dec 16 17:24

Russia's next financial option may be 'nuclear'

The Russian Central Bank has seemingly lost control of the ruble, which lost more than 20% in just hours on Tuesday. Currency interventions and interest rates both have failed to save the ruble. The next major step could be limiting the cash flow.

Dec 16 15:46

IS THE TULIP ABOUT TO BECOME THE US' NATIONAL FLOWER?

In the early 1600s, as the global economy moved from "production for consumption" into "production for profit", Dutch trading and business had become so efficient that merchants were finding themselves contracting for products that did not yet exist. The Dutch called it "Trading on the wind", a reference to the Dutch trading ships that sailed the Atlantic.

In 1636, increasing demand for newly created varieties of tulips set off a speculative cycle of ever higher prices. Tulip bulbs were bought and sold unseen. Huge fortunes (on paper) were created seemingly overnight.

Then, in 1637, the market crashed. People were ruined. The entire Dutch credit system was almost destroyed and the effects of the crash were felt across Europe.

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Dec 16 15:32

Citigroup closing 13 of its 21 Phila. region branches

Citigroup, which entered the Philadelphia market with a bang six years ago, said it will be closing 13 of its 21 branches here, with 90 positions being lost. The closings include virtually all of its suburban locations, which is part of a global strategy to focus on an urban physical footprint, spokeswoman Catherine Pulley said during an interview Friday.

Dec 16 15:17

Russia Contagion Spreads To European Banks : French SocGen, Austrian Raiffeisen Plummet

We recently noted the rise of counterparty risks in the financial system due to oil prices dropping (and leveraged derivative exposures) but as the Russia situation has deteriorated so dramatically this week, a renewed focus on bank exposures has sent stocks reeling (and credit risk soaring) among many European (and US) banks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh yes, let's blame it all on Russia! Let us forget that this whole mess was started when the US and Saudi Arabia decided to flood the oil market to drive prices down, to harm Russia's economy, and in the process, slammed the economies of every other oil-producing nation on Earth, as well as commodity traders dealing with oil. So, as it all unravels, let's put the blame on Russia!

Dec 16 14:46

Gold Surge from Switzerland Raises Black Money Fears

Berne, Switzerland: Amid concerns that the bullion trade is being used to bring back black money from Swiss banks, data showed gold exports from Switzerland are fast approaching the Rs. 1 trillion (nearly $16 billion) mark this year.

Swiss gold exports to India stood at over 2.8 billion Swiss francs ($2.9 billion) in October, up from about 2.2 billion Swiss francs in the previous month, according to the Swiss Customs Administration.

Dec 16 14:44

17-Year-Old Trading Genius Who “Made ” $72 Million Actually Just “Made It All Up”

Tyler Durden: Yesterday, when we skeptically mocked the NY Mag’s Jessica Pressler coverage of Mohammed Islam, the 17-year-old wunderkind who “allegedly” made $72 million in the market by trading penny stocks, we covered the salient lies and told readers to “feel free to click on the NY Mag’s story about the young “multi-millionaire” – after all that was the whole point.”

Sure enough, in the finest tradition of the New Republic’s Stephen Glass, the entire article was nothing more than one epic big clickbait fest.

Oh, did we mention: completely fabricated clickbait.

Dec 16 14:42

Russia Pivots to Eurasia for Trade and Military Alliances

The United States' renewed cold war policy to isolate Russia is dividing Europe and changing the orbit for China and Asia.

Dec 16 14:37

Who Gets Citgo’s Assets If Venezuela Defaults?

Venezuela’s bondholders have long held that if the South American country ever defaulted, they’d be able to seize its refineries and almost 6,000 gas stations in the U.S.

Dec 16 14:32

Obamacare hits 2.5 million enrollees; officials say that doesn’t count ‘extremely busy’ weekend

Administration officials said Tuesday that nearly 2.5 million Americans had selected a plan on the federal Obamacare marketplace through Friday, a tally that did not include an “extremely busy” three days before Monday night’s deadline to get covered for the new year.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wow! A whole 2.5 million! Out of a total US population of 330 million! That';s almost 1 percent!!!!!!!!!!!

And take it from me those Obamacare-compliant policies are a raw deal!

Dec 16 14:16

Believe It Or Not, Something Good In Cromnibus Bill- It took One Woman Senator To Get Something Done In A Chamber Full Of Pansies

Just in case you thought there was no silver lining to the latest budget atrocity, two new burdensome rules that truckers were forced to abide by since 2013 were revoked as a result of the latest bill passed by Congress. Technically what passed was called the Collins Amendment, which was included in the 1,603-page 'Cromnibus' spending bill. I will explain in layman's terms how these two bureaucratic 'rest rules' affected truckers.

This past Summer, Whoopie Goldberg even weighed in against the Collins Amendment because the leftie-statist actress thought that repealing the two rules would roll-back safety provisions. But Senator Susan Collins, who authored the provision, noted that even the FMCSA Administrator admitted that the 2013 rules "did not address the safety and congestion impacts of large trucks being forced onto highways during daytime rush hours, when children are on their way to school."

Dec 16 13:37

ROUBLE COLLAPSE PROMPTS MOSCOW SHOPPING SPREE

Russians hurried to change their savings and pensions into dollars and euros while also stocking up on furniture and jewellery as the rouble's collapse accelerated. Their mounting concern was reflected on Tuesday morning in the red lights of the currency exchange booths that dot the city, which were ticking over to show ever weaker rouble rates.

Dec 16 13:33

PIGMEN WIN AGAIN

Dec 16 13:30

Oil price slide and rouble plunge shake global markets

Sharp falls in European markets and wild swings on Wall Street yesterday, combined with a further plunge of more than 10 percent in the value of the Russian rouble, indicate that the worsening global slump is starting to have a major impact on financial markets.

Dec 16 12:34

Keiser Report: Oil can combust & blow it all

Dec 16 12:14

Surprise! Guess which currency has stronger fundamentals— the dollar or… ruble?

10x the reserves and infinite times the gold

Dec 16 11:38

War On Coal Heats Up

Dec 16 11:35

Meet Your Newest Legislator: Citigroup

Citigroup is the Wall Street mega bank that forced the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act in 1999; blew itself up as a result of the repeal in 2008; was propped back up with the largest taxpayer bailout in the history of the world even though it was insolvent and didn’t qualify for a bailout; has now written its own legislation to de-regulate itself; got the President of the United States to lobby for its passage; and received an up vote from both houses of Congress in less than a week.

Dec 16 11:06

US, European markets tumble following ruble, oil

US stock futures fell along with shares in European companies exposed to Russia, as the ruble and crude oil slid to new record lows on Tuesday.

The Russian ruble lost over 20 percent against hard currencies on Tuesday. At its worst the ruble plummeted to 75 against the US dollar, and traded at almost 100 to the euro on the Moscow Exchange.

Brent crude fell below $59 a barrel for the first time since May 2009, losing 4 percent as it hit a low of $58.50. US WTI crude was down 3 percent at $54.21 after plunging to $53.80.

Dec 16 11:05

Oil producers to lose $1tn if price below $60 – Goldman Sachs

The global oil industry will face a loss of $1 trillion as producers will be forced to cancel a number of key projects if oil prices stay below $60, says Goldman Sachs.

With Brent crude losing 45 percent of its price and trading at $59.9 at 12PM MSK Tuesday, a number of once ambitious projects could become unprofitable. Thus, plans on deep exploration in such challenging regions as the Gulf of Mexico or Arctic may be put at risk, says the Financial Times.

The research based on a $70 oil price was carried out looking at 400 oil and gas fields around the world, many of which are still waiting for a final investment decisions. The analysis, which excludes US shale, shows the fields with the equivalent of 2.3 million barrels a day output by 2020 have now become uneconomic. That figure rises to 7.5 million barrels a day by 2025.

Dec 16 10:42

Forget The Ruble and Follow The USD/JPY

Dec 16 09:16

Israel proposes natural gas pipeline to Southern Europe

Steven MacMillan
Activist Post

Israel is pushing for the European Union (EU) to approve the construction of a pipeline running from the Middle Eastern country to supply Cyprus, Greece and Italy with natural gas. The proposed EastMed pipeline will carry gas from the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields located in the Mediterranean Sea, to Southern Europe...

The West is lacking options with regards to reducing dependence on Russian gas in the foreseeable future and is desperately (and unsuccessfully) trying to find alternatives...

Dec 16 09:16

RESOURCE RAPTURE: DENMARK ASSERTS SOVEREIGNTY OVER NORTH POLE TO EXPLOIT ENERGY RESOURCES

Denmark has presented a claim to the U.N. asserting sovereignty over the North Pole, saying the Arctic region is connected to the continental shelf of Greenland, a Danish autonomous territory. The claim, expected to be submitted formally on Monday, constitutes a challenge to Canada and Russia, which already have asserted their own claims to the Arctic region—a vast untapped energy resource.

Dec 16 09:10

HERE'S WHY BANKS CARE ABOUT GUTTING DODD-FRANK

Elizabeth Warren got a lot of attention last week for rallying liberals against a provision of the cromnibus spending bill that repealed a portion of the Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. This particular bit of the law had required FDIC-insured banks to get out of the custom swaps business. If they wanted to buy and sell risky derivatives, the parent company needed to do it at a separate entity outside the bank, not with government-insured cash.

Dec 16 08:54

Americans are 40% poorer than before the recession

The Great Recession is officially over, but Americans are still 40% poorer today than they were in 2007, the year before the global financial crisis.

Dec 16 08:50

Chinas Keynesian Ghost-towns

Dec 16 08:35

OPEC won’t cut production even if oil below $40 – UAE energy minister

The UAE Energy Minister Suhail Al-Mazrouei says OPEC will maintain output at 30 million barrels of oil a day, and wants to monitor the price for three months before even considering a meeting about possible changes.

Dec 16 08:14

A Century Ago: Rockefellers Funded Eugenics Initiative to Sterilize 15 Million Americans

Some people are still under the impression that the Rockefeller Foundation is all about philanthropy: helping people and saving lives.

In reality, the Rockefellers have been one of the largest financial backers and drivers of the eugenics and the depopulation agenda for over a century now.

Check out these 1915 newspaper clippings we came across in research.

Dec 16 08:00

Spain Criminalizes Protest Against EU Central Bankster Austerity

Spain will impose a raft of new laws to combat popular protests in opposition to EU central bankster austerity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dec 16 07:23

U.S. INDUSTRIAL PRODUCTION SURGES AMID CHEAP ENERGY

Industrial production surged to its highest level since 2010 in November after three solid months of gains. Industrial production rose 5.2% year-over-year in November and manufacturing rose 4.8% year-over-year, signaling continued confidence in the economy from the industrial sector.

Dec 16 06:54

The Real Story Behind Oil Prices

Dec 16 03:33

Seattle Apodment Moratorium Imperils Innocent Retiring Mother.


Josh Randall ponders his mother's fate before Seattle City Council

Do I like apodments... err.... micro housing? In general, no. I will not eat them with green eggs and ham and Might I reconsider my general disdain depending on the circumstance? Yes. To wit, the situation with Kathleen Randall, in which the purchase of her U-District home at 4315 7th Avenue NE is imperiled because the developer cannot obtain a build permit. Permits are needed, inter alia, to fix a crumbled sewer line that rendered the home uninhabitable. The thing of it is, the application was submitted prior to imposition of the moratorium but as I told City Council yesterday I believe that much of pushback they are getting in permitting is because of the moratorium. I wrote Council today:

Dec 15 20:27

Yes, It's Possible For A Gold-Backed Renminbi To Dethrone The US Dollar

“[W]e want to use our reserves more constructively by investing in development projects around the world rather than just reflexively buying US Treasuries. In any case, we usually lose money on Treasuries, so we need to find ways to improve our return on investment.”

– Unnamed senior Chinese official, cited in an FT article, ‘Turning away from the dollar’, 10th December 2014.

Dec 15 17:51

Gold & Silver Hammered as Russia Stuns, Hikes Rates to 17%!

The banksters obliterated gold and silver today as Russia announced an emergency rate hike of 650 basis points, raising rates on the Ruble from 10.5% to 17%, sending the USD plunging vs the RUB!

Dec 15 16:49

Los Angelinos Surrender 778 guns in exchange for for grocery cards; LAPD proclaims "Guns without a purpose are guns that take lives"

The LAPD seized 778 guns from residents who surrendered them for $100 grocery store cards this past Saturday. People brought 369 handguns, 228 rifles, 140 shotguns, and 41 assault weapons to the Masonic lodge and a grocery store. The mayor said the event "makes our city safer by taking these guns off the street so they don't fall into the hands of criminals or children."Chief Charlie Beck tweeted "Guns without a purpose are guns that take lives."

Dec 15 16:20

We just witnessed the worst week for global financial markets in 3 years

Is this the start of the next major financial crisis? The nightmarish collapse of the price of oil is creating panic in financial markets all over the planet.

Dec 15 16:09

Gartman: OPEC, Oil & Where The Bottom Lies

Dec 15 14:21

Crash Course: The Truth about the US Economy

Chris Martenson is an economic researcher and co-founder of Peak Prosperity.

From his personal bio on his website:

I am a 50-year-old who has willingly terminated his former high-paying, high-status position because it seemed like an unnecessary diversion from the real tasks at hand. My children are now homeschooled, and the big house in Mystic was sold in July of 2003 in preference for a modest homestead in rural western Massachusetts. In 2002, I discovered that my broker was unable to navigate a bear market, and I’ve been managing our investments ever since. I grow a garden every year; preserve food, know how to brew beer & wine, and raise chickens. I’ve carefully examined each support system (food, energy, security, etc), and for each of them I’ve figured out either a means of being more self-sufficient or a way to do without. But, most importantly, I now know that the most important descriptor of wealth is not my dollar holdings, but the depth and richness of my community.

Dec 15 14:04

Jim Rogers – Start Investing in Gold

Dec 15 13:54

Broken prison labor program fails to keep promises, costs millions

Today, some 1,600 incarcerated men and women in prison factories produce everything from dorm furniture to school lunches. Washington Correctional Industries (CI) generates up to $70 million in sales a year, ranking as the nation’s fourth-largest prison labor program.

But behind CI’s glossy brochures and polished YouTube videos is a broken program that has cost taxpayers millions of dollars, charged exorbitant markups to state agencies to make up for losses, and taken jobs from private businesses that can’t compete with cheap prison labor, a Seattle Times investigation has found.

Dec 15 12:51

THE FEDERAL RESERVE PAYS NO TAXES!!!!!!

" Federal reserve banks, including the capital stock and surplus therein, and the income derived therefrom shall be exempt from Federal, State, and local taxation, except taxes upon real estate. "

Webmaster's Commentary: 

From the horse's, or in this case the pig's own mouth!

Dec 15 12:49

Fed Vice Chairman Shocked At Wall Street Influence After Jamie Dimon "Whips" Cromnibus Votes

"Boy, was I wrong," exclaimed Federal Reserve Vice-Chairman Stanley Fischer, "

Dec 15 12:42

London banker banned for dodging rail fares

A London banker has been banned from working in the financial services industry after he was caught dodging rail fares.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement today that Jonathan Burrows has been banned for not being “fit and proper.”

The former BlackRock director would board a train at Stonegate, a suburb nearly 60 miles southeast of London, for his daily commute and, after arriving at London’s Cannon Street, pay only 7.20 pounds ($11.70) for the journey, instead of the full 21.50 pounds price that was required for that journey, railway officials said.

By boarding at a station without a ticket gate barrier, Burrows was able to use a loophole in the system of pre-paid transport passes. When arriving in London he touched out with his pass, which is only valid for travel within London, and was charged only 7.20 pounds. He should instead have bought a full ticket for traveling into the city from Stonegate.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is exactly the sort of behavior by bankers that MAKES them bankers!

Dec 15 12:39

Caravan To Midnight with Walter Burien

1000 years of prosperity possible? We talk money and logistics with Walter Burien today. But first, global psychological warfare/counter-terrorism analyst Scott Bennett comes aboard… and he needs a bigger whistle. A must hear for the truly patriotic.

Hosted by John B. Wells with Live Shows Monday - Thursday

Dec 15 12:11

Hazardous Trend: The ‘Commodification’ of Sleep

Clearly, there are some serious risks associated with our 24/7, wireless, ‘smart’ culture. Maybe this is just another cost of ‘progress’, or maybe it’s because we simply cannot keep up with the basic costs of living and dozens fees, fines and stealth taxes?

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