ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Jan 27 20:07

EU to consider barring Russia from SWIFT interbank system, Russian PM warns of tough response

Calls to disconnect Russian banks from the global SWIFT interbank system came amid the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West, and the introduction of sanctions in response to Moscow’s alleged role in the Ukraine conflict. Russia’s response to a possible cut-off from the SWIFT international banking payment system will be “unrestricted,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev vowed.

Jan 27 20:05

Germany's top institutes push 'Grexit' plans as showdown escalates

A top German body has called for a clear mechanism to force Greece out of the euro if the left-wing Syriza government repudiates the terms of the country’s €245bn rescue.

“Financial support must be cut off if Greece does not comply with its reform commitments,” said the Institute of German Economic Research (IW). "If Greece is going to take a tough line, then Europe will take a tough line as well."

IW is the second German institute in two days to issue a blunt warning to the new Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras, who has vowed to halt debt payments and reverse austerity measures imposed by the EU-IMF Troika.

Jan 27 19:34

SOARING DOLLAR SENDS WALL STREET INTO SPIN

Blue-chip Wall Street stocks saw sharp falls on Tuesday after a string of weak results showed the pressure US multinationals are coming under from a stronger dollar and subdued global growth.

Jan 27 18:47

What Do They Know? Why Are So Many Of The Super Wealthy Preparing Bug Out Locations?

A lot of ultra-rich people are quietly preparing to “bug out” when the time comes. They are buying survival properties, they are buying farms in far away countries and they are buying deep underground bunkers.

Jan 27 18:33

Today’s “Dip” Is A Warning—-Get Out Of The Casino!

Shortly after today’s open, the S&P 500 was down nearly 2% and off its recent all-time high by 3.5%. But soon the robo-machines and day traders were buying the “dip” having apparently once again gotten the “all-clear” signal.

Don’t believe it for a second! The global financial system is literally booby-trapped with accidents waiting to happen owing to six consecutive years of massive money printing by nearly every central bank in the world.

Jan 27 17:55

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. Clearly, the Greek population is fed up with the EU after years of austerity and depression-like conditions. At this point, the unemployment rate in Greece is sitting at 25.8 percent, and the Greek economy is approximately 25 percent smaller than it was just six years ago.

Jan 27 17:05

"Equities Will Be Devastated" Crispin Odey Warns, Looming Recession Will Be "Remembered For 100 Years"

"I think equity markets will get devastated," warns famed $12bn AUM hedge fund manager Crispin Odey in his latest letter to investors. Having been one of the biggest bulls of this particular central bank artificial-bull cycle, his dramatic bearish tilt (as we discussed what he thinks are the biggest risks underpriced by the market previously), is notable. Finally, Odey fears major economies are entering a recession that will be "remembered in a hundred years," adding that the "bearish opportunity" to short stocks looks as great as it was in 2007-2009.

Jan 27 17:02

Russian Ruble Extends Gains, Stocks Erase All Post-Downgrade Losses

"That'll teach them Russians" - oh wait... The kneejerk selling of Russian Rubles and stocks post-downgrade has almost entirely been erased and dip-buyers appear to be greatly rotating from US to Russian stocks today...

Jan 27 17:00

The Bonds Of The Third Largest Austrian Bank Are Crashing

Last year Austria's largest bank, Erste Bank, sent shudders of Credit Anstalt through the European Banking System. This year it is Austria's 3rd largest bank that is scaring investors senseless. On the heels of the Swiss National Bank's decision to un-peg from the Euro, Raiffeisen Bank's Swiss-Franc-Denominated mortgage worries have resurfaced (along with Russian/Ukraine writedowns) and nowhere is that more evident than the total collapse of the bank's bonds (from over 95c to 65c today).

Jan 27 16:59

How Capitalism Dies

In the early 1970s, there were about 200,000 new US businesses created each year (net of closures). Now, the number is negative. Why are Americans getting poorer? Look no further. No new businesses (net). No new jobs (again net). No new wealth. Under Obama and Draghi, crony capitalism flourishes. Real capitalism dies.

Jan 27 16:12

This Is What It Means To Lose A Currency War

Jan 27 16:11

Merkel as Soft Cop in False Flag Offensive on Russia

At the World Economic Forum last week, German Chancellor Angela Merkel let the cat out of the bag with her sly offer, or rather bribe, to Russia. The German leader told delegates in Davos that European Union sanctions on Russia would be lifted in exchange for a «peace deal» in Ukraine. She promised a «free trade pact from Lisbon to Vladivostok».

That’s a bit rich coming from the bankrupt EU, but nevertheless let’s accept the assumption that Frau Merkel is offering something very juicy. Why would she do that, and right at this time when civilians are being massacred in eastern Ukraine?

In other words, Merkel is saying if Moscow capitulates to Western objectives of ceding Ukraine to its full political, economic and military control, then Russia will be «paid off» with respite from Western sanctions and can look forward to a tantalizing free trade «happy ending» with the EU. How generous of Frau Merkel!

Jan 27 16:04

Scramble to conclude suspicious EU-US trade deal

Critics claim that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being cooked up between the EU and the United States could:

Weaken workers’ rights and put millions of jobs at risk;
Reduce environmental protection and food safety regulation;
Lead to more privatization of public services like education and our prized National Health Service (NHS);

Give new powers for corporations to sue European governments, including the UK, in secret courts.

They complain that world leaders are working alongside major corporations at breakneck speed to get this deal sewn up, and refuse to give details.
An especially prickly issue is the imposition of investor-to-state dispute settlement rules (ISDS) enabling foreign investors to sue the host government.

Jan 27 16:01

Russia In The Cross Hairs. Washington’s Threats have moved Into the Realm of Insanity

Washington’s attack on Russia has moved beyond the boundary of the absurd into the realm of insanity.

The New Chief of the US Broadcasting Board of Governors, Andrew Lack, has declared the Russian news service, RT, which broadcasts in multiple languages, to be a terrorist organization equivalent to Boko Haram and the Islamic State, and Standard and Poor’s just downgraded Russia’s credit rating to junk status.

Today RT International interviewed me about these insane developments.

In prior days when America was still a sane country, Lack’s charge would have led to him being laughed out of office. He would have had to resign and disappear from public life. Today in the make-believe world that Western propaganda has created, Lack’s statement is taken seriously. Yet another terrorist threat has been identified–RT.

Jan 27 15:44

Frm Canadian Minister Of Defense Talks About Banker Takeover of Canada

Jan 27 15:17

This Is What a Real-Life Economic Collapse Looks Like

Did you ever think about what your life would be like if the stores were closed? I'm not talking about a post-apocalyptic Mad Max scenario or a winter storm that clears the shelves. I'm talking about a long-term disruption of services caused by an economic collapse.

What if you couldn't run to Wal-Mart to get soap? What if the grocery store had supplies so limited that they were rationed out to people in such small amounts that the food you got was not enough to meet your needs? What if there were no diapers for your baby or aspirin to cure a headache?

This is exactly what happens in a serious economic collapse. It happened a couple of years ago in Greece, and it's happening right now in Venezuela.

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 13:26

It's 'for the children!' Unlicensed Austin AISD School Bus Driver Flips Over In Rain

Like many local governments, safety is put on the back burned as Austin Independent School District cuts corners and doesn't have a competent system in place to monitor their school bus drivers. Instead, they rely on employee 'self-reporting,' which results in incidents such as this. AISD also conveniently neglected to mention this wreck on their regularly updated website, where they issue press releases almost daily.

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 12:13

Map: The cost of living across the world

Jan 27 11:39

Ground Beef Soars To $6 Per Pound In Southern California

As fuel prices remain low, grocery prices continue to soar. Ground beef is $6 per lb. in So. Cal today, and that's for 15% fat - non organic! The USDA Economic Research Service, in their report Food Price Outlook, 2015 stated "Beef and veal prices continued to rise, increasing 18.7 percent year-over-year. Prices remain high, as the U.S. cattle inventory is currently at a historical low. While recent rains in the Southern Plains and Southwest have improved pasture conditions somewhat, the drought still continues in these regions. Most retail beef prices, on average, are also at record highs, even after adjusting for inflation. ERS predicts beef and veal prices will increase 5.0 to 6.0 percent in 2015."

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 11:12

Report: Soros Fund eyes auto dealerships

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 10:20

Mannarino: ‘World banks now broadcasting coming collapse of currencies’

Become your own central bank

Jan 27 10:20

RUSSIAN CENTRAL BANK DEPUTY HEAD SHOOTS 3 DEAD IN THE FAR EAST OF THE COUNTRY BEFORE KILLING HIMSELF

The deputy head of the Russian Central Bank directorate in the Amur region of the country has shot dead three people before turning the gun on himself, Russian independent news service Interfax reports. The killer, named in Russian media as Vladimir Levkin, is alleged to have shot two women and a man in an office on the first floor of the regional Central Bank in the city of Blagoveshchensk. All three died at the scene.

Jan 27 10:07

Gold: Its Time Has Come

Jan 27 09:32

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

Jan 27 09:25

Most American workers earn below $20 per hour

Jan 27 09:21

New banking shame as two million credit card holders get in line for up to £270 compensation for paying for 'security' policy they already got for free

Two million credit card holders could be in line for up to £270 compensation after they were wrongly sold insurance policies that they did not need, the City watchdog has revealed.

Security products were sold to customers of 11 high street banks, including Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander and The Royal Bank of Scotland, according to the Financial Conduct Authority.

Issued by Affinion International Limited but sold under names including 'Card Protection', 'Sentinel', 'Sentinel Protection' and 'Safe and Secure Plus', the policies were marketed as offering protection if the card was lost or stolen.

However, the bank or issuer usually offers cover for everything over £50 if transactions take place before the card is reported missing, so for many the product would be redundant.

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 08:58

Economic Recovery? Really Mister President

Doc Vega posted a blog post

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 27 08:11

European Stocks Slip Back From Highs

Nervousness about a potential showdown between Greece's new government and its international creditors continued to grip Greek financial markets on Tuesday, with stocks and bonds extending their postelection losses.

Jan 27 08:02

As inequality soars, the nervous super rich are already planning their escapes

Hedge fund managers are preparing getaways by buying airstrips and farms in remote areas,

Jan 27 08:01

SCO: RUSSIA, IRAN TO CREATE JOINT BANK FOR TRANSACTIONS IN NATIONAL CURRENCIES

Russia and Iran plan to create a joint account for national currency trade, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Mehdi Sanaei told RIA Novosti in an interview Tuesday. “Both sides plan to create a joint bank, or joint account, so that payments may be made in rubles and rials and there is an agreement to create a working group [for this],” Sanaei said. The Iranian ambassador added that relations between Moscow and Tehran “are actively developing” and that 2014 was “a very fruitful year” for both countries.

Jan 27 07:52

Failing Stimulus And The IMF's New ''Multilateral'' World Order

Brandon Smith
Activist Post

My theme for 2015 has been the assertion that this will be a year of shattered illusions; social, political, as well as economic. As I have noted in recent articles, 2014 set the stage for multiple engineered conflicts, including the false conflict between Eastern and Western financial and political powers, as well as the growing conflict between OPEC nations, shale producers, as well as conflicting notions on the security of the dollar's petro-status and the security and stability of the European Union.

Jan 27 07:45

The European Debt Crisis Visualized

At the heart of the European debt crisis is the euro, the currency that tied together 18 countries in an intimate manner. So when one country teeters on the brink of financial collapse, the entire continent is at risk. How did such a flawed system come to be? Bloomberg Television and Jonathan Jarvis present "The European Debt Crisis Visualized."

Jan 27 07:44

“Technological Arms Race” Has Captured Global Finance: “Trading Once Took Minutes, Now Handled in Mere Nanoseconds by Computers”

As it becomes increasingly clear that fewer and fewer hands control the wealth of the planet, the manipulation of the market seems obvious enough.

Jan 27 07:13

Philips profit plummets by two-thirds

The net profit for the company between October and December amounted to 134 million euros. In the same period of 2013, that figure was 412 million euros. The turnover increased by two percent to 6.54 billion euros. However, the increase was due to additional sales from last year acquired businesses and a favorable exchange rate. Without taking those into account, the turnover decresed by two percent.

Jan 27 07:05

Netherlands Increases Gold Holdings for First Time Since ’98

Bullion reserves in the Netherlands climbed to 20 million ounces or 622 metric tons in December, the highest since 2007, after being unchanged at 19.7 million ounces from December 2008 through November, the IMF’s website showed. Russia, with the fifth-biggest hoard, held 38.8 million ounces last month, the most in at least two decades, the data show.

Central banks globally are adding gold to reserves after reducing holdings for about two decades from the late 1980s as they seek to diversify assets, according to Oversea-Chinese Banking Corp. Worldwide purchases would probably be 400 tons to 500 tons in 2014, the World Gold Council said in November. Gold rose for the first time in four months in December

Jan 27 03:15

The Coming War, Gold, Paper Assets and Your Part in the Ongoing Financial Collapse

World events seem to be moving at an ever accelerated pace. I sat down with Eric Dubin in order to take a look at the big picture. When one embarks on such an adventure it take can a minute for the picture to unfold. In this case it takes close to two hours.

Over the next two hours you are going to be submersed in the ongoing financial collapse. There are a great many moving parts and Eric Dubin, Managing Editor, The News Doctors, provides a laundry list of forecast that have already began unfolding. Mr. Dubin details how some disturbing trends are already taking hold in early 2015.

Jan 27 03:05

So Far, The US Has The Worst-Performing Big Stock Market Of 2015

The list of big winners extended beyond Europe. The three Asia-Pacific indexes posted gains ranging from 3.10% to 4.11%.

Jan 26 22:56

Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites

The rise of Syriza can’t just be explained by the crisis in the eurozone: a youthful generation of professionals has had enough of tax-evading oligarchs

Jan 26 21:40

Obamacare program costs $50,000 in taxpayer money for every American who gets health insurance, says bombshell budget report

the costs of obamacare keep on rising for both policy members and taxpayers (even people who receive subsidies will see their co-pays go up)

Jan 26 20:41

Standard & Poor’s downgrades Russia's credit rating to junk

US-based credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has cut Russia’s sovereign rating to BBB-, leaving it below investment grade for the first time in a decade. Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury, thinks that decisions taken by credit rating agencies often have political overtones.

Jan 26 18:16

Teenager answers: If America has $18 trillion in debt, can it still claim to be a wealthy nation?

Last night’s State of the Union address had one conspicuous omission, and it’s huge.

It’s bigger than all the wars, it’s bigger than the stock market, it’s bigger than the government, it’s bigger than the wages of all the people in America, it’s bigger than the economy.

It’s bigger than America itself.

And it seems incredibly strange to me that the President of America failed to mention it even once (nor was it mentioned in the Republican response).

It is of course, the national debt.

This, to me, is very dangerous. It suggests that the people in charge are in complete denial about the single biggest issue this country faces. And there’s a reason for that.

Jan 26 16:26

Ferguson Scared the Super-Rich So Bad They’re Planning Exits

According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss major global challenges, including inequality, terrorism and climate change.

Jan 26 16:22

Finding the Real Price of Money

The four major monetary zones have collectively printed over $40 trillion currency units (call them dollars if you want) over the last 6-7 years. Most agree that about 180,000 tons of gold exist above ground.

At today's price of around $1250 per ounce that would be about $7,200,000,000,000.

The gold price would need to rise at least five and half times to back all of the $40 trillion in world fiat, or at least $7000 per ounce of gold. At a 10:1 ratio, that would put silver at $700 per ounce.

Jan 26 15:18

Combating Austerity and Post-Democracy in Greece - Syriza’s Challenge

The Syriza victory is more significant in another sense: the challenge it poses to democracy in the euro-zone. The issues of austerity and debt cannot be divorced from that of political management. Where, given Syriza’s jarring win, does that sit in the European rubric, frayed as it is? For one, the party faces what has been termed by French philosopher Jacques Rancière as the “post-democratic” moment.

Jan 26 15:07

Corporate Tax Break Scheme Is Gaining A Momentum We Must Stop

There is no real argument over whether the nation needs to do more to improve its infrastructure – its transportation, water, power and information networks. But there is an argument over how best to pay for it all – and that argument is increasingly turning in a dangerous direction.

Jan 26 14:42

Greek Election: Mixed Messages, Hold the Cheers

A hollow shell of a nation. Strip-minded for profit. More beholden to foreign interests than its own. Its enterprises and crown jewels sold to Western interests at fire sale prices.

Brussels dictates policy. Greek governance combines travesty, tragedy and betrayal. Democracy’s birth place spurns it.

Jan 26 14:36

Scramble to conclude suspicious EU-US trade deal

With the UK industry in intensive care, Stuart Littlewood asks whether Britons should throw open the door and allow US big business to muscle in under cover of a trade treaty.

Jan 26 14:26

Wealth Gap: 10% of Americans Own 91% (but the Queen and Rothschilds Still Own Almost Everything)

Every few months for the last couple of years, a new story pops up declaring the "official" wealth gap — the one most public sources will admit to — is getting wider and wider at a faster and faster rate.

This is the real economic crisis.

The wealth gap in America, for example, is insane these days.

Jan 26 13:52

Freedom, Where Are You? Not in America or Europe

When the former Goldman Sachs executive who runs the European Central Bank (ECB) announced that he was going to print 720 billion euros annually with which to purchase bad debts from the politically connected big banks, the euro sank and the stock market and Swiss franc shot up. As in the US, quantitative easing (QE) serves to enrich the already rich. It has no other purpose.

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 13:28

The Federal Reserve Has Declared the Winner in the Generational Financial War

The policy of safeguarding Boomer benefits with asset bubbles will lead to the destruction of the unprepared, the unwary and those who foolishly trusted our “leadership” and central bank to tell them the truth.

Though it is exceedingly politically incorrect to mention it publicly, a financial war between the generations is being fought in the U.S. and every other developed nation that has promised social welfare benefits to its burgeoning class of retirees.

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 12:55

Bankster Austerity Measures Under Attack in Wake of Syriza Win in Greece

On Sunday the leader of radical leftist Syriza party, Alexis Tsipras, promised to end five years of austerity, “humiliation and suffering” imposed by international banksters on the Greek people.

Jan 26 12:12

BILL GATES on Global Wealth Inequality

Jan 26 12:01

U.S. NURSING HOMES’ NEW TACTIC TO COLLECT DEBTS: SEIZING POWER OF ATTORNEY TO CONTROL THEIR MONEY

One day last summer, after he disputed nursing home bills that had suddenly doubled Lillian Palermo’s copays, and complained about inexperienced employees who dropped his wife on the floor, Dino Palermo was shocked to find a six-page legal document waiting on her bed. It was a guardianship petition filed by the nursing home, Mary Manning Walsh, asking the court to give a stranger full legal power over Lillian Palermo, now 90, and complete control of her money.

Jan 26 11:50

Downsize Democracy for 40 Years, Here's What You Get: New signs civilization is veering towards collapse

Theoretically, of course, neoliberalism says the state should not intervene in the efficient functioning of the market -- resulting in prosperity for everyone. But the theory, according to neoliberalism authority David Harvey, was simply hijacked by the elites to fleece the system -- bailing out the financial sector with trillions of taxpayers' dollars and failing to re-regulate, while gutting labour and environmental regulation. Government actions reveal neoliberalism as "more of a practical attempt to restore elite class power than as a theoretical project driven by the works of [Friedrich von] Hayek or Friedman."

The NASA study is not optimistic about our chances of avoiding eventual collapse given the failure of other civilizations, saying "collapse is difficult to avoid.... Elites grow and consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society."

Warnings go unheeded. The NASA reports says "historical collapses were allowed to occur by elites who appear to be oblivious to the catastrophic trajectory (most clearly apparent in the Roman and Mayan cases)."

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 10:08

IRA Accounts Bill

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 09:26

IBM reportedly set to lay off more than 100,000 employees starting this week

IBM, a name synonymous with technology and computers for non-millennials, will reportedly go through the largest corporate layoff in history, starting this week.

According to a Forbes report, Big Blue will initiate “Project Chrome” starting today, a reorganization so large that it puts others to shame. In total, upwards of 110,000 employees or about 26% of the company’s workforce will be let go by the end of February.

Jan 26 09:26

Obama’s India Visit - Shill for American Capitalism

After delivering a State of the Union Address that put Obama, with his Ben-and-Rebekah shtick which served to personify/miniaturize US advanced capitalism, as though Dagwood and Blondie sitting around the breakfast table, he set off to India, awaiting the open arms of Prime Minister Modi, as pitchman for the American nuclear power industry. Compare at the outset the double standard with reference to Iran. (It invariably depends on whose ox is gored.)

Jan 26 09:04

Millennials: Escape the Credit/Debt Matrix

Susan Boskey
Activist Post

Cast off the chains of market-structured consciousness. -- Jay M. Handelman (1999), "Culture Jamming: Expanding the Application of the Critical Research Project"

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, December, 2014, 1 in 5 of the Millennial generation (birth years from early 1980s to early 2000) live in poverty and have lower rates of employment compared to their Baby Boomer parents of a similar age in the 1980s, one of the most prosperous eras of American history.

Obviously, the Millennials need a place to live (besides with their parents), clothes on their back, food to eat and resources to care for their children. Not to mention time and money for travel, and doing fun things, as well. Oh and then there is saving and investing for the future. Go figure…

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