ECONOMY

Jun 13 13:45

The Baltic Dry Index Is Having Its Worst Year Ever

At 906, the Baltic Dry Index slumped to 12-month lows showing absolutely no signs whatsoever of the Q2 renaissance in global growth that has been heralded by all the highly-paid meteoroconomists.

Jun 13 11:30

GM Flunks Derek Zoolander School For Bailed Out Companies Who Can't Build Cars Good, Recalls All New Camaros

Another week, another massive GM recall, this time the bailed out company, which clearly is unable to build cars on the "first" attempt, announcing moments ago that it is recalling all current generation Chevvy Camaros "because a driver’s knee can bump the key FOB and cause the key to inadvertently move out of the “run” position, with a corresponding reduction or loss of power."

Jun 13 11:29

UMich Consumer Confidence Drops (Again); Misses By Most In 18 Months

Following last month's drop and disappointing miss, University of Michigan Consumer Confidence just got even worse. Despite record high stock prices and near record high car purcahsing exuberance, consumer confidence tumbled for the 2nd month in a row (just when the pent-up demand of Q1 is supposed to kick in). This is the biggest miss of expectations since Dec 2012 and appears to confirm the lack of exuberance seen in the government's survey data.

Jun 13 09:27

BITCOIN COMES TO ISRAEL

Israel was in a state of panic when the concept of Bitcoin was introduced …. How would they continue to receive the BILLION$ of Dollars they get annually from the US Taxpayer….

Those fears were alleviated this week when Bitcoin was activated here.

Jun 13 09:18

Sorry, You're Not Allowed: Capital Segregation and Rising Inequality

Once the gains have been reaped, all that's left for the majority are toxic risk and losses.

The New Nobility don't swim in that carefully limited pool: they control the distribution of food pellets (gain and yield in our analogy) to the masses thrashing about in the main tank. Regardless of who wins and loses the struggle for the few pellets tossed in the tank, the few who control the pellets profit.

The majority swimming fruitlessly around the barren main tank are unaware of the tanks and wild river beyond. Special tanks--dark pools and similar reserved havens for the wealthy--are off-limits to the middle class in the main tank. In these "New Nobility only" pools, risk is low and gains are plentiful.

Jun 13 09:13

Are the Police Becoming a Domestic Military?

What do you get when you combine post-war military surplus equipment with US domestic law enforcement agencies?

I don’t know. And I’m not sure I want to.

The sheer volume of equipment coming into the country (see the wave-making New York Times article “War Gear Flows to Police Departments”) makes it look like we’re building another branch of the military—but what for? Different people have different answers, but they’ve all got one thing in common: Fear.

The rise in mass shootings has some members of the law enforcement community calling the escalation an exercise in preparedness. Some cite the threat of domestic terrorism, invoking the specter of the Boston Marathon bombings as proof enough. Other responses are simply brain-searing, like this one from the Morgan County Sherriff’s department, featured in the New York Times:

“In the Indianapolis suburbs, officers said they needed a mine-resistant vehicle to protect against a possible attack by veterans returning from war.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There has been a war against the American people - and American families - for quite some time now. This hyper-militarization of the police is a final phase in the process.

The US government is expecting unrest, both from the poorest segments of our communities, when food and money run out, and other individuals who have simply had enough of miserably ill-conceived foreign and domestic policies.

Please, no matter how much you get ticked off, do not indulge in violence: that is precisely the battle the government is prepared to put down, and mercilessly, in a homicidal rage.

Just please, be prepared. Have long-term storable food and water; extra meds for your family and your pets; have a plan, in case you need to bug out, in terms of how to reconnect with family and friends; keep no more money in your bank account than you absolutely need to pay your bills; and make sure you have some gold and silver, purchased in small, untraceable amounts. Learn which of your neighbors can be counted upon to work with you, and barter with you, if times get very rough.

Jun 13 07:12

A Disappeared Book on Wall Street History Provides a Dead Serious Warning

In 2011, Darcy Flynn, an SEC lawyer, told Congressional investigators and the SEC Inspector General that for at least 18 years, the SEC had been shredding documents and emails related to its investigations — documents that it was required under law to keep. Flynn explained to investigators that by purging these files, it impaired the SEC’s ability to see the connections between related frauds on Wall Street.

In 2010, we reported at CounterPunch that not only was it next to impossible to find on line the original text of the historic Glass-Steagall Act which had protected the U.S. economy from the ravages of Wall Street’s recklessness for seven decades until its repeal in 1999, but the National Archives wanted to charge me $1505 to obtain a copy of this public legislation. After much sleuthing, we obtained a copy from the St. Louis Fed and made it available to the Internet Archive which has kindly kept it alive on its web site.

Jun 13 07:07

Happy Friday the 13th! Knights Templars sue the Pope

The heirs of the Knights Templar have launched a legal battle in Spain against the Pope to salvage the reputation of the order accused of heresy and dissolved 701 years ago.

Members of the Association of the Sovereign Order of the Temple of Christ claim that when the order was dissolved by Clement V in 1307 more than 9000 properties and commercial ventures belonging to the knights (worth $168 billion) were appropriated by the church.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How do I get in on this!

Jun 13 06:27

'Worst in years': France hit by nationwide train strike (PHOTOS)

French trade unions are to extend their nationwide rail strike – which has caused the worse disruption to the country in several years – to Friday. Half of all train journeys across France have been canceled.

Jun 12 15:15

NY Times: President Obama Should Unilaterally Raise the Tax Rate on Carried Interest Earned by Hedge Fund Managers

President Obama could change the tax treatment of carried interest with a phone call to the Treasury Department. But the White House will need a precise understanding of the regulatory landscape to make a change that is fair, easy to administer, and will hold up in court.

The administration has increasingly relied on executive branch rule-making authority to make policy without waiting for a gridlocked Congress to act. The White House has made significant changes to education policy, immigration policy, environmental standards and climate change policy, and, most recently, student loans. And it has the legal authority to unilaterally change the tax treatment of carried interest. ...

Jun 12 06:12

Something like meat but not meat

It’s just capitalism at work. Again. It’s just one heavily toxic megacorp buying up another toxic megacorp and all of it making a perverse sort of sense, given how Tyson Foods is one of the largest (and scariest) industrial meat purveyors in the land, and its new, $8 billion acquisition, Hillshire Brands, makes some of the weirdest and most fat- and preservative-encrusted “handheld” (it’s a category) meat-like products in the universe (Jimmy Dean, Sara Lee, Ballpark Franks, et al) – the kinds of products that, shortly after you eat them, cause your vision to wobble, your heart to seize and random extremities to lose sensation for a few hours. You know, just for fun.

Jun 11 21:09

Analyst declares RadioShack stock worthless, saying a turnaround is ‘nearly impossible’June 11, 2014, 3:25 PM ET

RadioShack Corp.’s mounting losses amid declining sales have been widely covered in the media. The company’s misfortune has also inspired Wall Street analysts to slash their target price on the stock, with a range this year of $1 to $3 a share.

However, that changed on Wednesday after B Riley analyst Scott Tilghman, who already rates the stock RSH a sell, lowered his price target to zero from $1 a share after the company on Tuesday reported another in a series of wider-than-expected losses. The company’s cash level also plunged. Chief Financial Officer John Feray said Tuesday the company has enough liquidity to execute its turnaround over the next 12 months, and that it’s examining expenses from utility bills to ocean freight.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Radio Shack is where I used to go for parts and supplies to build things. That was their strength. But they dropped support for electronics hobbyists and went with the same consumer-level products everyone else is selling, and are now paying the price for forgetting what their original success was based on.

Jun 11 11:48

Banker pleads guilty to spending $220,000 at strip clubs

A former executive at TD Bank in Maine has pleaded guilty to using a corporate credit card to spend nearly $220,000 at strip clubs in just one year.

Jun 11 09:30

Russian bank chiefs take aim at US dollar

Russian companies will make bypassing the U.S. dollar in international transactions a top priority, the heads of three Russian banks said this week, in the latest sign that Russia is turning its back on the West and moving toward Asia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Last night Claire and I watched "Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit." Sold using the character names from Tom Clancy's novels, this was a thinly disguised piece of gratuitous Russia bashing with a story line about a Russian attempt to undermine the US economy. When we saw that, both Claire and I burst out laughing at the obviousness of it all.

To be clear; the problems with the US dollar were created by a privately-owned central bank issuing all of the public currency as a loan at interest, then creating more dollars out of thin air trying to stay ahead of the impossible-to-pay debt that piled up. They were aided and abetted by a federal government that 100 years ago sold the nation back into the slavery of the very same predatory banking system we fought a revolution to be free of, then looked the other way as the debt-crippled financial system descended into outright fraud and criminality to perpetuate itself.

Now the entire US/FED system is on the verge of collapse, and the money-junkies are desperate to pin the blame on someone else to save themselves from the righteous wrath of the people whose lives have been plundered.

Jun 11 09:20

Cafeteria Worker Throws Out Student's Lunch Because He's 26 Cents Short

A father is blasting his young son's school after a cafeteria worker at Kent, Washington's Mill Creek Middle School threw away the kid's lunch because he was 26 cents short.

"He gets up to the front and they say there's not enough in his account, so they take his food, and in front of him, throw it away," Jimmie Keys, the boy's father, told Komo News.

Jun 11 08:54

Indiana GOP candidate: ‘No one has the guts’ to let poor people ‘wither and die’

A northwest Indiana Republican has backtracked on outrageous comments he made on Facebook about poor people.

John Johnston, who is challenging Democratic state Rep. Chuck Moseley for the 10th District seat, said during a social media discussion on poverty that “no one has the guts to just let them wither and die.”

“The voters are the ones in charge,” Johnston said. “(H)owever when only 10-11 percent show up to vote, not much will change. People simply are not hurting enough, or simply happy enough that they will do nothing. consequently the dole continues.”

However, Johnston told the newspaper he didn’t advocate the end to programs such as welfare or food stamps.

“My main point is that the programs are used as political tools,” Johnston said. “Sometimes it hurts, but you might give them less to motivate someone to get a job.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No, Mr. Johnson, given the current state of the American body politic, the voters are absolutely NOT in charge; it is the major corporations which fund election cycles which are in charge.

By the time elections happen at the state or national level, all candidates have been thoroughly vetted by the major corporations, to make sure that they will deliver legislation which is favorable to them, first and foremost.

And as to those people on welfare who should "get a job", just what jobs are available for them, when college graduates are now earning minimum wage at discount big box stores, because the decently paying jobs have been offshored/outsourced, courtesy of those major corporations which fund election cycles?!?

Mr. Johnson, I am waiting for an intelligent answer on this, sir!!

Jun 11 08:32

Repudiate the Public Debt? How About Corporate Personhood and Monopoly Central Banking?

he French are right: tear up public debt – most of it is illegitimate anyway ... As history has shown, France is capable of the best and the worst, and often in short periods of time. On the day following Marine Le Pen's Front National victory in the European elections, however, France made a decisive contribution to the reinvention of a radical politics for the 21st century. On that day, the committee for a citizen's audit on the public debt issued a 30-page report on French public debt, its origins and evolution in the past decades. The report was written by a group of experts in public finances under the coordination of Michel Husson, one of France's finest critical economists. Its conclusion is straightforward: 60% of French public debt is illegitimate. – UK Guardian

Jun 11 08:10

19 Reasons Why You Can Laugh When Anyone Tells You That The Economy Is In Good Shape

Have you heard the one about the “economic recovery” in the United States? It’s quite funny, but it is not actually true. Every day, the establishment media points to the fact that global stock markets have soared to unprecedented heights as evidence that the economy is improving. But just because a bunch of wealthy people have gotten temporarily even richer on paper does not mean that the real economy is in good shape. In fact, as you will see below, things just continue to get even tougher for the poor and the middle class. Retail stores are closing at the fastest pace since the fall of Lehman Brothers, the rate of homeownership in this country is the lowest that it has been in 19 years, one out of every five families do not have a single member that is employed, and one out of every five children is living in poverty. We are working harder, earning less and going into more debt.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

These numbers are absolutely staggering, and bode ill for any kind of true economic recovery here in the US at any time soon.

Jun 11 07:42

Temporarily embarrassed millionaire Americans go back into credit card debt: Credit card debt begins to tick up as tapped out Americans re-leverage once again. Average household has $7,000 in credit card debt.

It is hard to believe that a large part of the nation has already forgotten the Great Recession. A crisis created by too much debt and the financialization of global markets is now once again unleashing high levels of debt to keep consumption going. This makes sense given that 1 out of 4 working Americans is actually in a job that pays less than $10 per hour. Instead of confronting the storm clouds of low wage economics, banks after getting their bailout fill are now handing out credit cards to induce Americans to spend money that they really don’t have. There is a very reasonable place for debt in any economy. It becomes dangerous when we constantly rely on debt versus real economic growth to move forward. Credit card debt contracted severely during the Great Recession. Most of this came at the hands of bankruptcies. With the memories of the Great Recession fading away in this fast paced instant media culture, we are seeing credit card borrowing picking up.

Jun 11 06:28

Walmart, Costco tied to slave labor in shrimp industry

The world’s largest shrimp farmer gets fishmeal used to feed its crop from supplier that use slave labor, according to a new investigative report. It then sells its farm-raised shrimp to food retail giants, including Walmart and Costco in the US.

Jun 10 14:17

Can banks create money out of thin air?

• This article explains how the majority of money in the modern economy is created by commercial banks making loans.

• Money creation in practice differs from some popular conceptions — banks do not act simply as intermediaries, lending out deposits that savers place with them, and nor do they “multiply up” central bank money to create new loans and deposits.

• The amount of money created in the economy ultimately depends on the monetary policy of the central bank. In normal times, this is carried out by setting interest rates. The central bank can also affect the amount of money directly through purchasing assets or “quantitative easing”.

The authors of the Bank of England report remind us that, these days, most settlement of financial transactions involves changing the amounts in personal deposit accounts held in banks. Against popular belief, and textbook economics, these deposits definitely do not fund bank lending.

Jun 10 12:45

One Year Later, NSA Scandal Has Cost Tech Companies Billions

Executives from leading companies such as Netflix, Google and Facebook met with senior White House officials in December, and in March. The Obama administration made it look like these meetings had helped to resolve issues on intelligence reforms. However, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen argued that the meetings were “mostly for show and have produced not even a little progress on privacy and surveillance issues.”

Jun 10 10:22

Gold At A Turning Point After ECB’s Unprecedented Action - CMC Markets

The European Central Bank’s unprecedented monetary policy announcement last week could be the turning point the gold market needs to generate long-term momentum, said a market analyst.

Colin Cieszynski, market analyst at CMC Markets, said in a research report released Tuesday that in the last few months he has noticed gold’s primary influence has shifted to the euro from the U.S. dollar.

He said one major factor behind gold’s lackluster performance is European banks’ repayment of the central bank’s loans from its first Long-Term Refinancing Operation during the last 18 months. This repayment process allowed the ECB to embark on “stealth tapering,” as it reduced its balance sheet by about a trillion euros, he said.

During the same time period, the Federal Reserve embarked on its third round of quantitative easing program.

Jun 10 10:08

No Drinking Water In Venezuela Until Bankers Get Paid Back

2013 was a good year for Goldman Sachs investments in Emerging Markets, most notably Venezuelan bonds (as they bet on socialism and won). A year later and Goldman's EM debt portfolio is still loaded with Venezuelan bonds... and the arrears are mounting. As Bloomberg reports, at a time when Venezuela’s record $25 billion in arrears to importers has its citizens waiting hours in line to buy drinking water and crossing borders in search of medicine, President Nicolas Maduro is using the nation’s dwindling supply of dollars to enrich bondholders.

By putting off the local companies responsible for supplying everything from diapers to cancer medications, Maduro can preserve access to debt markets and protect oil shipments that would be vulnerable to bondholder seizure, said Alejandro Arreaza, an analyst at Barclays. Even if that means fanning the world’s fastest inflation and inflaming protests over shortages that have left at least 42 people dead since February.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable!!

Jun 10 09:14

3 Major U.S. Airlines Fight to Cancel Cheaper International Travel

A measure aimed at grounding an upstart airline offering affordable fares for transcontinental travel appears headed for a vote in the House of Representatives.

The transportation appropriations bill is seen as a vehicle for an amendment targeting Norwegian Air International’s new service at U.S. airports, airline officials were told by consultants.

Norwegian Air International, headquartered in Ireland, says it is offering economical fares and improved customer service for international travelers and providing new job opportunities in the United States. But union leaders, who have leaned on the U.S. Department of Transportation to deny Norwegian’s application for low-fare international services, claim the competing airline has engaged in unfair labor practices.

Jun 10 07:08

Wall Street Journal editor: Don’t hike minimum wage because workers ‘learn’ from poverty

Wall Street Journal Editor Paul Gigot argued on Sunday that the minimum wage should be kept low because it would teach workers that they did not want to work low-wage jobs.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Dear Moron

We The People don't need to be taught that we do not want low-wage jobs. We already are smart enough to know we want the higher-paying jobs ... which have been shipped to other countries by your fellow Wall Street money-junkies!

The only thing poverty teaches is how to build guillotines!

Jun 10 07:06

The Biggest Policy Mistake of the Great Recession

The popular conception of the Great Recession explains that it stemmed from a financial shock. Housing prices stopped going up, and then Lehman Brothers fell, triggering paralysis in the credit markets. This spilled onto Main Street, and the effects still linger in terms of elevated unemployment and sluggish economic growth.

Jun 09 12:17

World Leaders In Discussion For New Reserve Currency

China and Russia have made it quite clear in recent years that they are disgruntled with the way the United States has been abusing their “world reserve currency” privilege.

This privilege has enabled the U.S. to expand its military presence like no other country previously seen in history.

It has enabled the U.S. to print seemingly unlimited amounts of fiat in its futile attempt to keep bubble after bubble inflated, while big banks profit and the man on the street suffers.

Jun 09 10:44

Grand Geopolitical Project: Russia’s Gazprom signs Agreement to Abandon the Dollar

“It’s only the tip of the iceberg. A grand geopolitical project is beginning to materialize…”

On June 6 2014, the official Russian news agency Itar Tass announced what many were expecting since at least the beginning of the Ukrainian crisis: Russian main energy company, Gazprom Neft has finally “signed agreements with its consumers” to switch from Dollars to Euros (as transition to the ruble) “for payments under contracts”.

The announcement that the agreement has been actually signed and not just discussed was made by Gazprom’s Chief Executive Officer, Alexander Dyukov.

Jun 09 09:21

Public Exposed To “The Gold Conspiracy” In Ways Never Before Seen

Gold manipulation, the once laughed at topic is going mainstream.

We have discussed this in depth over the past few weeks, as the tipping point appears to have been reached.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

See The History Channel's "The Gold Conspiracy."

Jun 09 09:10

Secret European Cash Limits in Place

Some of you might remember the recent scandal where #HSBC tried to impose cash withdraw limits on their accounts:

Well it turns out that was just a trial balloon, to see how the public might react to withdraw limits being public knowledge. Limits that are already in place!

Let me tell you what my sources are telling me.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When the ECB announced their negative interest rates, I predicted there would have to be some form of capital controls to prevent people from emptying their accounts.

Jun 09 09:09

‘Anti-homeless spikes’ outside London flats spark outrage on Twitter

Metal spikes many believe have been installed to deter homeless people from sleeping in an alcove outside a block of flats in London have sparked outrage on Twitter, after pictures of the building went viral.

Andrew Horton, 33, of Woking, Surrey, took a picture of the studs outside of the block of privately-owned flats on Southwark Bridge Road in the borough of Southwark as he walked to work on Wednesday.

Mr Horton told The Telegraph he believed the studs have been put in place to prevent homeless people from sleeping there.

“I can’t say for certain but it certainly looked like they were placed there to deter homeless people. It’s dreadful.”

Jun 09 08:43

Houston, We Have A Problem – or – Market Extremes Are Back

The S&P 500 Index hit another all-time high. All hail QE! This is great news for the 1% but did it help the lower 90% of the population?

Jun 09 08:43

Russian companies ‘de-dollarize’ and switch to yuan, other Asian currencies

Russia will start settling more contracts in Asian currencies, especially the yuan, in order to lessen its dependence on the dollar market, and because of Western-led sanctions that could freeze funds at any moment.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good reason for Americans to start dumping the dollar and conducting commerce with something else!

Jun 09 08:38

I Owe My Soul

Let's put the song aside for the moment and have a look at a concept that has been bandied about by the European Central Bank (ECB) for a while now. Since the collapse of the central banks would doom the world (their claim, not mine), it is essential that the banks be saved no matter what else must be sacrificed. Efforts to "save" the situation have been implemented through quantitative easing (QE) and the setting and continuation of low interest rates.

Unfortunately, in spite of record profits by banks and staggering bonuses handed out to senior bank executives, somehow the QE and low interest rates have not created the prosperity desired. The economy is still in the tank. What to do?

A solution being considered is to create "negative interest rates." Sounds logical, doesn't it? If low interest rates have kept the economy from crashing but haven't fixed it, surely, negative interest rates can only be more positive.

Jun 09 07:27

A parallel Chinese financial order

I have commented before about China's dissatisfaction with the global monetary system. China is not an obstructive power. It is, in its way, a committed member of the current economic order. It has strong support at the UN. But it is hedging too, working assiduously to create alternative financial systems to the established ones.

Jun 08 09:13

BOYCOTTING THE BOYCOTTERS

Blacklisted by the `Jewish Community’ over Israel, the Shondes Take their Stand

Jun 08 05:58

New head of European conservatives dismisses Cameron's EU demands

The new head of the biggest group of conservatives in the European Parliament dismissed on Saturday demands by British Prime Minister David Cameron to put the brakes on European integration.

Manfred Weber, the new chairman of the European People's Party (EPP), also told a German paper that the group still backed its candidate Jean-Claude Juncker to be the next Commission president despite opposition from Britain.

Jun 08 05:57

Martin Rowson on D-day and the European Union - cartoon

Jun 07 16:05

90% Of Gazprom Clients Have "De-Dollarized", Will Transact In Euro & Renminbi

Following Obama and Putin's "caught on tape" meeting Vine'd by the French President, we can't help but wonder if the Russian leaders comments were something akin to "this is not over yet." With "De-Dollarization" efforts already broadly under discussion, ITAR-TASS reports that Gazprom had signed additional agreements for clients to switch from dollars to euros and renminbi, "nine of ten consumer had agreed to switch."

Jun 07 07:39

IMF wants Barbados to take urgent action

THE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY Fund (IMF) is sounding a note of urgency over Barbados’ economy and calling for fiscal consolidation post-haste.

Though admitting that Government had implemented most of its budgetary measures, a team from the Washington-based IMF left Barbados yesterday stressing the need for follow-up to ensure that those measures produce material results in the near term.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This follows a three-notch downgrade by Moody's. Barbados, while exporting some products such as rum, is heavily dependent on tourism, and tourism is down across the board both from the economy and from TSA abuses.

Jun 07 06:43

US military intrusions 'ineffective, shameful': Analyst

Americans are “fed up” with the US military’s “foreign intrusions” in other countries, a military analyst in New York says, calling Washington’s aggressive foreign policy “ineffective and shameful.”

“The American people are expecting us to get out of these foreign intrusions, we can’t afford them, we’ve not been successful with them,” Michael Burns told Press TV on Wednesday.

“It’s an embarrassment, it’s a shame on the traditional American policy,” Burns said. “The American people are just chagrined and shamed over the ineffectiveness of our intrusions into other people’s business.

Jun 07 06:40

New neocon bill: designed to protect Ukraine or to promote business interests of US fracking firms?

A bill designed to counter non-existent “Russian aggression” envisages allocation of hundreds of millions of dollars on military needs. But the military are not its only beneficiary: US fracking firms, facing enormous criticism in the West, are to start expansion to the Eastern Europe under the guise of making post-Soviet states independent of Russian gas supplies. Some critics have already labeled the bill, sponsored by neocon senators, a “personal enrichment law”.

Jun 06 07:32

The Good And The Not- So-Good News About US Jobs In One Chart

Jun 06 07:25

Half The Country Makes Less Than $27,520 A Year And 15 Other Signs The Middle Class Is Dying

If you make more than $27,520 a year at your job, you are doing better than half the country is. But you don’t have to take my word for it, you can check out the latest wage statistics from the Social Security administration right here. But of course $27,520 a year will not allow you to live “the American Dream” in this day and age. After taxes, that breaks down to a good bit less than $2,000 a month. You can’t realistically pay a mortgage, make a car payment, afford health insurance and provide food, clothing and everything else your family needs for that much money.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Since the beginning of outsourcing of manufacturing in the 80s, there has been a steady decline in the standard of living for far too many Americans, and a staggering number of American children live in poverty right now.

Do not think for a moment that this is anything but deliberate. Traditionally, protest movements have come from the middle class; eliminate the middle class, and you have very little in terms of protests against the government, coupled with a dependence on it, so that people do not dare question what the government is doing at any given moment.

Jun 06 06:55

Stockman - The Military Industrial Complex & Total Collapse

Eric King: "If the fighting continues in Ukraine, is it just going to continue to be a stalemate over there?"

Stockman: "It could well devolve into a full-fledged civil war, and that would be really unfortunate for the people. ... That is the result of the constitutional and political crisis that was provoked last November and December, not by Putin and the Russians, but by the (U.S.) State Department and the CIA and the so-called non-governmental organizations that are swarming all over eastern Europe trying to stir up trouble. It’s an indication that what I call the military-industrial complex, this warfare state with all the spy agencies and this massive war machine that we have, is a dangerous thing to keep in being. We don’t need it. It should be demobilized. It should be dramatically reduced so that the people who operate it aren’t tempted to start stirring up trouble."

Jun 06 06:53

Bilderberg Authoritarianism Destroys Humanity

Knowing the accuracy of historical reality is difficult, but accepting the truth in that chronicle is almost impossible for most people to accept. This reluctance to deal with the stark and calculated obliteration of societal freedom is the ultimate curse of the human condition. The denial of the authoritarian plan by elites like the Bilderberg cabal is the equivalent of Satan's greatest lie, convincing us he does not exist. Well, the days of casting the smear of conspiracy over any reporting on the secret and hidden conclave of global manipulators, is officially over.

Jun 06 06:23

US Corporations Dump Dollar for Chinese Renminbi to Buy Imports

The U.S. dollar is being increasingly dropped as the currency for settling international trade. But perhaps the latest trend provides the most startling evidence yet that the dollar is doomed as the world reserve currency.

The Financial Times reported today that U.S. corporations are using the Chinese renminbi to buy imports over three times more than they had the previous year:

Jun 05 13:33

More On China's "Missing Commodity" Scandal: Fallout Spreads As Banks Get Involved

While we have warned about the problem with near-infinitely rehypothecated physical/funding commodities/metals, be they gold or copper, many times in the past, and most recently here, it was only yesterday that China finally admitted it has a major problem involving not just the commodities participating in funding deals - in this case copper and aluminum - but specifically their infinite rehypothecation, which usually results in the actual underlying metal mysteriously "disappearing", as in it never was there to begin with.

Jun 05 10:27

Scary 1929 market chart gains traction

There are eerie parallels between the stock market’s recent behavior and how it behaved right before the 1929 crash.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Just a coincidence. Really. Everything is fine. Fine, fine, fine, fine, FINE! Wanna see me work out some more?" -- Official White Horse Souse

Jun 05 10:00

The Lives of America's Homeless

"We start every interview by asking people to say their name, their age, and where they slept last night."

That's how Margaret Miles describes a project she directs at St. Stephen's Human Services in Minneapolis that is documenting the stories of homeless people across the state of Minnesota. Begun in 2008, the project has collected more than 600 oral histories.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

More of Lloyd Blankfein doing "God's work."

Jun 05 08:54

American gas won't save us, say EU leaders

Jun 05 07:43

A parallel Chinese financial order

The Financial Times ran a front page piece last Monday claiming that China has ordered a ban on state-owned companies using Western management consulting companies. It is alleged by senior Chinese sources that 'foreigners use their consulting companies to find out everything they want about our state companies'. Beijing's solution will be its usual kind of import-substitution strategy, the 'setting up (of) a team of Chinese domestic consultants who are particularly focused on information systems in order to seize back this power from the foreign companies'.

I'm forever hearing gripes about consultants leaking secrets and transferring knowledge between clients. But this is a far more serious charge, and the insinuation is clear. When China is accused of pursuing commerce backed by shadowy state espionage, it will throw the book right back.

Jun 05 07:26

ECB cuts deposit rate below zero in historic move

The European Central Bank lowered its deposit rate to -0.10% as the continent battles deflation after many failed monetary policy attempts.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

When you have money in a bank savings account, and the interest paid on that account is lower than the rate of inflation, you are losing real value and purchasing power even if the balance seems to be growing. Many people are seduced by the growing numbers and keep their money in that savings account even though they are suffering real economic losses.

Now things have changed. The longer you keep your money in those European savings accounts, the smaller the balance will be. The EU will likely impose capital controls to prevent bank runs as savers close their accounts and convert the funds into physical silver and gold.

The reason there are so many "failed monetary policy attempts" is that nobody wants to acknowledge the deep dark secret of private central banking. Which is that when you allow a privately-owned central bank to issue all of the public currency as a loan at interest, the debt grows faster than the available money supply. More money is owed to that privately-owned central bank than actually exists. This is a deliberately designed system to trap a nation and its people in unpayable debt, to enslave them to the will of the bankers, and over time, through the process of defaults, transfer the hard assets of the nation and the people into the pockets of the bankers through "Austerity" and "privatization." And all the bankers needed to pull off this scam was paper, ink, and typing numbers into a computer keyboard! But no government dares admit to their people that the banking system they are forced to use is a deliberate tool of enslavement. So they attempt "policies" to make it look like they are trying to fix the problem, but without addressing the root cause.

Jun 05 07:15

Days Before Obama Announced CO2 Rule, Exxon Awarded Gulf of Mexico Oil Leases

On Friday May 30, just a few days before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced details of its carbon rule proposal, the Obama Administration awarded offshore oil leases to ExxonMobil in an area of the Gulf of Mexico potentially containing over 172 million barrels of oil.

The U.S. Department of Interior‘s (DOI) Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) proclaimed in a May 30 press release that the ExxonMobil offshore oil lease is part of “President Obama’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to continue to expand safe and responsible domestic energy production.”

Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell formerly worked as a petroleum engineer for Mobil, purchased as a wholly-owned subsidiary by Exxon in 1998.

Dubbed a “Private Empire” by investigative reporter Steve Coll, ExxonMobil will now have access to oil and gas in the Alaminos Canyon Area, located 170 miles east of Port Isabel, Texas. Port Isabel borders spring break and tourist hot spot South Padre Island.

Jun 05 07:00

BRICS nations hope to bankroll a changing world order

After more than six decades of dictating development policy in much of the emerging world, the Western-led International Monetary Fund and World Bank may soon have some competition.

The BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — are reportedly close to finalizing their long-awaited development bank and currency reserve, each valued at $100 billion, in what has been billed as a historic challenge by the world’s emerging economies to a global financial architecture that has been dominated by the U.S. and Western Europe since its post–World War II inception.

Jun 05 06:55

How taxpayers subsidized Walmart execs' pay

While many of Walmart's (WMT) workers rely on food stamps and other government aid to make ends meet, its top eight executives are living better, thanks in part to $298 million in tax-deductible "performance pay" during the past six years.

Jun 05 06:09

US employers plan to cut payrolls by 52,961 in May, up from April: Challenger

Job cuts climbed to the highest level in more than a year, as U.S.-based employers announced plans to reduce payrolls by 52,961 in May, according to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Jun 05 05:25

This New Libor 'Scandal' Will Cause A Terrifying Financial Crisis

The vastly worse Libor “scandal” that I am referring to is the fact that the Libor has stayed at record low levels for the past half-decade, which is helping to fuel a massive economic bubble around the entire world that will end in a devastating financial crisis that will be even worse than the Global Financial Crisis. Instead of causing a few tens of billions of dollars worth of losses like the Libor rate-fixing scandal, the “Libor Bubble” will gut the global economy by trillions of dollars.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Every single person involved in this swindle should be cooling their heels in a prison for a long time.

But given that the financial markets do not eat their own, I seriously doubt that anyone involved in this mess will actually do time.

Jun 05 05:13

Poverty Up 30.5% for Americans 18 to 64 Since LBJ Declared War on Poverty

The percentage of 18- to 64-year olds who live below the poverty level has increased 30.5% since 1966, two years after Lyndon Johnson declared the War on Poverty, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“We have declared unconditional war on poverty. Our objective is total victory. I believe that 30 years from now Americans will look back upon these 1960s as the time of the great American Breakthrough toward the victory of prosperity over poverty,” said then-President Lyndon Johnson in 1964.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Ever noticed that whenever this government declares "war" on some social ill, that the problem gets worse, and not better?!?

Jun 04 15:43

Renminbi use surges in home of US dollar

It is the monetary equivalent of what Chairman Mao called “bombarding the headquarters”. China’s renminbi is rapidly displacing the US dollar as a trading currency not only in Asia and Europe but now also in the US home market.

The value of renminbi payments between the US and the rest of the world rose by 327 per cent in April this year from the same month a year ago (see chart) as more US corporations switched to using the Chinese currency to pay for imports from China, according to data from SWIFT, the international currency settlement firm.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That squishy sound you hear is the owners of the Federal Reserve collectively messing their pants!

Jun 04 13:19

Central banks and a global soft default: Current interest payments on public debt now exceed $415 billion per year. In 2000 $1 trillion in Fed debt was held by foreigners while today it is up to $6 trillion.

Global central banks are fully addicted to the opiate of debt. The financial system has created a rentier class that chases investment yield even when the economy isn’t necessarily growing. Think about that for a second. Why should someone expect a guaranteed return at any point in an economic cycle if the real economy is actually contracting? The U.S. for example while trying to play the role of responsible manager of debt is going full throttle when it comes to debt issuance. We have a spending, revenue, and financial system problem in the way incentives are structured.

Jun 04 12:59

Data Discrepancies in ObamaCare Signups Could Affect 2 Million People

More than 2 million people who got health insurance under President Barack Obama's law have data discrepancies that could jeopardize coverage for some, a government document shows.

About 1 in 4 people who signed up have discrepancies, creating a huge paperwork jam for the feds and exposing some consumers to repayment demands, or possibly even loss of coverage, if they got too generous a subsidy.

Jun 04 10:26

U.S. Hyperinflation Warning

Hyperinflation (i.e. the U.S. dollar going to zero) is not a “possibility” for the U.S. economy. Rather, it is an absolute certainty. Indeed, as was clearly demonstrated in a previous commentary, the U.S. dollar is already worthless, based upon three, distinct analyses of the dollar’s fundamentals.

This future destiny of the dollar is also graphically depicted, in one of the Federal Reserve’s own charts:

Jun 04 09:32

Elizabeth Warren and Thomas Piketty: "Wealth Does Not Trickle Down... It Trickles Up."

Both issues show clearly that 'we have a rigged system, where a handful are able to reap benefits at the cost of everyone else.'

Jun 04 09:04

1 in 5 Children Live in Poverty in U.S.

One in five children under age 18, or 21.3%, are living in poverty in the United States, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is insane, stupid, and deliberate on the part of the US Federal government.

Because the more a people are dependent on government aid, the more they will not question a government when it is doing something extraordinarily morally wrong.

Jun 04 08:50

Government Treated Boycott As Terrorism

4,000 pages [of documents] obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund [through Freedom of Information Act requests] reveal that Fusion Centers and their personnel even conflate their anti-terrorism mission with a need for intelligence gathering on a possible consumer boycott during the holiday season. There are multiple documents from across the country referencing concerns about negative impacts on retail sales.

Jun 04 08:45

Half of Americans can’t afford their house

Over half of Americans (52%) have had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years, according to the “How Housing Matters Survey,” which was commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by Hart Research Associates. These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This push to impoverish the American middle class is no accident; we have seen this coming from the 80s, where well-paying jobs are outsourced, and much of the work remaining is given to illegal immigrants, where wages get pushed far down from what should be the norm.

Jun 04 08:21

War is a Banker Racket, Explained in One Photo

No additional commentary necessary.

Jun 04 07:07

The Next Shot Has Been Fired at Your IRA

It’s no secret that governments strapped for cash commonly turn to plundering retirement savings. They are a juicy, irresistible, low-hanging fruit.

In recent years, it’s happened in some form in Argentina, Poland, Portugal, and Hungary, just to name a few countries. The truth is that it could happen in any country drowning in debt and financial troubles—the US included.

It’s usually accomplished by forcibly converting retirement assets into government bonds under the guise of helping people manage their risk.

Jun 04 07:05

Fornicalia makes a “budget whoopsie” of $31.7 BILLION DOLLARS

Further: controller John Chiang is running for State Treasurer. Fornicalia’s election is today.

A summary of the “mistakes”:

Understating some federal trust fund revenues and expenditures by $7.7 billion.
Overstating state general fund assets and revenues by $653 million.
A reporting error that understated a public building construction fund by $9.1 billion.
Overstating by $8 billion the California State University system’s bond debt.
Posting a deferred tax-revenue figure as $6.2 billion when it was actually $6.2 million.

Those mistakes and others were so glaring, auditors said, that they should have been caught.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"That's okay; the people will gladly cover that $30 billion goof. After all, they hardly complained about the trillions we took from them to give to the banks, so the banks could loan it back to them at interest!" -- Official White Horse Souse

Jun 04 06:38

Bilderberg’s New World Order plot hits Iran-Russia-China wall

Every year, the world’s most powerful people meet in secret. Their agenda: total world domination. Big media observe a near-total blackout.

It sounds like dystopian science fiction, or a conspiracy theorist’s worst nightmare.

The strangest part is that it’s true. The 2011 destabilization of Syria, the 9/11/2008 Goldman-Sachs-led controlled demolition of the world economy, and probably even the 9/11 false flag events were all plotted or okayed by the Bilderbergers.

Jun 04 06:25

The U.S. Dollar Will Collapse When This Upcoming Event Happens

…If we want to better understand the answer to the elusive question of “When will the fiat US dollar collapse?”, we have to watch the petrodollar system and the factors affecting it….This is critically important, because once the dollar loses this coveted status…the destruction of the dollar is going to wipe out the wealth of a lot people, and that will cause political and social consequences that will likely be worse than the financial consequences.

The above are edited excerpts by Nick Giambruno (InternationalMan.com) from his original article* entitled Timing the Collapse: Ron Paul Says Watch the Petrodollar.

Jun 03 11:54

America : Freedom to Fascism

Jun 03 10:48

Renminbi (RMB) Yuan Clearing Bank To Open In London

A RMB Yuan (CNY) clearing bank will be officially appointed in the United Kingdom (UK) in June, said Mark Boleat, policy chairman for the City of London Corp, in an interview at the weekend.

“There will be a clearing bank in London. In due course, there will be an announcement,” Mr. Boleat said. The news will be an endorsement for London’s efforts to become an offshore yuan center. Other European financial centers in the race to become a Yuan center include Frankfurt, Paris, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

An official clearing bank facilitates efficient clearing of offshore Renminbi transactions, achieved through the appointed bank’s direct cooperation with the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) , the country’s central bank.

Mr. Boleat said having a clearing bank in London will act as a signal for London’s growing Yuan activities, although activities are already cleared through many commercial banks’ own channels.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Looks like the US petrodollar is on its way out.

And unfortunately, the US government is apt to think that war, sooner rather than later, with China, is preferable to allowing this to happen.

Jun 03 10:29

European Reassurance Fund: Obama Said to Unveil $1 Billion European War Chest

U.S. President Barack Obama plans to announce a $1 billion fund to help boost defensive capabilities of European allies shaken by Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine, according to a U.S. official.

The “European Reassurance Fund” may be unveiled by Obama as soon as today in Poland during his visit there, according to the official, who asked not to be identified discussing the move before the announcement.

The money will be contained in the Obama administration’s fiscal 2015 warfighting request — known as the Overseas Contingency Operations Fund — that will be released this month, the official said. That’s the pool of money used to bankroll U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. President, forgive me, but ...HAVE YOU GONE ABSOLUTELY BARKING MAD?!?

Sir, I would like to politely remind you that this money is not your money to spend; it is the money, collected from our taxes, which should be going to fix the economy right here the United states, which is broken, in large degree, because of these immoral and illegal wars.

Please show me, by any military metric possible, how the US has "won" in its invasion and occupation of Iraq; then, please show me how, 13 years on, we have "won" in Afghanistan.

Mr. President, I am waiting, patiently, for your response.

Your silence, Mr. President, is deafening, because there is no military metric by which you can characterize either military misadventure as a victory.

You know full well that Russia has no designs to invade Europe. This is simply an attempt to ratchet up the tension against Russia, as the prelude not to a cold war, but a shooting war, to attempt to keep the petrodollar as the reserve currency.

Jun 03 10:07

Bankers are Behind the Wars

Former managing director of Goldman Sachs – and head of the international analytics group at Bear Stearns in London (Nomi Prins) - notes:

Throughout the century that I examined, which began with the Panic of 1907 … what I found by accessing the archives of each president is that through many events and periods, particular bankers were in constant communication [with the White House] — not just about financial and economic policy, and by extension trade policy, but also about aspects of World War I, or World War II, or the Cold War, in terms of the expansion that America was undergoing as a superpower in the world, politically, buoyed by the financial expansion of the banking community.

***

Webmaster's Commentary: 

People are catching on!

Jun 03 07:32

I-495 bridge closed because of tilting columns

Delaware officials on Monday ordered the emergency closure of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River in Wilmington after discovering that four support columns are tilting.

The 4,800-foot bridge normally carries about 90,000 vehicles a day on I-495, which diverts traffic around the city of Wilmington and toward the Port of Wilmington. The route parallels Interstate 95, which runs through downtown Wilmington.

"We understand that there will be a significant impact to the traveling public," said state Transportation Secretary Shailen Bhatt.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, Obama can send millions of dollars to the Junta in Kiev to murder Ukrainians, but lets the critical infrastructure of the US rot.

Jun 03 07:19

Russian Roulette – Derivative Style

Total face value of unregulated derivative contracts is something around 1,000 Trillion dollars – depending on who is counting and who is lying.

Banks (Goldman, JP Morgan, Deutsche Bank, etc.) sell these contracts because they generate huge commissions and probably other long-term profits.

Wall Street banks poured mega-bucks into DC lobbyists to keep the derivative game running with minimal regulation and oversight. Obscene profits, not the public good, are the reason.

Jun 03 06:54

Here’s What 60 Minutes Didn’t Tell You About the F-35

The millions of viewers who tuned into 60 Minutes Sunday may have gotten the impression that, despite being billions over budget and almost a decade behind schedule, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is ultimately necessary to maintain U.S. air superiority. That’s an unsurprising conclusion, given that all of the individuals interviewed in the story work either for the federal government or for Lockheed Martin, the primary contractor for the F-35. 60 Minutes’ producers broke a basic lesson of Journalism 101 when they failed to interview anyone who would tell the other side of the F-35 story.

Jun 03 06:52

Steen Jakobsen: Expect A 30% Stock Market Correction in 2014

Steen agrees that central banks have largely failed in their misguided attempts to boost growth via trickle-down programs. Pretty much all the benefits of the recent years of money printing have gone to the upper echelons, with the true engines of growth and jobs -- small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) -- getting very little.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know about you, but I am tired of being "trickled" on by the money-junkies!

This article skirts around the real problem. The system of allowing a privately-owned central bank issue all of the public currency as a loan at interest, by design, always creates more debt than money with which to pay that debt. No matter how hard people work, no matter how much they sacrifice, this system is deigned to enslave people and nations with unpayable debt and transfer the real assets into the pockets of the bankers, all in exchange for paper with colored ink on it!

Jun 02 13:20

Retired American Airlines workers who took pay cut after 9/11 lose promised privileges

After 9/11 many American Airlines workers took a 35% pay cut to help salvage the nose-diving company. In exchange, workers were promised better health, retirement and flying benefits, but these promises have not been kept.

Jun 02 12:45

Feds Plan to Seize Financial Records of US Mortgage Borrowers

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are planning to seize financial records on mortgage borrowers for a new federal database.

Jun 02 09:47

Debt Collectors Have Figured Out A Way To Seize Your Wages And Savings

People with overdue bills have long complained of harassment from debt collectors, from late-night phone calls to frightening in-person visits. Now it appears the industry has found far more troubling strategy: Filing lawsuits against debtors -- often, consumer advocates say, on the theory that they won't ever show up to court to defend themselves.

The consequences are dire when the debtors don't appear in court. A judge can put a lien on someone's home, garnish wages, even freeze bank accounts -- all without a person ever getting a chance to fight their case. And at times, collectors file suit in error. Consumers interviewed for this story described cases where they were never told they were being brought to court, or were sued for debts on credit cards they never had.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

You've got to watch your credit like a hawk, and if there is a disputed bill, put the information about why you don't owe the money, or have already paid, in writing to the company demanding payment, and send it certified, where someone has to sign for it.

Jun 02 08:52

Is the Market Crazy? Treasurys Are Screaming Crisis While Stocks Yawn

One critical gauge of how fair and efficient a market is resides in the degree to which it reflects the composite wisdom of all participants. A rigged market, for example, reflects the composite wisdom of just those doing the rigging since they are privy to information that is not shared with all market players.

On March 30, bestselling author Michael Lewis appeared on 60 Minutes to summarize the findings in his newest book, Flash Boys, as follows: “stock market’s rigged.” Michael Lewis was talking about stock market manipulation by high frequency traders.

Increasingly, the U.S. bond market is delivering almost the same message as Michael Lewis. The U.S. Treasury market, which is experiencing a flight to safety (that suggests a slowing economy, lower corporate earnings and thus a lower stock market in the future) is essentially saying that the current composite wisdom of the stock market is either nuts or the market is, indeed, rigged.

Jun 02 08:00

Detroit's creditors want entire art museum collection to be fair game

Creditors in Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy have engineered a new appraisal aimed at putting the Detroit Institute of Arts' entire collection in play as a possible chip to maximize the amount the city will be obligated to ante up for debt repayment.

The Detroit News reports that, at some creditors’ behest, the city’s bankruptcy managers have begun trying to place a value on the museum’s entire 66,000-piece collection. That’s quite an escalation from a previous appraisal of only about 1,700 works that the DIA had bought with city funds.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Remember: this is the results of decades of mismanagement by the City of Detroit.

There are a number of people who have, literally, made out like bandits, while stripping this city of its assets, and should, rightly, be cooling their collective heels in jail for what they have done.

Jun 02 06:42

Tony Blair 'not seeking European leadership role'

He acknowledged the EU's federalist origins no longer held validity, and the European public still believed in the nation state, adding that most EU leaders wanted Britain to remain in the EU.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Skip the blather about Tony and go right to the comments!

Jun 02 06:41

Renowned Israeli Economist Predicts Economic Catastrophe for Israel

As with everything concerning this subject, there is a propaganda “line” that Israel-advocates sell the world. First, there was the pioneer nation that made the desert bloom, turning it into a modern society. Lately, it’s become the “start-up nation.” This myth sells an Israel full of technical geniuses coding their hearts out to bring innovation to the world. It suggests an Israel in tune with the democratic and entrepreneurial spirit of the rest of the world. Even a nation on the cutting edge of technological discovery. After all, if Warren Buffett invested $4-billion in one of Israel’s most profitable companies, doesn’t that prove the case?

Jun 01 13:19

Infrastructure Sticker Shock: Financing Costs More than Construction

The tunnels were billed to voters as a $25 billion project. That estimate, however, omitted interest and fees. Construction itself is estimated at a relatively modest $18 billion. But financing through bonds issued at 5% for 30 years adds $24-40 billion to the tab. Another $9 billion will go to wetlands restoration, monitoring and other costs, bringing the grand total to $51-67 billion – three or four times the cost of construction.

Jun 01 10:22

Spanish court makes first conviction of bankers since start of crisis

For the first time since the economic crisis began, a group of bankers has been found guilty of financial crimes in Spain.

But the former leaders of Caixa Penedès, a Catalan savings bank that received €915 million in state aid before being bought out by another bank, may be able to avoid going to jail despite their joint five-year conviction.

Instead, former director general Ricard Pagès Font and his three aides have promised to return the €28.6 million in retirement plans that they granted themselves before leaving the lender. Caixa Penedès was ultimately bought out by Banco Sabadell in October 2013 after receiving the bailout money.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So imagine that you robbed a convenience store, and you offer to return the cash you stole if the judge lets you free.

How far do you think you would get with that?

Jun 01 08:39

Kyrgyzaltyn board chairman arrested in Centerra Gold case

Dilger Japarov, board chairman of Kyrgyzaltyn JSC, Kyrgyzstan's state-owned mining company, has been arrested on suspicion of an illegal dividend payment worth $200 million to Centerra Gold, RIA Novosti learned Thursday at the Prosecutor General’s Office of Kyrgyzstan.

Centerra Gold Inc. is a Canadian company that owns development licenses for the Kumtor deposit in Kyrgyzstan and a number of deposits in Mongolia, Russia, Turkey and the United States. Kyrgyzaltyn is a Centerra shareholder.

Jun 01 08:39

Poroshenko May Prove an Unpredictable Partner for Europe

Petro Poroshenko, for all the elusiveness of his nature, is the choice of the Ukrainian people. The Americans didn’t grow him in their political incubator; they just put a bet on the most likely winner and did so rather late – approximately in March 2014. The earlier favorites were people like Arseny Yatsenyuk and Vitaly Klichko. Statements made by US politicians did not have much influence on Ukrainian voters. More likely, the electorate was swayed by technologies invented by a Ukrainian spin doctor, Igor Gryniv (who was behind the electoral success of Viktor Yushchenko and still earlier planned the establishment of the Reforms and Order and Our Ukraine parties). First of all, he cleaned out the minds of Ukrainian voters and made them accept Poroshenko as a “new politician.” Next he began publishing his growing ratings and convinced the public that his client took the lead in the race. All that remained was to give voters a motivation for support and urge a first-round vote.

May 31 07:25

Detroit Cuts Off Water To Thousands Unable To Pay Their Bills

Thousands of the some 700,000 people who call Detroit home are currently living without access to water after the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department turned off their water because they hadn’t paid their bills.

As the shut-offs occur without warning from the department, residents don’t have time to fill buckets, sinks and tubs with water. This concerns human rights activists, who point out that as a result, “Sick people are left without running water and running toilets. People recovering from surgery cannot wash and change bandages. Children cannot bathe and parents cannot cook.”

It’s a practice that has been in place in Detroit for years, even though residents of the city plagued by high unemployment and a poverty rate of around 40 percent have struggled to keep up with water rates that have increased about 119 percent over the past decade.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Clean water should be a basic human right.

That having been said, decades of completely dysfunctional policy has lead Detroit, once one of the most thriving cities in this country, to a completely shambolic collapse.

May 31 06:19

New federal database will track Americans' credit ratings, other financial information

As many as 227 million Americans may be compelled to disclose intimate details of their families and financial lives -- including their Social Security numbers -- in a new national database being assembled by two federal agencies.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau posted an April 16 Federal Register notice of an expansion of their joint National Mortgage Database Program to include personally identifiable information that reveals actual users, a reversal of previously stated policy.

FHFA will manage the database and share it with CFPB. A CFPB internal planning document for 2013-17 describes the bureau as monitoring 95 percent of all mortgage transactions.

FHFA officials claim the database is essential to conducting a monthly mortgage survey required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and to help it prepare an annual report for Congress.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

How incredibly not thought through: to avoid being part of this database, people are not going to buy homes anymore, knowing what the surveillance costs will be.

Wow, the thinking in DC must be, let's trash this economy even more than it is already trashed, and really destroy the housing market in this country. Just.....brilliant!!

And forgive me, but wasn't the ability to actually buy a home, which one could afford, the bedrock of middle class American success?

Apparently, not any more, and by design.

May 31 06:15

Working More to Earn Less | Why the Poor Stay Poor | Learn Liberty

May 31 06:12

Argentina Reaches Agreement with Paris Club Preventing IMF Austerity

Argentina reached agreement with the Paris Club, a 19-member block representing some of the world's wealthiest countries, to repay nearly $10 billion in debts. The agreement ended a dispute that dates back to Argentina's 2001 default and ensures that there will be no International Monetary Fund (IMF) promoted austerity programs. Further, Argentina has renewed access to capital markets and strengthened its position within the G20.

May 30 10:58

Hungary Kills The Rothschild Banks: Ordered To Vacate Country.

Hungary is making history of the first order along with Iceland & Russia.

Not since the 1930s in Germany has a major European country dared to escape from the clutches of the Rothschild-controlled international banking cartels. This is stupendous news that should encourage nationalist patriots worldwide to increase the fight for freedom from financial tyranny.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So now we will be told that Hungary hates us foir our freedoms, that they are an evil dictatorship oppressing their people, they have nukes, they have gas, yadda yadda yadda leading to an invasion.

May 30 10:50

Eurasian Economic Union nail in US coffin: Analyst

The formation of an economic union between Russia and two former Soviet republics will further weaken the waning hegemony of the United States, an analyst writes for Press TV.

May 30 10:40

The FED is printing trillions of dollars for free!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Another find from the Federal Reserve website sent in by a reader. It basically shows the Fed printed over a Trillion dollars for free.

Which reminded me of Bernanke when asked, "Who got those loans" He wouldn't answer...

This comes hard on the heels of the revelation that the Federal Reserve is exempt from Federal, State, and Local taxes! The only tax they are required to pay is property taxes on the land their banks sit on.

May 30 10:18

Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan sign ‘epoch' Eurasian Economic Union

Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan signed the historic Eurasian Economic Union which will come into effect in January 2015. Cutting down trade barriers and comprising over 170 million people it will be the largest common market in the ex-Soviet sphere.

"The just-signed treaty is of epoch-making, historic importance," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

The troika of countries will cooperate in energy, industry, agriculture, and transport.

"In fact, we are shaping the largest common market in the CIS, with huge production, scientific and technological potential and enormous natural resources," the President added.

Citizens of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan will have the right to work freely throughout the member states without having to be issued any special work permits, Putin said.

Over the last three years, trade within the Customs Union has increased by $23 billion, or nearly 50 percent. At the end of 2013, it stood at $66.2 billion.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

President Obama: what was that statement you made about making Russia "economically isolated", after its having taking back Crimea in a peaceful, free and fair referendum?!?

As reported at hotair.com on the 20th of March of this year, you made the following statement regarding US sanctions, and what they were going to do:

President Barack Obama says the United States is levying a new round of economic sanctions on individuals in Russia, both inside and outside the government, in retaliation for the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine. Obama says he has also signed a new executive order that would allow the U.S. to sanction key sectors of the Russian economy. President Barack Obama said Thursday that he has signed an executive order giving the United States authority to impose sanctions on “key sectors of the Russian economy” if necessary in light of Russia’s “dangerous risks of escalation” in Ukraine. “These sanctions would not only have a significant impact on the Russian economy, but could also be disruptive to the global economy,” Obama warned. “However, Russia must know that further escalation will only isolate it further from the international community.”

Sir, forgive me, but... this doesn't look like Russia is feeling the heat from this alleged "economic isolation" one tiny bit. In fact, adding this to the huge energy deal it just inked in Shanghai, it looks like the Russian economy is going great guns while that of the US...contracted by one percent in the first quarter.

And sir, forgive me again, but do you EVER have any real idea of what you are doing geopolitically, and what the long term ramifications will be of actions you take?

And if an average American like me could have predicted that your moves against Russia would cause it to grow closer to former Soviet satellites and China, why the heck could you and your advisors not see that?

(I am having a palm toforehead moment at industrial strength velocity, upon remembering, and documenting this this.)

May 30 09:54

NYPD Raid On Homeless Shelter Draws Ire Of Advocates

Homeless advocates expressed anger this week at the prospect of more police raids on Manhattan homeless shelters, after NYPD officers last Friday arrested 22 people at the Freedom House on the Upper West Side.

DNAinfo reported last week that police performed background checks on all of the occupants of the Freedom House homeless shelter on the Upper West Side, and that five officers conducted a pre-dawn raid in which 22 people were arrested on outstanding warrants.

Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, questioned the legality of the raids. "There's no justification for this," she told The Huffington Post in a statement. "Being homeless is not grounds for suspicion that someone has a bench warrant."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I have to wonder what precisely these bench warrants were for, and if NYPD was "below quota" on their targeted number for bringing in alleged criminals for outstanding warrants.

But this is a true new low for them, and another demonstration of how homelessness per se is getting more and more criminalized every day in this country.

May 30 09:15

Russia invites Argentina to BRICS summit, ratifies support in Malvinas case

Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman met in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergi Lavrov who confirmed a formal invitation to Argentina to take part in a BRICS summit to be held in Brazil next month. The Kremlin also ratified its support to Buenos Aires in its long-standing dispute against the United Kingdom over the sovereignty of the Malvinas Islands.

According to official reports, Timerman “thanked very specially the ratification of Russia’s support” to Argentina which has been calling London to abide by the UN resolutions that urge both parties to sit at the negotiating table and discuss the sovereignty of the British-seized territories.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Russia does not have to fire a shot to bring down the US economy, and by extension, this government.

IF all the BRIC nations were to drop the dollar simultaneously, the US dollar would die a sudden death, and the US economy could well collapse.

May 30 08:52

US Food Inflation Running at 22%

After five years of the federal government telling the public that despite a $3.5 trillion increase in monetary expansion, the inflation rate is below +2%, the Department of Agriculture (DOA) just warned the American public that the consumer price index for food is up by 10% this year.

The DOA tried to blame food inflation on the drought conditions in California, but last year’s drought was worse and food prices fell by -6%. The real problem is Federal Reserve monetary stimulus is stimulating inflation.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One of the most strategic things in which you - and maybe some friends and/or family - could invest right now is a large freezer.

Because as badly as food prices have soared, it will be getting a lot worse, and soon. Having frozen food in a large freezer could help take the bite off coming food price inflation.

May 30 07:03

THE ELEVENTH MARBLE

Any five-year old child knows that if you put ten marbles into a tin can, you can only take ten marbles back out. No amount of wishful thinking, dreaming, or praying, will yield that eleventh marble from inside that can. That eleventh marble does not exist. It never did, and it never will. All discussions about the eleventh marble are the product of imagination. The eleventh marble is a fantasy.

Private central bankers issuing the public currency as interest-bearing loans operate on the belief that they can put ten marbles (dollars) into a tin can (the world) and magically get 11 marbles (dollars) back out. Thus, we may conclude that the bankers are dumber than five-year old children!

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May 30 07:01

THE FATAL FLAWS IN WALL STREET'S ECONOMIC THEORY

The first and largest flaw in the system is the Federal Reserve itself. Not actually a part of the government (the Federal Reserve is no more "Federal" than Federal Express), the Federal Reserve is a privately owned central bank which has been given the authority by the US Congress to create money, something which under any other circumstances would be called counterfeiting. Created by act of Congress in 1913 and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, the Federal Reserve now exercises the power to create money originally granted to the government itself under the Constitution. It might be argued that such a dramatic reassignment of constitutional powers should have required a Constitutional Amendment, but that is a discussion for another article. What is germane is that the Federal Reserve system is unstable because by design it creates more debt than it creates money with which to pay that debt.

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May 30 07:00

HOW YOU BECAME A SLAVE TO THE BANKERS!

Banks existed, of course. But they were kept off to one side, and use of the banks was optional for the people of the United States. It was possible to go through one's entire life without dealing with a bank if one chose to do so.

This system not only reserved the choice whether to use the bank to the people, but it was a stable system, because as debt increased, the people could voluntarily choose to stop borrowing from the bank! That was one of the most important freedoms won during the revolution; the freedom to say "no" to the banks!

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May 30 06:58

Awaken slaves! - How The Private Central Bank Ponzi Scheme Trapped And Destroyed America

Faced with the possibility that a new Amendment to transfer money creation from the US Government to a privately owned bank might fail and fail badly, and with the name "Third Bank of the United States" already leading to opposition to the plan, the plotters did an end run around the Constitution, passing the Federal Reserve act over Christmas vacation when the members of Congress opposed to the bill would be away. The name of the new bank was then changed to "The Federal Reserve." But, it is a private bank, no more "Federal" than Federal Express. From that moment on all currency would enter circulation as a loan at interest.

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May 30 06:54

Current Economic System is “Pure Fiction”

Former Bundesbank Vice-President Recommends Gold, Says Current Economic System is “Pure Fiction”

Anyone who is thinking clearly knows the economic system fostered by central banks is totally and completely out of control.

Repetitive rounds of QE, competitive currency debasement, interest rates at zero, and sponsorship of the internet bubble followed by the housing bubble, followed by the current stock market bubble is proof enough.

May 30 06:54

US Food Inflation Running at 22%

After five years of the federal government telling the public that despite a $3.5 trillion increase in monetary expansion, the inflation rate is below +2%, the Department of Agriculture (DOA) just warned the American public that the consumer price index for food is up by 10% this year.

The DOA tried to blame food inflation on the drought conditions in California, but last year’s drought was worse and food prices fell by -6%. The real problem is Federal Reserve monetary stimulus is stimulating inflation.

May 30 06:44

3 WTF Charts

Bad breadth, flaccid flow, and bonds bid - what could possibly go wrong?

Sep 07 08:37

SULLIVAN VERSUS UNITED STATES TRANSCRIPT - PDF

This is a transcript from a court case, Sullivan Versus United States, in which Judge James C. Fox openly admits in the court record (page 23 of this PDF) that the 16th Amendment on which the personal income tax is based was never actually ratified.

He then goes on to admit that the government and courts will treat it as if it were ratified, simply because they have gotten away with it for so long!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Today, we are hearing that the Infernal Revenue Service has been targeting political dissidents to a far greater degree than was previously exposed. Going beyond merely delaying tax-exempt status for Tea-Party, Occupy, and conservatives in general, donors to GOP candidates like Mitt Romney have been hit with disproportionate numbers of audits.

All America is now aware that the IRS is acting illegally. After all, such political targeting was an article of impeachment against Richard Nixon. So the time has come to take the discussion to the next level. Is the IRS, clearly acting illegally, itself legal? and the answer is "no", it is not. The Constitution forbids direct non-apportioned taxation of the people. An earlier version of the Income Tax was struck down by the United States Supreme Court on those grounds.

The Federal Reserve (itself a clearly unconstitutional usurpation of the money-creation authority vested in Congress by the Constitution) and the IRS claim that the passage of the 16th Amendment allows an income tax, but there are several problems with that claim. First and foremost, the 16th Amendment failed ratification! The necessary 3/4 of the states did not ratify the Amendment. Requests for proof that this Amendment was actually ratified are ignored. The IRS considers their enforcement actions the only legal reply they are required to make. And judges in tax courts (who are funded from tax revenues) inevitably refuse to examine the issue and simply declare from the bench that the Amendment was ratified, a power and authority not granted to judges under the Constitution.

There is one notable exception to this judicial legerdemain, and that is judge James C. Fox, who stated quite clearly in the court record for Sullivan Vs United States that the 16th Amendment, on examination, failed ratification. Sadly, however, that was not a tax case, and the judge mentioned the non-ratification of the 16th Amendment as justification for the enforcement of laws that may not have legally been passed, but were presumed valid through long use (i.e. we got away with it this long, so why should we change it now).

Yet another problem with the 16th Amendment is the United States Supreme Court, which ruled in Stanton vs Baltic Mining that the 16th Amendment, even if ratified, did not actually grant any new tax authority to the US Government. For one thing the original Constitutional prohibition against a direct non-apportioned tax is still in effect because it was not explicitly repealed by the hastily-contrived 16th Amendment.

So here we are, with the IRS clearly breaking the law, acting illegally, for all America to see, which is why this is a great time for activists to take the public discussion to the next level and ask if the IRS itself, and its master, the Federal Reserve, are actually legal under the Constitution.

Sep 06 12:19

Sullivan Vs United States - Judge ADMITS 16th Amendment failed ratification

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Today, we are hearing that the Infernal Revenue Service has been targeting political dissidents to a far greater degree than was previously exposed. Going beyond merely delaying tax-exempt status for Tea-Party, Occupy, and conservatives in general, donors to GOP candidates like Mitt Romney have been hit with disproportionate numbers of audits.

All America is now aware that the IRS is acting illegally. After all, such political targeting was an article of impeachment against Richard Nixon. So the time has come to take the discussion to the next level. Is the IRS, clearly acting illegally, itself legal? and the answer is "no", it is not. The Constitution forbids direct non-apportioned taxation of the people. An earlier version of the Income Tax was struck down by the United States Supreme Court on those grounds.

The Federal Reserve (itself a clearly unconstitutional usurpation of the money-creation authority vested in Congress by the Constitution) and the IRS claim that the passage of the 16th Amendment allows an income tax, but there are several problems with that claim. First and foremost, the 16th Amendment failed ratification! The necessary 3/4 of the states did not ratify the Amendment. Requests for proof that this Amendment was actually ratified are ignored. The IRS considers their enforcement actions the only legal reply they are required to make. And judges in tax courts (who are funded from tax revenues) inevitably refuse to examine the issue and simply declare from the bench that the Amendment was ratified, a power and authority not granted to judges under the Constitution.

There is one notable exception to this judicial legerdemain, and that is judge James C. Fox, who stated quite clearly in the court record for Sullivan Vs United States that the 16th Amendment, on examination, failed ratification. Sadly, however, that was not a tax case, and the judge mentioned the non-ratification of the 16th Amendment as justification for the enforcement of laws that may not have legally been passed, but were presumed valid through long use (i.e. we got away with it this long, so why should we change it now).

Yet another problem with the 16th Amendment is the United states Supreme Court, which ruled in Stanton vs Baltic Mining that the 16th Amendment, even if ratified, did not actually grant any new tax authority to the US Government. For one thing the original Constitutional prohibition against a direct non-apportioned tax is still in effect because it was not explicitly repealed by the hastily-contrived 16th Amendment.

So here we are, with the IRS clearly breaking the law, acting illegally, for all America to see, which is why this is a great time for activists to take the public discussion to the next level and ask if the IRS itself, and its master, the Federal Reserve, are actually legal under the Constitution.

PLEASE REPOST THIS EVERYWHERE!

Jul 06 08:52

Spitzer is back! The man who was politically assassinated for his sub prime accusations in 2006 now says the FED is a ponzi scheme. He's right. Again.

Apr 06 14:03

Founder plans to give up Oaksterdam after raid

In some of his most extensive comments since the raid, Lee acknowledged that he was worried he could face major federal drug charges. It’s a risk he has lived with for many years, first as an underground pot grower and then as the leader of a serious legalization effort, which drew vigorous opposition from the federal government.

“I never wanted to be the quote unquote leader of the legalization movement,” he said in a telephone interview. “I saw myself as just one small soldier in a big war. But I look at it as a battlefield promotion.”

Apr 05 11:16

NIALL FERGUSON: This Is The Study That Shows Why The US Economy Is Doomed

A Harvard Business School study that Niall Ferguson pointed us to today shows the U.S. has fallen severely behind in terms of international competitiveness.

The study, from January, found that for Harvard alums personally involved in a company relocation decision, 57% said the decision "involved the possibility of moving existing activities out of the U.S."

Apr 05 11:03

Oaksterdam University Raid 'Payback' For California's Marijuana Legalization Effort?

The man who bankrolled California's closest shot yet at fully legalizing marijuana, Prop. 19, saw his Oaksterdam University cannabis college in Oakland raided by federal authorities yesterday.
And pot advocates are fuming.

The Drug Policy Alliance suggests the raid by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Internal Revenue Service might have served one possible goal:
"Payback" for the 2010 legalization effort that failed but made a good try of it. The ballot effort was backed by Richard Lee, the millionaire owner of Oaksterdam.

Apr 05 10:56

Greek Pensioner Commits Suicide in Sindagma Sq-Suicide Note

The occupation government of Tsolagoglou (reference to the Occupation govt of the ex-Defence Minister Tsolagoglou who became Quisling Prime Minister of the 3rd Reich) has erased essentially any possibility of my survival which was based on a decent pension which for 35 years, I alone (without the intervention of the state) had paid.

I am at an age which doesn’t give me the individual capacity for a dynamic intervention (without of course precluding that if one Greek took up arms-Kalashnikovs, the second person would be me) I cant find another solution from a decent end before I end up looking in the rubbish bins for food.

Apr 05 09:34

Today's Ebay Special - The Country Of Greece For Sale

Currently going for the modest price of $1,550 with 6 more days left in the auction, today's hottest Ebay special is the sale of the country of Greece.

Apr 05 09:31

Americans brace for next foreclosure wave

Half a decade into the deepest U.S. housing crisis since the 1930s, many Americans are hoping the crisis is finally nearing its end. House sales are picking up across most of the country, the plunge in prices is slowing and attempts by lenders to claim back properties from struggling borrowers dropped by more than a third in 2011, hitting a four-year low.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apr 05 09:13

The phony economic deception machine – JP Morgan Chase CEO earns $23 million in 2011 while 2.7 million foreclosures are filed in the US. GDP at record levels but employment figures down by 5.3 million from their peak.

The US economic and political system is doing an excellent job sealing off opportunities for millions that aspire to be part of the middle class. Many are starting to realize that the system is rigged in favor of large financial institutions and those with political connections. The idea of raw success based on talent can be thrown out the window with the corporate welfare generosity leveled at the too big to fail financial institutions.

Apr 05 08:38

The Second Foreclosure Tsunami Is Coming, And Is About To Kill Any Hopes Of A "Housing Bottom"

In what appears to be surprising news for some, Reuters has an article titled "Americans brace for next foreclosure wave" whose key premise is that "a painful part two of the [housing] slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Apr 05 08:36

U.S. Standard of Living Has Fallen More Than 50%: Opinion

Using the year 2000 as the numerical base from which to "zero" all of the numbers, real wages peaked in 1970 at around $20/hour. Today the average worker makes $8.50/hour -- more than 57% less than in 1970. And since the average wage directly determines the standard of living of our society, we can see that the average standard of living in the U.S. has plummeted by over 57% over a span of 40 years.

Apr 05 08:29

Elite Greed Causing 'Austerity Suicides'

Brit Dee, Contributor
Activist Post

Yesterday saw the obscene consequences of the corrupt financial and political elite's insatiable greed, as a 77-year-old Greek man publicly committed suicide outside Parliament in Athens. The man, named locally as Dimitris Christoulas, reportedly pulled out a handgun and shot himself in the head during rush hour, having shouted "I'm leaving because I don't want to pass on my debts."...

Apr 05 08:26

The Unsustainability of Incarceration

The money that states spend on prisons has risen at six times the rate of spending on higher education. Specifically in California, the state spends $8,667 per student per year. It spends about $50,000 per inmate per year.

Apr 05 08:05

NH Best Selling Author Maintains Ron Paul Only Presidential Candidate Telling America the Truth about America’s Economic Woes

Best-selling author Barry James Dyke, author of The Pirates of Manhattan and recently released sequel, The Pirates of Manhattan II: Highway to Serfdom maintains Ron Paul is the only candidate consistently telling Americans the truth about its finances and the role that the Federal Reserve has in America’s decline.

Apr 05 08:01

Food inflation seen back on the table as prices rise

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) will update its monthly Food Price Index on Thursday and the organisation says prices could rise more in the short and medium term as grain supply tightens and energy prices stay high.

"You can see prices in the near term rising even further," FAO's senior economist and grain analyst Abdolreza Abbassian told Reuters ahead of the index update.

High crude oil prices have fuelled the upward pressure on inflation since the start of this year. Consumer prices in the 17 nations sharing the euro were up 2.6 percent in March from a year ago, despite stumbling economy.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I don't know how some families are making it, in terms of grocery prices.

The last time Mike and I left our local grocery store here on Oahu, I teased him, asking where the heck the caviar was we MUST have somehow, inadvertently, purchased to run up the bill so intensely.

However, in looking at what we brought home, (produce, some poultry, and some cream for coffee), it was obvious that everything has just skyrocketed in terms of food prices. The discounts from the "big box" stores help, but only a little.

If you can, even if you are doing it with small pots on a terrace, please try to get more self-sufficient with growing and preserving a little of your own food.

If there is any interruption in the flow of oil from any of the potentially nasty geopolitical confrontations which could take place in the near-term, that is going to jack up the prices on everything, big-time.

Apr 05 07:52

The Second Foreclosure Tsunami Is Coming, And Is About To Kill Any Hopes Of A “Housing Bottom”

what appears to be surprising news for some, Reuters has an article titled “Americans brace for next foreclosure wave” whose key premise is that “a painful part two of the [housing] slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures.”

Thank the robosettlement, where in exchange for a few wrist slaps, contract law was thoroughly trampled by America’s attorneys general, but far more importantly to the country’s crony capitalist system, the foreclosure pipeline was once again unclogged, and whether one does or does not have a legal title on a given house, the banks are now fully in their right to foreclose on it.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No one in their right mind can look at numbers like this, and talk about "an American financial recovery in 2012" with a straight face.

Apr 05 07:49

Keeping the Slaves on the Plantation: Senate Says No Passport if You Owe Taxes

Eric Blair
Activist Post

CBS is reporting that Senate Bill 1813 that would "suspend passport rights for delinquent taxpayers" passed the Senate 74-22 on March 14th.

A bill authored by a Southland lawmaker that could potentially allow the federal government to prevent any Americans who owe back taxes from traveling outside the U.S. is one step closer to becoming law.

...The 'Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act' or 'MAP-21' includes a provision that would allow for the 'revocation or denial' of a passport for anyone with 'certain unpaid taxes' or 'tax delinquencies'.

Apr 05 07:41

America: Freedom to Fascism - Director's Authorized Version

Apr 05 07:24

Tax Day Protests and Events 2012

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2012

Contact: Ruth Benn, NWTRCC Coordinator
800-269-7464 (718-768-3420) or nwtrcc@nwtrcc.org

“Tax Day” Antiwar Protests
Individuals Publicly Refuse to Pay Taxes for War

On April 19, 2012, two days after the April 17 tax deadline, peace activist and Gold Star Mother Cindy Sheehan will appear in court in Sacramento, California. The Justice Department, on behalf of the IRS, is seeking to discover why she hasn’t paid taxes in recent years. Sheehan has responded that “If the feds can give me my son back, I’ll pay my taxes.” She became a relentless peace activist following her son’s 2004 combat death in Iraq.

Apr 05 07:18

IMF CRIMES Result in 77-Year Old Gov’t Pensioner Commiting Suicide In Town Square – In Response Greeks Riot

The 77-year old Greek man who ended his life in the Town Square on Wednesday left the blame squarely on the shoulders of the Bankers, which includes Goldman Sachs (Mario Monti, their agent atop the Greek government), the Rothschilds and their criminal organization the IMF. The man left a heart-wrenching suicide note which read in part:

“The government has annihilated any hope for my survival and I could not get any justice… I cannot find any other form of struggle except a dignified end before I have to start scrounging for food from the rubbish.”

Apr 05 04:51

Beggared by Banks: 'Greeks forced to kill themselves'


The recent suicide of a cash-strapped Greek pensioner is a sign of the dire situation Greece finds itself in. It can be solved only by extreme measures such as default and giving up the euro, believes financial advisor Patrick Young.

Apr 04 18:10

Americans brace for second foreclosure round!

A painful part two of the slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures.

"We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010," said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

No one in their right mind can talk about a "strengthening recovery", looking at numbers like this.

Apr 04 10:51

IRS Insider Joe Banister Exposes Federal Reserve Coup and IRS Fraud

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Consider this; we know from the Mortgage Backed Securities Fraud that the US Government refuses to investigate or even acknowledge the largest money-junkie frauds.

What if they have been doing that all along?

Apr 04 10:22

As unemployment soars, child labour returns to Europe

Under the headline “Child Labour Re-emerges in Naples”, the article describes how thousands of children have been forced to quit school and find jobs in order to help feed their families in the southern Italian metropolis. The article cites a local government report from 2011 which noted that 54,000 children left the education system in the Campania region between 2005 and 2009. Some 38 percent of these children were less than 13 years old.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Watch for this practice to become common again in the US, in the not too distant future.

Apr 04 10:18

Raw Video: Police Pepper Spray California Students

Police pepper spray as many as 30 Santa Monica College students protesting at a trustees meeting over a plan to offer high-priced courses.

Apr 04 08:53

450 RESIGNATIONS FROM WORLD BANKS, INVESTMENT HOUSES, MONEY FUNDS

Apr 04 07:45

Six universities at risk of closure after bond swap

An emergency meeting of university rectors on Tuesday heard that only 33m euros remained of 120m euros that 17 Greek universities had deposited with the Bank of Greece for their operating expenses, while six university accounts were now completely empty meaning they would soon be unable to stay open.

Apr 04 07:36

Not Good Enough

Apr 04 07:36

America's 'smallest town' Buford goes up for sale

Buford once had 2,000 inhabitants, but then the railroad dropped it as a stopping point, and locals gradually moved out

For a sum which would barely buy a one-room apartment in most places – and a lot less in big cities – the purchaser of Buford, Wyoming would get over 10 acres of land including a three-bedroom home, a garage, and a mobile phone tower.

The Buford Trading Post shop benefits from regular traffic along the I-80 interstate, with Wyoming capital Cheyenne just 30 miles (50 kilometres) to the east, and San Francisco 1,150 miles (1,800 kilometres) to the west.

Apr 04 07:35

China overtakes US as world's largest grocery market

By 2015, the Chinese market is forecast to be worth £918bn compared to a US value of £675bn, says IGD.

The Chinese grocery sector was worth £607bn at the end of 2011, while the US market - which includes Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer - dropped into second place at £572bn.

"This rapid expansion has been fuelled by three main factors: rapid economic growth, population and rising food inflation," said IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch.

By 2015, the Chinese market is forecast to be worth £918bn compared to a US value of £675bn, according to the report by the British grocery industry group.

Apr 04 07:19

Chinese Insider Offers Rare Glimpse of U.S.-China Frictions

The senior leadership of the Chinese government increasingly views the competition between the United States and China as a zero-sum game, with China the likely long-range winner if the American economy and domestic political system continue to stumble, according to an influential Chinese policy analyst.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I agree.

Mar 16 12:27

Ocean Radiation Plume Hits Hawaii From Fukushima Nuclear Meltdown

The latest marine impact simulation shows the radioactive plume of ocean radiation from the Fukushima nuclear meltdown has now hit Hawaii

Mar 16 12:25

What Closing The Straits Of Hormuz Will Mean In 3 Simple Charts

These 3 simple charts fully explain the shock waves that will be sent through the global economy if Iran decides to shut down in response to western military threats.

Mar 14 09:03

The US Dollar is No Longer King!!

Mar 14 08:50

Keiser Report: White Man's Debt Burden

In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host Stacy Herbert discuss how a video not featuring Justin Bieber went viral and how Max Keiser started a gold stampede. They also talk about "the white man's debt burden" of Uganda's resources and Afghanistan's "crony capitalism". In the second half of the show, Max talks to David Morgan about silver circles, ounces and manipulation.

Mar 14 03:25

Romney Declines To Enroll In Medicare

Mitt Romney Declines To Enroll In Medicare So He Can Destroy It

Monday was Mitt Romney's 65th birthday. Happy birthday, Mittens. In honor of his 65th birthday he announced that he would not be enrolling in Social Security or Medicare. How noble. Except, it's not.

In deference to the conservative dogs nipping his heels, Romney has endorsed the Paul Ryan Medicare plan which would voucherize Medicare and leave senior citizens floundering on their own with private insurance companies. Of course, if you asked Mitt Romney about it, what you'd get is a bunch of lies. Really awful, cynical, blatant lies.

Jan 16 11:04

Lawsuit Exposes Foreclosure Kingpin David Stern

Investors admit foreclosure documents were FORGED, while Stern pocketed $60 million in the transaction - And now, they are suing.

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Jan 16 11:01

Bill Gross Exposes "The New Paranormal" For Markets

And it's not pretty for US investors...

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Jan 16 10:42

When Romney ran Bain Capital, his word was not his bond

Seemingly alone among private-equity firms, Romney’s Bain Capital was a master at bait-and-switching Wall Street bankers to get its hands on the companies that provided the raw material for its financial alchemy. Other private-equity firms I worked with extensively over the years — Forstmann Little, KKR, TPG and the Carlyle Group, among them — never dared attempt the audacious strategy that Bain partners employed with great alacrity and little shame. Call it the real Bain way.

Jan 16 10:39

Wall Street, Washington and Gingrich

Newt Gingrich and his consulting companies helped financial-services giant Credit Suisse Group gather exclusive Washington information and analysis, showing that the Republican presidential candidate benefited from a practice that has come under fire from lawmakers.

This "political intelligence" business—while legal—also risks muddying the campaign argument by the former House speaker that he has been a Washington outsider since he left Congress in 1999.

Jan 16 10:27

So, who, exactly, is funding Mitt Romney's 2012 Presidential Campaign?

Jan 16 09:45

An Open Letter to Family and Friends About Preparedness

I’m writing this letter because I care about you. Please take a few minutes to read it and think about what I’m saying...

Jan 16 09:44

Ron Paul Parade by South Florida Grassroots!

Jan 15 16:09

Iran rial slides, 'dollar' text messages appear blocked

TEHRAN, Jan 10 (Reuters) - Iran's currency has slid 20 percent against the dollar in the last week despite central bank intervention, and Iranians concerned about the economy said on Tuesday attempts to send text messages using the word "dollar" appeared to be blocked.

The central bank reportedly pumped $200 million dollars into the market last Wednesday after new and much tougher U.S. sanctions prompted nervous Iranians to change rials into hard currency, accelerating a rise in the price of dollars on the open market.

Jan 15 08:34

Hungarians hold anti-EU demonstration

Thousands of Hungarians have protested against the European Union, urging their country to pull out from the bloc while Budapest seeks EU's backing to evade insolvency.

Nov 16 10:32

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death - Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As I type these words, the question on everyone's mind is whether this international revolution that started in Iceland and has already spread to Egypt and the Middle East will continue to spread across America. At the gas pumps and the supermarket checkout lines, the people speak of rebellion openly, if less furtively with each passing day.

There really is no way to avoid it. The money-addicts have created a world where firing the government is not only the best option; for most of us it is the only option. To not revolt is to condemn our children to lives of starvation and hopeless debt slavery to the Private Central Bankers, Goldman-Sachs, Morgan Stanley, etc. et. al. under a government with a demonstrated history of looting the people to feed the bankers, a government that views our lives as cheap and easily sacrificed for wars of conquest, or to be discarded without complaint to keep Israel happy when it attacks Americans in international waters.

Even now, the US Government prepares to solve its present debt crisis by embezzling the American taxpayer of their retirements by defaulting on the loans made to the US Government by Social Security. They will praise your silent consent as 'patriotism, but is such silence really patriotic? The men who created this nation did not think so!

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains set lightly upon you; and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen."--Samuel Adams

The tragic reality is that the US Government has already declared war on the people of the United States. Bit by bit our rights are trampled on. Our wealth is confiscated for the benefit of a foreign power. Our homes are confiscated to pay the gambling debts of the bankers. Our emails are read, our phone calls listened to, our computers ransacked, all without warrant or due process. Torture and extrajudicial executions are the new reality of life under this tyranny. Our freedoms are confiscated to so that the government does not have to look with fear upon the people.

Even as our taxes increase, the maintenance of the nation is abandoned by a government intent on enriching a foreign power and fighting that foreign power's wars, along with saving the Wall Street money-junkies from the consequences of their swindles. Worse, to serve their foreign masters, the present government seeks to reduce the people of the united states to mere chattel from whom wealth may be extracted at leisure. Look around at our deteriorated condition and you see the growing effects of a war of conquest against the American people by the present government and financial institutions. The starvation and privations of the American people not only equals that of the nations in revolt; they are in actuality far worse! Americans have far greater reason to fire their government than the Icelanders, Tunisians, or Egyptians!

"It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace-- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" -- Patrick Henry

What Patrick Henry really meant in those final words went beyond mere drama. Patrick Henry declared that he would no longer be a slave, either to King George or to the Bank of England. He would be free, or he would be dead, but either way King George III would no longer own him as a slave, nor the Bank of England enjoy automatic title to the proceeds of his labor, so better for England to quit and save the lives of their soldiers then to waste lives seeking a slave who refused to be a slave.

Tragically, money-addicts never care about the lives of their own soldiers.

"Military men are dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns for foreign policy." -- Henry Kissinger, quoted by Bob Woodward in The Final Days

So, King George III, in the throes of his money-addiction, and as owned by the Bank of England as the present government is by the Federal Reserve, tried to prove Patrick Henry wrong, which led to the humiliation at Yorktown.

Addicts to other peoples' money know no limits, no morality, no sense of fair play. They are hopelessly trapped by the allure of glittering gold. Like a Magpie, they simply must possess all that sparkles!

Bernie Madoff is the classic example. Co-founder of NASDAQ, with more money than any one man could spend in a lifetime, and he still felt compelled compelled to defraud his investors for another $65 billion. This is mental illness; the money-addiction that grips Wall Street and Washington DC, which symptoms manifest as (in one example) a psychotic compulsion to wear the entire productivity of a worker's life as a decoration on one's wrist. Not content with that, next year it will be the need to wear the the entire productivity of 100 workers' lives as a decoration on one's wrist that will drive the money addicts to greater crimes against the people.

Money addicts do not see their behavior as wrong or evil. Secure in their religious delusions that wealth is the sign of God's favor, they see themselves as heroes and heroines. Lloyd Blankfein, the head of Goldman Sachs, declared he was doing "God's work" at the time we now know Goldman Sachs was looting taxpayer money directly from the US Treasury to their own pockets. In their own minds the money addicts are the good guys; the stars of the world, the rightful inheritors of all of life's blessings. Sadly, history has shown that it is often easier to kill money-junkies than to cure their addiction, let alone get them to change their minds about themselves and to acknowledge their problem and its high social costs.

So, yes, a revolution in the streets of America is now an inevitability, albeit a revolution to be fought not with guns and bombs, but with keyboards and the truth. The money-addicts in Wall Street and DC have created a situation in which revolution is unavoidable, and already we see the hired things of the bankers cracking the heads of those people who dare to proclaim their refusal to pay debts not of their own making.

And as has been the case in Egypt, the US military, openly abused on their mortgages by J. P. Morgan, stand with the people. So do many police officers whose pension funds were destroyed by the mortgage-backed securities fraud.

The message to those who would rebuild their failed financial palaces on the backs of the people is thus a simple one. We shall not bail you out ever again. Yes, you may murder those who refuse to live on less so that you may have more, but it shall not change the final outcome. Living or dead, we are your slaves no longer.

That was Patrick Henry's message all those years ago, and it is still true today.

Oct 21 12:44

Occupy Wall Street Simplified

Oct 20 15:17

Sedan again as Germany imposes terms

There is an "unequivocal commitment" that haircuts will be confined to Greece alone. If you believe that, I have some ocean-front property to sell you in Alsace.

Fresh details soon.

Oct 20 15:14

EU Considers Temporary Bans on Sovereign Ratings

The European Commission is leaning toward proposing a ban on the issuing of sovereign credit ratings for countries in bailout talks, a top official said on Thursday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Basically, this is like asking for a credit card but refusing to turn over your credit scores, and the EU us not doing this because the numbers are good!

Aug 17 17:06

FLASHBACK - High-Frequency Trading: High-tech highway robbery

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) knows that High-Frequency Trading (HFT) manipulates the market and bilks investors out of tens of billions of dollars every year. But SEC chairman Mary Schapiro refuses to step in and take action. Instead, she's concocted an elaborate "information gathering" scheme, that does nothing to address the main problem. Schapiro's plan--to track large blocks of trades by large institutional investors-- is an attempt to placate congress while the big Wall Street HFT traders to continue to rake in obscene profits. It achieves nothing, except provide the cover Schapiro needs to avoid doing her job.

Aug 17 16:44

FLASHBACK - FBI Probing SEC Attorneys for Insider Trading

Two enforcement lawyers at the Securities and Exchange Commission are being investigated by federal prosecutors and the FBI for possible insider-trading violations, according to a report from the SEC's inspector general.

The criminal investigation, which was disclosed to SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro in a March 3 memo, came about after SEC Inspector General H. David Kotz conducted his own investigation into the matter and referred it to criminal authorities after discovering suspicious trading activity.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Is this one reason Madoff went unchecked for so long? Were SEC insiders sharing in the goodies?

Aug 17 16:44

FLASHBACK - Kucinich Who Told SEC to "Stand Down" on Stanford Probe

Chairman of the Domestic Policy Subcommittee, Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) today sent a letter to Ms. Mary Schapiro, Chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requesting documents that could reveal which government agency told the SEC to "stand down" rather than take enforcement action against the Stanford Group in October 2006 as has been reported by the New York Times.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I want to know who told the SEC to stand down from investigating Madoff!!!

Apr 18 19:38

FLASHBACK - OFFSHORING AMERICAN JOBS - Corporations, Campaign Cash, & Bush Administration Policies.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This document lays out the means by which the Bush administration changed the laws and tax codes to allow and even encourage corporations to send high-paying jobs to American companies even as Wall Street was already cranking up the machine to create and sell fraudulent mortgage=-backed securities.

The email responses to my expose' that the US is being looted to cover the buyback of fraudulent mortgage-backed securities usually view the firestorm of foreclosures as a knee=jerk reaction by the bankers to keep their balance sheets intact, but in looking at the timing of the Bush policies, and the fact that President George W. Bush was the first President to end his administration with fewer working Americans since Hoover, it seems clear that it was intended right from the start of the crisis to destroy Americans' ability to pay their mortgages, in order to allow the banks to seize those homes to preserve their capital structure.

Outright nationalization of private property would have triggered a rebellion, but by getting rid of the high paying jobs, the banks could grab the property to recapitalize themselves and make it look like it was the homeowners' fault!

This is the only possible explanation of why, in his first two years in Office, President Obama did nothing to stop the offshoring of American jobs, and indeed in the last two years, overall, offshoring has increased, and those jobs are never coming back!

This disaster is a deliberate creation of Wall Street and Washington DC. It's purpose is at best fulfillment of simple greed by the money addicts; at worse a plot to trap the whole world in a globalized version of a private central bank; a Federal Reserve on steroids!

Jan 08 10:58

Feast in Time of Plague: Wall Street Art of Sucking Money

Webmaster's Commentary: 

THE US GOVERNMENT TOOK YOUR JOBS SO THE BANKS COULD TAKE YOUR HOMES TO COVER THE COSTS OF THEIR MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITY FRAUD

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