ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ECONOMY

Jan 27 08:45

Gold: Its Time Has Come

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

Jan 26 13:37

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

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

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

Jan 26 13:12

Saxo Bank: The Syriza Victory Is A Disaster For Europe

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

That sounds like wishful thinking to me.

Jan 26 11:37

S&P downgrades Russia's credit rating to junk

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 26 11:29

Benzer pleads guilty in massive Las Vegas Valley HOA scheme

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

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

Jan 26 11:25

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

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

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

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

Jan 26 11:23

What’s good for Greece is bad for Israel

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

Jan 26 10:41

JFK to 911 Everything Is A Rich Man's Trick

Webmaster's Commentary: 

BUMP TO THE TOP

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

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

Jan 26 10:09

Negative Interest: A ticking time bomb

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

Jan 26 10:06

Greece elections: Merkel has lost, hope has won

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

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

Jan 26 10:04

Historic Victory for SYRIZA Greece

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

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

Jan 26 10:04

Iceland's Stabilized Economy Is A Surprising Success Story

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

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

Jan 26 10:03

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

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

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

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

Jan 26 09:53

Greek leftist party Syriza sweeps to power

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 26 09:39

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

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

Jan 26 09:38

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 26 08:54

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 25 11:35

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

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

Jan 25 10:28

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

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

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

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

Jan 25 10:16

IRAN DITCHES US DOLLAR IN FOREIGN TRADE TRANSACTIONS

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

Jan 25 10:04

Greeks elect new parliament amid EU withdrawal concerns

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 25 10:01

Over 3mn German workers live below poverty line – report

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

Jan 25 09:52

Get Ready For Negative Interest Rates In The US

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

Jan 25 09:37

Ekloges 2015: Greece Votes In Historic For Europe Election

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

Jan 25 09:36

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

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

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

Jan 24 11:17

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 24 10:57

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

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

Jan 24 10:24

Greek Right Fears First Left Government in Greek History

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

Jan 23 14:46

Maintain Economy - China refuses to Saudi Oil

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 23 13:29

SkyMall Files for Bankruptcy

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 23 13:01

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

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

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

Jan 23 12:05

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

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

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

Jan 23 11:38

Hard-hit worker wonders where the economic resurgence is

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

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

Jan 23 11:36

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

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

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

Jan 23 11:35

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

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

Jan 23 11:15

Greece Set To Reject Austerity And Financial Oligarchy

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

Jan 23 11:13

SYRIZA Heads Towards a Majority in Greece as Elections Approach

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

Jan 23 11:13

The Grand Strategy To Cast Off the Corporate State

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

Jan 23 11:12

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

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

Jan 23 09:33

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

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

Jan 23 09:18

UPS warns of disappointing results

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

Jan 23 09:17

DreamWorks stock slumps 13%, analysts adopt cautious tone

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

Jan 23 09:16

Deere to layoff 910 employees in Iowa, Illinois

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 22 19:07

Currency expert: Euro going ‘well below parity’

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

Jan 22 16:30

Citations, vehicle impoundment cases tied to Uber concluded

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

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

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

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

Regulators think otherwise.

Jan 22 15:44

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

The great gold repatriation has begun…

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

Jan 22 14:06

When is Your Wealth Not Your Wealth?

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 22 13:51

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 22 13:46

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Adding insult to injury!

Jan 22 13:31

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

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

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

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

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

Jan 22 13:30

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

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

Jan 22 12:52

Asset Ownership and Our System of Deepening Debt-Serfdom

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

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

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

Jan 22 12:37

Ukraine requests fresh IMF bailout

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

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

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

Jan 22 12:35

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

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

Jan 22 12:34

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

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

Jan 22 12:31

Greek Bank Withdrawals Reached €4.2 Billion in 3 Days

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yep; It's a bank run!

Jan 22 12:11

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

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

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

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

Jan 22 11:30

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

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

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

Jan 22 10:31

Greece - By The Numbers

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

Jan 22 10:30

Royal Mint sells gold bars directly for the first time

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

Jan 22 10:24

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

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

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

Jan 22 10:01

SNB official defends 'best option' for franc

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

Jan 22 09:56

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

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

Jan 22 09:55

Greece Elections – Why The Entire World Is Watching!

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

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

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

Jan 22 09:16

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

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

Jan 22 09:16

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

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

Jan 22 09:15

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

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

Jan 22 09:14

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

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

Jan 22 09:13

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

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

Jan 22 09:13

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

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

Jan 22 09:12

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

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

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

Jan 22 09:05

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

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

Jan 22 08:35

Corporations Use Spies To Undermine Nonprofits

Jan 21 13:47

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

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

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

Jan 21 13:32

Right on cue: ECB to flood the market with cash

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 21 13:18

RICKARDS: BRACE FOR FINANCIAL STORM 6x LARGER THAN 2008

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

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

Jan 21 11:50

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 21 09:27

The GOVERNMENT Intends to CONFISCATE EVERYTHING YOU OWN!

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

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

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

Jan 21 09:08

Nick Turse, A Shadow War in 150 Countries

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

Jan 21 08:58

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 21 08:56

Shipbuilding Industry Claims McCain Is Threatening National Security

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

Jan 21 08:53

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

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

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

Jan 21 08:48

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

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

Jan 21 08:27

Financial Repression Is Financial Authoritarianism

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

Jan 21 08:25

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 21 08:07

Why Are Central Bankers Surprised by Monetary Disasters?

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

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

Jan 21 07:58

Russia To Collapse Dollar, White House Prepares For Civil Unrest

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

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

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

Jan 21 07:36

Identity theft insurance: Is it worth it?

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 20 18:36

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

Jan 20 14:05

The Swiss That Broke the Camel’s Back

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

Jan 20 13:44

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

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

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

Jan 20 13:28

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

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

Jan 20 11:29

Russia and China ‘Furiously’ Buying Up Gold

A larger global currency shift is underway.

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 20 10:47

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

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

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

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

Jan 20 10:32

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

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

Jan 20 10:26

60 U.S. malls on life support

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

Jan 20 09:58

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 20 09:56

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

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

Jan 20 09:46

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

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

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

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

Jan 20 09:44

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

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

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