ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

ECONOMY

Jan 22 10:31

Greece - By The Numbers

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

Jan 22 10:30

Royal Mint sells gold bars directly for the first time

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

Jan 22 10:24

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

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

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

Jan 22 10:01

SNB official defends 'best option' for franc

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

Jan 22 09:56

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

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

Jan 22 09:55

Greece Elections – Why The Entire World Is Watching!

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

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

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

Jan 22 09:16

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

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

Jan 22 09:16

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

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

Jan 22 09:15

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

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

Jan 22 09:14

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

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

Jan 22 09:13

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

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

Jan 22 09:13

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

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

Jan 22 09:12

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

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

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

Jan 22 09:05

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

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

Jan 22 08:35

Corporations Use Spies To Undermine Nonprofits

Jan 21 13:47

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

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

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

Jan 21 13:32

Right on cue: ECB to flood the market with cash

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 21 13:18

RICKARDS: BRACE FOR FINANCIAL STORM 6x LARGER THAN 2008

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

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

Jan 21 11:50

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 21 09:27

The GOVERNMENT Intends to CONFISCATE EVERYTHING YOU OWN!

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

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

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

Jan 21 09:08

Nick Turse, A Shadow War in 150 Countries

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

Jan 21 08:58

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 21 08:56

Shipbuilding Industry Claims McCain Is Threatening National Security

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

Jan 21 08:53

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

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

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

Jan 21 08:48

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

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

Jan 21 08:27

Financial Repression Is Financial Authoritarianism

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

Jan 21 08:25

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 21 08:07

Why Are Central Bankers Surprised by Monetary Disasters?

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

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

Jan 21 07:58

Russia To Collapse Dollar, White House Prepares For Civil Unrest

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

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

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

Jan 21 07:36

Identity theft insurance: Is it worth it?

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 20 18:36

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

Jan 20 14:05

The Swiss That Broke the Camel’s Back

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

Jan 20 13:44

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

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

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

Jan 20 13:28

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

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

Jan 20 11:29

Russia and China ‘Furiously’ Buying Up Gold

A larger global currency shift is underway.

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 20 10:47

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

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

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

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

Jan 20 10:32

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

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

Jan 20 10:26

60 U.S. malls on life support

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

Jan 20 09:58

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 20 09:56

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

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

Jan 20 09:46

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

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

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

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

Jan 20 09:44

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

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

Jan 20 09:43

50,000 Wall Street jobs cut

There’s blood on the Street.

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

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

Jan 20 09:12

Gold Is Indicating Fear

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

Jan 20 09:11

Gold Price Model Says Gold Still Undervalued

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

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

Jan 20 08:55

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

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

Jan 19 17:00

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

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

Jan 19 13:19

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

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

Jan 19 13:14

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

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

Jan 19 11:01

Would forgiving Greece’s debt really be that bad?

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 19 09:58

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Worth a repeat

Jan 19 09:53

Switzerland May Be Preparing for the End of the Euro

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 19 08:23

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

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

Jan 19 08:05

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

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

Jan 19 08:03

Middle class decline looms over final years of Obama presidency

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

Jan 19 07:59

ECB Stimulation: The Trap Closes

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

... which triggered the Swiss unpegging.

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

Jan 18 22:15

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

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

Jan 18 22:14

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

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

Jan 18 22:12

Will China be the next forex peg to break?

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

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

Jan 18 14:48

RadioShack prepares to file for bankruptcy

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

Jan 18 09:32

Berlin in constant fear ECB will be lender of last resort

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

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

Jan 18 08:52

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

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

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

Jan 18 08:48

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

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

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

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

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

Jan 18 08:46

Wall street banks trying to secure themselves for the collapse?

your savings

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

Jan 18 08:39

Greek Bank Runs Herald Exit From Eurozone

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

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

Jan 18 08:28

Chief of Obamacare rollout resigns amid allegations of misconduct

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

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

Jan 17 10:42

Muscular Swiss franc creates financial havoc in Poland and Hungary

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

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

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

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

Jan 17 10:40

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 17 10:34

ALL WARS ARE BANKERS' WARS - PDF version

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 17 10:02

Budget delay screams time to panic

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

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

Jan 16 15:18

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

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

Jan 16 15:17

Bill Fleckenstein: The Bull Market In Gold Has Resumed

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

Jan 16 13:24

Missing AIG executive dead, family says

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

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

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Maybe he shorted Swiss Francs?

Jan 16 12:39

24-hour Spot Chart for Gold

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Headed up!

Jan 16 12:35

Currency Carnage: Why did the Swiss Pull the Peg?

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

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

Jan 16 12:17

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

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

Jan 16 12:02

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

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

Jan 16 11:55

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

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

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

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

Jan 16 11:20

Economists: Michigan faces $325M deficit

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

Webmaster's Commentary: 

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

Jan 16 10:52

Euro hits fresh 11-year low against the US dollar

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

Jan 16 09:42

Could city roads end up going ‘back to gravel?'

Hamilton faces a gravel road renaissance without a cash influx to fix fast-deteriorating local roads, warned the city's top public works manager warned Thursday.

Jan 16 08:36

4 Must-Knows After the Swiss Franc Shock

As I covered in yesterday's update, "The one with the jaw dropping drop," the Swiss National Bank surprised markets yesterday with the announcement of the end of Swiss Franc's peg to the Euro at 1.20 EUR/CHF. Many traders lost or gained a bunch of pips money on the shock... and some firms even went bankrupt.

Jan 16 08:15

BREAKING - FXCM Inc (NYSE:FXCM) May Enter Insolvency

FXCM Inc, the largest US foreign-exchange brokerage, is struggling to keep up with capital requirements. It was down almost 15% on Thursday, and is down more than 75% in pre-market trading on Friday. A majority of clients suffered massive losses on their Swiss “safe-haven” trades.

Jan 16 08:08

U.S. jobless claims rise to four-month high

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week increased to the highest level since early September, but the underlying trend continued to point to a strengthening labor market.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And you don't get more George Orwell than THAT!

Jan 16 07:58

FXCM may be in trouble

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Foreign Exchange Currency Market has suffered major losses since the Swiss announcement, and today the pre-market is showing an 82% loss! The opening bell has been delayed, suggesting trading has been halted while the PPT looks for more duct tape!

UPDATE: FXCM is still closed. PPT has shoved the stock market back into the green, but it's already trending down again. Investors are looking for those hard PPT up-shoves and selling at the peak.

Jan 16 07:48

Russia Just Pulled Itself Out Of The Petrodollar

Back in November, before most grasped just how serious the collapse in crude was (and would become, as well as its massive implications), we wrote "How The Petrodollar Quietly Died, And Nobody Noticed", because for the first time in almost two decades, energy-exporting countries would pull their "petrodollars" out of world markets in 2015.

This empirical death of Petrodollar followed years of windfalls for oil exporters such as Russia, Angola, Saudi Arabia and Nigeria. Much of that money found its way into financial markets, helping to boost asset prices and keep the cost of borrowing down, through so-called petrodollar recycling.

Jan 16 07:46

Federal Reserve: Aging Baby Boomers Will Crush Stock Prices by 50%

Baby Boomers are entering their prime ‘stock selling’ years with little relief from those entering their ‘stock buying’ years

Jan 16 07:41

FCC to vote on Obama’s call for government-run internet next month

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will vote in February to decide whether municipalities can bypass state laws to provide their own internet service – a policy that President Barack Obama threw his weight behind earlier this week.

The vote is controversial but has support from the Obama administration, and proponents say it would give the public more options and faster service. Many Republicans and opponents argue that permitting such behavior exceeds the FCC’s authority.

Jan 16 07:40

Obama Admin Shuts Down Indian Tribe’s Bank Accounts

The Obama administration shut off the bank accounts of an Indian tribe as part of its Operation Choke Point program, The Daily Caller has learned.

The Otoe-Missouria tribe of Red Rock, Oklahoma reported that it is the latest victim of Operation Choke Point, according to a whistleblower response the tribe sent to the U.S. Consumer Coalition, which was obtained by TheDC.

Jan 16 07:39

These investments could get creamed in the Swiss avalanche

Now brace for everything you ever could have wanted to know about the country’s impact on global markets, but were afraid to ask. The whiz kids have had a few sleepless hours to think yesterday’s bombshell over, and some are worried about the after shocks.

Jan 16 07:33

Swiss National Bank Tells the World – “We’re Gettin’ Off This Train!”

Since 2008 the entire financial world has been turned upside down. In late 2011 the Swiss decided to peg their currency to the Euro, in essences giving up their national currency for the debt soaked Euro experiment.

When the Swiss pegged the Franc to the Euro, the Swiss people sold their sovereignty to the European Union. Approximately 22% of the people wanted their sovereignty back and voted on November 30, 2014 to repatriate their gold and reclaim their nation. Unfortunately, the other 78% (less the people that did not vote) said they were perfectly happy being debt slaves to their overlords at the European Central Bank. Thomas Jordan, the President of SNB, was actually campaigning AGAINST the gold repatriation movement, which in light of today’s announcement seems to be a contrarian move!! Why would a person vote against reclaiming their gold and then do a complete 180 degree turn against your own policy!!! This seems like it is going to have an ugly ending.

Jan 16 07:32

Shanghai Gold Exchange and World Gold Council partner to develop the Shanghai Free Trade Zone as the world's gold market

The parties say they will support the development of both domestic and international gold trading in the Asian nation by “leveraging the opportunity provided by the internationalization of the Chinese gold market, through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, to support market expansion”, the WGC said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Which means that western banks will no longer be able to artificially suppress the price of gold any longer!

Jan 16 07:11

Increased Demand for Gold Following SNB Move: Goldcore

Mark O'Byrne, executive director at Goldcore Ltd., says there is increased demand for gold following yesterday's shock move by the Swiss National Bank.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

God-like status of central banks questioned. All paper currencies will continue to be devalued ...

Jan 15 21:05

Moscow... Or Geneva?

A month ago, when the Russian Ruble was crashing, developed nations were delighted to poke fun of Russians who lined up in front of currency exchange kiosks, supposedly to convert their rapidly devaluing Rubles into Dollars or other rising fiat.

Today, those same developed nation hecklers are deathly silent after what may be the biggest western central bank faux pas in recent history, and which in addition to sending the Swiss Franc soaring has - perhaps for the first time in history - manifested in lines of people in front of currency exchange bureaus nowhere else, but in that bastion of capitalism: Geneva.

Jan 15 21:01

Plunge in Treasury Yields Is Forecasting More Than Just Deflation

Plunging yields on U.S. Treasury notes and bonds, record low yields on the sovereign debt of countries in the European Union, together with plunging industrial commodity prices, are sending a crystal clear message to stock markets: there is a glut of supply and too little demand from consumers.

Jan 15 21:00

The Greek Bank Runs Have Begun: Two Greek Banks Request Emergency Liquidity Assistance

The first time the phrase Emergency Liquidity Assistance, or ELA, was used in the context of Greece was in August 2011, when Greece was imploding, when its banking sector was on the verge of collapse, and just before the ECB had to unleash a global coordinate bailout with other central banks including global central bank liquidity swap to preserve the Eurozone.

Jan 15 21:00

Russia picks new monetary policy chief as currency plummets

Russia's central bank replaced its head of monetary policy after President Vladimir Putin criticized the failure of emergency measures to halt ruble's decline.

Jan 15 20:59

Shanghai gold deals get a boost as WGC sets bullion free trade zone

The World Gold Council (WGC) and the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) signed Thursday a memorandum of understanding to develop a Shanghai free trade zone for bullion and so encourage foreign participation in China's tightly controlled gold market.

The parties say they will support the development of both domestic and international gold trading in the Asian nation by “leveraging the opportunity provided by the internationalization of the Chinese gold market, through the Shanghai Free Trade Zone, to support market expansion”, the WGC said.

Jan 15 15:31

The Government Mafia Will Steal Everything You Own

The G20 told you on November 20, 2014, they plan to steal your bank account. Secretary of Treasury, Jack Lew, has positioned the federal government to steal back federal pensions and now your local police can rob you blind for the crime of going out in public.

Jan 15 14:19

Which state has half of its eligible adults not working? The dismal employment participation rate across the United States.

People have a hard time wrapping their minds around the fact that 93 million Americans are not in the labor. In December alone we added over 451,000 to this category. Much of this figure comes from people retiring and those simply not eligible to work but there is a disturbingly large number of people that are eligible for work and are simply lacking a job. There seems to be a perception that all of the people hitting retirement age are somehow prepared to weather the years of older age with a sizable nest egg. Nothing could be further from the truth.

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