Sunday, June 10, 2012

Merkel Likely To Compromise with Hollande on Several Points - SPIEGEL ONLINE

Merkel Likely To Compromise with Hollande on Several Points - SPIEGEL ONLINE: here could be a few embarrassing moments when Fran├žois Hollande and Angela Merkel meet for the first time at the Chancellery in Berlin on Tuesday night. Although the two have come across as adversaries in recent months, from now on, their future will be pegged to one another.

Never before has a new relationship between German and French leaders been as strained as this one. Both the chancellor and the new president have contributed to that atmosphere. Merkel refused to meet with Hollande during the election campaign and often presented herself as a supporter of losing candidate Nicolas Sarkozy. Meanwhile, Hollande campaigned against Merkel's European Union fiscal pact, her greatest European policy achievement to date.

JPMorgan Chase Closes Vatican Bank Account | Video | TheBlaze.com

JPMorgan Chase Closes Vatican Bank Account | Video | TheBlaze.com: JPMorgan Chase is shutting down the Vatican’s bank account with its Milan branch due to a “lack of transparency,” according to Reuters.

“The Vatican bank, also known as the Institute for Works of Religion (IOR), is having its account phased out and closed by March 30,” Business Insider’s Julia La Roche reports, “because it apparently ‘failed to provide sufficient information on money transfers.’”

Making Money On Poverty: JP Morgan Makes Bigger Profits When The Number Of Americans On Food Stamps Goes Up

Making Money On Poverty: JP Morgan Makes Bigger Profits When The Number Of Americans On Food Stamps Goes Up
 How would you feel if someone told you that one of the largest banks on Wall Street makes more money whenever the number of Americans on food stamps goes up?  Unfortunately, this is something that is actually true.  In the United States today, one out of every seven Americans is on food stamps.  In fact, the number of Americans on food stamps has increased by a whopping 14 million since Barack Obama entered the White House.  All of this makes JP Morgan very happy, because JP Morgan has been making money by the boatload on food stamps.  Right now, JP Morgan Chase issues food stamp debit cards in 26 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.  The division of JP Morgan Chase that issues these debit cards made an eye-popping 5.47 billion dollars in net revenue during 2010.  JP Morgan is paid per customer, so when the number of Americans on food stamps goes up, they make more money.  But doesn't this give JP Morgan an incentive to try to keep the number of Americans on food stamps as high as possible?  Of course it does.  JP Morgan is interested in making money as rapidly as possible. If JP Morgan can get more Americans enrolled in the food stamp program and keep them enrolled in it for as long as possible, that is good for business.

JPMorgan Faces $4.2 Billion Trading Loss

JPMorgan Faces $4.2 Billion Trading Loss: Bloomberg:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), the largest U.S. bank, may report a $4.2 billion second-quarter trading loss in its chief investment office, according to an estimate by International Strategy & Investment Group Inc.

The pretax loss would help cut second-quarter earnings to 65 cents a share, a 30 percent decline from an earlier estimate of 93 cents, Ed Najarian, an ISI analyst, said in a note yesterday. Weaker-than-expected trading and investment banking revenue coupled with mark-to-market private-equity losses will also weigh on results, Najarian said.

Read the whole story at Bloomberg

Keiser Report: Cuckoo Trading (E299)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Gonzalo Lira on a Eurozone Marriage turned Orgy and a Latin American Div...

Expect Surprise Global QE3 to Shock Markets | Survivalist Investor

By Dominique de Kevelioc de Bailleul
No hints from the Fed about QE3 is the latest ‘bad’ news coming out of  Bernanke’s testimony to Congress this week.  Gold sells off.
But Mike Krieger, a regularly featured contributor to zerohedge.com, stated he senses the Fed’s preparatory language to markets before formally announcing policy changes is now null and void.
“I have no idea why anyone is making a big deal about The Bernank’s testimony to Congress today,” Krieger began his article.  “There was no way he was going to come out with anything meaningful. . . In fact, I am 100% certain that The Bernank merely wants to toe the line as carefully as possible and at the same time get some nice propaganda out there to the sheeple.”
Krieger goes on to state he expects “a massive wave of liquidity” from the Fed, but doesn’t expect the U.S. central bank to pull the trigger at the conclusion of the next meeting scheduled later this month, though many analysts believe making a formal announcement during the summer months before the fall election will camouflage enough the Fed’s role in aiding incumbent parties with easy money as a way to boost asset prices and mood of the electorate going into November.
In short, Krieger believes Washington no longer cares about its once-clandestine strong-arm tactics becoming exposed to the world; the Washington ‘elite’ “don’t care” anymore, according to him.
“Maybe in times past [Washington 'elites' cared], when the power structure was a bit more reserved and less blatant about their corruption and manipulations,” Krieger continued.  “They don’t hide that stuff anymore.  The “elites” in America today are simply gangsters.  We have already been officially christened as a Banana Republic.”
No banker has been prosecuted for malfeasance since the crisis began approximately four years ago, lending much credence to Krieger’s seemingly outrageous but arguably correct summation.
Expect Surprise Global QE3 to Shock Markets | Survivalist Investor

Mercantilism, Merchants, and 'Class Conflict' by Murray N. Rothbard

Mercantilism, Merchants, and 'Class Conflict' by Murray N. Rothbard

This article is excerpted from Conceived in Liberty (1975), volume 1, chapter 32: "Mercantilism, Merchants, and 'Class Conflict.'" An MP3 audio file of this article, narrated by Floy Lilley, is available for download.
The economic policy dominant in the Europe of the 17th and 18th centuries, and christened "mercantilism" by later writers, at bottom assumed that detailed intervention in economic affairs was a proper function of government. Government was to control, regulate, subsidize, and penalize commerce and production. What the content of these regulations should be depended on what groups managed to control the state apparatus. Such control is particularly rewarding when much is at stake, and a great deal is at stake when government is "strong" and interventionist. In contrast, when government powers are minimal, the question of who runs the state becomes relatively trivial. But when government is strong and the power struggle keen, groups in control of the state can and do constantly shift, coalesce, or fall out over the spoils. While the ouster of one tyrannical ruling group might mean the virtual end of tyranny, it often means simply its replacement by another ruling group employing other forms of despotism.
In the 17th century the regulating groups were, broadly, feudal landlords and privileged merchants, with a royal bureaucracy pursuing as a superfeudal overlord the interest of the Crown. An established church meant royal appointment and control of the churches as well. The peasantry and the urban laborers and artisans were never able to control the state apparatus, and were therefore at the bottom of the state-organized pyramid and exploited by the ruling groups. Other religious groups were, of course, separated from or opposed to the ruling state. And religious groups in control of the state, or sharing in that control, might well pursue not only strictly economic "interest" but also ideological or spiritual ones, as in the case of the Puritans' imposing a compulsory code of behavior on all of society.
One of the most misleading practices of historians has been to lump together "merchants" (or "capitalists") as if they constituted a homogeneous class having a homogeneous relation to state power. The merchants either were suffered to control or did not control the government at a particular time. In fact, there is no such common interest of merchants as a class. The state is in a position to grant special privileges, monopolies, and subsidies. It can only do so to particular merchants or groups of merchants, and therefore only at the expense of other merchants who are discriminated against. If X receives a special privilege, Y suffers from being excluded. And also suffering are those who would have been merchants were it not for the state's network of privilege.

The People Awaken to Financial Terrorism: Infowars Exclusive

A Primer on the Shotgun by Brett McKay

Recently I've had the itch to buy a shotgun. It started after I read Creek's post on how to build a survival shotgun. The itch only grew stronger after I became a homeowner (I kind of feel like Kevin McAllister). The shotgun is the perfect weapon for home defense and disaster prep. It's powerful, reliable, and versatile. You can use it to fend off home intruders, hunt for food, or even shoot skeet with your buds.
But as I've discussed before on the site, I'm a complete novice when it comes to guns. I grew up around them, but I just didn't take an interest in them until recently. Before I brought a shotgun into my house, I wanted make sure I knew how it worked and how to fire it safely and correctly.
So I headed over to the U.S. Shooting Academy here in Tulsa, OK to talk to Mike Seeklander, President of the Academy and co-host of Outdoor Channel's The Best Defense. Mike's helped me out before with articles on how to fire a handgun and a rifle. On this trip, he explained the very basics of understanding and firing a shotgun. Today I’ll share what I learned from Mike for those folks out there who are also interested in becoming first-time shotgun owners.

Types of Shotguns


Mike's pump-action and semi-automatic shotguns

A Primer on the Shotgun by Brett McKay

Detlev Schlichter on Euro / Fiat money failure (2012)

Where Have All the Watchdogs Gone? - Truthdig Radio - Truthdig

Where Have All the Watchdogs Gone? - Truthdig Radio - Truthdig: Truthdig Radio airs Thursdays at 4 p.m. Pacific time on 90.7 KPFK in Los Angeles. Check your town’s listings or ask your public radio station to carry Truthdig Radio.

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Putting government watchdogs back to work, filmmaker Robert Greenwald, Occupy funnyman Nato Green, student debt and anarchy historian Thai Jones.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Keiser Report: Planet Ponzi (E298)

Mike Maloney on Gold's Checkmate and Ben Bernanke's role as the Pawn!

Yes, That’s a Tampon in My Mouth: The Swiss Army Survival Tampon – 10 Survival Uses

Yes, That’s a Tampon in My Mouth: The Swiss Army Survival Tampon – 10 Survival Uses: This content series is brought to you by Dockers. Take the adventure of a lifetime! What’s this?

Do me a favor for the next five minutes. Try to forget everything you know about tampons. I know, it’s hard. But pretend that this is the first time you have ever seen or heard of the item below, and it is a new survival product on the market: the Tactical Adventure Medical Preparedness Outdoors Necessity (T.A.M.P.O.N.).

Where Is the Outrage? by Andrew P. Napolitano

Where Is the Outrage? by Andrew P. Napolitano: For the past few weeks, I have been writing in this column about the government's use of drones and challenging their constitutionality on Fox News Channel where I work. I once asked on air what Thomas Jefferson would have done if – had drones existed at the time – King George III had sent drones to peer inside the bedroom windows of Monticello. I suspect that Jefferson and his household would have trained their muskets on the drones and taken them down. I offer this historical anachronism as a hypothetical only, not as one who is urging the use of violence against the government.

Nevertheless, what Jeffersonians are among us today? When drones take pictures of us on our private property and in our homes, and the government uses the photos as it wishes, what will we do about it? Jefferson understood that when the government assaults our privacy and dignity, it is the moral equivalent of violence against us. The folks who hear about this, who either laugh or groan, cannot find it humorous or boring that their every move will be monitored and photographed by the government.

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Key Words of the Day: "Nothing", "Fiscal Cliff", "Later"; Bernanke Speech Template; U.S. Fiscal Cliff and What to Do About It

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: Key Words of the Day: "Nothing", "Fiscal Cliff", "Later"; Bernanke Speech Template; U.S. Fiscal Cliff and What to Do About It: Bernanke Speech Template

Blah blah blah, stimulus if needed, blah blah blah, fiscal cliff, blah blah blah, not now, blah blah blah, full employment, blah blah blah, depressed housing, blah blah blah, encouraging signs, blah blah blah, recovery,blah blah blah, maintain highly accommodative stance, blah blah blah, no inflation, blah blah blah.

The Treasury and the Fed are Robbing Savers - James Rickards

Blackrock’s Fink Says Dimon ‘Inflamed’ Scrutiny of Losses - Bloomberg

Blackrock’s Fink Says Dimon ‘Inflamed’ Scrutiny of Losses - Bloomberg

Francine McKenna on Trustee Reports for MF Global and JP Morgan's Pinto ...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Soros: Europe's Three-Month Window by Gary North

George Soros has laid it on the line. The eurozone will begin to break up, followed by the break-up of the European Union, within three months if the politicians do not come to an agreement to re-write the treaties and centralize power. No other figure has been this apocalyptic and this specific as to the timetable.
He sees this outcome as a catastrophe. I keep thinking: "Free at last! Free at last!"
Soros understands the price movements of currencies better than anyone else. This is how he became a multi-billionaire. He has used massive leverage – extremely high risk – to speculate in the currency futures markets, often taking the opposite side of trades with central banks. When a man has enough wisdom to beat the currency futures markets, I give him credit. He knows something about currencies.
In a recent essay, he points out that the 2008 crisis created a new realization that there is no consensus about economic theory. He insists that "economic theory has failed." On the contrary, economic theory has triumphed – Austrian economic theory. In 2007, numerous non-academic, non-tenured Austrians predicted the recession of 2008. I called it in late 2006, predicting a 2007 recession. The National Bureau of Economic Research retroactively dated it as having begun in December 2007 – just in the nick of time!
Soros goes even further. This failure is the failure of academic economic theory.

I believe that the failure is more profound than generally recognized. It goes back to the foundations of economic theory. Economics tried to model itself on Newtonian physics. It sought to establish universally and timelessly valid laws governing reality. But economics is a social science and there is a fundamental difference between the natural and social sciences. Social phenomena have thinking participants who base their decisions on imperfect knowledge. That is what economic theory has tried to ignore.
This is the criticism made repeatedly by Austrian economists, beginning with Ludwig von Mises exactly a century ago: The Theory of Money and Credit (1912). I cannot imagine a better statement of Austrian theory's rejection of mainstream economists' theory.
Soros has no explanation for the business cycle. Austrian economics does: central bank policies of monetary inflation and monetary stability.

Soros: Europe's Three-Month Window by Gary North

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: France, Italy, Spain Services PMI Show Continued Sharp Decreases; Eurozone Composite PMI Near 3-Year Low; Germany Services PMI at 6-Month Low

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: France, Italy, Spain Services PMI Show Continued Sharp Decreases; Eurozone Composite PMI Near 3-Year Low; Germany Services PMI at 6-Month Low: Key points:

Final Markit France Services Activity Index at 45.1 (45.2 in April), 7-month low.
Final Markit France Composite Output Index at 44.6 (45.9 in April), 37-month low.




Summary: French service providers registered another sharp decrease in business activity during May. Underlying the weak performance was a second successive fall in incoming new business, while backlogs of work fell further. Companies responded by cutting employment. Input price inflation eased to the slowest for over two years, allowing companies to reduce their charges further.

America In Decline: The Soul Crushing Despair Of Lowered Expectations

All over America tonight there are people that believe that their lives are over.  When you do everything that you know how to do to get a job and you still can't get one it can be absolutely soul crushing.  If you have ever been unemployed for an extended period of time you know exactly what I am talking about.  When you have been unemployed for month after month it can be very tempting to totally cut yourself off from society.  Those that are kind will look at you with pity and those that are cruel will treat you as though you are a total loser.  It doesn't matter that America is in decline and that our economy is not producing nearly enough jobs for everyone anymore.  In our society, one of the primary things that defines our lives is what we do for a living.  Just think about it.  When you are out in a social situation, what is one of the very first things that people ask?  They want to know what you "do".  Well, if you don't "do" anything, then you are not part of the club.  But the worst part of being unemployed for many Americans is the relentless pressure from family and friends.  Often they have no idea how hard it is to find a job in this economy - especially if they still have jobs.  Sometimes the pressure becomes too great.  Sadly, we are seeing unemployment break up a lot of marriages in America today.  Things are really hard out there right now.  A very large number of highly educated Americans have taken very low paying service jobs in recent years just so that they can have some money coming in even as they "look for something else".  Unfortunately, in many cases that "something else" never materializes.  In the past, America was "the land of opportunity" where anything was possible.  But today America has become "the land of lowered expectations" and the worst is yet to come.
We live during a time when "the American Dream" is literally being redefined.  In the old days, just about anyone could get a good job that would pay enough to make it possible to buy a house, buy a nice car and raise a family.
Unfortunately, those days are long gone.  The following is from a recent NPR article....

America In Decline: The Soul Crushing Despair Of Lowered Expectations

Monday, June 4, 2012

Gold and Silver



Rock & Stock Stats
Last
One Month Ago
One Year Ago
Gold1,624.711,662.361,539.49
Silver28.4930.9436.82
Copper3.313.844.10
Oil83.23106.16100.29
Gold Producers (GDX)46.5846.4457.07
Gold Junior Stocks (GDXJ)20.6623.3737.18
Silver Stocks (SIL)18.3821.5124.96
TSX (Toronto Stock Exchange)11,361.2012,332.7913,527.88
TSX Venture1,291.591,431.682,067.42

Tucker & Anderson at Bilderberg

U.S. Bilderberg Attendees Violating Federal Law, Activists Say

U.S. Bilderberg Attendees Violating Federal Law, Activists Say: As a shadowy collection of the world’s power brokers gathers in Chantilly, Virginia, for the elite Bilderberg conference this weekend under unprecedented media scrutiny, activists from across the political spectrum are arguing that U.S. citizens attending the controversial confab are potentially committing a felony by violating the Logan Act. And while the chances of charges being brought anytime soon are probably slim, anti-Bilderberg protesters admit, more than a few critics of the meeting are still loudly calling for federal prosecutions to bring any and all perpetrators to justice.

Financial Wealth Evaporating — DollarCollapse.com

Financial Wealth Evaporating — DollarCollapse.com

Live by the sword, die by the sword. The 1% have spent the past couple of decades accumulating an ever-bigger share of the world’s fiat-currency-inflated financial assets. Now, with the air going out of the FIRE (finance, insurance, real estate) economy, the super-rich are discovering that their stocks and bonds, like the paper money on which they’re based, are to a large extent illusory:
World’s Richest Lose $24 Billion as Adelson Fortune Drops
The world’s richest people lost a combined $24.4 billion this week as concerns over Spain’s rising borrowing costs and the sputtering American job market caused global markets to tumble.
Casino mogul Sheldon Adelson lost $2.2 billion. Shares of his Nevada-based Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS) fell 10.3 percent during the week. On Friday, Macau casinos reported gambling revenue rose 7.3 percent in May, its slowest pace since July 2009. Adelson, 78, is the 22nd richest person in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
“We seem to be bogged down in a very sluggish pattern,” John Carey, who helps oversee about $220 billion at Pioneer Investments in Boston, said in a telephone interview on June 1. “The jobs report was discouraging, and it’s been discouraging the past several weeks. It reaffirms this fear that the economy is slowing.”

'Markets are facing a rerun of the Great Panic of 2008': Head of World Bank warns Europe is heading for 'danger zone' on bleakest day for global economy this year | Mail Online

'Markets are facing a rerun of the Great Panic of 2008': Head of World Bank warns Europe is heading for 'danger zone' on bleakest day for global economy this year | Mail Online

The head of the World Bank yesterday warned that financial markets face a rerun of the Great Panic of 2008.
On the bleakest day for the global economy this year,  Robert Zoellick said crisis-torn Europe was heading for the ‘danger zone’.
Mr Zoellick, who stands down at the end of the month after five years in charge of the watchdog, said it was ‘far from clear that eurozone leaders have steeled themselves’ for the looming  catastrophe amid fears of a Greek exit from the single currency and meltdown in Spain.
The flow of money into so-called ‘safe havens’ such as UK, German and US government debt turned into a stampede yesterday.
In Berlin the two-year government bond yield fell below zero for the first time, with the bizarre result that jittery international investors are now  paying – rather than being paid – for lending to Germany.
There was a raft of dismal economic news from around the world, with manufacturing output falling in Britain and Europe, unemployment jumping in the eurozone and America, and fast-emerging economies such as Brazil and China showing signs of running out of steam.
The FTSE 100 index fell 60.67 points to a new 2012 low of 5260.19 in London and the pound tumbled against the US dollar to $1.5234 – a level not seen since January.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed more than 200 points in New York, wiping out all its gains this year.

10 Things That We Can Learn About Shortages And Preparation From The Economic Collapse In Greece

When the economy of a nation collapses, almost everything changes.  Unfortunately, most people have never been through anything like that, so it can be difficult to know how to prepare.  For those that are busy preparing for the coming global financial collapse, there is a lot to be learned from the economic depression that is happening right now in Greece.  Essentially, what Greece is experiencing is a low level economic collapse.  Unemployment is absolutely rampant and poverty is rapidly spreading, but the good news for Greece is that the global financial system is still operating somewhat normally and they are getting some financial assistance from the outside.  Things in Greece could be a whole lot worse, and they will probably get a whole lot worse before it is all said and done.  But already things have gotten bad enough in Greece that it gives us an idea of what a full-blown economic collapse in the 21st century may look like.  There are reports of food and medicine shortages in Greece, crime and suicides are on the rise and people have been rapidly pulling their money out of the banks.  Hopefully this article will give you some ideas that you can use as you prepare for the economic chaos that will soon be unfolding all over the globe.
The following are 10 things that we can learn about shortages and preparation from the economic collapse in Greece....
#1 Food Shortages Can Actually Happen
Most people assume that they will always be able to run out to their local supermarket or to Wal-Mart and get all of the supplies they need.
Unfortunately, that is a false assumption.  The truth is that our food distribution system is extremely vulnerable.

10 Things That We Can Learn About Shortages And Preparation From The Economic Collapse In Greece

Prison Planet.com » Parasites In Pinstripes With All Their Ideas

Prison Planet.com » Parasites In Pinstripes With All Their Ideas

With the recent late night announcement from China and Japan as to their plan to bypass the US dollar and trade directly in the yuan and yen, this will bring about significant consequences for the US dollar’s reserve currency status. As usual the socialist media groups are doing their best to keep this out of the public eye due to future toil this could take on the already strained US dollar. As China, the worlds largest import/exporter along with Japan as a major trading partner with China’s slow withdrawal from the US dollar it only adds to the demise of the US dollar as a fiat currency will be slow and methodical, the only safe haven will be gold and silver.
The US economy with all its money printing and how interest rates still remain lagging at best and with consumer confidence slowly declining, the avenue to QE3 is being smoothly laid. With that being said precious metals are severely undervalued given the relativity as to what is occurring in the world as to where their prices should be, don’t allow an over manipulated precious metals market fool you into believing otherwise. With QE3 on its way, we should see gold prices fighting their way upwards pulling silver along with it.
The US housing market’s ongoing weakness along with its recent fall in home sales by 5.5 percent to 95.5 the lowest levels since December thus far is disappointing at best and could be the signal for the beginning of a downturn in an already lagging market.
With the housing market being one of the US economies toughest hurdles to overcome during an attempt at recessionary recovery and millions of current homeowners being underwater on their homes forcing them to be extremely cautious with their spending habits thus far causing a severe holding pattern for economic recovery, adding fuel to the fire are the abundance of unsold properties and the continuing foreclosures as is evident with the mid week report showing contracts fell 12 percent in the western US, 6.8 percent in the south, slightly lower in the Midwest, and a slight rise in the northeast. Another factor overshadowing the recovery is the faltering application demand for refinancing US home mortgages; they decreased 1.3 percent in the week ending May 25th. As would be expected, the National Association of Realtors downplayed the declines in pending home sales.
Views on the labor markets deteriorated this month. The board’s survey showed 7.9% of respondents think jobs now are “plentiful,” down from 8.4% thinking that in April. Another 41.0% think jobs are “hard to get,” up from 38.1% last month.
Confidence among U.S. consumers unexpectedly fell in May to the lowest level in four months as optimism about employment prospects faded.
The Conference Board’s index decreased to 64.9 this month from a revised 68.7 in April, figures from the New York-based private research group showed today. Home prices in 20 cities dropped in the 12 months ended in March at the slowest pace in more than a year, according to another report.
    The share of Americans expecting fewer job opportunities in the next six months climbed to the highest level since November, raising the risk that consumers will limit spending. A 30-cent decline in gasoline prices since early April failed to brighten spirits, showing that more progress is needed in the job market.
    “Gasoline prices aren’t doing the trick,” said Aaron Smith, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics Inc. in West ChesterPennsylvania, whose forecast was closest. “We are making progress when it comes to the labor market, but clearly this is another sign that it’s still very slow going.”
    Stocks gained after Greek opinion polls eased concern the country will leave the euro. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index climbed 1.1 percent to 1,332.42 at the close in New York. Crude oil for July delivery on the New York Mercantile Exchange settled at $90.76 a barrel, down 10 cents.
    Home prices in 20 U.S. cities fell 2.6 percent in the 12 months ended in March, the smallest decrease since December 2010, according to an S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values.
    By Mike Krauss Bucks County Courier Times
    For almost four years, the administration and Congress have showered money, protection and even praise on those who caused an economic catastrophe that still rolls across America like a slow motion tidal wave.
    It is crystal clear who Washington represents, and what the American people can expect from the next administration and Congress -– more of the same, rhetoric and excuses. But the needs of the American people can’t wait another four years. States and local governments must do the job Washington will not. New leaders and new ideas are urgently needed. One such idea is public banking.
    A public bank, such as the hugely successful Bank of North Dakota (BND), is capitalized with public funds, has one shareholder — the people — no outrageous compensation for managers and no incentive to gamble.
    A public bank partners with community banks, credit unions, other local financial institutions and municipal governments to provide the sustainable and affordable credit that is essential to support locally directed economic development, restore vital public services and create jobs.
    Wall Street hates the idea, fearing the loss of trillions of dollars of state and municipal deposits, and the huge fees they reap for providing cash management, payroll and other services that states and municipalities could provide internally and at far lower cost -– if they owned their own bank.
    The parasites-in-pinstripes argue, “But your state is broke. Where will you get the money to capitalize a bank?”
    But are the states broke? An examination of the finances of U.S. states and municipalities turns up an astonishing fact. They keep two sets of books.
    The one that gets all the attention is used for operating budgets, and generally paints a picture of state and municipal budgets stretched to the limit. But the other set of books, required by law and called the Consolidated Annual Financial Report (CAFR), indicates that there is public money stashed all over the place. Nationally, it amounts to trillions of dollars. California, with its giant economy, reports more than $600 billion in these “off budget” funds. In Pennsylvania, the total is about $91 billion — not exactly small change –- and it can be found in the state’s 2011 CAFR in three categories. Proprietary Funds, generated when a government charges customers for the services it provides. Fiduciary Funds, in which the state acts as a trustee to hold resources for the benefit of others, such as pensions; and Component Units, which are legally separated organizations for which the government is financially accountable, and the revenue is derived from assessments, fines, penalties, licenses, etc.
    If only 20 percent of these funds were used to capitalize a bank and were leveraged at a conservative ratio of 8-1, Pennsylvania could inject more than $145 billion into its economy, creating an economic revival on a scale never before seen. Wall Street responds to this prospect with scare tactics. “You mean put 20 percent of your pensions at risk?”
    To which proponents rightly respond, “No, we mean get those pension funds under better and more productive management.”
    As the New York Times reported, the $26.3 billion Pennsylvania State Employees’ Retirement System (PSERS) has more than 46 percent of its assets in what analysts describe as “riskier” alternatives, including hundreds of private equity, venture capital and real estate funds. PSERS paid about $1.35 billion in management fees in the last five years and reported a five-year annualized return of 3.6 percent. “That is below the target needed to meet its financing requirements, and it also lags behind a 4.9 percent median return among public pension systems. “By contrast, Georgia’s $14.4 billion municipal retirement system, which is prohibited by state law from investing in the alternative investments favored in Pennsylvania, has earned 5.3 percent annually over the same time frame and paid about $54 million total in fees.” Even adjusting for the size of the respective funds, Pennsylvania retirees paid out 13 times more in fees than Georgia, for a worse result.
    The conservatively managed BND produced a 17 percent return on equity last year, while the PSRS reported in a press release that it had “achieved” a 2.7 percent return for 2011 -– not even meeting the previous and anemic 3.6 percent average return. That’s like boasting about a C- report card.
    A far more prudent and productive policy would be to rein in risk-taking fund managers, reduce their gigantic fees and shift at least 20 percent of investments from their riskier deals into the lower risk, higher return equity of a public bank.
    A closer look at Pennsylvania’s 2011 CAFR turns up another interesting item. At page 99, there is a discussion of how these off-budget funds manage the risk of investments in 36 foreign currencies.
    Foreign currencies? Thirty-six? The high-rolling fund managers are shifting billions of dollars out of the Pennsylvania economy, and into foreign economies and job creation, while Pennsylvanians go begging.
    Even a modestly capitalized public bank can put billions of dollars of affordable credit to work in Pennsylvania, generate substantial non-tax revenue as a direct return on investment and increase local and state tax revenue in an improving economy.
    A public bank has the capacity to turn a tidal wave of economic devastation into a wave of opportunity and prosperity. Pennsylvania needs to catch that wave.
    http://www.opednews.com/articles/Pennsylvania-broke-unles-by-Mike-Krauss-120529-121.html
    (Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co has sold an estimated $25 billion of profitable securities in an effort to prop up earnings after suffering trading losses tied to the bank’s now-infamous “London Whale,” compounding the cost of those trades.
    CEO Jamie Dimon earlier this month said the bank sold corporate bonds and other securities, pocketing $1 billion in gains that will help offset more than $2 billion in losses. As a result, the bank will not have to report as big an earnings hit for the second quarter.
    The sales of profitable securities from elsewhere in the bank’s investment portfolio will increase its costs by triggering taxes on the gains and by eliminating future earnings from the securities.
    Gains from the sales could provide about 16 cents a share of earnings, about one-fifth of the bank’s second-quarter profit, analysts said. But rather than creating new value for investors, the transactions merely shift gains in securities from one part of the company’s financial statements to another.
    “They really made two stupid decisions,” said Lynn Turner, a consultant and former chief accountant of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The first was taking risks with derivatives that they did not understand, Turner said.
    “The second is selling assets with high income that they can’t replace,” Turner added. In a low interest-rate environment, the bank will struggle to generate as much income with the cash it received from selling the securities, he said.
    Dimon first disclosed the sales on May 10 when he announced the derivatives losses generated from the bank’s London office and trader Bruno Iksil — dubbed the “London Whale” in credit markets due to the size of the trading positions he took. Dimon noted that the bank has another $8 billion of profit it could gain by selling an array of debt securities.
    It remains unclear exactly when the bank sold the securities, and the bank has not detailed the value of securities it sold. Given the drawbacks of the sales, it also is unclear how many more the bank will sell to bolster second-quarter profits. To be sure, the bank may have additional reasons for making the sales, and the sales do not violate laws nor are they likely to hurt the bank’s stability.
    A JPMorgan spokeswoman declined to comment beyond the company’s public statements.
    $380 MILLION TAX BILL
    However, based on disclosures that show the bank has historically realized less than a 4 percent gain from selling these kinds of securities, JPMorgan would have to sell $25 billion in securities to generate $1 billion in gains, according to a Reuters analysis of the bank’s practices.
    Taxes on the gains, if calculated at the 38 percent tax rate that JPMorgan uses to illustrate its business to analysts, would mean a $380 million cost to realize the gains. That would leave a net gain to earnings of $620 million, or 16 cents a share.
    Before the sale, the gains would have existed on the bank’s books as so-called paper profits, and would have been included on its balance sheet. But when the bank sold and realized the gains, they moved to its income statement as profit.
    Paul Miller, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets, said the bank should skip the asset sales and “just take the pain” of reporting lower profits.
    Dimon, too, has said he is reluctant to cash in good investments. He highlighted the tax issues in selling these securities when he spoke to analysts May 10.
    “We can take some of those gains and we can take them to offset this loss,” he said. “But usually it’s tax inefficient, so we’re very careful about taking gains.”
    Yet the bank is under pressure to show strong profits. Its stock has fallen 18 percent since the day before it disclosed the losses. It closed Friday at $33.50.
    The bank currently is expected to report earnings of 90 cents a share for the second quarter, according to analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. That compares with $1.24 a share before the derivatives debacle was disclosed and $1.27 a share that the bank reported a year earlier.
    LOSSES COULD INCREASE
    Dimon has not said who at the bank decided to sell the securities. Nor has he said if the decision was made before he knew that the derivatives losses could top $3 billion and before he told analysts on April 13 that reports of trouble with derivatives trades were a “tempest in a teapot.”
    Meanwhile, the bank’s losses could grow, which could increase pressure on the bank to continue securities sales. Some analysts have said the total losses could exceed $5 billion, since the credit derivative markets in which the trades were made are thinly traded and current prices are not favorable to JPMorgan.
    The pool from which the securities were sold included, as of March 31, corporate debt securities with an average yield of 3.15 percent and mortgage-backed securities yielding 3.41 percent, according to a company filing. Using the cash to buy back similar securities would not produce yields as high, analysts said.
    The financial industry has gone through periods in the past when banks cashed out good assets to cushion losses, said former SEC Chief Accountant Turner. It happened during the U.S. savings and loan crisis in the 1980s, abated during a period of tougher regulatory scrutiny and fewer losses, and then came back during the latest financial crisis.
    But the costs are significant. In statements about the latest losses, Dimon has been careful to emphasize the disadvantage of paying more taxes, said Chris Kotowski, an analyst at Oppenheimer & Co.
    “I think he was trying to tell you, ‘Don’t expect us to offset all of these losses,’” Kotowski said.

    Prison Planet.com » Parasites In Pinstripes With All Their Ideas

    With the recent late night announcement from China and Japan as to their plan to bypass the US dollar and trade directly in the yuan and yen, this will bring about significant consequences for the US dollar’s reserve currency status. As usual the socialist media groups are doing their best to keep this out of the public eye due to future toil this could take on the already strained US dollar. As China, the worlds largest import/exporter along with Japan as a major trading partner with China’s slow withdrawal from the US dollar it only adds to the demise of the US dollar as a fiat currency will be slow and methodical, the only safe haven will be gold and silver.
    The US economy with all its money printing and how interest rates still remain lagging at best and with consumer confidence slowly declining, the avenue to QE3 is being smoothly laid. With that being said precious metals are severely undervalued given the relativity as to what is occurring in the world as to where their prices should be, don’t allow an over manipulated precious metals market fool you into believing otherwise. With QE3 on its way, we should see gold prices fighting their way upwards pulling silver along with it.
    The US housing market’s ongoing weakness along with its recent fall in home sales by 5.5 percent to 95.5 the lowest levels since December thus far is disappointing at best and could be the signal for the beginning of a downturn in an already lagging market.
    With the housing market being one of the US economies toughest hurdles to overcome during an attempt at recessionary recovery and millions of current homeowners being underwater on their homes forcing them to be extremely cautious with their spending habits thus far causing a severe holding pattern for economic recovery, adding fuel to the fire are the abundance of unsold properties and the continuing foreclosures as is evident with the mid week report showing contracts fell 12 percent in the western US, 6.8 percent in the south, slightly lower in the Midwest, and a slight rise in the northeast. Another factor overshadowing the recovery is the faltering application demand for refinancing US home mortgages; they decreased 1.3 percent in the week ending May 25th. As would be expected, the National Association of Realtors downplayed the declines in pending home sales
    Prison Planet.com » Parasites In Pinstripes With All Their Ideas

    David Morgan-Precious Metals Special Rally Report

    Jim Rogers’ Most Dire Warning, “Please Get Worried” | Survivalist Investor

    READ FULL ARTICLE HERE Jim Rogers’ Most Dire Warning, “Please Get Worried” | Survivalist Investor: Greece’s less-than-two-percent weighting of the eurozone is equivalent to the weighting of the impact of America’s state of Maryland upon the U.S. dollar, so the fallout of a Greenback in free-fall, globally, has no precedent, no yardstick and no shape, giving rise to the notion that the purpose of FEMA facilities built throughout the U.S. during the past decade has been the result of preparations for a Greek-like moment of global financial history, with riotous crowds and mayhem on American soil 100 times more problematic than that of Greece’s.

    “It’s just going to be turmoil. Everybody’s going to be worried, including me,” Rogers said.

    Friday, June 1, 2012

    Secrets behind Bilderberg 2012: day two

    Gold vaults 4 percent for biggest 1-day rise in 3 years | Reuters

    The precious metal fell in early trading, then rebounded $60 an ounce from its session low as funds piled into gold for protection against economic uncertainty after the U.S. unemployment rate rose for the first time in 11 months.
    Gold rose 3.5 percent this week, its largest gain since late January, when investors were already fretting over Spain's poor finances and a possible Greek exit from the euro zone, which could send Europe's debt crisis spiral out of control.
    Bullion broke its trend of trading in sync with riskier assets, rising on a day when Brent crude oil plummeted below $100 a barrel and the Dow Jones industrial average fell 2 percent to wipe out this year's gains.
    Technical buying also helped as the metal is setting up for a bullish triple-bottom chart pattern after gold held key support near $1,530 an ounce, which it held for most of this year.
    Gold's rally was reminiscent of its rise earlier this year when the Federal Reserve said it would keep interest rates at zero for the next several years and indicated a new stimulus program was possible to reinvigorate economic growth.
    "People are speculating that there will be some form of program coordinated by central banks, which is ultimately inflationary and gold catches a bid," said Jeffrey Sherman, commodities portfolio manager of asset manager DoubleLine Capital which oversees $35 billion in assets.
    Spot gold hit a near two-week high of $1,629.41 an ounce and was up 3.9 percent at $1,624.20 at 3:11 p.m. EDT (1911 GMT), its largest one-day rally since January 2009.

    Gold vaults 4 percent for biggest 1-day rise in 3 years | Reuters

    Einhorn Trashes Buffett And Cash, But Loves Gold - Forbes

    Einhorn Trashes Buffett And Cash, But Loves Gold - Forbes: Without ever mentioning gold, Einhorn mocks by imitation Buffett figurative stacking up of assets, using Omaha, Buffett’s home town, in the argument:

    “The debate around currencies, cash, and cash equivalents continues. Over the last few years, we have come to doubt whether cash will serve as a good store of value. If you wrapped up all the $100 bills in circulation, it would form a cube about 74 feet per side. If you stacked the money seven feet high, you could store it in a warehouse roughly the size of a football field. The value of all that cash would be about a trillion dollars. In a hundred years, that money will have produced nothing. In a thousand years, it is likely that the cash will either be worthless or worth very little. It will not pay you interest or dividends and it won’t grow earnings, though you could burn it for heat. You’d have to pay someone to guard it. You could fondle the money. Alternatively, you could take every U.S. note in circulation, lay them end to end, and cover the entire 116 square miles of Omaha, Nebraska. Of course, if you managed to assemble all that money into your own private stash, the Federal Reserve could simply order more to be printed for the rest of us.”

    Touche.

    Bart Chilton: Silver Investigation to Conclude by September if Not Sooner - Silver Doctors

    The Doc contacted CFTC Commissioner Bart Chilton this week regarding the delay by the CFTC and the SEC in enacting position limits in silver, as well as the CFTC’s silver manipulation investigation, which is now in it’s 4th year.

    As the CFTC’s Commissioner’s have recently come under extreme criticism by the silver community, with long-time supporter Ted Butler finally throwing in the towel last week and calling for Chilton and Gary Gensler’s dismissal, we offered Bart the opportunity to speak with The Doc to update readers on the progress of both the silver investigation as well as the implementation of position limits.

    Commissioner Chilton has deferred a live interview until the silver investigation is concluded ‘in the next 2-3 months if not sooner‘, but has allowed SilverDoctors to publish his response regarding these inquiries.

    Bart Chilton: Silver Investigation to Conclude in 2-3 Months

    Doc, Thank you for the invitation, but I must decline a verbal interview. As you know, I’ve spoken a lot about this (radio, television, and in the press). I’ve also answered many emails, including this one at 1:30 am.

    I expect the investigation to conclude in 2-3 months, if not sooner. As you know, I can’t take an action by myself (I would have done so long ago if that were the case). It takes at least 3 of the 5 Commissioners.

    What I will say is that if this matter was as simple as some writers state and many believe (large concentrated positions regularly manipulating the silver market) this would have been over years ago. It just ain’t so. These are complex global markets–with an emphasis on the global and the “s” (think foreign regulators, foreign holdings, various entities and trading partners to start off with) where things are traded and sliced and diced into physical and other myriad exotic products. These markets can sometimes be like giant shell games.

    read full article here Bart Chilton: Silver Investigation to Conclude by September if Not Sooner - Silver Doctors

    Introducing the CSST -City Survivalist Survival Tin !

    Is the Government Holding Back Crucial Documents? by Russ Baker

    ext year will be a half-century since the death of JFK. And the Obama Administration thinks we need to keep secret the records on the matter….a little longer yet.
    Believe it or not, more than 50,000 pages of JFK assassination-related documents are being withheld in full. And an untold number of documents have been partially withheld, or released with everything interesting blacked out. But why?
    Since the government and the big media keep telling us there was no conspiracy, and that it was all Lee Harvey Oswald acting on his own, why continue to keep the wraps on?
    We don’t have an answer, but in understanding this and any number of other mysteries, we can begin looking for patterns in the way the administration handles information policy.
    We Want to Hear From You (But That’s It – We Just Want to Hear From You)
    Earlier this year, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) asked, on its online Open Government Forum, for suggestions from the public about what it could do to create greater transparency. The #1 most popular idea? Get those Kennedy records out – before Nov. 22, 2013, the fiftieth anniversary of the Dallas tragedy.
    But instead of dealing honestly with this matter, the feds have resorted to disinformation. In an interview with the Boston Globe, the Archivist of the United States claimed that at two public forums held on open records, the most public comments came from people interested either in the JFK assassination or….in UFOs.
    Except for one thing: James Lesar, an attorney and co-founder of the Assassination Archives and Research Center (AARC), a DC-based nonprofit that has fought a long and valiant fight on behalf of the public interest in disclosure, attended both of those forums and says that as he recalls there were no people there asking about UFOs, or that at most it was of negligible interest. In fact, a look at NARA’s online idea forum (now closed) showed no UFO proposals or comments.
    So, what’s with claiming otherwise? One could be excused for seeing in the Archivist’s statement a deliberate, and unworthy, attempt to smear the legitimacy of JFK inquiries by trying to make them appear “kooky.” (Not to judge the merits of the idea that there could be life elsewhere in the Universe, but the term “UFO conspiracist” is a well-worn dysphemism.)
    Here’s what actually happened at the NARA forums.

    read full article here Is the Government Holding Back Crucial Documents? by Russ Baker

    Capital Controls Have No Place in a Free Society by Ron Paul

    Capital Controls Have No Place in a Free Society by Ron Paul
     
     
       
    The characteristic mark of a tyrannical regime is that it eventually finds it necessary to erect walls to keep people from leaving. This is why we should be troubled by the “Ex-PATRIOT Act,” an egregiously offensive bill recently introduced in the Senate. Following a long line of recent legislation and regulations attempting to expropriate more and more wealth from hard-working Americans, this new bill spits in the face of overburdened taxpayers and tramples on the Constitution.
    Current law already dictates that Americans with a net worth of over $2 million who expatriate must be assumed to have sold all their assets and must pay a corresponding punitive exit tax on those assumed sales. The Ex-PATRIOT Act goes even further than current law by assessing a 30% capital gains tax on all future earnings of expatriates. Not content just with this additional tax, the bill also grants the IRS the sole authority to determine whether individuals have expatriated for tax purposes and allows the IRS to bar those individuals from ever re-entering the United States. Finally, the bill blatantly violates the ex post facto provisions of the U.S. Constitution by extending all of these provisions to anyone who has given up their U.S. citizenship within the past decade.
    This bill, and other similar legislation, casts a chilling effect on saving, investment, and entrepreneurial activity. The bill was introduced in response to news reports about one of the founders of Facebook who might save millions of dollars of taxes by renouncing his U.S. citizenship. But in their blind envy towards successful entrepreneurs, the bill's sponsors ignore the fact that they will ensnare many ordinary middle-class Americans who work hard, save and invest wisely, and benefit from rising home values. These Americans may easily find themselves pushing past the $2 million mark by the time they retire, especially as inflation continues to seriously accelerate. If they wish to escape the Federal Reserve's inflation by emigrating to lower-cost countries so their dollars will go farther, as many Baby Boomers are starting to do, the federal government will penalize them, and continue to penalize them for the rest of their lives as long as they hold any money in the United States.
    Unfortunately, the mere consideration of such legislation, even before it has passed, has made American banking customers a potential future headache for banks around the world. They don't want to deal with the IRS any more than Americans do, and if American account holders become a Trojan horse for the IRS to insinuate themselves into their affairs, there may be more cost than benefit to extending banking services to Americans.
    We live under a federal government that has eviscerated our Fourth Amendment rights, that can detain U.S. citizens indefinitely based solely on the President's word, that assaults toddlers and grandmothers at airports in the name of security, and regulates virtually every aspect of our economic lives. No wonder increasing numbers of Americans feel this government is engaged in outright warfare against its own citizens. Every day the noose grows tighter, yet anyone who sees the writing on the wall and seeks to leave must pay exorbitant taxes just for the privilege of leaving, and increasingly the possibility looms of never fully breaking away from the government's tentacles no matter where they go. Ultimately, the Ex-PATRIOT Act proposes to control people by controlling their capital, and it has no place in a free society.

    Flame virus: Cyber weapon threatening to cripple entire nations has 'hallmarks of the NSA' | Mail Online

    Flame virus: Cyber weapon threatening to cripple entire nations has 'hallmarks of the NSA' | Mail Online: N computer security chief Marco Obiso moved to highlight the gravity of the situation after it emerged the bug had been used to hack into computers in Iran.

    The sophisticated spyware – said to be about 100 times the size of most malicious software – also hacked other machines in the Middle East, including Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt.

    More...

    A new era of cyber warfare: Virus 'weapon' has siphoned secrets from thousands of PCs in Middle East undetected for five years
    Cyber hacker anarchists Anonymous warn Canada Grand Prix fans of fresh plot

    Mr Obiso said the warning will underline the danger the virus represents to the critical infrastructure of member nations.

    The conclusion by Moscow-based internet security firm Kaspersky Lab ZAO that it was crafted at the behest of a national government fuelled claims that Flame was part of an Israeli-backed campaign of electronic sabotage aimed at archrival Iran.

    While Israel has done little to dispute the claims, some believe they do not have the capacity to launch such an attack.

    Time Bomb? Banks Pressured to Buy Government Debt - US Business News - CNBC

     US and European regulators are essentially forcing banks to buy up their own government's debt—a move that could end up making the debt crisis even worse, a Citigroup analysis says.
    Columns and steps
    Regulators are allowing banks to escape counting their country's debt against capital requirements and loosening other rules to create a steady market for government bonds, the study says.
    While that helps governments issue more and more debt, the strategy could ultimately explode if the governments are unable to make the bond payments, leaving the banks with billions of toxic debt, says Citigroup strategist Hans Lorenzen.
    "Captive bank demand can buy time and can help keep domestic yields low," Lorenzen wrote in an analysis for clients. "However, the distortions that build up over time can sow the seeds of an even bigger crisis, if the time bought isn't used very prudently."
    "Specifically," Lorenzen adds, "having banks loaded up with domestic sovereign debt will only increase the domestic fallout if the sovereign ultimately reneges on its obligations."
    The banks, though, are caught in a "great repression" trap from which they cannot escape.
    "When subjected to the mix of carrot and stick by policymakers...then everything else equal, we believe banks will keep buying," Lorenzen said.
    Institutions both in the U.S. and abroad have been busy buying up their national sovereign debt [cnbc explains] for years, he found.

    read full article here Time Bomb? Banks Pressured to Buy Government Debt - US Business News - CNBC

    U.S. to U.N.: Hands off the Internet | Times 247

    U.S. to U.N.: Hands off the Internet | Times 247: US officials, lawmakers and technology leaders offered a resounding "no" Thursday to proposals to bring the Internet under United Nations' control and said they would lead efforts to stop the move. ...

    Some nations, including Russia and China, say the Internet is still controlled by the United States and that a UN effort would give a greater voice to the developing world.

    But many in the US fear a UN-governed Internet would give authoritarian nations the power to throttle free speech, and allow others to impose tariff or other restrictions.

    Frog in the Boiling Pot of Government: » Bilderberg 2012: The Official List of Participan...

    Frog in the Boiling Pot of Government: » Bilderberg 2012: The Official List of Participan...: » Bilderberg 2012: The Official List of Participants Alex Jones' Infowars: There's a war on for your mind! Infowars.com May 31, 2012 Edi...

    Austerity? To be sure! Irish vote favors belt-tightening