Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
Regulators shut 7 banks in 5 states; 37 in 2010 USAToday.com WASHINGTON (AP) — Regulators have shut down seven banks in five states, bringing to 37 the number of bank failures in the U.S. so far this year. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday took over the banks: First Lowndes Bank, in Fort Deposit, Ala.; Appalachian Community Bank in Ellijay, Ga.; Bank of Hiawassee, in Hiawassee, Ga.; and State Bank of Aurora, in Aurora, Minn. Earlier, the agency said it had shuttered Advanta Bank, based in Draper, Utah; American National Bank of Parma, Ohio; and Century Security Bank of Duluth, Ga. The bank failures this year follow the 140 that succumbed in 2009 to mounting loan defaults and the recession.
House Passes Health Care Bill, Sweeping Legislation on Its Way to Become Law By HUMA KHAN, JONATHAN KARL and Z. BYRON WOLF - ABCNews.com Anti-Abortion Democrats' Decision to Vote 'Yes' Put Bill Over the Top The House of Representatives passed the sweeping health care bill with a narrow margin, securing a significant victory for President Obama, who lobbied hard this week for the controversial legislation. The vote was certain after the House Democratic leadership finalized a deal this afternoon with anti-abortion Democrats to vote for the health care bill in exchange for an executive order from Obama affirming no federal funding for abortion.
The Wrong Prescription: Democrats’ Health Overhaul Dangerously Expands IRS Authority Report from the Republican Ways and Means Committee If H.R. 3590, the Senate Democrats’ health care bill, is enacted, which could happen as early as this week, Democrats will have vastly expanded the responsibilities of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and fundamentally altered the relationship between the IRS and taxpayers. Specifically, this report examines the Individual Mandate Tax (IMT) proposed in the Democrats’ health care legislation. Under this provision, Democrats make the IRS the chief enforcer for a new government-run health insurance system. One of the most troubling aspects of this new IRS authority is the newly granted power to collect additional taxes from Americans whose health insurance coverage is deemed to be insufficient to meet the definition of minimum coverage, as defined by federal bureaucrats, required to be purchased.
Inside the Pelosi Sausage Factory By KIMBERLEY A. STRASSEL - WSJ.com Michigan Rep. Bart Stupak sold his anti-abortion soul for a toothless executive order. Last week Republican Rep. Mike Pence posted on his Facebook site that famous Schoolhouse Rock video titled "How a Bill Becomes a Law." It's clearly time for a remake. Never before has the average American been treated to such a live-action view of the sordid politics necessary to push a deeply flawed bill to completion. It was dirty deals, open threats, broken promises and disregard for democracy that pulled ObamaCare to this point, and yesterday the same machinations pushed it across the finish line.
The Fat Lady Hasn't Sung By JOHN FUND - WSJ.com Twelve Democrats who voted for ObamaCare in November voted against the "Slaughter Solution." House Democratic leaders are trying to create an aura of inevitability about their ability to pass health care. Yesterday, they trotted out two members, Rep. Bart Gordon of Tennessee and Betsy Markey of Colorado, who said they are switching their votes to favor the bill after voting "no" on the first version last November. They join Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who announced he would switch from "no" to "yes." But largely lost in the coverage is the fact that Democrats also have to worry about more than 40 members who voted in favor of health care four months ago but now are publicly undecided. The Hill newspaper, which according to my Congressional sources keeps the most accurate tally, says 214 members are currently committed or leaning against the bill, and 169 members are committed or leaning in favor. While Speaker Pelosi is certain to win over the majority of the undecided, she needs 216 votes to win, which means she must nearly run the table on the 40 or so wavering former "yes" votes.
Gold bull market to accelerate thanks to bonds By Jordan Roy-Byrne A few weeks ago I wrote about the true cause of hyperinflation, which is a major break or failure in the bond market. It has nothing to do with demand, bank lending or the velocity of money as many have suggested. It is a confidence issue. It is not a rise in inflationary expectations but a loss of confidence in a country being able to repay its debts. As confidence is lost, interest rates rise. Monetization occurs when the cost of servicing the debt consumes too much of the overall budget, so that the government can’t provide basic services or loses its ability to function on a day-to-day basis. The important point to note is that deflationary forces lead to hyperinflation. Once again, it is not demand, bank lending or increased velocity. Those things do not trigger severe inflation; they merely can be a symptom after the trigger. And by the way, increased velocity is basically another form of increased demand. Fundamentally, they are no different. Is anyone paying attention to the first domino in the sovereign debt crisis?
Gold steady after drop; eyes greenback and Greece By Nick Trevethan SINGAPORE, March 22 (Reuters) - Gold was steady on Monday as dollar strength that drove bullion 1.7 percent lower in the previous session, its biggest loss since early February, weighed on the market. The dollar was steady versus the euro on Monday, having jumped on Friday on speculation that debt-laden Greece may have to turn to the International Monetary Fund for help, rather than its euro-zone neighbours, sending commodities sharply lower.
I.M.F. Warns Wealthy Nations on Debt By SEWELL CHAN and KEITH BRADSHER - NYTimes.com BEIJING — The global economic crisis has left “deep scars” in the fiscal balances of the world’s advanced economies, which should begin to rein in spending next year as the recovery continues, the No.2 official at the International Monetary Fund said Sunday in Beijing. In a speech at the China Development Forum in Beijing, the I.M.F. official, John Lipsky, who is the deputy managing director, offered a grim prognosis for the world’s wealthiest countries, which are at a level of indebtedness not seen since the aftermath of World War II. For the United States, “a higher public savings rate will be required to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability,” Mr. Lipsky said.
All G7 countries, except Canada and Germany, will have debt-to-GDP ratios close to or exceeding 100 percent by 2014 CT News - ConspiringTimes.com - Lipsky Says Debt Challenges Face Advanced Economies -- Advanced economies face “acute” challenges in tackling high public debt, and unwinding existing stimulus measures will not come close to bringing deficits back to prudent levels, said John Lipsky, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. March 21 (Bloomberg) – All G7 countries, except Canada and Germany, will have debt-to-GDP ratios close to or exceeding 100 percent by 2014, Lipsky said in a speech today at the China Development Forum in Beijing. Already this year, the average ratio in advanced economies is expected to reach the levels seen in 1950, after World War II, he said. The government debt ratio in some emerging market nations had also reached a “worrisome level.”
Lipsky Says ‘Acute’ Debt Challenges Face Advanced Economies By Joyce Koh March 22 (Bloomberg) -- Advanced economies face “acute” challenges in tackling high public debt, and unwinding existing stimulus measures will not come close to bringing deficits back to prudent levels, said John Lipsky, first deputy managing director of the International Monetary Fund. All G7 countries, except Canada and Germany, will have debt-to-GDP ratios close to or exceeding 100 percent by 2014, Lipsky said in a speech yesterday at the China Development Forum in Beijing. Already this year, the average ratio in advanced economies is expected to reach the levels seen in 1950, after World War II, he said. The government debt ratio in some emerging-market nations has also reached a “worrisome level,” he said.
Jim Rogers Says 2012 Recession Will be Worse Central Banks printing money are driving stocks higher, but has not bought any shares since November 2008. Does not pay any attention to the Fed because they do not know what's going on. Expects U.S. Economy to have a worse recession than 2008-09 which will be worse because of the huge debt burden.
Another Recession Is Coming-Jim Rogers-CNBC-3-17-2010
Divisions Between the US and Europe Widen Over Greek Financial Bailout By: Global Research - MarketOracle.com -- Stefan Steinberg writes: The Greek government is preparing to turn to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial help in the next few weeks to avert a default on its national debt. The move to engage the IMF follows the failure of European finance ministers meeting in Brussels earlier this week to agree on any concrete plan to provide financial backing for Greece. The principal obstacle at the Brussels meeting was the hard line taken by Germany. On Thursday, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou told the European Parliament that the interest rate Greece is forced to offer investors for servicing its debt is unsustainable, and that his government had complained to the IMF. Papandreou said the inflated borrowing costs would more than offset his government’s savings from the sweeping austerity measures it has introduced.
Markets spooked as Greek rescue plan crumbles By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk Europe’s rescue plan for Greece appears to be crumbling after the country threatened to call in the International Monetary Fund unless Brussels comes up with real money on acceptable terms within a week. The inability of the eurozone to put together a viable package after a month of talks has dismayed markets, which thought the terms of a deal had already been agreed. Yields on 10-year Greek bonds spiked 17 basis points yesterday to 6.26pc. The euro fell two cents against the dollar to below $1.36. "The facade of unity among eurozone members hardly held for more than a day," said Beat Siegenthaler from UBS. Greek Premier George Papandreou told the European Parliament that his country was running out of patience. It is in effect already subject to the full rigours of an IMF-style austerity plan but without enjoying any of the benefits. He said the savings from cost-cutting measures were vanishing into the pockets of bond-holders through higher interest rates.
Can central banks save Greece with gold reserves? By Adrian Ash Gold held flat for US investors in London on Friday, heading for a 2% weekly gain as the Dollar rose against everything but the commodity-currencies on the forex market. European stock markets edged 1% higher from last Friday's finish, while Euro and Sterling bonds both ticked lower as their currencies fell sharply. Gold priced in Pounds neared its second-highest weekly close at £743 an ounce, just shy of the £750 finish hit a fortnight ago. The Gold Price in Euros rose within 1% of March 5th's all-time peak at €838 an ounce.
Once Again Risk Aversion is Taking Center Stage by James Hyerczyk - FinancialSense.com Once again risk aversion is taking center stage as traders are buying the Dollar and shedding higher risk currencies. The main concern driving the Dollar higher overnight is Greece’s ability to obtain financial aid. Traders are pricing in the strong possibility that Greece will not receive aid from the European Union and be forced to turn to the International Monetary Fund for help.
Debt Saturation in the US Dollar Economy JESSE'S CAFÉ AMÉRICAIN The debt must be liquidated and income in the form of real wages must increase to bring this relationship back into balance. This is going to be a dangerous path for the US monetary authority to tread, because a misstep will lead to an inflationary spiral that will surprise most economists as did the stagflation of the 1970's, which up until that point was considered to be almost impossible according to the prevailing theory of that day.
Has Germany just killed the dream of a European superstate? By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk So after weeks of Euro-bluff it looks ever more like an IMF rescue for Greece after all, and hence for any other eurozone nation driven to ruin by the wrong monetary policy. German and Dutch leaders have concluded in the nick of time that they cannot defy the will of their sovereign parliaments by propping up a country that lied about its deficits, or risk court defeats by breaching the no-bail-out clause in Article 125 of the EU Treaties. Chancellor Angela Merkel has halted at the Rubicon. So has Dutch premier Jan Peter Balkenende, as well he might in charge of a broken government facing elections in a country where far-right leader Geert Wilders is the second political force, and where the Tweede Kamer has categorically blocked loans for Greece.
Greek leader warns Berlin that EU at risk if no aid Breitbart.com Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou implicitly criticised Germany on Saturday for opposing efforts to help his country out of its fiscal crisis, warning they risked destabilising the EU. "We have struggled for years to build a strong Europe, economically stable and with social solidarity," Papandreou said at a meeting of the national council of his socialist PASOK party. But "many forces forget the political importance of the euro, and are withdrawing the substance of the political vision of the European project, which is a joint effort to develop our economy in a calm and stable climate," he added.
Merkel gives Greece EU stability pledge Breitbart.com German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Greece's Prime Minister Georges Papandreou Sunday that the European Union would do "everything necessary" to preserve eurozone stability, her office said. Merkel told Papandreou in a phone conversation that the "EU was determined to undertake everything necessary to preserve the stability of the eurozone," a statement said. Merkel also "confirmed her support for Greek reforms", while Papandreou "underlined that Greece did not need financial aid," the statement added.
China Accuses U.S. of Politicizing Yuan as Trade Surplus Sinks By Bloomberg News March 22 (Bloomberg) -- China warned the U.S. against imposing sanctions over the value of the yuan, arguing that the exchange rate issue has been politicized and that a rise in protectionism threatens the global economic recovery. Pressure on China to strengthen the yuan does “no good to anyone,” China’s Commerce Minister Chen Deming said at the China Development Forum in Beijing yesterday. China’s trade balance likely slipped into the red in March, although the yuan was stable, showing that exchange rate changes have a “limited” impact on trade, Chen said.
China's corrupt Communists in the frame for graft By Peter Foster in Beijing - NYTimes.com A Chinese artist has risked the wrath of the Communist Party by preparing to mount exhibition that highlights its burgeoning number of corrupt officials. The daring new art work highlights the scale of graft in the world's largest emerging economy, which wages a constant war on corruption. The work, entitled "Hall of Fame", contains the portraits of 680 officials who have been successfully been prosecuted for embezzling, stealing or collecting bribes. The installation by the Beijing-based contemporary artist, Zhang Bingjian, aims to confront viewers with portraits of the jailed officials all painted in the crimson red of China largest denomination 100 yuan banknote.
Academic Paper in China Sets Off Alarms in U.S. By JOHN MARKOFF and DAVID BARBOZA - NYTimes.com It came as a surprise this month to Wang Jianwei, a graduate engineering student in Liaoning, China, that he had been described as a potential cyberwarrior before the United States Congress. Larry M. Wortzel, a military strategist and China specialist, told the House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 10 that it should be concerned because “Chinese researchers at the Institute of Systems Engineering of Dalian University of Technology published a paper on how to attack a small U.S. power grid sub-network in a way that would cause a cascading failure of the entire U.S.”
Jim Rogers on Chinese Currency and Trade War: My Thoughts By: Dian L Chu - MarketOracle.com In a Business News Network interview on Mar. 18, Jim Rogers, famous investor and creator of the Rogers International Commodities Index (RICI) speaks about the recent currency and trade confrontation between the US and China: Rogers thinks the U.S. should try to explain to the Chinese that it is to their benefits to allow some flexibility in their currency. For instance, yuan's appreciation will in turn lower the cost of China’s imports and its supply chain. He acknowledges that the Chinese understand that their currency policy will need to change eventually in order to become a major player on the world stage. Although the yuan has appreciated some in the past few years, but it is just not up to the expectation of the U.S. Rogers estimates Chinese renminbi (yuan) could replace the dollar as the next reserve currency of the world in the next 10 to 20 years.
U.S. China Dispute Over Currency Manipulation and Bubbles Discusses China / U.S. currency manipulation dispute, says China will eventually have to float its currency if it wants to become a serious global economic and financial player. Only expect a short-term rally in the Dollar, favor's Canadian Dollar for the long-run. Expects China economy to do well even if China housing bubble bursts
China Warns Against U.S. Trade Sanctions By TERENCE POON - WSJ.com BEIJING--China's commerce minister on Sunday cautioned the U.S. against citing the Chinese currency as a reason for imposing trade sanctions, saying Beijing "won't turn a blind eye" to such moves, as both nations intensify their verbal sparring on the yuan exchange rate. With China recovering swiftly from the financial crisis even as Europe and the U.S. try to deal with stubbornly high rates of joblessness, Beijing's decision to keep the yuan largely unchanged against the U.S. dollar since July 2008 has increasingly drawn flak. Critics say an undervalued yuan is giving Chinese exporters a competitive edge against exporters elsewhere.
Bernanke Says Large Bank Bailouts ‘Unconscionable,’ Must End By Steve Matthews and Phil Mattingly -- March 21 (Bloomberg) -- Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said government bailouts of big financial companies are “unconscionable” and must be ended as part of a regulatory overhaul following the worst financial crisis since the 1930s. “It is unconscionable that the fate of the world economy should be so closely tied to the fortunes of a relatively small number of giant financial firms,” Bernanke said yesterday in a speech in Orlando, Florida. “If we achieve nothing else in the wake of the crisis, we must ensure that we never again face such a situation.”
Fed must reveal bank loan info from financial crisis, court rules By Larry Neumeister And Jeannine Aversa, Associated Press NEW YORK — The Federal Reserve must reveal documents identifying financial companies that received Fed loans to survive the financial crisis, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. A panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said in two separate opinions that such information isn't automatically exempt from requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
Conservatives Promise Bank Levy By ALISTAIR MACDONALD And DAVID ENRICH - WSJ.com Banks moved back onto center stage in U.K. politics over the weekend, as the opposition Conservative Party said it would introduce a U.S.-style bank levy if it wins this spring's general election. The levy would repay taxpayers for bailing out banks during the credit crunch, Conservative leader David Cameron said in a speech Saturday. In a rare pairing, bank representatives joined with the Labour government to criticize the Tory proposal as vague, populist and potentially dangerous, claiming it could make British banks uncompetitive.
Bernanke: Fed should oversee all banks By Julianne Pepitone NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- As Congress considers limiting the Federal Reserve's regulatory authority to just the country's largest bank holding companies, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke reiterated on Saturday that the central bank should retain power over banks of all sizes. "Because of the remarkable diversity of the U.S. financial system, a supervisory agency that focused only on the largest banking institutions, without knowledge of community banks, would get a limited and potentially distorted picture of what was happening in our banking system as a whole," Bernanke said in a speech to the Independent Community Bankers of America.
Fed Ends Bank Exemption Aimed at Boosting Mortgage Liquidity By Craig Torres March 20 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve Board removed an exemption it had given to six banks at the start of the crisis in 2007 aimed at boosting liquidity in financing markets for securities backed by mortgage- and asset-backed securities. The so-called 23-A exemptions, named after a section of the Federal Reserve Act that limits such trades to protect bank depositors, were granted days after the Fed cut the discount rate by half a percentage point on Aug. 17, 2007. Their removal, announced yesterday in Washington, is part of a broad wind-down of emergency liquidity backstops by the Fed as markets normalize.
Watch the Bond Market, not Bank Lending or Velocity by Jordan Roy-Byrne - FinancialSense.com A few weeks ago we wrote about the true cause of hyperinflation, which is a major break or failure in the bond market. It has nothing to do with demand, bank lending or the velocity of money as many have suggested. It is a confidence issue. It is not a rise in inflationary expectations but a loss of confidence in a country being able to repay its debts. As confidence is lost, interest rates rise. Monetization occurs when the cost of servicing the debt consumes too much of the overall budget, so that the government can’t provide basic services or loses its ability to function on a day-to-day basis.
Public Pension Deficits Are Worse Than You Think By ANDREW G. BIGGS - WSJ.com How can fund managers assume an 8% rate of return? Pension plans for state government employees today report they are underfunded by $450 billion, according to a recent report from the Pew Charitable Trusts. But this vastly underestimates the true shortfall, because public pension accounting wrongly assumes that plans can earn high investment returns without risk. My research indicates that overall underfunding tops $3 trillion. The problem is fundamental: According to accounting rules adopted by the states, a public sector pension plan may call itself "fully funded" even if there is a better-than-even chance it will be unable to meet its obligations. When that happens, the taxpayer is on the hook. Yet public pension plans ignore market risk even as they shift into risky foreign investments, hedge funds and private equity.
Paul Krugman, the Nobel prize winner who threatens the world By Jeremy Warner - NYTimes.com Paul Krugman, an American economist, wants to start a trade war with China. It would be worse than the 1930s, says Jeremy Warner. When the self-proclaimed "conscience of liberal America" and a one-time free trader to boot starts arguing for protectionism, you know that things have come to a pretty pass. But that's what's happened over the past week. Paul Krugman, a Nobel Prize-winning economist, has taken to advocating a 25 per cent "surcharge" – he refuses to use the more descriptive term of "import tariff" – on goods from China as a way of bringing the Chinese leadership to heel over currency reform. So potentially dangerous and out of character is this idea that when I first read it, I assumed he was being ironic. But sometimes the cleverest of people can also be the most stupid, and he's now said it so often that you have to believe he's serious.
Alan Greenspan - just admit you screwed up already!!
State-Owned Banks: The Future of Banking? By ALICE GOMSTYN - ABC News Business Unit State Officials Look to North Dakota Bank Model to Create Jobs; Critics Fear Marxism, Fannie Mae-Style Meltdown When the recession challenged Pam Wanner's bakery, she found comfort in what might seem a surprising place: her bank, the Bank of North Dakota, the only state-owned bank in the country. BND teamed up with a private, local bank in 2007 to provide Wanner's Twisted Bakery with a $100,000 loan that the bakery used to invest in equipment to create gluten-free products. Though the recession slowed Wanner's business plans, she's optimistic that her gluten-free herb breads and pastries will help Twisted's bottom line bounce back. If not for BND, she said, she probably never would have gotten such a loan at all.
Prudential will come to regret lack of clarity By Damian Reece - NYTimes.com Prudential shareholders will be forgiven for wondering what, exactly, is going on at the insurer. The company has fallen flat on its face over Tidjane Thiam’s appointment as a non-executive of French bank Soc Gen. There are conflicting versions but obviously Soc Gen was clearly of the view Thiam had accepted its invitation and announced it on Wednesday. It was met with dismay among Pru shareholders who were expecting Thiam to be utterly focused on the company’s delicate manoeuvre to buy AIA for $35.5bn. It turns out the appointment had not been signed off by the Pru board. The right hand did not know what the left was doing. This is unforgivable during such an important process as a takeover, which requires careful and precise choreography.
Hey, Big Spender: You Need a Surtax By ROBERT H. FRANK - NYTimes.com LAST year’s stimulus spending is running out, yet unemployment stays stubbornly near 10 percent. And as state and local governments keep cutting their budgets, the economy desperately needs an additional spending boost. Concerned about growing federal deficits, however, many in Congress appear reluctant to act. Their worries are misguided. Yes, deficits are bad, but protracted unemployment is far worse. Still, it seems unlikely that additional stimulus legislation can attract the supermajority now required to clear the Senate. And even without such legislation, huge budget deficits loom for years. In the long run, these deficits will impoverish our grandchildren, just as the deficit hawks assert.
Thousands face multiple foreclosures LATimes.com Though signs of recovery in the housing market are emerging, thousands of people in Southern California are in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure--someone of them even face losing two or three homes, Alana Semuels reports today. The problem is especially visible in areas that attracted speculative buyers during the boom. In Maricopa County in Arizona, which includes Phoenix, at least 283 individuals have received a foreclosure notice on two or more properties since 2006, according to data provided by RealtyTrac Inc.
Some homeowners face repeated foreclosures
Supply of Foreclosed Homes on the Rise Again By JAMES R. HAGERTY - WSJ.com The supply of foreclosed homes that banks need to sell is rising again, signaling further downward pressure on home prices in some parts of the U.S. Mortgage analysts at Barclays Capital in New York estimated that banks and mortgage investors held a total of 645,800 foreclosed homes in January, up 4.6% from 617,286 a month earlier. According to Barclays, the supply peaked at around 845,000 in November 2008 and then declined through 2009.
Authentic Wealth Enhancement Essentials by DeepCaster LLC "Inflate, Deflate, Confiscate" -- U.S. Senator Robert A. Taft (RIP) on the Mega-Banks favorite technique. “The shadow banking system is still alive and growing. According to a new paper (PDF) by the Levy Economics Institute of U Miss, the derivative exposure of Goldman Sachs was 33,823% of its assets in 2009 (as compared to 25,284% in 2008). They are still leveraged to the hilt and the US government (i.e. the U.S. taxpayer) is the backstop.” "The U.S. Federal Reserve's framework is a corrupt one in that its regional banks are managed by board members who are officers from the very private institutions they are designed to govern, says Nobel laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz.
Consuming Our Capital by Butler Shaffer - LewRockwell.com It must be admitted that there is a degree of instability which is inconsistent with civilization. But, on the whole, the great ages have been unstable ones. ~ Alfred North Whitehead A sure-fire sign of a business enterprise in decline is when it begins using its invested capital to pay operating expenses. Such signs of ill-health are not confined to the world of commerce and industry, but can exhibit themselves in the life of any system. We are witnessing the practice in the collapse of Western Civilization, as we scurry to meet short-term demands by sacrificing the foundations upon which our culture has long been grounded.
Sultans of Swap - ACT II - The Sting! by Gordon T Long - FinancialSense.com There are 7 stages to executing a successful sting operation. Whether this is the modus operandi behind the Sultans of Swap operating in the $605 Trillion OTC Derivatives market or just simple coincidence, I will leave it to you shrewd reader to determine. The seven stages do however offer us an instructive theater guide to better understanding these murky instruments called Interest Rate Swaps.
Retire in Poverty by Ron Holland - LewRockwell.com The 10 Step Final Countdown to Retirement Plan Nationalization As the United States travels down the long road from the first limited government republic model of our Patriot Founding Fathers to a Washington style form of fascist national socialism, both health insurance and our private retirement system will eventually be nationalized and much of our retirement wealth confiscated all in the name of protecting us. But in a democracy, unlike total fascist and communist systems, great pillage and wealth attacks by government does not happen over night like Kristallnacht in Nazi Germany against Jewish wealth and property. The same can be said for Stalin's starvation of the Ukraine and forced collectivization and confiscation of all private property and farms. By necessity in a democracy, it is a slow, incremental step-by-step process and this provides the means for American investors to protect and defend their retirement assets.
Gerald Celente: Great 2010 Crash is looming
Jihad as American as apple pie, says US-born cleric CT News - ConspiringTimes.com WASHINGTON (AFP) – Violent jihad, or Islamic holy war, is “becoming as American as apple pie,” US-born fugitive cleric Anwar Al-Awlaqi said in an unauthenticated message released Friday. “Western jihad is here to stay,” warned Awlaqi as he commented on a blonde American who dubbed herself “JihadJane” and has pleaded not guilty to trying to recruit Islamist militants to murder a Swedish cartoonist. “Jihad is becoming as American as apple pie and as British as afternoon tea,” the US-Yemeni cleric said in an English-language message posted on militant forums and released by the US-based SITE monitoring agency.
Business school grads flocking to Asia for jobs By Michelle Conlin - BusinessWeek.com Exodus of talent from U.S. may be part of structural shift in corporate world James Tsai is the sort of MBA corporate recruiters covet. He went to a good prep school, earned a degree with honors from Middlebury College, and made vice-president in Bank of America's international wealth management group at the age of 26. Today, Tsai is about to graduate, straight A's in hand, from Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, a top-rated program in America. And he's hustling to land his first post-MBA job — in China. Executive Class strivers like Tsai used to have just one post-grad career destination, the U.S. Not anymore. "I am doing everything I think I can to get over there," he says. Every era has its version of the MBA dream. In the 1980s, it was about conquering Wall Street and choppering off to the Hamptons. The late 1990s saw a stampede to Silicon Valley. In the mid-aughts, the gilded, clubby preserve of private equity beckoned.
Phoenix lands near bottom of metro job list Phoenix Business Journal Private-sector employment declined in January in all of America’s 100 biggest labor markets, including Phoenix, according to figures released Friday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Private-sector jobs now stand at 1.44 million, down from 1.53 million a year ago and 1.49 million in January 2005. Ten years ago, the number was 1.34 million. The loss of 90,300 jobs from January 2009 to January 2010 puts Phoenix in the No. 95 slot, while the percentage drop of 5.91 percent puts the metro area at No. 92.
Denver area lost 49,400 jobs in a year Denver Business Journal The Denver metro area lost 49,400 private-sector jobs -- 4.78 percent of the total -- in the 12 months ending in January, according to an analysis of new federal jobs data. The analysis is by G. Scott Thomas, projects editor of the Denver Business Journal's sister paper, Business First of Buffalo, N.Y. The Denver-Aurora-Broomfield area had 1,033,800 workers in the private sector in January 2009, and 12 months later it had 984,400, Thomas' analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data indicates. Denver's total private-sector job loss over the 12-month span ranked 16th highest among the nation's top 100 metro areas, Thomas reported. Its precentage of job loss ranked 27th highest of the 100 metros.
More Ugly Housing Data by Adam Brochert - FinancialSense.com Every month, tout TV and mainstream financial sites like Yahoo! Finance and Marketwatch re-print propaganda pieces from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) and other vested interests related to real estate. The headlines are ALWAYS spun to look positive, as comfort is more important than truth. The NAR has been calling the bottom in housing every month since before the top was in! Statistics are twisted and tricks like comparing the current month to the prior month instead of the same month in the prior year are used routinely to baffle, confuse, satiate and/or soothe those who still turn to mainstream media sources for truthful data. The numbers in housing are becoming surreal.
Home values in Phoenix metro could fall again because of 'shadow inventory' by Catherine Reagor - The Arizona Republic --Phoenix area home prices could experience another drop in value because of tens of thousands of properties that could flood the market in 2010. This shadow inventory, located across metropolitan Phoenix, is threatening the recovery of the real estate market and overall Arizona economy. It includes an unknown number of pending foreclosures, bank-owned homes bought at foreclosure auctions by investors who might try for a quick sale, thousands of homes foreclosed on by banks that have not yet put them up for resale and homes that will go into foreclosure after their owners abandon them and walk away from their mortgages.
House Passes Landmark Legislation Overhauling U.S. Health Care By Laura Litvan, James Rowley and Kristin Jensen -- March 21 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. House passed the most sweeping U.S. health-care legislation in four decades, rewriting the rules governing medical industries and ensuring that tens of millions of uninsured Americans will get medical coverage. The 219-212 vote marks the biggest victory yet for President Barack Obama, who will soon sign the bill into law. Only Democrats voted for the legislation, underscoring a partisan divide that promises to make health care the defining issue in November’s congressional elections.
In Nebraska, issues of immigration and abortion collide By DeeDee Correll - LATimes.com A bill is withdrawn that would have provided prenatal care for illegal immigrants. It had support from the state's powerful antiabortion contingent, but immigration has stirred growing anger here. Reporting from Denver - Nebraska long has regarded itself as a staunchly antiabortion state. But for months, the state has wrestled with an issue that pits its signature conviction against another belief -- that illegal immigrants should not receive tax-supported services. So two viewpoints collided with this question: Should Nebraska pay for prenatal care for the unborn children of illegal immigrants?
The Lunatic Left Is Getting Desperate by Thomas J. DiLorenzo - LewRockwell.com The Huffington Post recently (March 18) sunk to a new low by publishing an attack on “Ron Paul and the Tea Parties: States’ Rights and the 17th Amendment” by one Leonard Zeskind, a “former” Stalinist rabble-rouser. According to the Wilcox Collection on Contemporary Political Movements at the University of Kansas’ Spencer Research Library, Zeskind began his communistic career of agitprop in the ’70s as a “front man” for the “Sojourner Truth Organization” whose stated objective was “to motivate the working classes to make a revolution.” The Organization quoted its role model, Josef Stalin, who insisted on the need for “iron discipline” in agitating for a communist revolution in America.
U.S. Census Tracks Mail, Raising Fears Among Some by Jean Spencer - LewRockwell.com Census Bureau officials are counting on an advanced postal tracking system to speed up responses and save the government millions of dollars in follow-up letters and visits by census takers. But some privacy advocates and lawmakers are troubled by the tracking system, which they say oversteps privacy bounds. The 2010 Census forms arrive this week at 120 million addresses across the country. Each piece of Census mail comes with a unique barcode that lets the U.S. Postal Service and the bureau track individual letters as they travel to and from the bureau. Each time a letter zips through sorting equipment – typically five times between the initial mailing and delivery – it generates data that are fed into a computer system that lets the bureau monitor its progress.
November, 2010: More Rearranging of Deck Chairs by Scott Lazarowitz - LewRockwell.com You’ve probably heard the expression, "Rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic," which refers to making futile changes to a failing situation. This November’s elections will be such a case of rearranging the deck chairs on Titanic America, because the real problem that needs to be addressed is systemic, and serious systemic changes need to be made. There will be those who will say, "No, no, don’t say that, we have a chance to win back both the House and the Senate this November!" But these are times that call for a dose of reality. Unfortunately, many people involved with the Tea Party movement seem to have the misguided notion that the Founders’ structure of the federal government is adequate, but that the people in Washington just need to be replaced. However, the Founders’ forming a federal government with centralized power and authority and a compulsory territorial monopoly has been shown to be an immense error. Inherent in such a structure is the violation of property and individuals’ rights to life and liberty, hence America’s steady moral decay over the last century. And inherent in federalism is the violation of state independence and sovereignty.
Hatch Says It’s ’Nuts’ to Think House Vote Ends Health Issue By Nicholas Johnston March 20 (Bloomberg) -- Republican Senator Orrin Hatch said Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives are “nuts” to think tomorrow’s vote on health-care legislation will resolve the issue. If the measure passes, Senate Republicans have enough votes on at least two points of order to alter the measure and send it back to the House for a second round of votes, Hatch said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital with Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “If those people think they’re only going to vote on this once, they’re nuts,” Hatch said as House Democratic leaders rounded up support before the scheduled vote on President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.
The Health Plan's Devilish Principles by Murray N. Rothbard - LewRockwell.com Murray wrote against Hillarycare in 1994; his article is also relevant to Obamacare in 2010. The standard media cliché about the Clinton health plan is that God, or the Devil, depending on your point of view, "is in the details." There is surprising agreement among both the supporters and all too many of the critics of the Clinton health "reform." The supporters say that the general principles of the plan are wonderful, but that there are a few problems in the details: e.g., how much will it cost, how exactly will it be financed, will small business get a sufficient subsidy to offset its higher costs, and on into the night.
Wal-Mart to slash grocery prices (Reuters) - Wal-Mart Stores Inc will cut food prices and mount a new ad campaign over the next six weeks, a threat to other U.S. grocers that sent an industry shares index down more than 2 percent on Friday. A Morgan Stanley analyst first reported the world's largest retailer's plan, calling it a major setback for other U.S. grocers, and the company confirmed the promotions in an email. "While this helps address Walmart's traffic woes, we view this as a major setback for the grocery stocks, which have been rallying on hopes of a return to more rational pricing," Morgan Stanley analyst Mark Wiltamuth wrote in a note on Friday.
US-NATO “Strategic Concept”: Global Warfare CT News - ConspiringTimes.com Missile Shield And Nuclear Weapons The civilian chief of the world’s only, and history’s first self-proclaimed global, military bloc is having a busy month. Via: Global Research – North Atlantic Treaty Organization Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen delivered an address in Washington, DC on February 23 on the military alliance’s new 21st century Strategic Concept along with U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, her predecessor twice-removed Madeleine Albright and National Security Adviser James Jones, the last-named a former Marine Corps general and NATO Supreme Allied Commander.
Fury as Google puts the SAS's secret base on Street View in 'very serious security breach' By DAILY MAIL REPORTER -- Military chiefs and MPs blasted internet giant Google today after its Street View service included detailed pictures of the headquarters of the SAS. Internet users can peer around the entrance to Credenhill, Herefordshire, which has never before appeared on maps for security reasons. The base is even marked as 'British SAS' on the website and offers users a detailed 180 degree view of the perimeter boundary. MPs and military top brass have demanded Google removes the pictures, claiming it makes the SAS a target for terrorist attacks.
Spy in the sky that sees round corners CT News - ConspiringTimes.com WHY jump in a cab to “follow that car” when an airborne drone could do the job for you? The US Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency is developing a radar system which sees around corners and down into “urban canyons”. DARPA hopes to be able to track vehicles across an entire city using just a few uncrewed aircraft. NEW SCIENTIST - Traditional radar relies on direct line of sight, so it’s tricky to track a vehicle that keeps nipping behind buildings. But DARPA believes that by using buildings as mirrors, it will be possible to identify a target vehicle from radar reflections. The experimental system is called Multipath Exploitation Radar
Trading Day : March 18, 2010: China in a Mess Chinese economic bubble is built with DEBT and is likely to burst. Guess they figured if we could do it and prosper, then they could as well. Stay tuned, . . . we'll see how well they fair with nobody buying their debt.
Chinese Official’s Threat Sets Off a Media Furor By SHARON LaFRANIERE and JONATHAN ANSFIELD - NYTimes.com BEIJING — In another era, the brusque response of Li Hongzhong, the governor of Hubei Province, to a reporter’s question about a scandal on his home turf might have been the end of it. Infuriated that the reporter would even ask about the case — in which a waitress at a karaoke bar killed a government official in self-defense — he threatened to go to her boss, seized her audio recorder and marched off, according to reports of the encounter.
Google in China: we're closing tomorrow By Rupert Neate - NYTimes.com Google will tomorrow set out plans to close down its Chinese search engine after refusing to comply with China’s strict censorship laws. The company is expected to announce the closure of google.cn by as early as April 10 after the Chinese government refused to acquiesce to demands that it stop self-censorship of the site. It is understood that Google will continue to operate other services in the country and will maintain its research and development operations. The technology giant surprised the multi-billion pound digital industry in January when it told China that it would pull out of the country unless it was allowed to present uncensored search results.
China Technology Rules Hurt U.S. Companies as Google Exit Looms March 22 (Bloomberg) -- China’s new rules to encourage home-grown technology are causing U.S. companies to lose sales, according to an American Chamber of Commerce survey released today in Beijing. Twenty-eight percent of 203 members responding to the survey said they are losing business because of the policy. Among technology companies, 37 percent of 49 respondents said their businesses were being hurt now, with 57 percent predicting they would be set back by the new regulations.
China vs the US - The Battle For Oil
On the Edge with Max Keiser - 19 March 2010 - (1/3)
On the Edge with Max Keiser - 19 March 2010 - (2/3)
On the Edge with Max Keiser - 19 March 2010 - (3/3)