Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
Gold to hit above $1,900/oz by year end: HSBC
LONDON (Commodity Online): Gold prices to rally above $1,900 by year-end, based on the likely impact of easy monetary policy, said HSBC Holdings plc (HSBC), a British multinational bank, in a commodities briefing.
According to the British bank, it remains bullish on gold, maintaining a forecast for an average price of $1,760 for 2012. Gold prices have closely tracked shifts in monetary policy expectations this year, rallying in anticipation of any easing and falling when this receded.
Does Gold Keep Up In Hyperinflation?
BY JEFF CLARK - FinancialSense.com
Inflation is a natural consequence of loose government monetary policy. If those policies get too loose, hyperinflation can occur. As gold investors, we'd like to know if the precious metals would keep pace in this extreme scenario.
Hyperinflation is an extremely rapid period of inflation, but when does inflation (which can be manageable) cross the line and become out-of-control hyperinflation? Philip Cagan, one of the very first researchers of this phenomenon, defines hyperinflation as "an inflation rate of 50% or more in a single month," something largely inconceivable to the average investor.
• In developed markets, there is a serious debt problem, and inflation is one of the only "solutions" we see as likely to occur.
• We see a secular rise in global commodities prices – with some cyclical dips – as the middle class expands in emerging markets in the years ahead, consuming more commodities.
• Structuring portfolios in an attempt to guard against high inflation should be a central element of any investment strategy. The core asset, in our view, is developed market inflation-linked bonds (ILBs), such as Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities (TIPS) in the U.S.
Silver to double over next few years
NEW YORK (Commodity Online): The silver prices could potentially double over the next few years and the white metal investment is actually a better choice for investors over gold right now, said Stephen M Smith, the managing member at Smith McKenna.
Smith continued that, "Silver has very large ties to industrial uses and is heavily influenced by supply and demand. Because of this and the constant advancements for its applications, investing in silver now before the global manufacturing machine kicks into overdrive, means higher potential gains by investors."
Back to the 1930s: the hammer, sickle and swastika
By Aristides Hatzis - FT.com
Ten days before Greece's elections, a member of the neo-nazi party, Golden Dawn, repeatedly hit a female candidate of the communist party while appearing live on a television talk show and threw water over a female candidate of the radical left Syriza. The communist had just called him a "bloody fascist" and he addressed her as a "commie". Greek elites (journalists, intellectuals, politicians) condemned his violence almost unequivocally. Yet the ugliest part of this incident was the readiness of many lay people to defend him, even cheer him, while the neo-nazis rose in the polls.
The Filthy Stinking Rich Are Creating Their Own Economy
By Derek Thompson - TheAtlantic.com
What's there to say about an economy where $190,000 cars sell like hot cakes and half-price Mercedes can't find a buyer? Or where $5,000 earrings can't sell, but $58,000 gold bracelets won't stay in stock?
The ultra-rich have practically bought themselves out of the normal economy, Bloomberg reports, while the rest of the top 10% (those making between $150,000 and $250,000) exhibits the same anxiety and trepidation as the rest of the country.
A Brief Primer on the European Crisis
John P. Hussman, Ph.D. - HussmanFunds.com
With Greek elections resulting in a fairly benign outcome that promises to hold the euro together in the near-term, the market may enjoy some amount of relief. The extent and duration of that relief will be informative. Based on broader factors, we don't expect that relief to survive very long, but we are willing to respond more constructively if our own return/risk measures become more favorable.
Forget The Election Results -
Greece Is Still Doomed And So Is The Rest Of Europe
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
The election results from Greece are in and the pro-bailout forces have won, but just barely. It is being projected that the pro-bailout New Democracy party will have about 130 seats in the 300 seat parliament, and Pasok (another pro-bailout party) will have about 33 seats. Those two parties have alternated ruling Greece for decades, and it looks like they are going to form a coalition government which will keep Greece in the euro. On Monday we are likely to see financial markets across the globe in celebration mode. But the truth is that nothing has really changed. Greece is still in a depression. The Greek economy has contracted by close to 25 percent over the past four years, and now they are going to stay on the exact same path that they were before. Austerity is going to continue to grind away at what remains of the Greek economy and money is going to continue to fly out of the country at a very rapid pace. Greece is still drowning in debt and completely dependent on outside aid to avoid bankruptcy. Meanwhile, things in Spain and Italy are rapidly getting worse. So where in that equation is room for optimism?
Keiser Report: City of Biggest Crooks (E302)
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss Libor traders who rigged global interest rate market escaping charges while Iceland sentences bankers to four year prison terms. At the same time, Iceland's central bank is raising interest rates to deal with a growing economy while Western bankster-riddled economies prepare for another round of money printing to deal with all the fraud. In the second half of the show Max talks to Brett Scott about financial activism, a Wikileaks for finance and collaboration with hedge funds.
It's the Euro, Stupid: The Roots of the Euro-Zone Crisis Europe is in a hole, and it won't stop digging.
By Gilles Bransbourg - TheDailyBeast.com
There are two stories of the birth of the euro: an "immaculate" conception and a worldly one. The latter is, as one would expect, rather more exciting. Although the idea of a European monetary union had been floated by Eurocrats in the 1970s and '80s, in the belief that it would hasten European economic and political integration, the key moment occurred on Dec. 8, 1989. The Berlin Wall had just collapsed. With West Germany pressing for almost immediate German reunification the traditional balance of power inside the European Community was threatened. Keen to avoid what he perceived as an excessively resurgent Germany, the late French president François Mitterrand preconditioned his support of German reunification on the swift adoption of a common currency. Why? Because it would dilute German sovereignty.
G20 ramps up pressure on Europe over debt crisis
By Luke Baker and Krista Hughes
(Reuters) - World leaders pressured Europe on Monday to take ambitious new steps to resolve its debt crisis after a victory for pro-bailout parties in a Greek election failed to calm markets or ease worries that wider turmoil could derail the global economy.
The world's major industrialized and developing economies were set to urge Europe to take "all necessary policy measures" to resolve a crisis that has now raged for over two years, according to a draft communiqué seen by Reuters that was prepared for a Group of 20 summit in this Mexican resort town.
Winners scramble to form Greek government... Antonis Samaras begins urgent Greece coalition talks
The leader of the party that narrowly won Greece's election has begun urgent talks to form a coalition, saying he wants to forge a "national consensus".
New Democracy's Antonis Samaras met leaders of the other two largest parties, but no deal on a coalition has yet been announced.
Mr Samaras says he will seek changes in the terms of a bailout agreement reached with the EU and IMF.
Market responses to the poll result were mixed and bank stocks plummeted.
Right Now In Greece
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
While the market is finally figuring out what was obvious about 12 hours ago, that even if, and that is a big IF because Pasok has made it clear it will not join ND outright, there is some coalition government formed it will most likely last all of a few weeks before the whole charade has to be repeated once more as the entire plan is to keep Greece without a government as its last assets are plundered via the Greek "rescue vehicle", events in Greece are once again going through their preset moves. Below, courtesy of Athens News is what is happening in the Greek capital today. Needless to say, if the headline comes that Samaras is unable to form a government, watch out below.
The Greek drama that just won't end The last thing the EU needs right now is for Greece to miss key deadlines under terms of its bailout -- it may be less painful to simply give the ailing country a little more time.
By Cyrus Sanati - Fortune.CNN.com
FORTUNE -- The results of the Greek election over the weekend may have eurozone champions and Wall Street breathing a sigh of relief, but the political and economic troubles within Greece and the rest of the eurozone remain firmly in place. Even if the victorious so-called "pro-bailout" parties were to form a government of national unity, Greece will continue to experience major economic difficulties, which will prevent it from ever living up to the terms of its 240 billion euro bailout.
The Bang! Moment Is Here
BY JOHN MAULDIN - FinancialSense.com
....We know that money is simply flying out of Greek banks. A number of them are clearly insolvent, yet they are meeting demands for withdrawals. Where is the cash coming from? The answer is in the form of yet another acronym from Europe, called the ELA. Is there a limit to this largesse? And politicians are becoming rather snarky (short-tempered, critical, testy, irritable, freaked-out – you fill in the word) with each other. This is what happens when crisis-weary politicians face yet another Greek tragedy, but this time perhaps it will hit even closer to home. Is there anyone left anywhere who has not grown tired of reading about Greece? I am tired of writing about them, yet if we are to understand the sturm und drang,the storm and stress, of Europe, we must begin there. Because, unlike Las Vegas, what happens in Greece most definitely does not stay in Greece.
Relieved Europe hints at more time for Greece
By Stephen Brown and Dina Kyriakidou
(Reuters) - Euro zone paymaster Germany, relieved at a narrow election victory for Greece's pro-bailout parties, signaled on Monday it may be willing to grant Athens more time to meet its fiscal targets to avert a catastrophic euro exit.
But financial markets' relief that the 17-nation European currency area had avoided plunging deeper into crisis was quickly overtaken by concern about unresolved problems in Greece, the lack of a comprehensive plan for the euro zone as a whole and weakness in the world economy.
Biderman On Europe: "Germany Must Say No To Greece, Spain, & Italy"
by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
After offering his condolences for the loss today of Dan Dorfman, Charles Biderman, of TrimTabs, takes the Greeks (and Germans) to task. Charles remains long-term bearish on European stocks (and the big US banks). Greeks, it appears from Charles perspective, want to stay in the Euro but on easier terms. This, at first glance, perplexes the less-than-sanguine Sausalitan, given the disastrous economic situation they remain in. However, on reflection, Biderman realizes that the simple fact is that the Greeks like the ability to borrow money to pay their bills and even better, never having to repay the loan - which makes perfect sense. If the Germans are willing to keep lending to Greece, even if most goes to repay old loans, then Greeks keep gettingsome new cash - which would disappear if the Greeks left the Euro.
Euro Remains Lower As G-20 Leaders Discus Europe Crisis
By Monami Yui and Mariko Ishikawa - Bloomberg.com
The euro remained lower after declining yesterday before Group of 20 leaders meet in Mexicofor a second day amid concern that Europe's financial crisis is spreading and hurting global growth.
Demand for the 17-nation euro was limited as Spain prepared to sell bills today after the nation's borrowing costs soared to a euro-era record. Australia's dollar halted a three-day advance before the Reserve Bank releases minutes of its June meeting when it cut interest rates for a second straight month. In the U.S., the Federal Reserve begins a meeting today amid prospects policy makers will consider taking further steps to spur growth.
Europe's darkest cloud hangs over Italy If borrowing rates in Italy continue to rise, it would need extraordinary help from the European Central Bank to keep its debt market from collapsing -- a move that could destroy the euro.
By Cyrus Sanati - Fortuen.CNN.com
FORTUNE -- There is so much turmoil in Europe right now, it's hard to know where to focus. It looks like Greek voters have given the pro-bailout New Democracy party a slim lead according to early returns on Sunday, while Spanish 10-year bond yields hit a euro record high of 7% last week, an ominous level that prompted Greece, Portugal and Ireland to seek costly and humiliating sovereign bailouts. But amid all of this, Europe's biggest problem may actually be Italy. The country is simply too big to bail.
Why the Euro Zone Should Be Terrified of the Greek Election How the anti-euro party lost the Greek election
and won the future in Europe.
By Matthew O'Brien - TheAtlantic.com
It only took 2200 years for Greece to give us something even more crippling than a Pyrrhic victory. That's a New Democracy victory. I know, I know. It's an ungainly phrase. But none the less apropos.
A quick recap. On Sunday, everybody's favorite past time returned. Greek democracy held world capitalism hostage -- or so the story went. The latest election pitted the mainstream conservative party New Democracy against the more radical leftist party Syriza. Nominally, New Democracy was the "pro-bailout" party and Syriza the "anti-bailout" party. The reality was a bit more complicated. Both wanted to stay in the euro. But both wanted to, ahem, renegotiate the so-called Memorandum that outlined the latest austerity agreement. New Democracy wanted to tinker at the margins. Syriza wanted to rip the whole thing up. Markets worried that Germany would kick Greece out of the euro -- setting off bank runs across the continent -- if Syriza won and tried to play hardball.
Dithering Europe is heading for the democratic dark ages A Greek economy run by Brussels will ignore the lessons of history, leading to more misery, writes Boris Johnson.
By Boris Johnson - Telegraph.co.uk
It is one of the tragic delusions of the human race that we believe in the inevitability of progress. We look around us, and we seem to see a glorious affirmation that our ruthless species of homo is getting ever more sapiens. We see ice cream Snickers bars and in vitro babies and beautiful electronic pads on which you can paint with your fingertip and – by heaven – suitcases with wheels! Think of it: we managed to put a man on the moon about 35 years before we came up with wheelie-suitcases; and yet here they are. They have completely displaced the old type of suitcase, the ones with a handle that you used to lug puffing down platforms.
Euro crisis far from over, stock analysts warn
By PAUL WISEMAN and JOSHUA FREED - AP Business Writers
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A slim victory for the main conservative party in an election in Greece should relax fears that a country will stop using the euro for the first time and possibly unleash global financial turmoil.
But when it comes to Greek politics - and European economic policy - it's never that easy. So the bumpy ride for financial markets isn't over yet.
The conservative New Democracy party, which supports a bailout agreement Greece agreed to earlier this year, appeared to win enough votes Sunday to form a ruling coalition with another pro-bailout party.
Euro Crisis Shifts To Spain As Merkel Faces G-20 Pressure
By Tony Czuczka and Anastasia Ustinova - Bloomberg.com
Group of 20 leaders focused their response to Europe's financial crisis on stabilizing the region's banks, raising pressure on German Chancellor Angela Merkel to expand rescue measures as contagion engulfed Spain.
As U.S. President Barack Obama called after-dinner talks with euro-area leaders at the G-20 summit in Mexico, the Treasury department's top international negotiator, Lael Brainard, said Europe is making an effort to "break the feedback loop" between banks and government debt, the link that is worsening Spain's woes.
Spain forced closer to precipice
as divisions open among G20 leaders Merkel unwilling to offer Greece concessions
as election victor tries to win rivals' support in Athens
By DAVID USBORNE and PATRICK COCKBURN - Independent.co.uk
Leaders of the world's largest economies, the G20 nations, were drowning not waving at their seaside summit in Los Cabos, Mexico last night, as they struggled to find any kind of coherent consensus on what to do about the eurozone crisis.
The debate in Los Cabos came against a chaotic backdrop in two of the eurozone's most troubled corners.
In Madrid, despite hopes that the Greek election results might bring some stability to the financial markets, the brief positive response rapidly gave way to more fearful selling yesterday as borrowing costs shot upwards. Spanish 10-year bond yields hit their highest levels since the foundation of the single currency at one point in trading, touching 7.28 per cent.
Spain goes to market as debt costs soar
By Paul Day
(Reuters) - Spain is likely to pay record prices to borrow at debt auctions on Tuesday and Thursday after the Greek election failed to ease concerns about the future of the euro zone and amid uncertainty over whether Madrid will need a full sovereign bailout.
The yield on Spanish 10-year bonds hit a fresh high of above 7 percent on Monday as initial relief over the victory of pro-bailout parties in Greece gave way to ongoing fears of deeper problems facing the bloc.
Seven percent is considered too pricey for a country to afford over the long term. Such levels have previously led to bailouts in Greece, Irelandand Portugal.
Spain's debt costs break 7% level
ALAN CLENDENNING , DANIEL WOOLLS - Independent.co.uk
Spain's ability to manage its debt without an international bailout was thrown into doubt Monday after investors pushed its borrowing rates up to the level at which Greece, Portugal and Ireland had sought help.
Investor sentiment improved briefly in the morning as electoral results in Greece suggested the country would not drop out of the euro currency union, a scenario that would have put severe stress on Spain's markets.
Spain pleads for ECB rescue as bond markets slam shut Europe's leaders have vowed to mobilise all possible means to counter the region's escalating crisis after Spain's borrowing costs threatened to spiral out of control.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
Yields on 10-year Spanish bonds surged to a record high of almost 7.3pc as investors ignored the victory of pro-bailout parties in Greece's elections.
The closely-watched two-year yield rocketed by 65 basis points in a matter of hours, signalling a near-total collapse of confidence in Spain's €100bn (£80.3bn) rescue from the EU last week to shore up its banking system.
Cristobal Montoro, the economy minister, warned that Spain is now in a "critical" condition and pleaded with the European Central Bank to act with "full force" to defeat markets hostile to the euro project.
Obama encouraged by talks with Merkel on debt: U.S
By Jeff Mason and Lesley Wroughton;
Additional reporting by Samson Reiny - Reuters.com
(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama was encouraged by talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G20 about European plans to address the debt crisis, White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Monday.
"The two leaders agreed to work closely together, including at this G20, to build support for what needs to be done in Europe and the world to stabilize the situation and support growth and jobs," Carney told reporters in Los Cabos, Mexico.
Greek Coalition Talks Enter Second Day
Amid Merkel Aid Warning
By Maria Petrakis and Natalie Weeks - Bloomberg.com
Greek election winner Antonis Samaras begins a second day of talks to form a coalition after holding "constructive" meetings with two party leaders, racing to forge a government that keeps bailout aid flowing.
Samaras secured initial agreement yesterday from Socialist Pasok leader Evangelos Venizelos, the former finance minister who negotiated the second rescue, and said he'd hold further talks today with Fotis Kouvelis, the leader of the Democratic Left party. If those three team up, they will hold a majority of 179 seats in the 300-member Greek parliament.
G20 summit: Barroso blames eurozone crisis on US banks EC president says European leaders have not come to Mexico to receive lessons on how to handle the economy
By Patrick Wintour in Los Cabos, Ian Traynor in Brussels
and Helena Smith in Athens - Guardian.co.uk
The opening day of the G20 summit was threatening to deteriorate into a fractious row between eurozone countries and other non-European members of the G20, notably the US, as EU commission president José Manuel Barroso insisted the origins of the eurozone crisis lay in the unorthodox policies of American capitalism.
As Europe's leaders came under intense pressure to act decisively to cure the euro's ills, and a campaign gathered pace to relax some of the austerity programmes laying waste to countries with unsustainable debt levels, Barroso said Europe had not come to the G20 summit in Mexico to receive lessons on how to handle the economy. Asked by a Canadian journalist: "Why should North Americans risk their assets to help Europe?" he replied: "Frankly, we are not here to receive lessons in terms of democracy or in terms of how to handle the economy.
French Socialists eye tax rises after big poll win
By Daniel Flynn and Jean-Baptiste Vey
(Reuters) - France's Socialists vowed on Monday to use a resounding victory in weekend parliamentary elections to pursue President Francois Hollande's drive for growth in Europe while sticking to promises to cut the budget deficit, mostly through taxation increases.
Hollande will use a special session of parliament next month to whittle down France's numerous tax exemptions and pass tax rises for large corporations, especially banks and energy firms, in a bid to cut the deficit to within the European Union's 3 percent limit by next year despite a stagnant economy.
As Part Of Its NEW QE Q&A, Goldman Warns
Of Possibility For $50-$75 Billion "Flow" Program
by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
Not like it should come as any surprise that the bank that first among peers "discovered" that flow, not stock matters, implying the Fed may literally never be able to stop monetizing, is expecting the FOMC to "ease monetary policy on June 20", but nonetheless here is the full just released Q&A from Goldman's Jan Hatzius, who just happens to be a Pound and Pence drinking buddy of former Goldmanite Bill Dudley, who just happens to run the New York Fed. Connects the dots. Implicit is that a big dollop of Large Scale Asset Purchases is imminent. That said, if the Fed does disappoint on June 20, and merely extends the maturity of bonds that it will sell as part of a Twist extension from 3 to 4 years, as the bond market appears to be implying (as first warned by Zero Hedge), then all bets are truly off. On the other hand, note where Goldman says: "However, it is also possible that the program would be specified as a "flow" of purchases of perhaps $50bn-$75bn per month." If that happens, gold is going to $2000, $3000, hell, $10,000 very soon, as it means the Fed will not stop printing ever again. Period.
JPMorgan bets sent false signals to wider debt market
By Carrick Mollenkamp and Cezary Podkul
(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co's disastrous bets on corporate debt may have caused unexpected collateral damage: erratic behavior in a barometer that measures the financial health of blue-chip U.S. companies.
Those bets used Wall Street derivatives called credit default swaps. They are supposed to act like homeowners insurance, allowing bondholders, banks and hedge funds to buy protection against declines in the value of corporate debt, and ultimately protection against a default.
* * * * *
Morgan's big secret The coming muni-bond crisis
By Charlie Gasparino - NYPost.com
While the Senate Banking Committee last week spun its wheels trying to get JP Morgan chief Jamie Dimon to admit to something nefarious during testimony about his "London Whale" trading loss, executives at the big bank were concealing a far bigger scandal.
OK, it's no secret that nation's public pension funds are in big trouble, holding large "unfunded" liabilities owed to public workers once they retire. But most politicians (New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is an exception) will tell you the problem is fairly containable, that there are simple fixes — such as raising taxes on the rich or pruning benefits.
Not so, warns a "strictly confidential" report JP Morgan issued last year. It describes in straightforward, frightening detail how underfunded pensions are huge ticking timebombs for many of the nation's big cities and states.
Banks Worry As Breakup Talk Revived After JPMorgan Loss
By Robert Schmidt and Phil Mattingly - Bloomberg.com
Move over too-big-to-fail. Here comes too-big-to-manage.
Congress's inquiry into JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM)'s $2 billion trading loss has reignited the question of whether a bank can grow too large and complex for its own executives to oversee. The banking industry is taking notice that a move to cap the size of Wall Street firms is gaining traction on Capitol Hill.
"There seems to be growing interest in some type of breakup proposal," said Sheila Bair, a former chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.
Dollar Shortage Seen In $2 Trillion Gap Says Morgan Stanley
By Lukanyo Mnyanda, Emma Charlton
and Allison Bennett - Bloomberg.com
Central banks rebuilding foreign- exchange reserves at the fastest pace since 2004 are crowding out private investors seeking U.S. dollars, boosting demand even as the Federal Reserve considers printing more currency.
After falling to an all-time low of 60.5 percent in the second quarter of last year, the dollar'sshare of global reserves rose 1.6 percentage points to 62.1 percent in December, the latest International Monetary Fund figures show. The buying has left the private sector with $2 trillion less than it needs, according to investment-flow data by Morgan Stanley, which sees the dollar gaining 8.2 percent in 2012, the most in seven years.
We've been brainwashed It's no accident that Americans
widely underestimate inequality.
The rich prefer it that way
BY JOSEPH E. STIGLITZ - Salon.com
How, in a democracy supposedly based on one person one vote, could the 1 percent could have been so victorious in shaping policies in its interests? It is part of a process of disempowerment, disillusionment, and disenfranchisement that produces low voter turnout, a system in which electoral success requires heavy investments, and in which those with money have made political investments that have reaped large rewards — often greater than the returns they have reaped on their other investments.
There is another way for moneyed interests to get what they want out of government: convince the 99 percent that they have shared interests. This strategy requires an impressive sleight of hand; in many respects the interests of the 1 percent and the 99 percent differ markedly.
The Economic Police State Government intervention in the economy
destroys wealth -- and freedom.
By JONATHAN HOENIG - SmartMoney.com
Taking a page from the United States, Argentina announced plans last week to stimulate its stagnant economy with no-cost housing loans. The idea is to boost growth by intervening in the supposedly "free" economy. It won't work.
Japan's decades of infrastructure spending, government-sponsored Fannie and Freddie, subsidies for green energy, automaker bailouts and the student-loan bubble itself all show that intervention into the economy destroys wealth.
The only thing government meddling in the economy leads to is further government meddling in the economy.
Falling house, stock prices erode household wealth
By Lucia Mutikani
(Reuters) - Households saw their wealth decline by more than a third between 2005 and 2010 as home values and share prices plummeted, leaving many with weak safety nets to weather a harsh economic environment.
The median household net worth dived 35 percent to $66,740 in the five year period, the Census Bureau said in a report on Monday. However, making comparisons with prior periods is difficult because of inflation adjustment issues.
Writing Off The Elderly
By Paul Craig Roberts - PaulCraigRoberts.org
When neoconservatives, politicians, and high ranking military officers speak of a 30-year war against terrorism, there is no discussion about its affordability or whether the one significant attack (September 11, 2001) that is attributed, perhaps incorrectly, to Muslim terrorists justifies an open-ended war against a dozen countries. There is no discussion of the burden on future generations of the massive increase in the public debt in order to finance today's wars.
Affordability and intergenerational burdens are topics reserved for the discussion of Social Security. Conservatives and libertarians constantly assert that Social Security is unaffordable and decry the intergenerational basis for Social Security retirement.
Occupy Will Be Back
By Chris Hedges - Truthdig.com
In every conflict, insurgency, uprising and revolution I have covered as a foreign correspondent, the power elite used periods of dormancy, lulls and setbacks to write off the opposition. This is why obituaries for the Occupy movement are in vogue. And this is why the next groundswell of popular protest—and there will be one—will be labeled as "unexpected," a "shock" and a "surprise." The television pundits and talking heads, the columnists and academics who declare the movement dead are as out of touch with reality now as they were on Sept. 17 when New York City's Zuccotti Park was occupied. Nothing this movement does will ever be seen by them as a success. Nothing it does will ever be good enough. Nothing, short of its dissolution and the funneling of its energy back into the political system, will be considered beneficial.
All Over America Government Control Freaks
Are Forcing Preppers Back On To The Grid
By Michael Snyder - EndOfTheAmericanDream.com
In recent years there have been huge numbers of Americans that have sought to go "off the grid" and live a more independent lifestyle. It has been estimated that there are now approximately 3 million "preppers" in the United States, and many of them just want to be left alone so that they can take care of themselves and their families on their own land. But that is not the way America works anymore. In many areas of the country, government control freaks have essentially declared war on preppers and are attempting to force them back on to the grid. In some states, "nuisance abatement teams" are conducting armed raids on off the grid properties. Property owners are being cited for "code violations" and are being told that they are "bothering the neighbors". In some cases, trees and gardens are being forcibly removed. In other cases, entire structures are being relocated or torn down. And in the most extreme cases, property owners are actually being forced off of their properties completely by these control freaks. You see, the truth is that in America you don't really own your property. You are essentially renting it, and you can only do with it what the government allows you to do. And the government does not like people disconnecting from the grid and living an independent lifestyle. So these battles over property rights are probably going to get even more intense in the years ahead.
Google reports 'alarming' rise in censorship by governments Search engine company has said there has been a troubling increase in requests to remove political content from the internet
By Dominic Rushe in New York - The Guardian
There has been an alarming rise in the number of times governments attempted to censor the internet in last six months, according to a report from Google.
Since the search engine last published its bi-annual transparency report, it said it had seen a troubling increase in requests to remove political content. Many of these requests came from western democracies not typically associated with censorship.
Apple's iOS 6 Includes 'Government Alerts' 'Presidential alerts' to be mandatory for all cellphone users
Paul Joseph Watson - Infowars.com
Apple's eagerly awaited iOS 6 update for iPhones and iPads will include controversial 'government alerts' that some fear are part of the federal government's takeover of communications networks.
"In compliance with the National Alerting Program, the WEA will be coming to Apple devices that will run on the new mobile OS once it arrives this fall. The iOS 6-compatible devices include iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 4G, iPad 2 and the new iPad. This means that users with older iPhone will be able to receive WEA messages once they upgrade their handset to the new mobile software," reports AMOG.
App Developers Who Are Too Young to Drive
[Google title for free article pass]
By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO - WSJ.com $$
Paul Dunahoo went on a business trip to San Francisco last week, where he attended technical sessions at Apple Inc.'s developer conference, networked with other programmers and received feedback from Apple engineers on his six productivity apps.
Then, Mr. Dunahoo, chief executive of Bread and Butter Software LLC, returned to Connecticut to get ready for the eighth grade.
"It's a very rare opportunity" to be at Apple's conference, said Mr. Dunahoo, who is 13 years old and wears red braces.
Mr. Dunahoo is one of a growing number of teens joining the app-making frenzy. Apple, the app industry's ringleader, is encouraging the trend.
MS Still playing catch-up... Why Today Is a Major Watershed in the History of Microsoft
By Ina Fried - AllThingsD.com
Since its inception, Microsoft has had one strategy when it comes to computers.
The company has created software, and left others to make the chips and hardware it ran on.
Later on Monday, the company will make its biggest-ever break from that tradition. As we've been reporting since last week, Microsoft is set to announce its own brand of tablets as part of an effort to reinsert itself into the market.
Now, it's not like Microsoft is entirely new to hardware. The company has been making things like mice and keyboards forever. Its most successful hardware product, the Xbox 360, is a leader in computer gaming.
Inside Google's Plan to Build
a Catalog of Every Single Thing, Ever There's a lot more to Google's Knowledge Graph than might be apparent from what you see in a casual search.
By Alexis Madrigal - TheAtlantic.com
The ugly truth is that computers don't know anything. They have no common sense.
This idea had been circulating in Metaweb co-founder John Giannandrea's head since 1997 when he was working at Netscape and thinking about how to reveal what you did not know you didn't know on the web. If you were looking at search results for a hiking trail, say, what other hiking trails might you look at? Giannandrea called it "going sideways through the web," and he loved the idea, even if he couldn't execute it back then.
Verizon Raises Prices, Speeds on FiOS Service
By THOMAS GRYTA - WSJ.com
Verizon Communications Inc. raised prices and increased the speeds for its FiOS Internet service, a move aimed at making households pay for rising data needs as more Internet-connected devices land in consumers' hands.
The price increase is expected to raise the portion of a customer's bill that goes toward data, adding approximately $10 to $15 per month. This comes just a week after Verizon Wireless, a joint venture with Vodafone PLC, unveiled new pricing for mobile plans that focuses on subscribers' data usage and will raise prices for many users.
While the bills for wireless users focus on the amount of data used, FiOS customers will pay based on the speed of the data that come into homes. Verizon added that customers may be able to adjust their FiOS TV tiers in order to "pay roughly the same monthly total that they pay now."
An Eye Without an 'I':
Justice and the Rise of Automated Surveillance Automated surveillance allows governments (and others) to data mine the physical world, yet little attention has been paid to the ethics of perpetual recording.
By Ross Andersen - TheAtlantic.com
Over the past decade, video surveillance has exploded. In many cities, we might as well have drones hovering overhead, given how closely we're being watched, perpetually, by the thousands of cameras perched on buildings. So far, people's inability to watch the millions of hours of video had limited its uses. But video is data and computers are being set to work mining that information on behalf of governments and anyone else who can afford the software. And this kind of automated surveillance is only going to get more sophisticated as a result of new technologies like iris scanners and gait analysis.
Yet little thought has been given to the ethics of perpetually recording vast swaths of the world. What, exactly, are we getting ourselves into?
CIA's Hacktivists May Have Had Access to Flame and Stuxnet
By Susanne Posel - Infowars.com
A grand jury in a US District Court in California has indicted Ryan Cleary, suspected member of LulzSec, the CIA backed hacking group, of hacking into websites such as Fox Entertainment, PBS and Sony Pictures Entertainment, as well as into servers run by several hosting firms in the United States. Cleary also is accused of in a couple of distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks.
LulzSec has been linked to Anonymous, which hasmembers of the CIA working in and with the hacktivist group in an attempt by the US government to create a false flag threat that justifies the Obama administration's restriction of American freedoms on the internet.
Global warming: second thoughts of an environmentalist Fritz Vahrenholt, one of Germany's earliest green energy investors, is not convinced that humanity is causing catastrophic global warming.
By Fritz Vahrenholt - Telegraph.co.uk
Scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are quite certain: by using fossil fuels man is currently destroying the climate and our future. We have one last chance, we are told: quickly renounce modern industrial society – painfully but for a good cause.
For many years, I was an active supporter of the IPCC and its CO2 theory. Recent experience with the UN's climate panel, however, forced me to reassess my position. In February 2010, I was invited as a reviewer for the IPCC report on renewable energy. I realised that the drafting of the report was done in anything but a scientific manner. The report was littered with errors and a member of Greenpeace edited the final version. These developments shocked me. I thought, if such things can happen in this report, then they might happen in other IPCC reports too.
New Middle East for Old
BY JR NYQUIST - FinancialSense.com
With financial troubles in many countries, an armed conflict between Iran and the West would be inopportune. President Barack Obama, who seeks re-election this year, hopes for an agreement with Iran. At present, Obama is bending over backward to accommodate the Iranians. He knows what a war in the Middle East might do to gasoline prices, and he knows what gasoline prices might do to his hopes for re-election. Besides Iran, there is also a crisis in Syria where up to 20,000 have been killed in the course of a bloody civil war. The West would like to facilitate an end to the Assad regime, over the objections of Russia and Iran.
Obama, Putin say Syria violence must end, no plan agreed
By Matt Spetalnick and Gleb Bryanski
(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Monday that the violence in Syria has to end but they offered no new solutions and showed no signs of reaching a deal on tougher sanctions against Damascus.
With the bloodshed in Syria getting worse and after a week of Cold War-style recriminations between U.S. and Russian diplomats, the talks at a Group of 20 summit in Mexico tested whether Obama and Putin could forge a working relationship and find common ground.
Sectarian Violence Undermines Syrian Regime
By Juan Cole - Truthdig.com
The Syrian upheaval has gone through several stages. It began with relatively peaceful protests by crowds in a handful of small and medium-size cities outside the large metropolitan areas of Damascus and Aleppo. Severe repression by the national regime led some revolutionaries to turn to guerrilla tactics. The ruling Baath government subjected the quarters held by the Free Syrian Army to heavy artillery and tank assaults. More recently, as the rebellion continued to spread in small towns, the military has provided cover to death squads that have massacred civilians in an attempt to scare them into submission. The most frightening thing about this spiral of ever greater violence and brutality is that some of the now-hardened lines have been sectarian.
Syrian forces pound cities as Obama, Putin meet
By Matt Spetalnick and Erika Solomon
(Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on Monday that the violence in Syria must stop but gave no sign of agreeing on how to do it even as Syrian security forces pounded opposition areas across the country.
Intense artillery fire was reported in Douma, a town 15 km (9 miles) outside the Syrian capital Damascus that for weeks has been under the partial control of rebels who have joined the 15-month-old revolt against President Bashar al-Assad.