Weekday NEWS to Comfort the Disturbed and Disturb the Comfortable.
What on earth's going on in the gold market? Logic suggests that the gold price should be riding much higher than it is at present – what is keeping it down?
Author: Lawrence Williams - Mineweb.com
LONDON - The gold market has been denying all logic. Virtually everything which is happening in the global economy suggests that the price should be rising – and probably rising fast, yet it has been unable to move out of a trading range of between around $1680 - $1750 – and every time it nears the top of this range it gets knocked back again. It certainly has made some weak holders pull out of the gold market altogether, while other half believers are beginning to find the call from gold experts that they should use the dips as buying opportunities frustrating to say the least – and they may fall out of the market too.
What In The World Are Barack Obama
And John Boehner Thinking?
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicColapseBlog.com
Barack Obama and John Boehner both seem absolutely determined to drive U.S. government finances off a cliff. The mainstream media would have you believe that there are vast ideological differences between the two of them and that they are bitter enemies, but that is simply not the case. Both of them say that tax increases are "necessary", but they disagree over the details. Both are seeking about a trillion dollars of spending cuts and about a trillion dollars of new "revenue", but they don't see eye to eye on how to get there. But overall, they are both definitely playing in the same ballpark. And those numbers certainly do sound impressive until you realize that they are talking about a time span of ten years. Personally, I would love to see federal spending cut by a trillion dollars this year. But that will never happen. A trillion dollars over the course of a decade breaks down to about 100 billion dollars per year. That still sounds like a lot of money until you put it up next to the trillion dollar deficits that we have been running for four years in a row. Even if somehow those spending cuts turned out to be real (which they aren't), they would still only put a very small dent in our yearly budget deficits.
Republicans threaten fiscal cliff 'plan B'
as deal with White House takes shape Boehner proposes bill that would prevent tax rises for Americans earning less than $1m in move to put pressure on Obama
By Ewen MacAskill in Washington
and Dominic Rushe in New York - Guardian.co.uk
Republicans in Congress went on the offensive over the fiscal cliffnegotiations on Tuesday, threatening to unilaterally introduce a plan B before the end of the year to prevent tax rises for anyone earning less than $1m a year.
The House Republicans are proposing to introduce a speedy bill that would enshrine these proposals.
White House rejects Boehner 'Plan B'
with threat of tax hikes looming
The White House on Tuesday rejected House Speaker John Boehner's call for a fall-back option to avert the looming fiscal crisis, in a move the speaker's office said "defies common sense."
The feisty exchange came as both sides crept toward a possible middle ground in private talks. But underscoring the differences that remain, the White House resisted Boehner's bid to craft a "Plan B" just in case those talks fail to yield a compromise before a Jan. 1 deadline -- that's when taxes are set to rise on everyone, followed by a wave of spending cuts.
S&P upgrades Greek credit rating and sets outlook to stable Ratings agency Standard and Poor's has notched up the credit rating on Greece's sovereign debt by more than it expected following the nation's successful bond buyback program me.
By Denise Roland - Telegraph.co.uk
S&P ratcheted the credit rating on the troubled eurozone nation's government debt up six notches from 'standard default' to 'B minus' following the successful completion on Monday of its bond buyback programme - one grade higher than expected.
The agency lowered Greece's credit rating from CCC to 'selective default' after Athens invited bondholders to participate in a series of debt buyback auctions on December 3, saying it expected restore the rating on completion of the programme.
Japan's Shinzo Abe prepares to print money for the whole world Japan's incoming leader Shinzo Abe has vowed to ram through full-blown reflation policies to pull his country out of slump and drive down the yen, warning Japan's central bank not to defy the will of the people.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The profound shift in economic strategy by the world's top creditor nation could prove a powerful tonic for the global economy, with stimulus leaking into bourses and bond markets - a variant of the "carry trade" earlier this decade but potentially on a larger scale.
"We think this could be the beginning of a fresh reflation cycle for the global system, combining with the US recovery to mark a turning point in the crisis," said Simon Derrick from BNY Mellon.
Libor scandal: More than 30 UBS bankers
'to be implicated in rate rigging' Authorities are this week expected to say that more than 30 bankers and managers at Swiss banking giant UBS were involved in the alleged rigging of the key Libor interest rate.
By Garry White - Telegraph.co.uk
The Swiss bank is also set to reveal on Wednesday that it will pay a $1.5bn (£926m) fine to regulators in the UK, US and Switzerland. The bank's Japanese securities unit is also expected to plead guilty to a US criminal offence, but it is not expected to lose its licence to operate in the country.
The fine follows an agreement between UBS and regulators such as the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, US Department of Justice, UK's Financial Services Authority and UBS's main Swiss supervisor Finma.
Paul Krugman: China's Economic Growth May Kill Us All
By Joao Peixe - OilPrice.com
Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize winning economist and New York Times columnist, believes that China is a great example of human success. The speed and power of its economic growth, and its contribution to the development of new technologies are shining examples of what humanity is capable of; however, at the same time, China's success could kill the planet.
"If you worry about climate change and stuff like that, then China is -- Chinese growth is a wonderful human success story that could kill us all," he stated at a recent New York Times DealBook conference.
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNORS ASSOCIATION ATTACK KOCH BROTHERS
by BEN SHAPIRO - Breitbrt.com
Today, the Democratic Governors Association sent out a blast email suggesting that higher taxes on high-income earners was justified because it would target the Koch brothers. This is how low the left now stoops: they think that hurting the economy is fine, so long as those most hurt are opponents of President Obama. Here's the text:
Republicans lost the 2012 election, but you wouldn't know it based on their attitudes this week.
John Boehner and Congressional Republicans rejected outright President Obama's proposal to avoid across-the-board tax hikes on all Americans. Boehner is willing to hold the middle class hostage to protect the wealthiest 2% -- people like the billionaire Koch brothers, who spend millions of dollars every year attacking Democrats.
Pensions and personal savings
Hugo Salinas Price - Plata.com.mx
The idea has taken hold in the West and is spreading to what are called the "emerging economies" that pensions are a right to which all old people are entitled.
This is a fairly new idea, little more than a hundred years' old. The Iron Chancellor of Germany, Otto von Bismarck introduced this idea in Germany in 1890.
Perhaps a strictly disciplined government might be able to assist its elderly citizens with modest pensions and include these in a balanced budget, but as yet we haven't seen any such government anywhere.
The Death Of America's Middle Class
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
There is one chart that everyone should see that is part of Reuters' must read special series: The Unequal State of America: Redistributing Up - it is the chart we have said over the past 4 years is the only one that matters for America - that showing the flattening of America's wealth distributon Gaussian curve, aka the plunder and accelerating destruction of America's middle class, at the expense of the poorest and the wealthiest. This is nothing but the inevitable outcome of a co-opted, conflicted and controlled marionette government, which does the bidding of the wealthiest lobby powers (read corporate shareholders and Wall Street), partitioning the bulk of the wealth to the richest, while sending the scraps to the poorest in order to keep itself in power due to the power of the ever poorer, democratic majority. Alas, since there is never a free lunch, and since the Fed does not create wealth but through its currency debasement merely accelerates the transfer of wealth, someone ends up footing the bill? Who? None other than that part of the US population which made the United States of America the greatest country in the world, and is now watching it implode first slowly, then fast.
Is a decline in midlevel jobs hurting the U.S. recovery?
By Jonathan Spicer
NEW YORK | Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:44pm EST
(Reuters) - Some economists and U.S. Federal Reserve policymakers worry that a declining market for middle-skilled jobs exacerbated unemployment during the Great Recession and is now hurting the recovery.
But a new paper on "job polarization" from the Boston Federal Reserve Bank punches some holes in that theory. Among other things, it finds that the disappearance of midlevel jobs is not behind the troubling mismatch between the skills workers have and the skills employers seek.
Unions Take a Swing at Democracy Left-wingers get violent when they lose
By Edwin J. Feulner - PatriotPost.us
"This is what democracy looks like!"
That's a popular protest chant among liberals. It could be heard at many "Occupy" gatherings. It's a staple at union-backed protests.
We all know that in a democracy, sometimes things go your way and sometimes they don't. The big question is, how will you react?
Why Have Lumber Prices Risen 45% This Year? Why lumber prices are up 45% this year and could rise further
By Matt Phillips, Quartz
We've told you before: If you are betting against the US economy without taking note of the strengthening in the US housing market, you are asking for trouble. Evidence du jour: Lumber prices.
Yesterday they hit a six-year high, with prices returning to levels last seen duringthe boomiest days of the housing boom in 2006. Check it out:
Fast Food Scrooge:
McDonald's Asks Franchisees to Open on Christmas
By Rick Aristotle Munarriz, The Motley Fool - DilyFinance.com
It's not just retailers pushing to get their employees on the clock during the holidays.
Now, McDonald's (MCD) is turning heads by asking its franchisees to open on Christmas Day.
"Ensure your restaurants are open throughout the holidays," McDonald's USA COO Jim Johannesen wrote in a memo before Thanksgiving that was published by Advertising Age.
Many franchisees complied, breaking from tradition by opening on Thanksgiving. Now the company wants to make sure that they are flipping burgers and scooping fries on Dec. 25, too.
OVERNIGHT HEALTH: Medicare and the cliff
By Sam Baker and Elise Viebeck - TheHill.com
Medicare may be off the table in deficit talks, at least for the moment. Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) latest offer to President Obama calls for tax increases on families making more than $1 million per year, but it wouldn't raise the Medicare eligibility age right away. That change could be on the table next year as part of an agreement on tax and entitlement reform, perhaps to avert the spending cuts in the "fiscal cliff."
"It's an issue for discussion, but I don't believe it's an issue that has to be dealt with between now and the end of the year," Boehner said Tuesday.
House Democratic leaders soften opposition
to Social Security cuts
By Mike Lillis - TheHill.com
House Democratic leaders have softened their blanket opposition to Social Security cuts in a "fiscal cliff" package despite anger from rank-and-file members of their conference.
Democratic leaders expressed an open mind after President Obama proposed the cuts in his latest deficit offer to Republicans, with some saying they'd support Social Security reductions if the proposal protects the most vulnerable beneficiaries.
Aspirin Use May Raise Risk of Age-Related Eye Disorder
By Nicole Ostrow - Bloomberg.com
Older adults who use aspirin regularly for 10 years or more may have an increased risk of developing an age-related eye disorder that can lead to vision loss, a study found.
The risk of having wet age-related macular degeneration was about twice as high for those who regularly took aspirin a decade before researchers detected it in an eye exam compared with those who didn't take the medicine, according to research today in the Journal of theAmerican Medical Association.
Longmont, CO, said, "No!" to Fracking Colorado City Sued by Oil Industry Group for Fracking Ban By Andrew Harris - Blomberg.com
The Colorado Oil & Gas Association sued the City of Longmont to overturn a voter-approved ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, to extract oil and gas from sand and shale formations.
The industry group, in a complaint filed yesterday in state court in Greeley, Colorado, claims the resolution deprives land owners of property-development rights and conflicts with state law allowing the practice.
California to Require Disclosure 10 Days Before Fracking
By Bradley Olson - Bloomberg.com
California regulators will require oil and natural gas companies to disclose plans to use hydraulic fracturing 10 days in advance, under draft regulations released today.
If the regulations are adopted, the Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources will post well locations three days before fracturing begins, according to a statement posted on the agency's website today. The state doesn't currently require companies to reveal fracking plans.
By Thomas Sowell - PatriotPost.us
Must every tragic mass shooting bring out the shrill ignorance of "gun control" advocates?
The key fallacy of so-called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law-abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available.
If gun control zealots had any respect for facts, they would have discovered this long ago, because there have been too many factual studies over the years to leave any serious doubt about gun control laws being not merely futile but counterproductive.
Michigan Governor Kills Bill Allowing Concealed Guns in Schools
By Chris Christoff, Tim Higgins & Esmé E. Deprez - Bloomberg.com
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that would have allowed concealed guns in public schools, just four days after a man broke into a Connecticut elementary school and shot 20 pupils to death.
The 54-year-old Republican killed the measure, approved by the legislature less than 24 hours before the Newtown killings, primarily because it didn't allow day-care centers, hospitals and other public entities to opt out, according to a letter sent to the state Senate.
By Cal Thomas - PatriotPost.us
Trying to explain an evil act like the one that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., is on a par with explaining how the universe was formed.
The natural human reaction after extending sympathy and prayers for the victims and their families is to ask what actions might have been taken to prevent the massacre. More gun laws? Connecticut already has some of the strictest gun laws in the nation. Those laws did not prevent a man with evil intent from carrying out his heinous act.
Connecting other dots… hmmmm. URGENT UPDATE on Connecticut Shooting
By SUSAN SHANNON- CHRISTIAN - Short Little Rebel
Friends, there is a gift that God has given me: I can smell something fishy a mile away. Like Benghazi. Almost on day one, I told my husband: "The facts don't make sense. Something is wrong here." Last night, after I saw a talking head interview (or, I should say, NOT interview) the father of the boy who saw his teacher get shot and ran for his life with a couple of friends, I told my husband, "Something is not right here. She didn't ask a single relevant question. So far, this boy is the only eye-witness of the gunman coming forward. She didn't ask if the boy saw one or more shooters. She didn't ask any details of what the gunman did first, second, third. She didn't ask for a description of the gunman. These reporters are complete prostitutes. They could care less about the feelings of the people they interview. So why didn't she ask any of these questions?" In fact, I could tell she was biting back questions. I looked at my husband and said, "Cal, this thing is starting to stink. By now, there should be many eye-witness accounts of the actual gunman. There should be breathless survivors talking about how this guy walked by their room, etc. About how they narrowly escaped. But so far, it looks like every single eye-witness is dead. That is IMPOSSIBLE!"
Riddle me this: Adam Lanza, 'computer genius,'
left no online footprint
by Lori Price - LegitGov.org
According to numerous media reports and witnesses, alleged Newtown, Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza was a 'genius' with computers. And yet, we are told that Lanza apparently left no online footprint. The question must be asked: Was the electronic history of Adam Lanza scrubbed?
Many articles, including witnesses' accounts, have described Adam Lanza's advanced skills with computers, a skill-level common with Asperger's sufferers. Indeed, many computer hackers have Asperger's syndrone -- Adrian Lamo, Ryan Cleary, and Gary McKinnon, for example. And yet, Adam Lanza 'left no online footprint?'
Reporter Is First To Tell Adam Lanza's Father
of Connection to Shooting
By Daniel Politi - Slate.com
While the world watched news of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary unfold, it seems Peter Lanza only found out about his connection to the tragic events several hours later. Moments after police left Peter Lanza's home in Stamford, Conn., around 40 miles from Newtown, Conn., where the shooting took place, Adam Lanza's father drove up in a blue Mini Cooper. The Stamford Advocate's Maggie Gordon was waiting outside and when she introduced herself as a reporter she was immediately surprised he didn't seem to realize why a reporter would want to talk to him.
Fear of being committed
may have caused Connecticut gunman to snap
By Jana Winter - FOXNews.com
NEWTOWN, Conn. – The gunman who slaughtered 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school may have snapped because his mother was planning to commit him to a psychiatric facility, according to a lifelong resident of the area who was familiar with the killer's family and several of the victims' families.
Adam Lanza, 20, targeted Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown after killing his mother early Friday because he believed she loved the school "more than she loved him," said Joshua Flashman, 25, who grew up not far from where the shooting took place. Flashman, a U.S. Marine, is the son of a pastor at an area church where many of the victims' families worship.
Lawmakers Vow Tougher Gun Laws
as Obama Weighs Next Steps
By Phil Mattingly & Jonathan D. Salant - Bloomberg.com
President Barack Obama would support legislation restoring a ban on assault weapons and requiring background checks of buyers at gun shows as steps toward preventing more mass shootings, his spokesman said today.
Obama also would consider backing restrictions on high- capacity ammunition magazines like the one used by the gunman who killed 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school, White House press secretary Jay Carney said.
Boehner calls for GOP 'discussion' on guns
By Molly K. Hooper and Mike Lillis - TheHill.com
Republicans need to "have a discussion on guns" in the wake of last week's grade-school massacre in Newtown, Conn., Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told his conference Tuesday.
Speaking to his troops at a closed-door meeting in the Capitol, Boehner was mindful of conservatives' traditional opposition to new gun restrictions, emphasizing that Republicans wouldn't do "anything knee-jerk," according to a lawmaker in the room.
4,200 COLORADANS BUY GUNS DAY AFTER SANDY HOOK
by WILLIAM BIGELOW - Breitbart.com
Unlike what leftists believe, when a tragedy like the Newtown massacre occurs, Americans don't want to ban guns, they want tobuy guns. In Colorado on Saturday, one day after the shootings in Connecticut, there were so many gun-purchase background check requests that it set a one-day record.
Colorado thought the previous record of 4,028 background checks set on Black Friday after Thanksgiving this year would stand for a while, but it was broken by the 4,200 requests on Saturday.
How guns became gadgets—lightweight, easy to use,
and more effective than ever
By Christopher Mims - Quartz
It doesn't take more than a few hundred dollars and a trip to a Wal-Mart in the US to create an assault rifle identical to the one used to murder 27 people in an elementary school last Friday. Under laws that have been on the books since gangster Al Capone proved the devastating capacity of machine guns, Americans can't buy fully automatic rifles. But the action on modern assault rifles is so smooth that one can still fire four shots a second, simply by squeezing the trigger as quickly as possible. You only have to reload every 20 shots, or 30 with a bigger magazine. Owing to the design of modern bullet magazines, reloading only takes a few seconds.
President Obama to push assault weapons ban in second term
By Justin Sink - TheHill.com
President Obama will "actively support" efforts by Democrats to reinstate a federal ban on assault weapons next year, the White House announced on Tuesday.
Press secretary Jay Carney said the president would back Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) when she introduces legislation at the opening of the next Congress to ban certain assault weapons in the United States.
Gun sales surge across US after Newtown
amid fears of crackdown From Oregon to Connecticut, gun shops reported soaring sales over the weekend as national attention returns to gun control
By Chris McGreal - Guardian.co.uk
Karl Durkheimer is more coy than might be expected of a man with a pistol on his hip.
Durkheimer's gun shop looks to have enjoyed record sales of semi-automatics – "modern sporting rifles", as he calls them – and handguns at the weekend. But he doesn't want to talk specific numbers.
Nor is he terribly keen to speculate on the causes of the sudden demand. But he acknowledges that it probably has everything to do with a man killing two people with an assault rifle last week in a Portland shopping mall less than 10 minutes drive away, and Friday's massacre of 20 small children and seven adults on the other side of the country in Connecticut.
Obama to back Feinstein's assault weapons bill
as gun control gains steam After earlier vague promises on gun legislation, spokesman says president supports restricting clips and closing loopholes
By Ewen MacAskill - Guardian.co.uk
Barack Obama hardened up his commitment to imposing restrictions on gun ownership on Tuesday, with the White House promising to support a bill to ban assault weapons of the type used in the Newtown school shootings.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama supported reinstating the ban, which was first introduced in 1994 but was allowed to lapse in 2004 by the Bush administration.
NRA to 'push back' soon, schedules news conference
By James Rosen - FOXNews.com
Amid the tidal wave of shock and grief that followed the mass murder at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., the gun-control lobby immediately launched a well-coordinated campaign to pressure Congress and the Obama administration into enacting stricter regulation of guns and rifles.
These forces -- led by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, D-N.Y., and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif. -- had the playing field largely to themselves.
That is soon to change.
The Case For $150 Oil… (In 2013)
By Matt Insley | DailyReckon.com
If you thought the Middle East was a powder keg before, just wait till you see what could be on tap for 2013.
There's mounting proof that shows the whole region could be headed down a one-way path to disaster. As you'll see, this could be the short fuse that sends oil to a brand new all-time high.
That said, let's head where most analysts won't. Here's the case for $150 oil, in 2013…
Mayan apocalypse mania grips Russia Officials try to calm fears as Russians buy up emergency supplies before the Mayan calendar runs out on Friday
By Miriam Elder in Moscow - Guardian.co.uk
The apocalypse is surely near when Ramzan Kadyrov emerges as the voice of reason.
The ruthless leader of Chechnya is among dozens of Russians officials, priests, doctors and psychiatrists aiming to calm an anxious populace frantically preparing for the end of the world later this week.
"People are buying candles saying the end of the world is coming," Kadyrov said in comments published on his official website last week. "Does no one realise that once the end of the world comes, candles won't help them?"
The Mayan apocalypse:
why is everyone in such a fever about it? Well, if the world really is coming to an end on Friday 21 December, you can see their point. On the other hand, there seem to be a few people trying to make money out of impending doom
The Guardian.co.uk Age: As old as idiocy itself. Appearance: Back-garden bunkers, tinned food and, eventually, embarrassment. Is this about Friday? It is indeed. Specifically, the moment on Friday when the whole world comes to a fiery, watery or in some other way unpleasant and cataclysmic end. As predicted by the Mayans? Actually, as predicted by absolutely no Mayan prophecies ever, but by quite a few very silly people who aren't aware that when a calendar comes to an end – even an ancient Mayan one – you just need to pop out and buy a new calendar. And they've gone feverish in anticipation? You could say that. In fact, you could say a mile-high tidal wave of apocalypse fever is sweeping across the planet as we speak.
15 Signs That The Ring Of Fire Is Waking Up
As We Head Into 2013
By Michael Snyder - EndOfTheAmericanDream.com
While most of the world has been focused on other things, the Ring of Fire has been quietly waking up. Over the past couple of months, there has been a steady string of noteworthy volcanic eruptions and earthquakes that have occurred along the perimeter of the Pacific Ocean. But because none of them have happened near a highly populated area, we really haven't heard much about them in the news. But if activity along the Ring of Fire continues to increase, it is inevitable that a major event will happen near a major city at some point. When that happens, the entire world will be focused on the Ring of Fire once again. Most people don't realize that approximately 90 percent of all earthquakes and approximately 75 percent of all volcanic eruptions occur along the Ring of Fire. The entire west coast of the United States sits along the Ring of Fire and a massive network of faults runs underneath California, Oregon and Washington. Fortunately, the west coast has not experienced any devastating seismic events in recent years, but scientists assure us that will change at some point. So it is important to sit up and take notice when there are reports of increasing activity along the Ring of Fire.
Palestinians flee to Lebanon
after jet bombs Syria's largest refugee camp PLO officials say Assad regime's attack marks 'historic moment' with former ally as 50,000 Palestinians expected from Yarmouk
By Martin Chulov in Beirut - The Guardian
Thousands of Palestinians in Syria are fleeing Damascus after an attack on the country's largest refugee camp, according to survivors who have reached Lebanon.
Some of those who have made it to the relative safety of Beirut claim the attack marks a "historical moment" in the Syrian war that has shattered the regime's claim to be a patron of resistance against Israel.
Israel sees new US poise, including military, to curb Iran
By Dan Williams
JERUSALEM | Tue Dec 18, 2012 8:31am EST
(Reuters) - U.S.-led efforts to curb Iran's nuclear program have resumed since President Barack Obama's re-election and include preparation for possible military action, a senior Israeli official said on Tuesday.
The remarks by Vice Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon suggested cautious optimism at prospects for an international resolution to the decade-old standoff with Tehran, though Israel says it remains ready to attack its arch-foe alone as a last resort.