This Gold Strategy Is About To Payoff…
Matt Insley - SilverBearCafe.com
Gold dropped $30 yesterday, $60 in the past three days, $110 in the past month, and $130 in the past three months…
Before you ask "Hey! What the heck is happening!?"
Let's take a step back and take a look at the big picture…
It seems like just last week we were discussing the future direction for gold.
Wait a second. It WAS last week when we were discussing the future direction to gold! Luckily with that"best time to buy gold" discussion in our back pocket we can frame this week's downward pressure on gold.
U.S. Secret Service Bans Certain Gold and Silver Coins on eBay
BY JON MATONIS - FinancialSense.com
eBay was contacted by the U.S. Secret Service sometime last month to remove the Liberty Dollar precious metal coins. Citing consistency with eBay's general policy of not listing counterfeit items, eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore confirmed the ban with Coin World. The following email was sent to affected sellers when the systematic removals began:
"The United States Secret Service has requested the removal of all Norfed Liberty dollars on the eBay site as counterfeits. … Please do not relist this item(s). We appreciate that you chose to list this coin on our site and understand there was no ill intent on your part. Your listing fees have been credited to your account."
Will 2013 Bring Financial Reform?
By Simon Johnson - Slate.com
Here's an odd prediction for the coming year: 2013 will be a watershed for financial reform. True, while the global financial crisis erupted more than four years ago, and the Dodd-Frank financial reforms were adopted in the United States back in 2010, not much has changed about how Wall Street operates—except that the large firms have become bigger and more powerful. Yet there are reasons to expect real progress in the new year.
The U.S. Federal Reserve is finally shifting its thinking. In a series of major speeches this fall, Gov. Dan Tarullo made the case that the problem of "too big to fail" financial institutions remains with us. We need to take additional measures to reduce the level of systemic risk—including limiting the size of our largest banks. News reports indicate that the Fed has already started saying no to some bank mergers.
Grand Bargain Shrinks
as Congress Nearing U.S. Budget Deadline
By Derek Wallbank - Bloomberg.com
The deal that seems possible to fix the U.S. budget is getting smaller and smaller.
Five days before a deadline that would trigger more than $600 billion in tax increases and spending cuts that could cause a U.S. recession, Congress will return Dec. 27 amid calls for action in the Senate.
The politics of progress there are easier than in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, which balked last week at Speaker John Boehner's plan for tax increases on income above $1 million. Still, the House would have to sign off next. Boehner and President Barack Obama have been unable to agree on the tax-rate increase on top earners Obama wants or the cuts to entitlement programs that Boehner sought, complicating the chances of getting a package done.
Stop-gap fix most likely outcome of "fiscal cliff" talks
By Richard Cowan and Fred Barbash
WASHINGTON | Sun Dec 23, 2012 12:49am EST
(Reuters) - The "fiscal cliff" deadline is days away and the U.S. Congress and President Barack Obama have left town for Christmas.
But even if they were still here, it wouldn't have mattered, according to Steny Hoyer, the second-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives. He says they were going nowhere to resolving the disagreement over how to fix the nation's fiscal problems.
The Fed and Interest Rates – The Details
By CULLEN ROCHE - PragCap.com
Dr. Krugman has another good smackdown of the inflationistas on his blog today. But his explanation is lacking in the details that definitively prove the inflationistas wrong. So let's round out the details.
First, the Fed sets rates by manipulating rates HIGHER. This isn't the case sometimes. It is the case ALL THE TIME. If the Fed didn't set the rate on reserves by paying interest (as they do today) the banking system would be flooded with reserves and the rate would naturally be driven down to zero as banks would attempt to get rid of these reserves in the overnight market. Because the banking system as a whole cannot control the amount of reserves, the process inevitably ends at zero. That is, the overnight rate is zero without Fed intervention. So, the Fed ALWAYS manipulates rates HIGHER in trying to achieve an interest rate target. And it does so by manipulating the amount of reserves or by setting a floor on the rate as they do today via IOR (interest on reserves). So, get over the whole "Fed manipulation" meme. The Fed always manipulates rates higher.
Big Ben's Ghost of QE Past, Present, and Future
By GE Christenson - GoldSilverWorlds.com
It was the best of times; it might be the worst of times.
Dollar bills glide effortlessly to the ground, dropped from the giant QE machine in the sky. All is quiet, all is calm. There is peace on earth, well, at least in Washington D.C. and on Wall Street. And then with a horrible crash, another Mortgage Backed Security (MBS) explodes and collateral damage spreads far and wide.
Cut to three am in the Big Ben bedroom. A ghost appears amid the sound of Hope and Chains and carries the sleeping Head of The Fed to a land far away. The Head of the Fed wakes to the sound of his own voice saying, "The impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained." and "we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system."
Gloomy predictions as Washington approaches the 'fiscal cliff'
Brad Knickerbocker - SilverBearCafe.com
It's still possible that the 'fiscal cliff' with its automatic tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts can be avoided. But the clock is ticking toward Jan.1, and most lawmakers are pessimistic.
The New Year may be more than a week off, but realistically Congress and the White House have less than that as the clock ticks toward the "fiscal cliff" with its automatic tax increases and across-the-board spending cuts that could throw an already-weakened economy into a tailspin.
Say Goodbye To The Good Life
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Will this be the last normal holiday season that Americans ever experience? To many Americans, such a notion would be absolutely inconceivable. After all, in the affluent areas of the country restaurants and malls are absolutely packed. Beautiful holiday decorations are seemingly everywhere this time of the year and children all over the United States are breathlessly awaiting the arrival of Santa Claus. Even though poverty is exploding to unprecedented levels, most families will still have mountains of presents under their Christmas trees. Of course a whole lot of those presents were purchased with credit cards, but people don't like to talk about that. It kind of spoils the illusion. Sadly, the truth is that our entire economy is a giant illusion. The extreme prosperity that we have been enjoying has been fueled by debt, and any future prosperity that we will experience is completely dependent on our ability to go into even more debt. The total amount of debt in our economy is almost 10 times larger than it was just 30 years ago, but we don't like to think about that too much. Most Americans are way too busy living the good life to be bothered with "doom and gloom". Well, get ready to say goodbye to normal. As history has shown us, no financial bubble lasts forever, and time is rapidly running out for us.
What's Behind The Muni Sell-Off?
By Matt Tucker, ISharesBlog.com
As fiscal cliff negotiations come down to the wire, one asset class that has been sought as a relative safety play – municipal bonds – is coming under fire. With the recent deterioration in muni prices, my team has been fielding a number of questions from clients who are wondering what's behind the selloff.
Uncertainty around taxes in 2013 is certainly one of the key drivers. President Obama's most recent proposal lowers the value of many tax deductions and tax breaks – including the tax-exempt status of munis – for high income households. As changes to the tax treatment of munis seemed less likely in the fall, the latest market move is an unpleasant holiday surprise for many investors. Prior to this development, munis had been a benefactor of fiscal cliff concerns. For example, the iShares National AMT-Free Muni Bond ETF (MUB) has seen $250mm in inflows since November 1st, partially due to investors believing munis would remain tax-free in the midst of a variety of proposed tax hikes or limitations in deductions.
Dealers Tighten Treasuries Grip as New Fed QE3 Suppresses
By Cordell Eddings - Bloomberg.com
The world's biggest bond dealers are growing more reluctant to give up their record holdings of Treasuries, providing support for a rally in the world's most- liquid debt market that is entering its fourth year.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and the rest of the 21 primary dealers of U.S. government securities have reduced the amount of bonds they offered to the Federal Reserve to average of $8.04 billion a day in the past two weeks, from the $11.6 billion in September 2011, when the central bank began its Operation Twist stimulus program, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. At the same time, Wall Street's holdings of Treasuries more than doubled since March.
The Beltway's Most Exclusive End-of-Year List
By KATHERINE ROSMAN - WSJ.com
When a select group of Washington, D.C., power brokers wants to identify the best books, films and albums of the year, they don't look to national newspapers, magazines or other bibles of the cultural cognoscenti.
They pore—and sweat—over a painstakingly drawn-up list that is crafted annually since 1999 by Drew Littman, a 51-year-old technology-industry lobbyist from Rockville, Md. About 80 people are selected by Mr. Littman to receive and respond via email to his compilation, known to many around the nation's capital simply as "The List."
Greeks Can't Find Euros to Buy Heating Oil This Winter
By Oliver Staley - Bloomberg.com
In the Greek mountain town of Kastoria, less than an hour from the Albanian border, Kostas Tsitskos, 88, can't afford fuel to heat his home against the winter's cold. So he and his son live in a single bedroom, warmed by a small electric heater.
"One room is enough," said Tsitskos, who lives on a 734 euro-a-month ($971) pension and doesn't have the 1,000 euros a month he needs to buy heating oil.
Shoppers' frugality hurts retailers' bottom line
By Candice Choi and Mae Anderson, AP - WashingtonTimes.com
NEW YORK — Shoppers who waited until the final days before Christmas were rewarded with big bargains and thinner crowds. But their strategic deal hunting reflects why stores may not ring up the sales they had hoped for.
Analysts expect growth from last year to be relatively modest. Several factors have dampened shoppers' spirits, including fears that the economy could fall off the "fiscal cliff," triggering tax increases and spending cuts early next year.
The Season of Our Disillusionment
By Susan Zakin - Truthdig.com
During the December holidays I feel the urge to watch old black and white movies, preferably those starring Jimmy Stewart. This year, "It's a Wonderful Life" is too painful, a reminder of what we used to be but aren't anymore. I prefer screwball comedies like "The Philadelphia Story" with its sympathy for alcoholics and philanderers, and schizophrenic alternation between class rage and craven worship of old money.
In "The Philadelphia Story," Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn play an upper crust couple who, though divorced, still love each other. Hepburn almost, but not quite, falls for Stewart, a writer from a modest background. Every time Hepburn waxes nostalgic about the sailboat Grant designed for their honeymoon, the True Love, she murmurs in that wonderful Connecticut lockjaw, "My, she was yare." This means, in boat language, fast, agile and resilient. When she says this, my eyes brim with tears along with hers.
Public sours on what 2013 will bring
Posted by Peyton Craighill - WashingtonPost.com
Public expectations about the year ahead are bleaker than they've been in more than a decade, with Republicans leading the way in adopting gloomier outlooks, according to anew Washington Post-ABC News poll.
A bare 53 percent majority of all Americans are "hopeful" about their lives in 2013; some 44 percent say they are instead more "fearful." The assessment about what's in store for the world is even more grim: a record low 40 percent report being hopeful about the next year, with 56 percent saying they are more fearful.
Poll: Americans more worried about future
By Meghashyam Mali - TheHill.com
As Americans head into 2013, a new poll shows the public much less optimistic about what the future holds than they were four years ago at the start of President Obama's first term.
A Washington Post/ABC News poll released Saturday shows that 53 percent of Americans say they are "hopeful" about what the new year holds in store for them personally. Forty-four percent, however, characterize their mood as "fearful."
Freddie Mac buys $62.5 billion in mortgages
By C M Lynski - HousingWire.com
Freddie Mac bought $62.5 billion worth of loans in November, up from $50 billion in purchases in October. The agency saw its mortgage portfolio increase at an annualized rate of 3.6% in November, according to its monthly value summary report.
The government-sponsored enterprise modified 6,622 loans in November, compared to 6,988 in October.
The unpaid principal balance on Freddie's mortgage-related investment portfolio decreased by $6 billion in November.
Is The US Government going to Seize Retirement Accounts?
RumorMail - SilverBearCafe.com
The National Deficit, along with the lack of demand for Treasury Bonds, leaves the government with no other option! And what you don't know can hurt you!
Goldworth Financial first uncovered the early blueprint of the US Government's plot to seize retirement accounts in early 2009.
Since that time, they have come up with 9 Basic Questions that expose the people behind this plan.
1. Who's behind the plot to confiscate retirement accounts?
The US government takeover of private retirement accounts is a concept first drawn up by Teresa Ghilarducci, who was funded by the White House, the Ford Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation. President Obama's 2008 presidential run proposed the "Automatic IRA," which has now evolved into Ghilarducci's "Guarantee Retirement Accounts (GRA's)" concept.
25 Facts That The Mainstream Media
Doesn't Really Want To Talk About Right Now
By Michael Snyder - EndOfTheAmericanDream.com
For decades, the mainstream media in the United States was accustomed to being able to tell the American people what to think. Unfortunately for them, a whole lot of Americans are starting to break free from that paradigm and think for themselves. A Gallup survey from earlier this year found that 60 percent of all Americans "have little or no trust" in the mainstream media. More people than ever are realizing that the mainstream media is giving them a very distorted version of "the truth" and they are increasingly seeking out alternative sources of information. In the United States today, just six giant media corporations control the mainstream media. Those giant media corporations own television networks, cable channels, movie studios, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, publishing houses, music labels and even many prominent websites. But now thanks to the Internet the mainstream media no longer has a complete monopoly on the news. In recent years the "alternative media" has exploded in popularity. People want to hear about the things that the mainstream media doesn't really want to talk about. They want to hear news that is not filtered by corporate bosses and government censors. They want "the truth" and they know that they are not getting it from the mainstream media.
Online sales tax bill likely dead for 2012
By Brendan Sasso - TheHill.com
Supporters of an online sales tax are unlikely to get a vote on their bill during this session of Congress.
Christina Mulka, a spokeswoman for Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), said the bill is unlikely to come up this year. Durbin plans to re-introduce the measure during the next session of Congress, she said.
"It's no secret that time is running out," said David French, the top lobbyist for the National Retail Federation, which supports the legislation.
Detroit nears deadline from state over finances
By Andrea Billups-The Washington Times
LANSING, Mich. — Time ticks for the city of Detroit as its burgeoning fiscal crisis and its dispute with the state likely will come to a head soon.
According to news accounts and analysts, the city will see either a state-appointed emergency financial manager early in the New Year or a new consent agreement to give it continued control but tighter deadlines to restructure its finances.
Federal workers feel unease
over potential layoffs, furloughs unleashed by 'fiscal cliff'
By Lisa Rein - WashingtonPost.com
Federal employees have been skeptical for months that the biggest cuts to government spending in history could really happen. But with the "fiscal cliff" a week away, workers are now growing increasingly alarmed that their jobs and their missions could be on the line.
President Obama and members of Congress headed out of town late last week for a Christmas break without reaching a deal to avoid $110 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts, which would hamstring operations ranging from weather forecasting and air traffic control to the purchase of spare parts for weapons systems. So civil servants are bracing for the blow, wondering whether their work will be upended — and whether they may be forced to take unpaid days off.
As Florida goes, so goes nation of aging communities
Baby boomers lead the way into an uncharted era
By Luke Rosiak-The Washington Times
KILMARNOCK, Va. — More than a half-century after the baby boom, echoes shake the nation.
The first boomers are now 66, the number of people younger than 45 has declined in most states over the past decade, and the 2011 birthrate was the lowest on record, at nearly half the 1957 rate. The divide between the population needing care and the working adults who do the earning and caring worsens each year.
The Politics of Gun Control
Or how the Republicans have become
the New York Jets of political Washington.
By JED BABBIN - Sppectator.org
The Newtown, Connecticut massacre of children has changed the gun control debate to an extent no other event has in decades. One of the reasons it has had such an effect is that it came at the time when liberals are at the height of their power and conservatives — and Republicans — are at their lowest ebb. It also came at a time when the maneuvers between House Speaker John Boehner and President Obama over solving the "fiscal cliff" crisis fell apart, leaving Boehner severely weakened.
The Newtown children hadn't even been buried before the usual gun control liberals were demanding another "assault weapons" ban. California Democrat Sen. Dianne Feinstein hit the Sunday shows two days after the massacre advancing a new version of the ban she'd authored in 1994. Chuckie Schumer, Nanny Bloomberg, and the rest were up in verbal arms, demanding that DiFi's approach — or something more restrictive — be adopted forthwith. Nancy Pelosi wanted the House to pass immediately a ban on magazines holding more than ten rounds.
Ron Paul breaks with NRA on armed guards in nation's schools
By Jonathan Easley - TheHill.com
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) rejected a call from the National Rifle Association to put armed guards in schools on Monday, saying in a statement on his website that "government security is just another kind of violence."
"Do we really want to live in a world of police checkpoints, surveillance cameras, metal detectors, X-ray scanners, and warrantless physical searches?" Paul wrote.
Wayne LaPierre: Gun control 'not going to make any kid safer'
Posted by Aaron Blake - WashingtonPost.com
National Rifle Association head Wayne LaPierre said Sunday that gun control measures, including an assault weapons ban, won't do anything to to prevent mass shootings like the recent elementary school killing in Newtown, Conn.
"I know this town wants to argue about gun control," LaPierre said Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," adding: "It's not going to work. It hasn't worked."
The "glue" that makes us all average, normal, and clueless
By Jon Rappoport - SilverBearCafe.com
Tragic events, crises, threats are designed to capture our minds and hold us in a state of emergency, whether or not such a state is officially declared by our august leaders.
This "glue" is one aspect of the Matrix.
And of course, when events seem to threaten our very existence, these leaders are all too eager to enact responses and solutions that make the original crises pale by comparison.
We couldn't be blamed for defining "solution" as "whatever is worse than the problem."
UN determined to dictate American policy.
UN votes to reopen talks on arms-trade treaty opposed by NRA
By Jonathan Easley - TheHill.com
The United Nations General Assembly on Monday voted to reconsider an international treaty to regulate the global arms trade, a measure opposed by the nation's largest gun-rights lobby.
The move could intensify another high-profile fight between the administration, which backs the treaty, and the National Rifle Association (NRA) which says it will restrict the domestic sale of firearms.
The Final Battle
By Chris Hedges - Truthdig.com
Over the past year I and other plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg have pressed a lawsuit in the federal courts to nullify Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). This egregious section, which permits the government to use the military to detain U.S. citizens, strip them of due process and hold them indefinitely in military detention centers, could have been easily fixed by Congress. The Senate and House had the opportunity this month to include in the 2013 version of the NDAA an unequivocal statement that all U.S. citizens would be exempt from 1021(b)(2), leaving the section to apply only to foreigners. But restoring due process for citizens was something the Republicans and the Democrats, along with the White House, refused to do. The fate of some of our most basic and important rights—ones enshrined in the Bill of Rights as well as the Fourth and Fifth amendments of the Constitution—will be decided in the next few months in the courts. If the courts fail us, a gulag state will be cemented into place.
An Elite That Still Reject Him
Tolerating Jesus only if he's not the Son of God.
By J.T. YOUNG - Spectator.org
Christmas reminds us that, to some of our "elite," Jesus' ultimate "crime" remains unchanged. Though two thousand years separate them, some members of the liberal elite of our own day, just as were the elite of his, are unwilling to accept Jesus admitting to being God.
In Chapter 22 of his Gospel, St. Luke recounts Jesus being brought before the High Council in Jerusalem. The following exchange sealed his fate:
"You are the Son of God, then?" they all said, and he replied, "It is you who say I am." They said, "Need we call further witnesses? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips."
Bethlehem celebrates first Christmas
since UN recognition of Palestine
Festivities mark 'birth of Christ
and birth of state of Palestine', patriarch tells crowds
By Harriet Sherwood in Bethlehem - Guardian.co.uk
Deep in the Grotto of the Nativity, where a 14-point silver star set into a marble slab marks the spot where Jesus is believed to have been born, the atmosphere of spiritual serenity seemed a world away from the swirling, and occasionally fractious, Christmas Eve crowds above.
Midnight mass at St Catherine's was the finale to a day of celebration and ceremony in Bethlehem, boosted this year by being the first Christmas since the United Nations recognised the state of Palestine last month and the Nativity church was named a world heritage site by the UN's cultural arm, Unesco, in June.
Report finds Antarctic thaw is twice as bad as anyone thought
New research reveals that original climate estimates were based on faulty data
By OLIVER DUGGAN - Independent.co.uk
Temperatures in the western part of Antarctica are rising almost twice as fast as previously believed, adding to fears that continued thaws are causing sea levels to rise, according to comprehensive research published this week.
In a discovery that raises new concerns about the effects of climate change on the South Pole, the average annual temperature in the region has risen by 2.4C since the 1950s, three times faster than the average around the world.
North Korea could have U.S. within missile range, says South
By Ju-min Park
SEOUL | Sun Dec 23, 2012 7:56am EST
(Reuters) - This month's rocket launch by reclusiveNorth Korea shows it has likely developed the technology, long suspected in the West, to fire a warhead more than 10,000 km (6,200 miles), South Korean officials said on Sunday, putting the U.S. West Coast in range.
North Korea said the December 12 launch put a weather satellite in orbit but critics say it was aimed at nurturing the kind of technology needed to mount a nuclear warhead on a long-range missile.
Israel approves another 1,200 settlement units
Plan brings total approvals to 5,500 in just over a week as right urges Binyamin Netanyahu to drop two-state solution pledge
By Peter Beaumont - Guardian.co.uk
Israel has given the green light for the fast-track development of a further 1,200 settlement units around Jerusalem. It brings the total number of new approvals to 5,500 in just over a week, the largest wave of proposed expansion in recent memory.
The latest plan, which would see almost 1,000 new apartments built over Jerusalem's green line in Gilo, comes as the Israeli media is reporting mounting pressure on the prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, to drop his commitment to a two-state solution from his platform for re-election in January.
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