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Euro to Beat Dollar? Draghi's Genius
BY AXEL G MERK - FinancialSense.com
Investors have not woken up to it, but last week may have been a game changer. European Central Bank (ECB) President Draghi took tail risks out of the Eurozone, while at the same time forcing closer fiscal integration. He did it all while keeping the ECB out of some political minefields. It's pure genius. The initial market reaction suggested he might have lost a battle, not realizing that he is winning the war.
Dismayed by a dysfunctional process caused by a lack of leadership and the increasing risk of some of the worst case scenarios playing out, we have been staying away from the euro in our hard currency strategy. As of late last week, those dynamics changed: we are giving the euro another chance, not only because of substantial short covering potential, but also because Draghi's "whatever it takes" approach might bring about seismic changes in how European integration, fiscal and monetary policy move forward.
Has The Perfect Moment To Kill The Dollar Arrived?
By Brandon Smith - Alt-market.com
The idea of "collapse", social and financial, comes with an incredible array of hypothetical consequences ranging from public dissent and martial law, to the complete disintegration of infrastructure and the devolution of mankind into a swarm of mindless arm chewing cannibals. In an age of television nirvana and cinema overload, I have found that the collective unconscious of our culture has now defined what collapse is based only on the most narrow of extremes. If they aren't being hunted down by machete wielding looters or swastika wearing jackboots, then the average American dupe figures that the country is not in much danger. Hollywood fantasy has blinded us to the tangible crises at our doorstep.
Four reasons to worry about municipal bonds
By John Wasik
CHICAGO | Mon Aug 6, 2012 2:18pm EDT
(Reuters) - Given the recent scandal over Libor pricing, it's easy to think that municipal bond markets may be the next to be outed for pricing irregularities.
While you shouldn't worry about the majority of high-rated municipal bonds defaulting, there are some serious issues about opaque pricing and dealer profits in this nearly $4 trillion market. If you're in the game, you may not be getting the best deal.
Bernanke boards the happiness bandwagon
By Nin-Hai Tseng - Forbes.com
Our economy is growing, yet many Americans are still struggling. Fed chief Ben Bernanke says we need a better way to measure our well-being.
FORTUNE – Whenever we try to assess the health of the economy, we usually go by data sets that look at large groups, such as Gross Domestic Product, or GDP. But in recent years, a growing number of economists have suggested that GDP might not capture entirely how individuals are doing or what makes their lives better. They say they may need to develop new measures that focus on "well-being" or happiness.
Geithner, Treasury drove cutoff
of non-union Delphi workers' pensions
By Matthew Boyle - DailyCaller.com
Emails obtained by The Daily Caller show that the U.S. Treasury Department, led by Timothy Geithner, was the driving force behind terminating the pensions of 20,000 salaried retirees at the Delphi auto parts manufacturing company.
The move, made in 2009 while the Obama administration implemented its auto bailout plan, appears to have been made solely because those retirees were not members of labor unions.
Fed should buy as many bonds as necessary: Rosengren
By Mark Felsenthal
WASHINGTON | Tue Aug 7, 2012 6:58pm EDT
(Reuters) - A top Federal Reserve official said on Tuesday the Federal Reserve should launch another bond-buying program of whatever size and duration is necessary to get the economy back on its feet, signaling support from some U.S. policymakers for aggressive steps to boost the flagging recovery.
Boston Fed Bank President Eric Rosengren said in interviews with the New York Times and CNBC that the Fed should start buying Treasury and mortgage-backed securities and continue doing so until the economy was back to full strength.
Are regulators doing enough to rein in bank money laundering?
By Danielle Douglas and Joby Warrick - WashingtonPost.com
Regulators are catching flak for not acting sooner to stop banks that helped Iran flout U.S. sanctions. This week, the state of New York said London-based Standard Chartered Bankconcealed $250 billion in Iranian transactions, violations that persisted for nearly a decade.
A number of international banks, including Lloyds, Barclays and Credit Suisse engaged in similar behaviors, but it took years before regulators put their foot down. State and federal agencies routinely audit banks to ensure compliance with anti-money- laundering rules, but institutions continue to skirt the law.
Are High Frequency Traders Rigging the Stock Market?
By Doug Hornig - CaseyResearch.com
High-frequency traders (HFT) have no interest in any company whose stock they're trading.
They don't care about its earnings, what sector it's in, nor who's on the board of directors.
They neither know nor care how it fares in technical analysis, and they don't give a damn about its long-term prospects.
Likely as not, they don't even know its name.
At the end of every day, after trading tens of millions of shares, they don't want a single share of stock on their books at all.
GATA's Chris Powell
on the Silver Manipulation Probe & the Fed Gold Audit!
Another reason to fear the fiscal cliff
By Charles S. Konigsberg @CNNMoney
If Democrats and Republicans fail to figure out a way to avert the fiscal cliff before the end of this year, they are fooling themselves if they think they'll be able to clean up the mess easily when Congress gets back in January.
Some may assume that it will be a simple matter to roll back the tax hikes and un-wind the spending cuts before significant damage is done to the economy. They are wrong.
Obama signs bill requiring White House to detail fiscal cliff
By Erik Wasson - TheHill.com
President Obama on Tuesday signed a law requiring the White House budget office to reveal exactly how automatic budget cuts looming in January 2013 will be carried out.
The Sequestration Transparency Act was passed by the House in July by a 414-2 vote. The Senate approved it unanimously later in the month.
Under last August's debt-ceiling deal, $109 billion in automatic spending cuts are to hit in January to punish politicians for failing to come up with a bipartisan deficit-reduction plan last year as part of the supercommittee process.
Money data hint at a global recovery
Global slump risk falls as world money rebounds
The first green shoots have begun to emerge in money supply data from across the world, raising hopes of a tentative global recovery by later this year.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
Data collected by Simon Ward at Henderson Global Investors show that a key gauge of global money – six-month real M1 – has picked up at last after a drastic slowdown over the early spring.
The combined growth rate for the G7 economies and E7 emerging powers levelled out at 1.6pc in May and rebounded at 2.5pc in June, though China and India are still contracting.
Is Silver Manipulation Case Being Dropped?
By Greg Hunter's USAWatchdog.com
Lots of news out this week about the silver manipulation case being dropped by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) with zero action. The first of several stories was put out by the Financial Times on Monday. FT.com reported, "A four-year investigation into the possible manipulation of the silver market looks increasingly likely to be dropped after US regulators failed to find enough evidence to support a legal case, according to three people familiar with the situation. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission first announced that it was investigating "complaints of misconduct in the silver market" in September 2008, following a barrage of allegations of manipulation from a group of precious metals investors. In 2010, Bart Chilton, a CFTC commissioner, said that he believed there had been "fraudulent efforts" to "deviously control" the silver price. But after taking advice from two external consultancies, the first of which found irregularities on certain trading dates that it believed deserved more analysis, CFTC staff do not have sufficient evidence to bring a case, according to the people familiar with the situation. The agency's five commissioners have not yet formally determined the outcome of the investigation, leaving the possibility that staff could be instructed to dig deeper. A CFTC spokesman said: "The investigation has not reached its conclusion." He declined further comment."
Eric Sprott Interview:
Silver is Suppressed or it Would be $150 an ounce
Eric Sprott has $10 billion under management, and it's no secret Mr. Sprott is a long term bull on physical gold and silver. He says, "I can make a compelling case the price has been suppressed." If it wasn't, Sprott says, "Gold would be $2,500, and if the ratio was 15 to 1, the price of silver would be $150 an ounce." Mr. Sprott also says, "The economy is already taking a cliff dive and that is before we hit the cliff. . . . It's hard to imagine anyone being optimistic going forward here." If there is war in the Middle East, Sprott says, "Oil would go crazy, gold would go crazy, anything physically real would be in demand." Greg Hunter goes One-on-One with Eric Sprott of Sprott Asset Management.
Spain Refuses To Be Bailed Out If There Are New Conditions
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
And so the fly in the ointment arrives as beggars are not only choosers but have completely lost their minds. As we explained very, very clearly over the weekend in "In Order To Be Saved, Spain And Italy Must First Be Destroyed", the market, courtesy of its primary function of discounting being completely and utter distorted and destroyed thanks to central planning, "priced in" the fact that Spain will be bailed out in the only possible way: by making a Spanish bailout next to impossible, sending its bonds so much higher that Rajoy could not possibly see any need in demanding a bailout (something which as Art Cashin explained further today will very much infuriate Obama). Well, as often happens, we may have been ahead of the market by a few days. And reality as well: because as of minutes ago Spain's PM confirmed precisely what we warned against - that by frontrunning Spain's destruction, and hence rescue, it has doomed Spain to a fate far worse.
S&P revises Greece's outlook to negative
(Reuters) - Ratings agency Standard & Poor's on Tuesday revised Greece's outlook to negative, saying the debt-ridden euro zone country could need more help from its international creditors.
"Following delays in implementing budgetary consolidation measures and a worsening Greek economy, we believe Greece is likely to require additional financing for 2012 under the EU/International Monetary Fund (IMF) program," S&P said in a statement.
Marc Faber - CNBC TV 18 - 06 Aug 2012 - World markets
While All Eyes Are on Europe, Japan Circles a Black Hole
By Charles Hugh Smith - OfTwoMinds.com
While all eyes are on the absurdist tragicomedy playing out in Europe, Japan is quietly circling a financial black hole as its export economy is destroyed by its strong currency and the global recession.
There is a terrible irony in export-dependent nations being viewed as "safe havens." Their safe haven status pushes their currencies higher, which then crushes their export sector, which then weakens their entire economy and stability, undermining the very factors that created their safe haven status.
Big Bazooka Theory and Practice
By Bill Bonner - DailyReckoning.com
08/07/12 Paris, France – This message is one of a series. It began when Mario Draghi, former Goldman man and now head of the European Central Bank, promised to do "whatever it takes" to save Euroland.
The issue on the table: whatever does it take to bring a real recovery?
First, whatever it takes, Mario Draghi didn't seem to have it. Or maybe he did. The situation in Europe is so complicated it's hard to tell. So, investors have been fearful one day and cheerful the next. At the beginning of last week they thought all was lost. Then, by the end of the week, stocks were rallying again. The Dow rose more than 200 points on Friday. Yesterday, it still had some forward momentum…going up another 21 points.
'Eurozone endgame - not Armageddon, a blessing'
RT's Laura Smith interviews economist Roger Bootle, who won the Wolfson Prize for developing a practical plan to dissolve the Eurozone.
Gold And Grand Theft Economics
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
The tectonic battle between a market trying to deflate its debts and the central banks attempting to reflate the impaired assets to maintain the status quo is becoming increasingly violent. In a brief clip, Santiago Capital's Brent Johnson explains the fallacy of fiat money, the dynamics of the velocity of money in a 'troubled' economy, the 'we are going to give the banks a lot of money' plans, and the inevitable 'there's no more money' moment when the inflationary and deflationary tremors come unstuck and become shock-waves.There will be no warning, no bell-ringing at the onset of the end of the monetary system itself as he notes the slate of Stability & Growth Pacts (EU) and The Recovery and Reinvestment Act (US) will inevitably be seen as the greatest unauthorized transfer of wealth in history - and being exposed to gold stored outside of the banking system, there is a protected route as the world staggers from tremor to tremor.
US regulators have Britain's
'wild west' bank culture in their sights
Labour MP fears US regulators may targeting 'wild west' culture in City to grab business for New York
By Jill Treanor - Guardian.co.uk
The Labour MP John Mann, an outspoken member of the Treasury select committee, has called for a government inquiry into money laundering, and outlined fears that US regulators have British banks in their sights as they try to shift business from London to New York.
The allegations against Standard Chartered, made on Monday by the little-known New York state department of financial services, also prompted calls by the investment advisory agency Pirc for discussions with top bankers about the industry's ethics.
The Real Story Behind the Knight Capital Trading Fiasco
BY SHAH GILANI, Capital Wave Strategist, Money Morning
Oh, you are going to love this.
That whole Knight Capital fiasco last Wednesday, when a software glitch caused them to flood the market with thousands of unintended orders, it ain't exactly what you think it is.
Sure, they tripped over themselves in the dark pool where they were trying to compete.
But somewhat interestingly (okay, a LOT interestingly), the competitor that drove them to "upgrade" their trading software, which malfunctioned and caused them to actually bid-up share prices erroneously and then buy them at inflated prices, was none other than, wait for it...
Knight Blowup Shows How High-Speed Traders Outrace Rules
By the Editors - Bloomberg.com
The U.S. has the most sophisticated financial markets in the world, yet they can unaccountably spin out of control at a moment's notice.
The latest case involves Knight Capital Group Inc. (KCG), a securities-trading company inJersey City, New Jersey, that was laid low by one of its inadequately tested computer-trading programs. In less than an hour on Aug. 1, the program entered incorrect bids for about 150 stocks into the interconnected electronic marketplace. Computer programs at other firms sniffed out the errors and traded against Knight. By the end of the day, the company was out $440 million, forcing it to seek outside financing to survive.
Dodd-Frank helps big banks at expense of small ones
By C. Boyden Gray - WashingtonTimes.com
Two years after President Obama signed the Dodd-Frank Wall StreetReform Act, it is impossible to ignore the fact that the new regulatory regime primarily helps the big banks while placing its heaviest burdens on community banks and other small financial institutions.
The proof is in the pudding. As the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year, since the 2008 financial crisis, "too-big-to-fail banks got even bigger in terms of both assets and deposits. They also seem to be reaping the lion's share of what business-lending growth there is in the U.S.," particularly in the second half of 2011. That trend points in a dangerous direction: "Less lending among smaller banks signals continued tough times for small businesses, typically an important contributor to economic growth," the Journal's David Reilly explained.
Citi may take $6 billion charge on MSSB valuation: Barclays
(Reuters) - Citigroup Inc (C.N) may have to a take a charge of almost $6 billion in the current quarter on a markdown of its valuation of the retail brokerage business it owns with Morgan Stanley (MS.N), Barclays Capital said.
The third-largest U.S. bank said last month that Morgan Stanley estimates the business, known as Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, is worth less than half as much Citi believes it is.
The disagreement came as Morgan Stanley tried to buy another 14 percent of the joint venture, beyond the 51 percent it owns.
Doug Casey: Governments Are Out Of Control -
August 5, 2012
Financial crisis: 25 people
at the heart of the meltdown – where are they now?
In 2009 the Guardian identified 25 people – bankers, economists, central bankers and politicians – whose actions had led the world into the worst economic turmoil since the Great Depression. On the fifth anniversary of the credit crunch, what are they doing?
By Rupert Neate - Guardian.co.uk
Alan Greenspan, chairman US Federal Reserve 1987-2006
A disciple of libertarian icon Ayn Rand, Greenspan became chairman of the Fed just in time to save the global economy from the 1987 stock market crash from becoming a full-blown disaster. He went on preside over the boom years of the 90s and lead the US economy through the aftermath of the September 11 attacks and was widely referred to as an "oracle" and "the maestro".
But Greenspan's super-low interest rates and consistent opposition to regulation of the multitrillion-dollar derivatives market are now widely blamed for causing the credit crisis. Under Greenspan's tenure the derivatives market went from barely registering to a $500 trillion industry, despite billionaire investor Warren Buffett warning that they were "financial weapons of mass destruction".
The 11 Graphs That Allegedly Prove That the West Is Doomed
By Derek Thompson - TheAtlantic.com
Should Americans just embrace the idea that fast recoveries are a thing of the past?
Economy-watchers have basically spent the last three years coming up with new and more metaphorically-illuminating ways of saying the same thing, over and over: "Things are getting better, but too slowly." In fact, this is what they've been saying for much of the last 30 years. Between 1950 and 1990, private GDP growth in the two years after a recession averaged between 5% and 6%. But the last three recoveries, it averaged only 2.5%.
Sliding Toward a Recession
By Bill Bonner - DailyReckoning.com
08/07/12 Paris, France – "Déjà vu" is a French expression that means…well, you know what it means.
For our purposes, we will use it to refer to the slumpy economy…and to the feds' response. We've see it all before.
"Dans la merde" is another French expression…which refers to where you end up when the feds' undertake to fix it.
But the Dow shot up 217 points last Friday. Gold went up $18. How to explain it?
With Europe on the brink of a blow-up (where it's been for years)…China's economy slowing down dangerously…and much of the rest of the world already in recession you'd expect investors would think twice before buying more stocks. After all, what are stocks? They're shares in real businesses. When those businesses do well, the shareholders should do well. But businesses don't usually do well in a recession.
Standard Chartered and Iran
Banking for the bad guys
By 'Schumpeter' - The Economist.com
IN A bombshell statement New York's Department of Financial Services added Standard Chartered, a British bank, to the rank of financial institutions under siege, calling it a"rogue institution". It accuses Standard Chartered of executing 60,000 secret transactions worth $250 billion for Iranian customers in exchange for "hundreds of millions of dollars" in fees. In a footnote the regulator also says that there is evidence of similar "schemes" with other countries subject to American sanctions, including Libya, Myanmar and Sudan.
Keiser Report: Crooks, Crime, Chaos (E324)
In this episode, Max Keiser and Stacy Herbert discuss jihadi bots gone wild while the President of the United States was pumping and dumping Facebook stock. Max and Stacy also discuss what the first ever Predator droned American may mean to Goldman Sachs' bottom line as the banks begins collateralizing crime and recidivism. In the second half of the show, Max Keiser interviews burning banks artist Alex Schaefer about his recent arrest for chalking the words, 'crooks,' 'crime' and 'chaos' in front of a Chase Bank in Downtown Los Angeles. The eight hours in jail means that the artist Alex Schaefer has done more time than any bankster since the financial crisis began.
Bipartisan Internet sales tax bill
would hurt small businesses, critic says
By Betsi Fores - DailyCaller.com
Wyoming Republican Sen. Mike Enzi calls it the "most overlooked tax loophole," but critics say mandating Internet sales tax collection would place a significant burden on small businesses.
Several bills pending in Congress to close the so-called "loophole" would set aside the Quill standard that the Supreme Court established in 1992. The ruling established the precedent that only companies with a physical presence in a state need to collect online sales tax for purchases in that state.
Reversing the Negative View of Reverse Mortgages
By Alicia Munnell - SmartMoney.com
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), an agency created under the Dodd-Frank legislation (and whose creation I applaud), recently released a report on reverse mortgages. The report is quite negative — in my view, excessively negative — and the press summaries omit many of the nuances of the original document, which makes it sound even more negative than it is. Reverse mortgages, which allow homeowners to tap their home equity, are instruments that many Americans are going to need in order to have any chance of a decent retirement. To the extent that flaws exist in the reverse mortgage market, they need to be fixed. But a future without reverse mortgages would be a very grim one indeed. (Full disclosure: I am an investor in and a member of the Board of Directors of Longbridge, a start-up company that has been formed to provide reverse mortgages in a socially responsible fashion.)
U.S. Food Prices 2013:
Jeremy Grantham Warns of Coming "Dystopia"
BY BEN GERSTEN, Associate Editor, Money Morning
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on July 25 issued a report warning every American that U.S. food prices in 2013 will rise 3%-4% -- but that jump is just the start of a frightening long-term trend.
The warm weather in the winter months gave farmers hope for a great crop production this year, but a crippling U.S. drought now covers around 60% of the continental United States. The water shortage has killed crops, pushed corn prices higher, and will eventually make its way to your local store shelves.
Forget zombies: Phantom jobs are really scary
By John Crudele - NYPost.com
I'm still waiting for a reasonable explanation from the Labor Department on why it decided that so many brand-new businesses were suddenly creating so many new jobs in July.
If you missed it, I analyzed Labor's latest employment numbers last Saturday and found that its total of 163,000 new jobs for July included 52,000 phantom jobs.
The phantom jobs, contained under Labor's somewhat arcane and usually overlooked Birth/Death Model, are nothing new. The Birth/Death Model allows Washington to guess at the number of jobs created or lost in the crevices of society where they are hard to prove.
Michigan to lay off 400 unemployment workers
By Tami Luhby @CNNMoney
NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Many jobless claims workers in the state of Michigan will soon be filing for unemployment themselves.
About 400 state workers who process unemployment claims are losing their jobs thanks to Michigan's improving economy.
The state had beefed up its staff with more than 175 temporary workers in early 2009, when weekly jobless claims topped 500,000 and the unemployment rate was on its way to a 14.2% peak.
Why Are Young People Ditching Cars for Smartphones?
For cash-strapped twenty-somethings, staying connected may be worth more than a set of wheels.
By Jordan Weissmann - TheAtlantic.com
Youth culture was once car culture. Teens cruised their Thunderbirds to the local drive-in, Springsteen fantasized about racing down Thunder Road, and Ferris Bueller staged a jailbreak from the 'burbs in a red Ferrari. Cars were Friday night. Cars were Hollywood.
Yet these days, they can't even compete with an iPhone -- or so car makers, and the people who analyze them for a living, seem to fear. As Bloomberg reported this morning, many in the auto industry "are concerned that financially pressed young people who connect online instead of in person could hold down peak demand by 2 million units each year." In other words, Generation Y may be happy to give up their wheels as long as they have the web. And in the long term, that could mean Americans will buy just 15 million cars and trucks each year, instead of around 17 million.*
By Jeffrey Tucker - DailyReckoning.com
08/07/12 Auburn, Alabama – Growing up in the Cold War, we tended to look at Russia as a nightmare slave society that was utterly and completely foreign to anything Americans knew or could possibly know, absent some kind of invasion.
If I were to summarize the American propaganda message of the time it would be this: We are free, they are not, and that's why we are rich and they are poor. And, man, did they look poor to our eyes. I could never understand it: How the heck does a once-great people put up with a government that is so obviously and apparently driving the whole population down, year after year?
Dr. Paul Craig Roberts speaks
to Hesham Tillawi about Obama Stimulus plan
For Unpaid College Loans, Feds Dock Social Security
More retirees are falling behind on student debt, and Uncle Sam is coming after their benefits.
By ANNAMARIA ANDRIOTIS - SmartMoney.com
It's no secret that falling behind on student loan payments can squash a borrower's hopes of building savings, buying a home or even finding work. Now, thousands of retirees are learning that defaulting on student-debt can threaten something that used to be untouchable: their Social Security benefits.
According to government data, compiled by the Treasury Department at the request of SmartMoney.com, the federal government is withholding money from a rapidly growing number of Social Security recipients who have fallen behind on federal student loans. From January through August 6, the government reduced the size of roughly 115,000 retirees' Social Security checks on those grounds. That's nearly double the pace of the department's enforcement in 2011; it's up from around 60,000 cases in all of 2007 and just 6 cases in 2000.
Student Debt: What the Fed Report Misses
By AnnaMaria Andriotis - SmartMoney.com
A Federal Reserve report released Tuesday shows Americans are on the hook for $471 billion in student loans. If only the true number were that small.
As college tuition continues to rise, students and their parents have been signing up for federal student loans at a rapid pace. By the end of September, borrowers are expected to owe a whopping $840.5 billion in federal student loans, according to an analysis of federal budget data by FinAid.org. That's up 10% from a year prior. Tack on capitalizing interest—most borrowers don't start paying back these loans right away and in most cases interest continues to accrue—and the figure balloons even higher.
Senators call on China
to stop producing fake US driver's licenses
By Pete Kasperowicz - TheHill.com
Four senators have called on China's U.S. ambassador to crack down on Chinese companies that are producing fake U.S. driver's licenses and other documents.
The letter to Ambassador Zhang Yesui from Sens. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) follows a June USA Today article that said production of these fake documents is growing. The article also said the companies are making it easy for people to order fake documents online.
Gas Prices to Rise Along West Coast
after Fire at Chevron's California Refinery
By James Burgess - OilPrice.com
Yesterday at around 6.00pm a leak was discovered by workers at Chevrons large oil refinery in Richmond, California. The leak grew in size as workers were evacuated from the site.
Ryan Lackay, a 45-year-old employee at a chemical plant next door to the refinery, said that he saw "what looked like a lot of steam coming out of Chevron, way more than usual. I thought they must have blown a boiler. And then all of a sudden it just went whoosh, it ignited."
Dead Crops, Extreme Drought And Endless Wildfires
Are Now The New Normal In America
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
As you read this, the United States is experiencing the worst drought it has seen since the Dust Bowl days of the 1930s. As you read this, nearly half of all corn crops in the United States are in "poor" or "very poor" condition. As you read this, 38 major wildfires are ripping across the central and western United States. The brutal wildfires in Oklahoma have been so bad that they have made national headlines. The price of corn has hit a brand new record high this summer and so has the price of soybeans. More than half of all the counties in this country have been declared to be "natural disaster areas" by the U.S. Department of Agriculture at this point. Things are so bad for ranchers that the CEO of Smithfield Foods is projecting that meat prices will rise by "significant double digits" in the months ahead. Sadly, this drought is projected to continue throughout August and into September. As you will read about below, some meteorologists are even openly postulating that there may not be enough moisture to avoid another drought next year. Yes, things are really bad this year, but when you step back and take a look at the broader picture they become truly frightening.
Agenda 21 Cutting Off Electricity To US Cities!
In Austin Texas where I live the city council has already shut down several "city" or citizen owned power plants and our electricity bills have gone up 100%+ in the last few years. Now, they want to cut at least 33% more of our power in the name of saving the earth-- a foreign army could not do this much harm. This is all about power and billions of dollars, how you ask? Select power plants are given waivers and get to stay open; and with their competition shut down, they can charge more for less. This is a pure criminal oppression run by mega corps and the politician whores they buy. It's a giant criminal robbery hiding in plain view!
Chicago to Build $3 Billion Coal Gasification Plant
By Charles Kennedy - OilPrice.com
The Chicago Clean Energy project is a gasification plant which will produce synthetic natural gas from coal and petroleum coke. The facility will cost about $3 billion and is estimated to create more than $10 billion in economic output for the state of Illinois, 2,000 new jobs, and $1.25 billion in tax revenues.
The natural gas produced will equate to about five percent of Illinois' annual demand, and provide a fuel source to be used in power plants which is 99 percent cleaner than that used in conventional power plants.
Sorry…Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) is Still Only Worth $7.50 a Share
BY KEITH FITZ-GERALD, Chief Investment Strategist, Money Morning
The technorati took me to task. So did Wall Street.
They were agitated by an article I wrote in May explaining why the world's most hotly anticipated IPO, Facebook (Nasdaq:FB), was worth a mere $7.50 a share at best.
"Out of touch," one of the critics said. A "luddite" charged another.
"Doesn't grasp the significance of so many users," one Wall Street insider opined--who happened not coincidentally to work for one of Facebook's investment bankers.
Since then the social media darling has fallen another 31% to nearly $22 a share. Ten weeks later, Team Hoodie hasn't done much to merit an upgrade either.
Where the Tea Party is right, and wrong, about tech policy
By Derrick Harris - WashingtonPost.com
It must be difficult to be a member of the Tea Party, having to balance the desire for more rights for everyone — including corporations — with less government to enforce those rights. A recent Heritage Foundation event featuring Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), highlights the movement's dichotomy. Here's where the Tea Party — or Paul, at least — gets it right and wrong on technology policy.
Paul seems to understand the problems surrounding copyright enforcement online, right down to his reasons for opposing SOPA. It wasn't so much what SOPA was trying to do in terms of shutting down pirate sites or forcing companies such as Google to act in some cases, as much as it was about the lack of due process in making these things happen. "There almost needs to be a trial …" he said. "It shouldn't be just one person complaining to another website and all of a sudden the web site is shut down."
Govt May Now Collect, Catalog,
and Store All Private Information
by Joe Wolverton, II - TheNewAmerican.com
Imagine that the U.S. government had the power to scour the reams of public records and collect and collate every bit of personal information about every citizen of this country. Now imagine that any of the various intelligence and security agencies within the government could combine that data with any other information about a person that has been posted to a social media website or compiled by one of the many data aggregating companies that keep tabs on all of us. Finally, imagine that all this data could be passed among these agencies and that the ability of anyone inside or outside the government to challenge this surveillance was all but eliminated.
Sadly, this is not the description of some fictitious dystopian future; this is the factual description of present-day America and it's about to get much worse.
US Government Proposes Law
Making It Illegal For Them To Kill You
by Simon Black of Sovereign Man blog - ZeroHedge.com
Last Friday, US Congressman Dennis Kucinich introduced HR 6357, a bill which aims to 'prohibit the extrajudicial killing of United States citizens' by the federal government. In other words, in the Land of the Free, they need to pass a law to prevent the government from indiscriminately murdering its own citizens.
Now if this doesn't give one reason to pause and consider the distortions of liberty that have taken place in western civilization, I don't know what will. Think about it:
FLOW OF WISDOM RADIO:
Lindsey Williams Aug 2012 w/ Sean Anthony
Egypt to impose 'full control' over Sinai, says president
Israeli border security under question following fatal gun attack by militants that left at least 15 guards dead
By Harriet Sherwood in Jerusalem and agencies - Guardian.co.uk
Egypt will impose full control over the Sinai, its new president has pledged, as the Israeli government warned of a deteriorating security situation after gunmen killed around 15 Egyptian border guards and hijacked armoured vehicles to launch an attack across the border inIsrael.
Mohamed Morsi said: "Those who carried out this crime will pay dearly." In a speech on Egyptian state television, he added: "Clear orders have been given to our armed forces and police to chase and arrest those who carried out this assault on our children. The forces will impose full control over these areas of Sinai."
Clinton: It's time to plan for Syria's 'day after'
By Anne Gearan WashingtonPost.com
PRETORIA, South Africa — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday that the world must plan urgently to prevent sectarian warfare or imported terrorism in Syria after President Bashar al-Assad's regime falls, citing the pace of government defections and the fact that Syrian rebel gains have opened up a safe corridor to Turkey.
Clinton would not predict how long Assad can hold on in the face of what she called an increasingly better-organized and better-equipped rebel force, but she suggested that the United States is accelerating planning for what she called "the day after."
Jalili in Damascus underscores Iran's commitment to Assad
Tehran gave Bashar Assad its strongest avowal of support Tuesday, Aug. 7, while heaping threats on the heads of his enemies. Saeed Jalili, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, stood alongside the Syrian ruler in Damascus at the end of their talks and vowed not to let Iran's "close partnership with the Syrian leadership to be shaken by the uprising or external foes" or the "axis of resistance (Iran, Syria, Hizballah) be broken in any way." Assad then affirmed his determination to purge Syria of violence and bring his forces to victory.
DEBKAfile: When Iranian and Syrian leaders refer to "external foes," they mean the US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel.
Behind the White House's secret Syria plan
By Chet Nagle - DailyCaller.com
The White House won't keep its own secrets, never mind those of the SEALs, Pentagon, or Israel — especially if leaking secrets helps President Obama look like a tough guy in his uphill re-election campaign.
The latest leak is a gusher, and reveals the Obama administration is secretly aiding the rebels in Syria. Unfortunately, in a replay of what happened in Egypt last year, the State Department still does not recognize that many Syrian rebel leaders are in the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaida. Nor does the State Department, which seems to rely on rebel propaganda and breathless mainstream media reports for information about Syria, know what is really happening there. But the truth is being revealed.
Iran: Syria part of 'axis of resistance'
By the CNN Wire Staff
Aleppo, Syria (CNN) -- Tensions spiked in the Middle East on Tuesday as Iran extolled its "axis of resistance" with Syria, and the United States warned of proxy and terror activity.
Saeed Jalili, a top Iranian official meeting with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, was cited by Syrian state media as saying he will not permit "enemies" to break what he called the "axis of resistance of which Syria is an essential part."
Iran backs Assad in Syria crisis and blames 'warmongering' US
Tehran officials go to Damascus over pilgrims affair, and reach out to Turkey, Lebanon and Qatar in diplomatic offensive
By Ian Black and Saeed Kamali Dehghan - Guardian.co.uk
Iran has launched a new campaign to intervene in the Syrian crisis, sending its top officials across the Middle East, blasting US "warmongering" and publicly backing a defiant Bashar al-Assad as the country sinks deeper into war.
Saeed Jalili, Iran's powerful national security adviser, met the Syrian president in Damascus on Tuesday, while Iran's foreign minister urgedTurkey and Qatar to use their influence with Syrian rebels to free 48 kidnapped Iranian pilgrims.
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