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In the Bullring with Gold
BY FRANK HOLMES - FinancialSense.com
After prices fell 10 percent in December, many investors wondered if the bull market in gold was running out of steam. That was before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke swooped in with a "red cape" and fired the bulls back up. Since the Fed reassured the world that interest rates will remain at "exceptionally low levels" for another two years, gold has jumped more than three percent.
UBS described the situation simply, "if investors needed a (further) reason why they should be long gold now, they got it yesterday … a more accommodative policy is a very good foundation for gold to build on the next move higher."
Gold, silver and platinum to remian bullish in 2012
The Gold Report: Byron, anyone who reads your reports knows two things: you like to tell stories and you like precious metals. The gold price has spent the last 11 years trending higher. Do you see it continuing upward?
Byron King: I anticipate that gold, silver and platinum will all continue to rise in price. There are currency-driven reasons why metal prices are going to keep rising, as well as other issues with overall supply and falling production.
In terms of production, the gold and the platinum production spaces are very precarious. A few very bad things could happen at random and knock global production for a loop and seriously impact supply. Think in terms of a major mine accident in, say, South Africa. Supply could fall off a cliff overnight.
Where a Nation’s Gold and Your Gold Should be Held – Part I
BY JULIAN PHILLIPS - FinancialSense.com
Purpose of Holding Gold
Most central banks hold their nation’s gold in the vaults of the world’s leading financial centers’ central bank vaults. These include New York, London, and Canada among others. In a peaceful, cooperative world, this is sensible as one of the prime purposes of central banks holding gold is to cover the nation’s international trade payments when their own currency becomes unacceptable and their reserves of foreign exchange are depleted. By positioning the gold outside the country, it’s instantly accessible for payments or guarantees of payments.
PIMCO's El-Erian favors bonds, gold
By Sam Forgione
(Reuters) - Given the fragile state of the global economy and brewing geopolitical risks, investors should be underweight equities while favoring "selected commodities" such as gold and oil, Mohamed El-Erian, CEO and co-chief investment officer of bond fund giant PIMCO, told CNBC on Tuesday.
El-Erian also said that bond investors should "concentrate exposures seven years and within because that's what the Fed can secure in terms of the yield curve." He added that investors should be "careful of the long end of the yield curve, which is more vulnerable."
Palladium could surge by 125% within 10 months
By Brett Eversole
You've probably never considered this precious metal before. But you should today...
The last time a trade like this set up, investors walked away with a double in just 10 months. And every similar trade in the last seven years was a winner.
At DailyWealth, we love "contrarian" investing ideas. The more an investment idea is hated, the more we're ready to step up and buy. At the point of maximum pessimism, there probably aren't many people left to sell... and just a little bit of buying interest can turn things around.
It's 1980 Again
Mises Daily: by Doug French
Discussion of gold has gone from nonexistent a decade ago to the question of whether its price is in bubble territory, and now a policy question in the Republican primary. Ron Paul has been stumping for a return to the gold standard for decades, and the populace has finally caught up.
The issue resonates with young people who worry about a dire future with a dollar crash and nationwide poverty. The gold issue is hot enough that Newt Gingrich has promised to appoint a gold commission, with The Case for Goldcoauthor Lewis Lehrman and Jim Grant as cochairman.
The Fed Resumes Printing
BY BUD CONRAD - FinancialSense.com
The Federal Reserve recently announced important policy changes after its Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Here are the three most important takeaways, in its own words:
• The Committee decided today to keep the target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent and currently anticipates that economic conditions – including low rates of resource utilization and a subdued outlook for inflation over the medium run – are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels for the federal funds rate at least through late 2014.
• The Committee judges that inflation at the rate of 2 percent, as measured by the annual change in the price index for personal consumption expenditures, is most consistent over the longer run with the Federal Reserve's statutory mandate. In the most recent projections, FOMC participants' estimates of the longer-run normal rate of unemployment had a central tendency of 5.2 percent to 6.0 percent.
• The Fed released FOMC participants' target federal funds rate for the next few years.
It's Time To End the Greek Rescue Farce
Whether it be an escrow account or a budget commissioner, the latest demands by Germany show just how absurd negotiations over Greece's future have become. It is high time to bring an end to this tragicomedy.
A Commentary By Stefan Kaiser - Spiegel.de
For the past two years, Greece has wrangled with the euro-zone states and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over its so-called "rescue." Austerity measures have been agreed to, aid has been paid and private creditors have been forced to accept "voluntary" debt haircuts. Despite all this, Greece is in even worse shape today than it was then. Its economy is shrinking, the debt ratio is rising and the country and its banks have been cut off from capital markets. There isn't even the slightest sign that the situation might improve. Something has gone very wrong with this rescue.
China Bail Out Europe?
Quite The Opposite Actualy,
As Chinese Banks Cut European Exposure
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
Hardly a week passes without some washed out, discredited legacy media outfit bringing up the "China will bail out Europe" rumor from the dead if only for a few minutes, just so the robots which have now shifted from stocks to the EURUSD, ramp the currency higher and stop out the weak housewife hands. So while we know what the wishful thinking within the status quo (and those who wish to receive its advertising dollars) is, here is the reality. From Reuters which translates China's Financial News: "Chinese banks and companies in the northern port city of Tianjin have cut their exposure to Europe as the euro zone debt crisis festers. In a recent survey of 53 banks and 15 firms done by the local foreign exchange regulator, 11 banks said they had cut or stopped trade finance for European countries with high debt risk, suspended derivatives business with European banks, cut or stopped lending to foreign peers, particularly those from Europe, the newspaper said."
Dr. Nick Skrekas on Greece-Troika Austerity
& Bailout Unpopular Failures -6 Feb 2012
Greek trump card fails
as stronger Europe shrugs off break-up threat
Europe’s dominant powers and institutions are for the first time willing to risk a Greek default and ejection from the euro if Athens refuses to comply with austerity demands, calculating that the eurozone system is now strong enough to withstand a contagion shock.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
The European Central Bank’s flood of cheap credit for three years has removed the immediate threat of a banking crisis and proved a powerful tonic for confidence, transforming the character of the crisis.
Bond yields have plummeted in both Italy and Spain since November, largely decoupling from the ups and down of daily events in Athens. The effect has been to nullify Greece’s trump card: the implicit threat to bring down the whole edifice if treated too harshly.
Europe Decides Not to Play America’s Game
By William Pfaff - Truthdig.com
The annual Munich Security Conference is regularly the scene for the complaints of American official and semiofficial participants deploring Europe’s failure "to pull its weight" in defense, "free-riding" on American efforts, and failing to spend more money on trans-Atlantic arms purchases. Instead they spend money on their own-make arms and military aircraft, such as the French Rafale and EADS’ Eurofighter, which they sell to such overseas markets as India that might otherwise buy American.
Courtesy restrains the European participants from asking what the threat is, against which Europe is being defended by the United States. The complaint reasonable Americans usually make in this matter is that the U.S. is massively over-armed against any existing or plausible future threat to the United States itself.
Why France Might Copy America's New Deal,
in a Very French Way
Presidential candidate François Hollande wants to channel Franklin Roosevelt, with a twist.
By Heather Horn - TheAtlantic.com
Should France get a New Deal of its own? How about a "French dream"? Americans watching the French presidential election and listening to Socialist Party candidate François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy's leading challenger, are likely to find a lot of his terms and ideas strangely familiar.
"Culture is part of the French dream," Hollande declared at an event in Nantes in January, echoing a familiar campaign slogan. The French Dream is also the title of his collection of speeches, released last August. "Culture is not a cost, not an expense, but an investment," Hollande continued at Nantes. Culture is the antidote to the current "fear of the other, the sense of decline," and "French culture abroad is a way to make our language, our production, and paradoxically our economy more prominent," he said.
Bernanke repeats vow to shield U.S. from Europe fallout
(Reuters) - Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Tuesday renewed a pledge to prevent Europe's financial crisis from damaging the U.S. economy in testimony before Congress that mirrored remarks he made last week.
"We are in frequent contact with European authorities, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and take every available step to protect the U.S. financial system and the economy," Bernanke said in remarks prepared for delivery to the Senate Budget Committee.
The Fed chairman maintained a cautious tone on the U.S. outlook and did not refer to surprisingly strong U.S. jobs data released on Friday.
Keiser Report: It's All Legal, Folks! (E246)
Bernanke tells Senate:
Focus on growth now, deficit cuts later
By Suzy Khimm - WashingtonPost.com
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke kept to his message of caution on Tuesday, warning a Senate panel that sharp spending cuts and tax increases scheduled to take effect in early 2013 could slow the nation's economic recovery if federal officials do not take further action.
Despite the recent upturn in the jobs market, Bernanke said while testifying before the Senate Budget Committee on the state of the economy, "the pace of the recovery has been frustratingly slow." He cautioned the lawmakers not to impede near-term growth in the name of cutting the long-term deficit, reiterating the arguments he made to the House Budget Committee last week.
Will the Government Put Money Market Funds Out of Business?
By Megan McArdle - TheAtlantic.com
Immediately after Lehman Brothers failed, a money market mutual fund called Reserve Primary "broke the buck"--it did not have enough money in its coffers to pay the shareholders what they'd had. Since money market funds are essentially used as bank accounts, this was a big problem--and it triggered a bank run on the money markets, which ended only when the government stepped in and said it would backstop these funds.
Despite their major role in the financial crisis, these funds haven't attracted nearly as much attention in the press, or the wonk-world, as more theatrical financial instruments like synthetic CDOs. Not many financial journalists own synthetic CDOs. Most of us probably have money market accounts.
Industry attacks SEC proposals
to regulate money market funds
By Christopher Condon - WashingtonPost.com
The mutual-fund industry rejected plans for new rules governing money market funds, escalating a three-year confrontation with regulators over how to make the investments safer.
Two proposals being worked on by the Security and Exchange Commission’s staff "are neither constructive nor likely to make financial markets more resilient," Paul Schott Stevens, president and chief executive of the Investment Company Institute, said in a statement posted on the group’s Web site.
A Recovery, if We Can Keep It
The evidence is mounting that the U.S. recovery is really, truly gathering momentum. Let's just hope Europe and Washington do their jobs.
By Derek Thompson - TheAtlantic.com
When the January unemployment report showed job creation accelerating and the unemployment rate dropping, I declared it a turn-the-corner moment for the recovery.
The evidence is mounting that the recovery is on -- really, truly on -- as Tuesday delivered four pieces of good news that touch all corners of the improving economy. First, the Dow just hit its highest closing level since May 2008. Second, the number of unemployed people per job opening* fell below 4.0 (from a high of nearly 7.0) for the first time since the end of 2008. Third, consumer borrowing rose by far more than analysts expected in December, we learned this afternoon, which suggests that consumers are rediscovering their appetite for debt. Fourth, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke testified today that the falling unemployment rate probably understates the weakness of the job market. That sounds like bad news for the job market -- and the job market is indeed rife with bad news -- but it bodes well for advocates of monetary support for the economy. The worse Bernanke thinks the economy is, the more likely the Federal Reserve will consider extraordinary means to keep pushing the recovery into overdrive.
ILLUSION OF RECOVERY – FEELINGS VERSUS FACTS
By James Quinn
The last week has offered an amusing display of the difference between the cheerleading corporate mainstream media, lying Wall Street shills and the critical thinking analysts like Zero Hedge, Mike Shedlock, Jesse, and John Hussman. What passes for journalism at CNBC and the rest of the mainstream print and TV media is beyond laughable. Their America is all about feelings. Are we confident? Are we bullish? Are we optimistic about the future? America has turned into a giant confidence game. The governing elite spend their time spinning stories about recovery and manipulating public opinion so people will feel good and spend money. Facts are inconvenient to their storyline. The truth is for suckers. They know what is best for us and will tell us what to do and when to do it.
Bernanke Says 8.3% Unemployment
Understates Weakness in U.S. Labor Market
By Craig Torres and Josh Zumbrun - Bloomberg.com
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the 8.3 percent rate of unemployment in January understates weakness in the U.S. labor market.
"It is very important to look not just at the unemployment rate, which reflects only people who are actively seeking work," Bernanke said today in response to questions at a hearing before the Senate Budget Committee in Washington. "There are also a lot of people who are either out of the labor force because they don’t think they can find work" or in part- time jobs.
Goldman: No Labor Force Participation Rebound in Sight
In a research note released last night, Goldman Sachs economist Sven Jari Stehn looked at the population revisions from the 2010 Census and argued that there is "No Labor Force Participation Rebound in Sight".
This is a key point. Some of the recent decline in the participation rate was expected due to demographics (mostly aging of the population), but most analysts expected some rebound in the participation rate this year as the economy (hopefully) improves. Goldman is now expecting the participation rate to stay flat through 2013.
California not among states that OK bank settlement
More than 40 states signed onto a proposed $25-billion deal with major mortgage servicers over faulty foreclosure practices. New York, Nevada and Delaware joined California in holding out for better terms.
By Alejandro Lazo and Jim Puzzanghera, Los Angeles Times
Reporting from Los Angeles and Washington— More than 40 states signed onto a proposed $25-billion settlement with major mortgage servicers over faulty foreclosure procedures, but California, New York and other key states were still not among them.
"This enables us to move forward into the very final stages of remaining work," said Iowa Atty. Gen. Tom Miller, who heads the multi-state settlement negotiations. "Federal and state officials, as well as representatives from the banks, continue to address matters that they must complete before finalizing any settlement."
The Downward Mobility of the American Middle Class,
and Why Mitt Romney Doesn’t Know
By Robert Reich
January’s increase in hiring is good news, but it masks a bigger and more disturbing story – the continuing downward mobility of the American middle class.
Most of the new jobs being created are in the lower-wage sectors of the economy – hospital orderlies and nursing aides, secretaries and temporary workers, retail and restaurant. Meanwhile, millions of Americans remain working only because they’ve agreed to cuts in wages and benefits. Others are settling for jobs that pay less than the jobs they’ve lost. Entry-level manufacturing jobs are paying half what entry-level manufacturing jobs paid six years ago.
Student debt pushing more people toward bankruptcy,
More than four-fifths of bankruptcy attorneys have seen a notable jump in the number of potential clients with student loan debt, the National Assn. of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys says.
By Walter Hamilton, Los Angeles Times
Student loan debt is pushing an increasing number of young people and their parents toward bankruptcy, according to a survey released Tuesday.
More than four-fifths of bankruptcy attorneys say they've seen a notable jump in the number of potential clients with student loan debt, with nearly half the lawyers reporting a significant increase in such cases, according to the report by the National Assn. of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.
Nearly one-quarter of attorneys say the number of potential student loan clients has risen 50% to 100%, while 39% of attorneys report increases of 25% to 50%.
According To A New DHS Report,
If You Love "Individual Liberty"
Of If You "Believe In Conspiracy Theories"
You Are A Potential Terrorist
Do you love America? Are you against a one world economy and a one world government? Do you deeply love individual liberty? Do you believe in conspiracy theories? If you answered any of those questions affirmatively, then you are a potential terrorist according to a brand new Department of Homeland Security report that was just released in January 2012. The report is entitled "Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008", and it was produced by the "National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism" for the Department of Homeland Security. As you will see detailed later on in this article, the most shocking part of this report is when it discusses the "ideological motivations" of potential terrorists. The report shamelessly attempts to portray red-blooded Americans that love liberty and that love their country as the enemy. Once upon a time, deeply patriotic Americans were considered to be the backbone of America, but today they are considered to be potential terrorists.
Believe In A Return To The Gold Standard?
You Are Now Officially An Extremist According To The FBI
Submitted by Tyler Durden - ZeroHedge.com
Just when we thought the US could not sink any further in its usurpation of civil rights, here comes the FBI to advise all those who tend to think that the broken economic model of the past century is the cause for the global insolvency, that wanton fiat diluation and reckless debt issuance does not 'fix' the problem of uber-leverage, and that the gold standard is the proper way to return to monetary stability, will henceforth be considered extremists. From Reuters: "Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned on Monday. These extremists, sometimes known as "sovereign citizens," believe they can live outside any type of government authority, FBI agents said at a news conference." And the most epic line ever written: "The extremists may refuse to pay taxes, defy government environmental regulations and believe the United States went bankrupt by going off the gold standard." So... the US did not go bankrupt by going off the gold standard? But why did the US "go bankrupt" then? We are confused.
02.05.2012 Judge Napolitano Rant: What If....
Drones over U.S. get OK by Congress
By Shaun Waterman-The Washington Times
Look! Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? It’s … a drone, and it’s watching you. That’s what privacy advocates fear from a bill Congresspassed this week to make it easier for the government to fly unmanned spy planes in U.S. airspace.
The FAA Reauthorization Act, which PresidentObama is expected to sign, also orders theFederal Aviation Administration to develop regulations for the testing and licensing of commercial drones by 2015.
Privacy advocates say the measure will lead to widespread use of drones for electronic surveillance by police agencies across the country and eventually by private companies as well.
3D printing is a reality...
83-year-old has jaw replaced by 3D-printed mandible
By Mark Brown - Wired.co.uk
Belgian and Dutch doctors have replaced an 83-year-old woman's badly infected jaw with a bespoke 3D-printed mandible.
The lower jaw of the elderly woman needed to be removed, which would normally affect vital functions like breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing. Traditional reconstructive surgery is a lengthy and risky process, especially considering the age of the patient.
So instead, a tailor-made implant was created. Metal-focused additive manufacturer LayerWise from Leuven in Belgium used a method developed by the Research Institute Biomed at Hasselt University, also in Belgium, to create the fake jaw.
Farmers Plan Biggest U.S. Crop Boost Since 1984,
Led by Corn: Commodities
By Jeff Wilson and Whitney McFerron - Bloomberg.com
U.S. farmers will plant the most acres in a generation this year, led by the biggest corn crop since World War II, taking advantage of the highest agricultural prices in at least four decades.
They will sow corn, soybeans and wheat on 226.9 million acres, the most since 1984, a Bloomberg survey of 36 farmers, bankers and analysts showed. The 2.5 percent gain means an expansion the size of New Jersey, as growers target fields left fallow last year and land freed up from conservation programs.
Why Is Global Shipping Slowing Down So Dramatically?
If the global economy is not heading for a recession, then why is global shipping slowing down so dramatically? Many economists believe that measures of global shipping such as the Baltic Dry Index are leading economic indicators. In other words, they change before the overall economic picture changes. For example, back in early 2008 the Baltic Dry Indexbegan falling dramatically. There were those that warned that such a rapid decline in the Baltic Dry Index meant that a significant recession was coming, and it turned out that they were right. Well, the Baltic Dry Index is falling very rapidly once again. In fact, on February 3rd the Baltic Dry Index reached a low that had not been seen since August 1986. Some economists say that there are unique reasons for this (there are too many ships, etc.), but when you add this to all of the other indicators that Europe is heading into a recession, a very frightening picture emerges. We appear to be staring a global economic slowdown right in the face, and we all need to start getting prepared for that.
FHA Streamlines Approvals,
While Toughening Up on Large Loans
By Jerry Ascierto - HousingFinance.com
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently greased the wheels on its notoriously slow approval process, and the move is already paying dividends.
At the end of December, the FHA issued new rules regarding which loans need to go through regional and national loan committees—a time-consuming process which has gummed up the agency’s bottlenecked pipeline.
Fannie Mae expands online sales of foreclosed homes
Puget Sound Business Journal
by Jeff Clabaugh, Broadcast/Web Reporter
Fannie Mae, which began a pilot program in Orlando, San Diego and Detroit in 2010 to take offers for Fannie Mae-owned houses online, is expanding the online program nationwide.
Through its HomePath program, real estate agents can now submit offers on behalf of potential buyers online, get online confirmation and track the status of their offers through the HomePath.com website.
Fed's REO-to-Rental Experiment Begins
By Jerry Ascierto - HousingFinance.com
The shadow market now has its first formal government program.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) took the first step in its Real Estate Owned (REO) Initiative on Wednesday, outlining how investors could pre-qualify to bid on transactions in the initial pilot phase.
The Initiative allows investors to purchase pools of foreclosed single-family properties in the nation’s hardest-hit metros, with a catch—those properties must remain rentals for a certain number of years.
Banks Paying as Much as $35,000 Cash to Homeowners
in Short Sales; Why and How Many?
By Mike Shedlock - GlobalEconomicAnalysis.blogspot.com
In a short sale, banks forgive the difference between what is owed and the sale price of the house. Recently, however, banks have started giving cash back to the sellers. So far, the programs are a drop in the bucket. There are millions of pent-up foreclosures and JP Morgan is doing 5,000 short sales a month, hardly enough to make a dent.
Still, "short sales represented 9 percent of all U.S. residential transactions in November, the most recent month for which data is available, up from 2 percent in January 2008, according to Corelogic."
Canada’s Housing Bubble Is Stretched to the Limit
Put your ear plugs in and get ready for a massive explosion.
BY ROBERT MORLEY - TheTrumpet.com
You have to empathize with people in Canada who want to buy a house. In boom cities like Regina, Saskatoon, Vancouver, Calgary and Toronto house prices have inflated virtually non-stop for more than a decade.
Income growth though—what income growth?
Consequently, it is virtually impossible for the typical person to purchase a home without bankrupting himself in the process. For many families, even with two incomes, buying a house is stretching beyond the breaking point.
Number of Homeless Female Vets Grows
The number of homeless women veterans has doubled from 1,380 in fiscal 2006 to 3,318 in fiscal 2010, reveals recent government estimates.
The number has grown as the overall number of women veterans has doubled from 4 percent of all veterans in 1990 to 8 percent, or an estimated 1.8 million, today. The number of women vets will also continue to increase as service members return from Iraq and Afghanistan.
CIA digs in as Americans withdraw from Iraq, Afghanistan
By Greg Miller - WashingtonPost.com
The CIA is expected to maintain a large clandestine presence in Iraq and Afghanistan long after the departure of conventional U.S. troops as part of a plan by the Obama administration to rely on a combination of spies and Special Operations forces to protect U.S. interests in the two longtime war zones, U.S. officials said.
U.S. officials said that the CIA’s massive stations in Kabul and Baghdad will probably remain the agency’s largest overseas outposts for years, even if they shrink from record staffing levels set at the height of American efforts in those nations to fend off insurgencies and install capable governments.
Syrian emails say American psyche is 'easily manipulated'
Anonymous cyber group hacked messages believed to be giving advice to Bashar al-Assad ahead of an interview on ABC News
By Harriet Sherwood - Guardian.co.uk
Bashar al-Assad was advised that the "American psyche can be easily manipulated" when he was preparing for a television interview withABC's Barbara Walters in December, according to leaked emails reported to have come from within the Syrian regime.
In an insight into the contempt shown for international public opinion by those advising the Syrian leader, one of his media aides suggested "the American audience doesn't really care about reforms. They won't understand it and they are not interested to do so".
Why Is The U.S. Giving Egypt 1.5 Billion Dollars In "Aide?"
Saudi Arabia Promises To Go Nuclear if Iran Does
By Jeffrey Goldberg - TheAtlantic.com
More evidence that Saudi Arabia will not sit idly by if Iran goes nuclear, which means more evidence that the Middle East could be looking at a terrible nightmare, a nuclear arms race in the world's most volatile region, which means that the chance for escalation to accidental nuclear war (which I wrote about here) would eventually be quite high:
A senior Saudi Arabian diplomat and member of the ruling royal family has raised the spectre of nuclear conflict in the Middle East if Iran comes close to developing a nuclear weapon.
Prince Turki al-Faisal, a former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to Washington, warned senior Nato military officials that the existence of such a device "would compel Saudi Arabia ... to pursue policies which could lead to untold and possibly dramatic consequences".
China buys up Saudi, Russian oil to squeeze Iran
By Judy Hua and Alex Lawler
(Reuters) - China is scouring the world for alternative oil supplies to replace a fall in its imports from Iran, as it seeks to negotiate lower prices from Tehran, and has been drawing heavily on Saudi Arabia.
Industry sources told Reuters that Beijing had bought the bulk of an increase in crude oil supplies from top oil exporter Saudi Arabia in the last few months.
The world's second-largest oil consumer is also importing more cargoes from West Africa, Russia and Australia to replace reduced supplies from Iran.
IRAN AND ISRAEL: ONLY HALF THE STORY
By Barry Lando - Truthdig.com
In the brief interview he gave NBC before the Super Bowl, President Obama declared, “I’ve been very clear that we’re going to do everything we can to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, and creating an arms race, a nuclear arms race, in a volatile region.”
Sounds like a very laudable goal, right? Except for the fact that, as I recentlyblogged, the nuclear arms race in the Middle East is already under way. It began almost 50 years ago when Israel developed the bomb.
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