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Gold and the Dow to Eventually Trade
at One-to-One Ratio;
Best Guess−$6,000 Gold
Stay Diversified−There are too many cross-currents
coming from Government
James J Puplava CFP interview with Michael B. O'Higgins - FinancialSense.com
Jim welcomes Michael O'Higgins, author of the best-selling book Beating The Dow, and founder of O'Higgins Asset Management. Michael sees gold eventually reaching a 1-to-1 ratio with the Dow Jones Index. He is currently 40% invested in stocks, mostly in Europe and Russia. He still owns some bonds, prefers platinum over gold and stresses diversification in this very unpredictable market.
The Story Nobody Wants to Hear
BY JAMES J PUPLAVA CFP - FinancialSense.com
While numerous events portend future global and economic turmoil, successful investing warrants a close examination of the dramatic effects central bank intervention and money-printing have on financial assets in the midst of major bear markets.
We’re less than one year away from December 21, 2012, the date that the ancient Mayan calendar allegedly marks as the end of an era and, in some investors' minds, the collapse of society as we know it. Although not quite apocalyptic, Wall Street soothsayers are also less than optimistic about the future state of the market.
Republicans Join Democrats Supporting Colossal Tax Increase
By Mark Alexander - PatriotPost.us
Lamar Alexander and Dick Durbin, the Tax Tag Team
"Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute." --Thomas Paine (Rights of Man, 1791)
Under cover of the Republican Presidential Primary debates about how to defeat Barack Hussein Obama'ssocialist agenda and his plan to fund the final chapter of that agenda with enormous tax increases, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN, no relation!) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) have teamed up to promote one of the largest tax increases in U.S. history -- a heavy levy on all Internet sales.
Your tax dollars went to lobbying for higher taxes
By Adam Bitely - NetRightDaily.com
Did you know that the Federal Government was spending taxpayer dollars on organizations that would lobby local governments to tax sugar and soda? Were you also aware that such activity is illegal?
Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says she was aware of the lobbying activities but was not aware that is was illegal. A recent report from The Daily Caller showed that $230 million had flowed in obesity prevention grants to 30 states as part of the Communities Putting Prevention to Work Initiative. The program was established as part of the 2009 "stimulus" bill.
ISDA Declares Greek Default Event,
CME Stops Clearing Euro Derivatives,
FOMC, Warning to Iran
Midday News for March 14th discusses the ISDA declaration of a Credit default event in Greece and the subsequent reaction in Gold and Silver pricing. We review the move by the CME to get out of the business of clearing European Derivatives. We also touch on Tuesdays FOMC and the message sent to Iran by Hillary Clinton.
Geithner: Economy mending, oil prices a challenge
By Leah Schnurr
(Reuters) - The U.S. economy is growing again but faces tough challenges that call for action to create jobs and foster expansion, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Thursday.
Geithner, speaking to the Economic Club of New York, singled out rising oil prices as a stumbling block for the economy because they force consumers to pay more for gasoline at the pump.
He said the economy was now more productive than it was before the 2007-2009 financial crisis but cautioned that confidence remains fragile.
Buying a Hairway to Steven with Gold
By: Adrian Ash - Safehaven.com
It's now 6 months since gold hit its current all-time high. How long 'til the next...?
Thanks to hindsight, the bull market in gold which followed Richard Nixon unpegging the US Dollar, and therefore the rest of the world, from its last pretence of a Gold Standard sounds as inevitable today as Jimmy Page's solo in Stairway to Heaven, also a 1971 classic.
But the gold price's rise from $35 per ounce to $850 in less than a decade hardly ran that smooth at the time.
Central Bank Balance Sheets Put Gold at $1900
BY CHRIS PUPLAVA - FinancialSense.com
Given the extremely high correlation between central bank balance sheets and the price of gold, it is possible to determine the implied price relative to current debt levels. In doing so, we calculate gold's "central bank balance sheet value" at around $1900 an ounce.
Gold has had quite the wild ride over the last nine months in which we've seen several triple-digit swings. It had a quick and sharp bear market last September with a 20% decline followed by an 18% snapback rally into November and then a 15.5% decline into the end of the year. Then, gold’s volatility carried over into 2012 as it rallied from December 2011’s low to a high at the end of January for a 17.6% positive swing. Lastly, we witnessed yet again another triple-digit swing when gold declined to the March 14th low of $1634.53/oz for nearly a 10% correction.
A little extra inflation would backfire: Volcker
By Stella Dawson
(Reuters) - The U.S. economy is recovering "pretty well" and trying to juice it up by allowing a little extra inflation would be disastrous, Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve chairman known for successfully reining in double-digit inflation, said on Wednesday.
"I think that is kind of a doomsday scenario," Volcker told an economic summit when asked if the Fed should foster higher inflation to stimulate faster growth.
Higher inflation would backfire by causing interest rates to rise. "You are not going to get any stimulus and you are going to make it much harder to restore price stability," Volcker told the Atlantic magazine conference.
A shadow inflation hits shoppers
through economic sleight of hand:
Inflation and the hidden side of finances.
Anyone that shops realizes that the price of goods has only gone up. Yet by how much is deceiving by economic chicanery. TheFederal Reserve has taken a baseball bat to the US dollar and the purchasing power of what Americans carry in their wallet. Yet many Americans have been duped into thinking inflation has only been occurring at a moderate pace. Those that already know about the insidious side of a crushing dollar arecollege students and those having to pay medical bills. However shoppers at grocery stores are seeing the hidden cost of inflation through innovative ways of repacking items and giving you less while trying to convince you psychologically that you are still getting the same. The cost of high fuel is being passed on through the supply chain channels and a lower dollar simply means you have less purchasing power. How much less is a matter of how carefully you look at the label.
Bank of America: Too Crooked to Fail
The bank has defrauded everyone from investors and insurers to homeowners and the unemployed. So why does the government keep bailing it out?
By Matt Taibbi - RollingStone.com
At least Bank of America got its name right. The ultimate Too Big to Fail bank really is America, a hypergluttonous ward of the state whose limitless fraud and criminal conspiracies we'll all be paying for until the end of time. Did you hear about the plot to rig global interest rates? The $137 million fine for bilking needy schools and cities? The ingenious plan to suck multiple fees out of the unemployment checks of jobless workers? Take your eyes off them for 10 seconds and guaranteed, they'll be into some shit again: This bank is like the world's worst-behaved teenager, taking your car and running over kittens and fire hydrants on the way to Vegas for the weekend, maxing out your credit cards in the three days you spend at your aunt's funeral. They're out of control, yet they'll never do time or go out of business, because the government remains creepily committed to their survival, like overindulgent parents who refuse to believe their 40-year-old live-at-home son could possibly be responsible for those dead hookers in the backyard.
10 reasons Wall Street will hit bottom, crash
Gambling-addicted banks need a Betty Ford Center
By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. (MarketWatch) — Yes, Wall Street will crash. Has to. They’re gambling addicts. Dodged the bullet in 2008. But learned nothing. Now killing reforms. Teamed up with the Super Rich, CEOs, lobbyists, and crony politicians. It’s only a matter of time.
Yes, they’ll crash, again. No matter how anemic the recovery. No matter how much more debt they pile on taxpayers. No matter who’s president. Crash.
How do I know Wall Street will hit bottom? First off, most American know somebody who’s trapped in addictive behavior. I got a front-row seat years ago as a professional helping a few hundred addicts, alcoholics and gamblers getting help from the Betty Ford Center and others like it.
Keiser Report: Yoghurt Kamikazes (E262)
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss yoghurt kamikazes, David Cam-Moron and oozing debt wounds. In the second half of the show, Max talks to Goldcore's Mark O'Byrne about Germany's gold, Ireland's austerity and a trial for Bertie Ahern.
Part One: The Truth About Earnings
and How They Drive Stock Values
and Shareholder Returns -- The Historical Perspective
By: Chuck Carnevale - Safehaven.com
I want to start this article out with the positioning statement, that I am a fundamental investor, and that I believe in conducting a comprehensive fundamental evaluation on any Company (common stock) that I buy, or for that matter, hold or sell. My own personal core investing philosophy is about investing in businesses and not the stock market. Consequently, it is only through a comprehensive analysis of the company's fundamentals that the investment merits of an operating business can be analyzed and evaluated.
Credit Default Swaps Commentary!
Published by Ian R. Campbell - StockresearchPortal.com
As you undoubtedly know, on Friday, March 9, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association declared that the final Greek Sovereign Debt arrangements had resulted in a Greek debt default for purposes of determining whether those counter-parties who had insured that debt through Credit Default Swaps (‘CDS’, a form of Derivative) could be called upon to pay out on that insurance. An article yesterday concluded that as a result of market activity on Monday, March 12 the financial markets are treating the call on the related CDS’s as a non-event, and that this “makes the CDS market seem a lot safer than it was just a few years ago”. The article also reports that the CDS market is less opaque (more transparent) than it has been in the past, that about 90% of existing CDS’s are collateralized, and that many banks that deal in CDS’s now publicly report their positions.
Foreign holdings of US Treasury debt hit record
By MARTIN CRUTSINGER - SRNNews.Townhall.com
Foreign demand for U.S. Treasury debt rose to a record high in January. China, the largest buyer of Treasury debt, increased its holdings for the first time in six months.
Total foreign holdings rose 0.9 percent in January to $5.05 trillion, the sixth consecutive monthly increase, the Treasury Department reported Thursday.
China boosted its holdings 0.7 percent to $1.16 trillion. Japan, the second-largest buyer of Treasury debt, increased its holdings 2 percent to a record $1.08 trillion.
China Adds Treasuries For First Time Since July on Europe Woes
By Daniel Kruger - Bloomberg.com
China, the largest foreign U.S. creditor, increased its holdings of U.S. government securities in January for the first time in six months as European leaders struggled to contain the region’s sovereign-debt crisis.
Holdings rose by 0.7 percent to $1.16 trillion, the first growth in China’s stake since July, Treasury data released yesterday show. The report also showed that net foreign purchases ofTreasuries (HOLDTOT) totaled almost $83 billion in January, compared with net selling of $14.9 billion the month before.
Does Debt Matter?
By Robert Skidelsky - Project-Syndicate.org
LONDON – Europe is now haunted by the specter of debt. All European leaders quail before it. To exorcise the demon, they are putting their economies through the wringer.
It doesn’t seem to be helping. Their economies are still tumbling, and the debt continues to grow. The credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has just downgraded the sovereign-debt ratings of nine eurozone countries, including France. The United Kingdom is likely to follow.
To anyone not blinded by folly, the explanation for this mass downgrade is obvious. If you deliberately aim to shrink your GDP, your debt-to-GDP ratio is bound to grow. The only way to cut your debt (other than by default) is to get your economy to grow.
Paul Volcker Schools Peter Schiff
On Why Stimulus Is Necessary
J.P. Morgan Chase's Ugly Family Secrets Revealed
By Matt Taibbi - RollingStone.com
In a story that should be getting lots of attention, American Banker has released an excellent and disturbing exposé of J.P. Morgan Chase's credit card services division, relying on multiple current and former Chase employees. One of them, Linda Almonte, is a whistleblower whom I've known since last September; I'm working on a recount of her story for my next book.
One of the things we were promised by the lawmakers who passed the Dodd-Frank reform bill a few years back is that this would be a new era for whistleblowers who come forward to tell the world about problems in our financial infrastructure. This story now looms as a test case for that proposition. American Banker reporter Jeff Horwitz did an outstanding job in this story detailing the sweeping irregularities in-house at Chase, but his very thoroughness means the news may have ramifications for Linda, which is why I'm urging people to pay attention to this story in the upcoming weeks.
Executive Director of Goldman Sachs Resigns
Over Parasitic Behavior of Goldman to Its Clients;
Reflections on Chasing Performance
By: Mike Shedlock - Safehaven.com
Greg Smith's op-ed in the New York Times "Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs" is precisely the catalyst that will eventually bring reform to the securities industry.
Denial Coming Up
Unfortunately, neither the Fed nor the SEC has any inclination to do anything about industry-wide fraud and corruption, therefore immediate results are not forthcoming.
Moreover, Goldman Sachs will deny the story every step of the way. Furthermore, it is safe to assume the SEC will turn a blind eye to these charges while preparing for the next headline case against another Martha Stewart on another meaningless charge.
With that backdrop, please consider these snips from Greg Smith, former Goldman Sachs executive director and head of the firm's United States equity derivatives business in Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
Gridlock in D.C.
By: Casey Research - Safehaven.com
The first session of this 112th Congress was spent with Democrats and Republicans at loggerheads over the debt ceiling, taxes, spending cuts, the deficit super committee, appropriations bills and finally the extension of unemployment compensation and a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut. Standard and Poor's downgrade of the United States' federal debt was due in part to all the haggling over how, and actually whether, to reduce the debt.
No One Is Willing to Pay the Political Price to Cut Spending
If Employers Stop Paying Health Care,
Who Wins? (Maybe, Everyone)
By Avik S. A. Roy - TheAtlantic.com
One of the biggest concerns with the Affordable Care Act has been that the law will drive employers to stop sponsoring health insurance for their workers, instead dumping those workers on to the new law's subsidized insurance exchanges. The Congressional Budget Office, in a provocative new report, believes that such behavior could, in some circumstances, actually reduce the deficit.
A number of credentialed budget wonks, most notably Gene Steuerle (a former Treasury Department official), Jim Capretta (a former health-care specialist at the White House Office of Management and Budget), and Doug Holtz-Eakin (a former director of the CBO), have pointed out that the ACA strongly incentivizes employers to drop coverage for their lower-to-middle-income employees, because those employees get a better deal by seeking out coverage on the law's new exchanges. "Droves of employees--potentially tens of millions--are likely to shift out of employer-provided insurance in the next decade or two," wrote Steuerle in a widely-cited report.
OBAMACARE WILL ONLY COST 100% MORE
THAN YOU WERE TOLD
New CBO health law estimate shows
much higher spending past first 10 years
By James Quinn - TheBurningPlatform.com
The Congressional Budget Office has extended its cost estimates for President Obama’s health care law out to 2022, taking in more years of full implementation, and showing that the bill is substantially more expensive — twice as much as the original $900 billion price tag.
In a largely overlooked segment of the CBO’s update to the budget outlook released Tuesday, the independent arm of Congress found that the bill will cost $1.76 trillion between now and 2022.
That only counts the cost of coverage, not implementation costs and other changes.
"The bill spends more than the president promised, it covers fewer people — probably 2 million fewer people — and it taxes more than was expected," said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., ranking member on the Senate Budget Committee.
Tom Woods Hosts Peter Schiff, 3/14/12:
War Powers and Red Meat
Tom Woods is joined by presidential war powers expert Louis Fisher and science writer Gary Taubes (who discusses the recent study on red meat and health).
Supreme Court Seen Influenced
by Politics in Health-Care Ruling
By Julie Bykowicz and Greg Stohr - Bloomberg.com
Three-quarters of Americans say the U.S. Supreme Court will be influenced by politics when it rules on the constitutionality of a health-care law signed by President Barack Obama two years ago.
The sentiment crosses party lines and is especially held by independents, 80 percent of whom say the court will not base its ruling solely on legal merits, according to a Bloomberg National Poll. More Republicans than Democrats, by 74 percent to 67 percent, say politics will play a role in the court’s health- care decision.
Washington Elites Queue Up
to See Nine Justices on Hot Seat
Supreme Court Arguments on Health Law
Trigger Mad Dash for a Few Dozen Spots
By JANET ADAMY And JESS BRAVIN - WSJ.com
WASHINGTON—The hottest ticket of the season isn't for the White House Easter Egg Roll or Opening Day for the Washington Nationals baseball team.
It's for a spot inside the Supreme Court to watch three days of arguments challenging the 2010 health-care law that begin here a week from Monday.
Given the town, people are working every angle.
Ezekiel Emanuel, a former White House adviser who helped craft the health-care law, hit up conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia for a ticket even though the two men disagree on almost everything, he said, except "we like sharing good food."
The Message of Motown
Detroit and its public unions head toward bankruptcy.
The clock's running out on Detroit. City leaders are up against a $200 million deficit driven by exploding labor costs and may not be able to pay the bills come May. The state of Michigan has just swept in with a deux ex machina. Trouble is, city pols don't like the strings attached.
Governor Rick Snyder is offering Detroit a "consent agreement," which includes $100 million of state-backed bonds that would tide the city over until labor agreements can be restructured. The catch: Labor agreements will have to be restructured. The compact between the state and the city would turn over financial decision-making to a nine-member financial advisory board of state and city appointees who would have the authority to amend labor contracts.
Why We Must Rehabilitate the Ownership Society
By Clive Crook - TheAtlantic.com
In a new column for Bloomberg I argue that to solve its pension problem the US needs to revisit the idea of the ownership society--recast as a liberal rather than conservative program, which it should have been all along. Don't replace or reduce Social Security to direct savings into private accounts. Create mandatory private accounts, with public subsidy, as an add-on, and cover the cost to taxpayers by redirecting existing tax preferences for saving.
Warmth Expected Across U.S.
for Next Three Months, U.S. Says
By Brian K. Sullivan - Bloomberg.com
A streak of above-normal temperatures that led to the fourth-warmest U.S. winter on record is expected to continue for the next three months, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said.
NOAA said the southern states of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi will have the highest chance of warm weather from March through May. The forecast was part of a report that said Texas may get drought relief and that the risk of spring river flooding will be the lowest in four years.
PayPal launches new service for small businesses
Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
PayPal Inc. on Thursday released new technology called PayPal Here, a payment option to help small businesses.
The company, a payments service owned by San Jose-based online marketplace eBay Inc., said at a press event in San Francisco that PayPal Here is the "first global mobile payment solution that allows small businesses to accept almost any form of payment." It is being offered initially to select merchants in the United States, Canada, Australia and Hong Kong.
With PayPal Here, small businesses can accept payments by swiping cards with an encrypted thumb-sized card reader, or use a phone camera to scan and process cards and checks. In addition, they can invoice directly from a mobile application.
Facebook's 'entire social network model' is a copy, Yahoo says
Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal
by Cromwell Schubarth, Multimedia/Research Editor
Yahoo Inc. isn't just jabbing atFacebook Inc. in the massive patent lawsuit it filed in San Jose on Monday.
It wants to be declared the big daddy and undisputed champion of all social networks.
The Sunnyvale online content hub says that nearly everything Facebook makes money on is based on a Yahoo idea.
"For much of the technology upon which Facebook is based, Yahoo got there first. Facebook's entire social network model, which allows users to create profile for and connect with, among other things, persons and businesses, is based on Yahoo’s patented social networking technology," the lawsuit contends.
Darpa Director Bolts Pentagon for Google
By Noah Shachtman - Wired.com
Darpa director Regina Dugan will soon be stepping down from her position atop the Pentagon's premiere research shop to take a job with Google. Dugan, whose controversial tenure at the agency lasted just under three years, was "offered and accepted at senior executive position" with the internet giant, according to Darpa spokesman Eric Mazzacone. She felt she couldn’t say no to such an "innovative company," he adds.
Think tanks still look for Koch cash
By ANNA PALMER and ROBIN BRAVENDER - Politico.com
Conservative groups are scrambling to distance themselves from a Koch money controversy, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stop cashing checks from the billionaire brothers who fund many right-leaning operations in Washington.
Charles and David Koch set off a firestorm in the think tank world when they filed a lawsuit in late February as part of an ongoing battle to seize control of the Cato Institute. In response, several libertarian-leaning scholars at Cato, came out swinging, publicly saying they would leave the organization if the Kochs are successful — which drew national media attention to the arcane shareholder fight.
Ed Koch pushes Clinton on 2016 run
By BYRON TAU - Politico.com
Former New York City mayor and Hillary Clinton booster Ed Koch wants to see a Clinton 2016 run, and he made his feelings clear to the Secretary of State at Wednesday's state dinner, according to the New York Times:
Mr. Koch also said he spoke with the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, and encouraged her to run for president in 2016.
"I said, ‘Everybody’s running you for president again — count me in!’” he said. “And there were other people there who applauded."
Campaign 2012: Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process
Uploaded by cfr on Jan 20, 2012
The next U.S. president will be forced to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in "a different Middle East context," dictated by possible leadership transitions in Israel and the Palestinian territory as a result of upcoming elections and ongoing changes in the region, says CFR's Robert M. Danin. As a result, he says, "the United States is going to have to look to new approaches and develop new tools towards dealing with the Israeli-Palestinian conflict." Ultimately, the most important question the president will face is whether he will seek to resolve the conflict or just manage it, says Danin arguing, "presidents, who seek to manage it, have an easier time of it, but at the same time will hit more instability along the way."
The Key Swing Voter in the 2012 Election? Call Him Mr. Dow Jones
By BRIAN STOFFEL, THE MOTLEY FOOL - DailyFinance.com
This an election year, which means we are all faced with onslaught of political advertisements, prognostications, and endless poll numbers. Should candidates focus on values or the economy; foreign policy or domestic health care? Wading through all of it can be a difficult task for both candidates and voters.
But what if a look back at history showed that when it really comes down to brass tacks, there's only one thing that determines the outcome of a presidential election?
Independents Will Decide the 2012 Election
Nick Gillespie - Reason.com
A raft of new polls about the presidential race drives home what everyone has always known: This election will turn on independent voters, the ever-growing plurality of Americans who refuse to sign up for Team Red or Team Blue.
According to Gallup and based on 20,000 interviews from 20 polls taken throughout 2011, "a record-high 40 percent of Americans identify as Independents." To put that in perspective, consider that self-identified Democrats roll in at a historic low of 31 percent while just 27 percent of us are willing to admit being Republicans. When the partisan leanings of independents were taken into consideration, Gallup found the nation evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, with each claiming 45 percent of the electorate. How important are independents, especially the 10 percent who don't lean toward Dems or Reps? President Barack Obama’s convincing win over Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) in 2008 was due in large part to his pulling 51 percent of self-identified independents to McCain's 43 percent. And Republican gains in the 2010 midterms stemmed largely from the GOP getting 55 percent of independent votes versus the Democrats pulling only 39 percent. Take it to the bank: You win any national election if you win the independent vote.
Racial Quota Fallout
By Thomas Sowell - PatriotPost.us
Many years ago, I learned of an episode in the life of a promising young black man that is relevant to things happening now. He had been educated at a good school, and went on to receive degrees at good colleges and universities. Then he went for a Ph.D. in mathematics at one of the leading departments in that field.
When he encountered difficulties, his professors essentially wrote his doctoral thesis for him. No doubt they felt good about doing something to help a promising young black man, and perhaps took pride in doing so. But what about his pride?
Dr. Bill Deagle w/ Jeff Rense 2012/03/13
- Multiple Updates
Embraer Ecstasy Over U.S. Contract
Proves Agony Losing It
By Jose Sergio Osse - Bloomberg.com
Embraer SA (EMBR3) Chief Executive Officer Frederico Curado won’t forget the day he learned that the Brazilian planemaker had won a $355 million contract for a U.S. Air Force light-attack aircraft after 14 months of work.
Even more memorable was the day Curado saw in the press that the U.S. had canceled the award.
"We’re trying to stay sober. It was a huge frustration for us, and a shock, frankly," Curado said in a March 12 interview at Embraer’s office in Sao Paulo. "We got there. We won. Then it was taken away from us."
What China Wants in 2012
By Li Zhaoxing - Project-Syndicate.org
BEIJING – With economic globalization and the advent of a multi-polar world, China and other emerging countries are clearly set to play much more important roles not only in 2012, but in the coming decades. As China’s economic power and influence in the world economy have increased following the financial crisis of 2008, the idea has been floated that China and the United States should co-lead the world under some sort of "G-2" arrangement. But such a G-2 framework is not consistent with China’s independent foreign policy, nor with the general trend towards wider dispersion of geopolitical power within the international community. Although China’s senior leadership will change this year, this position will not change.
Brace for China's impending crash
By GWYNNE DYER -JapanTimes.co.jp
LONDON — Building a skyscraper is the ultimate expression of economic confidence, and more than half of the 124 skyscrapers currently under construction in the world are being built in China. But confidence is often based on nothing more than faith, hope and cheap credit, and a frenzy of skyscraper-building is also the most reliable historical indicator of an impending financial crash.
High gas prices threaten recovery
By SEN. DICK LUGAR - Politico.com
The dangers of high oil prices may be only beginning. Global oil markets are hanging on by the slimmest margin, leaving every American motorist — and our economic recovery — vulnerable to hostile governments, terrorist strikes on infrastructure, extreme weather or other shocks.
Oil prices are again above $100 a barrel and likely to increase. Higher prices are a genuine hardship for many Hoosier families and small businesses struggling to make ends meet. Every 10 percent increase in oil prices is expected to knock 0.25 percent off economic growth — meaning it most likely will be all the harder for job creation to catch up with employment needs if prices continue to rise.
By Nouriel Roubini - Project-Syndicate.org
NEW YORK – Today’s fragile global economy faces many risks: the risk of another flare-up of the eurozone crisis; the risk of a worse-than-expected slowdown in China; and the risk that economic recovery in the United States will fizzle (yet again). But no risk is more serious than that posed by a further spike in oil prices.
The price of a barrel of Brent crude, which was well below $100 in 2011, recently peaked at $125. Gasoline prices in the US are approaching $4 a gallon, a damaging threshold for consumer confidence, and will increase further during the high-demand summer season.
U.S. May Sanction India Over Level of Iran-Oil Imports
By Indira A.R. Lakshmanan
and Pratish Narayanan - Bloomberg.com
India has failed to reduce its purchases of Iranian oil, and if it doesn’t do so, President Barack Obama may be forced to impose sanctions on one of Asia’s most important nations, Obama administration officials said yesterday.
A decision to levy penalties under a new U.S. law restricting payments for Iranian oil could come as early as June 28, according to several U.S. officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue....
US threatens sanctions against India over Iran oil
By Chidanand Rajghatta, TNN - IndiaTimes.com
WASHINGTON: The Obama administration is threatening to impose sanctions on India over its continued economic ties with Iran amid disagreements between Washington and New Delhi over how much and how soon the latter is reducing oil imports from the (in US eyes) pariah nation.
India has "failed" to reduce its purchase of Iranian oil and if it doesn't do so, President Barack Obama may be "forced" to impose sanction, unnamed administration officials were cited as telling Bloomberg wire service. A decision in this regard could come as early as June 28, they added, implicitly offering New Delhi a ten- week window to show a decline in Iranian oil imports.
India's Growing Ties To Iranian Oil
Could Bust U.S. Sanctions
By Christopher Helman, Forbes Staff
The goal of U.S. and European sanctions on Iran is to crush the rogue regime’s economy and reduce its oil exports. European nations have already slashed their purchases of Iranian crude, and other big importers like Japan are gradually following suit ahead of a June deadline.
Yesterday the Obama administration secured promises from Saudi Arabia to ramp up its own oil output to make up for Iranian barrels kept off the market. And this morning came a report that Washington was in discussions with the United Kingdom on a plan to tap strategic reserves.
Return to the Arc of Crisis
By Jaswant Singh - Project-Syndicate.org
NEW DELHI – Thirty-three years ago, then-US National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski spoke of an "arc of crisis" coursing through the Middle East and into Central Asia. Today, events in Syria and Pakistan, as well as the recent bombings in Bangkok and New Delhi, which some are linking to Iran, suggest that Brzezinski’s arc is more salient than ever.
Among the many dangers lurking along it today, the most ominous concerns the response of Israel and the United States to the question of when Iran’s nuclear facilities will become impregnable, creating, in Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s phrase, a "zone of immunity." Some think that this point has already been reached, with Iran placing its enriched uranium underground, near the holy city of Qom, beneath many layers of granite – and thus beyond the destructive power of anything short of a nuclear bomb.
U.S. dangles secret data for Russia missile shield approval
By Jim Wolf - Reuters.com
(Reuters) - The Obama administration is leaving open the possibility of giving Moscow certain secret data on U.S. interceptor missiles due to help protect Europe from any Iranian missile strike.
A deal is being sought by Washington that could include classified data exchange because it is in the U.S. interest to enlist Russia and its radar stations in the missile-defense effort, a Pentagon spokeswoman said Tuesday in written replies to Reuters.
Iran and Syria 'lay ambitious plans
for road, rail, air and electricity links'
Iran has thrown Syria an economic lifeline by laying ambitious plans for road, rail, air and even electricity links between the two countries, according to official records of high level talks in Damascus.
By David Blair - Telegraph.co.uk
Two documents purporting to be notes of meetings between President Bashar al-Assad's ministers and their Iranian counterparts have been obtained from the email accounts of Syrian officials and passed to the Daily Telegraph.
They provide further evidence of the immense effort Iran's regime is making to shore up Mr Assad, who serves as Tehran's only reliable ally in the Middle East. All the plans outlined in the documents require the cooperation of Iraq, which would have to allow its territory to be used as a corridor between Syria and Iran.
The U.S., Israel, and Iran - It's About Time
By Jared Silverman - PatriotPost.us
Once again, Iran, Israel, and the United States are in the forefront of the news. The common denominator of the coverage this time -- is time.
The cover of The Week Magazine, a news summary publication, declared "Running out of time," with a caricature of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in front of a bomber on a runway. A New York Times article was captioned "Netanyahu Says U.S. and Israeli 'Clocks' Differ on Iran's Threat."
What's at Stake with Iranian Sanctions?
By Daniel J. Graeber - OilPrice.com
Officials from New Delhi are due back from their recent trade visit to Iran with high hopes of an expanded economic relationship. India, together with Japan and China, buy about half of the oil Iran has for sale on the international market. New Delhi had faced difficultiesin paying for the crude oil it buys from Iran because of expanded economic sanctions imposed by Western governments. Given the initial criticism offered by the Indian Embassy in the United States, it's unlikely any level of Western criticism is going to do much to diminish India's appetite for Iranian crude.
Sanctions choke off Iran oil output
By Guy Chazan in London and George Parker in Washington - FT.com
Iran’s oil production has fallen to a 10-year low and could drop to levels last seen during the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s as sanctions over its nuclear programme disrupt an industry already suffering from years of underinvestment.
The country’s crude production fell by 50,000 barrels a day to 3.38m b/d in February, according to the International Energy Agency. The last time it was that low was in late 2002, IEA statistics show.
Celente: Hawks circling over Iran as only ally Syria on ropes
The White House may be claiming it wants a diplomatic solution in Syria, but it seems it may not have faith in its own convictions.The Pentagon has been ordered to review its potential options.
Gerald Celente, publisher of the Trends Journal talks to RT, claiming Washington might be contemplating a military operation, because bringing down the Syrian regime would weaken Iran.
U.S., Britain set to agree emergency oil stocks release
By Richard Mably
LONDON | Thu Mar 15, 2012 3:01pm EDT
(Reuters) - Britain has decided to cooperate with the United States on a release of strategic oil stocks that is expected within months, two British sources said, in a bid to prevent fuel prices choking economic growth in a U.S. election year.
A formal request from the United States to the UK to join forces in a release of oil from government-controlled reserves is expected "shortly" following a meeting on Wednesday in Washington between President Barack Obama and Prime Minister David Cameron, who discussed the issue, one source said.
Britain would respond positively, the two sources said...
and then story denied....
Obama hits back at energy critics
White House denies tapping strategic oil reserve
By Anna Fifield in Washington - FT.com
Barack Obama, US president, has hit back at Republican critics blaming him for rising petrol prices, suggesting that his rivals for the presidency are so misguided on energy they would have been “founding members of the flat earth society” if they were around in time of Christopher Columbus.
Seeking to rebuff criticism that his policies have contributed to rising prices at the pump, Mr Obama mocked the Republican insistence on drilling for more oil and said that only a comprehensive energy plan would reduce petrol prices in the long run...
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