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Jump in Gold as France Refutes EU Pact,
Portuguese Contingency Rumored,
Chinese Demand Overtakes India
By: Adrian Ash - GoldSeek.com
THE WHOLESALE MARKET gold price jumped at the start of New York trade on Thursday, cutting the week's previous 3.3% dive to 5-month lows in half as the Euro fell and Eurozone stock markets slumped once again.
The gold price touched $1558 per ounce before easing $3 lower. Silver did not follow, failing to break this morning's earlier Dollar high at $27.86 per ounce.
German Bund yields fell to fresh record lows, but Spain had to offer investors in new 3-year debt an annual yield of 4.37%, up from the 2.89% charged at the last comparable sale in April.
Backwardation in Gold And Silver
BY PATER TENEBRARUM - FinancialSense.com
On Monday, May 14, something happened that hasn't happened since Dec of 2008. Two successive near-month precious metals futures contracts were in backwardation at the same time. To oversimplify, backwardation is when the price of a futures contract is lower than the price in the spot market. It should not be possible for it to happen in gold and silver.
But ever since Dec 2008, it has been recurring intermittently, and recently it has become the "new normal" for each futures contract to head into backwardation before expiring.
Precious Metals Market Manipulation?
By Doug Casey, Casey Research - GoldSeek.com
For many years now, a meme has been floating around that the prices of gold and silver are being manipulated, which is to say suppressed, by various powers of darkness. This is not an unreasonable assertion. After all, the last thing the monetary powers-that-be want is to see is the price of gold skyrocketing. That would serve as an alarm bell, possibly panicking people all over the world, telling them to get out of the dollar. It's assumed, by those who believe in the theory, that the US Treasury is behind the suppression scheme, in complicity with a half-dozen or so large bullion banks that regularly trade in the metals.
Gold rise sharply by 216% in Turkish lira terms in 5 yrs: WGC
ANKARA (Commodity Online): The gold price has risen in all major currencies in recent years; in Turkish lira terms the price increased 216% between May 2007 and April 2012, said World Gold Council in its "Global gold market-first quarter 2012".
According to WGC, much of this increase was on the back of concerns regarding the European sovereign debt crisis as Turkey is a major trading partner in the region. Inflationary pressures and lacklustre performance of other financial assets contributed to the rise.
Selling in Gold largely coming from speculators: Commerzbank
LONDON (Commodity Online): The continuing slide in gold appears to be the result of selling by short term speculators, said Commerzbank, the second-largest bank in Germany, after Deutsche Bank.
The German bank stated that, "Because gold ETFs (exchange-traded funds) are still recording no significant outflows, speculative financial investors must be largely responsible for the price slide."
More Turmoil to Come, Buy Real Assets: Jim Rogers
By: Deepanshu Bagchee - Supervising Digital Editor, CNBC Asia
Jim Rogers, the chairman of Rogers Holdings, says he expects more turmoil in the global financial markets after several Asian stock markets on Friday fell to four-month lows.
"The world's got serious problems facing it, I don't particularly like saying it, but it's true," Rogers told CNBC.com on Friday morning in Singapore. "Unfortunately there will be more debt and currency turmoil to come."
Federal Reserve Board Vacancies Will Be Filled Today
By Matthew Yglesias - Slate.com
Today the U.S. Senate will break David Vitter's filibuster and put Jeremy Stein and Jerome Powell on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. These are solid, banal, well-qualified picks. So solid and well-qualified, in fact, that it's a bit hard to know if it'll make a difference. What the Fed really needs at this point is a bit of outside-the-box thinking, but any kind of counterweight to the often cranky regional bank presidents should do some good.
* * * * *
Lindsey Williams - Radio Liberty 16 May 2012
Senate summons JP Morgan boss
Jamie Dimon to explain $2bn losses
Tim Johnson, chairman of the Senate banking committee, said he wants to 'hear directly' from Dimon over trading losses
By Dominic Rushe - The Guardian
The Senate banking committee plans to call JP Morgan boss Jamie Dimon to Washington to explain how the bank lost $2bn in poorly-supervised trading.
Senator Tim Johnson, the chairman of the committee said it should "hear directly" from Dimon about the losses at America's biggest bank.
Johnson did not specify when he would ask Dimon to appear, but the committee has two meetings slated for May 22 and June 6, and any hearing with Dimon would have to come after that.
JP Morgan Unit has $100 Billion in risky bonds:
By: Sam Jones in London and Tracy Alloway
and Tom Braithwaite in New York - FT.com via CNBC.com
The unit at the centre of JPMorgan Chase's $2 billion trading loss has built up positions totalling more than $100 billion in asset-backed securities and structured products – the complex, risky bonds at the centre of the financial crisis in 2008.
These holdings are in addition to those in credit derivatives which led to the losses and have mired the bank in regulatory investigations and criticism.
No, None of This Makes Any Sense
BY FREDERICK J SHEEHAN - FinancialSense.com
After the financial crisis in 2008, "Too-Big-To-Fail" banks had to go. In 2006, the four largest banks - J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Citigroup, and Wells Fargo - held 33% of U.S. bank assets. Now, they hold 41% of U.S. bank assets and grow by the minute.
The Federal Reserve is, at least on paper, the country's leading bank regulator. Instead, it behaves like the TBTF banks' turbocharger. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is full of talk, and nothing else:
Keiser Report: Debt-a-holic Zombies (E289)
In this episode, Max Keiser and co-host, Stacy Herbert, discuss the Devil's Breath of too much debt and JP Morgan's black and blue dementia. In the second half of the show Max talks to Mike Maloney about gold, silver and Hollywood accounting.
Will Europe Lose the War Between the States?
By PATRICK SMITH, The Fiscal Times
The Greeks did something interesting Tuesday morning. In a highly controversial decision, Athens announced that it would pay those bondholders who refused to participate in last March's debt swap. Just 3 percent of Greece's private creditors hold $552 million in bonds that matured Tuesday out of a total bailout package worth $222 billion.
The payout infuriated bondholders who lost more than 70 percent of their investment in the debt swap and who may go to the courts to challenge the deal. But the move also prevented a legal challenge from those bondholders who held out for full price. It is almost certain that the timing of this risky announcement was purposeful. It coincided with another saying that coalition talks had failed on Tuesday after several days of effort and that Greece will have to hold new elections probably in June.
Who is Responsible for the Greek Tragedy?
By Mohamed A. El-Erian - Project-Syndicate.org
SEATTLE – Greece is following the road taken by several other crisis-ridden emerging economies over the past 30 years. Indeed, as I argued earlier this year, there are stunning similarities between this once-proud eurozone member and Argentina prior to its default in 2001. With an equally traumatic implosion – economic, financial, political, and social – now taking place, we should expect heated debate about who is to blame for the deepening misery that millions of Greeks now face.
There are four suspects – all of them involved in the spectacular boom that preceded what will unfortunately prove to be an even more remarkable bust.
Another point of view... will they or won't they?
Don't believe the hype—
Greece isn't leaving the eurozone for now.
By Matthew Yglesias - Slate.com
All eyes are now on the possibility of a Greek exit from the eurozone. Indeed, it even has its own ridiculous portmanteau word—Grexit. Everyone from foreign financial institutions to the IMF is preparing for it, and the German government is telling anyone who'll listen that it's conceivable. So, is it really going to happen? Perhaps. And planning is prudent, certainly. But a short-term departure is much less likely than the hype would lead you to believe. Everyone has big incentives to bluff right now, but if Greece does end up leaving the euro it'll happen later as part of a broader and more comprehensive split.
Is there a tug of war going on, over Greece, the Euro, or the EU?
Greece Must Exit
By Nouriel Roubini - Project-Syndicate.org
NEW YORK – The Greek euro tragedy is reaching its final act: it is clear that either this year or next, Greece is highly likely to default on its debt and exit the eurozone.
Postponing the exit after the June election with a new government committed to a variant of the same failed policies (recessionary austerity and structural reforms) will not restore growth and competitiveness. Greece is stuck in a vicious cycle of insolvency, lost competitiveness, external deficits, and ever-deepening depression. The only way to stop it is to begin an orderly default and exit, coordinated and financed by the European Central Bank, the European Commission, and the International Monetary Fund (the "Troika"), that minimizes collateral damage to Greece and the rest of the eurozone.
"Greece Must Exit" comment by Paul Meyers....
The centerpiece of Roubini's argument is: "The only way to stop it is to begin an orderly default and exit." Only way? That's nonsense.
Greece makes up 2.5 percent of the European Union. If there was ever a situation ripe for "Can Do" leadership, it is here. The Europeans are going to let themselves come undone over 2.5 percent? This is an upside problem awaiting solution, not a cataclysm waiting to happen.
Roubini's criticism of the Troika is spot on. But the Troika is correctable. The Troika is just trying to refinance yesterday's mistakes, not create tomorrow's solution. That is a typical knee jerk solution by an elite...
Left to Fend for Itself
The Plan to Kick Greece Out of the Eurozone
by MIKE WHITNEY - CounterPunch.org
"Men and women of Greece, it is with a sense of dignity and patriotic duty, that we made the decision not to betray your hopes and aspirations…The pro-bailout parties did not simply want us to support a government that would impose more austerity, they wanted us to agree to measures that would increase poverty and desperation. We didn't do them the favor." – Alexis Tsipras, Chairman of the Radical Left Coalition (Syriza)
The endgame for Greece is now in sight. Attempts to form a unity government have failed and public opposition to austerity is growing. The uncertain political situation has triggered a bank run which drained nearly $900 million in deposits from Greek banks on Monday alone. Panicky Greeks are moving their money out of the country fearing that a default will collapse the banking system or that an unexpected return to the the Drachma will slash their life savings in half. Withdrawals are pushing yields on German bund to historic lows, signalling rising anxiety. Absent the European Central Bank's Emergency Liquidity Assistance (ELA) program, the Greek banking system would have imploded already taking down creditors in Germany, England and France. But the ECB's aid will not last forever nor is it unconditional. If the anti-austerity parties take power in Athens, the bailouts will stop, capital flight will accelerate, and the banking system will crash.
Dr. Bill Deagle w/ Jeff Rense 2012/05/15 - Multiple Updates
Global banks see market rally on Greek exit
Major global banks are advising clients to prepare for a stock market rally and a resurgence of the euro if Greece is forced out of monetary union, betting that world authorites will flood the international system with liquidity.
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - Telegraph.co.uk
Bank of America said it expects a "powerful short squeeze" in risk assets as speculative funds unwind positions, led by a rebound in battered bank stocks and Club Med bonds. The euro would surge 10pc to $1.40 against the US dollar after dipping first to $1.20 in the immediate panic.
The benign outcome assumes that the European Central Bank steps in with massive support, backed by the US Federal Reserve, the Bank of Japan, and key central banks along the lines of concerted action in 2008-2009.
We Are Watching The Greek Banking System Die
Right In Front Of Our Eyes
By Michael Snyder - TheEconomicCollapseBlog.com
Money is being pulled out of Greek banks at an alarming rate, and if something dramatic is not done quickly Greek banks are going to start dropping like flies. As I detailedyesterday, people do not want to be stuck with euros in Greek banks when Greece leaves the euro and converts back to the drachma. The fear is that all existing euros in Greek banks would be converted over to drachmas which would then rapidly lose value after the transition. So right now euros are being pulled out of Greek banks at a staggering pace. According to MSNBC, Greeks withdrew$894 million from Greek banks on Monday alone and a similar amount was withdrawn on Tuesday. But this is just an acceleration of a trend that has been going on for a couple of years. It has been reported that approximately a third of all Greek bank deposits were withdrawn between January 2010 and March 2012. So where has all of the cash for these withdrawals been coming from? Well, the European Central Bank has been providing liquidity for Greek banks, but now it has been reported that the ECB is going to stop providing liquidity to some Greek banks. It was not announced which Greek banks are being cut off. For now, the Greek Central Bank will continue to provide euros to those banks, but the Greek Central Bank will not be able to funnel euros into insolvent banks indefinitely.
A Surprising Conversation with Athens
BY BRUCE KRASTING - FinancialSense.com
If you read me on a regular basis you know that I speak with a fellow in Athens who is connected to the shipping industry and the government. I provide links below to some of those articles to establish this person's credibility. He's been pretty much right on things that have happened in his hometown.
I called him today to discuss the (now definitive) fact that there is no new government and elections will take place on June 16. What he said completely blew my mind.
Rick Santelli: How I Would Solve Europe
Moody's downgrades Santander UK
along with 16 Spanish banks
Shares in Bankia, Spain's fourth largest lender, also tumble as rumours spread of depositors withdrawing funds
By Giles Tremlett in Madrid - The Guardian
The credit rating agency Moody's has downgraded 16 Spanish banks along with Santander's UK arm, citing the Spanish government's reduced ability to shore up the banks.
Santander UK, whose rating was lowered to A2 – a notch higher than its Spanish parent – insisted there was no impact on its business and that it was an autonomous subsidiary with 90% of its assets held in the UK, where it is also regulated. Moody's admitted it was unlikely that the UK Financial Services Authority would allow Santander UK to substantially weaken itself in order to support the parent. increasing instability.
Are the Germans destined to save the euro?
It is an article of faith in Berlin
that the single currency must survive, whatever the cost.
By Jeremy Warner - Telegraph.co.uk
If there is one characteristic that defines the German nation, it is "Entschlossenheit" – or single-minded determination and resolve. It is worth bearing this in mind when attempting to analyse the eurozone debt crisis. Never underestimate Germany's determination to make the euro work, a senior German industrialist cautioned me recently, after I'd reeled off the conventional Eurosceptic view of the currency – that eventually, and possibly quite soon, it would collapse under the weight of its own contradictions.
Germany Accepts Inflation to Save the Eurozone
BY MONTY GUILD0 WITH TONY DANAHER - FinancialSense.com
I have been closely watching the economics of these markets since 1970, and I have never dreamed that Germans would tolerate inflation anywhere near 4 percent. They are doing no less than reversing a policy that has governed German central banking for almost a century — since the terrifying German Weimar inflation of 1921 - 1924, which impoverished millions and led to a collapse of the German currency...and social fabric.
Germany cuts, US spends...
Germany, U.S. head to G-8 summit
with starkly different economic policies
By Michael Birnbaum - WashingtonPost.com
BERLIN – There are 4,169 miles between Berlin and Washington. But on economic policy, the two capitals sometimes appear to be on different planets.
Germany has taken a tough-love, austerity-driven approach to solving Europe's recession, pushing struggling countries to sharply cut public spending and chop their debt even as their economies slump. The United States confronted its own crisis with an $862 billion stimulus package in 2009, which brought debt levels to heights not seen since shortly after World War II but may have dulled the worst blow of its downturn.
Greek euro exit would hit at home,
but fallout could be global
By Howard Schneider - WashingtonPost.com
Spiralling inflation. A collapsed banking system. Hundreds of billions of dollars in unpayable debts and likely isolation from the world financial community.
That much Greece can count on — at least initially — if its political paralysis continues and it leaves the euro.
But the fallout would extend well beyond Greece's borders, and analysts have been struggling to grasp whether it would upend markets as the collapse of Lehman Brothers did in 2008 or — if Europe's financial systems prove durable and its politicians adept in response — simply pass with a shrug.
What Will a Greek Default Mean for You?
BY JEFF RUBIN - FinancialSense.com
With Greece on the verge of default, we're about to learn how little has really changed since governments around the world wrote the last round of bail out checks to prop up failing financial institutions. Just as the collapse of the US subprime mortgage market rippled into nearly every corner of the global financial system, so too will a pending default by Greece.
Gerald Celente - Brian Sussman KFSO - May 15, 2012
Russia Stays Home
By Javier Solana - Project-Syndicate.org
MADRID – Just three days before his return to the Kremlin as Russia's president, Vladimir Putin met behind closed doors at his residence in Novo-Ogaryovo, outside Moscow, with US National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, who was there to transmit President Barack Obama's renewed determination to strengthen cooperation with Russia. But Donilon returned home empty-handed: Putin will attend neither the G-8 summit on May 18-19 at Camp David, nor the NATO summit in Chicago on May 20-21, despite Obama's effort to accommodate Russia by moving the G-8 summit from Chicago.
Barack Obama tells EU: boost growth now or face a global crisis
Germany to be urged to ease austerity
during G8 talks as fears of global recession grow
By Larry Elliott, Jill Treanor, Nicholas Watt
and Ewen MacAskill in Washington - Guardian.co.uk
Barack Obama is to put pressure on Germany to ease the pain of austerity with policies to boost growth, as he uses two days of talks with the G8 industrial nations to warn Europe it needs to act swiftly to spare the world economy from a second deep recession in four years.
Ahead of the G8 summit, at Camp David this weekend, a warning from the ratings agency Fitch that Greece's days in the single currency could be numbered heightened fears in Washington that the worsening crisis in the eurozone poses a threat to America's fragile recovery and President Obama's re-election chances.
G8 at Camp David: what the world wants to achieve
Guardian reporters analyse the wishlists of the world's leaders who are meeting at Barack Obama's presidential retreat in Maryland
By Ian Traynor, Ewen MacAskill, Luke Harding,
Tom Kington, Heather Stewart and Graeme Wearden - Guardian.co.uk
Briefing the German parliament last week on expectations of Camp David, Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasised less what she wanted than what she did not want.
"There can be no growth through borrowing," she declared, in a statement delivered on the issue of the global economy, but which seemed more directed at Europe. "That would just take us back to the start of the crisis."
Obama's Lit Agency Used 'Born in Kenya' Bio Until 2007
By Ben Shapiro - Breitbart.com
According to archive.org, a website that caches websites on a regular basis, the Dystel.com website – the official website for Dystel & Goderich, Obama's literary agents – was using the Barack Obama "born in Kenya" language until April 2007, just two months after then-Senator Obama declared his campaign for the presidency.
THE VETTING - EXCLUSIVE -
OBAMA'S LITERARY AGENT IN 1991 BOOKLET:
'BORN IN KENYA AND RAISED IN INDONESIA AND HAWAII'
by JOEL B. POLLAK - Breitbart.com
Andrew Breitbart was never a "Birther," and Breitbart News is a site that has never advocated the narrative of "Birtherism." In fact, Andrew believed, as we do, that President Barack Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on August 4, 1961.
Yet Andrew also believed that the complicit mainstream media had refused to examine President Obama's ideological past, or the carefully crafted persona he and his advisers had constructed for him.
It is for that reason that we launched "The Vetting," an ongoing series in which we explore the ideological background of President Obama (and other presidential candidates)--not to re-litigate 2008, but because ideas and actions have consequences.
Planning $10 Million Worth of Jeremiah Wright Attacks
Makes Sense Even if It Doesn't Work
By Matthew Yglesias - Slate.com
Joe Ricketts is the founder of TD Ameritrade. He's really rich, and he really dislikes Barack Obama. He's working with longtime GOP operative Fred Davis on a way to spend $10 million venting that anti-Obama rage with a series of racial attacks on Obama. This prompts Ben Smith to ask "do people think Jeremiah Wright attacks are going to work at this point?"
Super PAC Considers Scathing 'Wright' Attack on Obama
by WILLIAM BIGELOW - Breitbart.com
A billionaire whose family owns the Chicago Cubs is considering a proposal to help fund a strongly provocative campaign against Barack Obama. Joe Ricketts, the founder of the brokerage firm TD Ameritrade, may get behind a group of high-profile Republican strategists and their proposal, which is overseen by Fred Davis. The 54-page proposal, professionally bound and illustrated with color photographs, includes calls for running commercials linking Obama his former spiritual adviser, Jeremiah Wright, whose famous "God Damn America" comments were reflective of his racist ideology.
Hillary Clinton paid off other Black Preachers
to attack Rev. Wright
Wright told Klein that a fellow faith leader approached him in 2010 to allege that it wasn't just Republicans who were working to exploit his fiery image. The controversial pastor claimed that another preacher told him that the Hillary Clinton campaign was paying African American reverends to openly attack Wright.
The President's 'Other Gospel'
By Cal Thomas - PatriotPost.us
It is one thing to talk about "fairness" when it comes to allowing gays and lesbians to marry; it is quite another to claim biblical authority for such relationships.
President Obama cited the "Golden Rule" about treating others as you would like to be treated, but in doing so he ignored the totality of Scripture and the Lord Himself, who alone gets to set the rules for human behavior.
The president says he is a "practicing Christian." It is difficult to be one while simultaneously holding a low view of the Bible, which his position on several social issues might suggest.
Hewlett-Packard mulling 25,000 to 30,000 job cuts
to cope with dwindling PC demand
By AP - WashingtonPost.com
SAN FRANCISCO — Hewlett-Packard is poised to eliminate as many as 30,000 jobs to compensate for dwindling demand for personal computers as more people connect to the Internet on smartphones and tablets, according to reports published Thursday.
The looming cuts cited by Bloomberg News and the technology blog All Things D would trim as much as 9 percent of HP's workforce, based on the 349,600 people employed by the Palo Alto, Calif., company as of last October. A breakdown on HP's website listed 324,600 employees, but company spokesman Michael Thacker said the information was wrong. He pointed to the October figure listed in HP's annual report as the most accurate head count.
Postal Service moving ahead with closing mail sorting hubs, though closures will move slowly
By Lisa Rein - WashingtonPost.com
The U.S. Postal Service, facing mounting losses, said Thursday it is moving ahead with plans to close hundreds of mail sorting hubs and cannot wait for Congress to pass legislation to help it out of its financial hole.
But the closing of 232 processing centers will be phased in over three years instead of the faster pace postal officials announced last fall.
"After input from our customers, we've modified our approach," Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said at a news conference. "But the sobering reality is that the First Class mail [volume] will not return."
Health Care: No, the State Doesn't Know Best
By Jeff Jacoby - PatriotPost.us
Prices were out of control at the end of 3rd-century Rome, and the Emperor Diocletian was determined to rein them in. In AD 301 he issued his famous Edict on Prices, a complex piece of legislation that banned speculation and established price ceilings for a wide range of goods and services. But the ambitious law failed. Though violators could be punished with death, inflation and speculation persisted. Goods were hoarded, or sold on the black market. The economic crisis worsened. Eventually the law was abandoned. Like countless rulers before and since, Diocletian discovered the hard way that price controls don't work. They worsen the problem they are intended to solve, leading to shortages, rationing, and even higher prices.
Hardly anyone responds to public opinion surveys anymore.
Can we still trust them?
By Will Oremus - Slate.com
When you get a call on your cellphone from an unfamiliar number, do you answer it? If the person on the other end of the line immediately tries to assure you they're not trying to sell you anything, do you believe them? If they tell you they're conducting a public opinion survey that will only take a few minutes of your time, do you go ahead and start sharing your views on religion, gay marriage, the economy, and the upcoming election?
Americans Elect abandons bid to end two-party stranglehold
Electoral group fails to generate enough support from ordinary voters to fulfil its own requirements – and shuts down
By Paul Harris - Guardian.co.uk
Americans Elect, a well-financed group that aimed to help a viable third party candidate enter this November's presidential race, has announced it is ending its web-based push to break America's two-party system.
The organisation, which was founded with millions of dollars from its initial wealthy backers, had little trouble in organising a push to get on the ballot across America. It managed to secure ballot access in 29 states and was on track in all the rest. But it failed to attract a big-name candidate to join it or generate enough popular support from ordinary Americans to fulfil its own requirements to accept a candidate.
Beyond Americans Elect's flop:
The case (still) for a bolder center
By Matt Miller - WashingtonPost.com
The False Equivalency Police are dancing on Americans Elect's grave, claiming the group's failure to attract viable independent candidates proves the entire enterprise was misbegotten. What's more, these critics add, Americans Elect's flop shows that the whole thing was always a sideshow pushed by centrist pundits whose professional identity is wrapped up in the phony notion that Democrats and Republicans are equally to blame for our current predicament.
12 Pictures That Demonstrate
How The New World Order Openly Mocks Us
By Michael Snyder - EndOfTheAmericanDream.com
If you know what to look for, it quickly becomes obvious that the elite of the world are not even trying to hide their insidious plans for the planet. They hope to unite the entire globe under their leadership, and they don't think that we are strong enough or smart enough to stop them. They openly embed symbols expressing their desire for a one world economic system, a one world religion and a one world government on our buildings, on our monuments and on our money and they think that it is funny that most people have no idea what those symbols mean. The New World Order openly mocks us and they seem to take pleasure in giving us "clues" about what their plans for humanity are. In the "global society" that they have planned for us, individual freedoms and liberties will be greatly restricted "for the good of humanity" and they will use the emerging Big Brother police state control grid to monitor and control everything that we do. It would be a totalitarian regime unlike anything the world has ever seen before. That is why it is absolutely imperative that we wake people up and get them educated about what the globalists plan to do so that they can resist this growing tyranny.
Weather-Related Disasters on the Rise
By MERRILL GOOZNER, The Fiscal Times
If you don't have enough to worry about with the stock market sagging and the economy in the doldrums, ponder these facts: The U.S. just experienced the hottest 12 months since the National Weather Service began keeping records in 1895; extreme weather events are on the rise around the globe; and the Midwestern grain belt is overdue for a major drought.
This isn't a story about climate change or a subtle advertisement for hybrid vehicles. Global warming wasn't even a concept during the 1930s dust bowl, the rain-scarce late 1950s or the major droughts that hit the U.S. plains in 1980 and 1988.
Why the World's Unemployed Youth are Flocking to Brazil
By Joel Bowman - DailyReckoning.com
05/16/12 Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Man wasn't supposed to labor like this. Not under these conditions…with a clear view of a clearer sea…a white sandy beach below his room…the sound of the crashing waves gently carrying through his window…
…and his head stuck firmly in his computer screen.
But we will soldier on, Fellow Reckoner. We will ignore the blissful and beckoning distractions of one of the world's most famous esplanades just across the way. We will pretend the little cabanas down by Ipanema's Post 10 have exhausted their supplies of frosted, cachaça-based refreshments and that the hot bods tanning on the sand and frolicking in the water are really just figments of our imagination. We will turn away from this little heaven on earth and cast our gaze, instead, upon its equal and opposing force…
…but not just yet.
How Brazil Broke Loose
By Mark Roe, João Paulo Vasconcellos - Project-Syndicate.org
CAMBRIDGE – Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff's visit last week to Washington, DC, offers an occasion to consider how some once-poor countries have broken out of poverty, as Brazil has. Development institutions like the World Bank have advocated improving business law as being essential to success. Are they right?
Such thinking goes back at least as far as Max Weber's argument that an effective business environment requires a legal structure as predictable as a clock. Investors, it is thought, need clear rules and effective courts. Security of contract and strong mechanisms that protect investors are, in this view, foundational for finance, which in turn fuels economic growth. If a potential financier is unsure of being repaid, he or she will not invest, firms will not grow, and economic development will stall. Rules and institutions come first; real economic development follows.
What's the Price of a Billion People Watching Each Other?
Will Facebook's business model be more like Google, the New York Times, or TV? To be worth $100+ billion, it will have to be something much more.
By Derek Thompson - TheAtlantic.com
Is Facebook's IPO the next chapter in the greatest company of our time, or are Friday's buyers total suckers?
The only intelligent, honest, and true thing to say about this inevitable question is that nobody has any clue. In 1992, a company called America Online had a $70 million valuation after its IPO. A decade later, it was worth $150 billion. A decade after that peak, it is now worth only $1 billion. Online fortunes are built on hyper-active tectonic plates. Mountains of wealth accumulate from flat nothingness, rumble, push up toward the sky, and with alarming frequency, blow themselves up. The Internet is a super-seismic place.
Facebook's IPO: Who's Selling and How Much
By YUVAL ROSENBERG, The Fiscal Times
Even as outsiders line up to get a piece of Facebook, the social media giant's latest filing shows that early individual and institutional investors will be selling nearly 84 million more shares than originally planned. And even as the frenzy surrounding the offering builds – or perhaps because of it – Facebook is facing renewed scrutiny over its business model and the risks it faces.
The company revised its S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission twice in two days this week, with the latest document reflecting new plans to sell more than 421 million shares, up from 337.4 million, as early investors look to cash out more of their holdings. Those investors would face a lockup period of at least 91 days during which they could not sell once the stock is publicly traded.
Facebook's Eduardo Saverin
Saves $67 Million in Tax by Leaving U.S.
By Jesse Drucker - WashingtonPost.com
May 16 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. co-founder Eduardo Saverin will save at least $67 million in federal income taxes by dropping U.S. citizenship, according to a Bloomberg analysis of the company's stock price. Those savings will keep growing if Facebook's shares increase.
Saverin renounced his citizenship around September and he lives in Singapore, according to his spokesman, Tom Goodman. Saverin, 30, was part of a small group of Harvard University students who started the social networking site. He owns about 4 percent of the company, according to whoownsfacebook.com.
More ads for YOU... to 'like'
What Does Facebook's $100 Billion IPO Mean for You?
By Farhad Manjoo - Slate.com
When Facebook filed for its initial public offering in February, Mark Zuckerberg wrote a frank letter to potential investors in the firm. "Facebook was not originally created to be a company," he began. "It was built to accomplish a social mission—to make the world more open and connected." The founder went on to say that while making money was important to Facebook, raking in cash was not its primary goal. "Simply put: we don't build services to make money; we make money to build better services."
Real Estate Crash in China Underway
BY MICHAEL SHEDLOCK - FinancialSense.com
Inquiring minds are reading an excellent report China Real Estate Unravels by Patrick Chovanec, a professor at Tsinghua University's School of Economics and Management in Beijing, China.
The report confirms many of the things I said would happen in regards to the Chinese real estate bubble and GDP.
Here are a few items of note.
Developers, burdened by 70% leverage ratios and loans threatening to come due, rushed to complete projects already in their pipeline, to put those units onto the market and raise cash.
trade wars heating up...
US commerce department brings heavy tariffs
against Chinese solar panels
Investigation finds China kept prices low with subsidies, but some in US warn tariff will slow adoption of solar energy
By Suzanne Goldenberg - Guardian.co.uk
The Obama administration imposed heavy tariffs on Chinese solar panels on Thursday, after finding that China is flooding the market with government subsidised products.
The preliminary decision, that China had dumped solar products on the US for less than the cost of manufacture, will result in tariffs of between 31% and 250% on Chinese imports.
It was seen on Thursday as a mixed blessing.
Getting America on the Hook
Is Syria Going Straight to Hell?
by PETER LEE - CounterPunch.org
Back in February I wrote for Asia Times about the Chinese diplomatic initiative on Syria, which is now largely represented by the Annan peace plan. At the time, I wrote China's plan had a chance, albeit slim, because, for all the brave talk emanating from the Gulf, Turkey, the EU, and the West nobody seemed particularly eager to step up and destroy the Assad regime.
Simply imploding the Assad regime to spite Iran would appear to be easy, but has not happened.
Turkey is already providing safe havens for the Free Syrian Army, but apparently has not unleashed it. Western Iraq is aboil with doctrinaire Sunni militants happy to stick it to the Alawite regime, and Qatar has allegedly already laid the groundwork for underemployed Libyan militants to find profitable occupation fighting alongside the opposition in Syria, but utter bloody chaos has yet to erupt.
A Line-by-line Analysis of
National Defense Authorization Act, Nuclear Provisions
Gutting START; Re-Starting a Nuclear Arms Race
by ROBERT ALVAREZ - CounterPunch.org
The U.S. House of Representatives will soon take up the proposed National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013. (H.R. 4310). Attached is a section by section analysis of the nuclear weapons provisions I did over the past couple weeks. Also, here is the web-linkto the White House Statement of Administration Policy (SAP) regarding this legislation.
Democratic members have been denied the opportunity to offer amendments to strike and/or modify several provisions. House Republicans have cobbled together the most bellicose nuclear arms policy since the height of the Cold War. In doing so, they restore the "production over safety" policy that left behind an enormous human and environmental legacy. Specifically, this bill:
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Archived Page Link
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