IRS approved 501(c)(3) status, which will allow individual federal tax write-offs for people who make charitable donations to the church. Members of the First Church of Cannabis believe that smoking marijuana is a religious observance. In Indiana, the use of marijuana is illegal for recreational or medical purposes.
The country's currency lost nearly half its value since beginning of May, according to dolartoday.com, a website that tracks the unofficial exchange rate. Venezuela relies on oil exports to support its economy, which was already under pressure before oil prices tanked.
Continued warming of oceans may trigger disruptions to marine life not seen in 3 million years; journal: Nature Climate Change. Among the changes: extinction of ocean's keystone species, widespread influx of invasive plants and animals particularly in "temperate and polar biomes." May reorganize marine diversity over large regions, ultimately impact humans, food web may become uncoupled."
Millions straining to make house payments. 30 percent of homeowners 65 and older (6.5 million people) were paying a mortgage in 2013, up from 22 percent in 2001. People 75 and older carrying home loans jumped from 8 percent in 2001 to 21 percent in 2011. Among homeowners 50 and older, foreclosure rates highest for those 75 and up.
Several Wayne County Commissioners pushed against a plan to levy a one-time property tax assessment as part of residents' summer tax bills to cover $49 million owed to employee retirement system. Wayne County Executive Warren Evans: county has $52-million structural deficit, "grossly" underfunded pension system, could run out of money next year.
Factory orders declined eight of the last nine months. Consumer goods-related equipment fell by varying amounts. Business inventories remain at near-record high levels. Money borrowed and spent today comes at the expense of spending that might otherwise have happened tomorrow. Auto industry’s strength, driven by long-term subprime lending, is actually a sign of weakness. These days even superficially good numbers are bad.
Tsipras, who vowed not to surrender to more austerity, tried to pre-empt a take-it-or-leave-it offer by the creditors, sending what he called a comprehensive reform proposal to Brussels. Greek government official said Athens would make a 300 million euro repayment to the IMF Friday if there was an agreement with the creditors, hinting it might otherwise withhold the money without saying so explicitly.
Prime Minister of Slovakia Robert Fico: Russia and Slovakia should make an effort to enhance economic cooperation, past three months turnover between the two countries fell by 40%, need to overcome the negative factors in our trade and economic relations.
The Russian prime minister has warned EU officials that if they decide to tighten the regime of sanctions aimed against Russia, an equivalent reply would follow inevitably. Moscow might lift the embargo on foodstuffs from certain foreign countries if West lifts its anti-Russia sanctions.
Bilateral FTA covers 17 sectors, including e-commerce, government procurement, will remove tariffs on 90 percent of all products traded between China and South Korea. South Korea has surpassed Japan as a bigger trading partner for China.
Maduro: “In Venezuela, there has not been nor will there be dollarization. Our currency, proudly, is and will forever be the bolivar.” Inflation last year was 68 percent, economists predicting three-digit price rises this year.
The financial system is predominantly comprised of digital money. Actual physical Dollars bills and coins amount to $1.36 trillion, a little over 10% of the $10 trillion sitting in bank accounts; a tiny fraction of the $20 trillion in stocks, $38 trillion in bonds and $58 trillion in credit instruments floating in the system. If a significant percentage of people moved their money into physical cash, it could quickly become a systemic problem.
Euro exit is a political decision. the Greek authorities could decide to exit in a unilateral manner. But the current Greek government has no mandate to do so. There is no process for Euro exit defined in the governing European treaties; the practical and legal challenges could not be resolved overnight.
It is only a matter of time before the stock market plunges by 50% or more, according to several reputable experts. “We have no right to be surprised by a severe and imminent stock market crash,” explains Mark Spitznagel, a hedge fund manager who is notorious for his hugely profitable billion-dollar bet on the 2008 crisis. “In fact, we must absolutely expect it."
As more money continues to flow into the pockets of Mexican drug cartels, traffickers need to maintain a solid network of places—often along the southwest border—where they can launder drug money. However, in an attempt to stymie these efforts, several major US banks have been closing numerous branches in the region and shutting down hundreds of customer accounts.
Government officials attending an emergency summit under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday prepared a draft agreement as Greek sources cited by the Athens-Macedonia News Agency indicated that negotiators in Brussels were close to a deal on value added tax, curbing early retirements and the gradual merging of pension funds.
Greek officials hope an agreement with lenders can be reached by Sunday. If no deal is reached, then Greece left with no option but to default on its debt next week. The risk is that Greece is the first domino to fall in a cascading sovereign debt crisis that spreads from one country to another. Portugal, Italy, and Spain are larger dominos that could potentially fall.
The slump is expected to continue throughthis year, since the start of the 2008 financial crisis, the US economy remains mired in stagnation and slump.
You can’t build a solid economy on the jelly of unaffordable housing, unpayable debts, and unsustainable asset prices. But that’s what we’ve got. Credit cannot increase faster than income forever. It is mathematically, economically, and financially impossible.
Research by credit card company Visa and the University of Technology Sydney found Australians are open to the prospect of paying for items using wearable tech including smart watches, rings, glasses and even a connected car. 25% say they are“slightly interested” having a chip implanted in their skin that could be used for payments.
Bank of America has been fined $30 million by U.S. regulators, who accused the bank of violating consumer protections for members of the military in collecting debts. Regulators say the bank violated the law protecting service members by taking improper legal action against military customers for delinquent credit card accounts and overdrafts.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitri Rogozin has stated that Russia's future depends on its rebirth as a major industrial power, noting that Russian manufacturers must recapture the domestic market, and that reindustrialization is necessary in order to put the country back on a 'sovereign national footing'.
Herman Gref, the head of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank, welcomed the introduction of Islamic banking in the country’s traditionally Muslim regions, saying it would help attract capital from Arab countries.
Venezuela has not always experienced punishing inflation rates. 1950 through 1979, Venezuela’s average annual inflation rate remained in the single digits. It was the 1980s that Venezuela witnessed a double-digit average the 1990s that Venezuela’s average inflation rate exceeded that of the Latin American region. Second-highest rate: Syria’s, which stands at 84%.
Stagnant incomes, rising expenses, crashing employment. Labor that generate hefty profits increasingly scarce. Most big profits generated by financial gaming of debt and leverage, not labor. The few areas of labor that generate hefty profits in protected fiefdoms of state-enforced cartels, financial services or software, machinery that replaces costly human labor.
Current $3 billion annual military aid package set to expire in 2017, US and Israeli officials are discussing a new 10-year deal that could be worth up to $45 billion. Netanyahu refused to say how much Israel was requesting from the United States.
The Central Bank of Russia (CBR) has proposed a discussion about establishing an analogue to the SWIFT global network for transmission of financial information that processes $6 trillion worth of communiqués daily.
New activity/unrest was observed at 6 volcanoes from May 20 - 26, 2015. During the same period, ongoing activity was observed at 23 volcanoes. New activity: Calbuco, Chile | Concepcion, Nicaragua | Kilauea, Hawaiian Islands Reunion Island (France), Nicaragua,, Ecuador. Ongoing activity: Japan |Indonesia| Colima, Mexico, Russia, |Guatemala.
US government Centers for Disease Control taking millions of dollars in drug company money in recent years; The British Medical Journal. Researchers in America and around the world expressed shock, asked how the funding has been influencing CDC actions and decisions. “The CDC Foundation raised $52m in fiscal year 2014, $12m was from corporations.”
U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew repeated warnings not to minimize the global stability risk of Greece sliding out of the euro zone, even if most of its debt is no longer held by commercial banks.
The Australian economy is well on the way to its first recession in almost a quarter of a century, according to data released yesterday on planned investment by business over the next year.
The West is growing ever more irritated at Ukraine as Kiev’s demands for money and assistance are becoming more insistent, Russian Permanent Representative at the European Union Vladimir Chizhov.
Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov stressed the importance of developing the economic basis for import substitution, added that Russia needed to develop an export-oriented import substitution policy to be able to sell more of its goods abroad.
“The Prime Minister of Ukraine has urged U.S. partners to actively use the investment opportunities offered by the privatization campaign in Ukraine, particularly in the energy sector,” statement posted on Ukraine’s governmental website. Yats met with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin recently to discuss economic reforms following an additional $1 billion pledge in official U.S. aid.
The international community functions best only when all its members, Russia included, sit together at one table working hand in hand and achieving good results. I hope that, sooner or later, we’ll see this happening;” IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde.
America’s three biggest banks — JPMorgan Chase (JPM), Bank of America (BAC) and Wells Fargo (WFC) — made more than $1.1 billion on overdraft fees in the first three months of the year. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is currently examining overdraft fees. Woodforest National Bank, First National Bank Texas both get more than 40% of their non-interest revenue from overdraft charges.
The Fed is not a government agency. It’s a private entity whose board of directors is made up of some big names in the banking industry and yes they are guaranteed a certain amount of dividends/interest.
The head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Greece might exit from the eurozone, adding that the possible move will not negatively influence the euro, very unlikely that we'll reach a comprehensive solution in the coming days.
"The supply of oil continues to build," "all this oil needs to go somewhere," surge in super-tankers to a seven year high, millions of barrels being stored on ships.
China is boosting its influence in global gold markets by establishing its largest gold-investment fund led by Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE), which is expected to raise about 100 billion yuan ($16.1 billion).
42 nurses’ licenses suspended for failure to repay their federal student loans, three in Chattanooga; Tennessee Department of Health’s monthly disciplinary action report. Two states (Montana and Iowa)revoke your license to drive indefinitely until student loan associations notify them of your compliance.
Prices rise well above cost of living increases. Developed countries have already picked the "low-hanging fruit" of technological advance, future innovations will produce far less growth. Corporatists, bureaucrats, officials and the financial elites have no interest to see ordinary citizens prosper. Perpetual growth is no longer tenable.
Russia’s central bank increased its gold holdings substantially in April, added 300,000 ounces to their stockpile of 40.1 million ounces. Russia’s reduction of its exposure to U.S. Treasury bills a symptom of its fear that state assets will be targeted next, also be part of the policy of de-dollarisation which Russia and China are pursuing.
TPP is a corporate/investor rights agreement, not a “trade” agreement. TPP elevates corporations and corporate profits to and above the level of governments, lets corporations sue governments for laws and regulations that cause them to be less profitable. This increases the power of corporations over governments – and us
Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of . minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, advocating changes to the law that create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces. Federation of Labor: companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.
China and Chile on Monday signed a host of cooperation deals including a multi-billion-U.S.-dollar currency swap pact as the two countries move to enhance their trade and financial ties. Business contracts and governmental accords in areas including politics, trade, finance, mining, agriculture, production capacity and science and technology.
Sophisticated criminals used an online service run by the IRS to access personal tax information from more than 100,000 taxpayers, part of an elaborate scheme to steal identities and claim fraudulent tax refunds, the IRS said Tuesday.
Germans are now rushing into gold. In search of a safe haven from a possible Greek debt default and the ultra-loose monetary policy of the European Central Bank. Germans have increased their purchases of gold by a20% in the first three months of 2015.
“Too big to jail” banks admitted criminal looting through market manipulation and collusion last week, will return a mere 33% of one quarter’s income without prison sentences (total “fine” of $5.7 billion from $15.5 billion 2015 1st-quarter combined incomes.
The world is sinking under too much debt, ageing global population means countries’ debt piles are in danger of growing out of control; European chief executive of Goldman Sachs Asset Management. “There is too much debt and this represents a risk to economies. Consequently, there is a clear need to generate growth to work that debt off but, as demographics change, new ways of thinking at a policy level are required.”
There are no free financial markets in America, or for that matter anywhere in the Western word, and few, if any, free markets of any other kind. The financial markets are rigged by the big banks, the Federal Reserve, and the Treasury in the interests of the profits of the few big banks and the dollar’s exchange value, which is the basis of US power.
Kazakhstan and China are close to concluding a joint agreement for the construction of almost 38 industrial enterprises, Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev said in an interview aired by the Rossiya 24 television news channel on Tuesday. "We are about to sign a very big contract with China for the construction of about 38 enterprises," Kazakhstan’s head of state said.
Under Clinton's leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data.
Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke out against excluding foreign companies from the Russian government procurement program, saying the local market shouldn’t be deprived of competition.
Israel has begun talks with the US with the intention of increasing American aid to $4.5 billion in grant aid through 2028. Israel is the largest single recipient of US aid and it has been an essential part of Israel’s continuing existence.
Doris Tillman told The Los Angeles Times she was forced to stop paying for water after Los Angeles Department of Water and Power sent her a bill for $11,000. She assumed that the enormous bill must be a mistake. To survive, the 71-year-old woman hauls 50 gallons each week from a nearby water machine at a cost of 25 cents a gallon.
More than 2 million people have used credit cards to pay their mortgage or rent, an increase of almost 50% in a year, according to the housing and homelessness charity Shelter, warns homelessness hanging over them once they have exhausted the limited and expensive credit available to them.
Greek hospitals have run out of supplies such as painkillers, scissors and sheets as budget cuts have left the health service unable to provide even basic provisions for operations and medical procedures.
Los Angeles largest city in the country to move toward a $15 minimum wage. Seattle, San Francisco are other large regions to adopt that wage level. Democrats’ new bill to raise federal minimum wage to $12 per hour by 2020. Current federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, couldn’t support a single individual in U.S.
Talks between German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras failed to produce a breakthrough regarding further loans in exchange for Athens agreeing to deeper austerity cuts. Last week several Syriza ministers warned Greece will not be able to make the June payments without external funding.
The Russian government has approved a draft agreement for a free trade zone between the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Vietnam. The deal is supposed to double bilateral trade and see the EEU more involved in integration processes in the Asia-Pacific.
Greece will not be able to make next debt repayment to International Monetary Fund (IMF), as the country has no money to pay, the Interior Minister said. "The four installments for the IMF in June are 1.6 billion euros ($1.8 billion), this money will not be given and is not there to be given."
Republicans proposing to cut $150 billion from student aid in the recently passed budget bill, including freezing the Pell program that helps needy students acquire higher education.
The civil war-exhausted Eastern European nation has found itself in a complicated financial situation. Ukraine has accumulated a significant governmental and government-backed debt of $42.5 billion as of April 2015,
Prime Minister Tsipras may be ready to compromise but lawmakers from the party’s left wing warned they will not accept a deal that keeps the austerity policies which have devastated Greece’s economy. Some saying abandoning the euro the common currency used by 19 European nations would not be a catastrophe.
In an interview on May 21, 2015 with Turd Ferguson of TF Metals, Jim Willie says,”We are not just in the end time. We’re rounding the bend.
Wall Street investors bought more than 200,000 foreclosed houses in past two years, bundling together the rents they generate into bonds just like subprime mortgage bonds, jacks up rent by a third, immediately begins eviction proceedings against renters who can't pay.
China is planning to introduce the gold fixing reference price in yuan. China is the world’s largest gold producer and is, logically, interested in the possibility to influence the determination of the gold price.
Income inequality in many developed countries has reached an all-time high, report released Thursday by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, growth of social inequality accompanied by the growth of part-time and contingent labor, particularly for younger workers.
Americans saw an immediate jump in their monthly health insurance premiums – up to a quadrupling for some families. Insurers in some states proposing rate boosts for plans sold under the federal health law: New Mexico, Health Care Service Corp. 51.6%, BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, 36.3% increase. CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield wants to raise rates 30.4% across its products.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a new plan to create an infrastructure finance bank on Thursday, following recent announcements from China about the institution of the Beijing-based Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the BRICS New Development Bank.
Chinese leadership appears to be trying to gain more control over the country’s economic system, while at the same time (re-)boosting the growth it has lost in recent years. A free market, in whatever shape and form, does not rhyme with the kind of control which the Communist Party has been used to for decades
Bank of England officials secretly researching financial shocks that could hit Britain if there is a vote to leave the European Union in the forthcoming referendum. The Bank blew its cover when it accidentally emailed details of the project including how the bank intended to fend off any inquiries about its work – direct to the Guardian.
United States already trades heavily with the other 11 nations included in the TPP talks. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) critical of Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions, which would empower corporations to use international courts to sue U.S. government and others enacting regulations and protections that harm their profits.
International Monetary Fund has estimated Greece has until June 5th before it runs out of any money, leaders of Greece, the EU and Eurozone have two more weeks to make the final tranche of 7.2B EUR of emergency funding available, or the consequences might be disastrous.
$5.7 billion dollars is nothing compared to the $40.24 billion net income that banks earned in the second quarter of 2014 alone. It was the second highest profit total in the last 23 years, surpassed only by 2013. Further, the fines are nothing compared to the trillions of dollars in bailouts that banks received at the outset of the financial crisis
Premier Li Keqiang; highest-ranking official from China to visit Colombia since the two nations established diplomatic ties 35 years vowed to deepen economic ties with Colombia during a four-nation South American tour aimed at boosting trade and investment between the two countries. China is Colombia’s second-biggest trading partner.
In 21 out of the 26 OECD member countries that have a minimum wage, working 40 hours per week at the pay floor would not be sufficient to keep one's family out of poverty. In no state can a minimum wage worker afford a one bedroom apartment.
Venture capitalist Tony Perkins: treatment of wealthy Americans today is like Jews in Nazi Germany. Rhetoricclass warfare; financial speculators were unfairly blamed by politicians.
The world has an unease about the dollar system… President Hu of China:‘the dollar is a product of the past.’ The headlines for gold these past few years have only focused on physical gold accumulation by China, Russia and Eastern central banks. China is buying gold mines at a record. U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew: “China isn’t ready for currency reserve status.
David Rosen, legislative budget and finance officer; Office of Legislative Services, told Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee would be nearly impossible for state to scrape together $1.57 billion before end offiscal year in June if that’s what Supreme Court rules in legal battle over pension funding.
Sweeping legislation to strengthen the administration's hand in global trade talks advanced toward Senate passage Thursday after a showdown vote. Obama predicting trade deal would "open up access to markets that too often are closed."Final Senate passage would clear the way for a fierce struggle in the House.
City officials want to slash their $50 million pension debt to a penny on the dollar. City agreed to pay Calpers, its biggest creditor, in full an agreement incorporated into the plan.
Among demands of the workers are the employment of more staff and the payment of unpaid wages. Syriza seeking to finalise agreement for a continuation of austerity with the the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Russia’s food embargo not to be lifted soon; Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev. The domestic agribusiness will significantly improve its competitiveness by the time of abolishing Russia’s response measures of the food embargo against Western sanctions.
Chinese stock market will finally open to the outside world raises concerns among Americans as China is likely to become a very attractive place for major investors, creating a new global center of stock trading comparable to Wall Street.
Gold monetisation scheme, India's FinMin Arun Jaitley released bank guidelines on interest rates, reserve and liquidity ratios; allow individuals deposit minimum of 30 grams of gold with banks in return for interest payments. Will have to deposit gold for at least a year, banks may pay the interest after 30 or 60 days of the opening of the gold savings account, the proposal said. Interest and principal payable to depositors likely to be valued in gold, gains will be tax-free.
An Israeli oil company has been ordered by a Swiss court to pay $1.1 billion to Iran in compensation in a long-standing legal battle related to a joint venture before the Islamic Revolution.
The International Labor Organization World Employment and Social Outlook—Trends 2015 report found that three-quarters of workers are “employed on temporary or short-term contracts, in informal jobs often without any contract, under own-account arrangements or in unpaid family jobs.”
Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) this week put out a new report pointing out that even in the trade agreements we currently have, the Obama administration and previous administrations have failed to enforce these labor standards.
Russia will turn to an international court if the Ukrainian president signs a moratorium on the repayment of foreign debt; Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov.
China may more than double its investment in the Russian economy to $10 billion within 5 years if conditions are favorable; Deputy Secretary-General of the China Overseas Development Association He Zhenwei.
Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Iran, Uruguay, Chile, Vietnam, Tunis, Serbia and Morocco are among countries that increased deliveries of their products to Russia.
The market is at a standstill, each day without a deal is one day closer to insolvency. Banking sector will run out of collateral by the end of next month, empty pensioner bank accounts. Every day average of 59 enterprises close, 613 jobs lost, market facing a cash crunch.
The committee of Western investors - holders of Ukraine’s sovereign bonds confirmed on Monday it does not accept the idea to write off a debt portion but hailed the effort of the Ukraine’s Ministry of Finance to expedite debt restructuring negotiations.
President of the WB Jim Yong bank is ready to cooperate with BRICS in various areas. BRICS New Development Bank was created in mid-2014 as an alternative to Western global financial institutions by Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa. The member states agreed to establish a $100-billion liquidity reserve to maintain the bank's financial stability.
Fed published a paper in 1999 suggesting taxing physical cash using an expiration date if depositors aren’t willing to spend the money. Chase restricts borrowers from using cash to make payments on credit cards, mortgages, equity lines, and auto loans, storage of cash in its safe deposit boxes.
The BRICS New Development Bank will be operational by end of 2015, or early 2016, membership open to all members of the United Nations, subject to agreement from the bank's board of governors; China's Vice Finance Minister Shi Yaobin. The bank is to have capital of $100 billion to fund infrastructure projects.
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