What is happening to you America? Once upon a time, the United States was a place where free enterprise thrived and the greatest cities that the world had ever seen sprouted up from coast to coast. Good jobs were plentiful and a manufacturing boom helped fuel the rise of the largest and most vibrant middle class in the history of the planet. Cities such as Detroit, Chicago, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Philadelphia and Baltimore were all teeming with economic activity and the rest of the globe looked on our economic miracle with a mixture of wonder and envy. But now look at us. Our once proud cities are being transformed into poverty-stricken hellholes. Did you know that the city of Detroit once actually had the highest per-capita income in the United States?
Legislation that would empower states to tax online purchases cleared a key hurdle in the Senate on Monday after winning an enthusiastic endorsement from President Obama.
In what could to grow into a class action in US courts, a Chinese woman is suing the Federal Reserve after discovering that the real value of the USD250 she put in an account in 2006 had shrunk by 30%. She claims it was the result of the Fed issuing too much money, and as The South China Morning Post reports, her son Li Zhen, the lawyer, called the lawsuit "litigation for the public good". Alleging "abuse of monopoly in issuing currency," the People's Court of Kunming has yet to rule on the litigants' demand that the Fed cease-and-desist from its quantitative easing policy.
We are in the midst of experiencing two of the most radical weeks in the history of the precious metals markets. Paper prices for gold and silver, those prices determined by the fraudulently managed commodities exchanges (namely the COMEX and the London Bullion Marketing Association – LBMA) and regulated by the equally corrupt and complicit Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), have been driven into the basement.
On Monday the Greek coalition government and the “troika” of the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank announced an agreement over the disbursement of a further loan instalment of €2.8 billion. The release of the tranche, from the overall loan package of €240 billion due at the end of last year, was delayed for months when previous talks broke down.
One of the more curious revelations of the New Normal is the fundamental dichotomy when investing between paper "investors", or those who chase returns based on intangible, fiat-based and central bank-backed promises, such as capital appreciation or cash flow streams, and those who would rather convert their paper money into hard assets, even if said assets can not be, in the immortal words of Warren Buffett, fondled, or otherwise generate a cash-based return. Such as gold.
George Soros knows something dreadful is coming. The Rockefellers know goldman and plutocratssomething big and bad is about to happen. That something big is the imminent collapse of all fiat, paper money currencies around the world. In their secret Bilderberg meetings, the globalists have positively planned the exact date of our financial demise. You can even bet the next “black whatever day” will coincide with an ironic date which will make the globalists chuckle at the planned inception of next false flag event.
Amid mass unemployment, swelling poverty rates and falling wages, Wall Street hedge fund operators once again raked in astronomical pay packages last year.
The orchestrated attack on bullion in the paper gold market took the spot prices of gold and silver down on Friday and Monday, but actual physical purchases rose during this period. The sales were of paper claims, not of real metal. The demand for physical possession of bullion rose so strongly that large wholesalers such as www.tulving.com and large retailers such as Gainesville Coins reported sold out items. Also, dealers raised the premiums above the spot price that is charged for coins. From Friday to Monday the premium on Silver Eagles at the large online retailer, Gainesville Coins, rose from $3.75 to $5.99 above the spot price of silver. The percentage increase in premium was larger than the percentage decline in the silver price. Thus, the price of a silver one Troy ounce coin did not drop despite the drop in the spot price. Today (April 16) the price of a silver eagle purchased with a credit card from retailer Gainesville Coins is $30.36. You would never know that the market had fallen out. Today (Tuesday, April 16) Tulving reported 29% of its bar and coin bullion categories sold out and had almost no silver coin stock.
The facts in the public domain do not justify the sharp fall in the gold price over the past two trading days. At the time of writing, the price per 100oz is $1363, down over $200 since Friday's open. The scale of the sell-off was the worst in 30 years, with the volatility index standing at the highest level in its history. John Kemp at Reuters has calculated that based on a normal distribution, you would expect to see movements like Monday's only once in every 500 million trading days, or two million years. The news which would justify such a price swing is curiously absent – in fact, my view is that the market ought to be bullish for gold. Something doesn't add up.
“I have assumed from the beginning that it is the Fed’s concern with the dollar because the dollar is being printed in huge quantities at the same time that other countries are abandoning the use of the dollar as international payment. The exchange value of the dollar is (being) threatened, and if that collapses the Fed loses control over interest rates. Then the bond market blows up, the stock market blows up, and the banks that are too big to fail, fail. So it’s an act of desperation because they’ve got to establish in people’s minds that the dollar is the only safe place, it is the only safe haven, not gold, not silver, and not other currencies.”
What you are witnessing in the gold market right now is the final liquidation of the gold bug. On Friday gold fell $84 an ounce for a 5.38% drop while the HUI gold stock index fell 6%. Big bad moves. What is worse these drops have come after months of falling gold prices all while the S&P 500 has gone higher.
NOTE: Gold weights are based on metric tons and Troy ounces. 500 metric tons of gold would be 16,075,000 troy ounces. This changes the arithmetic slightly but not the point. I was the first to point out that the Federal Reserve was rigging all markets, not merely bond prices and interest rates, and that the Fed is rigging the bullion market in order to protect the US dollar’s exchange value, which is threatened by the Fed’s quantitative easing. With the Fed adding to the supply of dollars faster than the demand for dollars is increasing, the price or exchange value of the dollar is set up to fall.
Last week’s decision by the Bank of Japan to double the country’s money supply over the next two years through massive purchases of long-term government bonds will both fuel the deepening global economic crisis and stimulate further attacks on the Japanese working class.
Fifty-five years after the founding of the European Economic Community in 1958, the project of unifying Europe and bringing it lasting prosperity on a capitalist basis has been irrevocably shattered by the global capitalist crisis. With the recent bailout of Cyprus and new austerity measures announced against Greece and Portugal, the European Union (EU) is emerging nakedly as an instrument for crushing workers’ social rights, as competing ruling elites ruthlessly fight for dominance in Europe.
US President Barack Obama unveiled his budget proposal Wednesday, calling for a historic attack on Medicare and Social Security. The move, coming after the imposition of $1.4 trillion in spending cuts over the past two years, marks a new stage in the US ruling class’s offensive against the social rights of the population.
The big banks are breathlessly proclaiming that now is the time to sell your gold. They are warning that we have now entered a “bear market” for gold and that the price of gold will continue to decline for the rest of the year. So should we believe them? Well, their warnings might be more credible if the central banks of the world were not hoarding gold like crazy. During 2012, central bank gold buying was at the highest level that we have seen in almost 50 years. Meanwhile, insider buying of gold stocks has now reached multi-year highs and the U.S. Mint cannot even keep up with the insatiable demand for silver eagle coins. So what in the world is actually going on here?
Curious why every bank and their grandmother, and most recently Goldman today, has been lining up to push the price of gold as low as possible? Here's why: CYPRUS TO SELL 400 MLN EUROS WORTH OF GOLD RESERVES TO FINANCE PART OF ITS BAILOUT - TROIKA DOCUMENTS - RTRS
The ailing personal computer market is getting weaker, and it's starting to look like it will never fully recover as a new generation of mobile devices reshapes the way people use technology. The latest evidence of the PC's infirmity emerged Wednesday with the release of two somber reports showing unprecedented declines in the sales of desktop and laptop machines during the first three months of the year.
Just a few months ago the total net worth of all Bitcoins, a popular encrypted digital currency, was worth about $140 million. The non-tangible exchange mechanism is used by people all over the world to purchase everything from traditional goods and services, to illicit trade that may include drugs and stolen credit card numbers.
We are headed for a catastrophic retirement train wreck. A Wall Street-driven financial crisis has stripped millions of people of things like jobs, pensions and home equity that were supposed to deliver a dignified retirement after a lifetime of hard work. The crisis has also provided certain interests the opportunity to make false claims about the “unaffordability” of vital social insurance programs like Social Security and Medicare that help the 99% make it. These opportunistic “Raiders of Your Lost Retirement” do not give a hoot if you starve in your golden years – this is about money to them.
The Obama administration will release a budget proposal next week that includes deep cuts to Medicare and Social Security. The leak of details of the president’s budget plan by White House officials comes within days of another news item that received scant attention in the media: The sequestration order signed into law by President Obama on March 1 is resulting in thousands of patients being turned away from cancer clinics due to cuts to Medicare reimbursement for expensive chemotherapy drugs.
Amid disappointing jobs numbers, the president's budget proposal gives away his party's crown jewels: their defense of Social Security and Medicare. Job creation slowed to just 88,000 in March, signaling a sluggish economy. And President Obama, with unerring timing, picked this moment to put out an authorized leak that he is willing to put Social Security and Medicare on the block as part of a grand budget bargain that will only slow the economy further.
Seeking an elusive middle ground, President Barack Obama is proposing a 2014 budget that embraces tax increases abhorred by Republicans as well as reductions, loathed by liberals, in the growth of Social Security and other benefit programs.
"Reports say you made a billion dollar shorting the yen," Lo said. "What are you trying to do? Break the Bank of Japan?" "I think the Bank of Japan is eager to have people do that," joked Soros.
Thousands of Americans are sent to jail not for committing a crime, but because they can't afford to pay for traffic tickets, medical bills and court fees. If that sounds like a debtors' prison, a legal relic which was abolished in this country in the 1830s, that's because it is. And courts and judges in states across the land are violating the Constitution by incarcerating people for being unable to pay such debts.
The BRICS just became impossible to ignore. At the close of the Fifth annual BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa last week, there was little question that this group of five fast-growing economies was underwriting an overhaul of the global economic and political order.
Then, when the Fed’s fire hoses started spraying an elephant soup of liquidity injections in every direction and its balance sheet grew by $1.3 trillion in just thirteen weeks compared to $850 billion during its first ninety-four years, I became convinced that the Fed was flying by the seat of its pants, making it up as it went along. It was evident that its aim was to stop the hissy fit on Wall Street and that the thread of a Great Depression 2.0 was just a cover story for a panicked spree of money printing that exceeded any other episode in recorded human history.
The land is a source of wealth for a few, here and on the other side of the planet. In the Spanish State, the housing boom has left a legacy of ruinous urban development, airports (almost) without airplanes, ghost towns, huge, obsolete infrastructure projects… And in the global South, the desire to profit from the land has driven off peasants and indigenous peoples, and imposed monocultures for export, large infrastructures for the exclusive benefit of capital and the plundering of their natural resources.
One indelible sign of state capture by pirate corporations and the financial jackals holding sway on Wall Street and the City of London is the ease with which former “regulators” slip into plum positions with the firms whom they supposedly “regulated” as “public servants.”
Not only has your economy been stolen from you but also your civil liberties. My coauthor Lawrence Stratton and I provide the scary details of the entire story in The Tyranny of Good Intentions. In the US law is no longer a shield of the people against arbitrary government. Instead, law has been transformed into a weapon in the hands of the government.
As corporate overlords position themselves to seize what little remains of a tattered social net (adieu Medicare and Medicaid! Social Security? Au revoir!), the Obama administration is moving at break-neck speed to expand police state programs first stood-up by the Bush government.
Bank runs and financial panic could spread across Europe after Cyprus proposed raiding people's savings for a new bail-out, Alistair Darling has said. The former Chancellor said Cyprus is doing "everything you should not do" after the tiny country decided to seize around 6.75 per cent from smaller deposits and almost 10 per cent from larger ones.
The latest developments coming out of Cyprus might not seem overly dramatic: swapping the abstract, shared liability of taxpayer money for a more direct one in bank savings accounts. But in this small policy pivot lies the seed for a new and potentially ruinous fear that could spread through the peripheral European markets.
BY CONGRESSMAN RON PAUL, R-TEXAS - Federal spending once again dominated the debate in Washington last week, as House Republicans and Senate Democrats began work on their ten-year budget plans. Contrary to claims, neither party’s budget reduces spending. While the Republican plan increases spending a little less than the Democrat plan, it would still spend $5 trillion in 2023, an almost two trillion dollar increase over this year’s budget.
Ancestral land which for generations has served as home and source of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in Ethiopia is being leased out to foreign corporations on 99-year renewable contracts at nominal sums.
While it is widely assumed that the too-big-to-fail banks in the US (and elsewhere) are beyond the criminal justice system - based on simple empirical fact - when the Attorney General of the United States openly admits to the fact that he is "concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them," since, "it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy," one has to stare open-mouthed at the state of our union. It appears, just as the proletariat assumed, that too-big-to-fail banks are indeed too-big-to-jail.
This is getting a little creepy. According to one estimate, since last year the Department of Homeland Security has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9mm. The Department of Homeland Security (through the U.S. Army Forces Command) recently retrofitted 2,717 of these ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.
On a recent Friday, coppersmith Alaa Moussa parked himself in the same spot where two years earlier he had stood defiantly with a handwritten banner addressed to then president Hosni Mubarak. His petition that cold February morning in 2011 had listed the key demands of Egypt’s 18-day uprising: “bread, freedom, dignity”.
Preface: All capitalist systems have some inequality. We don’t want to prevent all inequality just economy-wrecking levels: Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist, adds that some inequality is necessary to create incentives in a capitalist economy but that “too much inequality can harm the efficient operation of the economy.”
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