New York Times

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In Key Decision, Junk-Rated Chicago's Pension Reform Bid Ruled Unconstitutional





On Thursday, we previewed a critical court ruling involving Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel’s effort to cut pension expenses and plug a yawning budget gap. As expected, Emanuel’s plan was determined to be unconstitutional by Rita M. Novak of the Cook County Circuit Court, further imperling the junk-rated city's financial future and perpetuating a pension ponzi scheme.

 
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Has The US Finished The Trap Assad Had Begun To Set For Turkey?





The US Syrian policy forces Ankara to walk a fine line between ISIS, Assad’s regime, Kurds, the US and its own interest. We will not rule out that Erdo?an could declare a state of emergency and postpone new elections. Whatever the result of the power struggle in Ankara may be, Turkey’s military will not accept the YPG and PKK armed to the teeth by the US.

 
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How Monsanto, Exxon Mobil, & Microsoft Lobbyists Are Bundling Funds For Hillary





The pantsuit revolutionary is at it again. Once again demonstrating her populist chops by employing the services of lobbyists to bundle millions in campaign funds. It’s no wonder opinion polls on her have been plunging as of late.

 
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Central Banks And Our Dysfunctional Gold Markets





Many investors still view gold as a safe-haven investment, but there remains much confusion regarding the extent to which the gold market is vulnerable to manipulation through short-term rigged market trades, and long-arm central bank interventions. First, much of the gold that is being sold as shares, in certificates, or for physical hoarding in dubious "vaults" just isn't there. Second, paper gold can be printed into infinity just like regular currency. Third, new electronic gold pricing — replacing, as of this past February, the traditional five-bank phone-call of the London Gold Fix in place since 1919 — has not necessarily proved a more trustworthy model. Fourth, there looms the specter of the central bank, particularly in the form of volume trading discounts that commodity exchanges offer them.Today, there is no “official” price for gold, nor any “gold-exchange standard” competing with a semi-underground free gold market. There is, however, a material legacy of “real versus pseudo” gold that remains a terrible menace. Buyer beware of the pivotal difference between the two.

 
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"Fannie & Freddie Are Back; Bigger & Badder Than Ever" - NYTimes Warns





Just in case you still harbored any doubt that absolutely zero lessons were learned from the cataclysmic financial collapse of 2008/09...

 
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Peter Schiff: Currencies Depend On Faith, Gold Doesn't





"My faith is that governments and central banks will continue to run up debt and debase currencies until a crisis brings the whole experiment to a disastrous conclusion. There is simply no historical precedent to reach any other conclusion. I also have faith that human beings will always prefer a piece of gold to a stack of paper. Separate a paper currency from its perceived value and you just have a stack of paper and ink. However, if they would just print it on softer and absorbent stock and put it on rolls, it might have some intrinsic value if we run out of toilet paper."

 
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What Happened The Last Time The Mainstream Media Unleashed The Anti-Gold Artillery





With the mainstream media onslaught against precious metals climaxing this weekend as WSJ's Jason Zweig proclaimed gold "like a pet rock," describing owning gold as "an act of faith," we thought it worthwhile looking back at the last time 'everyone' was slamming gold and entirely enthused by the omnipotence of central bankers... May 4th, 1999 - "Who Needs Gold When We Have Greenspan?"

 
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Trump Hits A Bump





Unfortunately, Trump’s antics will make it only more difficult to hold a sane debate about taking that time-out from immigration. So, one alternative is an insane debate about it, one based on sheer grievance and gall rather than the responsibilities of governance. We've feared for many years that we are all set up to welcome a red-white-and-blue, corn-pone Nazi political savior type. We don’t think Donald Trump is it. But he will be a stalking horse for a far more skillful demagogue when the time comes. There’s a fair chance that the wheels will come off the banking and monetary system well before the 2016 election. Who knows who or what will come out of the woodwork before then.

 
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Iran Is Hiding 51 Million Oil Barrels At Sea, Maritime Tracker Reports





With yesterday's appearance what seems like the first Iran oil tanker to set sail post-nuke-deal, Haaretz reports that Iran has been hiding millions of barrels of oil it never reported to the United States or in the world oil market, according to a company that has developed sophisticated maritime tracking technology. With the world’s fourth-largest oil reserves, Iran denies it’s storing oil at sea, despite reports that surfaced in The New York Times as early as 2012; but Ami Daniel, Windward founder and cochairman, shows "the Iranians are taking huge, 280-meter-long ships and filling them with oil, to sit at sea and wait. Because the sanctions allow for production of only three million barrels a day, they began storing the remainder... oil tankers have been sitting in the Gulf for anywhere between three and six months, just waiting for orders."

 

 
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"Bank Lives Matter" – Obama Administration Moves To Protect Mega Bank Profits





It’s not even “Too Big to Jail” any longer. It’s now, “Too Big to Lose Profits.” After all #banklivesmatter

 
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Ike Brannon on Taxes, Income Inequality and Thomas Piketty





Peter the Great liked to confiscate successful businesses and put the owners to death... 

 
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The Crony Capitalist Pretense Behind Warren Buffett's Banking Buys





When Warren Buffet put $5 billion in Berkshire Hathaway funds into Goldman Sachs the week after Lehman failed, amidst total turmoil and panic, it appeared from the outside a high risk bet. Buffet had long tried to portray himself as a folksy engine of traditional stability, investing only in things he could understand, so jumping into a wholesale run of chained liabilities may have seemed more than slightly out of character. We have no particular issue with Buffet making those investments, only the pretense of intentional mysticism that surrounds them. The reason the criticism of crony-capitalism sticks is because this was not Buffet's first intervention to "save" a famed institution on Wall Street. If Buffet's convention is to stick with "things you know" then he has been right there through the whole of the full-scale wholesale/eurodollar revolution.

 
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Why The NYSE Debacle Mattered





On Thursday this past week there were a few attempts at crisis management that should go into textbooks (as well as history books) everywhere in years to come as: Crisis Management 101.a – Lessons in Ineptitude. The responses as to settle the angst in an ever-more-skeptical, as well as frightened investing class was not only inane as demonstrated by the responses (or better yet; lack there of) given at the NYSE by way of “answering” as to why it halted its operation for nearly 4 hours. Was only outdone by what many view as the near insane when one views the steps taken in China to “calm” their markets. Is that how one instills confidence? It instills something – however the term isn’t anything resembling “confidence.”

 
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Conspiracy Fact: How The Government Conducted 239 Secret Bioweapon Experiments On The American People





Take a step back and imagine if you were alive in 1950. Five years after the Allies’ glorious victory in World War II, and someone told you the U.S. government was conducting bioweapon experiments on the American public in secret. Not only would you not believe it, you’d think this person was a complete and total lunatic. Now try to imagine what they are undoubtably doing right now.

 
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