New York Times
Forget Competing Theories … What Do the Facts Say about Quantitative Easing?
9 Torture Myths DeBUNKED
China is preparing to avoid U.S. sanctions on Iran by paying for oil with gold. Not only that but, as Forbes contributor Gordon Change also mentions, China has already been bartering with Iran to get a hold of petroleum using among other goods, Chinese washing machines, refrigerators, toys, clothes, cosmetics, and toiletries. The barter trade works, but Iran needs cash too - hence Gold. Thus, the leadership in America in its infinite stupidity has actually accelerated the demise of the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve currency. In a similar move on a more micro level, the government of Spain in a similar desperation has banned the use of cash transactions above 2,500 euros. How do you think citizens are going to respond to this? People are already in the streets. Everything is going to go black market and to a barter system. It will happen country by country as governments get increasingly desperate and the authoritarian clamp down continues. It will happen on an increasing level until all of these house of cards bureaucratic states fail and something new is reborn - just as we noted in a small town in Greece recently.
It must be difficult for the BRICS countries today. On one hand, they continue to jockey for respect among the Western powers, insisting on participating in quasi-European bailout funds like the IMF. On the other hand, they are also clearly aware of the Western nations' continuing efforts to surreptitiously devalue their domestic currencies, and the pernicious effect that has had on them as exporters and as lenders of capital. In that vein, it was interesting to note that during the latest BRICS Summit held this past March in New Delhi, the main topic of discussion centered on the creation of the group's first official institution, a so-called "BRICS Bank" that would fund development projects and infrastructure in developing nations. Although not openly discussed, reports suggest what they were really talking about was creating a type of BRICS central bank - an institution that could facilitate their ability to "do more business with each other in their local currencies, to help insulate from U.S. dollar fluctuations…" Given the incredible scale of western central bank intervention over the past six months, the BRICS' increasing frustration with their printing efforts should be a given by now. The real question is what they're doing about it, and what assets they're accumulating to protect themselves from the inevitable, which brings us to gold.
A fundamental overview of the stocks available for drafting during the CNBC Street Signs Stock Draft airing, with my comments & opinions. Yesterday I released the analysis of Apples Q2 earnings & I'm sure it contained content that you didn't read anywhere else.
Would You Like Fries With That?
For all those starry-eyed readers of Floyd Norris' New York Times real-estate column this morning who have been out viewing new homes this afternoon and already scratching together the down-payment with the family's EBT cards, we have a little contextual reality checking. Norris points to the factual reality that a broad ratio of all financial obligations - both homeowners and renters - relative to disposable income stands at an impressive-sounding lowest level since 1984, and uses this wondrous statistic, in its sublime uniqueness, as an indication to suggest the consumer (and home-buyer we assume) may be coming back as the household debt burden has been so reduced from a record 14% of disposable income to a 'mere' 10.9% now indicating just what good little deleveraging beings we Americans have been. However, as Nomura noted so clearly this week, this statistic is just a small part of everything when we consider the balance sheet (and not just cash-flow) of the household, 'many homeowners are likely to take little comfort from the decline in average debt service costs relative to incomes.' For millions of homeowners whose property is now worth less than the debt used to finance it, mortgage interest costs may be more usefully gauged relative to the equity they retain in their homes. For them, these monthly debt service payments are necessary to retain their claim on an asset whose value has fallen and might not recover, as the $3.7tn negative-equity 'gap' should remind us that the economic crisis of the past decade has taught a new generation a painful lesson about the dangers of excessive debt.
Hayek, while a brilliant mind, was not right on everything. He saw the welfare state is legitimate, a need for regulation into private industries such as education and food, and the necessity of the state in providing for individual and national defense. Yet even he was able to distinguish how political power attracts those who will use in the worst manner. The Secret Service agents who procured prostitutes may be relieved of their duty but it will only serve as a cautionary tale for the rest to keep their off-duty exploits better concealed in the future. The waste and graft will go on despite a pledge from Obama for a “rigorous” probe and his potential successor’s promise to “clean house.” These promises are just political theater used to conceal the playground like mentality which possesses the attitudes of all those who wield the guns of the state.
Flashback from 1975: “The NSA's Capability ... Could Enable It To Impose Total Tyranny, And There Would Be No Way To Fight BackSubmitted by George Washington on 04/22/2012 13:09 -0400
Senator Frank Church's Prophetic Warning in 1975
Government Smears Journalists Who Investigate Government Corruption
In our daily scouring of the markets we run across a plethora of charts, many of them boring, some interesting, and a few select ones, exponential, and thus completely unsustainable. The US debt load is of course one of them, global central bank assets is another, as is pretty much everything associated with Europe these days. However, the following exponential chart is one we had never encountered before: it shows the number of major "disturbances", read power outages, in America's power grid in the last decade. The chart is, well, disturbing.
Contrary to BP's Happy Talk, the Gulf Ecosystem Is Being Decimated ...
- First Japan now... Australia Ready to Help IMF (WSJ)
- "Not if, but when" for Spanish bailout, experts believe (Reuters)
- Spain’s Surging Bad Loans Cast New Doubts on Bank Cleanup (Bloomberg)
- Spain weighs financing options (FT)
- Spanish Banks Gorging on Sovereign Bonds Shifts Risk to Taxpayer (Bloomberg)
- Spain and Italy Bank on Banks (WSJ)
- Chesapeake CEO took out $1.1 billion in unreported loans (Reuters)
- China preparing to roll out OTC equity market – regulator (Reuters)
- Angry North Korea threatens retaliation, nuclear test expected (Reuters)
- North Korea Breaks Off Nuclear Accord as Food Aid Halted (Bloomberg)
Pool Near U.S. City Contains More Radioactive Cesium than Released By Fukushima, Chernobyl and All Nuclear Bomb Tests COMBINEDSubmitted by George Washington on 04/12/2012 01:39 -0400
Fuel Pool 35 Miles from Boston – which Is Highly Vulnerable to Earthquakes – Contains More Radioactive Cesium than Released In BOTH Major Nuclear Accidents and ALL Nuclear Bomb Tests