http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/contributed/contributed/news/speaking-credibility-here-cbos-2001-forecast-which-predicted-negative-25-trillion-net-debt-2011 en LiBYa: MiSSiNG Me NoW? http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/libya-missing-me-now <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/14748919042/player/" width="1024" height="815" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/libya-missing-me-now#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:49:55 +0000 williambanzai7 491790 at http://www.zerohedge.com Singapore Takes More Steps To Becoming Global Gold Hub http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/singapore-takes-more-steps-becoming-global-gold-hub <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_k0jtjKVxP-RD3OCsJkCpns_VpPk-3jQuCrxvqP6K1EpbPYtsIGxQbpp2P2ZrJCaBt8J5g2hxNBm35LzaeiAOzyy65WlDlhhw7rTTkXxEZwruV9c0OtjZMCRasVnseyPhg" width="624px;" height="351px;" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad);" /></span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Singapore - Asia’s Growing Gold Hub</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Silver for immediate delivery rose 0.5% to $20.50 an ounce in London. Platinum added 0.3% to $1,472 an ounce. Palladium rose 0.4% to $874.20 an ounce. It remains near the 13-year high of $889.75 reached on July 17.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Gold has moved higher in London this morning after </span><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/essential-guide-to-storing-gold-in-singapore" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #1155cc; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">gold in Singapore</span></a><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> traded sideways overnight. Futures trading volume has picked up from yesterday’s very low volumes and is just 13% below the average for the past 100 days for this time of day, according to Bloomberg data.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Gold breached the 100 day moving average at $1,301 and closed below the 50 day moving average at $1,294 yesterday. Options expiration and geopolitical tension should support gold at the 200 day moving average at $1,286/oz (see chart). </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><img src="https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/BOWerevJFrmoMNMgb1c3X1sE4c0s4NBnFZnYuuYCyuY5NxYOjjUIXOm4p87G94jMSfUV7N2HjijvE6KJ5z3fwGj8ytXoyDQQZmI-ciGHCxwiyt6glWclJGXc-bWMi-smeQ" width="624px;" height="301px;" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad);" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Gold in U.S. Dollars - 50, 100, 200 SMAs (Thomson Reuters)</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Gold was badly impacted by what appears to be high frequency trading (HFT) or programme trading again yesterday with another bout of concentrated selling on two occasions. First, when Asian markets commenced trading and then just as U.S. stock markets started the trading day.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #2d2b2c; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is estimated that $1 billion worth of gold futures were sold in a matter of seconds yesterday at the U.S. open. The fact that gold remains resilient and only saw marginal losses suggested there are eager buyers at these levels.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Gold may remain in lock down near the $1,300 level into the Comex August gold futures options expiration on Monday. Sharp price falls in the days immediately before expiration have been a common occurrence in the gold and silver markets in recent years.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/YryJ1HhoQ7eGPIThRwEJ5yPVdmDCY0Y8eKPRv56e3ButBcjIAHRm0Bzw0whPWzE-sptuHNSj2Rc38XFkq8uoKWecDduOle3wdyFuSjWwetGPHZlSw8IvgE8SRoR4iy5A3w" width="600px;" height="387px;" style="border: none; transform: rotate(0.00rad);" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: bold; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Zero Hedge</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">This appears to be happening again as seen in the ongoing unusual trading activity. Yesterday, and in recent weeks, gold has been frequently hammered lower by unknown, large financial entities selling futures contracts in a very sudden and concentrated manner. </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Gold and silver are likely to be pinned to these levels until after expiration - providing there is no major breaking news or geopolitical event that rears its head and propels prices higher.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">As gold moves East, western institutions are gradually losing their grip on the precious metals markets. The advent of new gold exchanges with physical gold settlement such as the new gold exchanges in Dubai, Shanghai and of course Singapore (more below) will make price discovery more efficient and render price manipulation more difficult. The physical market and the natural forces of supply and demand will likely soon overcome the paper and digital gold markets.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Worries over tougher sanctions on Russia and their potential impact on a fragile London property market and UK and Eurozone growth and the conflicts in Ukraine and the Middle East are leading to some safe haven demand. </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Geopolitical tensions in the Middle East threaten oil supplies from key oil producing regions which should also support gold. As will Israel’s invasion and bombing of Gaza - and the resultant death of hundreds of innocent civilians.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">After expiration on Monday, we expect prices to move up in August. However, two weeks of losses have resulted in short term technical damage that may take a few days to recover from.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Silver's outperformance of gold this week has taken the </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">gold: silver ratio</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> -- the number of silver ounces needed to buy an ounce of gold -- to its lowest since late late February at 62.25 today. In May it reached a 3-1/2 year high of 67.6 as silver lagged gold.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Silver looks even more bullish than gold from a long term technical perspective.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is on the verge of a potential breakout from its two year consolidation triangle. A weekly close above $22.00 resistance would be important and could lead to an additional 15% run-up towards the $24.20 level. This is the next level of resistance and where the 100-week moving average is. Above that, next levels of resistance are at the $27 and $28 level.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">New York Times</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> ran an op-ed piece today by British Conservative backbencher Kwasi Kwarteng, suggesting that China could someday peg its currency to gold, as Britain did in 1821. </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">"China has the reserves to do this, and it could have the political will, if the dollar proved to be unreliable as a store of value in the future," he says. "Having expanded its manufacturing base and captured international markets, China may well find a world hooked on its products. It could eventually — in, say, 20 years — peg the renminbi to gold, considering it preferable to the dollar as a store of value, because of its permanence and longevity. With a balanced budget and a gold-backed currency, China’s economy could be even more formidable than it is today. Such a move would truly mark its return as the “Middle Kingdom.” </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Hard as it may be to contemplate today, this scenario would, in many ways, be a more secure basis for an international monetary regime system than the system of floating exchange rates that Nixon inadvertently created in 1971, one that forever overturned the Bretton Woods order." </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">It is an interesting article and it is interesting that it was published in The NY Times as it is a newspaper that has traditionally been quite hostile towards gold.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Some form of quasi gold standard in China is something we have written about since 2005 and it seems more likely by the year. </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The world turns slowly ... and then very fast ...</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; background-color: #ffffff; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Singapore’s Drive To Become Global Gold Hub Continues</span><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: bold; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Singapore's plans to become a gold and precious metals hub took a key step forward on Thursday.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Metalor Singapore – a newly created refinery in the Metalor Group – was added to the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA) good delivery list.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“Metalor Singapore has also passed the LBMA’s exhaustive testing procedures, under which its gold bars were examined and assayed by independent referees, and its own assaying capabilities were tested,” Metalor said.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The refiner is located in Singapore City. Its primary sources of gold are scrap materials sourced from the jewellery sectors and its refined gold output is in the form of large gold bars for industry and institutional buyers.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Last month Metalor Technologies opened its refining plant in Tuas, Singapore. The facility offers a complete range of refining services, from evaluation of scrap to bullion production and is estimated to have a production capacity of up to 150 tonnes a year.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Speaking at the official opening, Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Lee Yi Shyan said the gold industry will contribute significantly to Singapore’s economy. He said that it should create half a billion dollars (US$0.5 billion) extra value to the economy and generate 1,000 good professional, managerial, executive and technical jobs by 2020.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Hubert Angleys, CEO of Metalor Technologies, said: "We want to grow with the Asian market; that is the reason we wanted to be there. We are located in the middle of the two largest gold consumer markets, China and India”.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“We want to take advantage of this geographic location and certainly we are looking forward to getting metal from these two countries but also exporting, through our Singapore customers, metal to these two countries." </span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Singapore already a banking, financial and wealth management hub in Asia is ramping up its bid to become a center for gold trading that will rival London.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Leading investment experts such as Jim Rogers, Jim Sinclair and </span><a href="http://www.goldcore.com/goldcore_blog/Faber_On_Gold_Manipulation_Bitcoin_Risk_and_Importance_Of_Not_Storing_Gold_In_U_S_" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Marc Faber</span></a><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"> have extolled the virtues of owning physical coins and bars in Singapore. </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">“Individuals are making a mistake if they’re holding all their assets in one country.…I still have the majority of my gold in Switzerland, but I am already moving gold to Asia,” Faber recently said (see </span><a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1GcwYq-9j4" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Gold bullion stored in Singapore is safest - Marc Faber</span></a><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">).</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Just three weeks ago, the Southeast Asian city-state unveiled plans to launch a physically deliverable gold contract in September to meet strong demand from Asia – home to the world's biggest gold buyers.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The Singapore Exchange is launching a new gold contract which will be the world's first wholesale 25 kilo bar gold contract and will be made up of a series of six daily contracts.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">"This gold contract is a plan two years in the making. The reason is that we have seen a trend of gold moving from West to East and there is actually no market place for market players to buy gold at a wholesale level," Albert Cheng, managing director, Far East at the World Gold Council, told CNBC.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The launch of the gold contract on the Singapore Exchange is supported by the World Gold Council, Singapore Bullion Market Association and four banks that include JP Morgan and Asia-focused bank Standard Chartered.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The launch of a gold contract in Singapore will bring centralized trading and clearing of physically cleared gold and could provide a price benchmark for gold trading in Asia.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">At a whopping 25 kilos, the gold bar in this contract is double the size of a typical London Good Delivery gold bar which is around 12 kilobars or 400 ounces. At today’s prices each gold bar would be worth over $1 million. </span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Singapore is clearly targeting HNW, UHNW and </span><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/the-essential-family-office-guide-to-investing-in-gold-why-family-offices-are-buying-gold-in-relation-to-huge-demand-from-china-for-gold" style="text-decoration: none;"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #1155cc; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: underline; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">family office gold </span></a><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">buyers, not to mention institutional buyers with this contract.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">At the moment the benchmark price for gold, known as the London "fix" is set daily in London at times that both fall after the close of Asian markets. Asia still mostly relies on this fixing for the buying and selling of bullion in volume. The London fix is currently under scrutiny for manipulation and is likely to taken over by the CME and Thomson Reuters as the silver fix was.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">"This contract is meant for the Asian market," said the World Gold Council's Cheng, explaining why the contract will only be open for trade for three hours each day.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">"There is a robust London market, and that comes in later in the day. But in Asian hours – there is no morning market for wholesale trade. Having a structure means the wholesaler can contribute to the market, which then becomes more transparent," he said.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Asia is the largest buyer of gold and one of the largest producers, so price discovery in Singapore makes increasing sense. Also, given growing demand for gold comes from within Asia it makes sense to have benchmark pricing within the region.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">In 2010, Singapore set up a high-security storage facility called the Singapore Freeport that subleases storage space to storage providers. Two years ago, the government scrapped a sales tax for investment-grade gold and in the past year banks have set up gold vaults.</span></p> <p style="line-height: 1.2999999046325683; margin-top: 3pt; margin-bottom: 8pt;" dir="ltr"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #000000; background-color: transparent; font-weight: normal; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; text-decoration: none; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">The other trend Singapore is trying to take advantage of the growing wealth in the region. Research firm Wealth Insight expects the country to overtake Switzerland as the world's biggest hub of offshore wealth by 2020.</span></p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-366aff68-731e-8c8a-3210-5fd433294961"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;">Singapore is already a hub for financial services and wealth management, so it makes sense that it wants to make itself a benchmark for gold trading and storage in Asia.</span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 19px; font-family: Calibri; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap; background-color: transparent;"><br class="kix-line-break" /></span><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #222222; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Singapore is becoming an emerging precious metals hub and a key player in the global bullion market. Against the very uncertain global macroeconomic and geopolitical backdrop, prudent private individuals and institutions are moving their physical bullion to one of the safest jurisdictions in the world. </span><a href="http://info.goldcore.com/essential-guide-to-storing-gold-in-singapore"><span style="font-size: 15px; font-family: Calibri; color: #666666; font-weight: bold; vertical-align: baseline; white-space: pre-wrap;">Read the Essential Guide To Storing Gold In Singapore Here</span></a></span></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/singapore-takes-more-steps-becoming-global-gold-hub#comments 50 Day Moving Average China Dubai Eurozone HFT High Frequency Trading High Frequency Trading Jim Rogers Marc Faber Middle East New York Times Newspaper Precious Metals Renminbi Reuters Standard Chartered Switzerland Ukraine World Gold Council Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:47:20 +0000 GoldCore 491789 at http://www.zerohedge.com US Evacuates Libya Embassy Following Biggest Local Violence Since Gadhafi Ouster http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/us-evacuates-libya-embassy-following-biggest-local-violence-gadhafi-ouster <p>The middle east is burning again: first it was the fascinating ascent of the brutal Al-Qaeda spinoff ISIS, creating its own Caliphate in northern Iraq and in the process <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-21/isis-now-controlling-35-syria-and-most-its-oil-fields-iraq-issues-ultimatum-us">taking over a third of Syrian territory </a>as well as all of its oil infrastructure. Then, the latest iteration of the Israel vs Gaza conflict has now claimed over <a href="http://www.irishtimes.com/news/world/middle-east/palestinian-death-toll-rises-to-more-than-1000-1.1879501">1000 lives </a>and is dragging virtually all neighboring countries into it as well. And the cherry on top is that the Libyan "liberation" by the US has just gone full circle, as the country is is now witnessing one of its worst spasms of violence since Gadhafi’s ouster. End result: <strong>nearly two years after the deadly attack on the US embassy in Benghazi, moments ago the US once again shuttered its embassy in Libya, this time in Tripoli, evacuating more than 150 Americans to Tunisia</strong>.&nbsp; This is happening just 24 hours after the US Secretary of State was literally next door in Egypt, assuring the region that peace and stability are just around the corner.</p> <p>From <a href="http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/u-s-orders-americans-evacuate-embassy-libya-n165546">NBC</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>More than 150 Americans have been evacuated from the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya, amid spiraling militant violence aimed at the Libyan government. "<strong>The U.S. together with other countries have decided that because of the freewheeling militia violence that is taking place particularly around the embassy ... it presents a real risk to our personnel</strong>," Secretary of State John Kerry told reporters during a trip to France.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>American officials told NBC News that the 158 Americans, <strong>including 80 heavily armed U.S. Marines</strong>, left the embassy compound early Saturday in a caravan of SUV's and buses and drove west toward neighboring Tunisia. Besides the Marines who were the embassy’s security force, the caravan was also protected overhead by two American F-16 fighter jets and unmanned drones that shadowed the group on their drive.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>At least two American warships, a guided-missile destroyer, the USS Ross and a guided-missile cruiser, the USS Vella Gulf, were nearby in the Mediterranean in case additional military protection was needed, officials told NBC News.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>While there appeared to be no direct threat of an attack against the embassy, the rising violence in Libya recently prevented delivery of food and other vital supplies to the embassy over roads now largely controlled or threatened by rebel militant forces, the officials added.</p> </blockquote> <p>While it needs no reminding, CBS <a href="http://washington.cbslocal.com/2014/07/26/us-state-dept-staff-evacuated-from-libya-embassy-amid-growing-violence/">does so nonetheless, that&nbsp; </a>"the move marks the second time in a little more than three years that Washington has closed its embassy in Libya. In Feb. 2011, the embassy suspended operations amid the uprising that eventually toppled longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi. After the formation of a transitional government in July, 2011, the embassy reopened in September. Gadhafi was killed in October of 2011."</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The Obama administration has been particularly sensitive about security of U.S. government employees in Libya since the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. mission in the country’s second largest city of Benghazi that killed ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. <strong>The administration is still fending off criticism from Republicans and others that it did not either enhance security in Benghazi or evacuate the mission due to rising violence in that city in the months prior to the attack.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The Benghazi mission was abandoned after that attack and never reopened. The embassy In Tripoli has been operating with reduced staff since but has remained open even as the violence intensified.</p> </blockquote> <p>But wait, didn't Brent drop recently because the political situation in Libya was getting better? Recall from Goldman:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>On July 2, federalist rebels handed the central oil terminals of Ras Lanuf and Es Sider back to the Libyan government, with a combined capacity of 560 thousand barrels per day. The government lifted the force majeure on July 6, allowing the NOC to start marketing crude from the ports. This development points to a potential sharp ramp-up in Libyan oil production from its current 320 thousand barrels per day level as well as a ramp-up in exports that have been erratic so far this year. This has led to a decline in crude oil prices, with Brent prices down nearly $2.00/bbl since Reuters first reported this deal and currently trading near $110/bbl, although the lack of further deterioration in Iraq, where exports remain undisrupted, has also contributed to the broader decline in prices over the past two weeks.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/Libya%20brent.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/Libya%20brent.jpg" width="562" height="450" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/Libya%20brent%202.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/Libya%20brent%202_0_0.jpg" width="562" height="330" /></a></p> </blockquote> <p>Apparently not.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In Tripoli, the militias are fighting mostly for control of the airport. They are on the government’s payroll since authorities have depended on them to restore order.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The U.S. is just latest in a number of countries to have closed down their diplomatic operations in Libya. Turkey on Friday announced that it had closed down its embassy and militia clashes in Benghazi have prompted the United Nations, aid groups and foreign envoys to leave.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In Tripoli, clashes near the international airport have forced residents to evacuate their homes nearby after they were hit by shells. On Friday, the official Libyan news agency LANA reported that explosions were heard early in the day near the airport area and continued into the afternoon.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The battle in Tripoli began earlier this month when Islamist-led militias — mostly from the western city of Misrata — launched a surprise assault on the airport, under control of rival militias from the western mountain town of Zintan. On Monday, a $113 million Airbus A330 passenger jet for Libya’s state-owned Afriqiyah Airways was destroyed in the fighting.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The rival militias, made up largely of former anti-Gadhafi rebels, have forced a weeklong closure of gas stations and government offices. In recent days, armed men have attacked vehicles carrying money from the Central Bank to local banks, forcing their closure.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Libyan government officials and activists have increasingly been targeted in the violence. Gunmen kidnapped two lawmakers in the western suburbs of Tripoli a week ago and on Friday armed men abducted Abdel-Moaz Banoun, a well-known Libyan political activist in Tripoli, according to his father.</p> </blockquote> <p>Finally, there is of course the obligatory spin:</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p>To be clear, our embassy in Tripoli is not closed. We have temporarily suspended operations. Difference is an important one.</p> <p>— Marie Harf (@marieharf) <a href="https://twitter.com/marieharf/statuses/493011015227813888">July 26, 2014</a></p></blockquote> <script src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script><p>Full statement from the <a href="http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/07/229805.htm">State Department on the evacuation</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We are committed to supporting the Libyan people during this challenging time, and are currently exploring options for a permanent return to Tripoli as soon as the security situation on the ground improves. In the interim, staff will operate from Washington and other posts in the region.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Securing our facilities and ensuring the safety of our personnel are top Department priorities, and we did not make this decision lightly. Security has to come first. Regrettably, we had to take this step because the location of our embassy is in very close proximity to intense fighting and ongoing violence between armed Libyan factions.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This relocation was done over land, with our personnel arriving in Tunisia this morning, and traveling onward from there. We are grateful to the Government of Tunisia for its cooperation and support.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>We will continue to engage all Libyans and the international community to seek a peaceful resolution to the current conflict and to advance Libya’s democratic transition. We reiterate that Libyans must immediately cease hostilities and begin negotiations to resolve their grievances. We join the international community in calling on all Libyans to respect the will of the people, including the authority of the recently-elected Council of Representatives, and to reject the use of violence to affect political processes. Many brave Libyans sacrificed to advance their country toward a more secure and prosperous future. We continue to stand solidly by the Libyan people as they endeavor to do so.</p> </blockquote> <p>Turns out "it does make a difference after all."</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="635" height="799" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/hillary%20angry.jpg?1406384674" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/us-evacuates-libya-embassy-following-biggest-local-violence-gadhafi-ouster#comments Crude Crude Oil France Iraq Israel Middle East NBC Obama Administration Reuters Turkey Sat, 26 Jul 2014 14:25:15 +0000 Tyler Durden 491779 at http://www.zerohedge.com If Americans Knew What Was Happening In Israel … http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/if-americans-knew-what-was-happening-israel-%E2%80%A6 <p>If my fellow Americans understood the history of Israel and Palestine, their views would change overnight &hellip; and they would demand that Israel no longer be given unconditional support and blank checks to do whatever they want:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/america-country-favorable-view-israel.html" title="America is the Only Country with a Favorable View of Israel">America is the Only Country with a Favorable View of Israel</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/israel-losing-support-biggest-ally-evangelical-christians.html" rel="bookmark" title="Permalink to Israel Losing Support from Its Biggest Ally: American Evangelical Christians">Israel Losing Support from Its Biggest Ally: American Evangelical Christians</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/01/all-6-former-israeli-secret-service-chiefs-slam-occupation-of-palestine.html" rel="next" title="All 6 Former Israeli Security Chiefs Slam Occupation of Palestine ?">All 6 Former Israeli Security Chiefs Slam Occupation of Palestine</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/12/israeli-soldiers-testimonies-from-the-occupied-territories-2000-2010.html" rel="prev" title="? Israeli Soldiers’ Testimonies from the Occupied Territories 2000-2010">Israeli Soldiers&rsquo; Testimonies from the Occupied Territories 2000-2010</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/amnesty-international-israel-remains-occupying-power-gaza-thus-bound-law-occupation.html" title="Amnesty International: Israel Remains the Occupying Power in Gaza and is Thus Bound By the Law Of Occupation">Amnesty International: Israel Remains the Occupying Power in Gaza and is Thus Bound By the Law Of Occupation</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/holocaust-survivors-criticize-israeli-policy-towards-palestinians.html" rel="next" title="Holocaust Survivors Criticize Israeli Policy Towards Palestinians ?">Holocaust Survivors Criticize Israeli Policy Towards Palestinians</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/israeli-interior-minister-goal-operation-send-gaza-back-middle-ages.html" rel="next" title="Israeli Interior Minister: “The Goal of the Operation Is to Send Gaza Back to the Middle Ages”, “Destroying All the Infrastructure Including Roads and Water” ?">Israeli Interior Minister: &ldquo;The Goal of the Operation Is to Send Gaza Back to the Middle Ages&rdquo;, &ldquo;Destroying All the Infrastructure Including Roads and Water&rdquo;&nbsp;</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/nurenberg-crimes.html" title="Israeli Lawyer Doesn’t Deny Nuremberg Crimes on Palestinians (What the Nazis Did to the Jews)">Israeli Lawyer Doesn&rsquo;t Deny Nuremberg Crimes on Palestinians (What the Nazis Did to the Jews)</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/human-rights-watch-findings-gaza-massacre.html" title="Human Rights Watch Findings on Gaza Massacre">Human Rights Watch Findings on Gaza Massacre</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/anyone-live-palestine-prior-formation-israel.html" title="Did Anyone Live In Palestine Prior to the Formation of Israel?">Did Anyone Live In Palestine Prior to the Formation of Israel?</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/war-in-gaza-war-over-natural-gas-reserves.html" rel="next" title="War in Gaza = War Over Natural Gas? ?">War in Gaza = War Over Natural Gas?</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/head-cia-unit-tasked-killing-bin-laden.html" rel="bookmark" title="Permalink to Head of CIA’s Sunni Militant Unit and Unit Tasked with Killing Bin Laden: Islamic Terror Is Caused by U.S. Support for Tyrants in the Middle East and U.S. Support for Israel">High-Level American Intelligence and Counterterror Officials: Islamic Terror Is Motivated by U.S. Support for Tyrants in the Middle East and U.S. Support for Israel</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/israel-and-the-u-s-created-hamas-hezbollah-and-other-terrorists-via-blowback.html" rel="next" title="Israel and the U.S. CREATED Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda ?">Israel and the U.S. CREATED Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/02/report-the-u-s-and-israel-support-terrorists.html" rel="next" title="Mainstream Reports: The U.S. and Israel Support Terrorists ?">Mainstream Reports: The U.S. and Israel Support Terrorists</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/the-u-s-is-supporting-the-most-violent-muslim-terrorists-in-order-to-wage-war-for-oil.html" rel="next" title="The U.S. Is Supporting the Most Violent Muslim Terrorists In Order to Wage War for Oil ?">The U.S. Is Supporting the Most Violent Muslim Terrorists In Order to Wage War for Oil</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/isis-hamas-claims-credit-attacks-israel.html" title="Israel Is Bombing Gaza Back to the Stone Age to Get Hamas … But ISIS – NOT HAMAS – Claims Credit for Attacks Against Israel">Israel Is Bombing Gaza Back to the Stone Age to Get Hamas &hellip; But ISIS &ndash; NOT HAMAS &ndash; Claims Credit for Attacks Against Israel</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/israel-has-violated-hundreds-of-un-resolutions.html" rel="next" title="Hamas Shouldn’t Fire Rockets … But Israel Has Violated HUNDREDS of UN Resolutions ?">Hamas Shouldn&rsquo;t Fire Rockets &hellip; But Israel Has Violated HUNDREDS of UN Resolutions</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2011/01/israeli-saudi-and-american-leaders-say-arabs-are-not-ready-for-democracy.html" rel="next" title="Israeli, Saudi and American Leaders Say Arabs Are Not Ready for Democracy ?">Israeli, Saudi and American Leaders Say Arabs Are Not Ready for Democracy</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2009/01/gaza-war-isnt-on-the-other-side-of-the-world-the-u-s-is-right-in-the-middle.html" rel="next" title="Gaza War Isn’t On the Other Side of the World: The U.S. is Right in the Middle ?">Gaza War Isn&rsquo;t On the Other Side of the World: The U.S. is Right in the Middle</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/11/war-in-gaza-why-now.html" rel="next" title="War In Gaza: Why Now? ?">War In Gaza: Why Now?</a></li> </ul> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2014/07/cnn-palestinians-want-die.html" rel="prev" title="? CNN: Palestinians Want to Die">CNN: Palestinians Want to Die</a></li> </ul> <p>Postscript: Former Israeli Minister: <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0kWAqZxJVE" target="_blank" title="Calling people who criticize Israeli policy “anti-semitic. It’s a trick … we always use it”">Calling people who criticize Israeli policy &ldquo;anti-semitic. It&rsquo;s a trick &hellip; we always use it&rdquo;</a>.</p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-26/if-americans-knew-what-was-happening-israel-%E2%80%A6#comments Israel Middle East Natural Gas Sat, 26 Jul 2014 04:33:57 +0000 George Washington 491771 at http://www.zerohedge.com Company In Which Joe Biden's Son Is Director Prepares To Drill Shale Gas In East Ukraine http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/company-which-joe-bidens-son-director-prepares-drill-shale-gas-east-ukraine <p>Recall what we said earlier today: the proxy Ukraine war just like that in Syria preceding it, "is<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/first-syrian-rebels-now-hamas-qatar-once-again-emerges-mystery-us-backed-sponsor-war"> all about energy</a>." </p> <p>Recall also the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-27/ukraine-deep-state-analysis">following chart </a>showing Ukraine's shale gas deposits, keeping in mind that the <a href="http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-02/regular-features/journally-speaking/ukraine-eying-shale-gas.html">Dnieper-Donets basin </a>which lies in the hotly contested eastern part of the nation and where as everyone knows by now a bloody civil war is raging, <strong>is the major oil and gas producing region of Ukraine accounting for approximately 90 per cent of Ukrainian production and <a href="http://www.ogj.com/articles/print/volume-111/issue-02/regular-features/journally-speaking/ukraine-eying-shale-gas.html">according to EIA </a>may have 42 tcf of shale gas resources technically recoverable from 197 tcf of risked shale gas in place.</strong></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/Dnieper%20Donetsk%20shale%20basin.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/Dnieper%20Donetsk%20shale%20basin_0.jpg" width="600" height="391" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Finally, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-13/farce-complete-joe-bidens-son-joins-board-largest-ukraine-gas-producer">recall our story from May </a>that Joe Biden's son, Hunter, just joined the board of the largest Ukraine gas producer Burisma Holdings. From the <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-13/farce-complete-joe-bidens-son-joins-board-largest-ukraine-gas-producer">press release</a>:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/hunter%20biden_0.jpeg" width="250" height="250" style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" /><strong>R. Hunter Biden will be in charge of the Holdings’ legal unit </strong>and will provide support for the Company among international organizations. On his new appointment, he commented: “Burisma’s track record of innovations and industry leadership in the field of natural gas means that it can be a strong driver of a strong economy in Ukraine. As a new member of the Board, I believe that my assistance in consulting the Company on matters of transparency, corporate governance and responsibility, international expansion and other priorities will contribute to the economy and benefit the people of Ukraine.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>R. Hunter Biden is also a well-known public figure. He is chairman of the Board of the World Food Programme U.S.A., together with the world’s largest humanitarian organization, the United Nations World Food Programme. In this capacity he offers assistance to the poor in developing countries, fighting hunger and poverty, and helping to provide food and education to 300 million malnourished children around the world.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Company Background</em>:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Burisma Holdings is a privately owned oil and gas company with assets in Ukraine and operating in the energy market since 2002. To date<strong>, the company holds a portfolio with permits to develop fields in the Dnieper-Donets</strong>, the Carpathian and the Azov-Kuban basins. In 2013, the daily gas production grew steadily and at year-end amounted to 11.6 thousand BOE (barrels of oil equivalent – incl. gas, condensate and crude oil), or 1.8 million m3 of natural gas. The company sells these volumes in the domestic market through traders, as well as directly to final consumers.</p> </blockquote> <p>Now put it all together and what happens next should be rather clear.</p> <p>* * * </p> <p>Still confused? It's very simple, really.</p> <p>In a nutshell Ukraine (or <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-06/fuck-eu-us-state-department-blasts-europe-revealed-alleged-mastermind-behind-ukraine">rather its puppetmasters</a>) has decided to let no crisis (staged or otherwise) or rather civil war, go to waste, and while the fighting rages all around, Ukrainian troopers are helping to install shale gas production equipment near the east Ukrainian town of Slavyansk, which was bombed and shelled for the three preceding months, according to local residents cited by <a href="http://en.itar-tass.com/world/742366">Itar Tass</a>. The reason for the scramble? Under peacetime, the process was expected to take many years, during which Europe would be under the energy dictatorship of Putin. But throw in some civil war and few will notice let alone care that a process which was expected to take nearly a decade if not longer while dealing with broad popular objections to fracking, may instead be completed in months!</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>“<strong>Civilians protected by Ukrainian army are getting ready to install drilling rigs. More equipment is being brought in</strong>,” they said, adding that the military are encircling the future extraction area.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The people of Slavyansk, which is located in the heart of the Yzovka shale gas field, staged numerous protest actions in the past against its development. They even wanted to call in a referendum on that subject. Environmentalists are particularly concerned with the consequences of hydrofracing, a method used for shale gas extraction, because it implies the use of extremely toxic chemical agents which can poison not only subsoil waters but also the atmosphere. Experts claim that not a single country in the world has invented a method of utilization of harmful toxic agents in the process of development of shale gas deposits.</p> <p>Countries like the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and France have given up plans to develop shale gas deposits in their territories.</p> </blockquote> <p>Not only them but also all-important Germany, which <a href="http://online.wsj.com/articles/germany-shelves-shale-gas-drilling-for-next-seven-years-1404481174">two weeks ago announced </a><em>it would halt shale-gas drilling <strong>for the next seven years </strong>over groundwater pollution concerns. </em></p> <p>Which clearly makes Ukraine, <em>potentially the last place with massive shale gas deposits and no drilling ban,</em> <strong>quite valuable to those who want to develop a major source of shale gas, one which reduces Europe's reliance on Russian gas even more</strong>, yet one whose future depends on one simple question: who controls East Ukraine? </p> <p>Because what better way to accelerate "next steps" than to start drilling for gas in the middle of the Donetsk republic as a civil war is waging in all directions, and where public mood has shifted decidedly against the local "separatists" in the aftermath of the MH-17 tragedy.</p> <p>The punchline: who will develop the gas field in conjunction with Shell (jointly owned by the Netherlands and the UK: the two countries that loathe Putin the most in the aftermath of the MH-17 disaster) which in May 2012 announced a tender for the right to develop the Yuzovka shale gas deposit?</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Burisma, Ukraine’s oil and gas production holdings, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">also has the right to develop the shale gas fields in the Dnieper-Donetsk basin of Eastern Ukraine</span>. </strong>The same Burisma where R. Hunter Biden, Joseph's son, was appointed a director two months ago.</p> </blockquote> <p>Q.E.D.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="512" height="512" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/hunter%20biden.jpeg?1406326489" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/company-which-joe-bidens-son-director-prepares-drill-shale-gas-east-ukraine#comments BOE Crude Crude Oil Czech France Germany Joe Biden M3 Natural Gas Netherlands Transparency Ukraine Sat, 26 Jul 2014 03:14:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 491753 at http://www.zerohedge.com ObamaFraud: GAO Study Finds Almost All Fake Applicants Are Approved For Subsidized ObamaCare http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/obamafraud-gao-study-finds-almost-all-fake-applicants-are-approved-subsidized-obamac <p><em>Submitted by Michael Krieger of <a href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/07/25/obamafraud-gao-study-finds-almost-all-fake-applicants-are-approved-for-subsidized-obamacare/">Liberty Blitzkrieg</a></em></p> <p><strong>ObamaFraud: GAO Study Finds Almost All Fake Applicants are Approved for Subsidized ObamaCare</strong></p> <p>Although it hasn’t been a focus for a while, the incompetent&nbsp;disaster that has been the ObamaCare rollout has been well documented on this site. Here are just a few posts on the subject:</p> <p><strong><a title="Permanent Link to The Obama Administration is Forcing Insurance Companies to Keep Quiet About ObamaCare Problems" rel="bookmark" href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/10/30/the-obama-administration-is-forcing-insurance-companies-to-keep-quiet-about-obamacare-problems/">The Obama Administration is Forcing Insurance Companies to Keep Quiet About ObamaCare Problems</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a title="Permanent Link to Woman Touted as Obamacare Success Story is Now Kicked Off Obamacare" rel="bookmark" href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2013/11/20/woman-touted-as-obamacare-success-story-is-now-kicked-off-obamacare/">Woman Touted as Obamacare Success Story is Now Kicked Off Obamacare</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a title="Permanent Link to Humana Warns of “‘Adverse ObamaCare Enrollment Mix”" rel="bookmark" href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/01/10/humana-warns-of-adverse-obamacare-enrollment-mix/">Humana Warns of “‘Adverse ObamaCare Enrollment Mix”</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a title="Permanent Link to Computer Security Expert Claims he Hacked the ObamaCare Website in 4 Minutes" rel="bookmark" href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/01/20/computer-security-expert-claims-he-hacked-the-obamacare-website-in-4-minutes/">Computer Security Expert Claims he Hacked the ObamaCare Website in 4 Minutes</a></strong></p> <p><strong><a title="Permanent Link to Serfs Up – Average Healthcare Premiums Have Soared 39%-56% Post Obamacare" rel="bookmark" href="http://libertyblitzkrieg.com/2014/03/18/serfs-up-average-healthcare-premiums-have-soared-39-56-post-obamacare/">Serfs Up – Average Healthcare Premiums Have Soared 39%-56% Post Obamacare</a></strong></p> <p><span id="more-15638">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>Well&nbsp;the hits just keep on coming. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), recently conducted a study in which investigators attempted to use fake identities to sign up for subsidized healthcare under ObamaCare. The results are frightening. All but one phony applicant was successful. Moreover, the GAO more broadly&nbsp;notes that <strong>“about 2.6&nbsp;million ‘inconsistencies’ existed among applicants who had chosen a health plan.”</strong></p> <p>The Washington Post reports that:</p> <blockquote><p id="U8003010570483XzB"><em>In undercover tests of the new federal health insurance marketplace, government investigators have been able to procure health plans and federal subsidies for fake applicants with fictitious documents, according to findings that will be disclosed to lawmakers Wednesday.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p id="U8003010570483vF"><em>The results of the inquiry by the Government Accountability Office are evidence of still-imperfect work by specialists intended to assist new insurance customers as well as government contractors hired to verify that coverage and subsidies are legitimate. The GAO also pointed to flaws that linger in the marketplace’s Web site, HealthCare.gov.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p id="U8003010570483U8G"><em>According to testimony to be delivered before a House Ways and Means subcommittee, <strong>undercover GAO investigators tried to obtain health plans for a dozen fictitious applicants online or by phone, using invalid or missing Social Security numbers or inaccurate citizenship information.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p id="U8003010570483JPB"><em><strong>All but one of the fake applicants ended up getting subsidized coverage</strong> <strong>— and have kept it.</strong> In one instance, an application was denied but then approved on a second try. In six other attempts to sign up fake applicants via in-person assisters, just one assister accurately told an investigator that the applicant’s income was too high for a subsidy.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p id="U8003010570483wC"><em>The GAO’s account of fictitious applicants obtaining subsidized coverage goes beyond a related problem that surfaced this spring and that the investigators also cited: <strong>The government may be paying incorrect insurance subsidies to a significant share of the 5.4&nbsp;million Americans who signed up for health plans for this year through the federal marketplace.</strong></em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>The GAO testimony contains updates on that problem, saying that, as of mid-July, about 2.6&nbsp;million “inconsistencies” existed among applicants who had chosen a health plan and that 650,000 of them had been resolved.</em></p> </blockquote> <p>Just more proof&nbsp;of a completely disconnected and incompetent government. As if you needed any more evidence.</p> <p>Full article <a href="http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/federal-undercover-investigation-signs-up-fake-applicants-for-aca-coverage-subsidies/2014/07/22/743a04fa-11ce-11e4-9285-4243a40ddc97_story.html">here</a>.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="333" height="481" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/Obamacareism.jpg?1406342341" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/obamafraud-gao-study-finds-almost-all-fake-applicants-are-approved-subsidized-obamac#comments Insurance Companies Obama Administration Obamacare Testimony Sat, 26 Jul 2014 02:39:21 +0000 Tyler Durden 491760 at http://www.zerohedge.com Economic Laws Are Not Optional http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/economic-laws-are-not-optional <p><em>Submitted by <a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/2014/07/21/economic-laws-optional/">Monty Pelerin of Economic Noise blog</a>,</em></p> <p><strong>Economic laws are not optional.</strong>&nbsp;They&nbsp;are like the laws of physics - inexorable!</p> <p><strong><img src="http://www.economicnoise.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/economic-policy.png" alt="economic policy" width="325" height="400" style="display: inline;" class="lazy alignright wp-image-26821 size-full" /></strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Economic laws are less precise in terms of their timing and effects, only because they deal with human behavior rather than physical particles. Human beings alter their behavior to cope with changing conditions. Particles do not. Free will and the survival instinct make prediction, especially regarding timing, very different and difficult in the human realm. Nevertheless, the laws are immutable!</p> <p>Long-time readers of this website know that<strong> no recovery is possible given past and current economic policies</strong>. Initially, it was&nbsp;argued by some that government intervention was necessary and would effect an economic recovery. By now, even the dullest of Keynesians know their policies failed. Yet they continue.</p> <p>Why would failed policies continue? The political class argues for their continuance, but not on the basis of sound economics. Their arguments are motivated by political self-interest. The appearance&nbsp;of a recovery is more important for politicians facing another election or a legacy than the damage being done to the economy. Remember when the focus of the Clinton campaign against George H. W. Bush claimed that it was the worst economy in fifty years? That was not true, but it was effective.</p> <p>Stopping the Federal Reserve juice threatens what remains of our economy.<strong> No one wants to be known as the “new Herbert Hoover</strong>,” although someone will inevitably be tarred with that association.</p> <h3>Early Warnings</h3> <p>This website began in September 2009 recognizing the futility of applied economic efforts to “cure” the problem. The very first post appeared on September 7, 2009 &nbsp;and&nbsp;was entitled <a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/2009/09/07/no-exit-from-economic-mess/">No Exit From Economic Mess</a>. To put matters into perspective, the government claimed the recession had ended in June of 2009. This economic lie was apparent to anyone who had a modicum of&nbsp;economic&nbsp;understanding or&nbsp;common sense. The more of the latter one possessed, the less of&nbsp;the former was required.</p> <p>Over time I have come to believe that the two types of knowledge may now be incompatible — a sad commentary on how the economic profession has been hijacked by the political class. A good rule of thumb is to ignore any economist who is involved in politics. Unfortunately, with government grants, that includes much of the profession, including those never directly employed by government.</p> <p>The first paragraph of that very first post stated the following:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Doug Noland of&nbsp;<a href="http://www.prudentbear.com/" style="color: #4a05f5;">www.Prudentbear.com</a>&nbsp;has it right on his “No Exit” Possible scenario. Our economy has become totally dependent upon government spending, interventions and subsidies. There is no recovery in the private sector, nor is there likely to be one in the next several years. Federal meddling will continue to create distortions that will require additional and continued meddling. From a political standpoint, there will be no good time for an exit. However, at some point, the system will not be sustainable. Markets will eventually end the meddling regardless of whether it is politically or economically feasible or timely. When that happens, our lives and economy will never be the same again.</p> </blockquote> <p><strong>On that same day, there were six&nbsp;other articles suggesting that&nbsp;no economic recovery was possible until policies and conditions changed. </strong>Links to them follow:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>1.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/2009/09/07/stocks-divorced-from-real-world/">Stocks Divorced From Real World</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>2.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/2009/09/07/banking-mess/">Banking Mess</a>&nbsp;where it was said:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Enron-type accounting is allowed to enable banks to keep exposure on non-consolidated subsidiary books. Banks are allowed to value assets at whatever they deem them to be worth rather than accounting standards that have been in place for centuries. Condoning this fraud may defer the political problem. It cannot solve the economic problem and likely makes it unsolvable at some point. Market forces will eventually overwhelm the charade, and put our entire economic system at risk of implosion.</p> </blockquote> <p>3.&nbsp;<a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/2009/09/07/timely-economic-analysis-from-dilbert/">Timely Economic Analysis from Dilbert????</a>&nbsp;The Dilbert cartoon provided a possible reason why economists find it easier to bring good rather than bad news:</p> <div class="entry-content"> <blockquote> <div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>It appears that the writer of Dilbert is a better economist than many Nobel laureates who are proclaiming “Green Shoots.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <div class="separator"><a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Economist.png" style="color: #4a05f5;"><img src="http://www.economicnoise.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Economist1.png" border="0" style="display: inline;" class="lazy lazy " /></a></div> </blockquote> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>4. <span style="text-decoration: underline;"><a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/2009/09/07/banking-system-the-dollar-and-the-welfare-state/">The Banking System, The Dollar and The Welfare State</a>&nbsp;</span>stated:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>There is no mathematical possibility of escaping the economic bind we face without reducing the welfare state. The current financial crisis only exacerbates a situation which long ago passed the tipping point. The Federal government’s total liabilities exceed $100 trillion (most of that from the unfunded liabilities of the welfare state: social security, medicare, etc.). With the financial crisis, we now have an additional black hole, our banking system. The condition of the banking system has been covered up, but that is becoming harder and harder to do as banks collapse under their own weight as a result of deteriorating conditions.</p> </blockquote> <p>5. <a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/2009/09/07/the-crash-course/">The Crash Course</a>&nbsp;by Chris Martenson &nbsp;presented his ideas of how the policies were economically foolish and mathematically impossible to continue.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>6. <a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/2009/09/07/moral-hazard-destroys-social-capital-and-cooperation/">Moral Hazard Destroys Social Capital and Cooperation</a>&nbsp;discussed the corrosive moral effects of an immoral government:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>When the “game” is perceived to be corrupt and exploitive, it is easy to rationalize immoral behavior at the level of the individual. Contracts, promises and obligations start to become meaningless. For many, the phrase “is it legal?” replaces the phrase “is it right.” Loopholes in the law trump ethics. Soon even the law becomes less of a barrier as cheating and stealing become acceptable for some.</p> </blockquote> </blockquote> <p>These were posts on the inaugural day of the website. The passage of time has not changed anything, except the understatement of some of the problems from the first day. The post regarding stock market valuations was arguably incorrect as the market recovered nicely from that point. However, it is valid&nbsp;today, more so than ever. &nbsp;Almost&nbsp;five full years from the date of these posts, there&nbsp;is less&nbsp;reason&nbsp;for optimism. The economic structure of the country has been further weakened.</p> <p><strong>The declaration that the recession ended was a lie.</strong> Polls show that a majority of the population now agrees we never left the recession.&nbsp;<a href="http://feedly.com/index.html#subscription%2Ffeed%2Fhttp%3A%2F%2Ffeeds.feedburner.com%2Fzerohedge%2Ffeed">Zerohedge</a> referred to a recent article by&nbsp;Eric Sprott to provide an up-to-date assessment of conditions:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>As Eric Sprott points out in&nbsp;<a href="http://www.sprott.com/markets-at-a-glance/the-ongoing-rot-in-the-economy/" target="_blank">his latest letter,&nbsp;</a>“if one looks past headline figures, things are not really getting better. As shown in Figure 1, real disposable income per capita in the U.S. has increased only modestly since the Great Recession.&nbsp;<strong>However, all of this increase is due to Government Transfers, not from an improvement in the real economy</strong>. If we exclude those transfers from the numbers,&nbsp;<strong>disposable income per capita is actually lower than it was at the end of 2005 and has been painfully flat since 2011. Also, those numbers assume that the headline Consumer Price Index (CPI) accurately represents people’s purchasing power</strong>.”</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Presenting our chart of the day:&nbsp;<em>disposable income with and without government transfers.</em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.economicnoise.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/resl_20disposable_20income1.gif" target="_blank"><span class="pinContainer"><img src="http://www.economicnoise.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/resl_20disposable_20income1.gif" style="display: inline;" class="lazy pinable" /></span></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And it is not just disposable income: as Sprott explains, “<strong>the U.S. economy has been on life support, graciously provided by Central Planners. However hard they try, they will soon realize that no amount of money printing can cleanse the rot of the U.S. economy</strong>.”</p> <p>Here is why for a large portion of the population, “things are not anywhere close to being better, in fact they are worse than before the recession.”</p> </blockquote> <h3>Nothing Has Changed</h3> <p>The smoke and mirrors obfuscating true economic conditions for five years has been deliberate. The economy has not recovered. It has been made more distorted and imbalanced by the futile attempts to pretend that all is well. Government has&nbsp;more smoke and mirrors left. Yet, even the political class now seem to sense that they are playing out the clock without altering the ultimate conclusion. When your time frame is limited to the next election, longer-term consequences of current policies are ignored.</p> <p><strong>The economic piper will be paid</strong>. All that has been accomplished by these actions is a deferral of the correction and the creation of a bigger debt upon which the piper will collect. The warnings expressed on the first posts on&nbsp;this website are as relevant now as they were five years ago.</p> <p>A massive political cover-up of the true condition of the country has been accomplished at the cost of making underlying economic conditions worse. The economy is no longer growing and people are becoming poorer as a result of the political shenanigans used to hide the true conditions.&nbsp;&nbsp;As expressed in the very first post:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>There is no recovery in the private sector, nor is there likely to be one in the next several years. Federal meddling will continue to create distortions that will require additional and continued meddling. From a political standpoint, there will be no good time for an exit. However, at some point, the system will not be sustainable.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-19/what-recovery-us-macro-suffers-longest-streak-weakness-lehman">Zerohedge’s recent assessment</a> of current economic conditions indicates that matters may be progressing rapidly toward this end:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><span style="color: #000000;">Despite the best efforts of The Fed, its apologists, and the commission-taking talking-heads to persuade the world that the US economy is picking up and set to reach escape velocity any minute… the fact is, the US economy (judged on data not fantasy) is hurting.&nbsp;</span><strong style="color: #000000;">Consensus expectations for 2014 US GDP growth have collapsed from over 3.00% to a mere 1.7% now</strong><span style="color: #000000;">. But what is more critical is the incessant bleating that data is picking up and suggests a 2nd half recovery… it doesn’t.</span></p> </blockquote> <p>The inevitability of what is coming is what is important. The timing&nbsp;remains uncertain.&nbsp;It need not occur&nbsp;in the next week or month. Timing&nbsp;may still be measured in years, but the outcome is more certain today than it was five years ago. The laws of economics make it so. Any geopolitical or economic misstep could trigger the event. Without such a misstep, the charade could continue for a while.</p> <p><strong>A&nbsp;collapse is coming</strong>. It is unavoidable and <strong>will be worse than it should have been as a result of political duplicity</strong>.</p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="336" height="336" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/20140725_econ.png?1406329781" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/economic-laws-are-not-optional#comments Chris Martenson CPI Eric Sprott ETC Federal Reserve Medicare Moral Hazard Purchasing Power Recession recovery Sat, 26 Jul 2014 01:08:22 +0000 Tyler Durden 491756 at http://www.zerohedge.com SouTH OF THe BoRDeR... http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/suuth-border <p style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.flickr.com/photos/expd/14691794941/player/" width="1024" height="681" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/suuth-border#comments Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:37:33 +0000 williambanzai7 491759 at http://www.zerohedge.com But Wait, There Are A Few Differences Between Amazon and the US Postal Service http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/wait-there-are-few-differences-between-amazon-and-us-postal-service <p>Wolf Richter&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.wolfstreet.com">www.wolfstreet.com</a>&nbsp;&nbsp; <a href="http://www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter">www.amazon.com/author/wolfrichter</a></p> <p>When Amazon reported second quarter earnings, or rather losses, it surprised no one, though some people were surprised that it lost that much&nbsp;($126 million). To make us feel better about those losses, and to be able to beat analysts&rsquo; expectations later, it preannounced losses between $410 and $810 million for the current quarter. Analysts fell all over each other dodging the question how a company with over $19 billion in revenues could lose that much, and so consistently.</p> <p>Amazon has been doing this sort of thing for years. Countless analyses have been written about how <em>terrible</em> its financial performance has been, and how the metrics have been deteriorating, including the operating margin that has swooned from 4.9% in Q2 2010 to a nearly invisible 0.8% now (excellent analysis and&nbsp;charts&nbsp;by <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-24/here-how-amazons-ugliest-quarter-years-looked-six-charts">Zero Hedge</a>). The company made a tiny bit of profit in 2012, lost money in 2013, and is starting this year out in the hole as well.</p> <p>&ldquo;We continue working hard on making the Amazon customer experience better and better,&rdquo; explained CEO Jeff Bezos in the <a href="http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=97664&amp;p=irol-newsArticle&amp;ID=1951180&amp;highlight=">press release</a>. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve recently introduced Sunday delivery coverage to 25 percent of the U.S. population, launched European cross-border Two-Day Delivery for Prime&hellip;.&rdquo; Etc. etc.</p> <p>He sounded like Patrick Donahoe, CEO of the US Postal Service. Amazon has a lot in common with USPS: they&rsquo;re in the same ballpark in terms of revenues, both dominate their markets, and neither can figure out how to make money.</p> <p><strong>But there are a few differences between Amazon and USPS</strong>:</p> <p>Bezos can run his show as he sees fit. OK, there is a board, but it doesn&rsquo;t seem to give him a hard time about the company&rsquo;s performance. As long as the stock keeps going up, who cares?</p> <p>The Postal Service, which had revenues of <a href="http://about.usps.com/who-we-are/financials/revenue-pieces-weight-reports/fy2014-q2.pdf">$16.7 billion in Q2</a>, can&rsquo;t even sneeze without Congress giving it prior approval. Shutting down unneeded post offices or dropping Saturday delivery? Addressing its huge pension obligations or switching to a pension plan of the kind Amazon has (LOL)? Forget it. Not if any of it would happen in <em>any</em> congressional district and impact negatively <em>any</em> voters. A lawmaker&rsquo;s sole job is to hang on to his or her job, and everything else serves to get that accomplished.</p> <p>In return for its valiant service as Congressional and public punching bag, USPS is allowed to perform financially about the same as Amazon: losses as far as they eye can see.</p> <p>So traders weren&rsquo;t amused with Amazon&rsquo;s losses, and there were some hick-ups in revenues too, and the stock plunged over 10% in after-hours trading and stayed near that loss on Friday. It&rsquo;s now down 20% from its $400 peak at the end of last year.</p> <p>Bezos doesn&rsquo;t care. At least Donahoe gets grilled ceremoniously by Congress from time to time about the losses USPS generates. And when he comes up with ways to save money, lawmakers in whose districts he wants to save money in whack him over the head.</p> <p><strong>Bezos is not subject to this sort of enlightened treatment.</strong></p> <p>After each loss, shares either jump or dive, depending on whether the loss was worse or less bad than expected, and then, the stock rises again to continue its incredible rally, independent of the company&rsquo;s performance. At least that&rsquo;s how it worked until the end of 2012.</p> <p>During the dotcom bubble, Amazon became famous as a precursor. In December 1999, the stock peaked. A month later, it was down 40%. It had started crashing three months ahead of the market. Ironically, only hindsight will tell if it is once again a precursor.</p> <p>But in late 2008, Amazon commenced its current mega-rally. It was the time when the Fed began throwing money and ZIRP at Wall Street and speculators, and from then on, nothing else mattered. In five years, the stock rose 10-fold. And the company is <em>still</em> not making any visible profits. The stock is simply surfing on the Fed&rsquo;s endless sea of liquidity and Wall Street&rsquo;s hoopla.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s why Bezos doesn&rsquo;t have to produce profits. As long as the stock keeps going up, why bother? Having to produce adequate profits would crimp his style. He has thrown off these constraints normally imposed by owners and creditors on management.</p> <p><strong>Here is where that&rsquo;s a problem</strong>.</p> <p>Amazon competes with companies that must make money because their investors demand it, and if these companies don&rsquo;t make money, investors and creditors walk away, and the money dries up, and they&rsquo;re finished. Amazon, free from profit constraints, competes with bookstores that, like Borders, go bankrupt if they can&rsquo;t make money, and with smaller stores that just shut down one day because they <em>must </em>make money to stay in business.</p> <p>Their big competitor has unlimited resources by being able to raise billions at practically no cost. It can always sell more of its inflated shares, a safety blanket if it runs out of money. It pays executives and other employees via its equity compensation plans, which is like raising money by selling shares to the public and using the proceeds to pay these folks in cash. When Amazon needs additional money beyond that, it sells bonds that cost it, depending on maturity, <a href="http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-11-26/amazon-said-to-enter-bond-market-in-first-u-s-sale-sin.html">less than the rate of inflation</a> and are thus free money.</p> <p>Throughout, neither creditors nor stockholders demand to see any profits.</p> <p>If the owner of a small bookstore walked into the bank with red on its income statement and begged for a loan, the loan officer would ask, after the pleasantries, &ldquo;You mean you want to get a loan to fund your operating losses?&rdquo;</p> <p>For a small business owner, that&rsquo;s not a good place to be. And this questions, which was entirely rhetorical, would be followed by another one: &ldquo;How are you going to pay this back if you can&rsquo;t make any money <em>already</em>?&rdquo;</p> <p>You get the drift. This loan, if it materializes at all, is going to be very expensive and will likely entail the bane of small business, a personal guarantee.</p> <p>Amazon is Exhibit A of how the Fed&rsquo;s policy of flooding Wall Street and corporate mastodons with nearly free money is destructive to the rest of the economy.</p> <p><strong>It creates unfair competition.</strong></p> <p>Because Amazon can competes on its ability to not ever have to make a profit, it can cut prices to the bone, offer free shipping, etc., which initially is great for consumers until its monopoly power allows it to trample on consumers and suppliers alike &ndash; and suppliers, namely publishers, are already experiencing the wrath of Amazon.</p> <p>This type of competition stifles the local economy, leads to job losses among companies that are not so privileged, and cements the monopoly or oligopoly power of the corporate mastodons [read.... <a href="http://wolfstreet.com/2013/07/31/the-american-jobs-curse-at-amazon-and-obama-stepped-into-it-2/">The Jobs Curse At Amazon, And How Obama Stepped Into It</a>].</p> <p>Of course, that&rsquo;s how the Fed operates. These corporate mastodons (particularly the big banks) are the legal owners of the 12 Federal Reserve Banks that make up the main part of the Federal Reserve System, and their executives and former executives play important roles in that system. For example, GE owns a stake in the New York Fed, and GE CEO Jeff Inmelt was a Class B director of the New York Fed during the period when it handled the bailouts, including the bailout of GE. Amazon too got bailed out, but indirectly, by investors flush with this freshly printed cash which had to go somewhere.</p> <p><strong>This is one of the pernicious effects of the Fed&rsquo;s policies</strong>.</p> <p>They drove stocks to insane heights and the cost of money (for those with access to it) to insane lows in order to create that &ldquo;wealth effect&rdquo; and enrich the very top layer of society beyond any measures previously imaginable. But for the rest of the economy, the wealth effect has been an utter failure, a sham, and a pretext.</p> <p>In the process, these policies&nbsp;destroy the functionality of the Main Street economy where investors and creditors keep companies in line by pushing them to produce real income &ndash; not ex-bad-items adjusted pro-forma operating income or some such contrived figure, but real income under GAAP. This form of discipline that every executive of a small or medium-size business is subject to, is completely absent for Amazon (and many other publicly traded companies, including the likes of Twitter). And the only cure is a decision by investors and creditors to walk away from them until they deliver real and adequate profits.</p> <p>Bubbles are easy to discern &ndash; including the performance of Amazon&rsquo;s stock &ndash; despite the Fed&rsquo;s rhetoric that bubbles cannot be discerned. What&rsquo;s hard is pinpointing the moment they top out. But that&rsquo;s precisely what everyone wants to know to cash out before it implodes. Lacking reliable scientific indicators of when to get out, everyone has their own list of ersatz indicators. And I just added a new one to my list, concerning the startup and IPO bubble. You can&rsquo;t make this up! Read&hellip;. <a href="http://wolfstreet.com/2014/07/23/sign-of-startup-bubble-top-banana-republics-startup-guy/">Sign of Top? Banana Republic Trots out &lsquo;Startup Guy&rsquo; Look </a></p> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/wait-there-are-few-differences-between-amazon-and-us-postal-service#comments B+ Creditors ETC Federal Reserve Free Money GAAP Main Street New York Fed Twitter Twitter Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:34 +0000 testosteronepit 491758 at http://www.zerohedge.com Gold Trends: 2014 & Beyond http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/gold-trends-2014-beyond <p>Along with Incrementum's<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-24/gold-we-trust-2014-incrementums-ultimate-guide-selling-economic-ignorance"> 94-page extravaganza on gold</a>, <a href="http://www.visualcapitalist.com/gold-series-five-reasons-to-own-gold-part-4-5/">this infographic</a>, the final in our 2014 Gold Series (<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-02-26/visual-history-gold-most-sought-after-metal-earth">part 1</a>, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-04-03/infographic-unearthing-worlds-gold-supply">part 2</a>, <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-05-09/gold-infographic-eclipsing-demand-east">part 3</a>, &amp; <a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-25/visualizing-five-reasons-own-gold">part 4 here</a>) looks to the future, covering <strong>gold trends that investors should be watching </strong>through the rest of the year and beyond. With input from some of the most important names in gold such as Brent Cook, Doug Casey, Frank Holmes, Bob Moriarty, and James Fraser, we aim to cover the broadest and most important signals for investors to watch. Those include <strong>Chinese wealth, Indian demographics, money printing, debt, and a lack of significant gold discoveries</strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140724_gold1.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140724_gold1.jpg" width="534" height="3000" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140724_gold2.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140724_gold2.jpg" width="534" height="2424" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140724_gold3.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140724_gold3.jpg" width="534" height="2318" /></a></p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140724_gold4.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user3303/imageroot/2014/07/20140724_gold4.jpg" width="534" height="1679" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.visualcapitalist.com/the-gold-series-2014-trends-and-beyond-part-5-of-5/"><em>Source: Visual Capitalist</em></a></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-teaser"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_teaser" width="473" height="427" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/teaser%20gold.jpg?1406329631" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/gold-trends-2014-beyond#comments Demographics Sat, 26 Jul 2014 00:02:25 +0000 Tyler Durden 491755 at http://www.zerohedge.com