en Venezuela Escapes Bankruptcy… But Oil Production Continues To Plunge <p><em>Submitted by Nick Cunningham of <a href=""></a></em></p> <p><a href=""><img alt="" src="" style="width: 500px; height: 209px;" /></a></p> <p>Venezuela just dodged a bullet, pulling off a last minute bond swap with creditors. The deal only buys Venezuela a little bit of breathing room, and a default at some point next year or the year after is not out of the question. Either way, the South American OPEC nation&rsquo;s oil production is falling and will only continue on a downward trajectory.</p> <p>Venezuela&rsquo;s state-owned PDVSA avoided default at the eleventh hour, getting enough creditors onboard for a debt swap. The oil company had repeatedly offered creditors to exchange debt set to mature this year and in 2017 for payments spread out over the rest of the decade, a proposal that would allow the company &ndash; and the sovereign government &ndash; to technically avoid default.</p> <p>But after investors rebuffed at least four offers for a debt swap due to unfavorable terms, they finally <a href="">agreed to a deal</a> on Monday to swap a portion of the $7.1 billion that PDVSA had due in the coming months. PDVSA had warned a few days ago that a default would come as soon as this week if creditors did not sign on. &quot;Low oil prices will adversely affect the company&#39;s ability to generate cash flow from operations, which will impair the company&#39;s ability to make scheduled payments on its existing debt, including the existing notes,&quot; PDVSA said in a statement last week.</p> <div class="video_location"> <div class="video_player"> <div class="vdb_player " id="57acc82654dea336f8c660b7" style="max-height: 1px; opacity: 0; overflow: hidden;"> <div style="text-align: center; color: rgb(255, 153, 0); font-family: monospace; font-size: 13px; position: relative; max-width: 730px; width: 100%; overflow: hidden; max-height: 0px;">ADVERTISEMENT</div> <div id="vdb_2f391bf6-1505-44b2-b4b9-5cc7a1c85073" style="position: relative; max-width: 730px; max-height: 411px; width: 100%; height: 380px;"> <div class="close-btn" style="position: static;"><span id="close-btn-vdb_2f391bf6-1505-44b2-b4b9-5cc7a1c85073" style="color: rgb(176, 176, 176); cursor: pointer; font: 15px verdana; opacity: 1; position: absolute; text-shadow: 1px 1px 1px rgba(0, 0, 0, 0.004); top: 0px; right: 4px;">x</span></div> </div> </div> </div> </div> <p>With few options left, it was in both PDVSA&rsquo;s and the creditors&rsquo; interest to make a deal, <a href="">according</a> to Siobhan Morden, head of Latin America Fixed Income Strategy at Nomura Securities. &ldquo;It&rsquo;s logical that this exchange goes forward and PdVSA accepts whatever cashflow relief the market is willing to provide so that muddling through continues.&rdquo;</p> <p>But even if it can avoid default this time around, the Venezuelan government only has foreign exchange reserves of $12 billion, a figure that is dwarfed by its debt load.</p> <p>The fallout from a default would be terrible for Venezuela, but how the situation plays out is unknown. PDVSA&rsquo;s assets overseas could run into trouble. &ldquo;I wouldn&rsquo;t be surprised if you see new precedents in terms of being able to seize oil assets on boats, because the U.S. government is going to be very anti-Venezuela obviously. For sure Citgo refineries get seized,&rdquo; Eric Fine, bond fund manager for Van Eck Global, told <a href="">Forbes</a> in an interview. He also warned that a PDVSA default would almost certainly be followed by a sovereign default. Not only are the finances of the two entities intertwined, but once the company defaults, the government would probably lose access to financial markets as well, so paying off debt will merely be a waste of the little bit of cash it has left. For this reason the government has been intent on meeting its obligations even as people go hungry in the streets.</p> <p>While PDVSA is flirting with insolvency, Venezuelans are much more focused on the country&rsquo;s political crisis, which is just as bad as the economy. Last week, the government of President Nicolas Maduro cancelled a vote that threatened to remove him from office. For more than a decade, Venezuela, under the late President Hugo Chavez and then Maduro, has seen a steady erosion of its democratic system. But cancelling the recall election is &ldquo;the most blatant&rdquo; move yet, says Siobhan Morden of Nomura Securities.</p> <p>President Maduro, meanwhile, has been undertaking some shuttle diplomacy to <a href="">oil producing countries</a> in recent days to get them on board for the pending OPEC production cuts. But while he was in Azerbaijan and Iran, Maduro&rsquo;s problems at home began to bubble over.</p> <p>On Sunday, the opposition led Congress <a href="">pressed to put Maduro on trial</a> for violating democracy. The heated session even saw injuries inside the legislature as the two parties broke out into fist fights. The opposition, once fractured but now increasingly united against Maduro&rsquo;s overreach, is planning a major protest on October 26. The Eurasia Group, a political risk firm, said the cancellation of the recall vote leaves no other avenue for an outraged public than to take to the streets, &ldquo;increasing the near-term risk of a social eruption amid food shortages and soaring inflation.&rdquo;</p> <p>PDVSA may have just avoided default but its poor position likely means that things will continue to deteriorate. The battered state-owned firm is already dealing with declining production and has no cash left to conduct maintenance. Drilling is at a standstill and PDVSA is already in arrears to oilfield services companies like Halliburton and Schlumberger. Output is down 11 percent in the 12 months ending in September, and more declines are expected. In an October 23 article, The Wall Street Journal <a href="">reported</a> that PDVSA has been reduced to flaring gas and burning oil because it does not have any money left to pay for processing equipment. So not only is production declining, but PDVSA is unable to even sell all of the oil and gas that is coming out of the ground.</p> <p>It is hard to imagine things getting worse than they already are. PDVSA may have kicked the can just a little bit down the road, but Venezuela&rsquo;s problems are not going away.</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="718" height="300" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Bond Creditors default fixed Iran Nomura OPEC PDVSA Sovereign Default Wall Street Journal Tue, 25 Oct 2016 07:00:20 +0000 Tyler Durden 575793 at The Oil-Gas War Over Syria (In 4 Maps) <p><em><a href="">Submitted by Eric Zuesse via Strategic Culture Foundation</a></em></p> <p>Turkey’s Anadolu News Agency, though government-run, is providing <a href="">remarkably clear and reliable diagrammatic descriptions of the current status</a> of the U.S - and - fundamentalist - Sunni, versus Russia - and - Shia - and - NON - fundamentalist - Sunni, sides, in the current oil-and-gas war in the Middle East, for control over territory in Syria, for construction of oil-and-gas pipelines through Syria supplying fuel into the world’s largest energy-market: Europe. Russia is now the dominant supplier of both oil and gas, but its ally Iran is a Shiite gas-powerhouse that wants to share the market there, and Russia has no objection.</p> <p>Qatar is a Sunni gas-powerhouse and wants to become the main supplier of gas there, and Saudi Arabia is a Sunni oil-powerhouse, which wants to become the major supplier of oil, but Saudi oil and Qatari gas would be pipelined through secular-controlled (Assad's) Syria, and this is <strong>why the U.S. and its fundamentalist-Sunni allies, the Sauds, and Qataris, are using Al Qaeda and other jihadists to conquer enough of a strip through Syria so that U.S. companies such as Halliburton will be able safely to place pipelines there, to be marketed in Europe by U.S. firms such as Exxon.</strong> Iran also wants to pipeline its gas through Syria, and this is one reason why Iran is defending Syria’s government, against the U.S.-Saudi-Qatari-jihadist invasion, which is trying to overthrow and replace Assad.</p> <p>Here are the most-informative of Anadolu’s war-maps:</p> <p>The first presents the effort by many countries to eliminate ISIS control over the large Iraqi city of Mosul. A remarkably frank remark made in this map is "An escape corridor into Syria will be left for Daesh [ISIS] so they can vacate Mosul" - an <strong>admission that the U.S. - Saudi - Qatari team want the ISIS jihadists who are in Mosul to relocate into Syria to assist the U.S. - Saudi - Qatari effort there to overthrow and replace the Assad government:<em>&nbsp;</em></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Syria" width="600" height="439" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The second is about the Egyptian government's trying to assist the Syrian government's defense against the Saudi - U.S. - Qatari invasion of Syria, at Aleppo, where Syria's Al Qaeda branch is trying to retain its current control over part of that large city. The Saud family are punishing the Egyptian government for that:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Syria" width="600" height="484" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Here is Russia's proposed gas-pipeline, which would enable Russia to reduce its dependence upon Ukraine (through which Russia currently pipes its gas into Europe). Obama <a href="">conquered and took over Ukraine in February 2014 via his coup that overthrew the democratically elected neutralist Ukrainian President there</a>:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Syria" width="600" height="466" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition, there is the following map from <a href=""></a>:</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="Syria" width="600" height="406" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That map shows the competing Shiia (Russia-backed) and Sunni (U.S.-backed) gas-pipelines into Europe — the central issue in the invasion and defense of Syria.</p> <p>On 21 September 2016, Gareth Porter headlined <a href="">"The War Against the Assad Regime Is Not a ‘Pipeline War’"</a>, and he pointed out some errors in Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s account that had been published under the headline <a href="">"Syria: Another Pipeline War"</a>. Porter argued: "It's easy to understand why that explanation would be accepted by many anti-war activists: it is in line with the widely accepted theory that all the US wars in the Middle East have been ‘oil wars’ — about getting control of the petroleum resources of the region and denying them to America's enemies."</p> <p>But the ‘pipeline war’ theory is based on false history and it represents a distraction from the real problem of US policy in the Middle East — the US war state's determination to hold onto its military posture in the region. Porter ignored the key question there, as to why the US war state has a determination to hold onto its military posture in the region. Opening and protecting potential oil-gas-pipeline routes are important reasons why. Clearly, Kennedy’s documentation that the CIA was trying as early as 1949 to overthrow Syria’s secular government so as to allow to the Sauds a means of cheaply transporting their oil through Syria into Europe, remains unaffected by any of the objections that Porter raised to Kennedy’s article. The recent portion of Kennedy’s timeline is affected, but not his basic argument.</p> <p>Furthermore, any military strategist knows that the US war state is intimately connected to the U.S. oil-and-gas industries, including pipelines (oilfield services) as well as marketing (Exxon etc.). And Porter got entirely wrong what that connection (which he ignored) actually consists of: it consists of U.S. government taxpayer-funded killers for those U.S. international corporations. <a href="">Here is how Barack Obama put it</a>, when addressing graduating cadets at West Point, America’s premier military-training institution:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Russia’s aggression toward former Soviet states unnerves capitals in Europe, while China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums. And even as developing nations embrace democracy and market economies, 24-hour news and social media makes it impossible to ignore the continuation of sectarian conflicts and failing states and popular uprisings that might have received only passing notice a generation ago.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>It will be your generation’s task to respond to this new world. The question we face, the question each of you will face, is not whether America will lead, but how we will lead - not just to secure our peace and prosperity, but also extend peace and prosperity around the globe.</p> </blockquote> <p>He was saying there that America’s military is in service to U.S.-based international corporations in their competition against those of Russia, Brazil, China, India, and anywhere else in which "rising middle classes compete with us". Those places are what Gareth Porter referred to as "America's enemies".</p> <p>Economic competitors are "enemies". Obama thinks that way, and even a progressive journalist such as Porter doesn’t place into a skeptical single - quotation - mark - surround, the phrase ‘America’s enemies’ when that phrase is used in this equational context. On both the right (Obama) and the left (Porter), the equation of a government and of the international corporations that headquarter in its nation — the treatment of the military as being an enforcement-arm for the nation’s international corporations — is simply taken for granted, not questioned, not challenged.</p> <p>RFK Jr. was correct, notwithstanding some recent timeline-errors. Syria is "Another Pipeline War", and Obama is merely intensifying it. (On 9 November 2015, I offered a <a href="">different account</a> than RFK Jr. provided of the recent history — the Obama portion — of the longstanding U.S. aggression against Syria; and it links back to Jonathan Marshall’s excellent articles on that, and to other well-sourced articles, in addition to primary sources, none of which contradict RFK Jr.’s basic view, "Syria: Another Pipeline War").</p> <p>Another portion of Porter’s commentary is, however, quite accurate: America’s ‘Defense’ (or mass-killing-abroad) industries (such as Lockheed Martin) are not merely servants of the U.S. government, but are also served by the U.S. government: "the US war state's determination to hold onto its military posture in the region" is protection of the major market — the Middle Eastern market — for U.S. ‘Defense’ products and services. It’s not only America’s firms in the oil, gas, and pipelines, industries, which benefit from America’s military; it is also America’s firms in the mass-killing industries, that do.</p> <p>To the extent that the public (here including Barack Obama and Gareth Porter) do not condemn the presumption that "the business of America is business", or that a valid function of U.S. - taxpayer - funded military and other foreign-affairs operations is to serve the stockholders of U.S. international corporations, the hell (such as in Syria) will continue. Gareth Porter got lost among the trees because he failed to see (and to point to) that forest.</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="720" height="487" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Barack Obama Brazil China ETC Exxon India Iran Middle East None Saudi Arabia Ukraine Tue, 25 Oct 2016 06:00:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575776 at Introducing Yield Purchasing Power <p>The monetary debate seems artificially limited. On one side is Federal Reserve policy based on discretion. On the other is policy based on rules. It’s Keynes vs. Friedman. It’s central planning of our economy based on the reactive whims of wise monetary planners vs. central planning of our economy based on the proactive rules written by … wise monetary planners.</p> <p>On the rules side, there is a sub-debate. Should we have central planning based on unemployment and the Consumer Price Index (as now) or switch to central planning based on another metric such as GDP?</p> <p>Whether one is on team Keynes or team Friedman, whether one is on sub-team Friedman CPI or Friedman GDP, everyone seems to take something for granted. That is, the quantity theory of money. If the quantity rises, then prices follow. However, since prices (especially commodity prices) are not really rising, this would seem to give more leeway to the monetary planners, to inflict more monetary policy on us.</p> <p>There is something about this which few acknowledge. To increase the quantity of dollars—which is not money, but that’s a whole ‘nother discussion—the Federal Reserve buys bonds. Whatever effect this may have on the price of a new Chevy, it obviously affects the price of the Treasury bond. It pushes the bond price up. Since the interest rate is a strict mathematical inverse of the bond price, we have an obvious conclusion.</p> <p>The Fed is pushing down the rate of interest. </p> <p>We can say that the interest rate is the collateral damage. The Keynesians and Friedmanites, in their zeal to increase the quantity of dollars, support or at least ignore the falling interest rate. OK, but who cares about the interest rate? You should care. Everyone is impacted by the 35-year global trend of falling interest rates.</p> <p>The falling rate ushers in a kind of hyperinflation. You won’t see it by looking at prices, or <em>purchasing power</em>. If you look at the value of your portfolio and divide by the cost of living, you may be lulled into a false sense of security.</p> <p>You will see the hyperinflation, if you look at it another way. Instead of the liquidation price of assets, consider the yield on assets. Instead of selling off the family farm to buy groceries, think of operating that farm to grow food. Can you live on the crops you produce? Or must you liquidate piece of it, just to survive?</p> <p>The same question applies to any capital asset including a bank balance. Is it possible to live on the interest?</p> <p>In the cold harsh light of <em>yield purchasing power</em>, we can see the erosion of our capital base. Since civilization itself depends on capital accumulation, this erosion is a retrogressive force dragging us back to another dark age.</p> <p>I gave a 45-minute presentation on Yield Purchasing Power at American Institute for Economic Research in Great Barrington, MA on October 14, 2016. I am grateful to the Institute for recording video of my presentation plus extended Q&amp;A. The video is&nbsp;<a href=";sns=fb" style="font-size: 13.008px;">here</a>.</p> Bond CPI Federal Reserve Hyperinflation Monetary Policy Purchasing Power Unemployment Tue, 25 Oct 2016 04:07:45 +0000 Monetary Metals 575798 at The Path To Total Dictatorship: America's Shadow Government And Its Silent Coup <p><a href=""><em>Submitted by John Whitehead via The Rutherford Institute,</em></a></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p>&ldquo;Today the path to total dictatorship in the U.S. can be laid by strictly legal means, <a href="">unseen and unheard by Congress, the President, or the people</a>. Outwardly we have a Constitutional government. We have operating within our government and political system &hellip; a well-organized political-action group in this country, determined to destroy our Constitution and establish a one-party state.... The important point to remember about this group is not its ideology but its organization&hellip; It operates secretly, silently, continuously to transform our Government.... This group ... is answerable neither to the President, the Congress, nor the courts. It is practically irremovable.&rdquo;&mdash; Senator William Jenner, 1954 speech</p> </blockquote> <p>Unaffected by elections. Unaltered by populist movements. Beyond the reach of the law.</p> <p><strong>Say hello to America&rsquo;s shadow government.</strong></p> <p>A corporatized, militarized, entrenched bureaucracy that is fully operational and staffed by unelected officials who are,<strong> in essence, running the country, </strong>this shadow government represents the hidden face of a government that has<strong> no respect for the freedom of its citizenry.</strong></p> <p>No matter which candidate wins the presidential election, this shadow government is here to stay. Indeed, as recent documents by the FBI reveal, this shadow government&mdash;<a href="">also referred to as &ldquo;The 7th Floor Group&rdquo;</a>&mdash;may well have played a part in who will win the White House this year.</p> <p><strong>To be precise, however, the future president will actually inherit not one but <em>two</em> shadow governments.</strong></p> <p>The <a href="">first</a> shadow government, referred to as COG or Continuity of Government, is made up of unelected individuals who have been appointed to run the government in the event of a &ldquo;catastrophe.&rdquo; COG is a phantom menace waiting for the right circumstances&mdash;a terrorist attack, a natural disaster, an economic meltdown&mdash;to bring it out of the shadows, where it operates even now. When and if COG takes over, the police state will transition to martial law.</p> <p>Yet it is the <a href="">second shadow government</a>&mdash;also referred to as the Deep State&mdash;that poses the greater threat to freedom right now. Comprised of unelected government bureaucrats, corporations, contractors, paper-pushers, and button-pushers who are actually calling the shots behind the scenes, this <a href="">government within a government</a> is the real reason &ldquo;we the people&rdquo; have no real control over our government.</p> <p><strong>The Deep State, which &ldquo;<a>operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power</a>,&rdquo; makes a mockery of elections and the entire concept of a representative government.</strong></p> <p><u><strong>So who or what is the Deep State?</strong></u></p> <p>It&rsquo;s the militarized police, which have joined forces with state and federal law enforcement agencies in order to establish themselves as a standing army. It&rsquo;s the fusion centers and spy agencies that have created a surveillance state and turned all of us into suspects. It&rsquo;s the courthouses and prisons that have allowed corporate profits to take precedence over due process and justice. It&rsquo;s the military empire with its private contractors and defense industry that is bankrupting the nation. It&rsquo;s the private sector with its <a href="">854,000 contract personnel</a> with top-secret clearances, &ldquo;a number greater than that of top-secret-cleared civilian employees of the government.&rdquo; It&rsquo;s what former congressional staffer Mike Lofgren refers to as &ldquo;<a href="">a hybrid of national security and law enforcement agencies</a>&rdquo;: the Department of Defense, the State Department, Homeland Security, the CIA, the Justice Department, the Treasury, the Executive Office of the President via the National Security Council, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a handful of vital federal trial courts, and members of the defense and intelligence committees.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s every facet of a government that is no longer friendly to freedom and is working overtime to trample the Constitution underfoot and render the citizenry powerless in the face of the government&rsquo;s power grabs, corruption and abusive tactics.</p> <p><strong>These are the key players that drive the shadow government.</strong></p> <p>This is the hidden face of the American police state that will continue long past Election Day.</p> <p><u><strong>Just consider some of the key programs and policies advanced by the shadow government that will continue no matter who occupies the Oval Office.</strong></u></p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><strong>Domestic surveillance.</strong> No matter who wins the presidential popularity contest, the National Security Agency (NSA), with its $10.8 billion black ops annual budget, will continue to spy on every person in the United States who uses a computer or phone. Thus, on any given day, whether you&rsquo;re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior. Local police have been outfitted with a litany of surveillance gear, from license plate readers and cell phone tracking devices to biometric data recorders. Technology now makes it possible for the police to scan passersby in order to detect the contents of their pockets, purses, briefcases, etc. Full-body scanners, which perform virtual strip-searches of Americans traveling by plane, have gone mobile, with roving police vans that peer into vehicles and buildings alike&mdash;including homes. Coupled with the nation&rsquo;s growing network of real-time surveillance cameras and facial recognition software, soon there really will be nowhere to run and nowhere to hide.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Global spying.</strong> The NSA&rsquo;s massive surveillance network, what the <em>Washington Post </em>refers to as a $500 billion &ldquo;<a href="">espionage empire</a>,&rdquo; will continue to span the globe and target every single person on the planet who uses a phone or a computer. The NSA&rsquo;s <a href="">Echelon program</a> intercepts and analyzes virtually every phone call, fax and email message sent anywhere in the world. In addition to carrying out <a href="">domestic surveillance on peaceful political groups</a> such as Amnesty International, Greenpeace and several religious groups, Echelon has also been a keystone in the government&rsquo;s attempts at political and <a href=";language=EN">corporate espionage</a>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Roving TSA searches.</strong> The American taxpayer will continue to get ripped off by government agencies in the dubious name of national security. One of the greatest culprits when it comes to swindling taxpayers has been the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), with its questionable deployment of and complete mismanagement of millions of dollars&rsquo; worth of airport full-body X-ray scanners, punitive patdowns by TSA agents and thefts of travelers&rsquo; valuables. Considered essential to national security, TSA programs will continue in airports and at transportation hubs around the country.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>USA Patriot Act, NDAA.&nbsp;</strong>America&rsquo;s so-called war on terror, which it has relentlessly pursued since 9/11, will continue to chip away at our freedoms, unravel our Constitution and transform our nation into a battlefield, thanks in large part to such subversive legislation as the USA Patriot Act and National Defense Authorization Act. These laws completely circumvent the rule of law and the rights of American citizens. In so doing, they re-orient our legal landscape in such a way as to ensure that martial law, rather than the U.S. Constitution, is the map by which we navigate life in the United States. These laws will continue to be enforced no matter who gets elected.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Militarized police state.&nbsp;</strong>Thanks to federal grant programs allowing the Pentagon to transfer surplus military supplies and weapons to local law enforcement agencies without charge, police forces will continue to be transformed from peace officers into heavily armed extensions of the military, complete with jackboots, helmets, shields, batons, pepper-spray, stun guns, assault rifles, body armor, miniature tanks and weaponized drones. Having been given the green light to probe, poke, pinch, taser, search, seize, strip and generally manhandle anyone they see fit in almost any circumstance, all with the general blessing of the courts, America&rsquo;s law enforcement officials, no longer mere servants of the people entrusted with keeping the peace, will continue to keep the masses corralled, controlled, and treated like suspects and enemies rather than citizens.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>SWAT team raids.</strong>&nbsp;With more than 80,000 SWAT team raids carried out every year on unsuspecting Americans by local police for relatively routine police matters and federal agencies laying claim to their own law enforcement divisions, the incidence of botched raids and related casualties will continue to rise. Nationwide, SWAT teams will continue to be employed to address an astonishingly trivial array of criminal activity or mere community nuisances including angry dogs, domestic disputes, improper paperwork filed by an orchid farmer, and misdemeanor marijuana possession.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Domestic drones. </strong>The domestic use of drones will continue unabated. As mandated by Congress, there will be 30,000 drones crisscrossing the skies of America by 2020, all part of an industry that could be worth as much as $30 billion per year. These machines, which will be equipped with weapons, will be able to record all activities, using video feeds, heat sensors and radar. An Inspector General report revealed that the Dept. of Justice has already spent nearly $4 million on drones domestically, <a href="">largely for use by the FBI</a>, with grants for <a href="">another $1.26 million</a> so police departments and nonprofits can acquire their own drones.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>School-to-prison pipeline.&nbsp;</strong>The paradigm of abject compliance to the state will continue to be taught by example in the schools, through school lockdowns where police and drug-sniffing dogs enter the classroom, and zero tolerance policies that punish all offenses equally and result in young people being expelled for childish behavior. School districts will continue to team up with law enforcement to create a &ldquo;schoolhouse to jailhouse track&rdquo; by imposing a &ldquo;double dose&rdquo; of punishment: suspension or expulsion from school, accompanied by an arrest by the police and a trip to juvenile court.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Overcriminalization.&nbsp;</strong>The government bureaucracy will continue to churn out laws, statutes, codes and regulations that reinforce its powers and value systems and those of the police state and its corporate allies, rendering the rest of us petty criminals. The average American now unknowingly commits three felonies a day, thanks to this overabundance of vague laws that render otherwise innocent activity illegal. Consequently, small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community will continue to have their farms raided.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Privatized Prisons.&nbsp;</strong>States will continue to outsource prisons to private corporations, resulting in a cash cow whereby mega-corporations imprison Americans in private prisons in order to make a profit. In exchange for corporations buying and managing public prisons across the country at a supposed savings to the states, the states have to agree to maintain a 90% occupancy rate in the privately run prisons for at least 20 years.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Endless wars.&nbsp;</strong>America&rsquo;s expanding military empire will continue to bleed the country dry at a rate of more than $15 billion a month (or $20 million an hour). The Pentagon spends more on war than all 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Yet what most Americans fail to recognize is that these ongoing wars have little to do with keeping the country safe and everything to do with enriching the military industrial complex at taxpayer expense.</p> </blockquote> <p><u><strong>Are you getting the message yet?</strong></u></p> <p>The next president, much like the current president and his predecessors, will be little more than a figurehead, a puppet to entertain and distract the populace from what&rsquo;s really going on.</p> <p>As Lofgren reveals, <strong><em>this state within a state, <a href="">&ldquo;concealed behind the one that is visible at either end of Pennsylvania Avenue</a>,&rdquo; is a &ldquo;hybrid entity of public and private institutions ruling the country according to consistent patterns in season and out, connected to, but only intermittently controlled by, the visible state whose leaders we choose.&rdquo;</em></strong></p> <p>The Deep State not only holds the nation&rsquo;s capital in thrall, but <a href="">it also controls Wall Street</a> (&ldquo;which supplies the cash that keeps the political machine quiescent and operating as a diversionary marionette theater&rdquo;) and Silicon Valley.</p> <p><strong>This is fascism in its most covert form,</strong> hiding behind <a href="">public agencies and private companies</a> to carry out its dirty deeds.</p> <p>It is a <a href="">marriage</a> between government bureaucrats and corporate fat cats.</p> <p>As Lofgren concludes:</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"><div></div></div><div class="quote_end"><div></div></div><p><em><strong><a href="">[T]he Deep State is so heavily entrenched, so well protected by surveillance, firepower, money and its ability to co-opt resistance that it is almost impervious to change</a>&hellip; If there is anything the Deep State requires it is silent, uninterrupted cash flow and the confidence that things will go on as they have in the past. It is even willing to tolerate a degree of gridlock: Partisan mud wrestling over cultural issues may be a useful distraction from its agenda.</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>In other words, as I point out in my book <a href=""><em>Battlefield America: The War on the American People</em></a>, as long as government officials&mdash;elected and unelected alike&mdash;are allowed to operate beyond the reach of the Constitution, the courts and the citizenry, the threat to our freedoms remains undiminished.</p> <p><strong>So the next time you find yourselves despondent over the 2016 presidential candidates, remember that it&rsquo;s just a puppet show intended to distract you from the silent coup being carried out by America&#39;s shadow government.</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="571" height="442" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption ETC Fail Fat Cats FBI Martial Law Meltdown national security SPY White House Tue, 25 Oct 2016 02:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575796 at Larry Lindsey Silences CNBC: "The Most Dangerous Candidate Is The One The Media Is Paying The Least Attention To" <p><em><strong>"Polling today isn't the way it used to be, they are not random," </strong></em>explains a calm Larry Lindsey to an 'innocent' CNBC anchor,<strong> before pointing out that just how biased<a href=""> (as we have detailed previously) t</a>he Clinton-tilted polls are.</strong></p> <p>One clever anchor retorts - seemingly proclaiming innocence (or ignorance) - <strong><em>"what's the incentive for the polling organizations to try and cook the books here... pretty short-sighted I would think."</em></strong> </p> <p>Lindsey eloquently explains that <em>"they are creating a bandwagon effect... it's pretty clear what side the news media is on here and that is something that should worry markets after the election... <strong>If Mrs. Clinton becomes President, who will keep an eye on her, on the kinds of side-deals that may be happening, on the regulatory abuses...?"</strong></em></p> <p>Finally, Lindsey lays the hammer, after CNBC smugly notes that he is not a Trump supporter, the director of the National Economic Council exclaimed, </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><em>"I live in a state where I have the luxury of not having to pick between two evils... and vote for Gary Johnson... </em></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>but the most important thing as people are deciding between the lesser of two evils, <strong>the real question you should be asking is, which is the most dangerous of the two evils, and that one's easy... the most dangerous evil is the one the press is not focused on..."</strong></em></p> </blockquote> <p>Sit back, relax, and watch 5 minutes of uncomfortable truths unleashed on an unsuspecting CNBC anchory...</p> <p><iframe src=";byGuid=3000562068&amp;size=530_298" width="530" height="298" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" bgcolor="#131313"></iframe></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="501" height="272" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Tue, 25 Oct 2016 02:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575786 at Chinese Politician Given Suspended Death Sentence After 200 Million Yuan In Cash Was Found In His Apartment <p>When corrupt Chinese oligarchs and politicians are unable to transfer millions in illegally obtained funds offshore they resort to the next best option: storing the money in the form of cold, hard cash stashed away inside their apartments. However, this is a rather risky proposition as one of them found out when investigators, along with a live-rolling media crew, showed up at his apartment where he had managed to conceal over 200 million yuan in cash.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="337" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>As <a href="">Shanghaist reports</a>, the fact that the highest denomination of Chinese currency is the 100-yuan note has always created headaches for corrupt officials. <strong>In order to fit 200 million yuan ($31 million) into a single apartment, Wei Pengyuan was forced to resort to some creative interior design, removing all the furniture apart from a single bed, and filling the place with bags full of cash.</strong> </p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="332" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Wei, the former vice director of the National Energy Administration's coal department, was famously busted for corruption back in May of 2014. Investigators reported that they had <a href="">discovered an inconceivable amount of money stashed inside his apartment</a>, but footage of the flat had not been released until now.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="330" /></p> <p>In a <a href="">19-minute-long segment</a>, Chinese state media took viewers on a tour of Wei's apartment and through his history of malfeasance. Throughout the flat, suitcases, cardboard boxes and bags of all sizes are found strewn around stuffed full of banknotes. Along with 134 million in yuan, Wei's stash also included US dollars, Hong Kong dollars, British pounds and Euros.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="334" /></p> <p>At the time of Wei's arrest, it was reported that investigators used 16 mechanical bill counters to count up all the cash, and four of the machines burned out from the herculean effort. <strong>In this <a href="">latest expose</a>, state media reports that it took 5 of these counting machines 14 hours to tabulate it all up, with only one casualty.</strong></p> <p>According to Sina, locals are stunned at the shear scale of governmental graft. Several papers estimated that the stash must weigh well over a ton.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="331" /></p> <p>To build up this kind of fortune, prosecutors say that Wei took in bribes from over 200 companies from 2000 to 2014. He was given a <a href="">suspended death sentence on Monday</a>.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="336" /></p> <p>The most amusing part in the report on Wei's life is that his colleagues had always believed him to be a modest and austere official. Everyday, Wei would ride a bike to and from work. What they didn't know was that Wei was in fact driving his Audi, parking nearby and then taking the foldable bicycle out of his trunk.</p> <p><img src="" width="500" height="334" /></p> <p>Wei isn't the only ex-official being shamed on state media, on Monday, an eight-part TV series "<a href="">Always on the Road</a>" began airing, featuring some of China's most notorious public officials taking to the screen to confess to their crimes in front of the nation. That series will wrap up next Monday, just in time for a four-day plenary session of the Central Committee, the last major meeting before a reshuffle of central party leadership next autumn.</p> <p>If anything, we predict that reports such as this will spur even more aggressive transfer of local Chinese funds offshore - and certainly cash - and further accelerate "M&amp;A" involving Chinese financial conglomerates and US acquisition targets. </p> <p><em>Images via <a href="">Sina</a></em><a href=""></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="640" height="425" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Corruption Hong Kong Yuan Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:48:33 +0000 Tyler Durden 575783 at Pathetic: Wells Fargo Steps Up Scandal Control With TV Ad Over Bogus Accounts <p><iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <h3 class="lede-headline"><span class="lede-headline__highlighted">Wells Fargo Steps Up Scandal Damage Control With TV Ad Push</span></h3> <p> Reminds me of the GMAC videos when they changed their name to Ally after they got busted stealing the homes of millions of people...</p> <p>If you haven't seen them, I embedded a few below. </p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">Wells Fargo &amp; Co., trying to quell a scandal that has engulfed its consumer bank, will start broadcasting nationwide television commercials Monday night, outlining steps it has taken to halt abuses.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">The spot -- featuring a <a href="" target="_blank" title="Link to Commercial">stagecoach in slow motion</a>, and a narrator talking over piano music -- escalates a public-relations campaign that already includes Internet and newspaper advertisements, as the firm tries to convince customers it’s putting their interests first. Authorities fined the bank $185 million last month, saying branch workers may have opened more than 2 million unauthorized deposit accounts and credit cards over half a decade.</p> <p style="padding-left: 30px;">“The advertising reiterates Wells Fargo’s commitment to customers and the steps we are taking to move forward and make things right,” Mark Folk, a company spokesman, said in an interview. Some ads will air during Sunday morning talk shows, and the push will include networks Univision and Telemundo, he said.</p> <p>&nbsp;<br /> <iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p><iframe src="" width="640" height="360" frameborder="0"></iframe>&nbsp; </p> <h2><span style="color: #000000;"><a href="" title=""></a></span></h2> GMAC Newspaper Univision Wells Fargo Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:40:56 +0000 4closureFraud 575797 at FelonsVotesMatter - Florida Dems Allege Racism Behind Restrictions On Felon Voters <p>The rights of felons to vote have become a hot topic in the 2016 election.&nbsp; We recently wrote about the efforts of Virginia's Governor, and long-time Clinton confidant, Terry McAuliffe, to restore voting rights to 200,000 ex-felons (see "<a href="">FelonsVotesMatter (To Hillary) - Clinton's Election Fate In Virginia Lies With 200,000 Unregistered Offenders</a>").&nbsp; As we pointed out, <strong>200,000 is over 5% of the 3.8mm Virginians who voted in the Presidential race in 2012 and is larger than Obama's margin of victory over Mitt Romney of 149,298.&nbsp; </strong>But we certainly don't mean to imply that McAuliffe's efforts were in any way motivated by a desire to help Clinton win the state of Virginia in November...we're sure this problem is just an issue that has tugged at McAuliffe's heart for a long time.&nbsp; But we digress.</p> <script src="//"></script> <p>Another state that denies convicted felons the right to vote is the key swing state of Florida.&nbsp; As <a href="">Reuters </a>points out, felons in the state of Florida have been "disenfranchised" in since 1868 and a newly elected republican governor, Rick Scott, took steps in 2011 that made it even harder to restore felons' voting rights.&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Felons have been disenfranchised in Florida since 1868,</strong> although they can seek clemency to restore their voting rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Since 2011, however, when <strong>Republican state leaders toughened the restrictions on felon voting rights, just 2,339 ex-felons have had that right restored, the lowest annual numbers in nearly two decades</strong>, according to state data reviewed by Reuters.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>That compares with more than<strong> 155,000 in the prior four years under reforms introduced by Governor Rick Scott's predecessor, moderate Republican governor Charlie Crist</strong>, the data shows. Crist, who was governor from 2007 to 2011, made it much easier to restore ex-felons' voting rights.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"When I tried to be an effective member of the community, I saw that I was voiceless," said Newton, whose expectations of getting his rights restored were dashed when the rules changed under a new administration. "I'm 45, and I have never voted."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Florida is the largest of four remaining states that strip all former felons of voting rights,</strong> accounting for nearly half of those barred from voting nationally. Along with Virginia, the others are Kentucky and Iowa.</p> </blockquote> <p><iframe src="" width="600" height="337" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Of course,<strong> according to Reuters, efforts to restrict felons from voting is just another effort of racist "millionaire" republicans to "disenfranchise" minority voters</strong>.&nbsp; Per data from the Sentencing Project, one in five voting-age black voters has a felony record compared to only 8.6% of non-black potential voters...a statistic that democrats argues confirms that republican efforts are racially motivated.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>In March 2011, two months after he became governor, <strong>Scott reversed Crist's reforms, which had allowed many non-violent felons to automatically get their voting rights reinstated after they had completed their sentences.</strong> Crist had also simplified the process for felons convicted of more serious crimes to regain their votes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Scott, a millionaire former health care executive,</strong> put in place new restrictions, <strong>requiring ex-felons to wait for five to seven years before applying to regain the right to vote</strong>, serve on a jury or hold elected office. He said the new rules ensured ex-felons had proven they were unlikely to offend.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Florida has disenfranchised about one in five voting-age black voters</strong>, according to research collected by the Sentencing Project, a Washington-based advocacy group.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>That compares with about 8.6 percent of the state's non-black potential voters.</strong> Data on the Hispanic voting-age population who can't vote because of the law was unavailable, although Hispanics make up 12.5 percent of Florida’s inmates.</p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, republicans argue that the execution of justice has nothing to do with race with Governor Scott's office saying that felons have an obligation to demonstrate to society a genuine interest in living a "life free of crime" before their voting rights should be reinstated.&nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>"For those who may suggest that these rule changes have anything to do with race, these assertions are completely unfounded. Justice has nothing to do with race," Bondi wrote in a 2011 newspaper editorial.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Scott's office, in a statement to Reuters, said former felons need to <strong>"demonstrate that they can live a life free of crime, show a willingness to request to have their rights restored and show restitution to the victims of their crimes"</strong> in order to have their voting rights restored.</p> </blockquote> <p>As the state with the largest population of non-voting felons, something tells us this battle in Florida is just getting started.</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="228" height="202" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Florida Newspaper Reuters Tue, 25 Oct 2016 01:20:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575763 at Twitter Planning To Fire Another 8% Of Workforce, "Losing Talent" Fast <p>Just days ahead of its Q3 earnings report, Twitter is reportedly planning widespread job cuts following the demise of the deal-scheme. <a href=""><em>As Bloomberg reports,</em></a> the company may cut <strong>about another 8% of the workforce, or around 300 people leaving its <span style="text-decoration: underline;">headcount the smallest since Q3 2014</span></strong>.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="350" /></a></p> <p><a href=""><em>As Bloomberg reports, </em></a><em>a</em>ccording to people familiar with the matter, the company may cut about 8 percent of the workforce, or about 300 people, <strong>the same percentage it did last year when co-founder Jack Dorsey took over as chief executive officer,</strong> the people said. </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Planning for the cuts is still fluid and the number could change, they added. The people asked not to be identified talking about private company plans.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Twitter’s losses and 40 percent fall in its share price the past 12 months have made it more difficult for the company to pay its engineers with stock</strong>. That has made it harder for Twitter to compete for talent with giant rivals like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. <strong>Reducing employee numbers would relieve some of this pressure.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><strong>Twitter, which loses money, is trying to control spending as sales growth slows. </strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The company recently hired bankers to explore a sale, but the companies that had expressed interest in bidding -- Inc., The Walt Disney Co. and Alphabet Inc. -- later <strong>backed out from the process.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>With the stock back at pre-deal-hype levels, the big question is whether a collapsing headcount is the last straw on this camel's back...</p> <p><a href=""><img src="" width="600" height="328" /></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="225" height="164" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> Google Twitter Twitter Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:53:35 +0000 Tyler Durden 575795 at Credit Card Delinquencies Creep Up To Highest Levels Since 2012 As Subprime Issuance Soars <p>As Obama's "recovery" rolls along, the <a href="">Wall Street Journal</a> points out that the delinquency rates of subprime credit cards has surged to the highest levels recorded since 2012.&nbsp; Moreover, per TransUnion data, delinquency rates on cards issued in 2015 are close to 3%, or roughly double the overall rate, indicating that consumers have grown increasingly dependent on credit cards over the past couple of years to fund daily expenses.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p><strong>Credit-card lending to subprime borrowers is starting to backfire.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Missed payments on credit cards that lenders issued recently are higher than on older cards, according to new data from credit bureau TransUnion. <strong>Nearly 3% of outstanding balances on credit cards issued in 2015 were at least 90 days behind on payments six months after they were originated.</strong> That compares with 2.2% for cards that were given out in 2014 and 1.5% for cards in 2013.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The poorer performance on newer cards pushed up the 90-day or more delinquency rate for all credit cards to 1.53% on average nationwide in the third quarter. <strong>That’s the highest level since 2012.</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>Meanwhile, <a href="">FRED </a>data reveals that while overall credit card delinquency rates remain at 10-year lows, the trends has been higher over the past several quarters.<strong><br /></strong></p> <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="CC Delinquencies" width="600" height="244" /></a></p> <p>Of course, as <a href="">we've noted before</a>, part of the problem is that credit card companies have been forced to compete with the "peer-to-peer" loan providers whose volume has grown exponentially since tapping into the Wall Street securitization machine in 2015.&nbsp; Unfortunately, this latest wall street ponzi scheme only serves to ruin the long-term credit quality of borrowers as most people use proceeds to repay credit cards then simply max them out all over again. &nbsp; &nbsp; </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>We first noted Wall Street's misguided plan to feed its securitization machine with peer-to-peer (P2P) loans back in May 2015 (see "<a href="">What Bubble? Wall Street To Turn P2P Loans Into CDOs</a>").&nbsp; Obviously we warned then that the voracious demand for P2P loans was a direct product of central bank policies that had sent investors searching far and wide for yield leaving them so desperate they were willing to gamble on the payment streams generated by loans made on peer-to-peer platforms.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>In addition to the <strong>pure lunacy of using unsecured, low/no-doc, micro-loans as collateral for a CDO, we pointed out that the very nature of P2P loans meant that borrower creditworthiness likely deteriorated as soon as loans were issued.</strong>&nbsp; The credit deterioration stemmed from the fact that many borrowers were simply using P2P loan proceeds to repay higher-interest credit card debt.&nbsp; That said, after paying off that credit card, <strong>many people simply proceeded to max it out again leaving them with twice the original amount of debt.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>And, sure enough, it only took about a year before the first signs started to emerge that the P2P lending bubble was bursting.&nbsp; The first such sign came in May 2016 when <strong>Lending Club's stock collapsed 25% in a single day after reporting that their write-off rates were trending at 7%-8% or roughly double the forecasted rate </strong>(we wrote about it here "<a href="">P2P Bubble Bursts? LendingClub Stock Plummets 25% After CEO Resigns On Internal Loan Review</a>").&nbsp; </p> </blockquote> <p>As the WSJ points out, the credit quality of borrowers has declined materially over the past couple of years.&nbsp; In fact, the volume of subprime card issuance was up 20% year-over-year in 2015 and 56% compared to 2013.&nbsp; Meanwhile, declining household income related to the oil bust has also led to higher delinquencies.</p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>The recent increase in subprime lending is one of the big contributors. Lenders ramped up subprime card lending in 2014 and have been doling out more of these cards recently. <strong>They issued just over 20 million credit cards to subprime borrowers in 2015, up some 20% from 2014 and up 56% from 2013, according to Equifax.</strong></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Separately, missed payments in states with large oil or energy sectors continue to worsen. <strong>The share of card balances that were at least 90 days past due increased 12% in Oklahoma, 10% in Texas and 20% in Wyoming in the third quarter from a year prior</strong>, according to TransUnion. The Wall Street Journal reported in April that rising unemployment in the energy sector was pushing up delinquencies on credit cards and auto loans, raising the risk of new losses for banks.</p> </blockquote> <p>Why do we suddenly have a sinking suspicion that victims of "predatory credit card lending practices" will be the next bailout target of democrats after taxpayers are forced to pick up the tab for outstanding student loan debts?</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="480" height="320" alt="" src="" /> </div> </div> </div> CDO Oklahoma recovery Unemployment Wall Street Journal Tue, 25 Oct 2016 00:50:00 +0000 Tyler Durden 575772 at