http://www.zerohedge.com/fullrss2.xml/component/option%2Ccom_docman/Itemid%2C200023/gid%2C397/BoomBustBlog/BoomBustBlog/BoomBustBlog/BoomBustBlog/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/2009/07/2009/07/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/07/2009/2009/2009/07/2009/07/news/iran-releases-video-captured-us-drone en 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">Head of Both CIA&rsquo;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</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 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 Settlements and Fines from TBTF Institutions Since the Crisis http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/settlements-and-fines-tbtf-institutions-crisis <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin: 3pt 0in 9pt; line-height: 15.6pt; text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Let's take a look at the amount of<br /> settlements/fines from various banks and financial institutions around the world<br /> since the crisis. There are probably a lot of settlements/fines I have missed, frankly the amount below is already staggering, so this is a very rough estimate. Some perspective, most of these individual banks have now paid more in fines then the value of most countries GDP's. Total tally from the listed Fines/Settlements below is $163,007,800,000. Reminder: Jail time served by any board members or CEO's of the following TBTF list=0. #FreeCorzine. Meanwhile, Supreme Leader Obama is going on and on about making the system "fair" and for the people to stop being so "cynical" and instead be more "hopeful," while the same people who caused the last financial crisis are the same people still in charge.&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><br /></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2006</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*AIG 1.6 Billion Settlement with SEC, New York<br /> State over securities fraud</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2008</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $8.4 Billion Countrywide<br /> Predatory Lending Settlement</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2010</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Goldman Sachs $550 Million Settlement to SEC<br /> for Subprime Mortgage CDO</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2011</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*KPMG $37 Million Settlement over Auditing at<br /> Wachovia</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Wells Fargo $590 Million Settlement in Claims<br /> over Wachovia</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $8.5 Billion Settlement with<br /> BNY Mellon over Mortgages</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $1.6 Billion Assuared Guarantee<br /> Settlement</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $1.5 Billion Fannie Mae<br /> Settlement&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Citigroup $285 Million Settlement with SEC over<br /> Fraud Charges</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*UBS $2.5 Million Fine to FINRA over Lehman<br /> Notes</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: right; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2011 Total $12,514,000,000</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2012</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Deutsche Bank $202 Million to Settle Misleading<br /> Department of Housing and Urban Development on Mortgages</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $1.8 Billion Settlement Nationwide<br /> Settlement over Improper Foreclosures</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $269.9 Million Settlement with SEC over<br /> Creation and Underwriting of MBS</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $20 Million Settlement Mishandling of<br /> Lehman Funds</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Ally/GMAC, BofA, Citi, JPM, Wells Fargo $25<br /> Billion National Mortgage Settlement</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*UBS 1.5 Billion Settlement over Rate<br /> Rigging&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Barclays $453 Million Settlement over Libor<br /> Probe</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $2.4 Billion Merrill Lynch<br /> Securities Fraud Settlement</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bear Stearns $275 Million Settlement with<br /> Shareholders </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: right; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2012 Total $31,919,000,000</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2013</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $13 Billion Civil Settlement with Justice<br /> Department for Mortgage Lending Practices</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $110 Million Settlement on manipulation of<br /> Japanese version of Libor&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $4.5 Billion to 21 Institutional Investors<br /> to Settle losses tied to Mortgage-Backed Securities</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $100 Million Settlement to CFTC for London<br /> Whale Trades&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $920 Million Settlements with OCC, SEC,<br /> FED, UK Fin. Conduct Authority over London Whale</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $410 Million Settlement over California<br /> Electricity Rigging</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $5.1 Billion FHFA Settlement </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Deutsche Bank $1.9 Billion Settlement with FHFA</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Deutsche Bank&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #333333;">€</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">725 Million Settlement for<br /> Euribor and Yen Libor Rigging</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $11.2 Billion Fannie Mae<br /> Settlement</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $2.9 Billion Settlement with<br /> FED and OCC</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $1.7 Billion MBIA Settlement</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $131.8 Million SEC Settlement<br /> over Mortgage Deals</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Societe Generale&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #333333;">€</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">446 Million Settlement<br /> Euribor Manipulation&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*RaboBank $475 Million Settlement over Libor<br /> Manipulation</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*UBS $885 Million Settlement over FHFA Lawsuit</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*RBS&nbsp;</span><span style="font-size: 11.5pt; font-family: &quot;Arial&quot;,&quot;sans-serif&quot;; mso-fareast-font-family: &quot;Times New Roman&quot;; color: #333333;">€</span><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">391 Million Interest Rate Rigging</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Goldman Sachs &amp; Morgan Stanley $557 Million<br /> Settlement over Foreclosures&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Wells Fargo $541 Million Fannie Mae Loan<br /> Settlement&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*MF Global $100 Million to CFTC</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Citigroup $3.5 Billion FHFA Settlement</span></p> <!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--><!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]--><p></p> <!--[endif]--><!--[endif]--><p></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; text-align: right; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2013 Total $49,591,800,000</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2014&nbsp;</span></strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $2.6 Billion Settlement related to<br /> Madoff Fraud</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Morgan Stanley $1.25 Billion Mortgage<br /> Settlement&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $6.3 Billion Settlement of<br /> Mortgage Securities Suit</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Citi $7 Billion Settlement for Mortgage<br /> Probe&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*US Bancorp $200 Million Settlement with DOJ<br /> over bad Mortgage-Loan Apps</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Credit Suisse $885 Million Settlement over<br /> FHFA&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*JPM $4 Billion&nbsp;Settlement over FHFA<br /> Lawsuit</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Deutsche Bank $1.9 Billion&nbsp;Settlement over<br /> FHFA Lawsuit</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Credit Suisse Guilty with $2.6 Billion fine<br /> over Tax Evasion&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $16.6 Million Settlement over<br /> Sanctions Violations</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Bank of America $9.5 Billion FHFA Settlement </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Morgan Stanley $275 Million SEC Settlement over<br /> Risky Mortgages</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Citigroup $5 Million SEC Settlement over<br /> Lavaflow</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*BNP Paribas $8.9 Billion <strong>PLEADS GUILTY</strong> </span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">*Pending Bank of America $13 Billion Settlement<br /> over U.S. Mortgage Probe</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="margin-top: 3.0pt; margin-right: 0in; margin-bottom: 9.0pt; margin-left: 0in; line-height: 15.6pt;"><span style="font-size: 12pt; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">&nbsp;</span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">2014 Total $58,431,600,000</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;">Total Penalties&nbsp;</span></strong><strong><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 15.6pt;">$</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; text-align: center;">163,007,800,000</span><span style="font-family: Verdana, sans-serif; font-size: 12pt; line-height: 15.6pt;">.</span></strong></p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;">&nbsp;</p> <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align: right;"><strong><span style="font-size: 12pt; line-height: 115%; font-family: Verdana, sans-serif;"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/WhiteCollarCrimecartoon.png" width="445" height="389" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" />&nbsp;</span></strong></p> <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-image-blog"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <img class="imagefield imagefield-field_image_blog" width="1000" height="1000" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user191381/imageroot/1000x1000.jpg?1406330320" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/settlements-and-fines-tbtf-institutions-crisis#comments 8.5% AIG Bank of America Bank of America Barclays Bear Stearns CDO Citigroup Countrywide Credit Suisse Deutsche Bank Fannie Mae FINRA Foreclosures GMAC Goldman Sachs goldman sachs Institutional Investors Lehman LIBOR Merrill Merrill Lynch MF Global Morgan Stanley RBS Securities Fraud US Bancorp Wachovia Wells Fargo Yen Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:26:44 +0000 StalingradandPoorski 491757 at http://www.zerohedge.com De-Dollarization Spreads: Swiss & Chinese Central Banks Enter Swap Agreement http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/de-dollarization-spreads-swiss-chinese-central-banks-enter-swap-agreement <p><em>Submitted by <a href="http://armstrongeconomics.com/2014/07/24/swiss-chinese-central-banks-enter-swap-agreement/">Martin Armstrong via Armstrong Economics</a>,</em></p> <p><a href="http://i2.wp.com/armstrongeconomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/central_bank_china.jpg"><img src="http://i2.wp.com/armstrongeconomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/central_bank_china.jpg?resize=584%2C438" alt="Central_Bank_China" width="570" height="427" class="aligncenter size-full wp-image-9797" /></a></p> <p><strong>The Swiss National Bank and the People’s Bank of China reached a currency swap agreement this week. </strong>While this is not a huge trend changer in the near-term, it demonstrates that our forecast for China to become the largest economy and to be the next financial capital of the world when Europe and the USA blow themselves apart with defaulting socialism is on track. This agreement will allow the two central banks to buy and sell their currencies up to a limit of 150 billion renminbi, or 21 billion Swiss francs ($23.4 billion).</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://i2.wp.com/armstrongeconomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/SwissNationalBank.jpg"><img src="http://i2.wp.com/armstrongeconomics.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/SwissNationalBank.jpg?resize=584%2C438" alt="SwissNationalBank" width="570" height="427" class="aligncenter size-large wp-image-22515" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The deal will also allow the Swiss central bank to invest some of its huge accumulation of foreign exchange reserves in the Chinese bond market.&nbsp;</p> <p>The Zurich-based SNB said the agreement will further strengthen collaboration between it and its Chinese counterpart and is a<em><strong> “key requisite for the development of a renminbi market in Switzerland.”</strong></em> It could also facilitate trade and investment between the two countries, the PBOC said. This demonstrates that China is moving in the correct direction.</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="480" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/central_bank_china.jpg?1406328924" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/de-dollarization-spreads-swiss-chinese-central-banks-enter-swap-agreement#comments Bond Central Banks China Martin Armstrong Renminbi Swiss National Bank Switzerland Fri, 25 Jul 2014 23:15:29 +0000 Tyler Durden 491754 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 Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:14:34 +0000 Tyler Durden 491753 at http://www.zerohedge.com Ebola Victim On The Run In West Africa Capital http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/ebola-victim-run-west-africa-capital <p>It's gone from bad (<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-06-23/mapping-africas-totally-out-control-ebola-epidemic">Mapping Africa's "Totally Out Of Control" Ebola Epidemic</a>)&nbsp; to worse, (<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-23/head-doctor-fighting-africas-out-control-ebola-epidemic-contracts-virus">Head Doctor Fighting Africa's "Out Of Control" Ebola Epidemic Contracts The Virus</a>), to much worse (<a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-24/liberian-man-tested-ebola-worlds-fourth-most-populous-city">Liberian Man Tested For Ebola In World's Fourth Most Populous City</a>), to having run out of comparaitves - although we are leery of using a superlative just yet as we have a feeling Africa's Ebola's epidemic will deteriorate before it gets better. But the latest news is bad enough: as <a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/07/25/us-health-ebola-africa-idUSKBN0FU1DB20140725">Reuters reported moments ago</a>, Sierra Leone officials <strong>appealed for help on Friday to trace the first known resident in the capital with Ebola whose family forcibly removed her from a Freetown hospital after testing positive for the deadly disease</strong>.</p> <p><a href="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/ebola%20man.jpg"><img src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/2014/07/ebola%20man.jpg" width="580" height="386" /></a></p> <p>How big is Sierra Leone's capital Freetown: just around 1 million inhabitants, so yes, things are suddenly very much <em><strong>un</strong></em>contained. </p> <p>More: </p> <blockquote><div class="quote_start"> <div></div> </div> <div class="quote_end"> <div></div> </div> <p>Radio stations in Freetown broadcast the appeal on Friday to locate a woman who tested positive for the disease that has killed 660 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak was first identified in February.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"Saudatu Koroma of 25 Old Railway Line, Brima Lane, Wellington," the announcement said. "<strong>She is a positive case and her being out there is a risk to all. We need the public to help us locate her</strong>."</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Koroma, 32, a resident of the densely populated Wellington neighborhood, had been admitted to an isolation ward while blood samples were tested for the virus, Health ministry spokesman Sidi Yahya Tunis. The results came back on Thursday.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>"<strong>The family of the patient stormed the hospital and forcefully removed her and took her away</strong>," Tunis said. "<strong>We are searching for her."</strong></p> </blockquote> <p>What is just as bad is that even without this latest shocking development, the death toll from the epidemic has already hit 660 according to the WHO, <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/west-africa-ebola-death-toll-reaches-660-131032593.html">cited by AFP</a>.</p> <p>And now we await news out of the world's fourth largest city, Nigeria's capital Lagos, where a man collapsed at the airport and is now being tested whether he too had Ebola, and we are confused how the market is not trading at fresh all time highs following what is now a recreation of the plot of the movie Outbreak. Just consider how much GDP was created or not destroyed there.</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="283" height="178" alt="" src="http://www.zerohedge.com/sites/default/files/images/user5/imageroot/Outbreak.jpg?1406297627" /> </div> </div> </div> http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-07-25/ebola-victim-run-west-africa-capital#comments Reuters Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:45:53 +0000 Tyler Durden 491731 at http://www.zerohedge.com