Saturday, March 31, 2012

John Williams – Consumers Crushed & Economy Collapsed

from King World News:
Investors have expressed confusion recently because parts of the economy are clearly collapsed, but restaurants remain packed in many areas. John Williams clears up the confusion by demonstrating that real GDP remains collapsed, and that the hype from Wall Street about a recovery is a lie. Williams, who founded ShadowStats, also illustrates, in reality, how the consumer remains “crushed.” Here is what Williams had to say about the situation: “Broad U.S. business activity remains far from being recovered, despite the ongoing GDP-reporting nonsense that shows inflation-adjusted economic activity above the peak levels that preceded the 2007 recession.”
John Williams continues: Read More @

Corporate Media Silent On Lawuit Over NDAA Being Used To Silence Journalists

by Alexander Higgins, The Intel Hub:

The NDAA is being challenged in a lawsuit by multiple journalists that could be accused of supporting terrorism for reporting facts that challenge the official US government narrative.
A coalition of prominent journalist known for being critical of the United States in the War on Terror have joined forces to file a lawsuit against Barack Obama and Leon Panetta to challenge the National Defense Authorization act.
The NDAA, also known as the Homeland Battlefield Bill, has legalized a wide variety of totalitarian measures against US citizens by declaring the entire world, including the United States, a battleground in the war against terrorism and is a clear and present danger to the US Constitution.
Read More @



Europe: "€1 Trillion May Not Be Enough"

A core piece of last week's European newsflow was that following much pushback, Angela Merkel, who understands the underlying math all too well, finally dropped her opposition to expanding the European "firewall" in the form of a combined EFSF and ESM rescue mechanisms, to bring the total "firepower" to €800 billion (ignoring for a moment that when the true dry powder of the combined vehicle is just about €500 billion net as explained here, hardly enough to rescue Spain, let alone Italy). Yet as has been explained here repeatedly, and as Merkel has figured out, this is easily the most symbolic expansion of a rescue facility ever. Because while the ECB's agreement to allow Eurobanks to abuse its €1 trillion discount window for three years (which is what the LTRO is), following the replacement of JC Trichet with a Goldman apparatchik, at least infused the system with $1.3 trillion in new fungible liquidity (and resulted in a stock market performance boost for the ages, one which is now unwinding), the 'firewall" does not represent new money, nor is a "firewall" to begin with - it is merely one massive contingent liability which will remain unfunded in perpetuity. Slowly the German media is waking up, and in an article in Der Spiegel, the authors observe that "Even a 1-Trillion Euro Firewall wouldn't be enough." And they are correct, because the size of the firewall is completely irrelevant, as explained later. All the "firewall" does is shift even more backstop responsibility on the only true AAA-country left in the Eurozone, Germany. However, the main cause of problems in Europe - a massive debt overhang which can at best be rolled over but never paid down due to the increasingly lower cash flow generation of Europe's (and America's) assets, still remains, and will do so until the debt is finally written down. However, it can't because one bank's liability is another bank's asset. And so we go back to square one, which is that the system is caught in the biggest Catch 22, as we explained back in 2009. We are glad to see that slowly but surely this damning conclusion is finally being understood by most.

Savage: Could 2012 Be America’s Last Presidential Election?


I’ve asked this question to a number of people and most them respond as if I were crazy for asking. They tell me that this is America , land of the free and that there will always be elections. I tell them that we are no longer the land of the free and that if Obama gets re-elected in 2012, that this just may be America ‘s last election. In the past three years, the Obama administration has been very carefully crafting the nation for a political take over by his Marxist regime and this isn’t just my opinion.
Popular radio talk show host Michael Savage is the son of Russian immigrants and is very familiar with Soviet and European history. Savage warned his listeners this week saying, “I have to tell you that if this man, God forbid, is the next president of the United States, we’re going to be living in something along the lines of – people say Europe. I don’t believe it’s going to be like Europe – I think it will be closer to Chavez’s South American dictatorship.
“This is the most corrupt, incompetent, dangerous tyrannical administration in American history. It’s not politics as usual. It’s not just Democrats versus Republicans.
Read More @

Savings, Investment, and the Keynesian Preference

by Alasdair Macleod, Gold Money:
Neo-classical economists underestimate the importance of the link between savings and investment. The two should be regarded as linked together: you need savings to be available for investment in new production for the future.
This causes no concern to mainstream economists. Instead they advocate that savings should support government spending, rather than paying down consumer debt. They regard the second option as recessionary folly. Meanwhile they believe investment can be stimulated through low interest rates with a helping hand from government. The effect of our current predicament in most advanced economies has been to separate savings from industrial investment. This is unwise.
Read More @

The Muppets Are Confused How Goldman Is Both Bullish And Bearish On Stocks At The Same Time

Ten days ago, Goldman's Peter Oppenheimer published the "Long Good Buy, The Case For Equities", a big research piece, full of pretty charts and witty bullets, which actively urged the rotation out of bonds and into stocks, yet not only marked the peak of the market so far, but drew ridicule even from the likes of CNBC. More importantly, it has generated a plethora of questions from the muppets (aka Goldman clients) themselves, who are wondering how Goldman can be both uber bullish, and yet still have a 1250 S&P 2012 YE price target, as per the other strategist, David Kostin ("We expect the S&P 500 will trade at 1325 by mid-year (-5.6%) and 1250 in 12 months (-10.9%)."), or said otherwise, just how is it that Goldman is having its cake and eating it too? Below is David Kostin's attempt to justify how the firm can pull a Dennis Gartman (and virtually any other newsletter and book seller - after all what better way to say one was right than to have all bases covered) be both bearish and bullish at the same time.

Charles Biderman and Chris Martenson: The Problem With Rigged Markets



Cashless: The Coming War on Tax-Evasion and Decentralized Money

by Chris Sheridan, Financial Sense:
There are two major trends taking place that are shaping up as a recipe for disaster. On the one hand, we have massively indebted governments around the world desperate for tax revenues and, on the other, steadily growing multi-trillion underground economies whose main goal is to avoid paying them.
According to a recent study, the amount of uncollected tax revenues in the U.S. is estimated around a whopping 500 billion dollars per year.
At 8 percent of GDP, the underground or shadow economy in the U.S. is much smaller percentage-wise than in other nations like Greece (25 percent), Italy (27 percent), or Thailand (70 percent), yet, given our overall size, America’s untaxed economy is larger than “the official output of all but the upper crust of nations across the globe…bigger than the GDP of Turkey or Austria.”
Read More @


Eric De Groot at Eric De Groot - 9 hours ago

The bullish movement of money, i.e. bullish setups in the 30- and 10-year, supports Gross's suggestion that the Fed will hint at QE3 in April's policy meeting. The spike in the bond market diffusion index (DI), a measure of cumulative money flows across the yield curve, suggests something's up. Follow the message of the market and leave the experts to debate their opinions. Chart: US Treasury... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

The Spanish Riotcam Has Arrived

Spain's honeymoon with its new government is over.

GOLD & SILVER REPORT: South Carolina Office of the Treasurer Concludes Banking Cartel Has Engaged in Illegality and “Artificial Price Suppression”

In 2011, after researching the State’s options for investing in gold and silver, The Office of the Treasurer of the State of South Carolina quietly released a ground-breaking “Gold and Silver Investments” report. This incredible report is a must-read for any one interested in gold and silver metals ownership or in understanding the criminality now inherent throughout the fractional-reserve banking and fractional-reserve bullion banking systems.
The report specifically cites the rampant illegality which now dominates the banking and bullion banking systems, noting that major components of current banking practices are in direct conflict with South Carolina laws. And in only six pages, one of the highest offices in state government validates all of the most significant precious metals manipulation claims made over the years by GATA, Bill Murphy, Chris Powell, Adrian Douglas, Ted Butler, Eric Sprott and the rest of us in the precious metals news and information community.
The author of the report clearly understands the illegal and deliberate nature of the banking cartel’s price suppression schemes and ultimately concludes that investing in gold and silver is therefore too risky for a State government. In the report the Office of the Treasury specifically cites the illegal nature of the fractional reserve bullion banking and COMEX schemes. The author specifically notes that COMEX and bullion banking practices are in direct conflict with the South Carolina Code of Laws, 1976 SECTIONS 11-9-660. Read More…

David Morgan with The Doc: Cartel Wearing Out All But the Most Diehard Silver Investors

from Silver Doctors:

Do you have the fortitude to be right and sit tight?
The Doc sat down with silver analyst and guru David Morgan from regarding silver’s supply/demand fundamentals, the implications of an Iran invasion on silver, the leap-day take-down, and whether position limits in silver will ever be enforced by the CFTC.
Read More @

Should Investors Activate Gold and Silver Airbags?

by Eric McWhinnie Wall St Cheat Sheet:

Earlier this week, a fully loaded Brinks truck carrying between $3 million and $5 million in uncirculated loonies and toonies crashed on a snow covered highway in Ontario, Canada. The truck crossed the centre line and slammed into a rock, launching the coins in every direction. The accident is an unfortunate event, but can serve as an analogy about today’s fragile fiat currencies.
The current financial system serves as a global high-speed economic highway that is filled with many obstacles, including debt, bubbles and politics. Being the world’s reserve currency, the U.S. dollar is the truck that is one good bump away from losing control and crashing, causing a chaotic financial wreck. The U.S. official national debt now stands at over $15.6 trillion, representing about $140,000 per taxpayer. The record debt amount continues to increase as Washington gridlock is stronger than ever. The debt ceiling, which was raised last August to $16.394 trillion and initially expected to last well into 2013, is now estimated by Zero Hedge to be reached in September of this year. When Treasury Secretary, Timothy Geithner, was recently asked how much he would raise the debt ceiling if given only one more request, he responded, “No idea.” After $20 trillion and $50 trillion were floated as ideas, he finally conceded, “It would be a lot. It would make you uncomfortable.” The dire situation in Washington and the dollar is causing states to prepare for a bumpy road ahead.
Read More @

Your Soul Has Been Sold for Gold – Stefan Molyneux

from stefbot:
Stefan Molyneux, host of Freedomain Radio, is interviewed by Jan Irvin of Gnostic Media about the challenges of philosophical and peaceful parenting, the horrors of government indoctrination through education, the ‘selfishness’ of libertarianism, and the historical exploitation of money?


HOMELAND IN-SECURITY: Rise Of The Global Police State (Sneak Preview)

from WakeUpToTheNWO2:
Here is the Official Sneak Preview for my new film, “HOMELAND IN-SECURITY: Rise Of The Global Police State”.
The film is set for release JULY 4, 2012 (Human Independence Day).

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Massive $17 Trillion Hole Found In Obamacare
Two years ago, when introducing then promptly enacting Obamacare, the president stated that healthcare law reform would not cost a penny over $1 trillion ($900 billion to be precise), and that it would not add ‘one dime’ to the debt. It appears that this estimate may have been slightly optimistic… by a factor of 1700%. Because coincident with the recent Supreme Court debacle, in which a constitutional law president may be about to find that his magnum opus law is, in fact, unconstitutional, someone actually read the whole thing cover to cover, instead of merely relying on the CBO’s, pardon Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs’, funding estimates. That someone is Republican Jeff Sessions who after actually running the numbers has uncovered that the true long-term funding gap is a mind-boggling $17 trillion, just a tad more than the original sub $1 trillion forecast. This latest revelation means that total underfunded US welfare liabilities: Medicare, Medicaid and social security now amount to $99 trillion! Add to this total US debt which in 2 months will be $16 trillion, and one can see why Japan, which is about to breach 1 quadrillion in total debt (yen, but who's counting), may want to start looking in the rearview mirror for up and comer competitors. And while Obama may have been taking creative license with a number that is greater than total US GDP, he was most certainly correct when saying that Obamacare would not add a penny to US debt. Because the second the US government comes to market to fund a true total debt/GDP ratio of 750%, it is game over, and the Fed will have its hands full selling Treasury puts every waking nanosecond to have any time left for the daily 3pm stock market ramp.

SHOCKER: $17 TRILLION Hole Found in Obamacare

by Neil Munro,
Senate Republican staffers continue to look though the 2010 health care reform law to see what’s in it, and their latest discovery is a massive $17 trillion funding gap.
“The more we learn about the bill, the more we learn it is even more unaffordable than was suspected,” said Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Republicans’ budget chief in the Senate.
“The bill has to be removed from the books because we don’t have the money,” he said.
The hidden shortfall between new spending and new taxes was revealed just after Supreme Court justices grilled the law’s supporters about its compliance with the Constitution’s limits on government activity. If the court doesn’t strike down the law, it will force taxpayers to find another $17 trillion to pay for the increased spending.
Read More @

Europe trying firewalls/ Greece in probable need of bailout/Spain delivers budget

Harvey Organ at Harvey Organ's - The Daily Gold and Silver Report - 47 minutes ago
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen: Before commencing I would like to report that we had one bank enter our morgue: Fidelity Bank of Dearborn MICHIGAN. Gold closed up by $15.00 dollars to finish the comex session at $1670.  Silver rose by 49 cents to $32.47 as the bankers try and contain these two precious metals. Let us head over to the comex and see how trading effected the price of gold and

Slowdowns And Recessions Are Cyclical

Admin at Jim Rogers Blog - 1 hour ago
In America, we’ve had an economic slowdown, or recession, every 4 to 6 years since the beginning of the Republic. So you can do the addition, by 2013 or 2014 we’re going to have another . . . we’re overdue for another recession. - *in ETF Daily News* *Jim Rogers is an author, financial commentator and successful international investor. He has been frequently featured in Time, The New York Times, Barron’s, Forbes, Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, The Financial Times and is a regular guest on Bloomberg and CNBC.* 


Trader Dan on King World News Weekly Metals Wrap

Trader Dan at Trader Dan's Market Views - 1 hour ago

Please click on the following link to listen in to my regular weekly radio interview with Eric King on the KWN Weekly Metals Wrap. **

Chris Martenson Interviews Charles Biderman: The Problem With Rigged Markets

"Even Wile E. Coyote had to come back down to earth sooner or later", says Charles Biderman, founder of TrimTabs Investment Research. In his opinion, the prices of stocks and bonds - enabled by excessive financialization of our economy and central bank money printing - have been defying gravity for a dangerously long time.  If we continue to do all we can to preserve the status quo -- to maintain "phony" asset price levels as Charles calls them -- at best we will restrict overall growth and handicap the economy. The problem isn't so much the unfairness and malinvestment evident in a rigged market. As Charles shrewdly asks: what happens when the market becomes un-rigged? We've never experienced the unwinding of an entirely manipulated financial system, so we can't predict for sure. But at this point, a painful collapse of our markets and loss of the US dollar as the world's reserve currency seem entirely plausible.

Charles Biderman on the U.S. Recovery “Time to Stop Believing in the Tooth Fairy”


Brzezinski Says Romney Lacks ‘Grasp’ of Foreign Policy [...the Pupper Master Speaks]

by Viola Gienger,

A former Democratic national security adviser assailed Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney for lacking a grasp of foreign policy and said the former Massachusetts governor would return the U.S. to the policies of George W. Bush.
“If we take seriously what he has been saying in the course of the campaign, we have every reason to be very worried,” former U.S. National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said in an interview on Bloomberg Television’s “Political Capital With Al Hunt,” airing this weekend. “He probably subscribes to the notions articulated by his Republican predecessor,” George W. Bush, Brzezinski said.
A former Democratic national security adviser assailed Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney for lacking a grasp of foreign policy and said the former Massachusetts governor would return the U.S. to the policies of George W. Bush.
Read More @

HEADS UP: ‘Anonymous’ Threatened to Take Down the Internet TODAY… or Not.

from NPR:
The mysterious group of hackers who go by the name “Anonymous” have threatened to take down the Internet on Saturday. Or not.
The confusion comes from the very nature of the group, which is amorphous and has no identifiable leadership. Several weeks ago, a group identifying itself as Anonymous announced “Operation Global Blackout,” the effect of which would be to bring Web surfing to a halt.
Cybersecurity experts doubt the operation would have more than a limited effect, given the layers of protection built into the Internet architecture.
The Anonymous group itself, meanwhile, appeared divided over the plan. A Twitter account normally associated with Anonymous included several statements on Friday denying any effort to shut down the Internet.

“For the billionth time: #Anonymous will not shut down the Internet on 31 March,” said one.
“What is this #OperationGlobalBlackout nonsense?” said another. “Stop asking us about it!”
The contradictions highlighted the difficulty of assessing whether a hacking threat should be attributed to Anonymous or to hackers merely posing as Anonymous
Read More @

Dollar Decline and Fall Brings ‘Critical’ Gold to the Forefront

by Julian Phillips,
Emerging world worries over the political dominance of the U.S. helped by the dollar’s reserve currency role are hastening change in the global monetary system in which gold must play a critical role.
In a previous article we looked at whether the U.S. Dollar was headed for a major fall or not. We demonstrated how the dominance of the U.S. dollar was almost entirely dependent on the grip it had over oil producers and this allowed the oil price to be designnated in the U.S. dollar. The U.S. has gone to war in Kuwait and Iraq over this issue under the guise of destroying “weapons of Mass Destruction” as it appears on the verge of doing in Iran. It is no coincidence that Iran has long since ceased using the dollar to price its oil. It has also eliminated the U.S. dollar from its reserves.
But of greater importance to the emerging world has been the use of the Belgian-based SWIFT system of international settlements. Not only has the move stopped the sale of Iranian oil, but it has also interfered with an important source of oil to the emerging world.
Read More @

Elections Are Our Hunger Games

by Jeffrey Tucker, Whiskey and Gunpowder:
How much does the Internet contribute to our economic life? A lot, yes. But what if we tried to put a number on it?
Whatever good you have heard about The Hunger Games, the reality is more spectacular. Not only is this the literary phenom of our time — the number 1, 2, and 3 best seller on every list — but the movie that created near pandemonium for a week from its opening is a lasting contribution to art and to the understanding of our world. It’s more real than we know. I’m reminded of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s book, Democracy: The God that Failed.
In the story, a totalitarian and centralized state — it seems to be some kind of unelected autocracy — keeps a tight grip on its colonies to prevent a repeat of the rebellion that occurred some 75 years ago. They do this through the forced imposition of material deprivation, by unrelenting propaganda about the evil of disobedience to the interests of the nation state and with “Hunger Games” as annual entertainment.
Read More @

America: A Government Out of Control (Part 1)


America: A Government Out of Control (Part 2)


And they say there’s no inflation…

by Simon Black, Sovereign Man:
One the more interesting investments I’ve made over the last few years was buying a sizeable chunk of a successful baby products company; our products sell around the world and in top retailers like Target, Babies R Us, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.
The managing partner forwarded me a letter yesterday from one of our international manufacturing agents; the letter explained that, over the last two years, prices have risen substantially in the developing world where many of our products are manufactured.

China, for example, has seen wage increases of 44.6% since 2010. Vietnam- 39.1%. The polyethylene resin that we use has gone up in price 40.3%. Naturally, the rise in oil prices has also increased transportation costs substantially as well.
The letter pummeled us with this data about rising wages and input costs, and then followed it up with a polite assertion that they would be increasing their prices as a result.
Read More @


Silver COT Report 3/30/12

from Silver Doctors:
The commercials reduced their silver futures short position a net 2,448 contracts (12.24 million ounces) in the week ending 3/27/12.  This is a total reduction of 5,953 contracts or 30 million ounces over the past 2 weeks!  (Last week’s COT report saw a 17 million ounce reduction in the commercials’ net short position).   This brings the commercials (i.e. JP Morgan and friends) total net short silver position back down to 29,678 contracts, or 148.39 million ounces.  This is almost exactly in between the low near 100 million net shorts reached at the end of 2011, and the 184 million ounces reached in early February.  While the cartel obviously still has some firepower remaining and may wish to knock prices lower to cover the remainder of these relatively new shorts, the level is becoming more more neutral than has been seen in recent weeks.
Read More @

Gold is Manipulated… and It’s Not Okay

by Andy Hoffman,
There is NEVER a shortage of topics to discuss as the END GAME of the GLOBAL FINANCIAL SYSTEM approaches.  For a brief moment I didn’t have one lined up, but when I reviewed yesterday’s fabulous Chris Martenson article about gold manipulation, my “writer’s block” quickly dissipated.
Chris Martenson Explains How Gold Is Manipulated… And Why That’s Okay
The title of the article is what raised my dander – although it’s a bit misleading, as at no point does he actually state gold manipulation is acceptable.  The closest comment I found was the following, indicating that such suppression only strengthened his convictions in gold’s long term path – a far cry from being “Okay” with it.
Instead of being annoyed by the gold price suppression scheme, I take comfort in the idea that suppression gives us a clear indication that our investment thesis is shared by somebody with bottomless pockets — and I like paying lower prices.
That said, the reason the title bothered me is thus:  GOLD MANIPULATION HAS DESTROYED THE WORLD.  Thus, when I saw the following headline from, my head started spinning:
Read More @


Everything Is Going To Be Alright?

from The Economic Collapse Blog:
Is the U.S. economy going to be okay?  Well, if the only source you listened to was the mainstream media, you would be left with the distinct impression that the U.S. economy is heading toward a full recovery and that everything is going to be alright.  Unfortunately, that is not the case at all.  The United States is rapidly becoming poorer as a nation and less competitive in the global marketplace.  At the same time, consumer debt levels are rising, corporate debt levels are rising, state and local government debt levels are rising and the U.S. government is indulging in a debt binge unlike anything the world has ever seen.  Considering the insane amount of money the U.S. government has been pumping into the economy, we should have seen a much more robust recovery by now.  Instead, the employment statistics have barely moved and government dependence is at an all-time high.  That is really sad, because this is as good as “the recovery” is going to get.  The next major economic downturn is just around the bend, and in future years millions of us will desperately yearn for the “good old days” of 2012.
Read More @

FDA Discounts More Than a Million Signatures On GMO Labeling Petition

[Ed. Note: Remember, in a fascist state the government is not by and for the people, it is by and for the corporations. And since the FDA is a revolving door with big Pharma and big Agra, it stands to reason that they don't CARE what you want.]
by Kurt Nimmo, Infowars:

The FDA is with Monsanto and agribusiness. They don’t want you to know what’s in the food you eat.
On Tuesday, the FDA reached a deadline for the “Just Label It” petition calling for GMO to be included on food content labels.
The FDA said it had not made a decision and needs more time to think it over.
It also said the petition with over a million signatures – far larger than any other the agency has ever received – counts as only one signature.
“The agency says that if 35,000 people, for instance, sign their name to the same form letter it only counts as one person or ‘comment.’ And if tens of thousands sign a petition, they are only counted as one ‘comment,’ too,” reports the Chicago Tribune.
Every major poll on genetically engineered food labeling is overwhelmingly supported by Americans despite efforts by Monsanto and the GMO industry to convince them otherwise.
Read More @

Silver Manipulation Acknowledged By Government

Reflections on Post-Capitalism, Political Entrepreneurialism, and the Bernanke Contrarian Index

from CapitalAccount:

We’ve heard billionaire investor Warren Buffett saying the rich should be taxed more. That he should be taxed more. He’s mad ethe case very publicly and with much fanfare, that he pays 17.7% in taxes, a lower tax rate than his secretary…and not just his secretary…all of his office staff. Sounds impressive, but our guest today asks if we should slap a warning label on each one of Buffett’s public pronouncements as well. Before we get into the matter at hand, let’s look back at a little history. Back in 2003, for example, Buffett was warning about the value of the dollar, the nation’s debt, and what he said was the US exporting its net worth abroad. He wrote an article warning about this exact issue back in 2003…the famous “squanderville vs. thriftville.” The article was titled “America’s Growing Trade Deficit is Selling the Nation out from Under us.” The US, of course, was Squanderville. Warren Buffett wrote, among other things, that sooner or later the Squanderville government, facing ever greater payments to service debt, would decide to embrace highly inflationary policies — that is, issue more squander bucks to dilute the value of each. But fast forward to the 2008 financial crisis and Buffett was not worrying about the debt-increasing-bailouts of the financial system; he was advocating for them. Remember how he pushed for TARP? This as the treasury’s action plan which Hank Paulson was pushing. This was before it was passed by congress and signed into law by Bush, but AFTER it had failed in the House the first time around. Warren seemed a little flustered during those “free market” hours…

Silver Responds to Fed, Then Weakens [Or "Gets Whacked by the Cartel?]

by Michelle Smith Silver Investing News:
Silver started this week moving in a positive direction, but is now back under pressure. The metal has yet to return to its February 29 high, and it appears that many investors are deciding not to wait around.
US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was again a factor in the week’s silver action, but this time he had a positive effect on the market.
Falling jobless claims have been an important piece of evidence used to support confidence that the US economy is recovering. This data has also played a role in pressuring silver.
Read More @

POLICE STATE 2012: Weapons On Police Drones Coming Soon [Judge Andrew Napolitano Explains the Criminality of it All]

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Friday, March 30, 2012

Treasuries Crash Back To Equity's Unreality

Presented with little comment except to say that is a very rapid and quite large dump in 10Y Treasuries to 'correct' up (in yield) to equity's apparent ignorance of dismal data...

Is The Chinese Stock Market About To Crash?

"The eternal optimists would have us all believe that China will awaken from its slumbers amid a blaze of new, debt-fuelled spending initiatives and so buy up all the goods we find so hard to sell at home (without offering a substantial concession in price)" is how Sean Corrigan begins his assault on the non-reality that is China's 'save-the-world' protagonists. It is worth noting, however, that those who actually invest in the place seem to be too busy selling their equities to pay much attention to the Panglossians and Polyannas. With a 10% slump in the past 12 sessions in the main indices (retracing a major fib interval of the 2012 rally), there seems little enthusiasm there for clinging on in the hope that the PBOC will bail anyone out - and the wedge is closing on something big in the chart. Plain vanilla economics might well be correct in telling the bulls that they may rely on a Zhou Xiaochuan Put to spare them too much future pain, but the law of the political jungle, red in flag, tooth, and claw, may well dictate otherwise. As we write, it seems beyond dispute to say that the Chinese hierarchy is battling it out behind closed doors to determine the long term future of the regime and, by implication, the direction of the entire nation. In such momentous times, we would perhaps be foolish to think that the routine application of short?term countercyclical policy will bear overmuch weight in their counsels. Simply out, there is too much political infighting for any large-scale action to be taken as "Having moved against the state-capitalist left of old man Jiang and his Chongqing bruisers, surely the last thing Hu & Co. would want in their final months in office would be to unleash another oligarch?enriching orgy of speculation of the kind such a mass stimulus would be almost bound to foment."

This Time Is No Different - Reflections On 1929 Optimism

When it comes to markets, the following clip, as well as memories of recent market collapses, highlights that it is usually brightest just before it's pitch black.


Stanley Haar Reviews the Latest Developments on MF Global - Edith O'Brien's Gioconda Smile



It seems like yesterday that to much pomp and circumstance, Groupon came public. We can only hope that anyone who bought into the public offering sold long ago, becuase the company has just decided to TVIX the muppets:
But most importantly:
We are fairly confident that the stock will continue imploding after hours until such time as confidence in the stock market returns.

Stocks Odd Man Out As Every Other Asset Class Has Now Faded LTRO2

Silver remains the best performer YTD and the Long Bond the worst performer but what is most notable is the quiet serenity of the equity rally continued through March as Commodities, Precious Metals, Treasuries, and Corporate Bonds all lost notable ground post LTRO2. Is equity keeping the dream alive as the liquidity spigot has slowed to a drop (for now)? AAPL had it largest 2-day drop for almost 4 months into quarter-end - ending under $600 - and the broad S&P 500 pulled away once again from credit yesterday and today as IG, HY, and HYG close practically unchanged from last Friday's low but the ES up 15-20pts. Of the S&P sectors, Energy was the only one to fall appreciably post LTRO2 with Utilities the only sector in the red YTD -2.6% as Financials +21.5% and Tech +18.5% dominate.



MarketWatch Goes Full Propaganda Retard



Guest Post: The Consumption Dysfunction

pce-foodandgas-savings-033012The sharp drop in the personal savings rate in the month of February, which just hit to lowest level since January of 2008, is indicative of the problem.  While personal savings rates could be bled down further to sustain the current level of subpar economic growth - the world today is vastly different than prior to the last two recessions where access to credit and leverage we very easy to obtain.  It is entirely possible, that in the very short term, we could see personal consumption expenditures continue to make some gains even in the face of the obvious headwinds.  However, it is important to keep these month to month variations in context with longer term historical trends.  Personal consumption is ultimately a function of the income available from which that spending is derived.  As such, the current decline in the growth rate of incomes, without the tailwind of easy credit, poses a much greater threat to the current level of anemic economic growth than we have seen in past cycles.

Another Failed Grand Plan In Europe

The last hour has spewed forth more disingenuous clap-trap from European finance ministers. From 'sufficiency of the firewall' to the 'absurdity of Spain needing a bailout', it beggars belief that these humans can look at themselves in the mirror every morning (as they feel the 'need' to lie' - or are simply ignorant of the reality). At some point in the near future there will be about €40 billion of money sitting in the ESM and a bunch of promises from countries failing to live up to existing debt obligations, and that is the big firewall? The correlation between who is providing the guarantees and who will need them cannot be ignored. This new €500 billion number doesn’t exist, it’s not just meaningless, it’s non-existent if Italy or Spain needs money. People can take away whatever they want, but unlike LTRO which had real injections of liquidity, this is just like the July plans from last year and the November “grand” plans. It sounds great, especially when too many people are willing to blindly follow what the politicians want them to, but it doesn’t work in practice.

European Bailout Stigma Shifts From Banks To Sovereigns As Bundesbank Refuses PIG Collateral

Back in early February, the ECB's Margio Draghi told a naive world when discussing the implication of taking LTRO bailout aid, that “There is no stigma whatsoever on these facilities." We accused him of lying. Additionally, we also suggested to put one's money where Draghi's lies are, and to go long non-LTRO banks, while shorting LTRO recipients. In two short months the spread on that trade has doubled (see below), which intuitively is not surprising: after all, as a former Goldmanite (and according to some - current), Draghi is merely treating Europe's taxpayers like the muppets they are. As such, fading anything he says should come as naturally as Stolpering each and every FX trade. Yet what that little incident shows is that despite all their attempts otherwise, the central planners can not contain every single natural consequences of their artificial and destructive actions. Today, we see learn that the same Stigma we warned about, and that Draghi said does not exist, is starting to spread away from just the bailed out banks (becuase we now know that the LTRO was merely a QE-like bailout of several insolvent Italian and Spanish banks), and to sovereigns. From Bloomberg: "Germany’s Bundesbank is the first of the 17 euro-area central banks to refuse to accept as collateral bank bonds guaranteed by member states receiving aid from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung reported." And where Buba goes, everyone else is soon to follow. And what happens then? Since it is inevitable that Spain and Italy will be next on the bailout wagon, what happens when over $2 trillion in bonds suddenly become ineligible for cash collateral from the only solvent central bank in the world (aside for that modest, little TARGET2 issue of course). Will it force the ECB to be ever more lenient with collateral, and how long until the plebs finally realize that the ECB has been doing nothing but outright printing in the past 5 months? What happens to inflationary expectations then?

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Must Read: Jim Grant Crucifies The Fed; Explains Why A Gold Standard Is The Best Option

In the not quite 100 years since the founding of your institution, America has exchanged central banking for a kind of central planning and the gold standard for what I will call the Ph.D. standard. I regret the changes and will propose reforms, or, I suppose, re-reforms, as my program is very much in accord with that of the founders of this institution. Have you ever read the Federal Reserve Act? The authorizing legislation projected a body “to provide for the establishment of the Federal Reserve banks, to furnish an elastic currency, to afford means of rediscounting commercial paper and to establish a more effective supervision of banking in the United States, and for other purposes.” By now can we identify the operative phrase? Of course: “for other purposes.” As you prepare to mark the Fed’s centenary, may I urge you to reflect on just how far you have wandered from the intentions of the founders? The institution they envisioned would operate passively, through the discount window. It would not create credit but rather liquefy the existing stock of credit by turning good-quality commercial bills into cash— temporarily. This it would do according to the demands of the seasons and the cycle. The Fed would respond to the community, not try to anticipate or lead it. It would not override the price mechanism— as today’s Fed seems to do at every available opportunity—but yield to it.

Why The Mega Millions Jackpot Is Nothing But Another Tax On America's Poor

Now that the Mega Millions Jackpot has just hit a record $640 million, people, mostly those in the lower and middle classes, are coming out in droves and buying lottery tickets with hopes of striking it rich. After all, with $640 million one can even afford a few shares of Apple stock. Naturally, we wish the lucky winner all the (non-diluted) best. There is, however, a small problem here when one steps back from the Sino Forest trees. As ConvergEx' Nicholas Colas explains, "Lotteries essentially target and encourage lower-income individuals into a cycle that directly prevents them from improving their financial status and leverages their desire to escape poverty.  Yes, that’s a bit harsh, and yes, people have the right to make their own decisions.  Even bad ones…  Also, many people tend to significantly overestimate the odds of winning because we tend to assess the likelihood of an event occurring based on how frequently we hear about it happening.  The technical name for this is the Availability Heuristic, which means the more we hear about big winners in the press, the less uncommon a big payday begins to seem." Call it that, or call it what one wishes, the end result is that the lottery is nothing but society's perfectly efficient way of, to use a term from the vernacular, keeping the poor man down while dangling hopes and dreams of escaping into the world of the loathsome and oh so very detested "1% ers". Alas, the probability of the latter happening to "you" is virtually non-existant.

Equity Resistance Becomes Support

Eric De Groot at Eric De Groot - 23 minutes ago
Resistance has become support says the market to the equity market bears. Chart 1: Russell 2000 ETF (IWM) Chart 2: Dow Industrials ETF (DIA) ------------------------------------- Insights is intended to reflect excellence in effort and content. Donations will help maintain this goal and defray the operational costs. Paypal, a leading provider of secure online money transfers, will... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]] more »



Happy Friday! The Sheeplez Get Tee'd Up For Slaughter - Again...

Dave in Denver at The Golden Truth - 25 minutes ago
*"It's the only place I can find any yield whatsoever with a reasonable risk," said Lee Hevner, an individual investor who said he started buying junk bonds this year for the first time.* Those will be famous last words. That poor sot allowed his ignorant, greedy investment advisor talk him into putting 15% of $500k stash in junk bonds. Hope he can afford to lose most of it. Once again, courtesy of the Fed's zero interest rate policy (ZIRP) and the Government's catastrophic fiscal policies, the yield-starved individual investor has been flooding the high yield market with money ... more »


I Think That We Are At The Beginning Of A More Meaningful Correction

Admin at Marc Faber Blog - 2 hours ago

Right now, investor sentiment if anything is rather bullish, the market is overbought, insider selling is very high and the technicals have deteriorated in the sense that in the latest rally,the number of new highs has diminished significantly and so, I rather think that we are at the beginning of a more meaningful correction. - *in Bloomberg Radio* *Related, SPDR S&P 500 Index ETF (SPY), iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Index ETF (EEM)* *Marc Faber is an international investor known for his uncanny predictions of the stock market and futures markets around the world.* 

Friday Funny: Sino Forest Seeks $4 Billion From Muddy Waters In Damages... As It Files For Bankruptcy

Actually, in retrospect this may well be the funniest pair of headlines in one place ever.
Uh? What? #Ref! #Ref! #Ref! We wonder: if Sino Forest files for bankruptcy in its forest of imaginary trees, did it really file for bankruptcy?

FoxConn Workers Furious At Work Hours Cut, Demand More Work

It appears the miracle of unionization has not penetrated Chinese labor markets. Contrary to expectations that suicidal workers would be elated at news that the world's second biggest employer in the world (after Wal Mart) with 1.2 million workers, FoxConn, has given employees "landmark concessions" the reality is actually different. Very, very different. "At the Foxconn factory gates, many workers seemed unconvinced that their pay wouldn't be cut along with their hours. For some Chinese factory workers - who make much of their income from long hours of overtime - the idea of less work for the same pay could take getting used to. "We are worried we will have less money to spend. Of course, if we work less overtime, it would mean less money," said Wu, a 23-year-old employee from Hunan province in south China. Foxconn said it will reduce working hours to 49 per week, including overtime. "We are here to work and not to play, so our income is very important," said Chen Yamei, 25, a Foxconn worker from Hunan who said she had worked at the factory for four years." Hold on, Hold on... You mean to say that whatever values are cherished in the good old US of lazy A, such as bathroom, coffee and cigarette breaks, not to mention "democracy", "American Idol", "high cholesterol", $0.99 apps" and "liberated oil" just may not be appropriate to the 95% of other people around the world? But... But... how will America spread its deeply unique "humanitarian" values of globalized freedom and trade interchange (funded by cheap credit of course - those global debt slaves won't enslave themselves on their own - for more see here), and occasionally using kinetic intervention (never war: one needs Congressional approval for that) when said people dare to express a different outlook, and set of values on life? Preposterous. Nay, Inconceivable!

Mark Grant Explains The Farce, The Hustle, And The Scam

When considering the financial condition of each and every country in the European Union there are certain facts that are left out and left out on purpose. In our opinion, the structural deformity of the European Union is, in itself, one of the main reasons that any attempt at a fiscal or economic fix never seems to work. Whether some proposed firewall is $760 billion or $1.3 Trillion or $13 Trillion makes no difference as in zero, nada, nothing and null. It is an IOU, a promise to pay and it is not counted in any European sovereign debt numbers nor is it counted in the figures for the European Union’s debt. It will not stop Spain or Portugal or Italy from asking for or needing money. This whole discussion is a head fake, a deception and a ruse carefully plotted out for investors in one more attempt to mislead the entire world. If you wish to be a statistic in the Greater Fool Theory be my guest but I refuse to be apart of this unadulterated scam.

Is Spanish Regional Debt Out Of Control?

Spanish regional debt currently stands at 13% of GDP and has surged from EUR60bn in 2006 to over EUR140bn currently. As Credit Suisse points out, the top four regions account for the majority of GDP, two-thirds of regional debt, and, with the exception of Madrid, substantially missed their deficit targets. What is more worrisome is the heavily front-loaded nature of the maturing debt with substantial refinancing needs in the next 2 years and this regional debt is split between bonds and loans - with many of the latter from Spanish banks - yet another illustration of the interconnected contagion that is building more rapidly. The growing crisis in refinancing (liquidity and costs) for regional debt developed the idea of Ponzibonos 'Hispabonos' - debt issued by regions but guaranteed by the central government. The conditionality of these guarantees with regard to deficit targets wil be critical but once they are issued, the risk is that the regions are unable to get their finances under control, the Spanish debtload increases, and there is no longer the flexibility for a regional debt restructuring, should one be necessary.

Morgan Stanley Report on Commodities in 2013: “Gold to Average $2,175 – Silver to Average $42″

[Ed. Note: Based on this report, Wall Street apparently believes an unsustainable silver to gold ratio of 52 to 1 can be maintained in perpetuity. We, along with Sprott, Turk, Morgan, Duane, Chapman, King, Hoffman and Sinclair wholeheartedly disagree.]
from Business Insider:
Silver is expected to remain volatile in 2012

2012 average year price:
$35.00 / ounce
2013 average year price:
$42.00 / ounce
Silver is another safe haven that is cheap relative to gold. However, silver prices are much more volatile and much more vulnerable to weak industrial demand.
The key risks for silver are that a weaker economic outlook in 2012 and 2013 will cut fabrication demand (manipulation of metal from one state to another), but not enough to deter production.
Read More @

Jeffrey A. Tucker Says Money Launderers Prefer Tide 2 to 1 Over the Competition

from Kerry
Drug dealers and other citizens outside the main stream economic system are cleaning up money laundering’s new image with Extra-Strength Tide. It really gets the Feds out; seems stolen Tide laundry detergent has almost become an alternative currency in certain parts of the Country. While it’s not exactly portable or very convenient either, it has its uses. While the government is attempting to phase out physical cash, entrepreneurs of every walk of life will seek substitutes. This is just a basic law of economics and nothing can change it. So after Tide, what will come next? Perhaps that 450 million rounds of ammunition Homeland Security has ordered is really the foundation of new monetary system. Bullets are easy to carry and extremely portable; and a box of cartridges is very divisible. We’ll see when they start stamping denominations of the outside, then we’ll know for sure.
Click Here to Listen to the Audio
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More Uses for SILVER: Silver Nano-Trees Developed to Increase Solar Cell Efficiency

by Dr. Jeff Lewis, The Market Oracle:
Silver paste is used as a highly efficient conductor of electricity in the vast majority of crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells, which are the most prevalent form of solar cell used to generate solar power. Solar cell manufacture uses as much as 12 percent of the global silver supply on an annual basis.
Solar cell manufacture has grown substantially recently. In addition, competition among makers of this clean energy product has increased notably over the last few years, largely due to a remarkable expansion in China, where over 700 companies now make solar energy panels.
Solar energy has also been extensively promoted by government subsidies in the United States and elsewhere that encourage the use of cleaner and cheaper energy alternatives to increasingly costly fossil fuels. In addition, government programs, such as President Obama’s SunShot Initiative, have been aimed at developing highly efficient and cost effective solar energy technologies.
Read More @

Can America’s Descent Possibly Be Reversed?

by Scott Lazarowitz, Lew
My articles for LRC have been increasingly difficult and frustrating to write. More recently I have been trying to get people to understand America’s current police state. Yes, I have received some favorable emails when my articles have appeared, but there are also ones from those in denial, who refer to me as “nuts,” “conspiracy theorist,” and so on.
Now, to say that America is becoming like Nazi Germany is not an exaggeration. But too many people glance over such assertions in disbelief, perceiving such things as absurdities. They are in denial, and just do not want to believe what’s going on. I emphasized that public officials are obligated to disobey unlawful orders, even those issued by the President of the United States. If the President orders suspension of civil liberties and basic rights protected by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, then governors, mayors, state troopers, police officers and military personnel must disobey those unlawful orders. Those officials have sworn to an oath to obey the Constitution, not to obey the President of the United States.
In my article on martial law, I emphasized that public officials are obligated to disobey unlawful orders, even those issued by the President of the United States. If the President orders suspension of civil liberties and basic rights protected by the U.S. Constitution’s Bill of Rights, then governors, mayors, state troopers, police officers and military personnel must disobey those unlawful orders. Those officials have sworn to an oath to obey the Constitution, not to obey the President of the United States.
Read More @

Gold Rises and Silver Surges In Q1 2012 – Fiat Currency Devaluation Continues

Gold’s London AM fix this morning was USD 1,660.75, EUR 1,245.31, and GBP 1,038.68 per ounce. Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,655.75, EUR 1,245.86 and GBP 1,041.22 per ounce.
Gold fell $3.00 or 0.18% in New York yesterday and closed at $1,660.10/oz. Gold traded sideways in Asia prior to seeing a slight climb to $1,665.55/oz in late Asian trading and is now trading in Europe near 1,662.65.
Gold has been trading in a tight box around $1,660/oz today, as euro zone finance ministers meet in Copenhagen to discuss the scale of the permanent “bailout fund” set for July.
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Euro-zone Boosts Anti-Contagion Firewall: Provides 700 Billion Euros in Lending Capacity

[Ed. Note: I believe this is referred to as 'throwing good money after bad'. As Bob Chapman has long lamented, it won't be enough - the European Union debt problems run into the multi-Trillions.]
by William L. Watts,, Market Watch:
[Excerpt] Euro-zone finance ministers on Friday agreed to temporarily boost the lending capacity of the region’s rescue funds to 700 billion euros ($934 billion) from €500 billion in an effort to convince markets they can contain the region’s long-running sovereign debt crisis.
Financial markets took the announcement in stride. The figure came in below the €1 trillion level pushed by international officials and others but was in line with overall market expectations.
In a statement, the ministers said they agreed to effectively allow the temporary European Financial Stability Facility operate in combination with the permanent, 500-billion euro European Stability Mechanism, which becomes operational in July, in order to provide an effective ceiling of 700 billion euros in lending through mid-2013.
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Court Hears Arguments In Lawsuit Against Obama Indefinite Detention Law

Judge asks government lawyers if NDAA can be used on ordinary citizens
by Steve Watson, Infowars:

A Federal court in New York heard arguments Thursday for a preliminary injunction against the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), the bill signed by Obama that legislates for the ‘indefinite detention’ of American citizens without trial.
U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest heard testimony from seven witnesses including MIT professor Noam Chomsky, Pentagon Papers source Daniel Ellsberg and Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, author and Middle East expert Chris Hedges.
Hedges himself filed the class action lawsuit claiming that the ‘indefinite detention’ provision of the legislation, otherwise known as the ‘Homeland Battlefield Bill’, could see him sent to Guantanamo Bay simply for doing his job, and at the very least would have a “chilling effect” on the work of journalists and activists.
Read More @

Moment of Truth: Justices Meet Friday to Vote on Obamcare

by Mark Sherman, My Way:
While the rest of us have to wait until June, the justices of the Supreme Court will know the likely outcome of the historic health care case by the time they go home this weekend.
After months of anticipation, thousands of pages of briefs and more than six hours of arguments, the justices will vote on the fate of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul in under an hour Friday morning. They will meet in a wood-paneled conference room on the court’s main floor. No one else will be present.
In the weeks after this meeting, individual votes can change. Even who wins can change, as the justices read each other’s draft opinions and dissents.
But Friday’s vote, which each justice probably will record and many will keep for posterity, will be followed soon after by the assignment of a single justice to write a majority opinion, or in a case this complex, perhaps two or more justices to tackle different issues. That’s where the hard work begins, with the clock ticking toward the end of the court’s work in early summer.
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Rebutting the Recovery

by Jeff Nielson, Bullion Bulls Canada:
In the topsy-turvy world of U.S. “newsertainment”, it is common knowledge that comedian Jon Stewart of The Daily Show is one of Americans’ “most admired journalists”. Regrettably, the U.S. mainstream media has chosen to compete with Stewart…by producing comedy.
Their favorite front-man is famed stand-up comedian, B.S. Bernanke. Bernanke became famous for such immortal one-liners as “the Goldilocks economy”, “the soft landing”, “the exit strategy”, and his most oft-repeated joke: “the U.S. economic recovery.”
As is often the case with popular humor, “the U.S. economic recovery” has been repeated ad nauseum by the mainstream media. Inevitably, the joke quickly became boring, and is now just very, very annoying.

MF Global Scandal Is Iceberg Tip of Vast Hidden Risk

from Wealth Cycles:

He destroyed commodity brokerage firm MF Global is back in the news recently as stonewalling company executives are hauled before Congress. The gist of the alleged criminal case seems clear—someone high up at MF Global—probably former New Jersey Governor and MF Global CEO John Corzine—made high-risk trades—and then used customers’ money to pay for losses. Now, with the company in ruins and creditors at the gates, money, including real money (gold and silver), is missing. But the devil is in the details. As the case begins wending its way through the courts, several mysteries remain unsolved: Why did Corzine bet his customers’ farm in deals that were almost sure to lose—and who benefited? How did the same pieces of gold and silver, bearing unique identifying numbers, come to be owned by more than one entity at the same time? And how did JP Morgan wind up with all of the gold from the MF Global vaults?
By some accounts Jon Corzine, an ousted Goldman Sachs executive who left Wall Street to salvage his dignity by getting elected Governor of New Jersey, was obsessed with winning and with the desire to regain “face” by hitting it big on a high-risk deal.
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The Flaw In Europe’s Austerity Plan: Elections

by John Rubino,

Getting Europe’s mainstream politicians and appointed technocrats to agree to bailouts and austerity was actually the easy part. The real challenge for these guys will be holding onto their jobs — and preserving the deals they’ve cut — in upcoming elections.
Voters, it seems, aren’t convinced that that a depression is the only solution to the euro’s design flaws. Faced with the immediate reality of poverty, they’re listening to formerly fringe voices calling for a better deal, either in the form of more help from Germany (via the European Central Bank) or a quick exit from the euro zone and a return to national monetary sovereignty. Greece, of course, is first in line:
Greece’s Fringe Parties Surge Amid Bailout Ire
ATHENS—Weeks after agreeing to an agonizing bailout deal with Europe, Greece is splintering politically ahead of national elections, raising the risk that it won’t be able to make the economic sacrifices still needed to keep it in the euro.

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Gold and Silver Prices Holding Above Important Support

from Gold Money:
Gold and silver are holding above important support levels, despite selling pressure yesterday. The gold price moved back above $1,660 this morning, after flirting with $1,650. The silver price sunk below $32 briefly yesterday afternoon – hurt indirectly by talk from the US, Britain and France about releasing petroleum reserves, thus temporarily lowering oil prices – but has moved back above support at $32. James Turk discusses the significance of this price action in his latest King World News Interview.
Though the gold market has been struggling for direction in recent weeks, this price action in combination with increased chatter about “QE3” in America and Spain’s debt problems may help the bulls. Though there have been times in recent years – notably during the spring of 2010 – when gold performed well during periods of EURUSD weakness, a lot will depend on how the dollar performs. The Dollar Index has again fallen below 79.00 in trading this morning, and is struggling to maintain the kind of upward momentum seen at the end of last year, when euro fears were dominant. Further dollar weakness will encourage gold buying.
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From Enron To Sino-Forest - Same Old Song

Enron --> Worldcom --> Adelphia --> Lehman --> MF Global --> Greece --> Sino Forest --> ????
We would rank these as some of the more notorious bankruptcies. These weren't normal course of business bankruptcies. These were dark and deviant. They have many similarities. Opaque and convoluted accounting and finances are common to them all.  Whether it was Jedi for Enron, repo 105 for Lehman, or off-market swaps with Goldman for Greece, they all used every trick in the book to keep debt off balance sheet and to obfuscate the risk. It is hard to watch what is going on in Europe and not believe that Greece is just the first of many. Countries and their banks. Countries and their regions. Countries and EU programs. Banks and their national central banks. Banks and the ECB. It is hard to pin down the fatal flaw, but for us it is harder to believe that there is nothing to see there and we should happily move along.

California Slammed With Fukushima Radiation

George Washington
03/30/2012 - 12:26
Fukushima Radiation Plume Hit Southern and Central California

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