Tuesday, July 31, 2012


JPM To Be Subpoenaed Over Defunct PFG's Missing Segregated Money

The blunt trauma that JPMorgan was implicated in the missing millions from segregated accounts in Jon Corzine's bankrupt MF Global may have passed but the memory lingers, especially for all those whose cash is still locked up somewhere in vapor space. Yet one event that may tear the scab that patiently was healing, courtesy of a Copperfield market full of distractions such as JPM's CIO fiasco, Lieborgate, oh and, Europe, right off is the recent bankruptcy of Peregrine Financial, aka PFG, whose story we first broke, and which just as we suspected, has promptly become the second coming of MF Global, as at least $200 million has "evaporated." It is thus with little surprise that we find that the first party of interest is none other than JPMorgan, which together with various other banks, will be the target of a subpoena by the PFG trustee. How shocking will it be to find that Dimon's company is once again implicated in this particular episode of monetary vaporization.



Gold and Silver Win By Default

by David Schectman, MilesFranklin.com:
I sense we are very close to breaking out from the nine-month correction in gold and silver. The verdict will be in when gold tops $1630 and then $1650. Some analysts are waiting around for gold to cross over $1700 before they tell you to buy, but that’s waiting way too long, in my view.
The world is awash with debt – and with money too. Even more money needs to be “created” (QE) in order to service the debt. By its very nature, money does not like to just sit around; it needs to grow, to make a profit. Whether the money is controlled by a bank or fund manager with huge amounts to invest, or by a regular guy or gal like you with a little to invest, the challenge is the same. Where do I park my money? Where can it go and both be SAFE and earn at least enough to beat inflation? It used to be that if you had lots of extra money you would buy bonds and “clip coupons.” The first time I heard that saying was in the early 1970s. Susan and I were having lunch at the Lincoln Del in St. Louis Park and we were talking with a man sitting at the table next to us.
At some point in our conversation, I asked him, “What do you do for a living?”
He replied, “I clip coupons.” In 1972 you could do that with your money. At that point in my life, I had no idea what a Zero Coupon Bond was, but his statement piqued my interest. Frankly, today, only a fool would be sitting around clipping coupons from 30-year bonds! But you could do it 40 years ago. Times have changed.
Read more @ MilesFranklin.com





Why Another Major China Stimulus Package Is Not Coming

Some market participants seem to be eagerly anticipating or hoping for another stimulus in China, and each day that has passed without a big policy announcement seems to have depressed the Chinese market further. While the Chinese government has been very concerned about the economic slowdown and has taken policies to support growth, UBS' Tao Wang suggests investors not be holding their breath for another big stimulus. The previous stimulus in 2008-09 did lift growth much higher than otherwise would have been, but the excessive credit expansion also worsened the imbalance in the economy and left serious negative consequences which are still been dealt with today. The Chinese government has clearly recognized this and is keen to avoid making a similar mistake this time. This is not to say that the government has done little or will do little to support growth; but the ride, of course, may not be pretty.






The Most Often Forgotten Survival Preparations

I think it’s safe to say with some conviction that in the year of 2012 the concept of survival prepping is NOT an alien one to most Americans.  When National Geographic decides there is a viable market for a prepper TV show (no matter how misrepresentative of true preppers it may be), when Walmart starts stocking shelves with long term emergency food storage kits, when survivalism in general becomes one of the few growing business markets in the midst of an otherwise disintegrating economy; you know that the methodology has gone “mainstream”.  There is a noticeable and expanding concern amongst Americans that we are, indeed, on the verge of something new and unfortunate.  Is it the big bad hoodoo of the soon to expire Mayan Calendar?  For a few, maybe, but for the majority of us, no.  That jazz is a carnival sideshow designed to make the prepping culture appear ridiculous.  We don’t need to believe in magical prophecies to know that there is a catastrophic road ahead; all we have to do is look at the stark realities of our current circumstances.  It does not take much awareness anymore to notice looming fiscal volatility, social unrest, the potential for unrestrained war, and the totalitarian boldness of our government.  I’ll take the wrath of Quetzalcoatl any day over the manure storm that is approaching us currently.




China PMI Misses And Prints Lowest In 8 Months With 10 Of 11 Sub-Indices Contracting


UPDATE: China's HSBC PMI came at 49.3 (slightly below the Flash print) but up from last month
The seemingly exuberant levels of the China Manufacturing PMI data when compared to HSBC's Manufacturing PMI have largely disappeared now as the two are the closest together in 9 months. As China's PMI drops to its lowest print in 8 months at 50.1 (less than the expected 50.5), we note that 10 of the 11 sub-indices (including employment and new orders) are all lower and now in contraction mode. Only the Output sub-index remains above 50 (in the if-we-build-it-they-will-come period). New Export Orders also fell notably. Of course having learned their lesson with the unintended consequences of their last major stimulus effort, we suspect the PBoC will be a little more careful with the method to resuscitate this time.




Jeremy Grantham: "I, For One, Wish That The World Would Get On With Whatever Is Coming Next"

"The economic environment seems to be stuck in a rather unpleasant perpetual loop. Greece is always about to default; the latest bailout is always about to save the day and yet never seems to; China is always about to collapse but instead teases us by inching down; and I swear the Financial Times is beginning to recycle its reports! In the U.S., the fiscal cliff looms along with debt limits and the usual election uncertainties. The dysfunctional U.S. Congress continues for the time being in its intractable ways. The stock market rises and falls and rises and falls again. It is getting difficult to find anything new to say at client meetings. I, for one, wish that the world would get on with whatever is coming next."




The European Tinder Box

We wonder if harsh economic realities could transcend generally accepted logic.  The common perception of unravelling events relies, by and large, on politicians remaining in close control of events and in particular in tight control of their societies. There are more than 18 million people unemployed in Europe today and, for as long Europe’s political class stays on its current course, that unemployed rate will climb and climb.  That’s a really bad state of affairs; indeed, it’s life-threatening. Eventually, we judge that the smouldering European tinder box will burst forth in to flame and thence on to conflagration. It's this 'direct action' by angry citizens that would scupper the controlled, totalitarian formation of a European superstate. Europe is on the verge of being raped and our own politicians don’t know where to look, still less what to do.




Take Our Guns? Over our Dead Bodies!
4closureFraud
07/31/2012 - 18:21
Things are getting worse, not better. There will be more mass murders and horrific acts of violence, and they will not be fueled by guns but by the untreated mental illness produced by the stress...






ECB could be setting the market up for disappointment

by Marc Chandler, Also Sprach Analyst:
The ECB’s Draghi expressed an appreciation for the urgency facing the euro area, but he seems more isolated than he did last week when Merkel and Hollande reiterated their willingness to do what was necessary.
Even though the euro fell more than a 1.5 cents from its pre-weekend high just below $1.24, Spanish bond yields have continued to retreat. The 10-year benchmark is now about 100 bp below the level seen early last week and the 2-year yield is off about 200 bp.
The market is pricing in a resumption of the ECB sovereign bond purchases (SMP). Yet in the past purchases by the ECB did not seem to have much lasting impact as yields and spreads continued to widen after some short-term and mostly limited reaction. The decline in Spanish yields will be tested Thursday just before the ECB meeting when Spain will raise 2.4-3.7 bln euros of 2, 4, and 10 year bonds.
Read More @ AlsoSprachAnalyst.com



Scandal to Push Gold Coins Higher?

by Patrick A. Heller, Numismaster.com:

There are some indicators that August could bring a sudden demand for physical gold and silver coins and bars. This shift in demand could be strong enough that it would quickly deplete wholesale and retail supplies of bullion-priced products. To the extent that this occurs, that would almost certainly increase demand for the lower-premium pre-1934 U.S. gold coins as happened during the bullion coin buying frenzy in late 2008.
What could spark such a surge in demand that people would even consider purchasing older U.S. gold coins and Morgan and Peace dollars?
My friend Bill Murphy, the chairman of the Gold Anti-Trust Action Committee (www.gata.org) passed along news that in the past three weeks he has received the same information from three independent and usually reliable sources. The news is that the LIBOR scandal investigations that have mostly focused on Barclays bank thus far are expanding.
Read More @ Numismaster.com



Bottom Line on TARP: Banks Control D.C., Geithner Should Be Removed

from Current:

Neil Barofsky, author of Bailout and former TARP overseer says that as a Bush appointee and lifelong Democrat, he hoped the Obama administration would stop the power financial institutions wielded in D.C., but instead there was more of the same. “There was almost no noticeable change when it came to the administration when it came to that deference to Wall Street,” Barofsky says.

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Is Mitt Being Neoconned Into War?

by Patrick J. Buchanan, Lew Rockwell:

Has Mitt Romney given Israel a blank check for war?
So it seemed from the declaration in Jerusalem by his adviser Dan Senor, who all but flashed Israel a green light for war, signaling the Israelis that, if you go, Mitt’s got your back:
“If Israel has to take action on its own in order to stop Iran from developing that capability, the governor would respect that decision.”
“No option would be excluded. Gov. Romney recognizes Israel’s right to defend itself and that it is right for America to stand with it.”
What does “stand with” Israel, if she launches a surprise attack on Iran, mean? Does it mean the United States will guide Israeli planes to their targets and provide bases on their return? Does it mean U.S. air cover while Israeli planes strike Iran?
Read More @ LewRockwell.com



FOX News Interviews Polish Ron Paul Supporter At Romney Event

from Matlarson10:




China and the Outsourcing of the American Republic

from Brandon Turbeville, Activist Post
In a rare instance of real journalism, ABC news aired a report on the increasing number of foreign workers being contracted and imported into the United States for the purpose of rebuilding U.S. infrastructure.
It is part of a trend in globalization that sees an increasing Chinese presence in the United States, including everything from banking to outright purchase of U.S. cities to planting Chinese flags on U.S. soil to GM effectively becoming China Motors to buying up U.S. oil and gas deposits. Indeed, ABC journalist Chris Cuomo of the Bringing America Back division of ABC News has reported that, out of the various different infrastructure repair projects being undertaken in the United States, a sizeable portion of those projects have been outsourced to foreign companies, particularly Chinese firms, who have then imported their own workers for the projects.
Read More @ Activist Post



Iran Sentences Four To Death For Bank Fraud

by Jeff Nielson, SilverGoldBull:
While this news item out of Iran is technically not a “bullion story”, bank-fraud most definitely is related to why we own bullion, with the latest and most notable example of bank-fraud being the unimaginably huge $350 trillion LIBOR-rigging fraud by the Western banking cabal. With that in mind, let’s note a few facts – and (shall we say) “inconsistencies”?
1)      The death sentences in Iran concerned bank-fraud which totaled $2.6 billion in size, or less than 1/100,000th the total size of the LIBOR-fraud.
2)      Western governments and their pretend-regulators have demonstrated total unwillingness to do anything to even slow down Western bank fraud – let alone put a halt to it. Indeed the banksters are now proclaiming their fraud to be “too big to fail.”
3)      The United States alone among (supposedly) civilized nations continues to engage in “capital punishment”; and has no qualms about executing poor, non-white males in large numbers.
With the addition of those facts, I offer the following open question to readers: how many “death sentences” would the U.S. government need to hand-out for Wall Street fraud, before these banksters decided that crime was no longer a way of life…?
Read More @ SilverGoldBull



COMEX Silver Inventory Update 7/31/12

from Silver Doctors:

After yesterday’s 9 silver inventory movements and 2.5 million ounce withdrawal from Brink’s vaults, inventory volatility continued in COMEX vaults Monday, as another 320,000 ounces were withdrawn from Brink’s, and HSBC adjusted nearly 5,000 ounces out of registered vaults.
While the CME is now reporting inventory levels to 3 decimal places, strangely enough- once again, NO MENTION FROM THE CME OF THE MISSING 1.4 MILLION OUNCES OF REGISTERED SILVER THAT SIMPLY DISAPPEARED IN THE AFTERMATH OF THE MF GLOBAL BANKRUPTCY!
As a strangely coincidental supply turned up in JPMorgan vaults almost simultaneously as the MFGlobal clients phyzz went missing, until the CME provides an update of what happened to this stolen inventory, The Doc will continue to provide the latest available info on this from the CME:
Read More @ Silver Doctors



U.S., Pakistan sign deal to allow supply routes through 2015

by Richard Leiby, The Washington Post:
Pakistan will allow NATO supply convoys to cross its territory into Afghanistan until the end of 2015, one year beyond the deadline for withdrawal of U.S. combat forces there, under an agreement signed Tuesday by U.S. and Pakistani officials.
The pact seems to close, for now, one of the most contentious chapters in the turbulent relationship between Washington and Islamabad, cementing cooperation by Pakistan in winding down the war in Afghanistan, at least in terms of logistical assistance. Washington also has urged Islamabad to step up its participation in the peace process by bringing to the negotiating table militant groups that shelter in Pakistani’s tribal belt and regularly cross the border to attack NATO troops.
The memorandum of understanding signed Tuesday provides the option for both sides to extend the deal in one-year increments beyond Dec. 31, 2015. It would apply to other NATO nations if they sign separate pacts with Pakistan.
Although Pakistan ended its seven-month blockade of NATO supplies in early July, the pact formalizes some key details, including a ban on transporting lethal equipment unless it is meant for Afghan security forces. It also says that Pakistan will provide security for the thousands of container trucks and oil tankers whose routes originate at the port of Karachi.
Read More @ The Washington Post.com



Europe, US & Gold Ahead Of Crucial Fed & ECB Meetings

from KingWorldNews:
With market participants eagerly awaiting decisions by both the Fed and the ECB, today King World News interviewed 25 year veteran Caesar Bryan over at Gabelli & Company, which has over $31 billion under management. Here is what Ceasar had to say regarding the upcoming central bank meetings and their impact on key markets: “Clearly it’s the week for central banks. The market is waiting to see what the Fed does tomorrow. There is also anticipation as to what action the ECB is going take this week as well. The market will certainly test the European’s resolve. Draghi came out and claimed that they would do whatever it took to save the euro.”
Caesar Bryan continues @ KingWorldNews.com



ESM Banking License? Not Happening as Merkel Allies Harden Opposition

by Mike Shedlock, Global Economic Analysis:
So far it’s been nothing but hot air and no action from ECB president Mario Draghi after he pledged to do whatever it takes to save the euro.
One of the highly-touted ideas as of late has been a ESM banking license. However, the idea is not really new, and has been shot down repeatedly already. Nonetheless eurocrats like Jean-Claude Juncker, chairman of the eurogroup, keep bringing the idea up as if the answer will change. 
It won’t. Bloomberg reports Merkel Allies Harden Opposition to Granting ESM Bank License
German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s coalition rejected granting the permanent euro rescue fund access to European Central Bank liquidity via a banking license, as the Finance Ministry said it saw no need for any such move.
The rules of the European Stability Mechanism don’t provide for refinancing through the ECB, the ministry in Berlin said today in an e-mailed response to questions. The ministry isn’t holding talks on the topic nor are secret meetings taking place on such proposals, it said.
Read More @ GlobalEconomicAnalysis.blogspot.com



The Most Often Forgotten Survival Preparations

by Brandon Smith, SHTFPlan:

I think it’s safe to say with some conviction that in the year of 2012 the concept of survival prepping is NOT an alien one to most Americans. When National Geographic decides there is a viable market for a prepper TV show (no matter how misrepresentative of true preppers it may be), when Walmart starts stocking shelves with long term emergency food storage kits, when survivalism in general becomes one of the few growing business markets in the midst of an otherwise disintegrating economy; you know that the methodology has gone “mainstream”. There is a noticeable and expanding concern amongst Americans that we are, indeed, on the verge of something new and unfortunate.
Is it the big bad hoodoo of the soon to expire Mayan Calendar? For a few, maybe, but for the majority of us, no. That jazz is a carnival sideshow designed to make the prepping culture appear ridiculous. We don’t need to believe in magical prophecies to know that there is a catastrophic road ahead; all we have to do is look at the stark realities of our current circumstances. It does not take much awareness anymore to notice looming fiscal volatility, social unrest, the potential for unrestrained war, and the totalitarian boldness of our government. I’ll take the wrath of Quetzalcoatl any day over the manure storm that is approaching us currently.
With some estimating a count of 3 million prepper families and growing in the U.S., the motto of “beans, bullets, and band-aids” is finding a home amongst legions. However, being closely involved in the survivalist movement during the past six years and speaking with literally thousands of preppers, it has become clear to me that we still have a long journey ahead of us before we can claim true efficiency and mastery.
Read More @ SHTFPlan.com



Mike Maloney tells Ben Bernanke to “Quit and Close the Federal Reserve!”

from CapitalAccount:

Welcome to Capital Account. The FOMC’s two day meeting starts today and the ECB will meet later this week, amid the heightened expectations that the central banks are moving toward new actions. But, according to the Wall Street Journal, doubts linger as to whether central banks even have the tools to fix the economic problems they face. A lot of the money the Fed has tried to pump into the economy has wound up right back at the Fed. We will talk to Mike Maloney about what the Fed’s actions mean for the lives of average people.
And Bill Gross, co-founder of PIMCO, wrote that the cult of equity may be dying. However, the cult of inflation may have only just begun. We will talk to Mike Maloney, founder of GoldSilver.com, about the occult.
Also, US home prices rose in May for the fourth month in a row, according to the S&P Case Shiller data out today. We will talk to Mike Maloney, author of “Guide to Investing in Gold and Silver,” and see how this fits in with the other data pointing to a slowdown in the US economy.



Almost one in ten employers to drop health insurance coverage under Obamacare

by J. D. Heyes, Natural News:
One of the elements of Obamacare critics have been most vocal about is the so-called government-sponsored “insurance pools” the law creates. Now that it’s largely been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court, these pools will soon become a reality.
So what? That’s the basis of the law, to provide insurance for everyone, correct?
Yes, but not necessarily the type of insurance you want. Or that you have now, say, through your employer.
One of the law’s selling points uttered by everyone in the administration paid to defend it, especially the president himself, promised Americans they could keep their current health insurance.
In his Weekly Address on August 15, 2009, Obama said of his health care proposal, “First, no matter what you’ve heard, if you like your doctor or healthcare plan, you can keep it.”
That was then. By July 2012, the administration was singing a different tune, admitting that, “as a practical matter, a majority of group health plans will lose their grandfather status by 2013.”
Read More @ NaturalNews.com


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Visualizing Today's Deja Vu Last Second 60,000 E-Mini Contract Wipe Out

Today, three seconds before the close, someone was in a desperate hurry to dump 60,000 E-Mini contracts - the equivalent of $4.1 billion in underlying notional (ignoring the reflexive impact on various correlated assets and downstream synthetic instruments like ETFs and options). What happened next was a trade that was just shy of the size of the Waddell and Reed trade that the SEC said caused the flash crash. Luckily this time there was just 3 seconds of potential waterfall after-effects before the market closed. Had this happened at the May 6 blue light special time of 2:30 pm, the month end marks of US hedge funds and prop desks would have looked very different one day before the all too critical FOMC statement. The question remains: who waited to perform a reverse E-bay (inverse bid all in, in the last second of trading), and just what do/did they know? Below we present the complete 60,000 dump in its full visual glory courtesy of Nanex.




New Bill Threatens to EFFECTIVELY BAN ONLINE SALES OF AMMUNITION

by Mac Slavo, SHTFPlan:
With the United Nations poised to sign an international arms treaty that would regulate global arms sales and ownership, and Congressional members just days ago attempting to sneak a nationwide restriction on “high capacity magazines” into a cyber security bill, the attack on firearm ownership in America is now in full swing.
This afternoon democrat Senators Frank Lautenberg and Carolyn McCarthy unveiled what may possibly be the most sweeping anti-second amendment legislative action in recent memory. Coming on the heels of the tragic events that left a dozen people dead and scores injured in Colorado, it’s becoming painfully obvious to proponents of the Second Amendment and individual liberty that politicians on the State and Federal level are doing everything in their power to ensure this crisis does not go to waste.
Two Democratic lawmakers on Monday will announce new legislation to regulate the online and mail-order sale of ammunition.
Sen. Frank Lautenberg (N.J.) and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (N.Y.) said the new law would make the sale of ammunition “safer for law-abiding Americans who are sick and tired of the ease with which criminals can now anonymously stockpile for mass murder,” in a statement released Saturday.
The lawmakers cite the recent movie massacre in Aurora, Colo. for spurring their bill.
Read More @ SHTFPlan.com




Is Third Time The Charm For Central Bank Intervention Prayers?

Of course this time is different, right?






 

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Spanish and Italian yields back up again/Germany again says no to Draghi and the boys/Greece out of money

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen: Gold closed down today with most of the drop occurring after London was put to bed. The closing price of gold at 1;30 pm today was $1610.40 down $9.30. The price of silver held up pretty good down only 12 cents to $27.90   The demand for physical metal is fierce especially when you see how many gold ounces will stand in August.  Today, Greece announced for the

Equities Close Weak On Heavy Volume As Month Ends Up 1%

Do you believe in miracles? Well, all those managers who were long the QE-sensitive darlings of Financials, Materials, and Consumer Discretionary into the month can breath a collective unchanged sigh of relief - thanks to last week's Draghi drag higher. The Energy sector managed a stupendous 4.9% gain on the month. The S&P 500, Dow, and Nasdaq all finished about 1-1.4% higher on the month (while Dow Transports ended -2.3%) as we came close to some Hindenberg Omens in the last few days. Today's market felt like the start of a sell-the-news day as we leaked back to the edge of the Friday cliff in S&P 500 e-mini futures (ES) - with an after-day-session-close snap down to catch-down to where risk-assets had broadly been biased all day - amid huge volume (leaving ES below its recent swing highs and Fibonacci levels). Commodities generally slid lower but WTI led the way ending down over 3% from Friday's close. Gold, Silver, and Copper all slid even as USD slid lower too. Treasury yields fell back retracing about half of the post-Draghi sell-off. VIX ended testing 19% into the close, up almost 1vol as the term-structure flattened ahead of the events of the next couple of days. The massive rip in volume at the close (and 5pt drop in ES) suggest plenty of short-term exits ahead of the fun-and-games of the next two days and certainly Treasuries were sending similar derisking signals. 

 

Big Mogambo Plans (BMP)

Richard Daughty, a.k.a., 'The Mogambo Guru' at Mogambo Guru Report! - 1 hour ago
July 31, 2012 Mogambo Guru As a loving, thoughtful, devoted father and husband, I occasionally have a thought for my loving family. Not entirely free of selfish intention, I hope that the wife and kids would see what a terrific dad and husband I am, decide that they have been wrong about me all this time, and that out of sheer gratitude, if nothing else, they would stop being such big pains in my Huge Mogambo Ass (HMA). I know that my fantasy world of "Leave me alone and get out of my way!" is impossible to actually achieve, in that almost everything you can name (exc... more »

 

Here's What the Fed May Do Instead of More QE

Eric De Groot at Eric De Groot - 2 hours ago
Who cares if it’s called QE3 or an indirect, fancy-pants liquidity injection? Liquidity still devalues someone’s currency and general standard of living. Headlines like a manure spreaders in Midwestern fields throw sh*t in all directions and call it newsworthy. If the Fed fails to hint at substantial liquidity by September tomorrow, the stock market will... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

 

The Obama Welfare State

Dave in Denver at The Golden Truth - 5 hours ago
*If voting made any difference they wouldn't let us do it* *- *Mark Twain Facebook stock hit a new low today. It's currently trading at $21.68, 43% below its IPO price, in less than 2 1/2 months since going public. I know there must be an example of a worse performing new IPO, but I can't think of one in the 33 years in which I've been following/studying/trading the markets. What blows my mind even more is that the Obama Justice Department AND SEC are not investigating Morgan Stanley for this. It just goes to show you the degree to which Wall Street controls Obama. If anyone... more » 

Have $2,000 In Cash In Your Fidelity Account? Then You Too Can Qualify To Lose Money On The Manchester United IPO

Have $100,000 in "certain assets at Fidelity" and at least $2,000 in cash for close margin call encounters (you will need it)? Then you too are eligible to participate in the next IPO collapse, coming on August 9th in the form of the Manchester United public offering, which is going to be such an epic disaster it not only has middle market junk bond specialist Jefferies as lead left, that it has already opened itself up to retail participation by all the sub-underwriters, and as of this morning such reputable brokers as Fidelity are seeking indications of interest. Which simply means there is absolutely no interest at the institutional level. The last time this happened? FaceBerg, which went from $43 to $21 in about a month.




FOMC Preview - Rate Extension But No NEW QE

The Hilsenrath-Haggle Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is likely to ease monetary policy at the July 31-August 1 meeting in response to the continued weakness of the economic data and the persistent downside risks from the crisis in Europe. While we expect nothing more exciting than an extension of the current “late 2014” interest rate guidance to "mid-2015", Goldman adds in their preview of the decision that although a new Fed asset purchase program is a possibility in the near term if the data continue to disappoint, their central expectation is for a return to QE in December or early 2013.




Your Taxpayer Dollars At Work

Not like anyone would expect anything more, technically, less, but it is always gratifying to know there is someone, somewhere willing to fight for the little guy. And lose.
  • SEC LOSES LAWSUIT AGAINST EX-CITIGROUP OFFICIAL STOKER - BBG
  • SEC SUED CITIGROUP'S BRIAN STOKER OVER CDO REPRESENTATIONS - BBG
 



Picturing The Turn In The Credit Cycle

Despite record low coupon issuance and a net negative issuance that is enabling technical flow to dominate any sense of releveraging risk in favor of the 'safety' of corporate bonds, the credit cycle is deteriorating rather rapidly in both the US and Europe. As these charts of the upgrade/downgrade cycle from Barclays show, things are as bad as they have been since the crisis began in terms of ratings changes among investment grade and high-yield credit. Combine that with the historically dismal seasonals for credit in the next three months and we urge caution.




Tax Cheat Timmy Geithner To DeMarco: "I Do Not Believe [Un-Socialism] Is The Best Decision For The Country"

In an administration that has completely lost its mind, and in which the solution to every problem is the forgiveness of debt to those who lived beyond their means, FHFA's Ed DeMarco is a lone voice of sanity. In a letter to Tim Geithner, the FHFA has the temerity to tell the truth and say that "after extensive analysis of the revised [Principal Reduction Act]...FHFA has concluded that the anticipated benefits do not outweigh the costs and risks... FHFA concluded that HAMP PRA did not clearly improve foreclosure avoidance while reducing costs to taxpayers relative to the approaches in place today."Via Bloomberg:
  • *FANNIE MAE, FREDDIE MAC WON'T WRITE DOWN LOANS, DEMARCO SAYS
  • *FHFA'S DEMARCO SAYS PRINCIPAL REDUCTION WON'T BENEFIT TAXPAYERS
Needless to say, when presented with a minority opinion that socialism just may not be the answer, Geithner was not happy and penned his own response. Both are presented below.




Charting Europe's Broken Transmission Channels

The catalyst for the major turnaround in markets last week was comments from ECB President Draghi that he was prepared to do whatever it takes to preserve the Euro and ensure monetary policy transmission. While this is nothing more than stating his mandate (and that water is wet), the focus on 'transmission' caught the attention of many and Barclays provides a succinct flowchart of just where those transmission channels are broken. However, with SMP empirically a losing proposition for sovereign spreads, LTROs having had no impact on loans to non-financial corporates, and rate cuts not reaching the peripheral economies (and in fact signaling further divergence); it seems that short of full-scale LSAP (which JPM thinks will need to be a minimum EUR600bn to be in any way effective), whatever Draghi says will be a disappointment and perhaps that explains the weakness in European sovereigns this week as exuberance fades (or is the game to implicitly weaken the EUR to regain competitiveness).


What Happened To Gold? – Part 2


My Dear Extended Family,

I have known Alf Fields for what seems like forever. I have long held that the best technicians simply know the market of their interest and use TA as a point of focus.
The prices of $3500 – $4000 and $4500 are now in the market’s focus.
Stay the course.
Regards,
Jim

Dear CIGAs,
There are no certainties in the investment universe. Investors are forced to weigh up the various risks and assess the probabilities involved before committing themselves to a course of action. Current Elliott Wave and technical studies suggest that the probabilities now favor a strong rise in the gold price.
It may be helpful to consider my personal assessment of the various probabilities at different points in the recent gold market correction. On 23 August 2011 when gold pushed above $1910 my guess was that there was a 90% probability of a severe correction. The target for the decline, as given in my keynote speech at the Sydney Gold Symposium in November, was circa $1480, the point at which the explosive extension in the gold price had started.
Extensions have a good record of retracing to the approximate point from which the extension began, in this case $1480. Market action during the decline is used to fine tune a more accurate end of the correction. Gold never got down to target of $1480, stopping not very far away at $1523 in late December 2011. At $1523 all the minor subdivisions suggested that there was a 75% probability that this was the low and that the market would move into a strong upward move, probably the most vigorous of the bull market. A lesser alternative considered was that $1523 might only be the A wave of a larger A-B-C correction.
clip_image002
Subsequent events proved that the lesser alternative – that $1523 was only the low point of the A wave – proved to be the correct diagnosis. The A-B-C correction is shown in the above chart.
The upward move from $1523 through January and February 2012 to $1792, a gain of $270 in just 2 months, looked exactly like the vigorous upward move that had been anticipated. From $1792 a correction in the 6%-8% range was expected. That meant a maximum retracement to $1650 could be tolerated. A decline below $1650 would indicate that something was wrong with the analysis and would necessitate examining alternative possibilities.
Gold did drop below $1650, throwing a spanner in the works of the expectation that the market was in the early stages of the massive third of a third wave with a target of $4500. Once the 61.8% retracement level at $1626 was also broken, the strongest probability was that the rise to $1792 was the B wave and that the market was declining in the C wave. At this stage it began to look as if gold might still achieve the original downside objective of $1480.
The decline halted at $1528 and then started rising in a desultory fashion. The above chart was produced at that time showing that the A wave decline had lasted 88 trading days while the C wave decline had lasted 55 days. In addition the C wave decline of $264 was 66.5% of the A wave decline of $397, as depicted on the chart. The 2/3 relationship between the A and C wave declines plus the ratio of 88 days to 55 days absorbed by the respective waves, a neat 8:5 Fibonacci ratio, improved the odds that $1528 was the end of wave C. It would thus also mark the final end of the correction that had lasted since late August 2011.
The above positive assessment was not published at the time. Additional confirmation from further market action was required to be sure of the call. The required evidence of a rapid and large upward surge in the gold price plus the break of the prominent downtrend did not emerge. Gold simply churned within a relatively narrow range below the declining trend line.
A number of readers have urged me to pay more attention to time. In the past I had found that the magnitude of the waves was a much more important factor than the time involved. I had never been able to make an accurate call using only time elements and cycles. Every time I made a forecast based on time, I got it wrong. Nevertheless, I resolved to examine the time elapsed by the different moves more closely.
That gave rise to recognizing that the 88 and 55 days absorbed by the A and C wave declines respectively was the interesting Fibonacci ratio of 8:5. With the gold market churning and going nowhere, I developed an alternative theory that $1528 was not the final low point of wave C but only the low point of wave a of an a-b-c move making up the C wave.
That would explain the desultory sideways trading in the gold price and implied that the final low was still somewhere in the future. An extension of this theory was that the decline in the smaller and final wave c to the low would last 33 trading days. This would extend the previous 88:55 ratio to 88:55:33, and would mean that the time absorbed by the two small c wave declines would total 88 days (55 +33), identical to the 88 days absorbed by the wave A decline.
This was pure hypothesis. There was no real basis for this theory, but it seemed worth testing it. If it was possible to predict the day of the final low ahead of time, that would be a significant achievement. Gold had rallied to $1640 on 6 June 2012 and then started churning sideways with a downward trend.
Projecting ahead 33 trading days from 6 June 2012 produced a date for the forthcoming low of 23 July 2012. I didn’t have any idea of what the low price would be. The chart below depicts what happened on 23 July 2012.
clip_image004
The low gold price on 23 July 2012 was $1564, certainly not a new low. Yet the gold price started rising almost immediately. Within a couple of days the gold price had broken upwards through the downtrend line that had been in place since the end of February 2012. This is a very positive development which will be greatly enhanced if the gold price continues to move strongly upwards over the coming days and weeks.
The bottom line is that we now have a really strong probability that the correction which started at $1913 on 23 August 2011 has been completed both in terms of Elliott waves and also in terms of time elapsed. If this is correct, the gold price should soon be expressing itself in violent upside action as it moves into the third of third wave which is still targeted to reach $4500.

Alf Field

31 July 2012 Comment to: alffield7@gmail.com

Disclosure and Disclaimer Statement: The author has personal investments in gold and silver bullion, as well as in gold, silver, uranium and other mining shares. The author’s objective in writing this article is to interest potential investors in this subject to the point where they are encouraged to conduct their own further diligent research. Neither the information nor the opinions expressed should be construed as a solicitation to buy or sell any stock, currency or commodity. Investors are recommended to obtain the advice of a qualified investment advisor before entering into any transactions. The author has neither been paid nor received any other inducement to write this article.




Now Pakistan Grid Collapses; Violent Protests Erupt Across Country

Blackouts across the country have raged for weeks and are now affecting major population centers on a daily basis, leaving Pakistanis in living conditions so deplorable that they have taken to the streets in violent protest.

Sacramento Evicts TSA Screeners, Replaces Them With Private Contractors

The Airport will become the third largest in the country to ditch the TSA and hire private security. Only a few other airports have done so after Congress passed legislation earlier in the year, opening the door for the widely loathed federal agency to be marginalized from aviation security altogether.

Total surveillance: NYPD launches new all-seeing ‘Domestic Awareness System’

The New York Police Department already has thousands of cameras aimed all over the island of Manhattan, but this literal surveillance state is about to be brought up a notch. The NYPD is teaming up with Microsoft to track action across the city.

The Assault on 2nd Amendment Precursor to Martial Law in America

Concerning the false flag staged attack in Aurora, Colorado, the National Rifle Association is pushing for the right to bear arms and the retention of our 2nd Amendment while the talking heads at CNN want us to believe the globalist’s lie that America would be safer if semi-automatic weapons were banned from purchase.

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The inevitable death of the euro

by Alasdair Macleod, Gold Money:
On Thursday the European Central Bank’s Mario Draghi was moved to defend the euro, after Spain’s government bond yields rose dramatically through the 7% level. And when Valencia asked the central government for a bailout, followed by indications that other cities and regions have similar problems, it became clear that Spain is in deep trouble. We have got used to the concept of too-big-to-fail; now we have too-big-to-rescue.
We normally talk about Spain and also Italy in terms of government debt and budget deficits, forgetting they are only part of the problem. To these must be added regional and local governments, nationalised and subsidised industries, and off-balance sheet guarantees for other entities. Forget, for the moment, future health and welfare costs, which statistically dwarf everything: they are not the immediate problem. This still leaves us with rescues, without even considering commercial banks, amounting to perhaps between two and four times the headline government debt. People think Spain can be rescued, but when you take everything into account, including the prospect of a policy-induced slump from macro-economic mistakes, it is simply too big.
The failure to face up to financial reality is essentially political. Spain’s President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, was elected with a clear majority last November, and has failed to cut spending. Instead of reducing the burden of the public sector on the economy, he has chosen to penalise the productive private sector through extra taxation. If anyone had an opportunity to face up to reality with an electoral mandate it was Rajoy, but he failed to do so either because he deemed it politically impossible because he is simply too weak.
Read More @ GoldMoney.com




This Is What 670 Million People Without Power Look Like: Pictures From A Blacked Out India


First thing today we reported that India just suffered what may have been the biggest blackout in history, after half of the country's population of 1.2 billion, or just under 700 million was without power, as the electric grid of more than a dozen states suffered an epic collapse. Below we shares some pictures courtesy of Times of India giving some sense of what it means for two Americas worth of people to live without electricity indefinitely. Of note: the calm, peace and order despite the epic traffic jams and crowds. One wonders what would happen in the US if the entire country was without electrcity for even just one hour. Finally, one wonders what the impact to the Indian, Asian, and Global economy will be as a result of the complete halt that at least half of India - one of the world's core marginal economies - has ground to do.




Caution ahead of the Fed

Trader Dan at Trader Dan's Market Views - 45 minutes ago
With all the hype preceding this week's Fed meeting, not to mention the usual circus atmosphere surrounding some potential action from the ECB, my advice to both gold and silver traders is to be EXTREMELY CAUTIOUS. The market has worked itself into a tizzy in my view as it salivates at the further prospect of additional liquidity measures being undertaken by both Central Banks. When markets are in this state of mind, you will end up either being a HERO or a ZERO. In other words, you are now in the precarious position of having your fate determined by the roll of the dice. If you ge... more »

 

Video Interview: Smart Money

Admin at Jim Rogers Blog - 1 hour ago
Video interview, "Bailouts gives money to incompetent people" * * *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.* 

No Justice. Ever. LIBOR Scandal: Barclays Executive Jerry del Missier Given £8.75 Million pay-off

by Alistair Osborne, and Jamie Dunkley, The Telegraph:

Mr del Missier, the bank’s former chief operating officer who resigned three weeks ago, is understood to have negotiated the deal with Barclays’ outgoing chairman Marcus Agius in the days before he quit. The pay-out looks certain to trigger another political storm over bankers’ pay.
Mr del Missier was one of Barclays’ highest-paid executives, receiving a salary and bonus package for 2011 worth £6.7m plus a further £10.8m from share awards from previous years.
He became co-head of the investment bank in January 2011, when former chief executive Bob Diamond was promoted to the top job, but emerged as a leading figure in the Libor rigging scandal.
Only last week Canadian Mr del Missier conceded to MPs on the Treasury select committee that he had told Barclays traders to lower the bank’s Libor submissions in the autumn of 2008.
That followed a controversial telephone call between Mr Diamond and Paul Tucker, the deputy governor of the Bank of England.
Read More @ Telegraph.co.uk



WHAT HAPPENED TO GOLD? – PART 2

by Alf Field, Gold Switzerland:

There are no certainties in the investment universe. Investors are forced to weigh up the various risks and assess the probabilities involved before committing themselves to a course of action. Current Elliott Wave and technical studies suggest that the probabilities now favor a strong rise in the gold price.
It may be helpful to consider my personal assessment of the various probabilities at different points in the recent gold market correction. On 23 August 2011 when gold pushed above $1910 my guess was that there was a 90% probability of a severe correction. The target for the decline, as given in my keynote speech at the Sydney Gold Symposium in November, was circa $1480, the point at which the explosive extension in the gold price had started.
Extensions have a good record of retracing to the approximate point from which the extension began, in this case $1480. Market action during the decline is used to fine tune a more accurate end of the correction. Gold never got down to target of $1480, stopping not very far away at $1523 in late December 2011. At $1523 all the minor subdivisions suggested that there was a 75% probability that this was the low and that the market would move into a strong upward move, probably the most vigorous of the bull market. A lesser alternative considered was that $1523 might only be the A wave of a larger A-B-C correction.
Read More @ GoldSwitzerland.com

 

What Happened To Gold?

Eric De Groot at Eric De Groot - 1 hour ago
What happened to gold? Europe happened. The invisible hand, desperately short, has used the dollar strength to reduce those positions (chart 1). This transfer from strong to weak hands will continue as long as psychology and TIME permits. Please note that time is running out for 2012. Chart 1: London P.M Fixed and the Commercial Traders COT Futures and Options Net Long As A % of Open... [[ This is a content summary only. Visit my website for full links, other content, and more! ]]

 

Aggressive Trading Versus Diversification

Admin at Marc Faber Blog - 2 hours ago
Basically there are two strategies: you can be an aggressive trader and try to switch at the right times between asset classes or go for diversification. I prefer diversification because I don’t feel confident about getting the trading right. - *in Resource Investor* *Marc Faber is an international investor known for his uncanny predictions of the stock market and futures markets around the world.*



GM's Channel Stuffing Goes To Germany: Is Europe's Largest Economy A Fraud?

We have long argued that auto manufacturers have been channel-stuffing (and subprime-lending) themselves back into a disaster and as such class-action lawsuits have begun. Recently we also pointed out the epidemic of dealer-inventory-stuffing in China (and again this morning the Chinese luxury car market's over-stuffing). So today's report from Reuters that German auto manufacturers have been stuffing dealer channels just like the rest of the world as Europe's largest car market is in recession even if few outside of the industry would know it. "Essentially, the carmakers are deceiving their shareholders, since they make it look as if the vehicles were actually sold. They want to pull the wool over their eyes," as three in every ten new vehicles in Germany are sold not to customers, but to carmakers and their dealers - a type of automotive industry pump priming known as "self-registration". At nearly half a million such registrations in the six months through June, the total is greater than the entire new car market in Spain. Is Germany's economy really what it is reported to be given all this fake demand pull-forward - or is it a total fraud?








Stock to Flow – Silver Supply in a Fiat Depression

by Dr. Jeffrey Lewis, Silver Seek:
Making a case for higher silver prices can involve two ways of looking at its supply:
(1) The total amount of silver ever mined.
(2) The total amount of silver available in investment grade bullion form.
The result of this supply analysis yields two different ratios for gold versus silver.
Stock to Flow Ratios for Gold Versus Silver
Interestingly, gold has a very high stock-to-flow ratio compared with silver. Gold’s stock or total volume ever produced is roughly 170,000 tonnes, while its yearly production or flow was reported at 2,586 tonnes in 2010 by the World Gold Council.
This puts gold’s stock to flow ratio at 65.7 years, while silver’s is less than one third of that. Other key commodities — like crude oil, copper, corn and wheat — have much lower ratios, as the following chart illustrates.
Reclaiming Gold is Easier Than Silver
It was not until the Industrial Revolution — and more specifically the 20th century — that silver became useful in a variety of products and processes in small and dispersed quantities that essentially consumes the metal. This is where gold and silver diverge, since gold is typically more easily reclaimed than silver.
Read More @ SilverSeek.com


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David Morgan – Silver Prices are Likely to Move Higher Over the Rest of 2012

by Geoff Candy, MineWeb.com

The bottom for silver prices looks to have been reached recently says, David Morgan, but, in order for prices to start moving upwards, gold is going to have to lead the way.
Speaking to Mineweb.com’s Metals Weekly podcast, the author of The Morgan Report and a silver specialist, Morgan explained that the current consolidation phase is likely to continue for a while longer but added, “the sentiment right now is for safe haven status and gold holds a much higher place in investors mind than silver does, so to get silver moving again I think gold is going to have to lead us up out of this basic pattern in a rather significant way and I think then silver will probably follow it up.”
“More and more people are waking up to the fact that silver has every quality that gold has only it sells for a much cheaper price. As people get squeezed more and more but still want to protect what they have left, the tendency is in the latter stages of a major bull market, like we are experiencing, more and more money moves into the silver market rather than the gold market because gold is so expensive that most people by-pass it even though they might prefer to own gold.”
Read More @ MineWeb.com



Gold, the markets, and impaired thinking

by Frank Holmes, MineWeb.com
It was an exciting and educational week. I was in Vancouver at the Agora Financial Investment Symposium speaking to hundreds of investors who are eager to learn how to grow and protect their wealth. This year’s theme, “Innovate or Die,” fit well with my presentation, as the conference challenged attendees to adapt their investment strategies just as empires and enterprises adjust to changing circumstances.
When I wasn’t behind the podium, I sat with the audience, soaking up new ideas from speakers, including Gloom Boom & Doom Editor Marc Faber, historian Niall Ferguson and Editor of Outstanding Investments Byron King, who surprised me and challenged my current way of thinking.
Back at the office, our analysts and portfolio managers continue their daily meetings as always to discuss and digest the mountains of research that cross our desks each day. We question what we read, analyze statistics and hypothesize on what we see happening across the global economy. As much as emotions and biases take a role in investing, our goal is to make decisions not based on groupthink that discourages creativity, but founded on a collective wisdom that encourages critical evaluation of the economy and markets.
Read More @ MineWeb.com



What Do PIIGS Bonds Know That Stocks Are Oblivious To?

from Zero Hedge:
While expectations of a Draghi rescuing us all from our bad selves remain extreme – well he did promise! – it seems the market that one would expect to be the most likely to benefit from his ‘Aid’ is increasingly not Kool. The last two days have seen Italian and Spanish sovereign bond spreads turn back down – even as stocks in those countries keep up the good wealth-building work (with the front-end wider by around 30bps today alone). At the same time, financials have seen their credit risk widen back out (especially seniors) and XOver (the European high-yield credit market) did not exude the kind of equity ebullience that we are used to in a pure risk-on, central-bankers-have-our-back period.
Read More @ Zero Hedge.com



MORE WET WORK? ‘Senior HSBC Banker’ Plummets to His Death – Police Say “Not Suspicious”

A man who plunged 100ft to his death at the Tate Modern art gallery in London was a senior bank manager with HSBC.
by Sam Marsden, The Telegraph:
Michael Foreman, 48, fell from a fifth-floor balcony in the members’ bar area of the gallery on the South Bank last Tuesday evening.
The banker, who lived in Grays, Essex, with his wife Janet, was reported missing the day before he died.
Horrified witnesses described seeing a man dressed in a suit without a tie plunge from the bar area shortly before the gallery, whose imposing building was once a power station, closed at 6pm. Police are not treating the incident as suspicious.
Mr Foreman was named today as an inquest into his death opened at Southwark Coroner’s Court.
The short hearing was told that he was a “senior bank manager with HSBC” and died from “multiple traumatic injuries”. He was formally identified by his wife.
He had worked for HSBC for 30 years and was based in head office in Canary Wharf in the business banking section.
Read More @ Telegraph.co.uk



Draghi Readies ECB Firepower: Central Bank May Buy Spanish, Italian Bonds

by Agustino Fontevecchia, Forbes:
The dominoes seem to be falling into place for Mario Draghi and the ECB to show what they’re made of. With the apparent blessing of Angela Merkel and her French, Italian, and Spanish counterparts, Draghi is preparing to announce a set of measures designed to push down stubbornly high peripheral bond yields that are threatening to destroy the monetary union.
As Draghi prepares his bazooka, which on the face of it will involve a resumption of the SMP bond-buying program coupled with EFSF/ESM purchases of Spanish and Italian bonds on primary markets, some are skeptical that the ECB is ready or even equipped to deliver what markets expect of it this week.
“Within our mandate, the ECB is ready to do whatever it takes to preserve the euro. And believe me, it will be enough,” Draghi said last week, buoying markets and sticking his neck out by promising to deliver a long-lasting solution for the unsustainable rise of Spanish and Italian borrowing costs.
Read More @ Forbes.com



SICK JOKE: California To Borrow Another $10 Billion From the Banksters: JPMorgan, Wells Fargo to Manage California Note Sale

by Michael B. Marois, Bloomberg:
California will borrow an estimated $10 billion from Wall Street the week of Aug. 13, money the most indebted U.S. state will use to pay its bills for the rest of the year, Treasurer Bill Lockyer said.
Lockyer’s office will first offer the revenue anticipation notes to individual investors for two days beginning Aug. 14, said his spokeman Tom Dresslar. The state will complete the sale Aug. 16 when institutions such as money-market funds can order.
State and local governments typically sell short-term notes to bolster cash flow until tax receipts increase later in the year. A $10 billion sale would be California’s largest since 2010. In September, the biggest state by population borrowed $5.4 billion and had to seek another $1 billion in February this year after tax collections fell short and spending exceeded expectations.
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) will be joint senior managers and Los Angeles-based bond firm De La Rosa & Co. will co-manage the sale, Lockyer has said.
Read More @ Bloomberg



The euro at bay — again

By Martin Walker, UPI:
You know a crisis is about to burst open when U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner flies in unexpectedly to meet German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi.
And that’s just the start. Ahead of this week’s meeting of the ECB governing board there is a Latin summit in Madrid between the two men — Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti and his Spanish counterpart Mariano Rajoy — in the hottest seats.
“I don’t want to raise expectations but I must say that we have arrived at a decisive point,” said eurogroup President Jean-Claude Juncker. “The euro countries have arrived a point where we must make extremely clear with all available means that we are determined to ensure the financial stability of the currency union.”
“All available means” now joins Draghi’s “Whatever it takes” as key phrases propping up the skeptical markets. But the markets expect a very large rabbit to be conjured out of the ECB’s hat this week. We don’t know what it will look like but we do know what it won’t be.
Read More @ UPI.com



Corruption and Nepotism Haunt Southern Europe

by Hans-J├╝rgen Schlamp, Spiegel International:
Jobs for your friends, contracts for your relatives, cash handouts for everyone: that’s how politics works in Sicily. Now the island is on the verge of bankruptcy. It’s an example of the underlying problem plaguing many parts of the southern European countries now struggling to contain the euro crisis.
Marcello Bartolotta, a surgeon from the Sicilian town of Messina, has hit the jackpot. He has just been granted a seat in the regional parliament as a replacement for a parliamentarian from his party who recently died. The assembly will be dissolved in October ahead of regional elections. That, though, is hardly a problem for Bartoletta. After all, for the three or four remaining sessions he will attend until then, he will get some €40,000 ($49,000), in addition to expenses.
That, though, is if Sicily doesn’t go bankrupt first. And there is a chance it may.
Bartolotta’s 89 fellow lawmakers and their 400 assistants have already been told that their July salaries won’t be paid out punctually. The “Onorevoli,” the “Honorables,” as Italian parliamentarians call themselves, are up in arms at the announcement and the Palazzo Reale, where the assembly has its seat, echoed with shouts of “We want our money!” Yet the parliamentarians themselves have contributed significantly to Sicily’s financial misery.
The problem isn’t just that they receive a monthly net salary of €10,000 to €15,000 — more than members of the national assembly in Rome get — without working terribly hard. The assembly rarely convenes and the turnout is usually quite low.
Read More @ Spiegel.de



Rainwater Crimes: Man Gets Jail & Fines For Collecting On His Own Land

from, Activist Post
Water, water, everywhere – Nor any drop to drink.
A case of the government seeking money and bondage from rural residents by purposely misconstruing an old law & bending definitions.
Gary Harrington had no idea that he was a water criminal under an obscure 1925 law until 2002 when state bureaucrats told him that his three reservoirs were illegal collection devices that were a crime against his community.
At first, Harrington complied and legally filed for three permits to keep the rainwater run-off within his 170-acre property, including one that had been on the property for 37 years. However, it appears that the Oregon government is adamantly against its citizens storing and using their own source of water. Although his permits were approved in 2003, the state court arbitrarily reversed their decision and was subsequently backed up by a county Circuit Court judge who ruled that he had illegally “withdrawn the water at issue from appropriation other than for the City of Medford.” (Source)
Even if the city of Medford did legitimately own all the water, Harrington has good standing when he points out that the law mentions only streams and tributaries, not water run-off formulated from the clouds.
Read More @ Activist Post



The Coming Unholy Alliance in Natural Gas

from Testosterone Pit.com:

Natural gas traded at $3.22 per million Btu (MMBtu) at the Henry Hub on Monday, a seven-month high, and a jump of 69% from its April low. Breathtaking when you think that a few months ago, the doom-and-gloomers, who’d been right for a very long time, were predicting chillingly that the price would hit zero by the fall, when storage would be full and excess production would have to be flared. But the pains for the industry are far from over.
Natural gas spot prices can spike locally due to transportation constrains and demand conditions. Earlier this year, while Japan paid $17/MMBtu, New York $12/MMBtu, and Boston $9/MMBtu, prices at the Henry Hub, which is in southern Louisiana, marched towards their decade low and dropped below $2/MMBtu [for that phenomenon, read.... The Natural Gas Massacre And The Price Spike].
Conversely, there are regions in the US where natural gas prices lag behind those at the Henry Hub. A salient example is the daily spot price at the Tennessee Gas Pipeline (TGP) Zone 4 Marcellus, a hub that serves part of the vast Marcellus formation that extends across much of Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York.
Read More @ TestosteronePit.com



Obama’s Executive Order To Make Inner City Schools Great

by Gary North, Lew Rockwell:
President Obama has signed an executive order. He has set up a new bureaucracy. This bureaucracy plans to make inner-city education so good that whites will move back.
You remain skeptical? O, ye of little faith!
This executive order has this goal: to give black children top-flight public education, which means non-flight education. Blacks who have been able to get out of inner-city school districts have been fleeing for several decades. This is what the President is trying to stop.
There is a problem with his plan: public education. It has been declining visibly for approximately 100 years, give or take a decade. The decline has sped up over the last 50 years.
For blacks, the decline has been a disaster. The inner-city schools have been deliberately dumbed down as policy. Thomas Sowell has written on several occasions about the all-black high school in Washington, D.C.: Dunbar High School. From 1870 to 1955, it provided education as good as any white district’s program. (It was surely better than mine, 1955-59.) It taught Latin. It taught advanced courses in science. Its students went to college. Ralph Bunche was one of its graduates. It was deliberately dumbed down half a century ago as a matter of district policy.
Read More @ LewRockwell.com



Going For The Gold As Governments Destroy Currencies

Today Michael Pento warned, “It is now becoming blatantly apparent that the central banks of the developed world are becoming desperate in their pursuit to fight deflation.” Pento also clarified, “… a central bank can always create inflation when they so choose. All they need is a firm commitment to destroy the value of the currency, and a government that is compliant towards that goal.”
Pento also stated that key governments are on board with that agenda: “That situation is quickly coming into fruition in Japan, Europe and the United States.” Today Michael Pento, of Pento Portfolio Strategies, writes exclusively for King World News to put global readers ahead of the curve, once again, on what is unfolding as a result of the major, and unprecedented moves by central banks.
Here is Pento’s piece: “It is obvious to me that the world of economics has now fully entered the Twilight Zone. As evidence, last week European Central Bank Head Mario Draghi pledged to, ‘Do whatever it takes preserve the Euro. And believe me, it will be enough.’ In this upside down world of phony Keynesian Economics, apparently doing ‘whatever it takes to preserve the Euro’ now means promising to dilute the purchasing power of the currency into oblivion.”
Michael Pento continues @ KingWorldNews.com



What the Credit Boom Left Behind

By Greg Canavan, Daily Reckoning.com.au:
Hot on the heels of our comments yesterday about the high cost of doing just about anything and everything in Australia, today’s Australian tells us $200 billion worth of resource projects are at risk because of…high costs!
The article cites a report, due for release today, which shows resource company executives to be extremely bearish and wary about committing new investment dollars to planned projects.
‘The report comes after BHP Billiton signaled it would shelve its $30bn Olympic Dam project in South Australia; Shell said it might delay Australian projects until an overheated construction market cools; and Chevron warned of cost overruns at the nation’s biggest development the $43bn Gorgon LNG project in Western Australia.’
‘In all, almost $200bn worth of yet-to-be-sanctioned major projects are said by their operators or thought by analysts to be in doubt.’

‘On top of Olympic Dam, these include $24bn worth of Queensland thermal coal projects being planned by Xstrata, Gina Rinehart, Clive Palmer and Adani; $45bn on iron ore expansions by BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue; and $70bn of LNG projects under study by Woodside, Shell and PetroChina in Queensland and Western Australia.’

Read More @ DailyReckoning.com.au


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