Shining a little reality light on the otherwise pollyanna-like dearth of pragmatism that is the mainstream media's guest-list, Ron Paul provided Bloomberg TV's Trish Regan a little more than we suspect she bargained for when asked if he had any hope that we avoid the fiscal cliff. The constant "delaying-of-the-inevitable" enables our politicians to avoid facing up to the serious consequences of our reality and as Representative Paul notes the chances of a grand bargain are "probably zero... that's why I think we're over the cliff [already]." Just like the handling of the debt ceiling debacle, Paul notes they will "pretend they are going to do it" until we get a total crash of the dollar and the entire financial system (which he notes is what will occur if we continue the status quo). "We are at a point of no return" unless certain things change, since "we are not the productive nation we used to be."
If the Fiscal Cliff negotiations are supposed to result in a bipartisan compromise, it is safe that the initial shots fired so far are about as extreme as can possibly be. As per our previous assessment of the status quo, with the GOP firmly against any tax hike, many were expecting the first olive branch to come from the generous victor - Barack Obama. Yet on the contrary, the WSJ reports, Obama's gambit will be to ask for double what the preliminary negotiations from the "debt deficit" summer of 2011 indicated would be the Democrats demand for tax revenue increase. To wit: "President Barack Obama will begin budget negotiations with congressional leaders Friday by calling for $1.6 trillion in additional tax revenue over the next decade, far more than Republicans are likely to accept and double the $800 billion discussed in talks with GOP leaders during the summer of 2011. Mr. Obama, in a meeting Tuesday with union leaders and other liberal activists, also pledged to hang tough in seeking tax increases on wealthy Americans." Granted, there was a tiny conciliation loophole still open, after he made no specific commitment to leave unscathed domestic programs such as Medicare, yet this is one program that the GOP will likely not find much solace in cutting. In other words, all the preliminary talk of one party being open to this or that, was, naturally, just that, with a whole lot of theatrics, politics and teleprompting thrown into the mix. The one hope is that the initial demands are so ludicrous on both sides, that some leeway may be seen as a victory by a given party's constituents. Yet that is unlikely: as we have noted on many occasions in the past, any compromise will result in swift condemnation in a congress that has never been as more polarized in history.
We are at an historic point of convergence. Firstly, we have reached the limit in the credit backing of our financial, monetary and banking system. We are at the same time hitting profoundly destabilizing ecological limits preeminent at this time is that we are almost certainly at the peak of global oil and food production. Put another way, we are at the limits of the system of trust and solvency that underpins the trade upon which we depend. We are at the limits of the least substitutable energy source that, by the laws of physics, is necessary for economic maintenance and growth. We are at the limits of our most fundamental human sustenance. They are the three most critical structural pillars of the globalized economy. Like a three-legged stool, the whole system can become destabilized by the buckling of just one. Must Read!
The questions of who are the 1% and what level of income demarcates the fat cats from the rest of Americans are likely to become more and more polarizing in the coming weeks. What is perhaps the most intriguing is the apparent dichotomy between the demographics (youth - who face considerably worse employment trends) and state-wealth who voted for Obama. As ConvergEx's Nick Colas notes, of all the U.S. states with an above-average incidence of their citizens earning over $200,000 (14 in total), all but one (Alaska) went for President Obama in last week’s election. At the other end of the income spectrum, only 2 states in the bottom 10 for +$200K earners (Maine and Iowa) had a majority of voters who sided with the President. The central irony of this straightforward math is that any increase in income taxes on the “Wealthy” will be disproportionately borne by the states which secured the President’s reelection. Perhaps, just an intriguing is the fact that - if you look at the GINI Index – a measure of income inequality – Republican leaning states enjoy more equality on these terms than the citizens of traditionally Democratic areas of the country.
who once issued some fairly sane advice when he recommended the purchase of tinned goods and small calibre firearms in the case of a Euro collapse — thinks 1000% inflation could be beneficial. This is fairly typical mistake for an economist. In an imaginary economic model, it is possible to assume that inflation is stable, and that it is predictable, and to draw conclusions based on those (absurd) assumptions. There are no empirical examples of such high rates of inflation being tolerated, because at every stage in history such effects have been intolerable... Getting to a 1000% inflation rate is an inherently volatile path, historically one which has resulted in panics, crashes and breakdowns.
Yannis Stournaras said that removing the fear of a Greek euro exit was the single thing that would restore confidence among depositors, and urged EU leaders to agree to the disbursement of the next tranche of Greek aid when they meet on November 20.
The “removal of drachmaphobia” will come after this, he said.
Mr Stournaras also warned that Greece faced a “very high” risk of default.
“Bankrupt, insolvency. We have to be very careful. I understand (our partners) press Greece to take some prior actions (agreed in return for help) but now, the risk of an accident is very high,” Stournaras told the European Parliament when asked what would happen if a long-delayed aid payment was not forthcoming next week.
Read More @ Telegraph.co.uk
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Earmuffs time for Europe's carefully sculpted theater of goodwill, solidarity and cohesion. Because this has to be some sort of record. Hours after Greece got its much desired two year bailout extension of Deutsche Bank from Germany Europe, Greece is already in breach of the terms it, and Europe, all "fought so hard" for. From Kathimerini: "A planned 25 percent increase in the price of public transport tickets next March is to be postponed until October, the general secretary of the Development Ministry, Nikos Stathopoulos, said on Tuesday. The increase originally demanded by the troika would have pushed the price of a ticket for all modes of public transport to 1.75 euros from 1.40." Instead the Troika's demand is overruled, and in its place is a promise that some efficiency has been extracted elsewhere, until of course, said promise is probed and uncovered to have also been a lie.
The first 13-Fs are rolling in and among them, that of iconic hedge fund Baupost and its legendary head Seth Klarman. Legendary because until now he was largely percevied as unable to lose on a trade. Ever. And then Hewlett Packard came: Klarman decided the stock was a value play just over a year ago, when he disclosed that as of September 30, 2011 he had accumulated an over 20 million share position when the HPQ price was over $20/share. The holding had gradually declined until Q1 2012, then hear nearly doubled down to a total of 27 million shares. Then the stock collapsed. And like not only a good investor, but trader, Klarman decided to book a loss and dump nearly half his HPQ position, holding just over 14 million shares as of September 30, a stake we are confident is likely zero by now. There goes the bull "alphaclone" case for the company that is not "off its lows."
Leveraging EUR strength (USD weakness) in the US-open-to-EU-close to ramp stocks to highs was rapidly followed by a collapse back to reality in US equities from EU-close-to-US-close. Just remarkable. Treasuries and FX markets were much less exuberant over the entire lack of news that drive the S&P up over 20 points from open to EU close and sure enough - helped by the obvious desperation of a 'failed' Yellen-threat - equities retraced it all; ending the day back near the recent lows. Stocks once again tested the bottom of Draghi's Dream and rejected it; commodities were mixed and very dispersed with Copper and Silver swinging wildly (up on the day) even as the USD ended the day practically unchanged. Tech and financials are the losers still on the week as AAPL clawed its way back to marginally green by the close with the magical $545 level now critical four days in a row.
link here). Some of the highlights:
- YELLEN SAYS FED SHOULD LINK LOW-RATE OUTLOOK TO ECONOMIC GOALS
- YELLEN FAVORS ELIMINATING CALENDAR-DATE COMMITMENT TO EASING
- YELLEN WOULD LINK STIMULUS EXIT TO INFLATION, JOBS THRESHOLDS
- YELLEN SAYS 2% INFLATION SHOULDN'T BE CONSIDERED A CEILING
- YELLEN SAYS OPTIMAL POLICY FOR BALANCED APPROACH INVOLVES KEEPING ZIRP UNTIL EARLY 2016
Ben Swann takes a look at the more than 30 petitions on the White House blog We The People asking that their state be allowed to peacefully secede from the United States.
by Ron Holland, The Daily Bell:
Tens of thousands of Americans are now petitioning the White House wanting to withdraw from the union. Although peoples and regions around the world are in the process of withdrawing from debt laden, failed central governments including Scotland, Venice, Catalonia, Bavaria, Flanders and others, it won’t be as easy here in the USA. While the US petitions generate great PR for the legal right of secession, this is not the way a state or people legally withdraw from the US union.
First, to secede from the federal union on their own individuals must leave the US and renounce their citizenship, a very complicated and expensive process. Second, the legal way for states to withdraw is individually, state-by-state after conducting a state secession convention very much like a state constitutional convention on 10th Amendment issues.
Most of the individual states originally joined the union through this process and it is how individual states must lawfully leave the union. This is the same method followed by the individual Confederate States of America when they withdrew one by one following the election of Abraham Lincoln.
Read More @ TheDailyBell.com
The Dow plunged 433 points, or 3.3%, in the two days after the election. The timing makes it ‘obvious’ to many pundits that it’s due to President Obama being re-elected.
But he was already president prior to the election, and the stock market has been in a strong bull market that started March 10, 2009, less than two months after he was inaugurated. And after a 10% March to June correction this year, the market continued to rally strongly off the June low even as the polls showed him as likely to win re-election.
So it’s doubtful the election is the catalyst for the correction.
Besides which, the correction is not something new this week. It’s been underway since mid-September, almost two months ago. In fact, the correction was already enough to break the trend-line support of the rally off the June low a month ago.
Read More @ FinancialSense.com
Coin dealers are the real winners of the recent presidential election.
Pundits of all kinds have weighed in on how the U.S. election results will affect this or that part of the market or the economy. Dealers don’t appear on their radar screens.
I don’t think the outcomes of the elections will make much difference for coin dealers, but that could be considered a trick answer. The truth is that no matter whether Democrats or Republicans won election last week, neither party had any plans to resolve the growing fiscal crisis. Therefore, the results of the election don’t make any difference worth talking about as to how it will affect coin dealers – the impact will be virtually identical either way.
Read More @ Numismaster.com
by Charles Hugh Smith, Peak Prosperity:
Reality has arrived
Whenever I make the case for a stronger U.S. dollar (USD), the feedback can be sorted into three basic reasons why the dollar will continue declining in value:
- The USD may gain relative to other currencies, but since all fiat currencies are declining against gold, it doesn’t mean that the USD is actually gaining value; in fact, all paper money is losing value.
- When the global financial system finally crashes, won’t that include the dollar?
- The Federal Reserve is “printing” (creating) money, and that will continue eroding the purchasing power of the USD. Lowering interest rates to zero has dropped the yield paid on Treasury bonds, which also weakens the dollar.
Read More @ PeakProsperity.com
State Rep. Jerry O’Neil, R-Columbia Falls, is spooked enough about the country’s fiscal picture to request that his legislative pay come in the form of gold and silver coins.
In his letter, O’Neil points out that he does not want to be paid at the face value of $50 American Eagle gold coins or $1 silver American Eagle coins. He stipulates that he should be paid at their market values, currently $1,801 for the gold coin and $35.28 for the silver coin.
“Let’s say I made $1,800 in a month. They could give one gold American Eagle” or multiple silver American Eagles, he said.
“Hopefully this will be an example for our Montana citizens and prompt them to also have some of their own wealth in money that has intrinsic value,” his letter concludes.
Read More @ dailyinterlake.com
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by Lawrence Williams, MineWeb.com
Long term silver enthusiast Ted Butler, although perhaps more than a little fixated on the huge silver short positions held by JP Morgan, along with a couple of others, on COMEX which he feels make the silver market hugely prone to what he rates as criminal manipulation by these organisations, is also an extremely acute analyst of the underlying market trends. Now after a good run up post the U.S. election he feels gold is getting set for a strong advance – and silver even more so.
At current gold and silver prices, the gold:silver ratio (GSR) is at around 53.4, down from a percentage point higher only a few days before. But with silver tending to outperform gold on the way up, and underperform on the way down he notes that it is the silver price movement which primarily sets the GSR trend. He thus feels that for a gold holder, a conversion into silver makes sense if you expect higher precious metals prices over time – and most gold holders do, otherwise they wouldn’t be invested in the yellow metal in the first place.
Read More @ MineWeb.com
For many of the wealthy, 2012 is becoming a good year to sell.
Many people complain about government control of currency, but only a few do something about it. I’m not talking about movements to “audit the Fed” and such. I’m talking about real innovation that makes an end run around the government’s iron grip on the monetary system.
A few of us old folks might like to return to the days of slapping a silver dollar on the bar for a shot of whiskey, but the younger techno-savvy generation sees paying for their Negroni cocktail with virtual currency from their hand-held device. To serve this market, a new world of virtual currencies has popped up spontaneously.
In a debate, Mitt Romney said, “You couldn’t have people opening up banks in their garage and making loans.”
Really? Some people are thinking precisely along these lines and even going further to create new units of accounting.
Read More @ LFB.com
If It Were A Security You’d have to Short It …
The so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ receives an amount of attention that is completely out of proportion with the likely importance of the issue – which we would estimate to reside somewhere between slim to none. Does anyone seriously believe the US government’s deficit spending will somehow magically cease to be anything but gargantuan?
See, that one was really simple.
Yesterday a friend sent us a few recent Google trend charts. One of them confirms loud an clear that the ‘fiscal cliff’ is a short sale at this time, metaphorically speaking.
Read More @ Acting-Man.com
If we can all agree on one thing, it’s that the government and disaster organizations alike grossly underestimate how dependent the majority of the population is on them during and after a disastrous event takes place. We need not look any further than the last major disasters that have occurred to find our answers: the Haitian earthquake that occurred in 2010, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the 2011 super tornado of Joplin, MO, and even as recently as Hurricane Sandy.
As preppers are well aware, when the needs of the population cannot be met in an allotted time frame, a phenomena occurs and the mindset shifts in people. They begin to act without thinking and respond to changes in their environment in an emotionally-based manner, thus leading to chaos, instability and a breakdown in our social paradigm.
When you take the time to understand how a breakdown behaves and how it progresses, only then can you truly prepare for it.
Read More @ SHTFPlan.com
Today Bill Fleckenstein told King World News, “… the world is starting to realize that this is a moment in time that’s never been seen before.” Fleckenstein, who is President of Fleckenstein Capital, discussed Europe, the US, gold, and the danger the world is facing today.
Here is what Fleckenstein had to say: “Greece is a serial bailout, restructuring, can-kick, and I guess this is going to continue as long as the riots don’t get worse. Maybe eventually Greece will get ejected from the euro. The question (in Europe) is, is Draghi going to get serious about the OMT or not?”
Bill Fleckenstein continues @ KingWorldNews.com
The markets are going to go into meltdown soon, so expect stocks to lose 20 percent of their value, Marc Faber, author of the Gloom, Boom and Doom report told CNBC on Tuesday.
“I don’t think markets are going down because of Greece, I don’t think markets are going down because of the ‘fiscal cliff’ — because there won’t be a ‘fiscal cliff,’ ” Faber told CNBC’s “Squawk Box.” “The market is going down because corporate profits will begin to disappoint, the global economy will hardly grow next year or even contract, and that is the reason why stocks, from the highs of September of 1,470 on the S&P, will drop at least 20 percent, in my view.”
Read More @ CNBC
Contributors to this site have frequent cause to comment on the misleading nature of GDP as a means of measuring the economic growth and well being of a country. The last batch of GDP figures for the United States proves this point in spades. The data showed that the economy grew at a 2% annualised pace between July and September. While this figure did slightly beat market expectations it’s hardly cause for celebration. The expectations were only 1.9% and that’s hardly a strong rate of economic growth. Additionally, the 2% growth is based on inflation rates that are traditionally understated, meaning that real growth was actually less than 2% and possibly even negative. There are also some other details beneath the surface of the report that provide more information about the future growth path of the US economy.
A Wall Street Journal report covering the GDP provides further detail regarding some of these components:
Read More @ GoldMoney.com
by Julia La Roche, BusinessInsider:
Tomorrow Goldman Sachs will tap its next “partnership managing director” class.
The bank is expected to pick around 70 new partners, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s significantly lower than the 110 tapped in 2010.
All that means is that an already exclusive club is even harder to get into — becoming a partner at Goldman is one of the most highly coveted titles on The Street.
Here’s what we know about being a Goldman partner:
Read More @ BusinessInsider.com
Moments ago the MTS released the final October budget report. It was not pretty, although those who read our report on how much debt was added – $195 billion to be precise – in the first month of the 2013 Fiscal Year will know where this is going. The US budget deficit was expected to soar after the September surplus of $75 billion, driven entirely by calendar shifts and pre-election propaganda, to -$113 billion. That was optimistic: the total amount of overspending in October was $120 billion. What is distressing is that this was well above the $98.5 billion deficit from a year ago, and confirms that the long-term trendline of ever greater spending continues. This was also the fourth largest October deficit in history. And looking merely at the spending side of the ledger, the US government’s outlays in October alone were $304 billion. This is the third biggest October monthly spend for the government ever, and just why of the all time high $320.4 billion record in October 2008, when everything imploded after Lehman failure and Hank Paulson was literally dousing the monetary flames with brand new Benjamins.
Read More @ Zero Hedge.com
It’s the Interest, Stupid! Why Bankers Rule the World … In the 2012 edition of Occupy Money released last week, Professor Margrit Kennedy writes that a stunning 35% to 40% of everything we buy goes to interest. This interest goes to bankers, financiers, and bondholders, who take a 35% to 40% cut of our GDP. That helps explain how wealth is systematically transferred from Main Street to Wall Street. The rich get progressively richer at the expense of the poor, not just because of “Wall Street greed” but because of the inexorable mathematics of our private banking system. – Ellen Brown/Huffington Post
Dominant Social Theme: Usury must be stopped.
Free-Market Analysis: Ellen Brown has been building a case for public banking for years now, ever since writing about it in her book, Web of Debt. We’ve been in discussions with her for several years and have watched her case grow and change. Dr. Gary North has done extensive debunking of some of her arguments.
She continues, of course. In this article, she focuses on the current, fashionable “black beast” of a certain part of the alternative media: interest. Her work is based on the analysis of Margrit Kennedy who in turn utilizes some of the theorizing of a German Green Party founder, Helmut Creutz.
Read More @ TheDailyBell.com
Adolph Hitler, Edict of March 18, 1938: “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subjected people to carry arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subjected peoples to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing.”
Read More @ InfoWars