The yield on Greek one-year government bills hit 60% Tuesday.
Not only does this suggest default is now all but certain and will come soon, it also implies that the terms of the default will be particularly brutal for investors, with recovery rates possibly even lower than the currently anticipated 50%.
European governments are being forced to face up to the significance of a Greek default. This is perhaps the underlying message from International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde’s warning that Europe’s banks “need urgent recapitalization.” She may have been warning about the costly alternative to a solution to the Greek sovereign crisis. But it could well be too late.
Yesterday we had the first case study of what happens in a hyperinflation, when we noted that the local central bank had just hiked interest rates from 22% to 27%. Net result for the economy? Zero. Today is case study #2 where we learn what happens to an imploding economy which happens to be surrounded by friendly neighbors who just happen to find themselves in a massive arbitrage courtesy of a currency that is losing multiples of its value on a monthly if not daily basis. Per Bloomberg: “Belarus’s supermarkets are running out of meat as Russians take advantage of a currency crisis that a devaluation and the world’s highest borrowing costs have failed to stem. “All meat has gone to Russia,” Alexander Andreyevich, an 82-year-old former tractor-plant worker, said Aug. 25 in Minsk, the capital. “My relatives near the Russian border called me a few days ago and said the shops are empty.”…”Private stall owners simply go and buy meat from state- owned vendors and sell it a couple of steps away for a hefty profit,”Deputy Agriculture and Food Minister Vasily Pavlovsky told reporters in Minsk Aug. 24. The government banned individuals in June from taking basic consumer goods such as home appliances, food and gasoline out of the country. Russians, buoyed by the removal of border checkpoints July 1 as part of a customs union, have circumvented the restrictions.” Funny- if the locals had preserved their purchasing power by holding their money in gold, they would not find themselves in a position where those who still have a stable fiat exchange rate (for the time being) can literally steal products from under their noses for a paltry sum as sellers scramble to converts products into some currency before it is devalued even more tomorrow.
More from Bloomberg:
The crisis has sparked protests as Belarusians vent their anger at President Alexander Lukashenko, dubbed Europe’s last dictator by the administration of former U.S. President George W. Bush. While the authorities have sought to control food costs to quell public discontent, buyers from neighboring Russia have pushed meat prices higher.
Belarus will allow the ruble to float from mid-September and will remove restrictions on depositors seeking to exchange local currency for dollars and euros, Lukashenko said yesterday.
“The Belarusian ruble’s exchange rate will be determined by supply and demand, as with any other commodity,” he told the government and central bank, according to the Belta news service. “We will not support the exchange rate artificially.”
What happens then is simple: revolution, as the currency will collapse into a hyperinflationary vortex. We fully expect the exchange rate a year from today to be several million percent higher, as the ghost of Weimar and all other failed Keynesian experiments moves in to haunt this former Soviet satellite country.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department is refusing to release legal memos the George W. Bush administration used to justify his warrantless surveillance program, one of the most contentious civil liberties issues during the Republican president’s time in office.
In responding to a Freedom of Information Act request, the department is withholding two legal analyses by then-government lawyer John Yoo, and is revealing just eight sentences from a third Yoo memo dated Nov. 2, 2001. That memo is at least 21 pages long.
One former FBI agent is finding out firsthand that freedom of speech isn’t something guaranteed to every American. Colleagues at the CIA are keeping him from printing some of his own personal accounts in an upcoming book about the 9/11 attacks.
In his upcoming book “The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda,” Ali H. Soufan wants to write that the Central Intelligence Agency could have had a chance at keeping the September 11 terror attacks from happening. Soufan says that the CIA knew about two of the hijackers involved in the al-Qaeda plot, and while that information might have been of great interest to the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency withheld the crucial information.
Specifically, Soufan says that the CIA had detailed information on 9/11 hijacker Abu Zubaydah as early as January 2000 but neglected to act on it.
The United States has so far stopped short of commenting on a Taliban claim that they killed scores of American forces in Afghanistan on Saturday.
The Taliban claimed on Saturday that 64 US-led troops were killed in two separate attacks they launched in the southern city of Kandahar, a Press TV correspondent reported.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf Ahmadi said on Saturday that the militants killed 36 American forces in a car bomb attack in front of the US base in Kandahar province and also 28 others were killed in another bombing near the military base.
The explosions were so powerful that rocked most of the areas in the province.
Medicinal marijuana oil made from cannabis buds, when ingested thrice daily, for two months, will destroy leukemia and cancer cells. Here is just one study which shows the results: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16908594:
Plant-derived cannabinoids, including Delta9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), induce apoptosis in leukemic cells, although the precise mechanism remains unclear. In the current study, we investigated the effect of THC on the upstream and downstream events that modulate the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) module of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways primarily in human Jurkat leukemia T cells. The data showed that THC down-regulated Raf-1/mitogen-activated protein kinase/ERK kinase (MEK)/ERK/RSK pathway leading to translocation of Bad to mitochondria. THC also decreased the phosphorylation of Akt. However, no significant association of Bad translocation with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt and protein kinase A signaling pathways was noted when treated cells were examined in relation to phosphorylation status of Bad by Western blot and localization of Bad to mitochondria by confocal analysis. Furthermore, THC treatment decreased the Bad phosphorylation at Ser(112) but failed to alter the level of phospho-Bad on site Ser(136) that has been reported to be associated with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/Akt signal pathway. Jurkat cells expressing a constitutively active MEK construct were found to be resistant to THC-mediated apoptosis and failed to exhibit decreased phospho-Bad on Ser(112) as well as Bad translocation to mitochondria. Finally, use of Bad small interfering RNA reduced the expression of Bad in Jurkat cells leading to increased resistance to THC-mediated apoptosis. Together, these data suggested that Raf-1/MEK/ERK/RSK-mediated Bad translocation played a critical role in THC-induced apoptosis in Jurkat cells.
The red glare of the rocket; the bursting of bombs; the silencing of sports fans? A college in Indiana says that “The Star Spangled Banner” is a tad too violent and won’t let the US National Anthem be heard at school games this season.
Administrators at Goshen College, a small Mennonite school in the American Midwest, say that Francis Scott Key’s wartime opus isn’t appropriate for the ideals the college believes in.
“We recognize that some people may not be satisfied with this decision, but we believe it is the right one for Goshen College,” Goshen’s chairman of the board of directors, Rick Stiffney, says in a written statement. A press release from the school adds that the college’s Christ-centered core value of compassionate peacemaking conflicts with the violence depicted in the anthem, and that therefore it is in the best interest to retire the song from sporting events.
The lyrics of the historic tune were nixed last year in favor of an instrumental version, but now Goshen officials have decided to ban the tune entirely.
NATO says that with the Gaddafi regime ousted, it is close to success in Libya. Nevertheless, the alliance promised to remain in the region in order to secure its UN mandate.
During a briefing in Naples on Tuesday, NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu told the media:”The NATO mission is important, it’s effective and it’s still necessary in order to protect civilians. As long as threats remain, there’s still a job to be done and we will get that job done.”
NATO is far from done with the operation in Libya despite the fall of Gaddafi’s regime, said operation spokesman Col. Roland Lavoie. The alliance plans to continue supporting rebel forces as long as civilians in the country are under threat.
“If you add up all the promises that have been made for spending obligations, including defense expenditures, and you subtract all the taxes that we expect to collect, the difference is $211 trillion. That’s the fiscal gap,” he says. “That’s our true indebtedness.”
Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff says U.S. government debt is not $13.5-trillion (U.S.), which is 60 per cent of current gross domestic product, as global investors and American taxpayers think, but rather 14-fold higher: $200-trillion – 840 per cent of current GDP. “Let’s get real,” Prof. Kotlikoff says. “The U.S. is bankrupt.”
The U.S. military has spent about $1 billion so far and played a far larger role in Libya than it has acknowledged, quietly implementing an emerging “covert intervention” strategy that the Obama administration hopes will let America fight small wars with a barely detectable footprint.
Officially, President Obama handed the lead role of ousting Muammar Gaddafi to the European members of NATO. For this he was criticized by Washington war hawks who suggested that Europeans working with a ragtag team of Libyan rebels was a recipe for stalemate, not victory.
But behind the scenes, the U.S. military played an indispensable role in the Libya campaign, deploying far more forces than the administration chose to advertise. And at NATO headquarters outside Brussels, the U.S. was intimately involved in all decisions about how the Libyan rebels should be supported as they rolled up control of cities and oil refineries and marched toward the capital, Tripoli.
Obama signs wrong year (2008) in the guestbook at Westminster Abbey
He went to Westminster Abbey and signed the guest book recently in the UK. He wrote the date in using 2008 as the year. Have you ever done that? He even asked someone what the date was and I assume they told him May 24th assuming he knew the year.
Here is a video shot during the Obama campaign where he says he has visited 57 states:
Obama Claims He’s Visited 57 States
Obama references the constitution as going back 20 centuries. He is not playing with a full deck:
Obama: Constitution written “20 centuries” ago
“Of the many responsibilities granted to a president by our Constitution, few are more serious or more consequential than selecting a Supreme Court justice. The members of our highest court are granted life tenure, often serving long after the presidents who appointed them. And they are charged with the vital task of applying principles put to paper more than 20 centuries ago to some of the most difficult questions of our time.”
WHISTLEBLOWING WEB SITE Wikileaks has suffered a major setback with a leak of fully unredacted US State Department cables including sources’ details surfacing online, thanks to a blunder by its founder, Julian Assange.
The leak occurred sometime after Assange shared the password of an encrypted ‘insurance’ file stored online with a contact believed to have been trustworthy. This individual then used the password to decrypt the collection of 250,000 US diplomatic cables, which include details that could identify US State Department sources, according to the German newspaper Der Spiegel.
In handing Libya to Al Qaeda, the line has been forever crossed.
First – let’s not labor under any delusions. Obama, Cameron, and Sarkozy are heads of state in name only. It is the depravity and megalomania amongst the banks, corporations, and the institutions they have contrived, that are responsible for the most egregious betrayal in Western history. For 10 years the West’s leadership have stirred up hatred and fear amongst their populations to justify a lengthy and very costly global war that has sent US, British, Canadian, German, French, and many other troops, around the world, into dangerous adversity, and ultimately to their graves to fight “the forces of terror.”
Now, almost as if savoring the irony, the New York Times, on behalf of the corporate-financier oligarchs that presume dominion over the Western world, fully admit that Al Qaeda terrorists, men who literally killed US troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan are now in Libya and are the benefactors of billions of dollars in Western aid, diplomatic recognition, training, weapons, the lending of intelligence assets, the full unwavering support of the West’s “media,” NATO-member air support, and even graced with Western special forces fighting side-by-side with them on the ground. This timely confession is also in response in part to revelations that the Libyan rebel commander now filling the streets of Tripoli with indescribable horror is a hardcore Al Qaeda leader, reported first in the Telegraph months ago, and again this week on RT and covered in depth by respected geopolitical analyst Dr. Webster Tarpley.
While naive Americans are brimming with pride as the military machine bankrupting them into destitution rolls over another minute nation an ocean away, they seem ignorant or unable to wrap their minds around how egregiously they’ve been betrayed. After 10 years, thousands of dead troops, tens of thousands broken mentally or physically, an economy diverted to war, occupation, and “nation building” overseas while America’s infrastructure rots beneath her, the corporate-financier oligarchs have decided to betray and infinitely humiliate America’s armed forces in the worst manner imaginable – have them provide air cover, intel, and special operational support for blood-thirsty mercenaries that hunted and killed their brothers in arms for the past decade.
TOKYO—The first comprehensive survey of soil contamination from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant showed that 33 locations spread over a wide area have been contaminated with long-lasting radioactive cesium, the government said Tuesday.
The survey of 2,200 locations within a 100-kilometer (62-mile) radius of the crippled plant found that those locations had cesium-137 in excess of 1.48 million becquerels per square meter, the level set by the Soviet Union for forced resettlement after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, Japanese authorities said.
Another 132 locations had a combined amount of cesium-137/134 of more than 555,000 becquerels per square meter, the level at which the Soviet authorities called for voluntary evacuation and imposed a ban on farming.
Japanese authorities said all of the highest levels are within the current evacuation zone, which is about 20 kilometers around the plant, plus some specific towns to the northwest that already have been found to have high levels of contamination.
Japanese authorities said last week they expected the levels of radiation to fall by half in areas around the plant in two years, through natural decay and cleanup efforts. But the latest data point to the possibility that cesium could also be washing away and spreading to other areas, potentially contaminating rivers, lower-lying land and the ocean.
Gunma prefecture, north of Tokyo, reported Monday that a fish containing more than the legally allowed amount of cesium was caught in a river in the prefecture, the first such case outside Fukushima prefecture, where the plant is located.
Just hours before Anders Behring Breivik launched his deadly attack at a political summer camp on Utoya island on July 22, police had conducted a drill for a “practically identical scenario”, Norwegian newspaper Aftenposten reports.
Sources within the top level management of the police in Oslo have confirmed to Aftenposten that the drill finished at 15:00 that same Friday. The bomb attributed to Breivik went off only 26 minutes after the anti-terror drill finished, according to officials.
According to Aftenposten all of the officers from the anti-terror unit who took part in the action and arrest of Breivik had a full week training on a mobile terrorist attack scenario in which one or more perpetrators only goal is to shoot as many people as possible and then shoot the police when they arrive.
Tokyo, Aug. 30 (Jiji Press)–Tokyo Electric Power Co. <9501> said Tuesday that a man in his 40s who had worked to help contain the radiation crisis at the firm’s crippled Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant has died of acute leukemia.
The total radiation doses the worker received at the plant stood at 0.5 millisievert, TEPCO officials said, adding that the worker’s death has nothing to do with his work at the nuclear plant in northeastern Japan, which suffered serious damage from the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
The man worked at the Fukushima plant for seven days from early August. His jobs included radiation exposure management, the officials said.
He became ill and was hospitalized after finishing the seven-day work. TEPCO received a report of his death on Aug. 16, the officials said.
A medical checkup prior to his work at the plant showed no problems in his health. He suffered no internal radiation exposure, the officials said.
A former TSA agent has admitted helping a man accused of running a drug ring repeatedly evade security and smuggle money through the Buffalo Niagara Airport.
Minetta Walker, 43, confessed that she helped the man get around airport security scanners and had warned two of his associates that agents were tailing them.
The behavioural detection officer for the Transportation Safety Administration was caught directing travellers she appeared to know away from security checks.
She would steer them away from security lines where body image scanners or pat-downs might detect large sums of cash and escort them to their gates to they would not be pulled aside for random inspections, it was claimed.
Michele Bachmann’s press secretary said the candidate was obviously speaking in jest when she attributed the recent earthquake and storm afflicting the East to an angry God. Well, as long as she was only joking about events that killed at least 35 people. …
Here’s the quote: “Washington, D.C.—you’d think by now they’d get the message. An earthquake. A hurricane. Are you listening? The American people have done everything they possibly can. Now it’s time for an act of God and we’re getting it.”
Not amused? CNN is. Listen to the anchors’ jokey banter after they play the clip—and try not to be so serious, blogosphere. It’s funny to joke about storms that kill people. Don’t be a buzzkill.
Haaretz published an astonishing article today in which an unnamed Israeli defense official revealed that Israeli leaders have been making a concerted effort to build up a “credible military threat to back up economic sanctions already in place” against Iran for their nuclear program.
By Catherine Austin Fitts (in the first person) and Carolyn Betts
The Administration is now proposing the transfer of significant defaulted mortgages and foreclosed properties held by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”) to large national institutional investors.
Such a transfer is not economic — other than for the large investors and to serve a wider agenda of social control and engineering, including gentrification of numerous areas whose former residents were fraudulently induced and evicted with the use of these mortgages.
I served as FHA Commissioner (See: Austin Fitts Better be Good With Hammer and Nails) during the first Bush Administration and then, several years later, my company, Hamilton Securities Group, served as the lead financial advisor to FHA, providing portfolio strategy advice with respect to $400 billion of financial liabilities and assets, including over 50,000 of foreclosed properties held by the government as the result of mortgage insurance claims for defaulted FHA-insured mortgages.
Catholics asked to mobilize against bill that would allow children as young as 12 to get STD vaccinations without parental consent
A bill once thought dead that would allow minors to bypass their parents and consent to vaccinations and other means to prevent them from being infected by a sexually-transmitted disease has come back to life in the California legislature. The measure is strongly opposed by the state’s Catholic bishops.
AB 499, sponsored by Assemblywoman Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, is likely to come up for a vote sometime this week in the state Senate, where it is widely expected to pass. (The state Assembly approved AB 499 on May 12.) It would permit children 12 years old and up to consent to Gardasil vaccinations and other methods to prevent sexually-transmitted diseases without telling their parents.
How much should you pay for a futuristic lightning weapon that promises to explode roadside bombs before they harm U.S. troops? Like anything, it probably depends on who you buy it from, and the Pentagon has now spent over $50 million on one being developed by Tucson-based Applied Energetics.
The company was awarded tens of millions in military contracts for its lightning weapon, all without full and open competition, and despite numerous problems in testing. In August, the Marine Corps, which was on the verge of awarding the company yet another sole-source contract for the lightning weapon, cancelled the latest $3 million deal after the commander of a unit in Afghanistan slated to receive it decided it didn’t meet their needs.
In the meantime, a competitor, called Xtreme Alternative Defense Systems, an Indiana-based firm with its own lightning-based counter-bomb technology, says it’s had good results with only a small fraction of the federal funding that Applied Energetics has received — $1.5 million. The company is preparing to test its technology at a military range. “We did our own development based on state grants” and federal funds, says Pete Bitar, the head of the company. “I cashed out my 401(k).”
High levels of cesium isotopes are cropping up in dust at 42 incineration plants in seven prefectures, including Chiba and Iwate, an Environment Ministry survey of the Kanto and Tohoku regions shows.
According to the report, released late Saturday, the highest cesium levels in the dust ranged from 95,300 becquerels in Fukushima Prefecture and 70,800 becquerels in Chiba Prefecture to 30,000 becquerels in Iwate Prefecture.
But even the lower levels in the dust exceeded 8,000 becquerels per kilogram in Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma and Tokyo.
U.S. government researchers deliberately infected Guatemalans with syphilis and gonorrhea, and knew they were committing ethical violations, a U.S. presidential panel has found.
The researchers infected hundreds of Guatemalans with sexually transmitted diseases as part of research in the 1940s to study the effects of penicillin. They did so without telling the Guatemalans that it was being done or that they were participants in a study, BBC reports.