Jul 31

Economics 101: Wal-Mart Hikes Minimum Wages, Prepares To Fire 1000 (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2015):

Please remember, these people are our neighbors and friends. You have a skill that will be very much in need when this goes down. You are experts in the job market and you know what it takes to get hired. This is a time for us to step up and do what we can to help.”

The quote above is from an internal memo sent to employees of Northwest Arkansas recruiting firm Cameron Smith & Associates and references an expected wave of layoffs at WalMart’s home office in Bentonville.

The memo was obtained by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, who spoke with Cameron Smith himself via e-mail. Continue reading »

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Jul 31

Putin-Gold


“Western Central Banks Have Set Us Up; You’ll Hear The Printing Presses From Mars” (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2015):

As Marc Faber said at SocGen’s January conference, if he could short central banks directly he would do so, but gold is the next best thing; and despite it being sucked into the general commodity malaise, Albert Edwards says “Gold is a must-have holding in this world.”

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Jul 31

Italy

Italy Youth Unemployment Hits Record High 44.2%, Concerns Rising “Recession Exit May Be Unsustainable” (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2015):

While the overall unemployment rate for the Eurozone also unchanged at 11.1%, it was renewed concern about what is going on in Italy, where unemployment rose from 12.5% to 12.7%, while Italy’s youth unemployment rate, which surprisingly jumped by nearly 2% to 44.2%, a record level.  As Bloomberg put it, “Italy’s jobless rate unexpectedly rose in June as businesses continue to dismiss workers amid concerns that the country’s exit from recession may not be sustainable.”

 

 

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Jul 31

deutsche_ceos-2


 

Deutsche Bank “Loses” LIBOR Chat Records; Will Try Hard To Find Them (ZeroHedge, July 31, 2015):

Back in April, Deutsche Bank agreed to pay $2.5 billion (or around $25,475 per employee) to the DoJ, the CFTC, the NY Department for Financial Services, and the UK’s FCA in connection with the bank’s role in the global conspiracy to rig LIBOR (and EURIBOR, and TIBOR, but who’s counting). The fine marked the largest LIBOR-related settlement thus far but as usual, regulators stopped short of insisting that the actual human beings responsible for the manipulation of a benchmark upon which trillions in financial assets are based be put behind bars. In other words, no people were held accountable.

That said, we got a faint glimmer of hope on the accountability front when, late last month, FT reported that the German financial watchdog BaFin was looking into whether (former) co-CEO Anshu Jain lied to the Bundesbank about when he first learned that his traders and submitters might have been involved in fixing the LIBOR fixes.  Continue reading »

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Jul 31

H/t reader M.G.:

“This is a bald faced lie. According to the UK Guardian, and the Telegraph, this mendacious piece of crap supported and promoted Obama’s debacle of a secret trade agreement as secretary of state. They had the proof, this is an incredible lie.

I would not vote for her as ditch digger….She is just another tired old retread, and I would hope Americans are sick of them from both parties…Same old clowns jump in the race every damn election season……..just like bad pennies.”


Hillary Rodham Clinton Satanic HandsignHillary-Clinton-CFR

Courting Unions, Hillary Clinton Says She Didn’t Work on Trans-Pacific Partnership (Bloomberg, July 30, 2015):

Hillary Clinton appeared to take another step away from the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Thursday, telling reporters that she didn’t work on the controversial trade deal while serving as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.

The Democratic presidential front-runner, who advocated for a multi-lateral Asia trade agreement as a member of Obama’s administration but has pointedly refused to endorse the results as a candidate to succeed her old boss, walked a careful semantic line following a private meeting with the AFL-CIO executive council. Many of the group’s members vehemently oppose the proposed trade deal.

“I did not work on TPP,” Clinton said. “That was the responsibility of the United States Trade Representative.” She added: “I never had any direct responsibility for the negotiations at all.” Continue reading »

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Jul 31

H/t reader squodgy:

“Seems mainstream media is being treated for what it is, lying, misleading false flag propagandists, and we’re not alone in dismissing them.”

And we’ve been here before.

What they are doing, by selling billions of dollars of paper gold in a second, is only done to keep the price of gold and silver artificially low.

Gold, Precious Metals Flash Crash Following $2.7 Billion Notional Dump

Silver Slammed As ‘Someone’ Dumps $1.4 Billion In ‘Paper’ Gold Futures

Because Nothing Says “Best Execution” Like Dumping $1.5 BILLION In Gold Futures At 0030ET

Gold Plunges Back Below $1300 As ‘Someone’ Dumps $2.3 BILLION In Futures

Gold Slumps Most In 2014 As “Someone” Dumps $1.37 Billion In Futures At US Open

This is the new form of ‘gold confiscation’ by TPTB, trying to keep the people away from buying one of the save havens before the collapse happens and making it cheap for themselves.

Governments Worldwide Are Implementing Orwellian Gold Confiscation Today. You Just Haven’t Realized it Yet.

Meanwhile China and Russia are buying.


Perth Mint Gold Bar (1 kilo)

Perth Mint Gold Bar (1 kilo)

Demand for Gold Bullion Surges – Perth Mint, and U.S. Mint Cannot Meet Demand (GoldCore, July 31, 2015):

– Perth Mint sees surge in demand and cannot keep up with demand
– “Our biggest restriction is the amount of unrefined gold we’re getting in from producers”
– Very high demand for Perth Mint coins, bars coming from Asia, U.S. and Europe
– U.S. Mint sees highest sales of gold coins in over 2 years
– U.S. Mint restrictions on silver coins due to very high demand
– Gold sentiment has moved from despondency to depression (see chart)
– Current negative sentiment despite strong demand is good contrarian indicator

Depressed prices have led to the usual market response, a surge in physical demand for coins and bars globally.

This is confirmed in conversations we have had with our refiner and mint partners in recent days. There are growing shortages of supply of small coins and bars. This is resulting in delays in receiving bullion and indeed to rising premiums.

Asian gold demand picked up this week keeping premiums robust and slightly higher in the world’s top gold buying regions.
Continue reading »

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Jul 30

South-America-Public-Domain-460x460

The South American Financial Crisis Of 2015 (Economic Collapse, July 29, 2015):

Most nations in South America are either already experiencing an economic recession or are right on the verge of one.  In general, South American economies are very heavily dependent on exports, and right now they are being absolutely shredded by the twin blades of a commodity price collapse and a skyrocketing U.S. dollar.  During the boom times in South America, governments and businesses loaded up on tremendous amounts of debt.  Since much of that debt was denominated in U.S. dollars, South American borrowers are now finding that it takes much more of their own local currencies to service and pay back those debts.  At the same time, there is much less demand for commodities being produced by South American nations in the international marketplace.  As a result, South America is heading into a full-blown financial crisis which will cause years of pain for the entire continent. Continue reading »

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Jul 30

Hussman-Chart1

An Expert That Correctly Called The Last Two Stock Market Crashes Is Now Predicting Another One (Economic Collapse, July 28, 2015):

What I am about to share with you is quite stunning.  A well-respected financial expert that correctly predicted the last two stock market crashes is now warning that we are right on the verge of the next one.  John Hussman is a former professor of economics and international finance at the University of Michigan, and the information in his latest weekly market comment is staggering.  Since 1970, there have only been a handful of times when a combination of market signals that Hussman uses have indicated that a major market peak has been reached.  In 1972, 2000 and 2007 each of those peaks was followed by a dramatic stock market crash.  Now, for the first time since the last financial crisis, all four of those signals appeared once again during the week of July 17th.  If Hussman’s analysis is correct, this could very well mean that the next great stock market crash in the United States is imminent.

It was an excellent article by Jim Quinn of the Burning Platform that first alerted me to Hussman’s latest warning.  If you don’t follow Quinn’s work already, you should, because it is excellent.

When someone is repeatedly correct about the financial markets, we should all start paying attention.  Back in late 2007, Hussman warned us about what was coming in 2008, but most people did not listen.

Now he is sounding the alarm again.  According to Hussman, when there is a confluence of four key market indicators, that tells us that the market has peaked and is in danger of crashing.  The following comes from Newsmax

He cited the metric among the indicators that foreshadowed declines after peaks in 1972, 2000 and 2007:

*Less than 27 percent of investment advisers polled by Investors Intelligence who say they are bearish.

*Valuations measured by the Shiller price-to-earnings ratio are greater than 18 times.

*Less than 60 percent of S&P 500 stocks above their 200-day moving averages.

*Record high on a weekly closing basis.

The most recent warning was the week ended July 17, 2015,” Hussman said. “It’s often said that they don’t ring a bell at the top, and that’s true in many cycles. But it’s interesting that the same ‘ding’ has been heard at the most extreme peaks among them.”

It is quite rare for the market to set a new record high on a weekly closing basis and have more than 40 percent of stocks below their 200-day moving averages at the same time.  That is why a confluence of all these factors is fairly uncommon.  Hussman elaborated on this in his recent report

The remaining signals (record high on a weekly closing basis, fewer than 27% bears, Shiller P/E greater than 18, fewer than 60% of S&P 500 stocks above their 200-day average), are shown below. What’s interesting about these warnings is how closely they identified the precise market peak of each cycle. Internal divergences have to be fairly extensive for the S&P 500 to register a fresh overvalued, overbullish new high with more than 40% of its component stocks already falling – it’s evidently a rare indication of a last hurrah. The 1972 warning occurred on November 17, 1972, only 7 weeks and less than 4% from the final high before the market lost half its value. The 2000 warning occurred the week of March 24, 2000, marking the exact weekly high of that bull run. The 2007 instance spanned two consecutive weekly closing highs: October 5 and October 12. The final daily high of the S&P 500 was October 9 – right in between. The most recent warning was the week ended July 17, 2015.

The following is the chart that immediately followed the paragraph in his report that you just read…

Hussman-Chart1

When I first took a look at that chart I could hardly believe it.

It appears that Hussman’s signals are able to indicate major stock market crashes with stunning precision.

And considering the fact that we just hit a new “ding” for the first time since the last financial crisis, what Hussman is saying is more than just a little bit ominous.

According to Hussman this is not just a recent phenomenon either.  Even though advisory sentiment figures were not available back in 1929, he believes that his indicators would have given a signal that a market crash was imminent in August of that year as well

Though advisory sentiment figures aren’t available prior to the mid-1960’s, imputed data suggest that additional instances likely include the two consecutive weeks of August 19, 1929 and August 26, 1929. We can infer unfavorable market internals in that instance because we know that cumulative NYSE breadth was declining for months before the 1929 high. The week of the exact market peak would also be included except that stocks closed down that week after registering a final high on September 3, 1929. Another likely instance, based on imputed sentiment data, is the week of November 10, 1961, which was immediately followed by a market swoon into June 1962.

Of course the past is the past, and what has happened in the past will not necessarily happen in the future.

So is Hussman wrong this time?  With all of the other things that are happening in the financial world right now, I certainly would not bet against him.

Other financial professionals are concerned that a market crash could be imminent as well.  The following comes from a piece authored by Andrew Adams

More than 13% of stocks on the New York Stock Exchange are at 52-week lows, which is about 6 standard deviations above the average over the last three years (1.62%) and an extreme only seen one other time during said period (last October when the S&P 500 was percentage points away from a 10% correction).

This dichotomy has created what I believe to be the biggest question about the stock market right now – have we already experienced a stealth correction in the majority of stocks that will soon come to an end or will the market leaders finally succumb to the weight of the laggards and join in on the sell-off? The answer to this could end up being worth at least $2.2 trillion, which is how much money would essentially be wiped out of the stock market if we finally get the much-discussed 10% correction in the overall market (the total U.S. stock market capitalization was $22.5 trillion as of June 30, according to the Center for Research in Security Prices).

Sometimes, a picture is worth more than a thousand words.  I could share many more quotes from the “experts” about why they are concerned about a potential stock market collapse, but instead I want to share with you a “bonus chart” that Zero Hedge posted on Tuesday

Bonus-Chart-Zero-Hedge

Do you understand what that is saying?

In 2007 and 2008, junk bonds started crashing well before stocks did.

Now, we are witnessing a similar divergence.  If a similar pattern holds up this time, stocks have a long, long way to fall.

Like Hussman and so many others, I believe that a stock market crash and a new financial crisis are imminent.

The month of August is usually a slow month in the financial world, so hopefully we can get through it without too much chaos.  But once we roll into the months of September and October we will officially be in “the danger zone”.

Keep an eye on China, keep an eye on Europe, and keep listening for serious trouble at “too big to fail” banks all over the planet.

The next several months are going to be extremely significant, and we all need to be getting ready while we still can.

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Jul 30

“93 million: the number of people who don’t work, and don’t want work.

To put some context around that last number, it is 30% of the entire U.S. population.”


Why Do So Many Working Age Americans Choose Not To Enter The Workforce? (ZeroHedge, July 30, 2015):

Via ConvergEx’s Nick Colas,

Today we look at a unique dataset – Gallup’s annual poll of job satisfaction – to see what it can tell us about secular trends in employment, consumer confidence and spending.  This annual survey of +1,000 people active in the U.S. workforce goes back to the late 1980s, so it is a useful lens with which to consider issues like labor force participation rates that have shifted unexpectedly over the period. Continue reading »

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Jul 30

Fed Reporter Pedro Da Costa Is Leaving The Wall Street Journal After Asking Yellen “Uncomfortable” Questions (ZeroHedge, July 30, 2015):

It was virtually inevitable.

As we reported on June 17, Pedro Da Costa, one of the more determined and controversial Fed reporters, was shocked to learn he was no longer welcome to ask Janet Yellen uncomfortable questions, questions related to the biggest scandal currently gripping the Fed: its leaks of proprietary information to “expert network” Medley Global (recently sold by Pearson to Japan’s Nikkei) and one which has since morphed into a criminal investigation.

As a reminder, this is the Q&A that got Pedro in hot water with Janet Yellen during the March press conference: Continue reading »

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Jul 30

The full supermoon, behind the massive statue of Christ the Redeemer above Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on May 6, 2012

Brazil’s Economy Slides Into Depression, And Now Olympians Will Be Swimming In Feces (ZeroHedge, July 30, 2015):

Athletes in next year’s Summer Olympics here will be swimming and boating in waters so contaminated with human feces that they risk becoming violently ill and unable to compete in the games. An AP analysis of water quality revealed dangerously high levels of viruses and bacteria from human sewage in Olympic and Paralympic venues — results that alarmed international experts and dismayed competitors training in Rio, some of whom have already fallen ill with fevers, vomiting and diarrhea.

 

Jul 30

Why Wall Street Loves Hillary

How UBS Sent Millions to the Clintons After Hillary Saved the Mega Bank While Secretary of State (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 30, 2015):

A few weeks after Hillary Clinton was sworn in as secretary of state in early 2009, she was summoned to Geneva by her Swiss counterpart to discuss an urgent matter. The Internal Revenue Service was suing UBS AG to get the identities of Americans with secret accounts.

If the case proceeded, Switzerland’s largest bank would face an impossible choice: Violate Swiss secrecy laws by handing over the names, or refuse and face criminal charges in U.S. federal court.

Within months, Mrs. Clinton announced a tentative legal settlement—an unusual intervention by the top U.S. diplomat. UBS ultimately turned over information on 4,450 accounts, a fraction of the 52,000 sought by the IRS, an outcome that drew criticism from some lawmakers who wanted a more extensive crackdown.

From that point on, UBS’s engagement with the Clinton family’s charitable organization increased. Total donations by UBS to the Clinton Foundation grew from less than $60,000 through 2008 to a cumulative total of about $600,000 by the end of 2014, according the foundation and the bank.

The bank also joined the Clinton Foundation to launch entrepreneurship and inner-city loan programs, through which it lent $32 million. And it paid former president Bill Clinton $1.5 million to participate in a series of question-and-answer sessions with UBS Wealth Management Chief Executive Bob McCann, making UBS his biggest single corporate source of speech income disclosed since he left the White House.

– From today’s Wall Street Journal article: UBS Deal Shows Clinton’s Complicated Ties

The best part about Hillary Clinton’s run for the Presidency, is the endless series of scandals and shadiness that inevitably comes along with being part of an entrenched status quo family that prioritizes the accumulation of wealth and power above all else. The reason Barack Obama was able to generate so much genuine “hope” prior to his election is 2008, is because he was a complete unknown. He could say all the right things, and it was easy for people to believe the hype. Continue reading »

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Jul 29

From the article:

“Condescending as the entire article is to gold owners, he even goes so far to quote the Hebrew Bible!”


Gold

4 Mainstream Media Articles Mocking Gold That Should Make You Think (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 29, 2015):

For those of you who have been reading my stuff since all the way back to my Wall Street years at Sanford Bernstein, thanks for staying along for the ride. I appreciate your support immensely considering that I essentially no longer write about financial markets at all, and for many of you, that remains your profession and primary area of interest. Continue reading »

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Jul 29

Meanwhile In Venezuela… The Socialist Paradise Has Arrived (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2015):

As we recently warned, the hyperinflationary collapse in Venezuala is reaching its terminal phase. With inflation soaring at least 65%, murder rates the 2nd highest in the world, and chronic food (and toilet paper shortages), the following disturbing clip shows what is rapidly becoming major social unrest in the Maduro’s socialist paradise… and perhaps more importantly, Venezuela shows us what the end game for every fiat money system looks like (and perhaps Janet and her colleagues should remember that).

As we previously concluded, and seemingly confirmed by the above video,

Venezuela’s hyperinflation is reaching its final stages. It is probably already far too late for the government to stop the complete collapse of its currency. The bolivar is in the process of transforming from a medium of exchange to tinder for wood-stoves. Venezuelans who had the presence of mind to convert their savings into gold or foreign currency in good time are likely to survive the conflagration intact. Continue reading »

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Jul 29

Barter

– Total Collapse: Greece Reverts To Barter Economy For First Time Since Nazi Occupation (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2015):

Months ago, when Alexis Tsipras, Yanis Varoufakis, and their Syriza compatriots had just swept to power behind an ambitious anti-austerity platform and bold promises about a brighter future for the beleaguered Greek state, we warned that Greece was one or two vacuous threats away from being “digitally bombed back to barter status.”

Subsequently, the Greek economy began to deteriorate in the face of increasingly fraught negotiations between Athens and creditors, with Brussels blaming the economic slide on Syriza’s unwillingness to implement reforms, while analysts and commentators noted that relentless deposit flight and the weakened state of the Greek banking sector was contributing to a liquidity crisis and severe credit contraction.

As of May, 60 businesses were closed and 613 jobs were lost for each business day that the crisis persisted without a resolution.  Continue reading »

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Jul 29

federal-reserve-quantitaive-easing-printing-money

Banks Squirm as Congress Moves to Cut the 6% Dividend Paid to Them by the Federal Reserve (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 29, 2015):

On December 23 of this year, the Federal Reserve will be 99 years old.  And throughout that 99 years, regardless of boom, bust, recession or Great Depression, the biggest Wall Street banks have been enjoying a 6 percent, risk-free return on the capital they hold at the Fed in the form of dividends.

Have you looked at your checking or money market bank statement lately from JPMorgan Chase or Citibank? How about the statement showing the interest you’re earning on your mortgage escrow account with the big banks? While the country suffers through the lingering effects of the Great Recession caused by the biggest Wall Street banks, the public typically receives less than 1 percent on their deposits at the big banks, while the government has legislated a permanent, risk-free 6 percent guarantee to the Wall Street banks for their capital on deposit at the Fed.  Now that’s an entitlement program that needs to die!

This corporate welfare program gets even better: if the shares of stock were acquired prior to March 28, 1942, the 6 percent risk-free dividend is tax exempt and the bank doesn’t have to pay corporate taxes on it.

– From the excellent 2012 Wall Street on Parade article: Kill This Entitlement Program: The 6% Risk-Free Dividend the Fed Has Been Paying Wall Street Banks For Almost a Century

Did you know that the Federal Reserve pays an annual 6% dividend to its shareholders, i.e., the member banks of the cartel? Must be nice, considering savers who had nothing to do with cratering the world economy, and failed to receive a taxpayer funded bailout, can barely earn 0.5% on their money. It’s also quite bizarre. How many other “public institutions” have private shareholders to whom they pay 6% risk free dividends? Continue reading »

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Jul 29

The Layoffs Return: Energy Giants Chevron, Saipem To Fire Over 10,000 Workers (ZeroHedge, July 29, 2015):

In the beginning of 2015 the biggest threat to the economy as a result of the collapse in oil prices, both in the US and worldwide, was the surge in layoffs among highly-paid energy sector job. This was confirmed in April when we showed the Challenger layoffs data for the energy-heavy state of Texas, and the energy sector in general where the 37,811 job cuts in Q1 were some 3,900% higher than a year earlier.

layoffs by state_3

Then in Q2, after the price of oil staged a substantial rebound of about 50% from the year to date lows in the $40’s, energy-related layoffs trickled to a halt as corporations hoped the worst is behind them, and as a result would merely bide their time before redeploying their workforce toward exploration and production. Continue reading »

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Jul 29

H/t reader squodgy:

“Dead and Buried….ALL of us….this is our last chance.

All three articles …

– Defying Voters’ Wishes, House Passes the DARK Act 

– Here’s The Politicians Who Were Paid to Make GMO Labeling Illegal

– National Geographic is the propaganda arm of Monsanto, the world’s most evil corporation

… in full down below.


Obama-Monsanto

dc-dees
Monsatan rules


gmo-mosaic-web

Defying Voters’ Wishes, House Passes the DARK Act  (ANH USA on  

This dangerous, biotech-industry-friendly GMO labeling legislation is on its way to the Senate, but the fight is far from over. Action Alert!

As we reported last week, Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-KS) introduced a bill that has been championed by the Monsantos of the world, not to mention the Big Food industry. The deceptively titled “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act of 2015” would preempt state efforts to pass mandatory GMO labeling laws with a completely voluntary standard. It would also block communities and states from banning the cultivation of GMO crops.

A voluntary standard? What company that uses GMO ingredients would voluntarily disclose that fact? You may remember the devastating quote from an employee of a Monsanto subsidiary back in ’94: “If you put a label on genetically engineered food, you might as well put a skull and crossbones on it.” In other words, if it’s voluntary, consumers will never see a label containing the information they have overwhelmingly said they want. That’s why pro-labeling advocates have called the bill the “DARK” (“Deny Americans the Right to Know”) Act. Continue reading »

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Jul 29

H/t reader squodgy:

“So the thousands of suicided farmers were conned illegally & the Indian Government stood by.”


How Monsanto Wrote and Broke Laws to Enter India (Sustainable Pulse, July 27, 2015):

Citizens of the United States are being denied the right to know what they are feeding their families. Despite the fact that 90% of American citizens want GMO labelling on their food, big business is doing everything it can to prevent people from accessing their rights. Representative Pompeo’s bill, popularly known as the DARK Act (Denying Americans the Right to Know), has been written almost entirely by the biotech industry lobby. While American citizens are advocating for their rights to knowledge and healthy, affordable food, Monsanto’s legal team is busy on every legislative level trying to prevent this from happening.

How Monsanto Wrote and Broke Laws to Enter India

Source: vandanashiva.com By Dr. Vandana Shiva

Monsanto’s subversion of democratic legal processes is not new. In fact, it is their modus operandi, be it the subversion of LA’s decision to be GMO free by amending the California Seed Law—equating corporations with persons, and making seed libraries and exchange of seed beyond 3 miles illegal— or suing Maui County for passing a law banning GMOs. Continue reading »

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Jul 28

greece

Greek Economy Faces Total Collapse As Doctors Flee, Retail Sales Plunge 70%  (ZeroHedge, July 28, 2015):

Back in May we outlined the cost to the Greek economy of each day without a deal between Athens and creditors.

At the time, a report from the Hellenic Confederation of Commerce and Enterprises showed that 60 businesses closed and 613 jobs were lost for each business day that the crisis persisted without a resolution.

Since then, things have deteriorated further and indeed, with the imposition of capital controls, businesses found that supplier credit was difficult to come by, leading to the very real possibility that Greece would soon face a shortage of imported goods, something many Greeks clearly anticipated in the wake of the referendum call as evidenced by the lines at gas stations and empty shelves at grocery stores.

As a reminder, here’s what WSJ said earlier this monthContinue reading »

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