Japan Earthquake: Tens Of Thousands Missing As Full Devastation Emerges

Tens of thousands were unaccounted for and whole towns wiped off the map as the full horror of Japan’s “super-earthquake” began to emerge on Saturday.

A soldier carries an elderly woman to an evacuation shelter in Kesennuma Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Fears were compounded by a massive explosion on Saturday morning at a nuclear reactor, 160 miles north-east of Tokyo. Seawater was being pumped into the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in an attempt to cool the radioactive core, while 90,000 people were evacuated from within a 12-mile radius.

Local authorities reported that almost 10,000 people – out of a population of 17,000 – were missing from the fishing port of Minamisanriku, which was engulfed by huge waves that swept inland for six miles. The earthquake was so powerful that Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said the Earth’s axis shifted 9.8in [25cm]. The US Geological Survey said the main island of Japan had moved 7.8ft [2.4m].

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Japan: Winds Will Blow Radiation To Pacific

FAVOURABLE winds will blow pollution from a Japanese nuclear plant out over the Pacific Ocean, the French Nuclear Safety Authority said.

“The wind direction for the time being seems to point the (nuclear) pollution towards the Pacific,” Andre-Claude Lacoste said after the blast at the Fukushima No. 1 plant in the north of the country.

The explosion at the ageing plant raised fears of a possible meltdown a day after the facility’s cooling system was damaged in Japan’s massive earthquake on Friday.

“Apparently the situation is serious,” Lacoste said, adding that his team was receiving incomplete information from Japan because of the number of people tied up with managing the crisis.

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Japan: Radiation Levels Surge Outside Two Nuclear Plants After 8.9 Magnitude Earthquake

Video: Here

TOKYO, Japan – Japanese government officials say there was shaking and a trail of white smoke at a nuclear plant in the area devastated by a massive earthquake.

Fukushima Prefecture official Masato Abe says the cause is still under investigation, and it was unclear whether there was an explosion.

Another official said the utility that runs the Fukushima Daiichi plant is reporting Saturday that several workers may have been injured.

One reactor at the plant is facing a possible meltdown after its cooling system was knocked out.

Japan launched a massive military rescue operation Saturday after a giant, quake-fed tsunami killed hundreds of people and turned the northeastern coast into a swampy wasteland.

Prime Minister Naoto Kan said 50,000 troops would join rescue and recovery efforts following Friday’s 8.9-magnitude quake that unleashed one of the greatest disasters Japan has witnessed — a 23-foot tsunami that washed far inland over fields, smashing towns, airports and highways in its way.

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Japan Fears Nuclear Plant Meltdown, Admits Partial Core Exposure Just Before Explosion

Blast reported at nuclear plant amid worries that quake-hit reactor can no longer cool radioactive substances.

Radiation has leaked from a Japanese nuclear reactor and authorities say there is a possibility of a meltdown at a plant about 250km north of the capital, Tokyo.

But the government insisted on Saturday that radiation levels have reduced since pressure built rapidly last night near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, where five reactors were earlier under a state of emergency.

The cooling system of the plant was damaged in the massive earthquake that struck northeastern Japan and triggered a tsunami, killing hundreds of people.

An explosion at the nuclear facility tore down the walls of one building on Saturday, leaving smoke billowing out. But authorities said the explosion did not affect the reactor core container.

However, local media reported that three workers have suffered radiation exposure.

“We are now trying to analyse what is behind the explosion,” Yukio Edano, a government spokesman, said. “We ask everyone to take action to secure safety.

“We’ve confirmed that the reactor container was not damaged. The explosion didn’t occur inside the reactor container. As such there was no large amount of radiation leakage outside, so we’d like everyone to respond calmly.”

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Taiwan: Agency Forecasts 10 Percent Chance of Radioactive Fallout Hitting Taiwan

The chances of radioactive fallout from two Japanese nuclear power plants crippled by Friday’s massive earthquake are not high, the Cabinet-level Atomic Energy Council said yesterday in a statement.

If two plants in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture release large amounts of radiation, the probability of it reaching Taiwan is only 10 percent, the council predicted.

The area most likely to fall victim to radiation from Japan would be Taiwan’s northeastern coast and Monday would be when it would most likely arrive, the council said.

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The Real-Life Italian Job: Thieves Steal 100 kg Of Gold Worth £3 Million From Depot In Rural Tuscany

* Thieves snatch 100kg of gold worth £3million
* Stolen digger used to smash through depot walls
* Roads blocked with stolen vehicles to foil police response

Police are hunting a gang of thieves who carried out an Italian Job style heist by locking down an entire village to steal more than £3million worth of gold.

The spectacular operation is already being dubbed the crime of the century. Detectives believe the job was organised by the mafia and took months to plan.

In hit crime caper The Italian Job Michael Caine led a gang of British villains in a blitz on a bullion van in Turin escaping with millions in gold bars -only to be left dangling on a cliff edge when their bus skids off a mountain road.

The real life Italian job took place in Poggio Bagnoli, a small village in Tuscany, a short drive from the home of rock star Sting and in the Chianti area which is popular with British holidaymakers.

Using heavy machinery stolen from the local council and road closed signs the gang blocked off all access to the rural hamlet where gold depot SALP is located.

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PIMCO Total Return, The World’s Largest Bond Fund, Dumps All US Government Debt Holdings

The greatest financial (and economic) collapse in world history is well on its way.

The bankster bailouts, stimulus package and unprecedented deficit spending have caused the ultimate bubble and it is ready to burst.

This is the Greatest Depression.

See also:

Muni Bond Market ‘To Go Down By At Least 15 To 20%, ‘By The Time All Muni Shoes Drop It Will Look Like Imelda Marcos’ Closet’

PIMCO’s Bill Gross: US Treasuries Are Not Safe And ‘Most Overvalued’ Bonds

PIMCO’s Bill Gross: ‘No Way Out’ of Debt Trap, US Living Standards Doomed to Fall

TrimTabs Finds Social Benefits Are Equal To 35 Percent Of All US Wages And Salaries

Egon von Greyerz of Matterhorn Asset Management: ‘A Hyperinflationary Deluge Is Imminent’, And Why, Therefore, Bernanke’s Motto Is ‘Après Nous Le Déluge’

With $5 Trillion In US And European Funding Needs Over The Next 3 Years, How Long Until The Global Monetization Tsunami Hits (Again)?

Bill Gross’ decisions look certainly like common sense, BUT his ‘perfect timing history’ is pretty odd and he must be trading on insider information.

(Reuters) – The world’s largest bond fund has gone ultra bearish on the United States, dumping all of its U.S. government-related debt holdings.

The move by Bill Gross’s $236.9 billion PIMCO Total Return fund completed last month comes in the wake of a vicious Treasury market sell-off and just days after he questioned who will buy Treasuries once the Federal Reserve halts its latest round of bond purchases in June.

Gross, who also helps oversee a $1.1 trillion investment portfolio as PIMCO’s co-chief investment officer, has repeatedly warned against U.S. deficit spending and its inflationary impact, which undermine the value of government debt and push up yields as investors demand more compensation for risk.

Over the last five months, worries over the ballooning U.S. budget gap estimated at $1.645 trillion for 2011, political stalemate in Washington over how to narrow it and inflationary fears have all contributed to a steep sell-off in Treasuries. The benchmark 10-year note has seen its yield, which moves inversely to price, rise more than one percentage point since early October to 3.46 percent by Wednesday’s close.

Gross expects further carnage. Just last week, he told Reuters Insider that a 4.0 percent yield for 10-year notes is a “rational expectation” if the Fed “disappears as the buyer of last resort.”

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Muni Bond Market ‘To Go Down By At Least 15 To 20%, ‘By The Time All Muni Shoes Drop It Will Look Like Imelda Marcos’ Closet’

DoubleLine’s Jeff Gundlach appeared on CNBC earlier, and among other things, the muni market was discussed. It appears that the fund manager whom many consider to be roughly in the same ballpark as Howard Marks when it comes to fixed income investing is very much in Meredith Whitney’s camp when it comes to his outlook on muni market prospects.

Asked by Faber if he believes that munis are ultimately going the way subprime securities did, Gundlach responds “If by that you mean lower, the answer is yes. If you mean crashing, I am agnostic on that.” And for all those who love taking out their actuarial tables and their historical default data to refute what is simply common sense, Gundlach has a few words as well: “I don’t think you need to know what the default rates are going to be, or need to know how low low is, munis are going to go down.

There are going to be other shoes to drop. There might be so many it looks like Imelda Marcos’ closet when all the shoes drop because all the states have to deal with this stuff.… Between here and the endgame lies the valley and the valley is full of fear. And I think the muni market is going to go down by at least 15 to 20%. At least.”

As for Kaminsky relentless advocacy of munis, this time coming out with the always disingenuous “hold to maturity” defense, Gundlach simply made a mockery of that whole spiel: “You know what the definition of an investor? It is a trader who is underwater. People say they hold to maturity until they get scared and sell. It gets scary when the prices start to drop. The fear factor here is going to be palpable.”

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North Carolina’s Farmer Freedom Act Criminalizes Unconstitutional Food Safety Modernization Act S.510

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been keeping you informed about a bill recently introduced by Representative Glen Bradley to nullify S. 510, the Federal War on Food. S. 510 uses a patchwork of rules and regulations on the food “industry” to throw America’s heartland under the government-subsidized corporatist bus as it crushes local and community producers of healthy food.

Bradley’s bill, H.B. 65, the North Carolina Farmer’s Freedom Protection Act, nullifies S. 510 by making it a Class 1A misdemeanor to enforce S. 510 within the borders of North Carolina. Thanks to your support in contacting your legislators, H.B. 65 has passed its first reading and now has over 20 cosponsors.

Unfortunately, H.B. 65 is now stuck in the Agriculture Committee.

You see, even though the newly elected Republican majorities in the NC House and Senate quickly passed a bill to nullify ObamaCare in North Carolina, they’re afraid of the Farmer’s Freedom Protection Act.


H.B. 2, the Patient Protection Act, says that ObamaCare is null and void in NC, gives North Carolinians standing to sue Washington, DC over it, and instructs NC Attorney General Roy Cooper to join the 26-state lawsuit against ObamaCare in federal court. It does not, however, specify that enforcement of ObamaCare in NC is a crime.

H.B. 65, the Farmer’s Freedom Protection Act, goes a step further. It says that not only is S. 510, the War on Food, null and void in NC, but that any attempt to enforce it is a Class 1A misdemeanor. This interpositional language gives it teeth that H.B. 2 simply doesn’t have. That’s what has the members of the Agriculture Committee are scared.

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Economist David McWilliams: Keep An Eye On Your Savings – You Can Be Sure The State Is


And Now … Ireland: Pension Reserve Funds To Be Spent On The Banksters

European Nations Begin Seizing (Stealing) Private Pensions

And yes, you can bet that …

“They want your f€€€ing retirement money!” – George Carlin (2005)

David Mc Williams is one of Ireland’s leading economic commentators. He was the first economist to see that the Irish boom was nothing more than a credit bubble and one of the very few to accurately predict it would all end in a monumental crash with bank failures, negative equity and rising unemployment and emigration.

In Latin America, just before a bankrupt state entirely runs out of money, it is traditional to try one last smashand- grab for the savings of the private citizen. We have seen this trend not just in South America’s recent financial history but down through the ages, where kings, tyrants and emperors expropriate the wealth of the nation to prop up their dysfunctional regimes.

Could it happen here? Could the savings of the private citizen be expropriated by the State to pay the last of the Croke Park promises? Or worse, could the remaining wealth of the private citizens be used to pay the odious debt of the banks? The answer is yes, and you have to be aware of this because this is often the way things end when a state goes bust.

Hopefully, the new Government will be wise to what was being hatched in the last desperate days of the previous regime. Just before Christmas, the State eyed up savings in our pension funds in one final effort to get its hands on your wealth.

There is a lot of money in Ireland’s private pensions. Currently, there is €48bn in defined benefit private pensions and €23.7bn in defined contribution schemes. This is a lot of bread and could finance a government for a number of years.

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Israel Wants Additional $20 Billion In Military Aid From US Taxpayers

Ehud Barack and Barack Obama in 2008

Israel are expected to ask for an additional $20billion in U.S. military aid in order to help the country deal with potential threats arising from the ongoing uprisings in the Middle East.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal defence minister Ehud Barak was reported as saying his country are considering making the request while the Arab world survey the wreckage of the ‘historic earthquake’.

Barak said Israel was worried that its top foes, Iran and Syria ‘might be the last to feel the heat’ of the revolts and that Egypt’s new leaders might, under public pressure, back away from its 1979 peace treaty with Israel.

‘The issue of qualitative military aid for Israel becomes more essential for us, and I believe also more essential for you,’ the U.S. newspaper quoted Barak as saying.

He continued: ‘A strong, responsible Israel can become a stabiliser in such a turbulent region.’

Without making a ‘daring’ peace offer, however, Israel cannot seek additional aid, Barak was quoted as saying.

Israel already receives $3billion in military aid a year from the U.S., but any increase in aid could hinge on the country’s relationship with enemies Palestine.

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RBS Bankster ‘Bonus’ Party: Top Nine Executives Handed £28 Million In Shares

See also:

Barclays Bankster Boss Bob Diamond Got £6.5 Million Bonus, Jerry del Missier Received £33 Million In Shares

RBS Banksters Get £950 Million In Bonuses Despite £1.1 Billion Loss (!)

Union brands share awards by loss-making bank a ‘disgrace’

RBS chief executive Stephen Hester will enjoy a pay deal worth around £7.7m if he meets his targets. Photograph: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Bailed out Royal Bank of Scotland has handed shares worth £28m to nine of its top executives in the latest round of multimillion pound bonus awards by the high street banks.

The precise scale of the payouts at the loss-making bank, 83% owned by the state through £45bn of taxpayer funds, will become clearer next week when the annual report is published.

But stock exchange announcements showed that the nine key staff – including chief executive Stephen Hester – had been handed bonuses for 2010 of £10m in shares with a further £18m in long-term incentive plans that run until 2014 when their exact value will be known.

Len McCluskey, Unite’s general secretary, branded the payments by the bank – which lost £1.1bn in 2010 – a “disgrace”. The RBS disclosures came just 24 hours after Barclays lifted the lid on the pay deals it makes to its highest earners – handing five of them £110m.

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The Silver Rocket

Additional recommended reading:

The Silver Bullet And The Silver Shield (Must-read!)

Best Article on Silver in Ten Years!:

Bob, of 321gold.com, is part of the problem. He would rather not publish well researched facts, to “save his readers” from buying into what he thinks was a near term top that might see a 10% pullback. He doesn’t want his readers to buy into a top; to protect his readers, or to protect his reputation? OK, I hope I helped to expose him for what he is. Apparently, Bob was trying to protect his readers from the risk of buying silver at $6/oz., too! HA HA!!

Listening to Liars (Bob Moriarty – 321gold)

The Silver Rocket:

(I have already been accused of “showing my ass and shaking my pom poms” for silver by 321Gold.com. I figured I would spend the month of March cheering on silver from the sidelines, since I am not a player ;)

I made the prediction that silver would hit $50 by the end of March. This prediction was based off of a possible CRIMEX default of physical silver in the delivery month of March. By all accounts we are already looking pretty good with a 4% jump on Friday to $35.67. There are rumors that silver is already $50 at the CRIMEX and that JP Morgue is paying 80% premiums not to take delivery in the crucial month of March. There are only 40 million ounces available for delivery and little under $1.5 billion would expose this greatest of frauds.

I believe that we just are in the early stages of a Mania Phase in Silver. So I put a chart together to put this silver market into perspective.

As always, I want to warn all of you “greedy, little bastards” to be very careful of this silver bull. This is a very volatile market and I know of many investors that got wiped out in 2008. There are big market makers that can turn the silver market on a dime. Remember, the market can stay irrational longer than you can remain solvent. If you need further analysis of silver fundamentals, I suggest you read the Silver Bullet and the Silver Shield.

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Wisconsin Passes Stand-Alone Anti-Union Bill

The land of the free looks more and more like a gulag.

WASHINGTON — In a bold gambit to put an end to the weeks-long budget standoff in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) split his controversial budget-repair bill in two on Wednesday, allowing the Senate to pass the most hotly contested provisions while their 14 Democratic colleagues remained out of state.

The parliamentary maneuver, first reported by local press, enabled the Senate to strip nearly all collective bargaining rights from public workers without the quorum required to approve fiscal legislation.

It was also a 180-degree reversal by Walker and state Senate Republicans, who have insisted for the past three weeks that the collective bargaining provision was designed to help alleviate the state’s budget problems. State Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (R) had previously said he would not attempt to pass any portions of the bill without Democrats present.

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Silver Rise Protection Team Strikes Again – JP Morgan In Worse Shape Then We Ever Dared To Hope

Each day this week, silver has been hammered down at approximately 9:00 am EST. Now, we all know that this isn’t atypical…the EE have been doing this for years and we did see copper sell off at roughly the same time. However, several readers have brought to my attention the little nugget below and I think it requires your serious consideration.

(Click on image to enlarge.)

First things first, here’s a 15-minute May silver chart to peruse. Keep in mind that today’s smackdown was in the face of ongoing strength in gold and crude, so, silver acted somewhat independently.

“WB: JPM is in worse shape then we ever dared to hope 20-Nov-10 07:06 am


This is what I am now hearing from traders on the floor. These traders are not even sure if Blythe knows the full extent of JPM’s silver exposure.

When I first started to realize that JPM has shorted far more silver than they could ever hope to cover, my first question was “why would they do that?” Not only that, why do it with a commodity where you must report your positions through the COT and Bank Participation Report? After all,the whole world can see what you are doing. [my added comment: Ted Butler included!]

Now I know the answer. According to Max Keiser and now a couple of other independent sources, it seems the reasons why first Bear Stearns and now JPM are so desperate to manipulate the price of silver down is due to the fact that BS and JPM shorted billions (yes billions not millions) in ounces of silver through their derivatives.

Just like Joe Conason at AIG, silver shorting through derivatives have caused literally billions in losses not the millions that we know about publicly. That is why JPM has been so desperate to manipulate the price of silver downward so blatantly. If I am right about this, then JPM will be dead when silver hits $60 or so. Based upon the COT and BPR, if silver hits $60, JPM will lose around an additional $6 billion dollars, a large number but not nearly large enough to bring down mighty JPM.

But what is not known is that due to the way that its derivatives are written, JPM’s losses are exponentional once silver breaks $36 or so. Rumors has it that JPM could be losing as much as $40 billion once silver is above $50. It has something to do with how the derivatives are written with payment tied to the price of silver.

Since JPM was a price manipulator with respectt to the price of silver, JPM assumed that any derivative payments tied to silver would be less than they would be tied to some other index like the CPI or TIPS implied inflation index. JPM’s inability to hold down the price of silver relative to other measures of inflation will cause unbelievable losses due to a mismatch in their derivative structures.

In essence,JPM has bet (a huge amount)through derivatives that silver will never outperform inflation. And why not,since JPM assumed that it will always be able to manipulate the price of silver. We have now come to understand that JPM’s loss exposure to silver is much greater than we have ever dared to hope.
WB: In an effort to clear up some recent confusion regarding my latest posting, I will try to explain what I have recently uncovered.

JPM’s current short silver position is estimated to be approximately 150 million ounces down from the recent 180 million ounces in August. The losses from these positions are easy to figure out. For every $10 rise in the price of silver, JPM will lose $1.5 billion. But what I have recently discovered is that through its derivative positions, JPM will lose about 5 times that amount ounce the price of silver is above $36. And ounce silver is above $45 dollars, JPM’s losses will increase to 8 times the amount of losses in their short positions. The reason is that as the price of silver increases, certain provisions get activated which multiplies the losses.

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Gasoline Cost to Jump $700 For Average US Household

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. drivers will pay another 10 cents a gallon for gasoline before the latest jump in wholesale costs is fully passed on at the pump, and yearly motor fuel costs will rise 28 percent from last year, the Energy Department said on Wednesday.

The average U.S. household will spend about $700 more for gasoline in 2011 than it spent last year, bringing total motor fuel expenses up 28 percent to $3,235, based on an annual pump price of $3.61 a gallon, the department’s Energy Information Administration said.

Retail gasoline prices soared by 38 cents over the last three weeks to $3.52 per gallon, according to the EIA, because of high crude oil costs due to unrest in the Middle East.

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