“Pay day” loans exacerbate housing crisis

CLEVELAND (Reuters) – As hundreds of thousands of American home owners fall behind on their mortgage payments, more people are turning to short-term loans with sky-high interest rates just to get by.While figures are hard to come by, evidence from nonprofit credit and mortgage counselors suggests that the number of people using these so-called “pay day loans” is growing as the U.S. housing crisis deepens, a negative sign for economic recovery.


“We’re hearing from around the country that many folks are buried deep in pay day loan debts as well as struggling with their mortgage payments,” said Uriah King, a policy associate at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL).

A pay day loan is typically for a few hundred dollars, with a term of two weeks, and an interest rate as high as 800 percent. The average borrower ends up paying back $793 for a $325 loan, according to the Center.

The Center also estimates pay day lenders issued more than $28 billion in loans in 2005, the latest available figures.

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Fed May Buy Mortgages Next, Treasury Investors Bet


March 24 (Bloomberg) — Forget lower interest rates. For the Federal Reserve to keep the financial markets from imploding it needs to buy troubled mortgage bonds from banks and securities firms, say the world’s biggest Treasury investors.

Even after cutting rates by 3 percentage points since September, expanding the range of securities it accepts as collateral for loans and giving dealers access to its discount window, the Fed has been unable to promote confidence. The difference between what the government and banks pay for three- month loans almost doubled in the past month to 1.69 percentage points.

The only tool left may be for the Fed to help facilitate a Resolution Trust Corp.-type agency that would buy bonds backed by home loans, said Bill Gross, manager of the world’s biggest bond fund at Pacific Investment Management Co. While purchasing some of the $6 trillion mortgage securities outstanding would take problem debt off the balance sheets of banks and alleviate the cause of the credit crunch, it would put taxpayers at risk.

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US ‘deploys nuclear sub to Persian Gulf’

An American nuclear submarine has crossed the Suez Canal to join the US fleet stationed in the Persian Gulf, Egyptian sources say.Egyptian officials reported that the nuclear submarine crossed the canal along with a destroyer on Friday and Egyptian forces were put on high alert when the navy convoy was passing through the canal.

submarine.jpg USS Montpelier crossing the Suez Canal, Feb. 2003

An American destroyer recently left the Persian Gulf, heading towards the Mediterranean Sea; earlier Thursday, a US Navy rescue ship crossed the canal to enter the Red Sea.

The deployment comes as recent reports allege that US Vice President Dick Cheney is seeking to rally the support of Middle Eastern states for launching an attack on Iran. (A strike against Iran is the beginning of World War III – The Infinite Unknown)

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Consumers’ Right to Sue Weakening

Upcoming Case Could Bar Public From Taking Drug Makers to Court


For more than a century, the regulation of U.S. food and drugs has seen its share of challenges — from the filthy slaughterhouses of Upton Sinclair’s Chicago to the tainted Chinese-made blood thinner that recently killed at least 19 people. The regulatory shortcomings on display in 1937, when ethylene glycol killed 105 antibiotic consumers, were still glaring six decades later, when Vioxx users started having heart attacks.

But throughout the history of the Food and Drug Administration, and its precursor agencies, U.S. consumers could always bring the manufacturer of a faulty product to court. Now, with the FDA woefully underfunded in its key role of assuring the safety and effectiveness of foods and drugs, and with political ideologues in the agency pushing industry prerogatives, the White House and the courts may be on the verge of stripping Americans of the right to sue. This would take away the last option for those seeking protection from –or recourse for — faulty products.

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China – Drought

RSOE Emergency and Disaster Information Service
Budapest, Hungary2008-03-20 15:16:03 – Drought – China

GLIDE CODE: DR-20080320-15931-CHN
Date & Time: 2008-03-20 15:16:03 [UTC]
Area: China, Hebei, Nei Mongol, Heilongjiang, Liaoning, Jilin, Shandong, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region,

!!! WARNING !!!


A number of regions in the north and northeast part of China were still fighting a continuous drought that could affect spring farming. Serious drought began to hit many big cities and prefectures of Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in the north, including Hulun Buir, Baotou, Ordos and Xilingol, early this month because of reduced rainfall since December, the autonomous regional meteorological bureau said Thursday.

Different localities received a maximum of 20 millimeters of rainfall over the past four months, up to 70 percent less than the corresponding period of previous years, according to Li Yunpeng, official with the meteorological center of ecology and agriculture. The drought would continue in the region until the first springrain comes in mid April, said Li. Meteorological authorities called for measures to maintain soilmoisture for the upcoming spring sowing. A severe drought in the neighboring Hebei Province had affected 3 million hectares of cropland and left residents in some areas short of drinking water. It is the 12th consecutive spring drought in the province, which only received seven millimeters of rainfall on average since the winter, about 60 percent less than normal years.

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Water will be source of war unless world acts now, warns minister

The world faces a future of “water wars”, unless action is taken to prevent international water shortages and sanitation issues escalating into conflicts, according to Gareth Thomas, the International Development minister.The minister’s warning came as a coalition of 27 international charities marked World Water Day, by writing to Gordon Brown demanding action to give fresh water to 1.1 billion people with poor supplies. “If we do not act, the reality is that water supplies may become the subject of international conflict in the years ahead,” said Mr Thomas. “We need to invest now to prevent us having to pay that price in the future.”

His department warned that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed countries by 2025. The stark prediction comes after the Prime Minister said in his national security strategy that pressure on water was one of the factors that could help countries “tip into instability, state failure or conflict”.


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Russia’s NATO envoy: US military “arming ex-terrorists” in Kosovo

Moscow/Brussels (dpa) – Russia’s firebrand envoy to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said Thursday that US military aid to Kosovo amounted to arming “former terrorists.”Responding to news of US President George W Bush approval of military aid to Kosovo, Russia’s ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin warned that such a move could lead to “new terrorist clashes in the Balkans.”

“To give former terrorists weapons for the war against terrorism appears at least amusing if not worse,” the Interfax news agency quoted Rogozin as saying from Brussels.

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Blackwater ‘Blood Money’ Angers Iraqis

At least two Iraqi families of victims killed by Blackwater security guards in September tell ABC News they have refused compensation offered by the company.

blackwater_ali_excl_080207_ms.jpgThe father of a 9-year-old boy, who says his son was one of the 17 civilians killed when Blackwater guards, escorting a diplomatic convoy, opened fire at Baghdad’s Nisour Square on Sept. 16, says he is trying to file a lawsuit against the company. He told ABCNews.com that Blackwater offered him $20,000 through an Iraqi prosecutor, but he refused the money.

Another Iraqi who lost both his wife and son in the incident says he too has refused the company’s offer of compensation of $20,000 for each victim.

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RFID tech turned into spy chips for clandestine surveillance


An employee looking to steal confidential information from his employer sneaks into what should be a secure back room after hours. He pulls charts and files from a top-level financial meeting and slides them into his briefcase before heading back out.What the insider doesn’t know is that his shoes picked up hundreds of tiny radio frequency identification (RFID) chips that had been scattered across the floor. As he passes by an RFID reader near the front door of his office building, security will be alerted that he had accessed a secure area. The evidence is all over the soles of his shoes.

Sound a little like a scene from a James Bond movie? It’s not.

Nox Defense, an arm of SimplyRFID Inc., said it has created an invisible perimeter-defense system designed to track things and people in real time — all without their knowledge. The system that is made up of several technological pieces — RFID chips the size of grains of sand and an RFID and video camera surveillance system.

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Silver Shortage gets Worse, Price Drops Again!

Silver 6 Months

(If you don’t hold it, you don’t own it)

Three more major silver dealers are reported to be out of silver today: The U.S. Mint, Kitco, and Monex. This, on top of the major dealers yesterday, Amark, Perth Mint, CNI Numismatics, and APMEX, all reported sold out. Further, nearly all of Canada is reported to be out of silver, from Vancouver to Toronto.

This is unprecedented, and is a perfect case of market manipulation in the paper market at COMEX and other futures exchanges to see silver prices continue to drop down to below $17/oz. today. Paper promises can be created endlessly, but real silver cannot.

This is NOT a case of the dealers getting spooked, and selling out to the refiners just in time, at peak prices. This is a case of the public buying up the stock at coin shops across the world ever since gold hit $1000/oz.. That event finally sparked a little of the public’s buying of silver and gold. Thus, the typical coin shop flow of silver to the refiners just stopped in the last few weeks, and especially the last two days.

This is NOT a case of the public creating a top with ‘everyone’ in silver, because nobody’s in silver yet. In 2006, only $1 billion was spent on investment silver, which is 0.007% of the $13.5 trillion of money in the banks. As I have long reported, the silver market is so small, there is no room for new investor demand, not even 0.1% of money could be spent on silver, because that would be $13 billion, which would push silver prices to $200/oz., and we are seeing only the tiniest beginnings of that.

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Silver Shortage: 19 dealers reported “Sold Out”

Silver Stock Report

You know me, I don’t send out two emails in one day, so this must be important. Since my email earlier tonight, where I reported that 5-6 major silver dealers (Amark, Tulving, 2 in Vancouver, my local dealer, NWT Mint) are “out of inventory”, 13 more reports came in, saying that the dealers were out of silver inventory. Some of these names are big names in the business, Scotia bank, the Perth Mint in Australia, CNI Numismatics in LA, APMEX says they have some items, but are looking to buy.

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Jobless Claims Jump by 22,000

WASHINGTON (AP) – The number of newly laid off workers filing for unemployment benefits rose last week to the highest level in nearly two months, providing more evidence that the weak economy is drying up jobs.The Labor Department said Thursday that applications for jobless benefits totaled 378,000 last week. That was an increase of 22,000 from the previous week and was a far bigger jump than had been expected.

The four-week average for new claims rose to 365,250, which was the highest level since a flood of claims caused by the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes.

The current economic slowdown, which many economists believe has already turned into a full-blown recession, is starting to show up in the labor market in terms of higher layoffs and weaker hiring numbers.


A worker prepares the walls for a new home at the Huntington Homes modular home factory in East Montpelier, Vt., Tuesday, March 11, 2008. The troubles in housing with falling sales and prices in many parts of the country have acted as a drag on the overall economy, contributing to a serious slowdown that many analysts are worried could push the country into a recession. (AP Photo/Toby Talbot)

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“We’re in a crash,” …

Stock Veterans Granville, Stovall Predict More Losses

March 17 (Bloomberg) — Joseph Granville and Robert Stovall, octogenarians who’ve seen every financial market downturn since the 1950s, say the current one may be the worst and is far from over.

Granville, born in 1923, remembers his banker father’s bad moods following the stock-market crash of 1929. The younger Granville began his career at defunct brokerage E.F. Hutton in 1957, quit in 1963 to begin publishing a weekly newsletter and wrote nine books on investing.

“We’re in a crash,” Granville, 84, said in a telephone interview from Kansas City, Missouri, where he lives and works. “This is the worst I’ve seen, and I’ve studied every bit of history all my life.”

U.S. stocks plunged to the lowest since July 2006 today after JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s purchase of Bear Stearns Cos. for less than a 10th of its market value sent financial shares falling around the world. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index neared a so-called bear market drop of 20 percent from its Oct. 9 record.

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Fluoride, Aspartame And Agenda 21 (Video)

“Fluoride causes more human cancer, and causes it faster, than any other chemical.”
– Dean Burk, Chief Chemist Emeritus, US National Cancer Institute


More on Aspartame: HERE

More on Agenda 21: HERE

More info on fluoride:

Dr. Dean Burk Former Head Of National Cancer Institute Research: ‘Fluoridated Water Amounts To Public Murder On A Grand Scale’ (Video)

‘The Great Culling: Our Water’ (Documentary – Trailers)

Non Organic Foods That Contain Upwards Of 180 Times The Fluoride Level Of Tap Water

Guinness Made In Dublin Brings You FLUORIDE!

Dr. Paul Connett: The Case Against Water Fluoridation – The Truth About Fluoride (Video)

Fluoridegate (Documentary)

25 Studies Prove That Fluoride Reduces Your IQ

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