Jun 17

Flashback:

- Argentina’s Economic Collapse (Documentary)

Catherine Austin Fitts at the IRTA 08 Barter Convention:

- Former Assistant Secretary of Housing: The U.S. is the Global Leader in Illegal Money Laundering (Video)


- Greek employees: salary delays up to 12 months & “coupons” instead of “money” (Keep Talking Greece, June 17, 2014):

Do you remember the serfs and servants and villeins and peasants in the good old times of feudalism and the Middle Ages? If you don’t, I have good news for you! The custom of working in return of goods instead of salary revives in Greece of modern European Union and of exquisite Euro area. The results of a survey conducted by the Labor Institute of the Confederation of Labor Union (GSEE) are shocking but not unexpected. KTG has often reported in the four years of blogging about these sweet little working and payment conditions of modern Greek slaves living under the feudal law of austerity, recession and  competitiveness. Continue reading »

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Jun 16

Frontrunning: June 16 (ZeroHedge, June 16, 2014):

  • Iraq Army Tries to Roll Back Sunni Militants’ Advance (BBG)
  • Starbucks to Subsidize Workers’ Online Degrees (WSJ)
  • ‘Bitcoin Jesus’ Calls Rich to Tax-Free Tropical Paradise (BBG)
  • Medtronic Is Biggest Firm Yet to Renounce U.S. Tax Status (BBG), Medtronic to buy Covidien for $42.9 billion, rebase in Ireland (Reuters)
  • Oil Topping $116 Seen Possible as Iraq Conflict Widens (BBG)
  • Putin Seeks Paris Landmark as Hollande’s Russia Ties Defy Obama (BBG)
  • GM Says It Has a Shield From Some Liability (WSJ)
  • BOJ’s Bond Paralysis Seen Spreading Across Markets (BBG)

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Jun 16

In Explosive Scandal, Head Of Polish Central Bank Recorded Promising Assistance To Government If Minister Fired (ZeroHedge, June 15, 2014):

Remember when conventional wisdom said central banks are apolitical and impartial, and anyone who claimed that the world’s money printers (which in the New Normal of failed fiscal policy means the only source of stimulus, and thus infinite political leverage and an existence “above the law”) are in fact the most political and partial entities was, what else, a conspiracy theorist? Well, there goes another conspiracy theory, replaced by conspiracy fact.

Yesterday, Polish magazine Wprost released a recording of a meeting between Interior Minister Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz and central bank Governor Marek Belka which took place in a Warsaw restaurant in July 2013. In the recording, Belka told the minister he would be willing to help the government out of its economic troubles if the finance minister was fired.

Continue reading »

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Jun 16

FYI.



Added: April 13, 2014

Video: Interview With US General Wesley Clark (Ret.): US Government Planned To ‘Take Out 7 Countries In 5 Years’: ‘Starting With Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan And Finishing Off Iran’

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Jun 14

- 12 Numbers About The Global Financial Ponzi Scheme That Should Be Burned Into Your Brain (Economic Collapse, June 11, 2014):

The numbers that you are about to see are likely to shock you.  They prove that the global financial Ponzi scheme is far more extensive than most people would ever dare to imagine.  As you will see below, the total amount of debt in the world is now more than three times greater than global GDP.  In other words, you could take every single good and service produced on the entire planet this year, next year and the year after that and it still would not be enough to pay off all the debt.  But even that number pales in comparison to the exposure that big global banks have to derivatives contracts.  It is hard to put into words how reckless they have been.  At the low end of the estimates, the total exposure that global banks have to derivatives contracts is 710 trillion dollars.  That is an amount of money that is almost unimaginable.  And the reality of the matter is that there is really not all that much actual “money” in circulation today.  In fact, as you will read about below, there is only a little bit more than a trillion dollars of U.S. currency that you can actually hold in your hands in existence.  If we all went out and tried to close our bank accounts and investment portfolios all at once, that would create a major league crisis.  The truth is that our financial system is little more than a giant pyramid scheme that is based on debt and paper promises.  It is literally a miracle that it has survived for so long without collapsing already. Continue reading »

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Jun 14

- GM floodgate to open? EU ministers back deal to let nations decide fate of crops (RT, June 12, 2014):

European Union governments have decided to let member states go their own way when it comes to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), allowing EU nations to either ban the crops or grow them as they see fit. The move ends years of legislative deadlock.

At a meeting in Luxembourg, EU environment ministers from 26 out of 28 member states put their weight behind a 2010 proposal to give national governments an opt out from rules, making the 28-member bloc a single market for GMOs. Only Belgium and Luxembourg voted against it, although the final decision rests with the European Parliament, which is expected to endorse the plan, Bloomberg Businessweek reports. Continue reading »

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Jun 13

- ‘Unprecedented’: 13 aircraft mysteriously disappear from radars in heart of Europe (RT, June 12, 2014):

A total of 13 aircraft suddenly vanished off radars for about 25 minutes on two occasions over Austria and neighboring countries, Austria’s flight safety monitor said, calling for an EU probe into the “unprecedented” incidents.

The flights vanished from air traffic controllers’ screens in Austria on June 5 and June 10 for 25 minutes each time, Marcus Pohanka of Austro Control – Austria’s flight safety organization – said Thursday.

Air traffic control in neighboring regions of Germany and the Czech Republic also reported similar problems. Continue reading »

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Jun 12

- More than 10,000 suicides attributed to Great Recession, study finds (Al Jazeera, June 12, 2014):

The Great Recession is a story of numbers: rising unemployment rates, the widening gap between rich and poor, contracting GDP.  But a new study has added a figure that underscores the human cost of the economic downturn: 10,000 suicides.

Researchers at the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine have suggested that more than 10,000 suicides in Europe and North America can be linked to the severe economic downturn brought on by the 2008 financial crisis. Continue reading »

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Jun 11

NATO

- ‘Public has no idea how NATO spends money’: Dutch auditors call for more transparency (RT, June 11, 2014):

Dutch auditors claim NATO member states – which contribute to the organization’s budget from a combined $1 trillion in defense spending – are largely unaware of how these funds are being spent, as most of the alliance’s expenditures remain classified.

For decades the accounting records of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, which marked its 65th anniversary in April, remained largely ‘blotted out’ as classified, leaving billions of NATO dollars unaccounted for, claim auditors from the Netherlands. Continue reading »

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Jun 11


Added: Jun 8, 2014

Description:

http://usawatchdog.com/negative-inter… – Andy Hoffman of Miles Franklin warns the negative interest rates installed by the ECB last week signals big trouble. This is a major alarm bell for everyone and a major inflection point. Now, the central banks have dared go where even the Bank of Japan has not gone, which is to take rates to a negative level. You can’t go lower than negative. You go too negative, and people realize it doesn’t work, and people realize there is nothing left.”
Continue reading »

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Jun 11

- US commandos get permanent Eastern European foothold (RT, June 11, 2014):

American special operations units permanently deployed in Eastern Europe are no longer just on the Pentagon’s wish list. About 100 instructors are set to train spec ops teams in former Soviet bloc states to ‘message’ Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine.

The latest statements from the US European Command (EUCOM) once again prove that Washington is using the crisis in Ukraine to revitalize the NATO alliance and bolster its military presence in Europe in order to tie it to the US.

EUCOM said in a statement that its Special Operations Command Europe (SOCEUR) “increased the size and scope of its planned exercises” following the bloody developments in Ukraine to send a “message to Moscow.”

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Jun 11

eurozone_matches_euro_on_fire_collapse

- Alasdair Macleod: All You Need To Know About Negative Interest Rates (ZeroHedge, June 10, 2014):

Last Thursday, the European Central Bank (ECB) took the historically unprecedented step of lowering certain of its interest rates below 0%. In a report to our premium subscribers immediately following the announcement, Chris likened the move to the policy equivalent of dropping a neutron bomb.

In the days following, despite the ECB attempting to clarify its stance further, many questions still linger; most notably: What exactly will the implications of this negative interest rate (NIRP) policy be?

We’ve asked our European correspondent, Alasdair Macleod, to lay things out in black as white as much as is possible. In this detailed podcast with Chris, he explains exactly what steps the ECB is undertaking, what the most probable ramifications will be, and where the highest degrees of risk now lie:  Continue reading »

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Jun 10

- Tanks, troops, jets: NATO countries launch full-scale war games in Baltic (RT, June 9, 2014):

A major military exercise kicked off in Latvia, with 10 NATO member countries participating. The war games involve 4,700 troops and 800 military vehicles. Russia sees NATO’s military build-up as a sign of aggression.

The Saber Strike ground forces exercise is being conducted for the fourth time this year and coincides with Baltic Host 2014 and Baltops 2014 naval drills.

Troops from the US, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Norway and the UK are taking part.

The two-week exercise is hosted by the three Baltic States, although some parts will be conducted in Germany. Continue reading »

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Jun 10

US Riskier Than Europe For First Time Since 2010; BofA Admits ‘Good News Is Bad News’ (ZeroHedge, June 10, 2014):

For the first time since early 2010, the risk of European investment grade credit is lower than that of the US. As BofA notes, recall that the European sovereign crisis escalated in the first part of 2010, as Greece had to be bailed out for the first time, and concerns spread to other countries in the periphery. However, that European spreads have now recovered – after trading at times more than 60bps weaker than US spreads – reflects more on differential technicals (flows) than fundamentals (reality). Credit spreads are currently driven mainly by technicals; this is not to say that technicals in the US credit market are not strong – they are – only that European technicals are stronger. Furthermore, with now completely divergent central banks, BofAML believes that European technicals are going to remain stronger for longer. As they conclude, “relatively stronger US fundamentals lead to relatively weaker technicals,” – or put another way “good news is bad news” for US credit markets… Continue reading »

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Jun 10

EinsteinInsanityQuote

- Little by little, we went insane (Sovereign Man, June 9, 2014):

“Are we finished ? The answer is no.”

- Mario Draghi, President of the European Central Bank, 5th June 2014, having just cut ECB deposit rates to minus 0.1 percent.

“The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists.”

- Ernest Hemingway.

“The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.”

- Vladimir Lenin.

If it looks like insanity, smells like insanity, tastes like insanity, feels like insanity and struts about barking, “This is insanity”, then perhaps it might just be insanity.

“We were in the jungle. We had too much money. We had too much equipment. And little by little, we went insane.”

Not the words of Mario Draghi – yet. They are the words of film director Francis Ford Coppola in relation to his magnum opus, ‘Apocalypse Now’, a film that so outrageously exploded beyond its budget and beyond any reasonable compass that during its making it started being referred to as ‘Apocalypse Later’. Continue reading »

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Jun 08

- Bulgaria Stands Up to EU over Full Ban on GM Crops (Sustainable Pulse, June 3, 2014):

Bulgaria stands categorically against the cultivation of GMO Maize in Europe.

Bulgaria-gmo

After lengthy debates in the European institutions regarding the cultivation of genetically modified maize (GM Maize) in EU Member States, the case was sent to the EU Court of Justice, which ruled that the prohibition on the use and marketing of genetically modified organisms, such as MON 810 GM Maize, was not supported by EU laws.

Source: agri.eu/bulgaria-stands-categorically-against-the-cultivation-of-gmo-corn-in-europe-news5804.html

Continue reading »

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Jun 08

- Monsanto Slammed for ‘Fraudulent’ EU Patent on Non-GMO Tomatoes (Sustainable Pulse, June 2, 2014):

Representatives of the international coalition No Patents on Seeds! from France, Germany and Spain have filed an opposition against a European patent held by Monsanto on conventionally bred tomatoes (EP1812575). The patent claims tomatoes with a natural resistance to a fungal disease called botrytis. The original tomatoes used for this patent came from the international gene bank in Gatersleben, Germany. It was already known that these plants had the desired resistance and they were simply crossed with other tomato plants. Monsanto then produced a cleverly worded patent in order to create the impression that genetic engineering had been used to produce the tomatoes and to make it look ‘inventive’.

gmo-tomato

Text of the opposition and the patent

Further information on tomato patents

“Because crossing tomatoes is not patentable, Monsanto deliberately rephrased the patent during the period of examination to make it appear as if genetic engineering was involved. However, careful reading of the patent shows that this is simply fraudulent. These tomatoes were not produced by transferring isolated DNA. The European Patent Office should have picked up on this,” says Christoph Then for No Patents on Seeds!. “This patent shows just how easy it is for companies like Monsanto to avoid existing prohibitions in patent law.” Continue reading »

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Jun 07

Exactly what I’ve been looking for.

Many thanks to Wolf Richter.

See also:

- Even The Record Stock-Market Bullishness Is Fake (Testosterone Pit, June 6, 2014)


Selling Your European Stocks Before Everyone Sees This Chart? (Testosterone Pit, June 7, 2014):

Flogging savers until their morale improves, that’s how ECB President Mario Draghi is going to fire up the economy in his bailiwick. Among other things, he announced that the ECB would lower key interest rates from nearly nothing to next to nothing and impose negative deposit rates on the reserves that banks stash at the ECB.

The goals beyond destroying savers? Hammering down the euro, but given the efforts by the Fed, the Bank of Japan, and others to hammer down their own currencies, it’s going to be a slog. And motivating over-indebted companies to borrow even more to invest in worthy projects that don’t exist – because if they existed, banks would have already gone after them, awash in liquidity as they are. Continue reading »

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Jun 06

- NIRP Has Arrived: Europe Officially Enters The “Monetary Twilight Zone” (ZeroHedge, June 5, 2014):

Goodbye ZIRP, hello NIRP. Today’s decision by the ECB to officially lower the deposit facility rate to negative (as in you pay the bank to hold your deposits) is shocking, but not surprising: we previewed just this outcome precisely two years ago in “Europe’s “Monetary Twilight Zone” Neutron Bomb: NIRP

Here is what we wrote in June 2012 about Europe’s unprecedented NIRP monetary experiment.

Just because ZIRP is so 2009 (and will be until the end of central planning as the Fed can not afford to hike rates ever again), the ECB is now contemplating something far more drastic: charging depositors for the privilege of holding money. Enter NIRP, aka Negative Interest Rate Policy.

Continue reading »

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Jun 05

H/t reader J. S.:

“The EU is getting desperate,

I didn’t really think they would do it but they did.”


- Updated: ECB Cuts Interest Rates, Introduces Negative Deposit Rate (Kitco News, June 5, 2014):

Following its monthly monetary-policy meeting Thursday, the European Central Bank cut interest rates on its main refinancing operation at by 10 basis points, bringing it down to 0.15%. As expected the central bank introduced a negative deposit facility rate with a 10 basis point cut, bringing it to minus 0.10%

The ECB also dropped its marginal lending facility rate by 35 basis points to 0.45%. Continue reading »

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Jun 04

- ‘Russian troops in Ukraine? What’s your proof of that?’ Putin’s best answers to French media (RT, June 4, 2014):

Vladimir Putin faced a barrage of tricky questions in France from the media ahead of his meeting with world leaders at the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings. Here are his best replies on key issues: Ukraine, Crimea and relations with the US.

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Jun 04

- France Responds To US BNP Fine, Will Train Hundreds Of Russian Seamen To Operate French-Made Warship (ZeroHedge, May 4, 2014):

France has suddenly found itself battling two populist fronts: on one hand it had to continue its foreign policy track of siding with NATO and the US when it comes to Russian developments; on the other it had to responds to howls of protest from the population bashing the US for having the temerity to punish its flagship bank (recall “France Furious At US $10 Billion BNP “Masterful Slap”, “Racketeering” Fine“). Today, it was revealed that in weighing the two evils, it picked what it thought was the lesser one, and as the WSJ reports “a group of 400 Russian sailors are scheduled to arrive on June 22 in the French Atlantic port of Saint-Nazaire to undergo months of instruction before some of them pilot the first of two Mistral-class carriers back to Russia in the fall, said one of these people.”

 

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Jun 03

obama-nobel-peace-prize

Flashback:

- Putin Laughs Right In Journalist’s Face (Video):


From the video:

“We are on track with our missile defense program.”

Watch the video here:

- European Reassurance Initiative: Obama announces $1bn fund (BBC News, June 3, 2014):

President Barack Obama has announced plans for a $1bn (£600m) fund to increase US military deployments to Europe, during a visit to Poland.

Mr Obama, who will meet Nato leaders amid concerns over the Ukraine crisis, said the security of America’s European allies was “sacrosanct”. Continue reading »

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May 31

The Euro currency sign is seen in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt

- Here Comes QE In Financial Drag: Draghi’s New ABCP Monetization Ploy (David Stockman’s Contra Corner, May 30, 2014):

You can smell this one coming a mile away:

The European Central Bank and Bank of England on Friday outlined options to reinvigorate the market for bundled bank loans, which was “tarnished” by the global financial crisis, saying a better-functioning market for asset-backed securities can help boost lending to the private sector, particularly small businesses.

Yes, the ECB is now energetically trying to revive the a market for asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) – the very kind of “toxic-waste” that allegedly nearly took down the financial system during the panic of September 2008. The ECB would have you believe that getting more “liquidity” into the bank loan market for such things as credit card advances, auto paper and small business loans will somehow cause Europe’s debt-besotted businesses and consumers to start borrowing again  thereby reversing the mild (and constructive) trend toward debt reduction that has caused euro area bank loans to decline by about 3% over the past year.

What they are really up to, however, is money-printing and snookering the German sound money camp. That is, the ECB is getting set to launch QE in financial drag by purchasing or discounting ABCP while loudly proclaiming that it’s not “monetizing” any stinking sovereign debt! Continue reading »

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May 31


Added: May 31, 2014

Description:

In this video Luke Rudkowski, Dan Dicks and Line Sejr go to the Copenhagen Airport to give a friendly greeting to the international 2014 Bilderberg Attendees. As you can see for some strange reason the bilderberg group was very timid and scared of people trying to talk to them for some reason. They sicked their naive marshmallow head security guards on Luke and Dan. After getting temporarily distracted by the security guards the bilderberg organizers moved to a remote non public location far away from anyone because they are afraid of their shadows.

1st Bilderberger confronted was Jason Kenney. He is the Canadian Minister of Employment and Social Development

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May 30


Added: May 28, 2014

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May 30

500% Rise in Spain’s Long-Term Unemployment (ZeroHedge, May 30, 2014):

With yields at record lows and stocks soaring, is it any wonder that the politicians of Europe’s periphery are proclaiming victory over the crisis (and yet oddly imploring Draghi to do moar?). Perhaps, just perhaps, they are keeping one eye on the ‘real’ economic progress that is being made (or un-made) in their nations… such as Spain, where there are now 1.26 million people who have been jobless since 2010 and the long-term unemployment rate has risen by more than 500% since 2007.

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May 29

H/t reader squodgy:

“Unbelievable.”



Added: May 29, 2014

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May 28

- Biotech Companies Set to Be Given Legal Right in Decisions to Ban GM Crops in EU (Sustainable Pulse, May 27, 2014):

A new GM law being discussed in Brussels this week could grant biotech companies, like Monsanto and Syngenta, unprecedented power over decisions on whether to ban genetically modified (GM) crops in Europe, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.

stop-GMO-crops

The new law is being promoted as a way to give governments more sovereignty over decisions on whether to ban GM crops. However, the current proposals give biotech companies the legal right to decide whether a ban should be allowed. If companies refuse, governments are forced to fall back on vague, non-scientific legal grounds upon which to ban GM crops, opening the door to legal challenges [1].

Adrian Bebb, food campaign coordinator for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “It is an affront to democracy that companies like Monsanto will be given legal status in any decision to ban their products. Governments must be able to ban unwanted and risky GM crops without needing the permission of the companies who profit from them.”

“For more than 15 years national governments have fought against new GM crops and strongly defended their rights to ban them. This proposal is a poisoned chalice that fails to give member states the solid legal grounds to ban genetically modified crops.” Continue reading »

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May 27

- NATO Scrambles F-16 Jets Over Lithuania After Russian Warplanes Allegedly Enter Airspace (ZeroHedge, May 27, 2014):

The Ukraine conflict continues to simmer, with the conclusive presidential election perceived as a positive even as the fighting in the eastern part of the nation intensifies, but it is NATO member Lithuania where today’s action was, where according to the Lithuanian Defense Ministry, NATO sent two fighter jets from Estonia after Lithuania said Russian vessel disturbed civilian shipping in Baltic Sea, and two Russian warplanes flew over Lithuanian airspace.

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