One of the world’s most lucrative industries, spending on cancer drugs reached an all-time high last year, as it was valued at more than $100 billion. Spending on cancer drugs increased 6.5 percent annually over the past five years and is expected to continue growing at a rate of 8 percent each year through 2018, according to figures provided by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
That spending is highly concentrated, as the US and five of Europe’s largest countries account for nearly two-thirds of the entire market.
This means that billions and billions of dollars are secured by Americans being diagnosed with cancer. Continue reading »
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).
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 »
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.
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.
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 »
There are plenty of ‘everyday Americans’ out there with perfectly good haircuts, styled by perfectly good hairdressers, in perfectly good Main Street salons… so why is self-proclaimed populist person-of-the-everyday-American Hillary Clinton getting a $600 haircut at Bergdorf Goodman’s Fifth Avenue store in NYC?
With creditors now on the ground in Athens, and with a third prior actions vote in parliament due at the first of August, Greek PM Alexis Tsipras spoke out about the new bailout “deal”, debt re-profiling, the referendum, party politics, and the possibility of early elections in an interview with Sto Kokkino radio station.
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 »
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.
More than 1 000 of the leading researchers in artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics have signed and published an open letter calling for a ban on offensive autonomous weapons, also known colloquially as “killer robots”.
The letter, published July 27, 2015, has also been signed by many technologists and experts, including SpaceX and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, physicist Stephen Hawking, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Skype co-founder Jaan Talinn and linguist and activist Noam Chomsky.
Musk, Hawking and Wozniak have all recently warned about the dangers that AI poses to mankind. Though it has to be said, Wozniak thinks humans will be fine if robots take over the world; we’ll just become their pets. Continue reading »
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.
AMMAN/BEIRUT — Syria’s foreign minister said in Moscow on Monday Russia had promised to send political, economic and military aid to his country, where the army is coming under some of the heaviest pressure since the start of the civil war.
Insurgent groups have made gains against government forces in northwest, central and southern Syria in the past two months but Damascus has voiced confidence that it can hold on to important territory with the help of its allies.
“I got a promise of aid to Syria – politically, economically and militarily,” Walid al-Moualem said at a televised news conference after meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. He did not give details.
The US-led alliance realizes very well that as long as Assad has to fight three fronts: i.e., the Nusra Front in the northwestern province of Idlib and ever closer proximity to Syria’s main infrastructure hub of Latakia, ISIS in the central part of the nation where militants recently took over the historic town of Palmyra, and the official “rebel” force in close proximity to Damascus, Assad’s army will either eventually be obliterated or, more likely, mutiny and overthrow the president, putting the Ukraine scenario in play.
In short, the US and its Middle Eastern allies are simply playing the waiting game; watching for the opportune time to charge in and “liberate” Syria from whatever army manages to take Damascus first, at which point a puppet government will be promptly installed. Continue reading »
Three months ago, just as the last Census Homeownership and residential vacancy report hit, Gallup released its latest survey which confirmed just how dead the American Dream has become for tens if not hundreds of millions of Americans.
According to the poll, the number of Americans who did not currently own a home and say they do not think they will buy a home in “the foreseeable future,” had risen by one third to 41%, vs. “only” 31% two years ago. Non-homeowners’ expectations of buying a house in the next year or five years were unchanged, suggesting little change in the short-term housing market.
As Gallup wryly puts it, “what may have been a longer-term goal for many may now not be a goal at all, and this could have an effect on the longer-term housing market.”
Earlier today, the US Census released its latest homeownership data, which confirmed that for what is left of America’s middle class, owning a home has become virtually impossible, with the homeownership rate plunging from the lowest level since 1986, or 63.7%, to just 63.4% the lowest reading since the first quarter of 1967.Continue reading »
As noted yesterday, during a moment of social network levity in the president’s twitter stream, Obama who is currently in Ethiopia as part of his African tour, urged Americans to eat ice cream. Subsequently, he shifted into a more serious diplomatic mode, and during an address to the African Union, whose “leaders” are not well versed in the finest traditions of democracy (no, not accepting legal bribes from lobbies but term limits), he urged African leaders to share power and recognize the value of changes in government. Obama used his own term-limited tenure as an example on Tuesday, making some interesting comments about 2016.
“Now, let me be honest with you,” Obama said. “I am in my second term. It has been an extraordinary privilege for me to serve as the President of the United States. I cannot imagine a greater honor or a more interesting job. I love my work. But under our Constitution, I cannot run again.”
The crowd cheered appreciatively.
He then added: “I actually think I’m a pretty good president. I think if I ran, I could win. But I can’t. So there’s a lot that I’d like to do to keep America moving, but the law is the law.”
As a general principle, I’ve always tended to avoid entrusting others with my money. I’ve avoided funds, as they are often based upon investments that are peaking or close to peaking. I’ve avoided pension funds, as they’re often structured in a similar manner.
And whenever by law I’ve been required to be invested in such funds, they’ve rarely been successful over the long term. In the end, I would invariably have made more money by pursuing those investments that had great promise but at the time were unpopular (and therefore underpriced).
As dubious as I tend to be of conventional investment schemes (and those who broker them), I am doubly dubious of any government-run scheme. Governments, historically, have proved to be poor money managers, and politicians tend to place more value on big promises that garner votes than on delivering on those promises. Continue reading »
Nursery school staff and registered childminders must report toddlers at risk of becoming terrorists, under counter-terrorism measures proposed by the Government.
The directive is contained in a 39-page consultation document issued by the Home Office in a bid to bolster its Prevent anti-terrorism plan.
The document accompanies the Counter-Terrorism and Security Bill, currently before parliament. It identifies nurseries and early years childcare providers, along with schools and universities, as having a duty “to prevent people being drawn into terrorism”.
Never fear good citizens of Great Britain. While your government actively does everything in its power to protect criminal financial oligarchs and powerful pedophiles, her majesty draws the line at toddler thought crime. We learn from the Independent:
A three-year-old child from London is one of hundreds of young people in the capital who have been tipped as potential future radicals and extremists.
As reported by the Evening Standard, 1,069 people have been put in the government’s anti-extremism ‘Channel’ process, the de-radicalization program at the heart of the Government’s ‘Prevent’ strategy.Continue reading »