Guest Post: Get Ready For The Next Great Stock Market Exodus

In the years 2006 and 2007, the underlying stability of the global economy and the U.S. credit base in particular was experiencing intense scrutiny by alternative economic analysts. A crash was coming, it was coming soon, and most of our society was either too stupid to recognize the problem or too frightened to accept the reality they knew was just over the horizon. Why did 2008 creep up on so many people? Weren’t there plenty of economists out there “preaching to the choir” at that time? Weren’t there plenty of signals? Weren’t there plenty of practical conclusions being made about the future? And yet, the world was left stunned. The truth is, human beings have a nasty habit of ignoring the cold hard facts of the present in the hopes of using apathy as a magical elixir for future prosperity. They want to believe that disaster is a mindset, that it is a boogeyman under their bed that can be defeated through blind optimism. Collapse, from a historical perspective, seems to occur when the searchlights of the individual mind are dimmest, when the threat is the greatest, and when we are most comfortable in our ignorance.


MarketWatch  Cody Willard
Prepare for a crash right now
Commentary: We're at a euphoric high in the market so it's time to start selling.


"Bearmageddon" And Moar Of The Same Policies That Haven't Worked

QE and hopes/beliefs in its perpetual nature continues to be the key market catalyst. Tracking estimates for Q2 GDP continue to drop below 1%. This is setting up a scenario where GDP for the previous 3 quarters will likely average 1%. If we didn't think that job creation is going to sustain its current pace of growth, we would say this market is heading towards the “Bearmageddon Scenario”. QE3 has fallen short on job creation and GDP growth. The only inflation it has managed to create is in the prices of financial assets- and yet the consensus view of Central Bankers and the market expectation is to do more of the same policies that have not worked. This is Central Banker hubris, believing they can fine tune an economy to specific inflation and unemployment levels only serves as a distraction to markets.





Kate Middleton's dazzling postdelivery look

The duchess appears stunningly fresh a day after giving birth, emerging with a sly tribute to Diana.

Kate Middleton Exits Hospital with Royal Baby, Stunning Dress, Impeccable Hair  I don’t think she even had a baby … she never looked pregnant … all that (contrived) drama about morning sickness … someone’s shootin’ blanks in this pre-fabbed swiss cheese of a story!




The U.S. Government Will Borrow Close To 4 Trillion Dollars This Year

When you add maturing debt to the new debt that the federal government is accumulating, the total is quite eye catching.  You see, the truth is that the U.S. government must not only borrow enough money to fund government spending for this year, it must also "roll over" existing debt that has reached maturity.  Of course the government never actually pays any of that debt off.  Instead, it essentially takes out new debts to cover the old ones.  So the U.S. government is actually borrowing far more money each year than most Americans realize.  For fiscal year 2013, the U.S. budget deficit will be about $845 billion, but on top of that the government will also have to borrow about 3 trillion dollars to pay off old debt that is maturing.  Overall, the U.S. government will borrow close to 4 trillion dollars this year, and that number will likely be even higher next year.  That is not going to cause a crisis as long as interest rates stay super low, but if interest rates begin to rise substantially, the game will change dramatically. (Read More....)


40 Stats That Prove The U.S. Economy Has Already Been Collapsing Over The Past Decade

The "coming economic collapse" has already been happening.  You see, the truth is that the economic collapse is not a single event.  It has already started, it is happening right now, and it will accelerate during the years ahead.  The statistics in this article show very clearly that the U.S. economy has fallen dramatically over the past ten years or so.  Unfortunately, there are lots of mockers out there that love to mock the idea of an economic collapse even though one is happening right in front of our eyes.  They love to say stuff like this (and I am paraphrasing): "An economic collapse is never going to happen.  We can consume far more wealth than we produce forever.  We can pile up gigantic mountains of debt forever.  There is no way that the party is over.  In fact, the party is just getting started.  Woo-hoo!"  That sounds absolutely ridiculous, but "economists" and "journalists" actually write things that reflect these kinds of sentiments every single day.  They do not seem alarmed about the fact that our national debt is nearly 17 times larger than it was 30 years ago.  They do not seem alarmed about the fact that the total amount of debt in our country is more than 28 times larger than it was 40 years ago.  They do not seem alarmed about the fact that our economic infrastructure is being absolutely gutted and we are steadily becoming poorer as a nation.  They just think that the magic formula of print, borrow, spend and consume can go on indefinitely.  Unfortunately, the truth is that a massive economic disaster has already started to unfold.  We inherited the greatest economic machine in the history of the world, but we totally wrecked it.  We have been able to live far, far beyond our means for the last couple of decades thanks to the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet, but now that debt bubble is getting ready to burst.  Anyone with half a brain should be able to see what is coming.  Just open your eyes and look at the facts.  The following are 40 stats that prove the U.S. economy has already been collapsing over the past decade... (Read More....)


The “McDonald’s Budget”: Laughably Unrealistic But Also Deeply Tragic

Can you support a family on $2,000 a month?  Recently, McDonald's and Visa teamed up to launch a website that is intended to help employees of McDonald's manage their money.  The aspect of the website that is getting a tremendous amount of national attention is the "McDonald's Budget" which is a sample monthly budget which is designed to help workers plan their spending.  You can see a copy of it for yourself right here.  This budget is laughably unrealistic, but it is also deeply tragic, because there are tens of millions of American workers that are actually trying to raise families on this kind of an income. (Read More....)


A Nightmare Scenario

Most people have no idea that the U.S. financial system is on the brink of utter disaster.  If interest rates continue to rise rapidly, the U.S. economy is going to be facing an economic crisis far greater than the one that erupted back in 2008.  At this point, the economic paradigm that the Federal Reserve has constructed only works if interest rates remain super low.  If they rise, everything falls apart.  Much higher interest rates would mean crippling interest payments on the national debt, much higher borrowing costs for state and local governments, trillions of dollars of losses for bond investors, another devastating real estate crash and the possibility of a multi-trillion dollar derivatives meltdown.  Everything depends on interest rates staying low.  Unfortunately for the Fed, it only has a certain amount of control over long-term interest rates, and that control appears to be slipping.  The yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries has soared in recent weeks.  So have mortgage rates.  Fortunately, rates have leveled off for the moment, but if they resume their upward march we could be dealing with a nightmare scenario very, very quickly. (Read More....)



Insolvent Spain Forced To "Borrow" From Social Security Fund To Pay Pensions

Spain's slow-motion implosion into an insolvent singularity has been one of the most amusing sideshows for over a year. The chief reason for this is the sheer schizophrenic and absurdist polarity between the sad reality, visible to everyone, and the unprecedented propaganda by the government desperate to paint a rosy picture. While on one hand the economic data shows very clearly the painfully obvious sad ending for this chapter of European integration, it continues to be punctuated almost daily by such amusing confidence games as Spain's Economy Minister de Guindos telling anyone who cares to listen that the labor market is improving "beyond the seasonal pick up" and that Q2 GDP would be close to zero (because 0% GDP is the new killing it). That's the good news.  The bad news is that as Reuters reports, and contrary to fairy tales of unicorns and soaring 0% GDP, Spain's government is so insolvent, it was just forced to "borrow" from its social security reserve to fund pension payments.



About Those "Strong Fundamentals"...

Day after day 'positive' anecdotal data points are latched on to by a self-confirming media (and plethora of talking heads and asset-gatherers) unable to see anything but their 'it's all good in the long-term' thesis. The truth is, as Bloomberg's Rich Yamarone notes, there’s no way to assess last week’s economic data as anything other than poor. Chinese GDP continued to deteriorate, U.S. core retail sales and the index of leading economic indicators for June were flat, industrial production was at the same level as in March, and housing, the lone oasis of prosperity, slowed as new starts plunged nearly 10 percent from the previous month. Toss in the city of Detroit filing the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history and the tone of America’s economic outlook took a decisive turn for the worse. Of course, this is all good for stocks is our new (ab)normal reality of single-factor Fed-liquidity-driven mass hypnosis.



Guest Post: How Incremental Increases Can Lead To Systemic Collapse

Healthcare insurance illustrates how incremental increases can lead to systemic collapse.



Next Steps For Detroit - Fix, Close, Or Sell

The Innovator’s Dilemma strikes again, this time with the news that the city of Detroit has filed for bankruptcy protection.  As a business term, ConvergEx's Nick Colas reminds us that the “Dilemma” describes how successful companies fall from grace because they ignore new competition with disruptive technologies at the low end of their markets.  In a world that increasingly revolves around intellectual capital (a.k.a. people), government at all levels needs to think about how they do not fall prey to the same error.  As for Detroit, any lasting solution likely needs far more government intervention than is currently possible. And so to where Detroit goes from here, we’ll borrow from another business paradigm that parses all solutions to troubled operations into three buckets: "Fix, Close or Sell." In summary, Detroit’s failures are certainly of its own making. The way forward will need leadership that is unavailable locally.



When An Algo Goes Berserk

Those trading microcap uranium supplier USEC Inc (USU) were treated to a rare spectacle moments ago: one or a series of absolutely berserk algos took the stock up from $8 to nearly $16 in a wondrous example of momentum ignition, where one algo was telegraphing it knew something in a bid to get other algos to ramp the thinly traded stock , and succeeded. This move followed Friday's comparable surge by 70% on even more "no news." A circuit breaker halt followed and then the usual $1 bid/ask spreads as algo after algo was positioning to frontrun other algos, but by then all hell had broken loose. Volume as of moments ago: over 2 million on a stock that has ADV of under 100k. Management reiterated what it said on Friday, namely that it had no comment: "In view of the unusual market activity in the company’s stock, the New York Stock Exchange has contacted the company in accordance with its usual practice. The company stated that its policy is not to comment on unusual market activity" ensuring that the newsfree lunacy would continue.



Barclays Warns "End-Of-QE.. Would Make 2000 Bubble Look Like A Day At The Beach"

"It's hard to make the case that [US stocks are up 17% on a 2.5% earnings rise] based on fundamentals alone - it's money in motion," is how Barclays' CIO Hans Olsen describes the unreality occurring in US asset markets currently. He noted in last week's interview with CNBC that Bernanke's experimentation has created asset-inflation "that would make the stock market bubble of 2000 look like a day at the beach. It's really quite remarkable." Critically, as many have noted, he notes "let the market start to price things based on fundamentals again rather than money printing. The sooner we get back to a market pricing, the more sustainable it becomes." What is ironic is that Olsen is overweight stocks in spite of all this - but like everyone else in the status quo - is hoping Bernanke keeps the house of cards from collapsing. Olsen appears to be among the very few career bankers willing to tell the truth - the fear being, of course (as we showed here) that it would mean their "skills" are completely meaningless.



The New (Ab)normal: When 200 People Have More Wealth Than 3,500,000,000

The following brief video created by, using data sourced from this website, is the latest vivid demonstration of the most adverse (and dangerous) side effect of nearly five years, and counting, of global monetary intervention by central banks: a world in which the poor get poorer, the rich get richer, and the middle class disappears. The video's punchline "The richest 300 people on earth have as much wealth as the poorest 3 billion" is not exactly correct: in truth the situation is even worse: the richest 200 people have about $2.7 trillion, which is more than the poorest 3.5 billion people, who have only $2.2 trillion combined.





Grantham Quarterly Letter: "What The *&%! Just Happened?"

"Today’s markets have a vulnerability that has not existed through most of history. Today’s valuations only make sense in light of low expected cash rates. Remove that expectation, and pretty much every asset across the board is vulnerable to a fall in price, as the rising real discount rate plays no favorites. There is no asset class you can hold that would be expected to do well if the real discount rate rises from here. Under normal circumstances, a rising real discount rate would probably come on the back of rising inflation or stronger than expected growth, which are diversifiable risks in a portfolio. But May’s shock to the real discount rate came not because inflation was unexpectedly high or because growth will be so strong as to lift earnings expectations for equities and other owners of real assets, but because the Fed signaled that there was likely to be an end to financial repression in the next few years. And because financial repression has pushed up the prices of assets across the board and around the world, there is unlikely to be a safe harbor from the fallout, other than cash itself." - GMO



Guest Post: About That "Incomes Are Rising" Claim...

The mainstream media is claiming that "The aggregate amount of money in paychecks is increasing about twice as fast as GDP." Rising aggregate household income doesn't tell the real story, which is: 1. Most of the income gains flow to the top 10%; and 2. Thanks to rising taxes, healthcare and other costs, household net income for the bottom 90% is declining. The mainstream media's parroting of aggregate household income increases is used to suggest the economy is improving. But the truth is the economy is only improving for a thin slice of households.


This Is Your Economy On QE

Presented with little comment aside to say - Thanks for nothing Ben...


The Fed Is The Problem, Not The Solution: The Complete Walk-Through

"Perhaps the success that central bankers had in preventing the collapse of the financial system after the crisis secured them the public's trust to go further into the deeper waters of quantitative easing. Could success at rescuing the banks have also mislead some central bankers into thinking they had the Midas touch? So a combination of public confidence, tinged with central-banker hubris could explain the foray into quantitative easing. Yet this too seems only a partial explanation. For few amongst the lay public were happy that the bankers were rescued, and many on Main Street did not understand why the financial system had to be saved when their own employers were laying off workers or closing down." - Raghuram Rajan




Share This Chart With Anyone That Believes The U.S. Economy Is Not Going To Crash

Anyone that thinks that the U.S. economy can keep going along like this is absolutely crazy.  We are in the terminal phase of an unprecedented debt spiral which has allowed us to live far, far beyond our means for the last several decades.  Unfortunately, all debt spirals eventually end, and they usually do so in a very disorderly manner.  The chart that you are about to see is one of my favorite economic charts.  It compares the growth of U.S. GDP to the growth of total debt in the United States.  Yes, U.S. GDP has certainly grown at a decent pace over the years, but our total debt has absolutely exploded.  40 years ago, the total amount of debt in our system (government debt + corporate debt + consumer debt, etc.) was about 2 trillion dollars.  Today it has grown to more than 56 trillion dollars.  Our debt has grown at a much, much faster rate than our economy has, and there is no way in the world that we will be able to continue to do that for long.

Posted below is the chart that I was talking about.  The blue line is our total debt, and the red line is our GDP.  As you can see, this chart kind of speaks for itself...

So how did we get here?

Well, of course the federal government has been the biggest offender.  It would be a tremendous understatement to say that the politicians in Washington D.C. have been reckless.  Since the year 2000, the size of the U.S. national debt has grown by more than 11 trillion dollars.

Posted below is a chart that demonstrates the dramatic growth of the national debt as a percentage of GDP.  In particular, our debt has absolutely exploded as a percentage of GDP since the financial crisis of 2008...

Does that look sustainable to you?

Of course it isn't.

Right now, the mainstream media is very excited that the federal budget deficit for this year might be less than a trillion dollars, but they are really missing the point.  The debt of the U.S. government is still growing much, much faster than the economy is, and the United States already has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain.

What we are doing to future generations is absolutely criminal.  We are piling up mountains of debt that will haunt them for the rest of their lives just so that we can make the present a little bit more pleasant for ourselves.

As I noted in another article, during Obama's first term the federal government accumulated more debt than it did under the first 42 U.S presidents combined.  And now we are entering a time period when demographic forces are going to put a tremendous amount of pressure on the finances of the federal government.

The Baby Boomers have started to retire, and they are going to want to start collecting on all of the financial promises that we have made to them.

As I have written about previously, the number of Americans on Medicare is projected to grow from a little bit more than 50 million today to 73.2 million in 2025.

The number of Americans collecting Social Security benefits is projected to grow from about 56 million today to 91 million in 2035.

Where are we going to get the money to pay for all of that?

Boston University economist Laurence Kotlikoff has calculated that the U.S. government is facing unfunded liabilities of 222 trillion dollars in the years ahead.

There is no simply no way that the U.S. government is going to be able to meet those obligations without wildly printing up money.

And of course the federal government is not the only one with massive debt problems.  We just saw the city of Detroit go bankrupt, and there are lots of other communities all over the nation that could soon follow.

Posted below is a chart that shows the growth of state and local government debt over the years.  In particular, please take note that the total amount of state and local government debt has grown from about 1.2 trillion dollars in the year 2000 to about 3 trillion dollars today...

But the chart posted above does not even take into account the massive unfunded pension obligations that state and local governments are facing.  According to the Detroit Free Press, state governments are facing unfunded pension obligations of nearly a trillion and a half dollars...

From Baltimore to Los Angeles, and many points in between, municipalities are increasingly confronted with how to pay for these massive promises. The Pew Center for the States, in Washington, estimated states’ public pension plans across the U.S. were underfunded by a whopping $1.4 trillion in 2010.

And many large cities are dealing with similar situations.  Detroit was the first to go down, but could Chicago or Los Angeles eventually be forced to declare bankruptcy too?...

Chicago recently saw its credit rating downgraded because of a $19-billion unfunded pension liability that the ratings service Moody’s puts closer to $36 billion. And Los Angeles could be facing a liability of more than $30 billion, by some estimates.

According to a report that was released earlier this year, the largest U.S. cities are facing hundreds of billions of dollars in unfunded pension liabilities at this point...

Early this year, the Pew Center released a survey showing that 61 of the nation’s largest cities — limiting the survey to the largest city in each state and all other cities with more than 500,000 people — had a gap of more than $217 billion in unfunded pension and health care liabilities. While cities had long promised health care, life insurance and other benefits to retirees, “few ... started saving to cover the long-term costs,” the report said.

So where will all of that money come from?

That is a good question, and nobody has an easy answer at this point.

Meanwhile, U.S. consumers have been racking up staggering amounts of debt over the past several decades.  Just consider the following numbers...

-Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

-Car loans just keep getting longer and longer, and approximately 70 percent of all car purchases in the United States now involve an auto loan.

-The total amount of student loan debt in America recently surpassed the one trillion dollar mark.

-One study discovered that approximately 41 percent of all working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt, and according to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States.

-Consumer debt in the United States has risen by a whopping 1700% since 1971, and 46% of all Americans carry a credit card balance from month to month.

Sadly, most people don't realize how damaging credit card debt can be.  If you just carry an "average balance" on your credit cards each month, and those credit cards have just an "average" interest rate, you could end up paying millions of dollars to the credit card companies by the end of your life...

Let’s say you are an average American household, and you carry an average balance of $15,956 in credit card debt.

Also, as an average American household, let’s assume you pay an average current rate of 12.83%.

Finally, let’s assume you carry this average balance for 40 years, between ages 25 and 65.  How much did your credit card company make off of you and your extreme averageness?

Answer: $2,629,618.64

Incredibly, a large percentage of the population does not seem to understand these things.  An astounding 43 percent of all American families spend more than they earn each year.

Are you starting to understand why approximately half of all Americans die broke?

We are a nation that is completely and addicted to debt.

If you do not believe that it will ever catch up with us you are being delusional.

We have piled up the biggest mountain of debt in the history of the planet, and a day of reckoning is fast approaching.





The Tip Of The Iceberg Of The Coming Retirement Crisis That Will Shake America To The Core

The pension nightmare that is at the heart of the horrific financial crisis in Detroit is just the tip of the iceberg of the coming retirement crisis that will shake America to the core.  Right now, more than 10,000 Baby Boomers are hitting the age of 65 every single day, and this will continue to happen every single day until the year 2030.  As a society, we have made trillions of dollars of financial promises to these Baby Boomers, and there is no way that we are going to be able to keep those promises.  The money simply is not there.  Yes, I suppose that we could eventually see a "super devaluation" of the U.S. dollar and keep our promises to the Baby Boomers using currency that is not worth much more than Monopoly money, but as it stands right now we simply do not have the resources to do what we said that we were going to do.  The number of senior citizens in the United States is projected to more than double by the middle of the century, and it would have been nearly impossible to support them all even if we weren't in the midst of a long-term economic decline.  Tens of millions of Americans that are eagerly looking forward to retirement are going to be in for a very rude awakening in the years ahead.  There is going to be a lot of heartache and a lot of broken promises. (Read More....)




6 Apocalyptic Technologies That Most People Have Not Even Heard About Yet

Are you ready for the future?  We live at a time when technology is advancing at an exponential pace.  Today, scientists are rapidly developing bizarre new technologies that most science fiction writers never even would have dreamed of a couple decades ago.  For example, would you be willing to get rid of your bank card and start paying for things with only your face?  Would you be willing to allow a technology company to put one large computer chip or thousands of really, really small ones (“neural dust”) into your brain?  These are some of the technologies that are coming.  Our world is changing at an absolutely mind blowing rate, and to be honest none of us really knows what our world is going to look like a decade from now.  Remember, ten years ago Facebook did not exist and five years ago the iPad did not exist.  Our planet is fundamentally being transformed, and our scientists are rapidly turning the “impossible” into the possible.  The following are 6 apocalyptic technologies that most people have not even heard about yet…

#1 Facial Recognition Software That Replaces Bank Cards

Will people soon pay for things by having their faces scanned at the checkout counter?  That may sound absurd, but according to (Read More....)



25 Facts About The Fall Of Detroit That Will Leave You Shaking Your Head

It is so sad to watch one of America's greatest cities die a horrible death.  Once upon a time, the city of Detroit was a teeming metropolis of 1.8 million people and it had the highest per capita income in the United States.  Now it is a rotting, decaying hellhole of about 700,000 people that the rest of the world makes jokes about.  On Thursday, we learned that the decision had been made for the city of Detroit to formally file for Chapter 9 bankruptcy.  It was going to be the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the United States by far, but on Friday it was stopped at least temporarily by an Ingham County judge.  She ruled that Detroit's bankruptcy filing violates the Michigan Constitution because it would result in reduced pension payments for retired workers.  She also stated that Detroit's bankruptcy filing was "also not honoring the (United States) president, who took (Detroit’s auto companies) out of bankruptcy", and she ordered that a copy of her judgment be sent to Barack Obama.  How "honoring the president" has anything to do with the bankruptcy of Detroit is a bit of a mystery, but what that judge has done is ensured that there will be months of legal wrangling ahead over Detroit's money woes.  It will be very interesting to see how all of this plays out.  But one thing is for sure - the city of Detroit is flat broke.  One of the greatest cities in the history of the world is just a shell of its former self.  The following are 25 facts about the fall of Detroit that will leave you shaking your head... (Read More....)






Jim Rogers: "Beware The Man On The White Horse..."

As far back as ancient times, whenever civilizations fell into great crisis, people in desperation have almost invariably turned to a single individual who promised them better times. Of course, history is full of examples of men who did not give up power willingly once the crisis passed.  As an example, the 1920s economic crisis in the Weimar Republic had a huge impact in the rise of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism.  In the 1920s, there was one bankrupt country. And the consequences still define the world we live in. But Jim Rogers sees another "man on a white horse" that scares him even more today...

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog,

As far back as ancient times, whenever civilizations fell into great crisis, people in desperation have almost invariably turned to a single individual who promised them better times.

Both the Greeks and Romans often conveyed dictatorial powers to someone in whom they entrusted people’s security and livelihood. Typically this was a battle-hardened general who could lead a city’s defenses and beat off an invading horde.

Of course, history is full of examples of men who did not give up power willingly once the crisis passed.

The ancient historian Herodotus lists as many as fifty ‘tyrants’ in his writings, a word that has its origins in ancient Greek despotic rulers.

For thousands of years, ambitious men have always taken advantage of crisis, social turmoil, and economic downturns to solidify their positions and take control… often creating even more destruction in their wake.

As an example, the 1920s economic crisis in the Weimar Republic had a huge impact in the rise of Adolf Hitler’s National Socialism.

One of Hitler’s key tenets was to abrogate the Treaty of Versailles, and in particular section 231 – the ‘war guilt’ clause that stuck Germany with debilitating war reparation payments.

His message resonated with millions of Germans who had seen their entire lives turned upside down by economic stagnation and one of the worst episodes of hyperinflation in history.

The rest is, as they say, history.

I’ve been thinking about these stories quite a bit during my current travels across Europe’s most bankrupt nations.

One thing is painfully obvious– the situation on the ground is worse than ever.

The unemployment rate in Portugal hit a record high of 18% in May. The rate eased slightly by late June to 17.6%… but only because (you guessed it) the government simply stopped counting people.

Or, more appropriately, so many people vanished.

Here in Portugal, the latest craze is leaving. The country is experiencing a massive brain drain as people pack their bags and get out of dodge.

They know the labor market isn’t going to improve. Plus, wages here have fallen so much, people are looking abroad to places like Angola’s booming oil economy, Brazil, and Macau, all Portuguese-speaking former colonies.

This trend will likely increase as the latest government figures show that the recession here is actually accelerating.

The Portuguese economy contracted at a 4% annualized rate in the first quarter, worse than last year’s 3.2% contraction.

All of this comes at a time when the central government has collapsed. Based on the terms of their 78 billion euro bailout agreement, it’s EU bureaucrats in Brussels and Frankfurt that are calling the shots now.

(To put this figure in context, it would be akin to an $8 trillion ‘bailout’ in the US…)

These conditions are eerily similar to the Weimar Republic during the rise of National Socialism.

The country is bankrupt, the government has collapsed, the economy is in ruins, the debt burden is suffocating, and they’re controlled by foreigners. People are starting to call out for someone to deliver them from this chaos.

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that some new Hitler is lurking in the shadows about to take over a European nation-state (though there are some disturbing trends, especially in Greece).

But it’s important to understand that there are serious, often historical consequences when major developed nations go bankrupt.

In the 1920s, there was one bankrupt country. And the consequences still define the world we live in.

Today there are at least half a dozen insolvent nations, including some of the largest economies in the world– Japan, Spain, Greece, Portugal, the US, etc.

And while major economic decline can take years or even decades to unfold, history shows that the consequences affect almost everyone… especially when people look to a man on a white horse to save them from their desperation.

Here’s what Jim Rogers had to say about the Man on the White Horse at our event in Santiago, Chile:

10 Ways That The Iron Grip Of The Big Brother Prison Grid Is Tightening On All Of Our Lives

Do you ever feel trapped in an invisible control grid that is slowly but surely closing in all around you?  Do you ever feel like virtually everything that you do is being watched, tracked, monitored and recorded?  If so, unfortunately it is not just your imagination.  Our society is rapidly being transformed into a Big Brother prison grid by a government that is seemingly obsessed with knowing everything that we do.  They want a record of all of our phone calls, all of our Internet activity and all of our financial transactions.  They even want our DNA.  They put chips in our passports, they are starting to scan the eyes of our children in our schools, and they have declared our border areas to be “Constitution-free zones” where they can do just about anything to us that they want.  The Bill of Rights has already been eroded so badly that many would argue that it is already dead.  The assault against our most basic freedoms and liberties never seems to end.  The following are 10 ways that the iron grip of the Big Brother prison grid is tightening on all of our lives… (Read More.....)


Human-Animal Hybrids: Sick And Twisted Chimeras Are Being Created In Labs All Over The Planet

Did you know that scientists all over the globe are creating extremely bizarre human-animal chimeras?  Over the past decade, there have been some absolutely stunning advances in the field of genetic modification.  Today, it is literally possible for college students to create new lifeforms in their basements.  Unfortunately, laws have not kept pace with these advancements, and in many countries there are very few limits on what scientists are allowed to do.  As you will read about below, extremely creepy human-animal hybrids are now being created in laboratories all over the planet.  And this is just the stuff that is publicly admitted.  Can you imagine what kind of sick and twisted experiments are taking place in the dark corners of secret labs that nobody knows about?  And what happens if these creatures get out into the wild and starting mating?  At that point, it would be nearly impossible to “put the genie back into the bottle”.  Scientists seem very eager to test the limits of what is possible, but what they are unleashing may have consequences that none of us ever dreamed possible.

Just the other day, we learned (Read More....)



Worldwide Unemployment Crisis: There Are 93 Million Unemployed Workers In G20 Nations

Did you know that the total number of unemployed workers in G20 counties is now up to 93 million and that it is increasing with each passing day?  You see, the truth is that the United States is not the only one dealing with a systemic unemployment crisis.  This is literally happening all over the planet.  So what is causing this crisis?  Is there any hope that it will be turned around?  Well, unfortunately there are several long-term trends that have been developing for decades that have played a major role in bringing us to this point.  First of all, the giant corporations that now totally dominate the global economy have figured out that they can make a lot more money by replacing expensive workers that live in major industrialized nations with workers that live in nations where it is legal to pay slave labor wages.  So it isn't really a huge mystery why there is such a huge problem with unemployment in the western world.  If you were running a giant corporation, why would you want to hire workers that will cost you 10 to 20 times as much as other workers?  A worker is a worker, and over the past decade we have seen a massive movement of jobs to countries where labor is cheaper.  In addition, large corporations are also trying to completely eliminate as many jobs as they can by using technology.  If a corporation can get a computer or a machine or a robot to do a task more cheaply than a human worker can do it, then why would that corporation want to continue to rely on human labor?  And of course we have seen an overall weakening of the economies of the western world in recent years as well.  This has been particularly true in the United States.  As these long-term trends intensify, the worldwide unemployment crisis is going to get even worse. (Read More....)


Everything Is Fine, But…

Everything is going to be just great.  Haven't you heard?  The stock market is at an all-time high, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that inflation is incredibly low, and the official unemployment rate has been steadily declining since early in Barack Obama's first term.  Of course I am being facetious, but this is the kind of talk about the economy that you will hear if you tune in to the mainstream media.  They would have us believe that those running things know exactly what they are doing and that very bright days are ahead for America.  And it would be wonderful if that was actually true.  Unfortunately, as I made exceedingly clear yesterday, the U.S. economy has already been in continual decline for the past decade.  Any honest person that looks at those numbers has to admit that our economy is not even close to where it used to be.  But could it be possible that we are making a comeback?  Could it be possible that Obama and Bernanke really do know what they are doing and that their decisions have put us on the path to prosperity?  Could it be possible that everything is going to be just fine? (Read More....)



16 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True

Are you a conspiracy theorist?  If not, perhaps you should be.  Yes, there have certainly been a lot of “conspiracy theories” over the years that have turned out not to be accurate.  However, the truth is that a large number of very prominent conspiracy theories have turned out to actually be true.  So the next time that you run into some “tin foil hat wearing lunatics”, you might want to actually listen to what they have to say.  They may actually know some things that you do not.  In fact, one recent study found that “conspiracy theorists” are actually more sane than the general population.  So the next time you are tempted to dismiss someone as a “conspiracy theorist”, just remember that the one that is crazy might actually be you.  The following are 16 popular conspiracy theories that turned out to be true…

1. “They Put Cancer Viruses Into Our Vaccines”

When I first heard about this I did not believe it.  And of course not all vaccines contain cancer viruses.  But tens of millions of Americans did receive vaccines with cancer viruses in them, and now we have learned that even the CDC When I first heard about this I did not believe it.  And of course not all vaccines contain cancer viruses.  But tens of millions of Americans did receive vaccines with cancer viruses in them, and now we have learned that even the CDC has admitted that this is true…

The CDC has quickly removed a page from their website, which is now cached here, admitting that more than 98 million Americans received one or more doses of polio vaccine within an 8-year span when a proportion of the vaccine was contaminated with a cancer causing polyomavirus called SV40. It has been estimated that 10-30 million Americans could have received an SV40 contaminated dose of the vaccine.

SV40 is an abbreviation for Simian vacuolating virus 40 or Simian virus 40, a polyomavirus that is found in both monkeys and humans. Like other polyomaviruses, SV40 is a DNA virus that has been found to cause tumors and cancer.

2. “ATM Machines Will Someday Use Facial Recognition Technology”

According to the Daily Mail, a new generation of ATM machines is being developed that will use cutting edge facial recognition technology…

Cumbersome and slow cash machines with clunky buttons and tiny hard-to-see screens could soon be a thing of the past thanks to a range of next-generation ATMs.

Ohio-based security firm Diebold has created a touchscreen cash machine that works like a tablet computer, uses facial recognition and QR codes to identify and authenticate users, and has built-in safety cameras.

3. “The U.S. Government And Monsanto Are Teaming Up Against Opponents Of Genetically-Modified Food”

The establishment does not like those that are trying to stand in the way of genetically-modified food.  The following is from a recent Activist Post article

A shocking new investigative report from the largest daily newspaper in Germany alleges that Monsanto, the US Military and the US government have colluded to track and disrupt both anti-GMO activists and independent scientists who study the adverse effects of genetically modified food.

As revealed yesterday by Sustainable Pulse, on July 13th the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung detailed information on how the US Government “advances the interests of their corporations,” focusing on Monsanto as a prime example.

The report titled, “The Sinister Monsanto Group: ‘Agent Orange’ to Genetically Modified Corn,” described a ‘new fangled cyber war’ being waged against both eco-activists and independent scientists by supporters and former employees of Monsanto, who are described as “operationally powerful assistants” and who have taken up sometimes high-ranking posts in the US administration, regulatory authorities, and some of whom have connections deep within the military industrial establishment, including the CIA.

4. “Someday Scientists Will Be Using Millions Of Genetically-Modified Animals In Scientific Experiments”

Did you know that literally millions of genetically-modified animals are being experimented on in labs all over the globe?…

The number of genetically modified (GM) animals used in scientific research in Britain has exceeded the number of ordinary laboratory animals for the first time, according to official statistics that show a 9 per cent overall increase in the use of experimental animals last year.

Some 4,033,310 animals were used in scientific experiments started in 2012, an increase of 322,689, or 9 per cent over the previous year. There were 1.91 million scientific “procedures” used with GM animals in 2012 compared to 1.68.m procedures on normal animals.

5. “Scientists All Over The World Are Creating Extremely Bizarre Human-Animal Hybrids”

Should scientists be creating beings that are part human and part animal?  Well, it is happening all over the planet.  Just check out some of the things that a recent Slate article says is happening in labs around the world…

Not long ago, Chinese scientists embedded genes for human milk proteins into a mouse’s genome and have since created herds of humanized-milk-producing goats. Meanwhile, researchers at the University of Michigan have a method for putting a human anal sphincter into a mouse as a means of finding better treatments for fecal incontinence, and doctors are building animals with humanized immune systems to serve as subjects for new HIV vaccines.

Pretty disgusting eh?

And here are some other ways that scientists are combining humans and animals…

-Rabbit Eggs with Human Cells

-Pigs with Human Blood

-Sheep with Human Livers

-Cow Eggs with Human Cells

-Cat-Human Hybrid Proteins

For much more on this, please see my previous article entitled “Human-Animal Hybrids: Sick And Twisted Chimeras Are Being Created In Labs All Over The Planet“.

6. “Obama Is Making Government Employees Spy On One Another”

Yes, this is actually happening.  In a previous article, I described how Obama is forcing government workers to spy on the “lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors” of their fellow employees…

Federal employees and contractors are asked to pay particular attention to the lifestyles, attitudes and behaviors – like financial troubles, odd working hours or unexplained travel – of co-workers as a way to predict whether they might do “harm to the United States.” Managers of special insider threat offices will have “regular, timely, and, if possible, electronic, access” to employees’ personnel, payroll, disciplinary and “personal contact” files, as well as records of their use of classified and unclassified computer networks, polygraph results, travel reports and financial disclosure forms.

7. “Pro Wrestling Is Fake”

We have all kind of known this for a long time, right?  Well, now someone is actually leaking the results of pro wrestling matches on the Internet before they happen

A fan has provoked a furor in the world of professional wrestling after leaking the outcomes of 38 WWE matches ahead of the pay-per-view bouts.

The mystery fan, who identifies himself online as Dolphins1925, claims he has obtained the information from a source at Worldwide Wrestling Entertainment (WWE), and is revealing the results to highlight the organisation’s failure to keep its storylines confidential.

Dolphins1925 started posting the results on Reddit’s pro-wrestling forum after another fan launched a “prediction series”, asking users for their picks ahead of the matches. He has since maintained a perfect record, even leaking the results of contests involving wrestling superstars such as John Cena and The Undertaker.

8. “Someday Texas Is Going To Run Out Of Water”

Texas will always have plenty of water, right?


According to CNBC, the water crisis in some areas of Texas is rapidly reaching a breaking point…

Three straight years of blistering drought have strained Texas’ water resources. Some cities like Midland are already steeply raising their water prices. But it’s not just residents of the Lone Star State feeling parched. Texas-based companies are scrambling to reduce their water usage and enact long-term water management plans as a critical business concern.

“As the drought continues, industry’s eyes are opening,” said Jordan Furnans, senior engineer at INTERA, a Texas-based geosciences and engineering firm. Those eyes are opening to discover that more dry years are coming, he said.

There’s a desperate need for water to fuel industrial, chemical and energy operations in some parts of Texas. “If plants shut down, they’re losing millions of dollars per day,” Furnans said.

9. “The IRS Is Specifically Targeting Conservatives”

Only a small percentage of Americans would have believed this particular “conspiracy theory” last year.  But now it is all over the news.  In fact, we have just learned that applications for tax-exempt status from Tea Party groups were ordered to be sent to the only Obama political appointee at the IRS

IRS employees were ordered by their superiors–including Lois Lerner who pleaded the 5th Amendment against self-incrimination rather than testify in Congress–to send certain Tea Party tax-exemption applications to the office of the IRS’s Chief Counsel, which was headed by William Wilkins, who at that time was the only Obama political appointee at the IRS, according to a letter released today by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

“As a part of this ongoing investigation, the Committees have learned that the IRS Chief Counsel’s office in Washington, D.C. has been closely involved in some of the applications,” reads a letter released today by the House committees on Oversight and Government and Ways and Means.  “Its involvement and demands for information about political activity during the 2010 election cycle appear to have caused systematic delays in the processing of Tea Party applications.”

10. “Fluoride Is Harmful For Your Teeth”

This is a conspiracy theory that was denied for a very long time.  But now even CNN is admitting the truth…

The Department of Health and Human Services and Environmental Protection Agency are proposing the change because of an increase in fluorosis — a condition that causes spotting and streaking on children’s teeth.

11. “Using A Cell Phone Can Cause Cancer”

Can you get cancer from using a cell phone?  Well, an increasing number of studies indicate that this is actually true

At the highest exposure levels — using a mobile phone half an hour a day over a 10-year period — the study found a 40 percent increased risk of glioma brain tumors.

12. “Prescription Drugs Kill Large Numbers Of Americans”

Every single year, hundreds of thousands of Americans are killed by prescription drugs.  The following is a brief excerpt from a Vanity Fair article entitled “Deadly Medicine“…

Prescription drugs kill some 200,000 Americans every year. Will that number go up, now that most clinical trials are conducted overseas—on sick Russians, homeless Poles, and slum-dwelling Chinese—in places where regulation is virtually nonexistent, the F.D.A. doesn’t reach, and “mistakes” can end up in pauper’s graves?

13. “The Elite Want To Dramatically Reduce The Global Population”

Yes, many among the global elite really do want to substantially reduce the population of the planet.  The following quotes are from one of my previous articles

-David Rockefeller: “The negative impact of population growth on all of our planetary ecosystems is becoming appallingly evident.”

-CNN Founder Ted Turner: “A total world population of 250-300 million people, a 95% decline from present levels, would be ideal.”

-Paul Ehrlich, a former science adviser to president George W. Bush and the author of “The Population Bomb”: “To our minds, the fundamental cure, reducing the scale of the human enterprise (including the size of the population) to keep its aggregate consumption within the carrying capacity of Earth is obvious but too much neglected or denied”

-Barack Obama’s primary science adviser, John P. Holdren: “The development of a long-term sterilizing capsule that could be implanted under the skin and removed when pregnancy is desired opens additional possibilities for coercive fertility control. The capsule could be implanted at puberty and might be removable, with official permission, for a limited number of births.”

-HBO personality Bill Maher: “I’m pro-choice, I’m for assisted suicide, I’m for regular suicide, I’m for whatever gets the freeway moving – that’s what I’m for. It’s too crowded, the planet is too crowded and we need to promote death.”

14. “Innocent People Are Murdered, Skinned And Dismembered During Satanic Rituals”

Satanists really do exist, and sometimes they do really, really awful things.  The following is one recent example

Moises Meraz-Espinoza walked into the Huntington Park Police Department two years ago to report a crime: He had killed his mother.

Officers went to the Maywood apartment that the then-18-year-old factory worker shared with his mother, Amelia Espinoza, 42, and found a gruesome scene. A trail of blood led to the bathroom, where plastic covered the walls and floor. There, they found an electrical circular saw with pieces of bone, blood and flesh stuck to the blade. Nearby, in a freezer, police found skin and muscles stored in plastic bags. The woman’s skull, with all her teeth plucked out, her eyes removed and two upside-down crosses carved into the bone, was stashed in a backpack.

Prosecutors say that Meraz-Espinoza strangled his mother and then skinned, filleted and dismembered her body as part of a satanic ritual.

15. “The NSA Is Spying On Our Phone Calls, Internet Searches And Financial Transactions”

Thanks to Edward Snowden, we have learned much more about how the NSA spies on all of us.  And just this week it has come out that the NSA has no problem snooping on you if you are a friend of a friend of a friend of someone that might be a potential terrorist…

Chris Inglis, the agency’s deputy director, was one of several government representatives—including from the FBI and the office of the Director of National Intelligence—testifying before the House Judiciary Committee this morning. Most of the testimony largely echoed previous testimony by the agencies on the topic of the government’s surveillance, including a retread of the same offered examples for how the Patriot Act and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act had stopped terror events.

But Inglis’ statement was new. Analysts look “two or three hops” from terror suspects when evaluating terror activity, Inglis revealed. Previously, the limit of how surveillance was extended had been described as two hops. This meant that if the NSA were following a phone metadata or web trail from a terror suspect, it could also look at the calls from the people that suspect has spoken with—one hop. And then, the calls that second person had also spoken with—two hops. Terror suspect to person two to person three. Two hops. And now: A third hop.

16. “The Federal Reserve Is A Perpetual Debt Machine That Is Designed To Create Inflation”

The Federal Reserve is a private banking cartel that was created by the bankers and that serves the interest of the bankers.  It was designed to perpetually increase the U.S. national debt and to perpetually create inflation.  Unfortunately, it has done a great job on both counts.  Since the Federal Reserve was created back in 1913, the U.S. national debt has gotten more than 5000 times larger, and the value of the U.S. dollar has fallen by more than 96 percent.

Are there any other “conspiracy theories” that you would add to this list?  Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…

About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth.  His new novel entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on



GReeTiNGS FRoM DeTRoiT... Posted by: williambanzai7 Post date: 07/22/2013 - There is more to this Ponzi than meets the eye...












Detroit may be a canary in the public finance coal mine, but there was no shortage of warning signals.

Meredith Whitney has been hounded by MSM schadenfreudeurs since she aired her ominous but accurate opinion on 60 minutes almost three years ago. The latest round of Whitney bashing occurred two weeks ago. My isn't it hilarious and newsworthy that half of her clients have left and she is down to one full time employee.

Gee wiz, maybe they are stupid clients who listen to the MSM.

Never mind that the oracle Warren Buffoon publicly jumped off the municipal bond bandwagon late last summer. Isn't he the same guy that owns a rating agency? Never mind that PhD geniuses employed by the Fed have warned of the hidden risks in municipal finance. Nevermind Harrisburg, Stockton, Jefferson County, Mammouth Lakes and San Bernadino. Those are all aberations so we are told. And Detroit is an idosyncratic financial phenomena. And Miami is an unfortunate example of bath salt finance.

Look at this chart.


Do you think this is an aberration or an idiosyncracy?

This chart has this moron's fingerprint's all over it.



I'm no expert in municipal finance, but I know a Ponzi when I see one. And I know what happens after this moron and his ilk have been around.

And just like the subprime sewer, you can bet there is more to this Ponzi than meets the eye.


Now didn't you always believe the Easter Island statues were simply heads?

Apparently they are not. And apparently this is nothing new and has been known for over two hundred years.

But if you do an image search of Easter Island, how many pictures like this will you find?

Which just goes to show...







The Coming National DNA Database

A national DNA database is coming.  Barack Obama has already said that he wants one.  A major Supreme Court decision last month paved the way for one.  The DNA of those that commit “serious crimes” is already being routinely collected all over the nation.  Some states (such as New Jersey) are now passing laws that will require DNA collection from those charged with committing “low level crimes”.  And a law that was passed under George W. Bush allows the federal government to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the United States.  So how long will it be before we are all required to give DNA samples to the authorities?  How long will it be before DNA collection is routinely done when we take a trip to the DMV?  This may sound like science fiction to some people, but “security experts” and law enforcement personnel all over the country are now pushing for a national DNA database to be established.  Unfortunately, there is nothing really standing in the way of that.  The Supreme (Read More....)


Congressman Asks Obama For "Immediate Support" With Detroit Bankruptcy

Four years ago he bailed out the city's automotive industry, and a whole lot of union votes. Moments ago, Obama was just called in again, this time to bail out the entire city. "Representative Chaka Fattah (D-PA), a leader of the Congressional Urban Caucus, sent a letter to President Obama today calling on the Administration to lend a helping hand to Detroit, Michigan following the news that the city has filed for bankruptcy." So will the president play favorites? Or will the municipal bailout begin where the private sector bailout ended? And since bailouts tend to be contagious, if and when Obama does "lend a helping hand" to Detroit, paid for by all US taxpayers, which city, or rather cities, will demand the same treatment? And how long until other people's money finally runs out?



Are Stocks Cheap?

With the S&P 500 joining the rest of the maddening herd at new all-time highs, we are still told day after day that stocks are cheap. This seems somewhat odd in the face of an ugly reality that sees GDP and earnings expectations being ratcheted down day after day also. We decided to look at the facts. The current 12-month trailing P/E ratio (as reported earnings) is 18.3x; the 12-month trailing P/E ratio at the time of the 2007 peak in S&P 500 earnings was 17.7x - so stocks are in fact more expensive now than at the prior peak. Furthermore, S&P 500 operating earnings have peaked in the $24-25 per share range since 2007, but have never exceeded $26 per share. The secret to the 'cheapness' is in the alchemy of the future...the hockey-stick... S&P forecasts quarterly EPS will increase 28% to over $33 per share by 4Q14 (which means we are currently trading at 14.3x forecast 2014 as reported earnings) despite EBITDA having rolled over and growing at its slowest rate in over three years.




Eric Sprott Asks "Do Western Central Banks Have Any Gold Left?"

Recent dramatic declines in gold prices and strong redemptions from physical ETFs (such as the GLD) have been interpreted by the financial press as indicating the end of the gold bull market. Conversely, our analysis of the supply and demand dynamics underlying the gold market does not support this interpretation. As we have shown in previous articles, the past decade has seen a large discrepancy between the available gold supply and sales. Many recent events suggest that the Central Banks are getting close to the end of their supplies and that the physical market for gold is becoming increasingly tight. The recent sell-off was all orchestrated to increase supply and tame demand. We believe that central planners are now running out of options to suppress the gold price. After taking a pause, the secular gold bull market is set to continue.




12 Things That Will Happen Next In Detroit's Bankruptcy

Here’s what happens next...



Detroit Mayor Bing Reacts To Bankruptcy - Press Conference Live Webcast

Watch the first official press conference following the largest US muni bankruptcy in history.


BLS Leaks Employment Data



Filing Paints Bleak Picture of Motor City...

Pension Funds Sue to Block...

City official demands federal taxpayer bailout...

FLASHBACK: Obama 2012: 'We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt'...

Former Romney spokesman blasts...

36 Municipal Bankruptcy Filings Since Jan '10...

Bernanke says he is 'not qualified' to offer refinancing advice...


Jesse Jackson: Florida an 'Apartheid State'...
Calls For Boycott...

CNN's ratings nosedive following Zimmerman trial...
Charles Barkley: 'I Agree With Verdict'...
'A lot of black people are racist too'...

"I Refused To Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" - Barack Obama, October 2012

Just nine short months after proclaiming victory on his plan to save Detroit by throwing taxpayer money at the 'problem' of over-levered, over-unioned, and under-demanded auto manufacturers, it seems the ball is back in President Obama's court once again. He "refused to throw in the towel and do nothing. We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt. We bet on American workers and American ingenuity, and three years later, that bet is paying off in a big way." Of course, what the rest of the unsuspecting US citizenry is likely unaware of yet is that once again the municipal workers' pension plans (that face 90% losses) will be bailed-out via the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) - A US Government (ponzi) Agency. But of course, that's for the good of the whole nation...



When 60 Years Of Lies Clash With Reality: Michigan Governor Snyder Authorizes Detroit's Bankruptcy

"Both before and after the appointment of an emergency manager, many talented individuals have put enormous energy into attempting to avoid this outcome. I knew from the outset that it would be difficult to reverse 60 years of decline in which promises were made that did not reflect the reality of the ability to deliver on those promises. I very much hoped those efforts would succeed without resorting to bankruptcy. Unfortunately, they have not. We must face the fact that the City cannot and is not paying its debts as they become due, and is insolvent..... I know we share a concern for the public employees who gave years of service to the City and now fear for their financial future in retirement, and I am confident that all of the City's creditors will be treated fairly in this process. "

Richard D. Snyder Governor, State of Michigan



Detroit Files: Full Chapter 9 Petition

And this is how Obama creates jobs. Bankruptcy lawyer jobs that is.



America In A Nutshell: S&P Hits All Time High As Detroit Files For Bankruptcy




Detroit Files Chapter 9 Bankruptcy As Moody's Raises US Outlook

Change you can believe in with Detroit filing Chapter 9. But, really, adjusted for AFS, one-time items and a stock buyback which was pending but never fully effected, it is only a Chapter 11 and thus bullish.

Wait, wait, we know: it's the weather's fault. Also, soaring gas prices mean much more weather is coming.



Stocks Surge To New Highs - Best Run In 32 Months

The S&P 500 is up 8.5% from the 6/24 lows - the best 17-day run since Oct 2011 when the world's central banks launched their unprecedented 'save-the-markets' co-ordinated easing/printfest (as an aside, the S&P fell 140pts (or 12%) in the next 2 weeks). Trannies were on top today (+1.6%) while Nasdaq took the rear (-0.25%); homebuilders are down 2% on the week and 3% post-FOMC while Utilities and Financials are running 2% higher on the week. Aways from exuberant equities, bonds cracked 8bps higher in yield off their pre-Bernanke low yield levels (with the long-end notably underperforming on the week); the USD jumped back up to unchanged on the week (as JPY dumped - aiding risk-assets); and silver and gold diverged with the former holding the week's lows as gold limped higher. The real story of the day is oil prices which screamed above $108 - highest in 14 months - crushing the Brent-WTI spread. Hedgers were active (though clearly not sellers) as VIX notably underperformed stocks (as did credit indices).



Google, Microsoft Miss Top And Bottom Line; Stocks Tumble

Following yesterday's disappointing results from Intel, and the IBM revenue miss, completing the sad state of Q2 earnings season for tech companies are the just reported GOOG and MSFT results, both which missed not only on the topline but also on the bottom line. Guess they didn't have billions in reserve releases and Available For Sale MTM fudges to confuse HFT algos and pundits with.




The Jobs Number Is BS Says Former Head Of BLS

After every non-farm payroll report we provide our own breakdown of what the real unemployment rate is in a country in which the labor force participation rate has not been adjusted to normalize for the Second Great Depression. In the most recent such endeavor we found the "Real Unemployment Rate" to be 11.3%. Today, courtesy of the Post's John Crudele we find that our estimate was spot on not just from anyone, but the former head of the BLS himself: Keith Hall.




Regulators Eye Dark Pool Secrecy And Hi-Freaks' "Algos Gone Wild"

It has been almost 2 years since FINRA started to get 'serious' about thinking about looking into an investigation of (get our point) high-frequency trading and dark pools but it seems, as the WSJ reports, this time they are more specific. In Sept 2011 FINRA noted "there's something that's troubling us in the marketplace," and it seems now that FINRA has spent the time since understanding the jargon they have some questions,  "who is responsible for the automatic shut off or kill switch," asking firms how they avoid "quote bursts and stuffing" that create confusion for other investors and potentially distort the market, and approving a plan to force dark pools (15% of all stock trading)  to disclose and detail trading activity on their platforms.  Of course, we've seen this kind of bluster before and they did nothing then but hope springs eternal.



Stock Prices Are Outrunning Corporate Profits: When Has This Happened Before?

Global conditions in early 1928 were oddly similar to today (Benjamin Strong puzzling over a strange brew of rising stock prices, uneven economic recovery, suspect banking practices and unusual strains in Europe’s monetary system), but skewed in a direction that would cause our current policymakers to apply even stronger stimulus than we’ve seen in 2013. The analogy suggests to us that today’s Fed is threatening mistakes that aren’t unlike those of the 1920s Fed. But what about the stock market? Unfortunately, a few market characteristics fit the late 1920s timeline pretty well... There can be little doubt that today’s Fed-fueled asset price rallies merely bring future price appreciation forward to the present. Asset prices eventually return to fundamental values, and as they do the Fed’s cherished wealth effects work in reverse. This is another risk that should be considered when you decide whether to take Bernanke’s bait and “reach for yield” in stocks and other risky assets.





Eric Holder Slams "Stand Your Ground" Laws, Claims Self-Defense May "Sow Dangerous Conflict"

US AG Eric Holder, who it appears is not busy committing perjury before Congress, or failing to prosecute one single TBTF bank due to their systemic nature, or eavesdropping on the AP, or recording every American electronic communication, or selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, or generally using the constitution as one-ply toilet paper, has found some time to peddle his thoughts on the Trayvon Martin shooting at an NAACP convention in Orlando. So what did the head of the US department of justice say? He proceeds to blast "Stand your ground" laws, because, you see, having the right to self-defense is dangerous and may lead to escalations. No really: "Separate and apart from the case that has drawn the nation's attention, it's time to question laws that senselessly expand the concept of self-defense and sow dangerous conflict in our neighborhoods." In other words, Holder is spreading a very christian message: when slapped, present the other cheek.




Microsoft: "We Don't Provide Any Government With Direct Access...We Need The Attorney General To Uphold The Constitution"  { Oh come on … that depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ … excuse me … ‘direct’ is … riiiiight… Actually that’s been going on for quite some time; and, I believe significantly as part of the quid pro quo for the government’s ‘hands-off’ policy since the antitrust litigation. But, even of more significance, particularly early on, is the ‘backdoor’ accessible in virtually all (intel chip) ‘wintel’ machines. Keep in mind, however, that apple is now an ‘intel shop’.  }

A few days ago, Edward Snowden made even fewers friends in the corporate tech community with his Guardian disclosures that "Microsoft Helped The NSA Bypass Its Own Encryption Software, Spy On Its Clients." This promptly got the legal team the MSFT scrambling, and moments ago, the firm's General Counsel Brad Smith posted on MSFT's blog that, guess what, the world's biggest desktop OS maker doesn't give government data encryption keys or customer data. Well... what else were they going to say? Oh yes, repeat "direct acces" 6 times in a blog post, making it all too clear the whole issue is merely about semantics.





Is This The Chart Reflecting The True State Of The US Economy?

Since the US monetary system is (mostly) a closed loop, it has become impossible to rely on the US stock market for anything besides "analyzing" how many hot potatoes the excess reserve-funded Primary Dealers are juggling with each other. However, there may be one place that remains untouched by the Fed's intervention: foreign opinion of the US, which manifests itself in capital fund flows, the same fund flows that the TIC data reports every month with a 2-month delay. Because if foreign capital flows remain the only remaining objective indicator of US economic health, then the US has some very serious problems on its hands...



Something Is Up (Not Stocks)

Between Kansas City Fed's George's comments on Tapering sooner rather than later and the end of today's POMO, US equities are sliding the most intraday since Bernanke said "moar" last week. Interestingly, the USD is being sold rather notably - a trend that began following yesterday's retail sales miss; but bonds are little changed despite the drop in stocks. Homebuilders have retraced all of their spike gains from the NAHB idiocy and financials are now negative for the week with only Utilities in the green. Gold and Silver are up - as is WTI but oil is leaking lower as stocks fade.




NAHB Ignores Recent Housing Shock, Thinks The Happiest Thoughts Since 2006

Homebuilder stocks are already giving back their spike gains from the surreal "if we hope it, they will buy" numbers from the NAHB on future sales expectations but we thought - given the unprecedented spike in mortgage rates, collapse in mortgage applications, and slowing home sales - that a couple of charts were in order to reflect upon the best two-month rise in 'hope' for futures sales in 22 years...



Spot When Central Planning Took Over

As car sales collapse once again in Europe (and Fiat at the top of the pile of dismal results), and the Italian Senate set to hold a no-confidence vote in the Deputy PM, we thought it an opportune moment to revisit the most ridiculous chart in the world. Presented for your eye-rubbing pleasure, Italy - market vs macro... Can you see when the central-planners 'promise' took over, and reality ended?


10 Things Most Americans Don't Know About America

Authored by Mark Mason via The Burning Platform blog,

Imagine you have a brother and he’s an alcoholic. He has his moments, but you keep your distance from him. You don’t mind him for the occasional family gathering or holiday. You still love him. But you don’t want to be around him. This is how I lovingly describe my current relationship with the United States. The United States is my alcoholic brother. And although I will always love him, I don’t want to be near him at the moment.



I know that’s harsh, but I really feel my home country is not in a good place these days. That’s not a socio-economic statement (although that’s on the decline as well), but rather a cultural one.

I realize it’s going to be impossible to write sentences like the ones above without coming across as a raging prick, so let me try to soften the blow to my American readers with an analogy:

You know when you move out of your parents’ house and live on your own, how you start hanging out with your friends’ families and you realize that actually, your family was a little screwed up? Stuff you always assumed was normal your entire childhood, it turns out was pretty weird and may have actually fucked you up a little bit. You know, dad thinking it was funny to wear a Santa Claus hat in his underwear every Christmas or the fact that you and your sister slept in the same bed until you were 22, or that your mother routinely cried over a bottle of wine while listening to Elton John.

The point is we don’t really get perspective on what’s close to us until we spend time away from it. Just like you didn’t realize the weird quirks and nuances of your family until you left and spent time with others, the same is true for country and culture. You often don’t see what’s messed up about your country and culture until you step outside of it.

And so even though this article is going to come across as fairly scathing, I want my American readers to know: some of the stuff we do, some of the stuff that we always assumed was normal, it’s kind of screwed up. And that’s OK. Because that’s true with every culture. It’s just easier to spot it in others (i.e., the French) so we don’t always notice it in ourselves.

So as you read this article, know that I’m saying everything with tough love, the same tough love with which I’d sit down and lecture an alcoholic family member. It doesn’t mean I don’t love you. It doesn’t mean there aren’t some awesome things about you (BRO, THAT’S AWESOME!!!). And it doesn’t mean I’m some saint either, because god knows I’m pretty screwed up (I’m American, after all). There are just a few things you need to hear. And as a friend, I’m going to tell them to you.

And to my foreign readers, get your necks ready, because this is going to be a nod-a-thon.

A Little “What The Hell Does This Guy Know?” Background: I’ve lived in different parts of the US, both the deep south and the northeast. I have visited most of the US’s 50 states. I’ve spent the past three years living almost entirely outside of the United States. I’ve lived in multiple countries in Europe, Asia and South America. I’ve visited over 40 countries in all and have spent far more time with non-Americans than with Americans during this period. I speak multiple languages. I’m not a tourist. I don’t stay in resorts and rarely stay in hostels. I rent apartments and try to integrate myself into each country I visit as much as possible. So there.

(Note: I realize these are generalizations and I realize there are always exceptions. I get it. You don’t have to post 55 comments telling me that you and your best friend are exceptions. If you really get that offended from some guy’s blog post, you may want to double-check your life priorities.)

OK, we’re ready now. 10 things Americans don’t know about America.

1. Few People Are Impressed By Us

Unless you’re speaking with a real estate agent or a prostitute, chances are they’re not going to be excited that you’re American. It’s not some badge of honor we get to parade around. Yes, we had Steve Jobs and Thomas Edison, but unless you actually are Steve Jobs or Thomas Edison (which is unlikely) then most people around the world are simply not going to care. There are exceptions of course. And those exceptions are called English and Australian people. Whoopdie-fucking-doo.

As Americans, we’re brought up our entire lives being taught that we’re the best, we did everything first and that the rest of the world follows our lead. Not only is this not true, but people get irritated when you bring it to their country with you. So don’t.

2. Few People Hate Us

Despite the occasional eye-rolling, and complete inability to understand why anyone would vote for George W. Bush, people from other countries don’t hate us either. In fact — and I know this is a really sobering realization for us — most people in the world don’t really think about us or care about us. I know, that sounds absurd, especially with CNN and Fox News showing the same 20 angry Arab men on repeat for ten years straight. But unless we’re invading someone’s country or threatening to invade someone’s country (which is likely), then there’s a 99.99% chance they don’t care about us. Just like we rarely think about the people in Bolivia or Mongolia, most people don’t think about us much. They have jobs, kids, house payments — you know, those things called lives — to worry about. Kind of like us.

Americans tend to assume that the rest of the world either loves us or hates us (this is actually a good litmus test to tell if someone is conservative or liberal). The fact is, most people feel neither. Most people don’t think much about us.

Remember that immature girl in high school, who every little thing that happened to her meant that someone either hated her or was obsessed with her; who thought every teacher who ever gave her a bad grade was being totally unfair and everything good that happened to her was because of how amazing she was? Yeah, we’re that immature high school girl.

3. We Know Nothing About The Rest Of The World

For all of our talk about being global leaders and how everyone follows us, we don’t seem to know much about our supposed “followers.” They often have completely different takes on history than we do. Here were some brain-stumpers for me: the Vietnamese believe the Vietnam War was about China (not us), Hitler was primarily defeated by Russia (not us), Native Americans were wiped out largely disease and plague (not us), and the American Revolution was “won” because the British cared more about beating France (not us). Notice a running theme here?

(Hint: It’s not all about us.)

We did not invent democracy. We didn’t even invent modern democracy. There were parliamentary systems in England and other parts of Europe over a hundred years before we created government. In a recent survey of young Americans, 63% could not find Iraq on a map (despite being at war with them), and 54% did not know Sudan was a country in Africa. Yet, somehow we’re positive that everyone else looks up to us.

4. We Are Poor At Expressing Gratitude And Affection

There’s a saying about English-speakers. We say “Go fuck yourself,” when we really mean “I like you,” and we say “I like you,” when we really mean “Go fuck yourself.”

Outside of getting shit-housed drunk and screaming “I LOVE YOU, MAN!”, open displays of affection in American culture are tepid and rare. Latin and some European cultures describe us as “cold” and “passionless” and for good reason. In our social lives we don’t say what we mean and we don’t mean what we say.

In our culture, appreciation and affection are implied rather than spoken outright. Two guy friends call each other names to reinforce their friendship; men and women tease and make fun of each other to imply interest. Feelings are almost never shared openly and freely. Consumer culture has cheapened our language of gratitude. Something like, “It’s so good to see you” is empty now because it’s expected and heard from everybody.

In dating, when I find a woman attractive, I almost always walk right up to her and tell her that a) I wanted to meet her, and b) she’s beautiful. In America, women usually get incredibly nervous and confused when I do this. They’ll make jokes to defuse the situation or sometimes ask me if I’m part of a TV show or something playing a prank. Even when they’re interested and go on dates with me, they get a bit disoriented when I’m so blunt with my interest. Whereas, in almost every other culture approaching women this way is met with a confident smile and a “Thank you.”

5. The Quality of Life For The Average American Is Not That Great

If you’re extremely talented or intelligent, the US is probably the best place in the world to live. The system is stacked heavily to allow people of talent and advantage to rise to the top quickly.

The problem with the US is that everyone thinks they are of talent and advantage. As John Steinbeck famously said, the problem with poor Americans is that “they don’t believe they’re poor, but rather temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” It’s this culture of self-delusion that allows America to continue to innovate and churn out new industry more than anyone else in the world. But this shared delusion also unfortunately keeps perpetuating large social inequalities and the quality of life for the average citizen lower than most other developed countries. It’s the price we pay to maintain our growth and economic dominance.

In my Guide to Wealth, I defined being wealthy as, “Having the freedom to maximize one’s life experiences.” In those terms, despite the average American having more material wealth than citizens of most other countries (more cars, bigger houses, nicer televisions), their overall quality of life suffers in my opinion. American people on average work more hours with less vacation, spend more time commuting every day, and are saddled with over $10,000 of debt. That’s a lot of time spent working and buying crap and little time or disposable income for relationships, activities or new experiences.

6. The Rest Of The World Is Not A Slum-Ridden Shithole Compared To Us

In 2010, I got into a taxi in Bangkok to take me to a new six-story cineplex. It was accessible by metro, but I chose a taxi instead. On the seat in front of me was a sign with a wifi password. Wait, what? I asked the driver if he had wifi in his taxi. He flashed a huge smile. The squat Thai man, with his pidgin English, explained that he had installed it himself. He then turned on his new sound system and disco lights. His taxi instantly became a cheesy nightclub on wheels… with free wifi.

If there’s one constant in my travels over the past three years, it has been that almost every place I’ve visited (especially in Asia and South America) is much nicer and safer than I expected it to be. Singapore is pristine. Hong Kong makes Manhattan look like a suburb. My neighborhood in Colombia is nicer than the one I lived in in Boston (and cheaper).

As Americans, we have this naïve assumption that people all over the world are struggling and way behind us. They’re not. Sweden and South Korea have more advanced high speed internet networks. Japan has the most advanced trains and transportation systems. Norwegians make more money. The biggest and most advanced plane in the world is flown out of Singapore. The tallest buildings in the world are now in Dubai and Shanghai. Meanwhile, the US has the highest incarceration rate in the world.

What’s so surprising about the world is how unsurprising most of it is. I spent a week with some local guys in Cambodia. You know what their biggest concerns were? Paying for school, getting to work on time, and what their friends were saying about them. In Brazil, people have debt problems, hate getting stuck in traffic and complain about their overbearing mothers. Every country thinks they have the worst drivers. Every country thinks their weather is unpredictable. The world becomes, err… predictable.

7. We’re Paranoid

Not only are we emotionally insecure as a culture, but I’ve come to realize how paranoid we are about our physical security. You don’t have to watch Fox News or CNN for more than 10 minutes to hear about how our drinking water is going to kill us, our neighbor is going to rape our children, some terrorist in Yemen is going to kill us because we didn’t torture him, Mexicans are going to kill us, or some virus from a bird is going to kill us. There’s a reason we have more guns than people.

In the US, security trumps everything, even liberty. We’re paranoid.

I’ve probably been to 10 countries now that friends and family back home told me explicitly not to go because someone was going to kill me, kidnap me, stab me, rob me, rape me, sell me into sex trade, give me HIV, or whatever else. None of that has happened. I’ve never been robbed and I’ve walked through some of the shittiest parts of Asia, Latin America and Eastern Europe.

In fact, the experience has been the opposite. In countries like Russia, Colombia or Guatemala, people were so friendly it actually scared me. Some stranger in a bar would invite me to his house for a bar-b-que with his family, a random person on the street would offer to show me around and give me directions to a store I was trying to find. My American instincts were always that, “Wait, this guy is going to try to rob me or kill me,” but they never did. They were just insanely friendly.

8. We’re Status-Obsessed And Seek Attention

I’ve noticed that the way we Americans communicate is usually designed to create a lot of attention and hype. Again, I think this is a product of our consumer culture: the belief that something isn’t worthwhile or important unless it’s perceived to be the best (BEST EVER!!!) or unless it gets a lot of attention (see: every reality-television show ever made).

This is why Americans have a peculiar habit of thinking everything is “totally awesome,” and even the most mundane activities were “the best thing ever!” It’s the unconscious drive we share for importance and significance, this unmentioned belief, socially beaten into us since birth that if we’re not the best at something, then we don’t matter.

We’re status-obsessed. Our culture is built around achievement, production and being exceptional. Therefore comparing ourselves and attempting to out-do one another has infiltrated our social relationships as well. Who can slam the most beers first? Who can get reservations at the best restaurant? Who knows the promoter to the club? Who dated a girl on the cheerleading squad? Socializing becomes objectified and turned into a competition. And if you’re not winning, the implication is that you are not important and no one will like you.

9. We Are Very Unhealthy

Unless you have cancer or something equally dire, the health care system in the US sucks. The World Health Organization ranked the US 37th in the world for health care, despite the fact that we spend the most per capita by a large margin.

The hospitals are nicer in Asia (with European-educated doctors and nurses) and cost a tenth as much. Something as routine as a vaccination costs multiple hundreds of dollars in the US and less than $10 in Colombia. And before you make fun of Colombian hospitals, Colombia is 28th in the world on that WHO list, nine spots higher than us.

A routine STD test that can run you over $200 in the US is free in many countries to anyone, citizen or not. My health insurance the past year? $65 a month. Why? Because I live outside of the US. An American guy I met living in Buenos Aires got knee surgery on his ACL that would have cost $10,000 in the US… for free.

But this isn’t really getting into the real problems of our health. Our food is killing us. I’m not going to go crazy with the details, but we eat chemically-laced crap because it’s cheaper and tastes better (profit, profit). Our portion sizes are absurd (more profit). And we’re by far the most prescribed nation in the world AND our drugs cost five to ten times more than they do even in Canada (ohhhhhhh, profit, you sexy bitch).

In terms of life expectancy, despite being the richest country in the world, we come in a paltry 38th. Right behind Cuba, Malta and the United Arab Emirates, and slightly ahead of Slovenia, Kuwait and Uruguay. Enjoy your Big Mac.

10. We Mistake Comfort For Happiness

The United States is a country built on the exaltation of economic growth and personal ingenuity. Small businesses and constant growth are celebrated and supported above all else — above affordable health care, above respectable education, above everything. Americans believe it’s your responsibility to take care of yourself and make something of yourself, not the state’s, not your community’s, not even your friend’s or family’s in some instances.

Comfort sells easier than happiness. Comfort is easy. It requires no effort and no work. Happiness takes effort. It requires being proactive, confronting fears, facing difficult situations, and having unpleasant conversations.

Comfort equals sales. We’ve been sold comfort for generations and for generations we bought: bigger houses, separated further and further out into the suburbs; bigger TV’s, more movies, and take-out. The American public is becoming docile and complacent. We’re obese and entitled. When we travel, we look for giant hotels that will insulate us and pamper us rather than for legitimate cultural experiences that may challenge our perspectives or help us grow as individuals.

Depression and anxiety disorders are soaring within the US. Our inability to confront anything unpleasant around us has not only created a national sense of entitlement, but it’s disconnected us from what actually drives happiness: relationships, unique experiences, feeling self-validated, achieving personal goals. It’s easier to watch a NASCAR race on television and tweet about it than to actually get out and try something new with a friend.

Unfortunately, a by-product of our massive commercial success is that we’re able to avoid the necessary emotional struggles of life in lieu of easy superficial pleasures.


Throughout history, every dominant civilization eventually collapsed because it became TOO successful. What made it powerful and unique grows out of proportion and consumes its society. I think this is true for American society. We’re complacent, entitled and unhealthy. My generation is the first generation of Americans who will be worse off than their parents, economically, physically and emotionally. And this is not due to a lack of resources, to a lack of education or to a lack of ingenuity. It’s corruption and complacency. The corruption from the massive industries that control our government’s policies, and the fat complacency of the people to sit around and let it happen.

There are things I love about my country. I don’t hate the US and I still return to it a few times a year. But I think the greatest flaw of American culture is our blind self-absorption. In the past it only hurt other countries. But now it’s starting to hurt ourselves.

So this is my lecture to my alcoholic brother — my own flavor of arrogance and self-absorption, even if slightly more informed — in hopes he’ll give up his wayward ways. I imagine it’ll fall on deaf ears, but it’s the most I can do for now. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some funny cat pictures to look at.


Brothers Murdered Over ‘Free Zimmerman’ Sticker?  { Typical uncivilized niggers! }

Paul Joseph Watson | Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office accused of covering up hate crime.


Jogger Kidnapped and Attacked over Zimmerman verdict { Typical uncivilized niggers! }

Adan Salazar | “I’m lucky I wasn’t killed, you know?”


Operation Paul Revere: Infowars On-Line Film Festival Is Now Live! | Contestants are the militia in the info war.


Trayvon ‘Protesters’ Storm Wal-Mart, Assault Bystanders { Typical uncivilized niggers! }

Paul Joseph Watson | T-shirt shows Zimmerman ‘wanted dead or alive’.


Witness claims youths yelled ‘this is for Trayvon’ in beating { Typical uncivilized niggers! }

The Baltimore Sun | Baltimore police say they are investigating a witness account that a group of black youths beat a Hispanic man near Patterson Park Sunday while saying, “This is for Trayvon.”


Russia Amasses ‘Full Combat Readiness’ Strategic Bombers

Anthony Gucciardi | Vladimir Putin has called for the nation’s strategic bombers to enter a state of ‘full combat readiness’ following the ‘snap drills’.


Muslim Brotherhood Beat, Kidnap Child

YouTube | Disturbing news footage from Egypt shows members of the Muslim Brotherhood kicking and hitting a child in the street.


The fall of reason: How to protect your sanity in an insane world

Mike Adams | By now, I think we all are overwhelmingly convinced that we live in an insane world. I call it the “post-reason era.”


Report: Amnesia patient with Florida tie awakes in California speaking only ...  Orlando Sentinel  A new clue has surfaced in the case of a 61-year-old amnesia patient from Florida who woke up four months ago in Southern California speaking only Swedish with no memories of his past, The Desert Sun in Palm Springs is reporting.


Amnesia patient Michael Boatwright's sister located in Louisiana

What we know about Michael Boatwright, who woke up in Palm Springs with amnesia

Amnesia sufferer Michael Boatwright


There Are 747,000 Registered Sex Offenders In The United States

America has just about reached a new milestone – we currently have close to three quarters of a million registered sex offenders in this country.  According to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, there are 747,408 registered sex offenders in the United States right now.  And those are just the ones that have been caught and convicted.  How many more sickos are running around out there that we don’t even know about?  This isn’t just a problem – this is a national epidemic of unprecedented proportions.  Once upon a time in America, you could let your children run around the neighborhood and play without giving it a second thought.  But now you have to watch your kids like a hawk because there are literally millions of twisted individuals out there that would love to get their hands on them if they could.  We have become a nation that is absolutely obsessed with sex, and it is destroying us. (Read More.....)

Why Did The Obama Administration “Organize And Manage” Protests Against George Zimmerman?


Baltimore Witness: Group of Blacks Beat Hispanic Man, Yelling 'This Is For Trayvon'... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }
White jogger beaten... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }
Protesters storm WALMART... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }
Soul singer attacked after dedicating song to Trayvon...
'You m—–f——, you started this!'
VIDEO: CBS Reporter, Photographer Attacked... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }
LAPD vows crackdown...
Zimmerman's Parents in Hiding from 'Enormous Amount of Death Threats'... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }
Chicago Church Marquee: 'It Is Safe To Kill BLACK PEOPLE In Amerikkka'... { If only that were true, there might be some hope; cause actually, violence by blacks against whites, including murder, is prevalent yet underreported as axiomatic as it is. }
Verdict unleashed pent up rage... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }
NUGENT: Vindicates citizen patrols, self-defense...
STEVIE WONDER BOYCOTTS FLORIDA... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }
Maya Angelou: 'What is really injured is psyche of our national population'... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }
Prosecutor Excused Potential Black Juror for Being a FOXNEWS Watcher...
Zimmerman Family Suspects Obama Tapping Their Phones... { Typical uncivilized niggers! }



The List Of Trayvon Martin Revenge Attacks Is Growing Rapidly

The acquittal of George Zimmerman has unleashed a wave of fury unlike anything the United States has seen in a very long time.  All over the country there have been incidents where young people have expressed their frustrations by committing violent acts.  Someone needs to tell them that violence is definitely not the answer.  No matter how you may feel about the Zimmerman verdict, there is absolutely no excuse for committing violence against innocent people.  America is never going to be able to come together until we start choosing to love one another and forgive one another.  Anyone that chooses to regard a certain group of people as “the enemy” because they have a different skin color is part of the problem.  When you cut any of us open, we all bleed red blood on the inside.  We are all brothers and sisters, and we need to start behaving that way.  Unfortunately, many are choosing to go down the path of violence instead, and the list of Trayvon Martin revenge attacks is growing rapidly.  The following are some of the more prominent incidents from the last couple of days…

*(Read More....)

Human-Animal Hybrids: Sick And Twisted Chimeras Are Being Created In Labs All Over The Planet

Did you know that scientists all over the globe are creating extremely bizarre human-animal chimeras?  Over the past decade, there have been some absolutely stunning advances in the field of genetic modification.  Today, it is literally possible for college students to create new lifeforms in their basements.  Unfortunately, laws have not kept pace with these advancements, and in many countries there are very few limits on what scientists are allowed to do.  As you will read about below, extremely creepy human-animal hybrids are now being created in laboratories all over the planet.  And this is just the stuff that is publicly admitted.  Can you imagine what kind of sick and twisted experiments are taking place in the dark corners of secret labs that nobody knows about?  And what happens if these creatures get out into the wild and starting mating?  At that point, it would be nearly impossible to “put the genie back into the bottle”.  Scientists seem very eager to test the limits of what is possible, but what they are unleashing may have consequences that none of us ever dreamed possible.

Just the other day, we learned (Read More....)


A national DNA database is coming.  Barack Obama has already said that he wants one.  A major Supreme Court decision last month paved the way for one.  The DNA of those that commit “serious crimes” is already being routinely collected all over the nation.  Some states (such as New Jersey) are now passing laws that will require DNA collection from those charged with committing “low level crimes”.  And a law that was passed under George W. Bush allows the federal government to screen the DNA of all newborn babies in the United States.  So how long will it be before we are all required to give DNA samples to the authorities?  How long will it be before DNA collection is routinely done when we take a trip to the DMV?  This may sound like science fiction to some people, but “security experts” and law enforcement personnel all over the country are now pushing for a national DNA database to be established.  Unfortunately, there is nothing really standing in the way of that.  The Supreme (Read More....)


Has The Era Of Genetically Pure “Gattaca Babies” Now Begun?

Should selective breeding be used to improve the human race?  Should we genetically screen embryos shortly after conception and choose only those that are the most genetically pure?  This may sound like science fiction, but as you will read about below, the technology for this is already operational.  On the 18th of May, a couple in Philadelphia gave birth to a baby that came from an embryo that was selected thanks to a cutting edge procedure known as “next-generation sequencing”.  This procedure allows scientists to read every letter of the human genome very rapidly and very cheaply.  So will millions of parents soon be lining up to check their potential offspring for “genetic abnormalities”?  Has the era of genetically pure “Gattaca babies” now begun?

This new technology is being heralded as a great “breakthrough” in the field of human fertility.  According to the Guardian, the scientists that helped develop this new procedure are promoting it as a way to help couples produce a much higher percentage of “healthy” babies…

The first IVF baby to be screened using a procedure that can read every (Read More....)


How Far Has The U.S. Fallen? America Leads The World In These 36 Shocking Categories…

The 4th of July is a great time to celebrate our independence from Great Britain and to remember all of the sacrifices that our forefathers made to make this country great.  But is America still great today?  Have we squandered our inheritance?  Have we wrecked the great nation that previous generations handed down to us?  Those may sound like harsh questions, but the truth is that most Americans know that the United States is in decline.  In fact, a recent Rasmussen survey found that 49 percent of all Americans believe that the best days of America are in the past and only 35 percent believe that the best days of America are in the future.  Those are staggering numbers, and they are an indication that we need to take a good, long look at ourselves in the mirror.  Did we lose our way somehow?  If so, can we find our way back to where we were before?  We are a nation which is in trouble physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually and financially.  Our house is crumbling and our foundations are rotting away.  We are in desperate need of national renewal.  The following are 36 embarrassing (Read More....)


U.S. Hypocrisy: We Claim To Defend Freedom, But We Spy On Our Friends And Intercept All Their Data


Biggest Golden Handshakes in History

Posted by : Pivotfarm

Post date: 07/15/2013 - 14:11

Call it what you will, a handshake or a parachute; the result is all the same. The rest of us just get elbow out of the way as we get pushed through the back door. The top executives leave by the...

1% Growth: QE Policy a Failure, Time for A Change

Posted by: EconMatters

Post date: 07/15/2013 - 15:08

Ben Bernanke blames fiscal policies out of Washington.  However, it is starting to look more and more like Fed policy is equally to blame for the lackluster U.S. GDP growth.

Bernanke Has Created a $4 Trillion a Day Ticking Time Bomb

Posted by: Phoenix Capital...

Post date: 07/15/2013 - 08:51

Wild price swings in a market of this size (that is often leveraged at 80 to 1 or even 100 to 1) mean massive amounts of wealth evaporating instantly. Historically, currencies are the first asset...

Cheat-Sheet On Spying

Posted by : George Washington

Post date: 07/15/2013 - 17:36

Start Here If You’re Too Busy to Read Up on the Spying Scandal


Posted by: williambanzai7

Post date: 07/15/2013 - 15:22






America's Undisputed Job Dynamo: Texas

A quick look at job creation on a state by state basis shows some very distinct losers, and one very obvious winner: Texas.

While one may debate the quality (most "growth" coming from part-time jobs) and quantity (most recently questioned by the rather dramatic recent divergence between JOLTS net turnover and payrolls) of reported US jobs, one thing remains a fact: there are still 2.3 million less jobs now than there were at the start of the great depression in December 2007, and half a million fewer jobs than in the immediate aftermath of the Lehman failure. Yet while the inability to catch up to a job picture from over 5 years ago is still true at the consolidated level, the picture is vastly different when broken down by state.

A quick look at job creation on a state by state basis shows some very distinct losers, and one very obvious winner: Texas.

As the following chart, which shows the cumulative job losses since December 2007 or the official start of the recession and depression, demonstrates, while the US still has millions of jobs to make for in the longest-ever "recovery" on record just to catch up to where it was nearly 6 years ago (excluding the increase in the labor force), there is little surprise when it comes to the biggest losers, which happen to be California, Florida and of course Illinois: these combined three states account for 1.2 million, or more than half of all cumulative job losses since the start of the Great Financial Crisis.

And while this trifecta of tribulation is hardly surprising, what may come as shock to some is that over the same period, the states of Texas has not only recouped all its losses, but has gained a total of 633K jobs, putting it firmly in first place in terms of job creation in the US. That most of these new jobs are due to the energy sector is confirmed when looking at that other standout - North Dakota - which like Texas, has gained some 79,300 jobs over the same time period. The final winner among the top three job gaining states: New York, mostly as a function of the FIRE industries roaring back following an unprecedented multi-trillion bail out by the government and the Fed, which continues to this day at a pace of $85 billion per month.


How does the above data look if one shortens the time horizon to only go back to the month following the Lehman failure, or October 2008?

More of the same. While cumulative total job losses are smaller, the three states at the top of job creation continue to be Texas, New York and North Dakota.

And on a snapshot basis: the three successful states, with Texas at the top with +542,000 jobs, have generate on a combined basis some 743K jobs, which is nearly double the total jobs lost over the same time period.

Bottom line: want jobs in a New Normal America? Then focus on finance or energy.

Everyone else gets a government job or is a part-time greeter at WalMart.

And congratulations to Texas. California, Florida and Illinois: not so much.



Germany's Humiliating Takedown Of The Coopted, Corrupt, Complicit, Corporate US Media

As the mainstream American press goes after NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, Germany's Spiegel note that the leakers' revelations appear to becoming an afterthought. As the Guardian's American chief noted, their competition has a "lack of skepticism on a whole" when it comes to national security. Critical scrutiny, she said, has been considered "unpatriotic" since 9/11.




Guest Post: The Criminals Have Seized Power

How do you change the direction of the country when power has been seized by the ultra-wealthy criminal class? When the financial, economic, political, military, judicial, and media organizations have been taken over by criminals who are looking out only for their financial interests, the few citizens who have the courage to speak the truth become enemies of the state. There is no non-violent solution to this state of affairs. This is what Fourth Turnings are all about.



Stocks Close At Another All-Time High On Lowest Volume Day Of Year

Thank to Boeing's 'recovery' - since there was no fire today - the Dow gained 20 points (of which 29 points were Boeing). The S&P managed new closing all-time highs on the lowest non-holiday volume day of the year. Bonds were well bid early in following the bad-is-better retail sales print (-7bps from early high yields). Commodities were leaking lower into the early macro data but as soon as it was confirmed that the US consumer is tapped out - gold, silver, copper, and WTI all started to surge higher. Homebuilders notably underperformed, Utilities significantly outperformed with the rest treading water. Early USD strength (on ripping JPY weakness) was removed rapidly following the 'yes, the US economy is dismal' confirming data and the slide continued all day - leaving the USD practically unchanged by the close. This is the 14th up-day in a row for the Nasdaq (longest streak since May 1990), the Russell is over 15% above its 200DMA (a multi-year record), and volume has cratered in the last 14 days.




"In Bankers We Trust" Is A Foolish Course Of Action...

It’s been said that goldfish have the shortest memory of any animal – only about three seconds. But a few years ago, scientists from Israel’s Technion Institute of Technology conducted an experiment which put to rest this erroneous myth. Based on their research, it turns out that goldfish have a memory closer to FIVE months... which seems to be quite a bit longer than most fund managers, bankers, and politicians. Their meme regarding crises, appears to be "but why should any of this matter? Those who control the system would never let things get bad." Pick up a book some time. History is full of examples of entire societies who thought the exact same thing. And yet, it happened. To throw caution to the wind and say, “In bankers we trust” is a foolish course of action… and presumes quite a bit upon the character of an entire industry that has consistently proven itself to be morally dysfunctional.


Goodbye Full-Time Jobs, Hello Part-Time Jobs, R.I.P. Middle Class

A fundamental shift is taking place in the U.S. economy.  In fact, this transition is rapidly picking up momentum and is in danger of becoming an avalanche.  The percentage of full-time jobs in our economy is steadily declining and the percentage of part-time jobs is steadily increasing.  This is not a recent phenomenon, but now there are several factors which are accelerating this trend.  One of them is Obamacare.  The truth is that Obamacare actually gives business owners incentive to cut hours and turn full-time workers into part-time workers, and according to the Wall Street Journal and other prominent publications this is already happening all over the United States.  Perhaps this is part of the reasons why the U.S. economy actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month. (Read More....)


Love Your Neighbor As You Love Yourself: An Appeal For Reconciliation

Whatever you may think about the George Zimmerman trial, the truth is that it is yet another example that shows very clearly how divided America is at this point.  I was hesitant to write anything about the Zimmerman trial today, because it seems like the more people talk about it the more divided we become.  But we need to have some honest discussions about these issues, because all of this division threatens to literally tear this nation apart.  If we do not learn how to love one another and forgive one another, America is not going to have any sort of a future.  After all this time, the people of the United States should have been able to get beyond racial hatred.  Instead, it appears to be growing with each passing day.  Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate African-American people.  Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Hispanic-American people.  Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Asian-American people.  Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate white people.  Right now, there are millions of Americans that hate Jewish people.  All of this hatred is evil, and it is eating away at our nation like cancer.  The problems that our country is facing are immense, and we are never going to have any hope of solving them until we can forgive one another and start to honestly love one another. (Read More....)



Global GDP Cycles, Or Another Seven Years Of Bad Economic Luck

Extrapolating the current decade's growth rate, Global GDP shoould be around USD 130tn by the end of 2020. However, based on the seemingly obvious cycles that have appeared through this series, we may be at a lowly USD80tn - over 35% lower than serial extrapolators believe potential to be... Is it any wonder so many of the current GDP forecasts have the mother of all hockey-sticks built in - despite current estmates being slashed non-stop for the last two years...



Ron Paul: "Let Market Forces Solve Organ Transplant Crisis"

Ten-year old cystic fibrosis patient Sarah Murnaghan captured the nation’s attention when federal bureaucrats imposed a de facto death sentence on her by refusing to modify the rules governing organ transplants. The rules in question forbid children under 12 from receiving transplants of adult organs. Even though Sarah’s own physician said she was an excellent candidate to receive an adult organ transplant, government officials refused to even consider modifying their rules. Supporters of the current system claim that organ donation is too important to be left to the marketplace. But this is nonsensical: if we trust the market to deliver food, shelter, and all other necessities, why should we not trust it to deliver healthcare—including organs?




Pink SMSlip

"Thx 4 all ur help, but ur fired." That was the text message that a group of 12 Florida restaurant employees received on July 4th. As the Daily News reports, Jodi Jackson, who spent two years working at Barducci's Italian Bistro in Winter Park, exclaimed, "I think it's immoral, I think it's cowardice." The staff have yet to receive their final paychecks, "I think we all deserve our compensation for money he's already made from us," one employee noted, "I don't know what to do now." So, it seems, despite the all-time highs in stocks, yet another group of employed people is feeling the pinch of a nation of corporations increasingly forced to margin-expansion at any cost. It is self-evident surely that at some point the cost-cutting margin-expanding feeds back into economic reality or is it simply moar of the same as the private sector employed are forced to become public-sector sucklers en masse. Everyone has heard about the proverbial text-message break up not. But getting a pink SMSlip is certainly one of the more novel developments of the New Abnormal, where employers are increasingly acting like teenagers.



Zimmerman Family Suspects Obama Is Tapping Their Phones { Typical uncivilized niggers! }

Steve Watson | Concerns over special interests groups pushing for federal hearing.


Brothers Murdered Over ‘Free Zimmerman’ Sticker?  { Typical uncivilized niggers! }

Paul Joseph Watson | Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office accused of covering up hate crime.


HAARP Facility Shuts Down

ARRL | HAARP — a subject of fascination for many hams and the target of conspiracy theorists and anti-government activists — has closed down.


Jogger says he was attacked in retaliation for Zimmerman verdict { Typical uncivilized niggers! }

FOX News | A man who says he was jogging alongside of a road when three black men abducted and beat him.


Stevie Wonder Boycotting Florida Following Zimmerman Verdict (Video)  { Who cares?  Old news … wonder who’d want to ‘see’ ‘little stevie’…  Typical uncivilized niggers!  } | The singer refuses to perform in the state until its Stand Your Ground law is “abolished.”


The Government’s ‘Passion’ to Protect Us

Ron Paul | No one will put the brakes on people like Keith Alexander, whose “passion” to “protect” us is leading us into totalitarianism.



Treasury: Debt Has Been Exactly $16,699,396,000,000.00 for 56 Days

CNS News | For 56 straight days the federal debt has remained approximately $25 million below the legal limit.


Goodbye Full-Time Jobs, Hello Part-Time Jobs, R.I.P. Middle Class

Economic Collapse | A fundamental shift is taking place in the U.S. economy.



Don't Be A Banker In These European Countries

As everyone knows, the only reason to become a banker, and be subject to constant derision, abuse, scorn and hatred by the "99%", and potentially to a fate comparable to that of the aristocracy in France circa 1789, is a simple one: money. Specifically, get as much of in as short a time period as possible, be rewarded with a taxpayer bailout or two when massive bets go epically wrong, then convert all your cash into "hard assets" and escape to a non-extradition country before the latest credit bubble pops. In other words, a simple opportunity cost analysis. Which then begs the question: why are there bankers in the following European countries: Slovenia, Romania, Malta, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic and Bulgaria. The one thing in common these countries have is that according to a just released European Banking Authority study, in the year ended 2011 not a single domiciled banker made over €1 million! In other words: bankers working for feudal peasant salaries. What a scam.




EFSF Downgraded To AA+, Or French Fitch Flunks EFSF Following France Flub

Prompted by their FrAAAnce downgrade to AA+, French-owned Fitch has downgraded Europe's last best promise/hope - the EFSF - from AAA to AA+... but the crisis is still behind us - we are assure by such truth-sayers as Juncker, Barroso, and Merkel (pre-elections). The key sentence is "Following the downgrade of France's IDR, the EFSF's long-term debt issues are not fully covered by 'AAA' guarantees and over-guarantees and, for debt issued before October 2011, by the cash reserve." So that's good then... Don't worry though since "Fitch assumes there will be progress in deepening fiscal and financial integration at the eurozone level in line with commitments by euro area policy makers"




Guest Post: 10 Points To Consider In The Natural-Gas-Vehicle Debate

The perception of natural gas as a mainstream fuel for vehicles runs the gamut, dependent upon where you live: from the improbable... to the viable... to the everyday reality. So here are ten points to stir up the melding pot of the great natural gas vehicle debate.




The One Chart Explanation Behind Ben Bernanke's "Open Mouth Operation" Scramble

The pain that banks have experienced can best be seen in the following chart showing the latest update in "Net unrealized gains (losses) on available-for-sale securities" from the Fed's weekly H.8. Two things come to mind: i) For the first time since April 2011, unrealized gains in AFS portfolios among the entire US banking sector became losses, and  ii) The two month rate of loss creation in MTM exempt AFS portfolio soared to the highest in series history.




Guest Post: The Overworked And The Idle

A society of the increasingly overworked and involuntarily idle is not a stable or happy one. Yes, there are pockets of state fiefdoms and private sectors where workers are well-compensated for low-stress work, but these are exceptions, not the norm. No wonder those who can do so are quitting and filing for Social Security or tapping their 401K retirement plans to get by, or otherwise opting out of the labor force. Pressure is building along multiple fault lines beneath the supposedly expanding American economy. What's really expanding are stress, ill health, chronic depression, financial insecurity and the frustrations of the powerless.




Olive Oil And Feta Cheese Not Accepted By ECB As Collateral, But...

... everything else (give or take) is.



Goldman Joins JPM In Cutting Q2 GDP To 1% Stall Speed; A "Funny Chart" Becomes Funnier

Last week it was JPM just somewhat contradicting Jamie Dimon's "kid gloves" CNBC infomercial, when it slashed its Q1 GDP forecast from 2% to 1% (and about to be revised to sub-stall speed). Today, following the latest retail sales unadjusted disaster, it is Goldman's turn to slash its Q2 GDP tracking estimate from 1.3% to 1.0%. Stall speed has arrived despite everyone's forecasts for the this time it's different glorious US economic renaissance (so far "deferred" each year since 2010).


The iLectricChair: Woman Electrocuted To Death By Her Charging iPhone

"Her neck had an obvious electronic injury," was the local Public Security Bureau's findings following the death of Ma Ailun, a 23-year old Chinese woman whose family alleges she was electrocuted by her iPhone. In its statement, Apple said: "We are deeply saddened to learn of this tragic incident and offer our condolences to the Ma family. We will fully investigate and cooperate with authorities in this matter." The case remains under investigation, with Chinese officials yet to provide details on whether her smartphone, the charger, or something else killed the woman; but, as the WSJ reports, The China Consumers’ Association in May warned about the dangers of a "flood" of uncertified power chargers on the market (in Chinese). In the release the association warned the chargers could turn a smartphone into a “pocket grenade” and cause explosions, electric shock, or fires in a variety of electronic devices. Reuters notes that Ma's sister tweeted on Sina's microblog saying that Ma collapsed and died after using her charging iPhone 5 and urged users to be careful and the message has gone viral - "(I) hope that Apple Inc. can give us an explanation. I also hope that all of you will refrain from using your mobile devices while charging."





10 Reasons Why The Global Economy Is About To Experience Its Own Version Of “Sharknado”

Have you ever seen a disaster movie that is so bad that it is actually good?  Well, that is exactly what Syfy's new television movie entitled "Sharknado" is.  In the movie, wild weather patterns actually cause man-eating sharks to come flying out of the sky.  It sounds absolutely ridiculous, and it is.  You can view the trailer for the movie right here.  Unfortunately, we are witnessing something just as ridiculous in the real world right now.  In the United States, the mainstream media is breathlessly proclaiming that the U.S. economy is in great shape because job growth is "accelerating" (even though we actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs last month) and because the U.S. stock market set new all-time highs this week.  The mainstream media seems to be absolutely oblivious to all of the financial storm clouds that are gathering on the horizon.  The conditions for a "perfect storm" are rapidly developing, and by the time this is all over we may be wishing that flying sharks were all that we had to deal with.  The following are 10 reasons why the global economy is about to experience its own version of "Sharknado"... (Read More....)

#1 The financial situation in Portugal continues to deteriorate thanks to an emerging political crisis.  It all began last week when Portuguese finance minister Vitor Gaspar resigned...

"Mr. Gaspar's resignation on July 1 has opened a Pandora's box," says Nicholas Spiro, managing director of Spiro Sovereign Strategy. "Portuguese politicians from the President down are treating the exit of Mr. Gaspar, the architect of the fiscal and structural reforms demanded by the troika, as a green light for a public debate about the bail-out programme. Yet the manner in which this debate is taking place, with the President undermining the prime minister and the opposition leader seeking to renegotiate the terms of the programme, is spooking markets."

The general population is becoming increasingly restless as the nation plunges down the exact same path that Greece has gone.  Nobody seems to have any solutions as the economic problems continue to escalate.  According to Reuters, the president of Portugal has added fuel to the fire by calling for early elections next year...

Portugal's president threw the bailed-out euro zone country into disarray on Thursday after rejecting a plan to heal a government rift, igniting what critics called a "time bomb" by calling for early elections next year.

Due to all of this instability in Portugal, the yield on Portuguese bonds shot up to 7.51% this week.  That is a very bad sign.

#2 The economic depression in Greece continues to deepen, and it is being reported that Greece will not even come close to hitting the austerity targets that it was supposed to hit this year...

A leaked report from the European Commission confirms that Greece will miss its austerity targets yet again by a wide margin. It alleges that Greece lacks the “willingness and capacity” to collect taxes. In fact, Athens is missing targets because the economy is still in freefall and that is because of austerity overkill. The Greek think-tank IOBE expects GDP to fall 5pc this year. It has told journalists privately that the final figure may be -7pc.

Another 7 percent contraction for the Greek economy?

It has already been contracting steadily for years.

At this point, it would be hard to overstate how bad economic conditions inside Greece are.  The following is from a recent article by Simon Black...

My friend Illias took a drag of his cigarette as he contemplated my question.

"Our government tells us that this will be a better year. No one really believes them. But all we can do is be optimistic. Too many people are committing suicide."

His statement probably best sums up the situation in Greece right now. It's as if the hopelessness has gone stale, and the only thing they have to replace it with is desperate, misguided, faux-optimism. And anger.

There are roughly 11 million people in this country. 3.4 million of them are employed, of which roughly one third work for the government.

1.34 million people are 'officially' unemployed. To put this in context, it would be as if there were 36 million officially unemployed in the US.

More startling, if you add the number of 'inactive' workers (i.e. those who gave up looking), the total number of unemployed is roughly 57% of the entire Greek work force.

#3 The economic crisis in the third largest country in the eurozone, Italy, has taken another turn for the worse.  The unemployment rate in Italy is up to 12.2 percent, which is the highest in 35 years.  An average of 134 retail outlets are shutting down in Italy every single day, and the debt of the country has been downgraded again to just above junk status...

Italy’s slow crisis is again flaring up. Its debt trajectory has punched through the danger line over the past two years. The country’s €2.1 trillion (£1.8 trillion) debt – 129pc of GDP – may already be beyond the point of no return for a country without its own currency.

Standard & Poor’s did not say this outright when it downgraded the country to near-junk BBB on Tuesday. But if you read between the lines, it is close to saying the game is up for Italy.

#4 There are rumors that some of the biggest banks in the world are in very serious trouble.  For example, Jim Willie (a financial writer who usually puts out really solid information) is insisting that Deutsche Bank is on the verge of collapse...

The best information coming to my desk indicates that three major Western banks are under constant threat of failure overnight, every night, forcing extraordinary measures to avoid failure. They are Deutsche Bank in Germany, Barclays in London, and Citibank in New York. Judging from the ongoing defense from prosecution and cooperation (flipped) with Interpol and distraction of resources, the most likely bank to die next is Deutsche Bank. They are caught with accounting fraud and outright financial fraud over collateral shell games, pertaining to USTreasury Bonds, other sovereign bonds in Southern Europe, and OTC derivatives linked to FOREX currency contracts. D-Bank is a dead man walking.

Time will tell if he is right.  But without a doubt the global financial system is extremely vulnerable right now.

Most Americans assume that the problems that caused the financial crash of 2008 were fixed, but that is most definitely NOT the case.  In fact, our financial system is far more shaky today than it was just before the last financial crisis.  When one major bank goes down, we could start to see others fall like dominoes.

#5 Just before the financial crisis of 2008, the price of oil spiked dramatically.  Well, it is starting to happen again.  The price of oil hit $106 a barrel on Friday.  If the price of oil continues to rise at this pace, it is going to mean big trouble for economies all over the planet.

And as I wrote about recently, every time the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States has risen above $3.80 during the past three years, a stock market decline has always followed.

The average price of a gallon of gasoline in the United States reached $3.55 on Friday.  This is a number to keep a close eye on.

#6 Mortgage rates are absolutely skyrocketing right now...

The average U.S. rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage rose this week to 4.51%, a two-year high. Rates have been rising on expectations that the Federal Reserve will slow its bond purchases this year.

Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average on the 30-year loan jumped from 4.29% the previous week. Just two months ago, it was 3.35% — barely above the record low of 3.31%.

This threatens to throw the U.S. real estate market into a slowdown worse than anything we have seen since the last recession.

#7 This upcoming corporate earnings season is shaping up to be an extremely disappointing one.  In fact, the percentage of companies issuing negative earnings guidance for this quarter is at a level that we have never seen before.

So is this a sign that economic activity is starting to slow down significantly?

#8 U.S. stocks are massively overextended right now.  In fact, according to Graham Summers, this is the most overextended stocks have been in the past 20 years...

Today, the S&P 500 is sitting a full 30% above its 200-weekly moving average. We have NEVER been this overextended above this line at any point in the last 20 years.

#9 Rapidly rising interest rates are causing the bond market to begin to come apart at the seams.  There is concern that the 30 year bull market for bonds is now over and investors are starting to pull their money out of the market at a staggering rate.  In fact, 80 billion dollars was pulled out of bond funds during June alone.

#10 Rapidly rising interest rates could cause an implosion of the derivatives market at any moment.  As I am so fond of reminding everyone, there are approximately 441 trillion dollars worth of interest rate derivatives out there.

If interest rates continue to soar, we could potentially see a financial disaster that is absolutely unprecedented, and the too big to fail banks would be the most vulnerable.

As USA Today recently reported, there are just five major banks that absolutely dominate derivatives trading in the United States...

Five of the biggest U.S. banks — JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Morgan Stanley — account for more than 90% of derivatives contracts. Regulators estimate that nearly half of derivatives are traded outside the United States.

Could you imagine the financial devastation that we would see if several of those banks started to collapse at the same time?

When you hear the mainstream media begin to talk about a "derivatives crisis" involving major banks, that will be a sign that disaster is upon us.

Most Americans don't realize that Wall Street has been transformed into the largest casino in the history of the world.  Most Americans don't realize that the major banks are literally walking a financial tightrope each and every day.

All it is going to take is one false step and we will be looking at a financial crisis even worse than what happened back in 2008.

So enjoy this little bubble of false prosperity while you can.

It is not going to last for too much longer.






Amanda Bynes Calls President Obama, Michelle Obama "Ugly" Amanda Bynes called President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama "ugly" on Twitter on July 8 { She’s really got that right … unless you think apes/monkeys are attractive. They’re ugly in every way possible even beyond the lack of pulchritude.  }



INDiaNa SNoWDeN... Posted by : williambanzai7 Post date: 07/09/2013 - And the Temple of Asylums...

INDiaNa SNoWDeN...








Inflation Is Too Low? Are You Kidding Us Bernanke?

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week that inflation in the United States needs to be higher.  Yes, he actually came right out and said that.  It almost seems as if Bernanke is trying to purposely hurt the middle class.  On Wednesday, Bernanke told the press that "both sides of our mandate are saying we need to be more accommodative".  Of course he was referring to the Fed's dual mandate to keep unemployment and inflation low, but Bernanke has a very unique interpretation of that mandate.  According to Bernanke, inflation in the U.S. is now "too low".  The official inflation rate is currently sitting at about 1 percent, and Bernanke insists that such a low rate of inflation is not good for the economy.  He would prefer that the rate of inflation be up around 2 percent, and he is hoping that more "monetary accommodation" will help push inflation up and the unemployment rate down. (Read More....)



But what Bernanke will never admit is that the official inflation rate is a total sham.  The way that inflation is calculated has changed more than 20 times since 1978, and each time it has been changed the goal has been to make it appear to be lower than it actually is.

If the rate of inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980, it would be about 8 percent right now and everyone would be screaming about the fact that inflation is way too high.

But instead, Bernanke can get away with claiming that inflation is "too low" because the official government numbers back him up.

Of course many of us already know that inflation is out of control without even looking at any numbers.  We are spending a lot more on the things that we buy on a regular basis than we used to.

For example, when Barack Obama first entered the White House, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84.  Today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has nearly doubled.  It is currently sitting at $3.49, but when I filled up my vehicle yesterday I paid nearly $4.00 a gallon.

And of course the price of gasoline influences the price of almost every product in the entire country, since almost everything that we buy has to be transported in some manner.

But that is just one example.

Our monthly bills also seem to keep growing at a very brisk pace.

Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row, and according to USA Today water bills have actually tripled over the past 12 years in some areas of the country.

No inflation there, eh?

Well, what about health insurance?

Yup, that has been going up rapidly as well.  Since 2010, employee health insurance premiums have been rising an average of between 8 and 9 percent a year.

So where is this low inflation that everyone has been talking about?

It certainly cannot be found in college tuition costs.  Since 1986, the cost of college tuition in the United States has risen by 498 percent.

What about at the supermarket?

We all have to buy food.  It sure would be nice if inflation was low there.

Unfortunately, anyone that shops for groceries on a regular basis knows exactly how painful food prices are becoming.

And over time, those increases really add up.  An article by Benny Johnson details how the prices of many of the things that we buy on a regular basis absolutely soared between 2002 and 2012.  Just check out these price increases...

Eggs: 73%

Coffee: 90%

Peanut Butter: 40%

Milk: 26%

A Loaf Of White Bread: 39%

Spaghetti And Macaroni: 44%

Orange Juice: 46%

Red Delicious Apples: 43%

Beer: 25%

Wine: 60%

Electricity: 42%

Margarine: 143%

Tomatoes: 22%

Turkey: 56%

Ground Beef: 61%

Chocolate Chip Cookies: 39%

So how in the world can Bernanke possibly come to the conclusion that inflation is too low?

Is he insane?

If you want to see a really good example of the impact that inflation has had on our economy in recent years, just check out this amazing chart which shows what Bernanke's reckless policies have done to the prices of commodities during his tenure.

Meanwhile, paychecks are not rising at the same pace that inflation is.  In fact, median household income in the United States has fallen for four years in a row.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

So the cost of living just keeps rising, but the middle class is making less money than before.

That certainly is not good news.

Of course a big reason for this is because the quality of jobs in America continues to steadily decline.  Only 47 percent of adults have a full-time job at this point, and 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

Most families are just barely scraping by from month to month, and Bernanke has the gall to say that he needs to try to get prices to rise even faster.

Is Bernanke also going to increase all of our paychecks in order to make up for the "inflation tax" that is being imposed on all of us?

Of course not.

And sadly, it appears that the number of Americans that are losing their jobs is starting to move upward again.  We just learned that initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 360,000 last week.

That is getting dangerously close to the 400,000 number that I keep talking about.

The middle class in the United States is shrinking with each passing day, and Bernanke seems absolutely clueless.

His answer to every economic problem always seems to involve printing more money.  Thankfully, about 1.8 trillion dollars of that money is being stashed away at the Fed and has not gotten out into the real economy yet.

But someday that money will be unleashed on the real economy, and it will create crippling inflation.

Unfortunately, Bernanke doesn't seem to really be too concerned about the mountains of cash that the big banks have parked at the Fed.  He is just happy that his reckless money printing has pumped up the stock market to new all-time highs.

He should enjoy this little period of euphoria while he can, because this bubble will burst like all false financial bubbles eventually do.

And when this bubble bursts, the foolishness of Bernanke and the Federal Reserve will be glaringly apparent to everyone.




Will North Colorado Be The 51st State In The Union?

There are ten counties in northern Colorado that are discussing plans to secede from the state of Colorado in order to form a new state that would be known as "North Colorado".  North Colorado would have a population of more than 300,000 people, and it would be the 42nd largest state in the country by land area.  The county officials that are leading this movement say that a "collective mass" of issues has resulted in this desire to leave the state of Colorado for good.  In recent years, the Democratically-controlled state legislature has been pursuing new regulations on the oil and gas industries, it has imposed strict new renewable energy standards throughout the state and it has adopted new gun control measures that are highly unpopular with rural voters.  The desire to be independent of the meddling bureaucrats in the state capital is certainly a commendable goal, but there are some obstacles that will make establishing a new state very difficult.  Hopefully the challenges will not cause those pursuing this new state to lose heart. (Read More....)




Which Is Greater: Full Time Jobs Or Americans On Food Assistance And Disability?

Over the past week there has been some speculation whether the number of Americans who receive food assistance and/or are on disability, outnumber full-time employed workers in the US. Here is the answer.


Bernanke Unleashes New Record Highs For Stocks

The last 12 days have seen the S&P 500 surge 7.5% - this is the fastest run since the co-ordinated global intervention that started Thanksgiving 2011. The overnight gap open never looked like being tested and volume remained average at best all day (until the 1400ET vert-ramp took us instantaneously above the previous all-time high close - running stops on the way - and pushing volume well 'below' average). Interestingly, the sectors did not enjoy the smash higher that the indices did and all pretty much trod water from open to close (with builders best all day). All indices are handsomely green from the 6/19 FOMC statement and only Materials and Builders are red (-1% from 6/19 FOMC). The same pattern was seen in gold, silver, copper, and bonds (overnight surge higher and then flatline for the day). The long-end of the TSY complex underperformed (-2bps vs 7Y -8.5bps) and as the stock indices exploded to highs, credit markets were not following along (and nor was VIX which dramatically diverged from stocks' exuberance).



Microsoft Helped The NSA Bypass Its Own Encryption Software, Spy On Its Clients

Microsoft helped the NSA to circumvent its encryption to address concerns that the agency would be unable to intercept web chats on the new portal; The agency already had pre-encryption stage access to email on, including Hotmail; The company worked with the FBI this year to allow the NSA easier access via Prism to its cloud storage service SkyDrive, which now has more than 250 million users worldwide; Microsoft also worked with the FBI's Data Intercept Unit to "understand" potential issues with a feature in that allows users to create email aliases; Skype, which was bought by Microsoft in October 2011, worked with intelligence agencies last year to allow Prism to collect video of conversations as well as audio; Material collected through Prism is routinely shared with the FBI and CIA, with one NSA document describing the program as a "team sport".



Guest Post: Gold's Changing Anticorrelation To The Dollar

Over the past few years we have attempted to show that most economic data are nonlinear and best studied by methods suitable for complex systems. Such systems are not easily analyzed using methods like linear regression or fourier analysis. In fact we would go so far as to say that such methods can lead you to the wrong conclusions. The world's situation is complex and changing. Change can drive unpredictable variations in market preferences--so while it would seem logical that people's preference for US dollars and gold might normally vary inversely, perhaps there are some circumstances when the market equally seeks both.


JPM: Tapering Still Coming In September

"Nothing in yesterday's remarks led us to question our view that tapering in September is coming, conditional on the data cooperating. To the contrary, when asked if he regretted mentioning slowing the pace of purchases recently, he stated that "notwithstanding some volatility that we've seen in the past six weeks, that speaking now and explaining what we're doing may have avoided, you know, a much more difficult situation in another time." Rather than push back against the way his comments were interpreted, the Chairman seemed to welcome the better alignment of the market's view with the Fed's view."



And Another Vertical Stock Ramp

Update: we have isolated the reason for the ramp. The latest stop hunt in the Stalingrad & Poorski 471 is attributed to the Chinese finance minister Lou who said that China H1 growth will be slower than 7.7%. Remember: the faster the global economy goes to hell in a handbasket, the faster global equities hit infinity.

Whoever said perfectly broken and centrally-planned markets were boring.

In this space we would normally insert a chart of the S&P500 here but that would just be waste of NSA spy server space: just imagine a flat line and then a sudden vertical spike higher to new all time record highs on absolutely no news.



From Perennial (Rumored) LBO Candidate To Imminent Restructuring: How The Unmighty Radioshack Has Fallen

There was a time when one couldn't spend an hour without some moronic rumor of a Radioshack LBO popping up. Those time are gone. Instead, as DebtWire reports, the rumor of a takeover has been replaced with the all too unpleasant reality of a corporate restructuring which may or may not end up in Chapter and which likely means the equity is all but wiped out. As DW reports the firm is set to listen to restructuring pitches from the usual restructuring suspects, which means unless someone is crazy enough to do another JCP-type deal (they aren't), the firm's debt is about to be substantially discharged. This usually means a full or at least partial wipe out of the equity tranche below it. "The move to hire a banker to explore a balance sheet fix comes as the struggling electronics retailer faces a string of maturities, escalating cash burn and bloated inventory levels, the sources said. RadioShack first engaged AlixPartners for operational help over a year ago, as previously reported by Debtwire."



Spot The Difference

The public furore over the closure of state TV in Greece will likely be nothing compared to the glaring similarities of the new Greek state TV to the Russian broadcasting channel of Mikhail Gorbachev. It seems the Russian influence in Cyprus has leaked into its close neighbor as the following two images suggest.



Rick Santelli Rages: "Who Is Bernanke Working For?"

Reminiscing on the good ol' days when traders and investors poured over fundamental metrics, CNBC's Rick Santelli looks upon the current environment as a single-factor "Bernanke-loves-me, he-loves-me-not" un-reality and the impact he has on savers. "It seems a little bit ridiculous," he understates before launching into two minutes of clarifying thought on just what it is that Bernanke is doing and that we are suffering through. Just who is Bernanke working for?



30 Year Squeezes By With Lowest Bid To Cover Since August 2011

This week's final auction is over, in the form of a $13 billion 30 Year reopening, which like the previous 3 and 10 Years, was "good enough" but certainly nothing to write home about. The final yield of 3.660% stopped through the When Issued by 1 basis point so the market was mispricing the demand in the minutes leading up to the sale, however, the Bid to Cover of just 2.26 showed that not all was well under the sun - this was the lower BTC since August 2011, or the "debt ceiling" auction, and lower than both last month's 2.47 and the LTM average 2.57. The internals were in line with Indirects allotted 40.2%, Direct take down doubling from 8.5% to 16.3% and Dealers allocation dropping from 51.3% to 43.4%. Finally, following the past two auctions, the collateral squeeze in the bond market appears to have eased a bit on the short end with the 3 Year trading -0.02% down from -0.55% yesterday, although the 10 Year squeeze continuing still and trading special-er at -0.40% compared to -0.30% yesterday. How long until the Fed monetize all the Dealer allocated $5.6 billion in future POMOs? Keep an eye out on Cusip 912810RB6 in futures 30 year POMOs to see how much of this bond is promptly flipped back to the Fed.


"A 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act"

We are confident the following amusing bill titled grandiosely enough "A 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act" (the Bill text here) by Elizabeth Warren, John McCain et al, to pretend Congress is not a bought and paid for by Wall Street marionette, will have a last minute rider that says "Compliance with any or all of the above provisions is purely voluntary."


On The Ground In Athens: "Too Many People Are Committing Suicide"

"Our government tells us that this will be a better year. No one really believes them. But all we can do is be optimistic. Too many people are committing suicide."





Complete 2013 Year To Date Hedge Fund Performance


European Bonds And Stocks Slide From Bernanke Opening Exuberance

It seems the early exuberance that Bernanke's utterings caused in world markets was faded non-stop in Europe. European bonds and stocks saw their best levels of the day at the open and never saw them again. Greece and Portugal underperformed their peers; Italian stocks actually closed lower on the day and while bonds did stage a comeback into the close, they all closed the day wider from yesterday. EURUSD was the big story - its biggest shift since January 2011 (with a 450 pip swing) - but as the day wore on the USD clambered back some strength (even as US equities ignored its retracement).


Chinese Ghost Cities Coming To The Las Vegas Housing Market

Let’s face it, the Las Vegas real estate market has gone full Chinese.  By full Chinese, we mean a centrally planned bubble has been created that is just asking to blow up.  We’ve covered the renewed insanity of the Las Vegas market before, but this article from yesterday’s Wall Street Journal provides even more detail.  In a nutshell, as a result of Assembly Bill 284, which essentially made foreclosures impossible in Nevada, extremely delinquent homes are not coming for sale, and this phony market signal is leading to rampant overbuilding and price speculation. Bubbles and bullshit.  It’s the American way.



What Every Student in America Needs To Know About The Federal Reserve

This is the essential primer on the Fed that every high school and college student in America should read. If they study this short essay, they will grasp the essence of the Fed and understand why the financial Status Quo is doomed.

The Day The Carry Trade Died (Again)

Another day, another 3-sigma swing in one of the biggest and most important FX carry-trades. AUDJPY is collapsing this morning as the smell of leveraged trades being tapped on the shoulder is all too fresh. Critically, carry trades are predicated on leveraging low returns in a low-volatility world; the shocks from a few weeks ago saw carry unwinds en masse - but all it took was a handful of Fed officials and Draghi/Carney's chatter and they are backing up the truck of the carry-express once again - that is until yesterday when the Minutes and Bernanke stepped up the currency wars once again. This kind of incredible volatility - unless everyone in the world is now a non-MtM trader - means fewer carry trades (or perhaps just a shift to another leveragable position).

House Proposes To Wind-Down GSEs Within 5 Years

There will be an increasing cry of 'not fair' from the Perry Capital's of the world as Jeb Hensarling unveils a dramatic plan to overhaul the GSEs (and broad housing finance in general).  The chairman of the House financial services committee wants Fannie and Freddie to be wound-down within 5 years - removing the explicit government guarantees and demanding that:

and not:

Higher down-payments for FHA loans, limited to first-time-homebuyers only, and reducing the conforming loan-limits are all likely to drive the hedge funds to more litigation and complaint that this will end the housing recovery and their dividend stream. Hensarling wants to create a securitization platform 'utility-like' entity with the government serving only as a catastrophic reinsurer.

Fed Governor Elizabeth Duke Resigns

A harbinger of what will happen to the Chairsatan perhaps? Or is this just a logical response of what the "other half" of the Fed, those who  demanded an end to QE by the end of 2013, think about Bernanke's latest public statement. If Dick Fisher quits next, watch out.

Klarman Clarity: "If The Government [Still] Can't Allow Failure Then We Are Indeed Close To Collapse"

If the economy is so fragile that the government cannot allow failure, then we are indeed close to collapse.  For if you must rescue everything, then ultimately you will be able to rescue nothing.

-  Seth Klarman, Baupost



Third Largest Futures Broker Gets Record Fine For HFT Stock Market Manipulation

When we tapered our coverage of HFT manipulation and stock market abuse some time ago, we thought that the message had been heard loud and clear: high frequency trading is a sophisticated market manipulating parasite, whose only real function is to abuse market structure and integrity, by making conventional market manipulation practices more difficult to spot and identify. It turns out some, i.e., Newedge, thought they could still get away with traditional manipulative practices such as spoofing, layering, momentum ignition, wash trading, bypassing, and others, if only they were wrapped in an HFT blanket. It did so for four years from 2008 until 2011. As it turns out it was wrong, and in a stunning example of actually doing its job, FINRA fined Newedge, which is one of the largest futures brokers in the world and ranks third in terms of U.S. customer assets on deposit, a record $9.5 million.


What Did Bernanke Do To World Markets?

Before the US equity (cash) markets open this morning, we thought it might be useful to survey the reaction of the world's markets to Bernanke's words last night. It seems, for now, that FX markets have given back the biggest portion of the shift with the USD having retraced around half of its losses post-Bernanke. Gold, Stocks, and Bonds are all flatlined from the knee-jerk higher and overnight volumes have been very thin as European bonds and peripheral stock markets did not enjoy the same level of exuberance (and Japanese stocks are well off overnight highs).



The Difference Between 2 And 20 (Inches) - Shrinking The Hedge Fund Myth

Behold what happens when Hedge Fund viagra "expert networks" and "information arbitrage" is taken away, and everyone trades on the same information.



Initial Claims Spike To 360K: Highest In Two Months

Now that Bernanke has thrown in the towel and reverted back to the old bad news is good news regime (or did he - GETCO's vacuum tubes at least sure seem to think so), there was hardly anything more the market could ask for than a horrible Initial Claims print. It got just that with today's initial unemployment claims which soared from last week's upward revised 344K (only +1k revision this time) to 360K, well above the consensus (and Joe LaVorgna) forecast of 340K. Sure enough, the BLS said the July claims were difficult to seasonally adjust, so let's look at the NSA claims which jumped by 49,778 in the week ended July 6 to 384,829 making one wonder if the BLS' instruction in the holiday shortened week was to actually represent a worse economic reality unlike during the Obama pre-reelection months. The only other notable item in the report was the ongoing drop in Extended claims, with EUCs down by 23K to just 1.6 million, 1 million less than a year ago as claims exhaustion means ever more people drop out of the official labor pool. Permanently.


Portuguese President Re-Ignites "Time-Bomb"; Threatens Early Elections

Despite being told last week of the successful solution that the politicians of Portugal had procured - and thusly seeing Portuguese bonds and stocks surge in a renewed bluster of hope and faith that all is well again; it seems that, shocker, nothing is fixed. As Reuters reports, Portugal's political crisis re-deepened today after the President rejected a plan to heal a government rift and critics accused him of igniting a "time-bomb' by calling for early elections. Anibal Cavaco Silva rejected a cabinet re-shuffle, and proposed a coalition to guarantee support for the Troika-imposed austerity measures (which theoretically means Portugal will exit its bailout next year) to be followed by elections - implicitly showing little faith that any party can rule effectively through the middle of next year. "The announcement... comes as a surprise, ... adding anothe problem to the one that already existed," noted one analyst.


Greek Unemployment, Non-Performing Loans Soar To Fresh Record Highs

It wouldn't be the new normal if the collapse in Q2 US GDP to sub-1% wasn't met by a new record high in the Dow Jones. And it certainly wouldn't be the new abnormal if a day of resplendent green in European bourses didn't have some "matching" economic news out of that perpetual reminder that Keynesianism in the end always fails: Greece. Luckily, validating that all is unwell and stocks can proceed to soar to record highs unbothered, on one hand the Greek Statistics Office reported that Greek unemployment in April just rose to a new all time high of 26.9%, up from 26.8% in March, and up from 23.1% a year ago, while Kathimerini reports that Non-performing loans: those perpetual thorns of insolvency in bank balance sheets, just surged to €66 billion, amounting to a whopping 29% at the end of March from a "manageable" 24.2% at end-December. That's a ridiculous 20% increase in total NPLs in three months that was only exposed due to the Troika's stress testing! Just how atrocious is the reality on European bank books anyway?


Goodbye Larry Kudlow Report

In a surreal and deja vu-ish turn of events, three days ago we reported that in parallel with the ongoing collapse in CNBC viewership, the ratings of some of its shows namely Jim Cramer's Mad Money and Larry Kudlow's Report had just hit all time lows. This was met with an immediate response by Larry Kudlow himself who, alongside Groundhog Phil-fodder Joe LaVorgna, decided to take Zero Hedge to task for reporting that part-time jobs are not really full-time jobs and invited us over to their show to explain how dare we point out the weakness in the manipulated BLS datadump. We were kind enough to remind Mr. Kudlow that the last time someone from CNBC "invited" us over, i.e., Dennis "Digital Dickweed" Kneale, their show was promptly cancelled. To wit: "While we appreciate the offer, the last thing we intend to do is suffer Mr. Kudlow the same fate as that experienced by his predecessor Dennis Kneale who also invited Zero Hedge on his laughable excuse for a show in 2009, only to be sacked a few months later." Make it two for two as irony strikes again. The NY Post reports that Kudlow's show is over.


Market Recap


Frontrunning: July 11










15 Signs That The Quality Of Jobs In America Is Going Downhill Really Fast

Trying to find a job in America today can be an incredibly frustrating experience.  Most of the jobs that are available seem to pay very little, and there is intense competition for just about any job that is open.  But it wasn't always like this.  When I was in high school, I was immediately hired when I applied for a job at McDonalds because they were so desperate for workers that they would hire just about anyone that could flip a burger.  But in this economic environment, a single nationwide hiring event conducted by McDonalds resulted in a million job applications, and only a small percentage of those applicants were actually hired.  Our economy simply does not produce enough jobs for everyone anymore, and the percentage of "good jobs" continues to decline.  That means that it is getting really hard to find a job that will enable you to support a family, and a lot of people end up doing jobs that they are massively overqualified for.  But when times are tough, people are going to do what they have to do in order to survive. (Read More....)




The Golden Backwardation Rabbit Hole Gets Deeper: Subzero GOFO Slide Accelerates

Yesterday we described the historic inversion in the Gold Forward Offered Rate, where the 1 and 3 Month GOFO rates sliding into negative territory for the first time since 2008 and 1999 respectively. Today, using the latest LBMA rate update, we observe that the gold backwardation is accelerating, and now the 6 Month GOFO has also joined the complex into sub-zero territory.



Charles Gave: So Here We Are...



Three Funny Charts

Nothing like good ole' Goldman to brighten up things with a wink and a smile just as the economy is sliding, earnings are retrenching (and declining excluding pension underfunding adjustments), cash flow is negative and revenues are poised to double dip.



WTI Spikes Following News Of GOM Platform Loss Of Control, Spill

Even if the last thing the tapering US "recovery" needed is a surge in energy costs, it may soon be getting them following yet another news flashback, this time to the 2010 GOM disaster. Just headlines for now from Bloomberg:

WTI meanwhile up another $0.70 just shy of $105. Time to rid the world of evil speculators once and for all.



DoubleLine Webcast On "The End Of QE As We Know It" With Bond Rout Update

Jeff Gundlach may not be present at today's DoubleLine live webcast titled ominously enough "The End of QE as We Know It", which will be led by the firm's Jeffrey Sherman, but the firm is sure to provide some guidance on how the recent bond rout has impacted bond funds, and what the future of risk duration is in a time when Bernanke seems hell bent on pushing everyone out of bonds and into stocks.



Crude Soars To $104 Dragging Equities With It In "Summer Of 2008" Flashback

Anyone who followed today's trading action with a very distinct sense of summer of 2008 deja vu dread, where soaring crude led to just one thing, soaring stocks, they are forgiven, because this is precisely how one can summarize today's action. In a day devoid of any news (except for the JOLTS survey of course, which confirmed the gaming of NFP payroll numbers), in which bonds did absolutely nothing, with the 10 Year trading in a very tight range just shy of 2.65%, it was all about low-volume levitating equities and the energy complex.



Guest Post: The Dead Weight Of Sluggish Global Growth

The U.S. economy weakened appreciably in the first quarter of 2013. But what if this weakness persists into the second quarter just completed, and worsens still in the second half of this year? Q1 GDP, as reported on June 26th, was revised lower to just 1.8%. And various indications suggest that Q2 could come in slightly lower still, at 1.6%. Might the U.S. economy be guiding to a long-term GDP of 1.5%? That’s the rate identified by such observers as Jeremy Grantham the rate at which we combine aging demographics, lower fertility rates, high resource costs, and the burdensome legacy of debt. After a four-year reflationary rally in just about everything, and now with an emerging interest rate shock, the second half of 2013 appears to have more downside risk than upside. Have global stock markets started to discount this possibility?



Caption Contest: The Drone Ranger

With the eponymous Johnny Depp July 4th blockbuster a total dud, now is the time to start even floppier thinking sequels. Here is one such suggestion.



The Revenue Recession Of 2013

If you’ve wondered what the next recession might bring in the way of U.S. corporate earnings, you don’t have long to wait for an answer.  Analysts expect the 30 companies of the Dow Jones Industrial Average to post a meager 0.7% top line growth for the upcoming Q2 2013 reporting season.  If recent history – think all the way back to Q1 2013 – is any guide, that means we’ll actually see a decline in revenues for the just completed quarter once all the numbers are out.  And with Q1 posting an average negative 0.6% top line comparison to last year, that will constitute a “Revenue recession” for these large and generally well-managed multinationals.  If that makes you question why U.S. stocks are still up 15% on the year, look to both corporate profits (still at record highs) and the anticipation for a better second half.  Hope may not be a strategy, as the old saying goes, but it certainly moves markets.



S&P Downgrades Italy From BBB+ From BBB; Full "Puffery" Statement

Just more meangingless drivel form a clueless, paid for rating agency (which recently disclosed it would plead "puffery" in its defense against the US lawsuit) now that the ECB is intent on actually lowering the EURUSD, because unlike last year, there is no (immediate) fear of redenomination risk as a result of a sliding EURUSD. Thank you Japanese carry trade.



Guest Post: The Sky Is (Not) Falling: A “Little More Chicken” Tale

We live in a money paradigm. All things are delivered for money (trade). All goods are compared to money (prices). Then we live and die by our trade and the money-signals that prices give us. Stop trade, wobble the prices around, and we starve by millions. We also swim in a consumer paradigm. We work to get people halfway around the world buy our stuff so that we can buy stuff back from them. Why? If you want an apple, which is easier: to work, trade that work for money through the online banking system, have money load that apple on a tractor in New Zealand, ship it to a warehouse, a cargo ship, a truck, a store, your car, then your mouth? Or is it easier just to go in the back yard and pick one? Worried about prices? All those middle men must be paid, from New Zealand to New Hampshire. Which do you think is cheaper? Which do you think is more reliable? Which do you think tastes better?



3 Year Bond Auction Sizzles, Provides Relief To Recent Collateral Shortage

As reported yesterday when we showed the very special rate that the 3 Year was trading in repo (-1.45%, same as today), many were looking to today's 3 Year auction to relieve some of the collateral shortage issues that have developed across various asset classes. And sure enough, following last month's abysmal 3 Year auction, today's pricing of $32 billion in 3 Year paper was like night and day compared to a month ago.



Guest Post: Telegraphing The Turnaround In Gold

As of last Friday, gold has now fallen as much 35.4% (based on London PM fix prices) over 96 weeks. But if you're like us, you still recognize that the core reasons for investing in gold haven't changed. People who sold their gold recently made a shortsighted decision. Before too long precious metals will rebound - and probably in a big way. But when? Does history have any clues about how long we'll have to wait for that rebound?



Moscow Has Some Fighting Words For John Kerry

Russia to United States (et al): "you are lying."

The ball is now in the free world's court.



Exposing The Lie Behind The Nonfarm Payroll Numbers

While we have already extensively deconstructed the quality components of jobs in the US, showing first that in June 240K full time jobs were lost, even as 360K part-time jobs were "gained", and second that so far in 2013 only 130K full time jobs have been added offset by 557K part-time jobs, we had sinking suspicions that there was something off with the quantity component as well: after all, at an average monthly gain of precisely 201.8K jobs in the past six months (or in 2013), this number seemed just a little too perfect considering the Fed's implicit target of generating just over 200K jobs in a half year period before it begins tapering, which in light of declining gross issuance and less monetizable instruments, has been the Fed's goal all along. Today, courtesy of the monthly JOLTS survey we got just the confirmation we needed that, indeed, the official non-farm payroll number as per the Establishment Survey has been substantially off to the tune of a whopping 40% above what is quantitatively happening in reality.



11 Signs That Italy Is Descending Into A Full-Blown Economic Depression

When you get into too much debt, really bad things start to happen.  Sadly, that is exactly what is happening to Italy right now.  Harsh austerity measures are causing the Italian economy to slow down even more than it was previously.  And yet even with all of the austerity measures, the Italian government just continues to rack up even more debt.  This is the exact same path that we watched Greece go down.  Austerity causes government revenues to drop which causes deficit reduction targets to be missed which causes even more austerity measures to become necessary.  But if Italy collapses economically, it is going to be a far bigger deal than what happened in Greece.  Italy is the ninth largest economy on the entire planet.  Actually, Italy used to be number eight, but now Russia has passed it.  If Italy continues to stumble, India and Canada will soon pass it as well.  It really is a tragedy to watch what is happening in Italy, because it really is a wonderful place.  When I was a child, my father was in the navy, and I got the opportunity to live there for a while.  It is a land of great weather, great food and great soccer.  The people are friendly and the culture is absolutely fascinating.  But now the nation is falling apart.  The following are 11 signs that Italy is descending into a full-blown economic depression... (Read More....)



The U.S. Border: A Constitution-Free Zone Where Officials Can Grab Your Computer And Copy Your Hard Drive

Did you know that the U.S. government considers the U.S. border to be a “constitution-free zone”?  Did you know that customs officials can take your computer away from you, keep it for 30 days or more, and make a copy of everything that is on your hard drive?  Sadly, this is actually true.  According to the government, when you choose to cross the U.S. border you temporarily give up your constitutional rights.  They can look at anything on your computer that they want to, and if they find anything that violates any law, they can use it against you in court.  You may think twice about taking your computer out of the country after you read the rest of this article. (Read More.....)



Economic Bizarro World: Persistently High Unemployment And Skyrocketing Bond Yields Are Good?

The mainstream media is heralding today's "fantastic" employment numbers as evidence that the U.S. economy is steadily recovering.  But is that really true?  The number of jobs created in June was just a little bit more than what is required to keep up with population growth, and the official unemployment rate remained at 7.6 percent.  And if you look deeper in the numbers, they don't look very good at all.  The percentage of low paying part-time jobs in the economy continues to rise, the number of full-time jobs actually decreased and the U-6 unemployment number jumped from 13.8% in May to 14.3% in June.  That is a stunning increase.  And if the labor participation rate in this country was at the level it was at prior to the last recession, the official unemployment rate would be sitting at 11.1%.  But according to the mainstream media, all of this is wonderful news.  It is like we are in some sort of economic bizarro world where bad is good and down is up. (Read More....)



Are We Really Free When Big Brother Is Systematically Turning America Into A Giant Prison?

Every year on July 4th we celebrate our "independence", but is America really free?  How could we possibly be free when "Big Brother" is constantly intruding in our lives in hundreds of different ways?  And I am not just talking about NSA snooping.  Sadly, the truth is that the United States is beginning to fully embrace a "police state" culture.  We have learned that the government monitors and keeps a record of all of our cell phone calls, emails, Internet searches, credit card transactions, and every piece of mail that we send.  But most Americans don't seem to care.  We are "encouraged" to report the "suspicious activity" of our neighbors to the authorities, we are told that having security thugs touch the private areas of our women and children at our airports is necessary "for our security", and 80,000 SWAT team raids are conducted each year in the United States.  But the American people don't seem to care.  America was once a great country, but now it is being turned into a giant prison, and only a small minority of the citizens are raising their voices in objection. (Read More....)



Have Central Bankers Lost Control? Could The Bond Bubble Implode Even If There Is No Tapering?

Are the central banks of the world starting to lose control of the financial markets?  Could we be facing a situation where the bond bubble is going to inevitably implode no matter what the central bankers do?  For the past several years, the central bankers of the planet have been able to get markets to do exactly what they want them to do.  Stock markets have soared to record highs, bond yields have plunged to record lows and investors have literally hung on every word uttered by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and other prominent central bankers.  In the United States, it has been remarkable what Bernanke has been able to accomplish.  The U.S. government has been indulging in an unprecedented debt binge, the Fed has been wildly printing money, and the real rate of inflation has been hovering around 8 to 10 percent, and yet Bernanke has somehow convinced investors to lend gigantic piles of money to the U.S. government for next to nothing.  But this irrational state of affairs is not going to last indefinitely.  At some point, investors are going to wake up and start demanding higher returns.  And we are already starting to see this happen in Japan.  Wild money printing has actually caused bond yields to go up.  What a concept!  And that is what should happen - when central banks recklessly print money it should cause investors to demand a higher return.  But if bond investors all over the globe start acting rationally, that is going to cause the largest bond bubble in the history of the planet to burst, and that will create utter devastation in the financial markets. (Read More....)



41 IMF Bailouts And Counting – How Long Before The Entire System Collapses?

Broke nations are bailing out other broke nations with borrowed money.  Round and round we go - where we stop nobody knows.  As of April, 41 different countries had active financial "arrangements" with the IMF.  Sometimes they are called "bailouts" and sometimes they are called other things, but in every single case they involve loans.  And most of the time, these loans come with very stringent conditions.  It is a form of "global governance" that most people don't even know about.  For decades, the IMF has been able to use money as a way to force developing nations to do what it wants them to do.  But up until fairly recently, this had mostly only been done with poor nations.  But now an increasing number of wealthy nations are turning to the IMF for help.  We have already seen Greece, Portugal, Ireland and Cyprus receive bailouts which were partly funded by the IMF, Spain has received a bailout for its banking sector, and as I noted yesterday, it is being projected that Italy will need a major bailout within six months.  How long can this go on before the entire system collapses? (Read More....)



19 Reasons To Be Deeply Concerned About The Global Economy As We Enter The 2nd Half Of 2013

Is the global economic downturn going to accelerate as we roll into the second half of this year?  There is turmoil in the Middle East, we are seeing things happen in the bond markets that we have not seen happen in more than 30 years, and much of Europe has already plunged into a full-blown economic depression.  Sadly, most Americans will never understand what is happening until financial disaster strikes them personally.  As long as they can go to work during the day and eat frozen pizza and watch reality television at night, most of them will consider everything to be just fine.  Unfortunately, the truth is that everything is not fine.  The world is becoming increasingly unstable, we are living in the terminal phase of the greatest debt bubble in the history of the planet and the global financial system is even more vulnerable than it was back in 2008.  Unfortunately, most people seem to only have a 48 hour attention span at best these days.  They don't have the patience to watch long-term trends develop.  And the coming economic collapse is not going to happen all at once.  Rather, it is like watching a very, very slow-motion train wreck happen.  The coming economic nightmare is going to unfold over a number of years.  Yes, there will be moments of great panic, but mostly it will be a steady decline into economic oblivion.  And there are a lot of indications that the second half of this year is not going to be as good as the first half was.  The following are 19 reasons to be deeply concerned about the global economy as we head into the second half of 2013... (Read More....)



Wall Street Banks Extract Enormous Fees From The Paychecks Of Millions Of American Workers

Would you be angry if you had to pay a big Wall Street bank a fee before you could get the money that you worked so hard to earn?  Unfortunately, that is exactly the situation that millions of American workers find themselves in today.  An increasing number of U.S. companies are paying their workers using payroll cards that are issued by large financial institutions.  Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Walgreens and Taco Bell are just some of the well known employers that are doing this.  Today, there are 4.6 million active payroll cards in the United States, and some of the largest banks in the country are issuing them.  The list includes JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.  The big problem with these cards is that there is often a fee for just about everything that you do with them.  Do you want to use an ATM machine?  You must pay a fee.  Do you want to check your balance?  You must pay a fee.  Do you want a paper statement?  You must pay a fee.  Did you lose your card?  You must pay a big fee.  Has your card been inactive for a while?  You must pay a huge fee.  The big Wall Street banks are systematically extracting enormous fees from the working poor, and someone needs to do something to stop this. (Read More....)



The Federal Reserve Is Paying Banks NOT To Lend 1.8 Trillion Dollars To The American People

Did you know that U.S. banks have more than 1.8 trillion dollars parked at the Federal Reserve and that the Fed is actually paying them not to lend that money to us?  We were always told that the goal of quantitative easing was to "help the economy", but the truth is that the vast majority of the money that the Fed has created through quantitative easing has not even gotten into the system.  Instead, most of it is sitting at the Fed slowly earning interest for the bankers.  Back in October 2008, just as the last financial crisis was starting, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke announced that the Federal Reserve would start paying interest on the reserves that banks keep at the Fed.  This caused an absolute explosion in the size of these reserves.  Back in 2008, U.S. banks had less than 2 billion dollars of excess reserves parked at the Fed.  Today, they have more than 1.8 trillion.  In less than five years, the pile of excess reserves has gotten nearly 1,000 times larger.  This is utter insanity, and it will have very serious consequences down the road. (Read More....)



36 Hard Questions About The U.S. Economy That The Mainstream Media Should Be Asking

If the economy is improving, then why aren't things getting better for most average Americans?  They tell us that the unemployment rate is going down, but the percentage of Americans that are actually working is exactly the same it was three years ago.  They tell us that American families are in better financial shape now, but real disposable income is falling rapidly.  They tell us that inflation is low, but every time we go shopping at the grocery store the prices just seem to keep going up.  They tell us that the economic crisis is over, and yet poverty and government dependence continue to explode to unprecedented heights.  There seems to be a disconnect between what the government and the media are telling us and what is actually true.  With each passing day the debt of the federal government grows larger, the financial world become even more unstable and more American families fall out of the middle class.  The same long-term economic trends that have been eating away at our economy like cancer for decades continue to ruthlessly attack the foundations of our economic system.  We are rapidly speeding toward an economic cataclysm, and yet the government and most of the media make it sound like happy days are here again.  The American people deserve better than this.  The American people deserve the truth.  The following are 36 hard questions about the U.S. economy that the mainstream media should be asking... (Read More....)


19 Reasons To Be Deeply Concerned About The Global Economy

\Is the global economic downturn going to accelerate as we roll into the second half of this year?  There is turmoil in the Middle East, we are seeing things happen in the bond markets that we have not seen happen in more than 30 years, and much of Europe has already plunged into a full-blown economic depression.  Sadly, most Americans will never understand what is happening until financial disaster strikes them personally.  As long as they can go to work during the day and eat frozen pizza and watch reality television at night, most of them will consider everything to be just fine. Unfortunately, the truth is that everything is not fine.


Nicaragua Offers Edward Snowden Asylum "If Circumstances Permit"

"We are open, respectful of the right to asylum, and it is clear that if circumstances permit it, we would receive Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum here in Nicaragua," Ortega said at a public event.


No Edible iPads Here: Cost Of Argentina Bread Doubles - Wheat/Flour Prices Frozen

Over two years ago we highlighted just how out-of-touch with reality our central planners are when we exposed Bill Dudley's infamous inflation comments. Now it seems, Argentina is taking over the mission of totalitarian supreme command (or government gone mad). While not publicly admitting they have a problem, despite the price of bread doubling to 20 Pesos in the last year alone, Bloomberg reports the government plans to apply a 1974 law that forces holders (on penalty of fines and prison) of wheat and flour suitable for bread-making to sell it in the domestic market. This entirely un-free-market response to the dreadful reality in the nation comes on the heels of the freezing of prices on 500 goods at Supermarkets back in February and, unbelievably, suggestions that citizens combat higher prices by "baking bread at home." How long can a country plunge into a hyper-inflationary spiral before the people 'coup-like-an-Egyptian'?


Margin Calls Coming On US Too-Big-To-Fail Banks

This week's biggest news is not the Non-Farm Payrolls, or the European Central Bank or even Portugal's government falling. No - this week's big deal is the openness with which the Federal Reserve is preparing a major margin call on the too-big-to-fail banks in the US. This has been a long time coming since the introduction of the Dodd-Frank law back in 2010 but it is a game changer. Remember all macro paradigm shifts come from policy impulses, often mistakes. Is the Fed about to given the whole banking industry a major margin call?



The 50 Fattest Nations

On the day after celebrating its independence and with likely half the nation suffering from over-consumption, we thought it appropriate to 'celebrate' another #winning rank by the US. At an average of 181.27lbs (gender-weighted!), Bloomberg finds that the US is the 'heaviest' nation on earth.


Stocks Melt-Up As Bond Yields Spike Most In 2 Years

The market remains confused. The better-than-expected headline jobs data prompted USD strength (Taper-on), gold/silver weakness (Taper-on), Homebuilder stocks drop (Taper-on), Bond yields surge (Taper-on), and credit market widening (Taper-on); but the good-old trusty US equity market was not having any of that. After dumping 25 points from its post-NFP highs, S&P 500 futures gapped and jerked up to VWAP, ran stops at the highs of the day, dropped back to VWAP, then surged into the close. The Dow ended up 150 points. Treasury yields rose the most in 2 years - an impressive 22bps. Despite a late surge, high-yield bonds had their worst day in 2 weeks. Gold and silver down 2.3% and 3.5% respectively and copper dumped 3.2% (not exactly the growth-exhibiting factor that everyone suggests is driving stocks up and bonds down). Meanwhile, WTI topped $103 for its highest close in 14 months.


Are The 1970s Coming Back?

The mid-1970s have been a useful template for what is possible (and even probable) in a centrally-planned world. As a reminder, the underlying backdrop was also similar (major economic downturn following the housing crashes in 1974-75 and again in 2006-2007 followed by aggressive Fed policy which was ultimately too loose for too long). It is quite clear, Citi notes, that the rally in the Dow has lasted longer than the “road map” would have suggested - at least in part driven by the ongoing expansion of the Fed’s Balance sheet - but with Taper talk increasing we wonder how long before the 70s are back in vogue.


Intense Clashes Break Out Near Cairo's Tahrir Square (10 Dead) - Live Feed

UPDATE: Egypt Clashes Leave 10 Dead, Health Ministry Says (AP)

As we feared, the initial celebratory images have turned rapidly into running skirmishes, molotov cocktails, burning cars, and now six deaths. As the night rolls on, the clashes are escalating...


As Egypt Re-Coups And Cairo Violence Escalates, The US Secretary Of State Is...

As the escalation in violence between members of the pro-Mursi Muslim Brotherhood and the military-backed victors of this week's coup gets worse with at least 6 dead now according to Al Arabiya, the US Secretary of State is busy...

a) Getting debriefed and preparing for a diplomatic statement

b) In the air between point A and point B promoting US domestic and foreign interests abroad

c) Informing Warren Buffett about the aphrodisiac benefits of ketchup

d) Spending a (second consecutive) exhausting afternoon on his sailboat.

And the correct answer is...


Global Earnings Downgrades Worst In 12 Months

As we head into earnings season in the US (amid hopeful margin expansion), the big picture for earnings remains bleak. Markets are back close to highs as negative guidance is piling up and as Citi notes, their global earnings revision index is at its worst since early July 2012. If the Fed is heading towards a Taper then this fundamental fear may once again become relevant - or hope-fueled multiple expansion will fill that gap.


How America's Housing Non-Recovery Led To Record Income Inequality

"In this respect the Gini coefficient had apparently reached in 2006 the previous high seen in 1929, prior to the Great Depression. This is a reminder that capitalism’s natural way of dealing with excesses is via business failure and liquidation; which is why wealth distribution would have become much less extreme as a consequence of the 2008 crisis if losses had been imposed on creditors to bust financial institutions, for example owners of bank bonds, in line with capitalist principles; as opposed to the favoured ‘bailout’ approach pursued for the most part by Washington. This means, unfortunately, not that the problem has been avoided but that the ‘great reckoning’ has been deferred to another day as the speculative classes have continued to game the system by resort to carry trades actively encouraged by the Fed and other central bankers, which is why fixed income markets freak out when they see signs of an exit."


Iceland Denies Snowden's Bid For Citizenship

So much for Iceland's bid as the world safe haven from government (and intellectual status quo) persecution. The tiny country that was such a vocal supporter of Julian Assange, and which originally was speculated as being the final destination of Snowden upon his departure from Hong Kong, has just opined on his request for Icelandic citizenship, and the answer is a resounding no, following the country's "parliament voted not to debate it before the summer recess" Reuters reports.


Guest Post: Market Celebrates Egypt’s Coup, But It’s Not Over Yet

The situation in Egypt has not been tenable since the Muslim Brotherhood and President Mohamed Morsi took over, post-revolution, but now that the military has stepped in, ousted Morsi and placed him in detention, foreign investors are celebrating. No one knows what’s going to happen next, but the general consensus—at least for investors—is that things couldn’t get any worse, only better. (Unless you’re Qatari, but more about that later.)


Stocks Spike In Stop Scare As VIX Slammed

Presented with little comment aside to note that the 6 point vertical ramp in the S&P 500 (which just happened to stall perfectly at VWAP) was accompanied by no news, no other-asset-class support, and a smack-down in front-end VIX... S&P futures are back above the 50DMA once again intraday (as Discretionary names outperform and builders are battered). Did 3:30PM Ramp Capital leave for the Hamptons early?



No Manufacturing Jobs But More Waiters And Bartenders Than Ever

as the manufacturing jobs continue to collapse, posting their fourth consecutive monthly drop in June to 11.964 million jobs, minimum wage waiters and bartenders have never been happier. In June Restaurant and Bar employees just hit a new all time high of 10,339,800 workers, increasing by a whopping 51,700 in one month.






Jim Marrs: Global Elite Suppresses New Discoveries in Alternative Energy | Jim Marrs talks to Alex about the elite controllers burying life-changing technology.


Obama Supporters Sign Petition to Repeal Bill of Rights

Paul Joseph Watson | Shock video underscores mindlessness of public.


Ron Paul Set To Launch New Freedom Media Network

Steve Watson | “Turn Off Your TV. Turn On the Truth.”


Introduce Your Children To ‘SheZow’ The Transgender Super Hero

Donna Anderson | Progressive parents agree that SheZows transgenderism is a good thing for their children to experience.


Possible Egyptian Interim Prime Minister is a Globalist Operative

Kurt Nimmo | Soros connected ElBaradei ready to make sure the globalist plan rolls on in Egypt.


Threats to Riot, Loot if Zimmerman Found Innocent Intensify

Paul Joseph Watson | Groups using social media to organize chaos.


TSA Conducted Pat Downs On Family Members of Plane Crash Victims

Paul Joseph Watson | Federal agency made life “more difficult” for both victims and loved ones.


New Egyptian War: Americans Lose, Again

Ron Paul | Successive US administrations over the decades have supported all sides in Egypt, from dictator to demonstrator to military.


Which Is Greater: Full Time Jobs Or Americans On Food Assistance And Disability?

Over the past week there has been some speculation whether the number of Americans who receive food assistance and/or are on disability, outnumber full-time employed workers in the US.

Here is the answer:

So far so good. Now the flip side showing how many Americans are reliant on the USDA's Food and Nutrition Services program or on Disability payments, i.e., food assistance in some form:

For a grand total of 112.5 million Americans on Food assistance (sources here and here).

End result: there are 3.5 million more Americans with full-time jobs than there are Americans who are reliant on the government for their daily bread: a tiny 3% delta.






Currencies Go Berserk As Bernanke Kills King Dollar

We noted earlier the brief chaos that the minutes created but – following Bernanke's promise to print moar - the after-hours collapse in the USD against every major (and minor) currency pair in the world is tremendous. USDJPY is over 200 pips off the day's highs (JPY surging below 98.50), GBPUSD is getting smashed higher (+275 pips from pre-close), and EURUSD is screaming higher (up 220 pips from the US close breaking above 1.3200). Retaliation for Carney and Draghi's comments? Who knows... but the currency wars are back on (and the 'other' currency is surging to $1290 per ounce).



What Bernanke Really Said, Or How The Chairman Just Lost Control Over Policy Again

"We don’t believe the Chairman’s intentions have changed. Regardless, the Chairman’s credibility is once again damaged. If the Dollar breakdown continues, it will be a sign that the market believes the Chairman has again lost control over policy. The asset clearly in the best position in such an environment is Gold. After such a notable correction in the past 9 months, the precious metal once again becomes a very attractive global asset if monetary policy in the largest economy of the world spins out of control." - Mike O'Rourke


Senate Liberals Push Status Quo Student Loan Bubble Ever Bigger

When every indicator of stress is screaming 'bubble' in the student loan debacle, it would make perfect sense for the government to ignore it and maintain the status quo. As the WSJ reports, the never-ending federal effort to "make college affordable" simply provides the resources to sustain higher prices - especially as an increasing amount of the rising subsidies are pocketed by universities. This policy disaster which results in rising costs, taxpayer losses and over-strapped borrowers is now manifest. So naturally this week Senate liberals will bring to the floor a plan to ensure that the policy continues unchanged (and the CBO-estimated $95 billion losses) - and dismisses a coalition plan that ties student loan rates to 10Y Treasuries, providing some marginal encouragement to students to decide whether their chosen course of study is worth the money.


About Those Gold Shorts....

One wonders: at what price does the squeeze of the collateral-scarce (as per today's ongoing negative GOFO) yellow metal begin now that Bernanke has made it clear (supposedly) that the new gameplan is just more of the same old?


Guest Post: 9 Plagues That Are Collapsing Capitalism

Let us be blunt: Our capitalist system is approaching failure. Or, perhaps better said: Our marginally capitalist, partly-free market systems are approaching a massive collapse. Not because of what capitalism is, mind you, but because the powers that be have bastardized it. Capitalism can bear many distortions and abuses, but it is not indestructible. And, make no mistake, the ‘capitalist’ system we have today has been massively corrupted, so much so that it’s sagging under the load... and will continue to do so until the proverbial straw breaks its back.


Rick Santelli Asks The Only Question That Matters

Commenting on the divergence between the bond market's Taper-On reaction and the equity markets Taper-off reaction amid the total lack of clarity from the FOMC, CNBC's Rick Santelli asks the (rhetorical) question that everyone should ask: "[What the Fed minutes said] is, listen, we have to wait for bigger confirmation that the economy is doing better; and for that, we're going to look at the employment side. [At the same time] we have the fewest people working that can work in 30 years, and all-time-record-high profits for corporations. Now, does that strategy sound rational to you?" It seems, now that Bernanke has seemingly promised that it will really never end, that Santelli's question will become increasingly critical in this country.


Gold, Bonds, And Stocks Soar As Bernanke Promises Moar

The punchline (as far as markets are concerned) of Bernanke's Q&A appears to be: Inflation and jobs signal more Fed stimulus needed and that Tapering does not end stimulus. In other words - highly accomodative policy needed for foreseeable future:


So on one hand Bernanke admitted he had to pop the HY bubble with the Hilsenrath leaks a few weeks ago (talk the market down), but is happy to take the equity gains in hopes they will trickle down to wealth effect, inflation and employment even if credit is spooked (and the bond market technically corrupted).

So keep buying (anything) - they'll always be a greater fool (The Fed) to sell to, no matter how much we destroy the markets (yes, collateral is short) until the economy is entirely back on its feet (inflation, jobs, or anything we decide).



Here Is Why Yum! Brands Just "Beat" Earnings

On Monday it was Alcoa, now it is Yum! Brands' turn. The food company, best known for its KFC mystery meat, and over-reliance on a suddenly careening China just reported results which were mixed. Revenue of $2.904 billion was less than the expected $2.92 billion and was 8% lower than the $3.2 billion reported a year ago. Operating profit excluding refranchising gains and losses was $358MM, below expectations of $375MM, leading to a EBIT  margin of 12.5% also substantially less than the 14.5% reported a year ago. In short, worldwide operating profit crashed 20% including a 63% drop in China. But thanks to various below the line adjustments, including a tax rate of 22.1% or lower compared to the 23.9% a year ago, the company's EPS of $0.56 beat expectations of $0.54.


Bonds And Stocks Disagree On FOMC Taper As Oil And Gasoline Surge

Bonds and silver ended the day lower, gold and stocks unch, and WTI crude (and RBOB - back over $3.00) notably higher. While the Nasdaq, Russell, and Trannies are comfortably above the FOMC meeting levels (from 6/19), the Dow and S&P struggled to hold it into the close after the extreme swings that the FOMC minutes dragged through the markets. Maria B might say 'off the lows', others may say 'off the highs', but it seems the machines had it all under control as the S&P 500 closed at VWAP (amid the total lack of clarity that the minutes provided). Financials underperformed (but remain green from FOMC 6/19) along with energy - as Brent-WTI was crushed to below $2, historically average around $1.



Bernanke Speaks - Live Webcast

After the angst that he created when he last spoke, and today's shenanigans after the Minutes, we can only imagine how his presentation at the NBER's Boston conference will impact the markets. We would be surprised if anything new came from Bernanke's presentation on "The Last 100 Years of The Federal Reserve" but the following Q&A (as we noted here) will be trial-balloon after trial-balloon we suspect as he prepares for next week's Humphrey-Hawkins.



Bernanke May Want to Hint At July Tapering Move Now: Scotiabank

Bernanke gives a speech today in Boston beginning at 4:10 PM entitled “The First 100 Years of the Federal Reserve: The Policy Record, Lessons Learned, and Prospects for the Future”. There will be a post-speech ‘Question & Answer’ period. This is an ideal time for him to fine-tune the Fed’s complicated message to markets. He can use this opportunity to send up a trial balloon for next week’s semi-annual report to Congress. We suspect Bernanke could even have his staffers leak questions to ask to those in the audience in order to frame and direct the conversation. We believe the Fed has drifted toward acceptance of tapering because of concerns about: 1) financial instability, 2) asset bubbles and 3) amassing difficulties for its exit strategies, not because economic nirvana has been reached. Therefore, we believe the decision to taper at one of the next two meeting is almost a certainty.


Even The Experts Throw Up All Over The Fed Minutes

The Fed may have finally taken speaking out of all sides of its mouth a step too far. Enter GMP's Adrian Miller with the best roundup of the sheer indecipherable gibberish just excreted by the Fed:

Great absurdist summary of a centrally-planned world that has been taken out straight from the pages of the Onion, but honestly, at this point who even cares anymore.



Post-FOMC Minutes Update: Market As Confused As Fed (But Fades Rally)

UPDATE: All Change; now the knee-jerk rally in bonds and stocks is fading rapidly (and the USD is bid). S&P 500 and EURUSD have now retraced all gains.

It seems the markets are as confused as the Fed members. The initial knee-jerk bid for bonds, stocks, and gold was retraced soon after; only to be ignored for another push higher as we post. Interestingly FX markets are 'less' undecided - it is taper-off as the USD is being offered everywhere with little retrace. As the Russell 2000 hits an all-time intrday high, equities still feel unstable (and VIX dropped to 14.06%). It seems the "if confused buy" meme may just hit a wall today?


FOMC Minutes: Half The Fed Participants Said It Would Be Appropriate To End QE "Late This Year"

Discord appears to be the best word to describe the FOMC minutes but the baffle 'em with bullshit seems like the order of the day:

As a reminder, uberdove Charles Evans wanted 200K or more in job gains in the past two quarters. Here's the thing - the average monthly job gain in the past 6 months is... 201,000. As for the punchline:

Communication matters apparently. But the key is that taper appears (forget about an all out stop) to be coming soon - and as usual - it's all data-dependent. Aside from that, it is the usual baffle with BS schtick. Most importantly, with half the Fed saying not just taper, but flat out end to QE by 2014, we now have a full blown mutiny in the Fed.



No Fly Zone Over Syria an Act of War, Gen. Dempsey Warns

Kurt Nimmo | And will cost over a billion dollars a month to maintain.


Photos: Obama-Backed Syrian Rebels Ransack Christian Village

Paul Joseph Watson | Residents slaughtered, churches desecrated.


Film Depicts Foreign Takeover of DHS

PR Web | PURGE is a fictional narrative short film about a takeover of the Dept. of Homeland Security by a secretive foreign banking cartel.


Russia Orders Snap Drill of Missile Forces

Paul Joseph Watson | New maneuvers follow largest military exercise since cold war.


Music Video: Rebel Yell | “Good men died for liberty to strive.”


Total Failure Of Foreign Intelligence As Spy Agencies Miss Massive Al Qaeda Prison Break

Mac Slavo | Hundreds of convicts, including senior members of al Qaeda, broke out of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail.


TSA: Give Us Your Fingerprints, Web History and You Can Keep Your Shoes On

Anthony Gucciardi | In order to participate in the ‘PreCheck’ TSA program, you will need to allow them to reach down into the proverbial pants of your personal life as well.


Some non-organic foods contain upwards of 180 times the fluoride level of tap water, says expert

Natural News | Many non-organic foods contain extremely high levels of fluoride because of the pesticide chemicals sprayed on them.


The Tip Of The Iceberg Of The Coming Retirement Crisis That Will Shake America To The Core

Economic Collapse | The pension nightmare that is at the heart of the horrific financial crisis in Detroitis just the tip of the iceberg of the coming retirement crisis that will shake America to the core.

28 States Saw Unemployment Rates Rise in June

Breitbart | Massachusetts saw largest increase to 7.0%.

Most government pensions to be confiscated within a decade

Mike Adams | Last week, Detroit declared bankruptcy, becoming the largest city in U.S. history to take such drastic action in the face of financial insolvency.


US And Russia Simultaneously Announce Intent To Arm Opposing Sides In Syria

Business Insider | Russian and U.S. officials simultaneously announced their intent to move forward with controversial arms transfers to opposing sides in the Syrian civil war.


You won’t believe what teachers plan to tell kids about Trayvon Martin

Daily Caller | Teachers said they would invoke mob justice, vigilantism and the idea that Florida law allows people to hunt and kill black kids when discussing the case with their students.


Photos: Obama-Backed Syrian Rebels Ransack Christian Village

Paul Joseph Watson | Residents slaughtered, churches desecrated.


Russia Orders Snap Drill of Missile Forces

Paul Joseph Watson | New maneuvers follow largest military exercise since cold war.


Twitter users hate on Zimmerman for pulling family from wreck

Daily Caller | Angry Twitter users took to the social media site on Monday to respond to news that George Zimmerman allegedly pulled a family of four from a wrecked car.


US Intel committees approve arming Syrian rebels, top general warns of costs

RT | The House and Senate Intelligence Committees have given a green light to arm Syrian rebels.


Total Failure Of Foreign Intelligence As Spy Agencies Miss Massive Al Qaeda Prison Break

Mac Slavo | Hundreds of convicts, including senior members of al Qaeda, broke out of Iraq’s Abu Ghraib jail.


Some non-organic foods contain upwards of 180 times the fluoride level of tap water, says expert

Natural News | Many non-organic foods contain extremely high levels of fluoride because of the pesticide chemicals sprayed on them.


As Cities Crumble The U.S. Celebrates British Royalty

Prison | Alex covers the latest media sideshow circus over the British “royal” family.


TSA: Give Us Your Fingerprints, Web History and You Can Keep Your Shoes On

Anthony Gucciardi | In order to participate in the ‘PreCheck’ TSA program, you will need to allow them to reach down into the proverbial pants of your personal life as well.


How big tech stays offline on tax

Reuters | Big business was having none of it.


Miami looks to ‘criminalize’ homelessness

RT | The city of Miami has stirred controversy.


Goldman Insider Fires Back At The New York Times’ Aluminum Price Manipulation Scheme Story

Business Insider | This weekend The New York Times published a big story on Metro International Trade Services, a Detroit-based aluminum storage company owned by Goldman Sachs.



FOMC Minutes Preview

From 'Tapering' to concluding asset-purchases, and from rate-hike-expectations to exit strategies (and what other indicators may be worth watching), BofAML previews the all-important release of the FOMC's last meeting minutes.



27 Facts That Prove That The Family In America Is In The Worst Shape Ever

The family is one of the fundamental building blocks of society.  If you do not have strong families, you are not going to have a strong society.  Unfortunately, the state of the family in America continues to deteriorate.  The marriage rate has fallen to an all-time low, we lead the world in divorce, and about a third of all children live in a home without a father.  Our young people have been taught that getting married and having a family is not a priority, and many of those that would like to get married and have children are not able to get the kinds of jobs that they need to support a family.  The statistics that you are about to see should absolutely shock you.  American families have never been this weak, and this is an incredibly troubling sign for the future of our nation.  What will future generations of Americans be like if they do not have stable homes to grow up in?  Will they be even more messed up than we are right now?  That is a frightening thought.  The following are 27 facts that prove that the family in America is in the worst shape ever... (Read More....)


The Decline Of Breadwinner Jobs Has Resulted In The Longest Bread Lines In American History

As the number of good jobs continues to decline, the number of Americans that cannot take care of themselves without government assistance continues to explode.  On Friday, we learned that the U.S. economy added "195,000 jobs" last month.  But when you look deeper at the numbers, another story emerges.  Last month, the U.S. economy actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs.  Overall, the U.S. economy has only added 130,000 full-time jobs in 2013, but it takes about 90,000 full-time jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.  So we are losing quite a bit of ground as far as full-time jobs are concerned.  Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has added more than 500,000 part-time jobs so far this year.  Unfortunately, there are very, very few part-time and temp jobs that can be considered "breadwinner jobs".  Part-time jobs are great for teenagers, university students and elderly people that only want to work a limited number of hours, but what most Americans need are good paying full-time jobs with benefits that will allow them to take care of their families.  Unfortunately, those jobs are continually becoming a smaller part of our economy. (Read More....)


Judge In Zimmerman Case Pressured by Obama Administration?

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones | Bizarre outburst against Zimmerman suggests prejudice.


City Denies Man’s Claim After Police Shot at Him Mistaking Him for Christopher Dorner

Julie Wilson | Torrance Police Department dismiss claims that they acted wrongfully during Christopher Dorner rampage.


Illinois Rep. Calls for Troops On Chicago’s Streets

Kurt Nimmo | Believes recently passed concealed carry legislation will lead to more violence in the Windy City.


Man Refuses To Comply With Internal Checkpoint; Border Patrol Smashes Their Way Into Vehicle

Steve Watson | Has possessions confiscated, detained for NINE HOURS.


It’s Racist For Cops To Prepare For Pro-Trayvon Riots, Says Time Magazine

Paul Joseph Watson | Author fails to acknowledge deluge of Twitter threats.





Why Did The Obama Administration “Organize And Manage” Protests Against George Zimmerman?

Is the Obama administration at least partially responsible for turning the George Zimmerman trial into such a huge national spectacle?  Judicial Watch has obtained documents which prove that the Community Relations Service, a division of the Department of Justice, was sent to Sanford, Florida in late March 2012 “to help organize and manage rallies and protests against George Zimmerman“.  This included spending quite a bit of money, arranging meetings between the NAACP and local leaders, and providing police escorts for protesters.  Someone needs to ask Obama why the federal government was doing this.  A story that should have never made national headlines now threatens to unleash a firestorm of racial fury unlike anything we have seen since the Rodney King verdict.  One young man, a neighborhood watch captain, shot and killed another young man.  This kind of thing happens in American cities every single night.  George Zimmerman says that he did it in self-defense.  He should be allowed to have his day in court and that should be the end of the matter.  But instead, this thing has been hyped into a massive national spectacle and it is being used to divide us along racial lines.  And it appears that we have clear evidence that the Obama administration was involved in doing the hyping. (Read More.....)








Reuters | The criminal gangs had been engaged in extortion, loan sharking, and gambling around NYC, and also trading in prescription drugs.



June Restaurant Spending Plunges By Most Since February 2008

Zero Hedge | Food-service sales fell 1.2% in June, the largest decline since February 2008.


Second Dutch Bank To Follow ABN Amro, Close Gold Accounts

Silver Doctors | Rabobank has just followed in the footsteps of ABN Amro.


40 Stats That Prove The U.S. Economy Has Already Been Collapsing Over The Past Decade

Economic Collapse | The “coming economic collapse” has already been happening.


The “McDonald’s Budget”: Laughably Unrealistic But Also Deeply Tragic

Economic Collapse | Can you support a family on $2,000 a month?




USA enjoys July 4 parades, picnics under watchful eyes of police...
Homeland Security Conducts 'Top Secret' Drill...
Dozens Of Flags Lining City Street For Parade Ripped Down By Vandals...
Fear Of Gang Violence Cancels City's Carnival...
BROWNSTEIN: Divided We Stand...
Military closes swimming pools...
Oliver Stone Tells European Audience: 'The World is in Danger With Our Tyranny'...
US image in world slips...
GALLUP: Republicans more proud to be American than Democrats...


Longest Stretch of 7.5%+ Unemployment on Record...


STIMULUS: Second-largest U.S. employer is temp agency...

CHICAGOLAND: 73 shot, 11 dead over holiday weekend...
Man Stabbed Cabbie After Telling Him He Had 'Bad Day'...
1,043 shooting victims in 2013...

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Homeless woman steak-knives subway rider...
Bizarre staring contest...




{ The chilling effect of niggers on the First Amendment ….. because reality when reported can never favor the uncivilized, lazy, lawless niggers ….. and, as we can see in the decline and fall of america, reality counts! }
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Tweet Delete...
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Judge considers lesser charges...



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Everyone Knows that the Federal Reserve Banks Are PRIVATE … Except the American People

Washington’s Blog | Most Americans Still Don’t Know that Federal Reserve Banks Are Private Corporations.


Number of Americans on federal food aid explodes to over 100 million

Natural News | If you’re one of the nation’s dwindling number of taxpayers, you’re probably not going to care much for this story.


Gas Prices Have Biggest Daily Jump In 6 Months

Zero Hedge | Do not worry, we are told on a daily basis, the rise in crude oil prices is transitory and won’t affect gas prices and implicitly the US consumer’s pocket book .


Bank To Spy On Customers Via Cellphone Location Tracking

Paul Joseph Watson | It’s not just the government watching you.



There Is No Right to Privacy

Walter Block | Privacy is a benefit, not a right.


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Port Angeles Residents Terrorized by Unannounced Army Exercise

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White House mum on preparations for verdict in George Zimmerman trial

The Hill | Carney sidestepped question about whether Obama administration was preparing for possible public reaction to verdict of George Zimmerman.


Zimmerman Acquittal Could Lead to LA Style Riots | Threats to stage riots, looting and racial violence if George Zimmerman is acquitted continue to flood Twitter.


Trayvon Martin’s Dad Is A ‘Grand Master’ Freemason

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New Phone App Helps Tattle on Neighbors with Guns | A new Smart Phone app describing itself as “tattle ware” allows users to upload information regarding locations where they have “gun related concerns”.


Michael Savage – Omega 3 Fish Oil Cancer Study Debunked | Savage debunks the recent study purporting that fish oil causes a 70% increase in aggressive prostate cancer. Talks to a qualified doctor.




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NAACP: 'MODERN DAY LYNCHING' { Sure…whatever they say … we need more of them! }





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Oakland: Police Stood Down As 'Protesters' Terrorized Drivers...
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STEVIE WONDER BOYCOTTS FLORIDA { That’s why God born him blind … because he is in every way! }







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'Emotional' jurors offered counseling...

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Witness Expected To Testify Against Mobster Whitey Bulger Found Dead...

REPORT: Mob Pick for Gambino Godfather Turns Down Job...

CARTER: 'America has no functioning democracy'...


Mob Pick for Gambino Godfather Turns Down the Job

By Murray Weiss on July 18, 2013




Francesco "Franky Boy" Cali Rejects Godfather Offer

NEW YORK CITY — They made him an offer — but he refused.

Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, the heir apparent to the Gambino Crime Family throne, turned down the honor to become “Godfather” of the nation’s largest Mafia organization, sources told “On The Inside.”

At a stunning, secret mob summit, the powerful, 49-year-old Brooklyn-based capo shocked his Gambino bosses and fellow captains by telling them that he would eschew the promotion.

Four days before the meeting, “On The Inside" reported that Cali was the choice among his comrades, who respected Cali’s strong low-key, old-world approach to doing business successfully without attracting fanfare or agita.

But Cali told his brothers that while he was moved by their support, he would not accept the promotion to run the family’s billion-dollar concerns.

“I don’t need the money, the headaches. I am OK with things and I am below the radar and not an attention-seeker,” Cali told his Gambino brethren, according to sources.

And, one source said, the Gambinos understood — or at least that’s the party line.

After all, along with receiving vastly lucrative cash tribute from every corner of the sprawling crime family, there are headaches that would make Tony Soprano’s head spin, including having to accept an outsized bulls-eye on one’s back from law enforcement, if not from gangsters upset with his decision to pass up the job.

One thing is certain: Cali would not be kidding about his wealth.  Sources say he practically runs the city’s food industry and is worth an estimated $30 million from those businesses, real estate holdings and cafés he owns.

But some law enforcement sources are not so quick to believe the talk that Cali turned down the job. They say it may be a Mafia “disinformation” campaign designed to throw off law enforcement.

“Why would he turn down a job where all the other captains want him?” a skeptical veteran mob hunter asked. “If they thought he would not take it, they would not have picked him.”

Cali — a native New Yorker who traces his roots firmly to Sicily — was set to take over the Gambinos because the current boss, Domenico "Italian Dom" Cefalu, 76, who is a native Sicilian, indicated he wanted to step aside to allow his younger protégé to take the reins of the family's lucrative gambling, loansharking and construction rackets.

Cefalu, who has a long history of heroin smuggling and has done several stints in prison, took over a family once ruled by John “The Dapper Don” Gotti and the group's infamous namesake, Carlo Gambino. Cefalu reduced the public profile and broke with the flashy, headline-grabbing era marked by Gotti, whose visage once graced the cover of Time magazine.

Gotti died of throat cancer in prison in 2002.

Sources say Cefalu wanted Cali to take his place, and so did the other captains who were looking to Cali to breathe some money-making life back into their ranks.

Cali’s parents immigrated to Brooklyn from Palermo, Italy, and he got his start in the mob by running a fruit store on 18th Avenue in Brooklyn called Arcobaleno, which means "rainbow" in Italian.  The feds say it doubled as a front for criminal activities.

Cali made his bones under the Gottis while operating in Manhattan, Brooklyn and New Jersey. According to the FBI, he officially became the Gambino "ambassador to the Sicilian Mafia" and a rising star when Gotti and Salvatore "Sammy Bull" Gravano roamed the city, ruling rackets and murdering dozens of people.

He eventually married into mob royalty when he wed the daughter of one of the Inzerillos, who are known as one of the Mafia powerhouses in Italy. He is also a nephew of John and Joseph Gambino, who are influential hoods connected to the famous “Pizza Connection” drug trafficking case of the 1980s.

If the Gambinos are forced back to the Godfather drawing board, sources say they may go out of town for a successor, and are considering a top hood in the Connecticut faction of the family.

It remains to be seen on surveillance video, or heard on wiretaps, precisely what the truth is.

Over the past several decades, and thanks to the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act, the feds have severely reduced the influence of the Gambinos and the other four crime families, breaking their grip on the billion-dollar labor union and construction industries.



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Top US Military Officer: America Is Considering Entering Syrian War

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USDA Grants $149,074 to Study Food Shopping Patterns with GPS | The USDA has awarded a $149,074 grant to study food shopping patterns that may form the basis of future shopping “interventions.”


Congressman: Benghazi Survivors Forced to Sign Non-Disclosure Agreements

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Kurt Nimmo | Morgan’s pathetic exploitation of Rachel Jeantel backfires.


TSA Searching Parked Cars at AIrport | TSA says this is part of its overall security plan and that it’s a proactive move to Search Parked Cars at AIrport.


Steam Rising Again From Fukushima Reactor

Zero Hedge | Steam has been seen rising from a reactor building at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant.



American offshore accounts in foreign banks with more than $50,000 have to be reported

Merco Press | Treasury said it will postpone enforcement of new law that cracks down on offshore tax avoidance by Americans by six months.


A Nightmare Scenario

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Black America's Real Problem Isn't White Racism


Pat Buchanan

In the aftermath of the acquittal of George Zimmerman, Eric Holder, Al Sharpton and Ben Jealous of the NAACP are calling on the black community to rise up in national protest.

Yet they know — and Barack Obama, whose silence speaks volumes, knows — nothing is going to happen.

"Stand-Your-Ground" laws in Florida and other states are not going to be repealed. George Zimmerman is not going to be prosecuted for a federal "hate crime" in the death of Trayvon Martin.

The result of all this ginned-up rage that has produced vandalism and violence is simply going to be an ever-deepening racial divide.

Consider the matter of crime and fear of crime.

From listening to cable channels and hearing Holder, Sharpton, Jealous and others, one would think the great threat to black children today emanates from white vigilantes and white cops.

Hence, every black father must have a "conversation" with his son, warning him not to resist or run if pulled over or hassled by a cop.

Make the wrong move, son, and you may be dead is the implication.

But is this the reality in Black America?

When Holder delivered his 2009 "nation-of-cowards" speech blaming racism for racial separation, Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald suggested that our attorney general study his crime statistics.

In New York from January to June 2008, 83 percent of all gun assailants were black, according to witnesses and victims, though blacks were only 24 percent of the population. Blacks and Hispanics together accounted for 98 percent of all gun assailants. Forty-nine of every 50 muggings and murders in the Big Apple were the work of black or Hispanic criminals.

New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly confirms Mac Donald's facts. Blacks and Hispanics commit 96 percent of all crimes in the city, he says, but only 85 percent of the stop-and-frisks are of blacks and Hispanics.

And these may involve the kind of pat-downs all of us have had at the airport.

Is stop-and-frisk the work of racist cops in New York, where the crime rate has been driven down to levels unseen in decades?

According to Kelly, a majority of his police force, which he has been able to cut from 41,000 officers to 35,000, is now made up of minorities.

But blacks are also, per capita, the principal victims of crime. Would black fathers prefer their sons to grow up in Chicago, rather than low-crime New York City, with its stop-and-frisk policy?

Fernando Mateo, head of the New York taxicab union, urges his drivers to profile blacks and Hispanics for their own safety: "The God's honest truth is that 99 percent of the people that are robbing, stealing, killing these drivers are blacks and Hispanics."

Mateo is what The New York Times would describe as "a black Hispanic" Yet he may be closer to the 'hood than Holder, who says he was stopped by police when running to a movie — in Georgetown.

Which raises a relevant question. Georgetown is an elitist enclave of a national capital that has been ruled by black mayors for half a century. It's never had a white mayor.

Is Holder saying we've got racist cops in the district where Obama carried 86 percent of the white vote and 97 percent of the black vote? And his son should fear the white cops in Washington, D.C.?

What about interracial crime, white-on-black attacks and the reverse?

After researching the FBI numbers for "Suicide of a Superpower," this writer concluded: "An analysis of 'single offender victimization figures' from the FBI for 2007 finds blacks committed 433,934 crimes against whites, eight times the 55,685 whites committed against blacks. Interracial rape is almost exclusively black on white — with 14,000 assaults on white women by African Americans in 2007. Not one case of a white sexual assault on a black female was found in the FBI study."

Though blacks are outnumbered 5-to-1 in the population by whites, they commit eight times as many crimes against whites as the reverse. By those 2007 numbers, a black male was 40 times as likely to assault a white person as the reverse.

If interracial crime is the ugliest manifestation of racism, what does this tell us about where racism really resides — in America?

And if the FBI stats for 2007 represent an average year since the Tawana Brawley rape-hoax of 1987, over one-third of a million white women have been sexually assaulted by black males since 1987 — with no visible protest from the civil rights leadership.

Today, 73 percent of all black kids are born out of wedlock. Growing up, these kids drop out, use drugs, are unemployed, commit crimes and are incarcerated at many times the rate of Asians and whites — or Hispanics, who are taking the jobs that used to go to young black Americans.

Are white vigilantes or white cops really Black America's problem?

Obama seems not to think so. The Rev. Sharpton notwithstanding, he is touting Ray Kelly as a possible chief of homeland security.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Suicide of a Superpower: Will America Survive to 2025?" To find out more about Patrick Buchanan and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at




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Everything Is Fine, But…

Everything is going to be just great.  Haven't you heard?  The stock market is at an all-time high, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that inflation is incredibly low, and the official unemployment rate has been steadily declining since early in Barack Obama's first term.  Of course I am being facetious, but this is the kind of talk about the economy that you will hear if you tune in to the mainstream media.  They would have us believe that those running things know exactly what they are doing and that very bright days are ahead for America.  And it would be wonderful if that was actually true.  Unfortunately, as I made exceedingly clear yesterday, the U.S. economy has already been in continual decline for the past decade.  Any honest person that looks at those numbers has to admit that our economy is not even close to where it used to be.  But could it be possible that we are making a comeback?  Could it be possible that Obama and Bernanke really do know what they are doing and that their decisions have put us on the path to prosperity?  Could it be possible that everything is going to be just fine? (Read More....)





Chris Christie's New Jersey plummets


Seeking a second term as New Jersey governor with a possible eye to a White House run in 2016, Chris Christie is heavily touting his business record, as he did at the ribbon cutting of real estate firm Realogy's new corporate headquarters in Madison, N.J., last month.

"We made a commitment from the beginning to grow New Jersey's economy. The only way to do that is with the private sector," Christie said.

Christie often points to his administration's "partnership" with business, including deregulation, tax cuts and incentives.

Play Video


Christie's Plan to Get NJ on Top

CNBC's Scott Cohn is working on this year's "Top States for Business," and New Jersey's Chris Christie has a plan to get New Jersey on top.

But he is unlikely to point to New Jersey's standing in our America's Top States for Business rankings. It has declined since he took office in 2010.

(Read More: Worst States for Business)

That year and in 2011, New Jersey finished 30th overall. In 2012, the state plunged to 41st. For 2013, it drops another spot to 42nd.

To some degree, the Garden State is a victim of a changing competitive landscape, as well as a business culture embedded in the state long before Christie took over. But our study shows Christie's efforts to change New Jersey have largely been unsuccessful compared to other states.

With more states than ever touting their low Cost of Doing Business, that criterion carries extra weight in our study this year. That puts old, Northeastern states like New Jersey at an instant disadvantage. Indeed, the state comes in 42nd in that key category.

(Read More: America's Most Expensive States to Live)

New Jersey is quite simply one of the most expensive states to do business in. Office and industrial rents are expensive, wages are high. And with a corporate income tax rate of 9 percent on top of soaring property taxes, New Jersey has one of the highest tax burdens in the country. Christie has made a broad tax cut plan a centerpiece of his re-election campaign.

But it is not just New Jersey's tax rates that are a problem. The Tax Foundation's Scott Drenkard tells CNBC New Jersey's tax system suffers from some fairness issues. The already high taxes are levied on a narrow base.

"Some businesses are paying full freight—paying the full rate, and other businesses that are engaging in favorable activities are paying low rates," Drenkard said.

(Read More: States Bring Renewed Swagger to Top States 2013)

That unevenness in the New Jersey tax code is a direct result of a major push by Christie to boost business incentives. The state now offers at least five different corporate tax reduction programs, and Christie has awarded some $2.1 billion in subsidies since taking office compared with $1.25 billion in the prior 10 years, according to New Jersey Policy Perspective, a liberal think tank.

The incentives have helped Christie secure some victories, such as the Realogy corporate headquarters. The firm had reportedly been considering a move out of the state.

And Allergan opened a 93,000 square foot research facility in Bridgewater in September, after reportedly considering locations in California,Pennsylvania and North Carolina.

But incentives alone have not been enough to bring New Jersey in line with the national recovery. Unemployment remained above the national average at 8.6 percent in May, and the state's economy was growing at about half the national rate.

Christie vowed to make his broader tax cut proposal a campaign issue after failing to pass a tax credit plan in the latest budget. Opponents argued there was not enough revenue to justify the tax cuts.

(Read More: Categories & Criteria for CNBC's Top States for Business 2013)

On his campaign website, Christie claims he has already cut "$2.35 billion in job-destroying taxes." And he claims he is making New Jersey more business friendly.

"The Governor has also eliminated hundreds of confusing rules and regulations that put an onerous and unnecessary burden on New Jersey businesses," the site said.

New Jersey does log a solid improvement in our Business Friendliness category for 2013, but still finishes near the bottom at 41st in the category compared with 48th in 2012.

The libertarian Fraser Institute gives New Jersey below average marks for the fairness of its tax system, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Institute for Legal Reform's annual ranking of state lawsuit climates puts New Jersey at 32nd.

New Jersey has a long tradition as a heavily unionized state, and Christie—perhaps bowing to political realities—has been courting many private sector unions in his re-election campaign.

(Read More: States Battle for Business)

A heavy union presence tends to work against states in our Workforce category, and Census figures show New Jersey remains among the most unionized states in the nation. But the state finishes a respectable 21st in the category this year compared with 28th last year. The higher than average unemployment rate means more workers are available, and many of them are well-educated and trained. New Jersey workers are among the most educated in the country, according to the Census Bureau.

And speaking of education, New Jersey surges to the No. 1 spot in our Education category for the first time, up from fourth place last year. Class sizes are low, the state generously supports its public schools, and high school test scores are among the best in the country.

For a politically ambitious governor whose state has typically struggled in our Top States rankings, that could be a small silver lining.




The Most Expensive US States to Live in

By Scott Cohn, CNBC Senior Correspondent | CNBC – Mon, Jul 15, 2013 10:07 AM EDT

@cnbc on Twitter

Businesses don't just look at their own costs when deciding where to set up shop. They also look at the costs for their employees and executives. After all, wages go further when the cost of living is low. That's why Cost of Living is one of the categories we measure as we rank America's Top States for Business. The higher the cost of living, the lower the score. Here are our rankings of America's most expensive states to live in, plus a sampling of the prices you'll pay for some basics in the most expensive area of the state. (Average price data based on Council for Community and Economic Research C2ER Cost of Living Index, Q1 2013.)

Avg. Home Price (Honolulu Metro): $742,166

Half Gallon of Milk: $3.41

Pound of Ground Beef: $3.99

Monthly Energy Bill: $333.51

Doctor Visit: $101.80

2013 Cost of Living Rank: #50 (Most Expensive)

2013 Cost of Living Score: 1 (out of 50)

2012 Cost of Living Rank: #50

Avg. Home Price (Anchorage Metro): $467,553

Half Gallon of Milk: $2.41

Pound of Ground Beef: $4.08

Monthly Energy Bill: $169.84

Doctor Visit: $159.20

2013 Cost of Living Rank: #49 (2nd Most Expensive)

2013 Cost of Living Score: 2 (out of 50)

2012 Cost of Living Rank: #49


Avg. Home Price (Stamford Metro): $585,000

Half Gallon of Milk: $2.77

Pound of Ground Beef: $4.07

Monthly Energy Bill: $236.01

Doctor Visit: $114.55

2013 Cost of Living Rank: #48 (3rd Most Expensive)

2013 Cost of Living Score: 3 (out of 50)

2012 Cost of Living Rank: #48


Avg. Home Price (Manhattan): $1,351,400

Half Gallon of Milk: $2.42

Pound of Ground Beef: $4.71

Monthly Energy Bill: $237.01

Doctor Visit: $96.00

2013 Cost of Living Rank: #47 (4th Most Expensive)

2013 Cost of Living Score: 4 (out of 50)

2012 Cost of Living Rank: #47


Avg. Home Price (Bergen-Passaic Metro): $557,145

Half Gallon of Milk: $3.79

Pound of Ground Beef: $3.43

Monthly Energy Bill: $252.39

Doctor Visit: $103.20

2013 Cost of Living Rank: #46 (5th Most Expensive)

2013 Cost of Living Score: 5 (out of 50)

2012 Cost of Living Rank: #45

Want to see the rest of America's Most Expensive States to Live? Check it out here.


Related links:

America's Least Expensive Places to Live

Top-ten States with the Best Quality of Life



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GoLDMaN ALuMiNuM TRaDe EXPLaiNeD... Posted by : williambanzai7 Post date: 07/23/2013 - Yes we aluminum can...





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Guess The World's Most Expensive City

Tyler Durden's picture


While Edward Snowden can perhaps breathe a sigh of relief at being abale to avoid the humdrum beat of airport food for a while, he will be stepping out into the 2nd most expensive city in the world. Based on a survey of over 200 items, Moscow ranks 2nd in the world (with $8 cups of coffee and $4,600 average apartment rental costs), and Tokyo 3rd (with $5 newspapers and $7 coffees). But the most expensive city in the world will come as a surprise to most and likely create the need for a Google Maps search. With 40.5% of the population of this nation living in property and the average monthly rent a sky-high $6,500, this southern African country's capital is the most expensive city in the world (it would seem the Chinese arrival in resource-rich African nations - N'Djamena, Chad is 4th - has had its hot-money inflationary effects).


Most Expensive Cities In The World (using Mercer data)

Number 10. Sydney

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $2,551

International newspaper: $6.20

Cup of coffee: $5.16

Gas (per liter): $1.51

A tight housing market has made Sydney an extremely expensive place for anyone to live. Few vacancies have driven rental prices higher, with the average rent on a luxury two-bedroom hitting more than $2,500 a month.

Prices for other goods aren't cheap either: Want a burger and a soda? That will cost you more than $9. A trip to the movies for two? Close to $40 -- and that's without popcorn.


Number 9. Bern, Switzerland

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $2,687

International newspaper: $4.35

Cup of coffee: $4.35

Gas (per liter): $2.02

Even though Switzerland has experienced some deflation over the past couple of years, prices for everything from milk to movie tickets are still staggeringly high. The average cost for a fast food hamburger meal in Bern is $12.51 and a pair of blue jeans will cost an average $138.

For Americans, the prices are made all the more cumbersome due to an unfavorable exchange rate.


Number 8. Zurich

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $3,915

International newspaper: $4.35

Cup of coffee: $5.98

Gas (per liter): $2.02

One of the world's major financial centers, nearly one-quarter of the city's residents work at banks and investment firms. In fact, wealth and security are a way of life here. The unemployment rate is a super low 3.1%.

Yet, nothing comes cheap. A club sandwich will cost $30.45 (one of the most expensive club sandwiches in the world) and coffee rings in around $6 a cup, according to Mercer.


Number 7. Geneva, Switzerland

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $4,350

International newspaper: $4.35

Cup of coffee: $6.52

Gas (per liter): $2.02

One of three Swiss cities to make Mercer's list, Geneva offers many luxurious, well-crafted goods, as well as many everyday ones -- almost all of which will cost Americans handsomely.

Part of the reason is an unfavorable exchange rate. The Swiss franc is more robust than the U.S. dollar. Tickets to the movies will cost an average of $18.50 apiece and a hamburger meal at a fast food joint will put you back about $12.50, according to Mercer.


Number 6. Hong Kong

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $7,092

International newspaper: $3.87

Cup of coffee: $5.67

Gas (per liter): $2.23

Hong Kong's rental market is exploding. Home prices have climbed significantly and potential buyers are having such a hard time securing financing that they are turning to rental homes instead, according to Mercer's Miriam Siscovick.

While a luxury two-bedroom averages a little more than $7,000 a month, Mercer found that luxury three-bedroom apartments can go for more than $13,500 a month.


Number 5. Singapore

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $3,795

International newspaper: $3.63

Cup of coffee: $4.84

Gas (per liter): $1.76

One of the fastest growing economies in the world, Singapore's per capita income is also one of the highest -- at $51,709. But thanks to a history of high inflation and taxes, residents still pay top dollar for goods and services.

When eating at a restaurant in Singapore, for example, be prepared to fork over a 7% goods and services tax and pay a 10% service charge, according to the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore.


Number 4. N'Djamena, Chad

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $2,245

International newspaper: $6.94

Cup of coffee: $3.06

Gas (per liter): $0.98

Just getting to N'Djamena is expensive. A round-trip flight from New York's JFK airport to this central African city costs at least $2,500, on Travelocity.

Once you get there, things don't get much cheaper. Order a club sandwich and a soda in Chad's capital city and it will easily cost you $25 or more, according to Mercer's report. Grab the daily paper and it will cost close to $7.


Number 3. Tokyo

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $4,513

International newspaper: $5.37

Cup of coffee: $6.98

Gas (per liter): $1.74

Home to 13.2 million people, Tokyo is one of the most densely-populated cities in the world -- and that means real estate comes at a premium. Rents here are among some of the most expensive on the planet, with luxury two-bedroom apartments going for an average of $4,500 a month, according to Mercer.


Number 2. Moscow

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $4,600

International newspaper: $9.95

Cup of coffee: $8.29

Gas (per liter): $1.04

Rental apartments in Moscow can make Manhattan's prices look cheap, with unfurnished luxury two-bedrooms averaging $4,600 a month. And the imported goods and services that expats commonly want also command a premium. A gallon of milk costs an average of $7.59. Even a cup of coffee -- averaging more than $8 -- doesn't come cheap.


and the most expensive city in the world....


Number 1. Luanda, Angola

Monthly rent (luxury apt.): $6,500

International newspaper: $5.42

Cup of coffee: $3.88

Gas (per liter): $0.63

Oil has brought this southern African country vast riches, but high taxes and internal strife keep prices extremely high.

For Americans who come to work here, everything can cost top dollar. A pair of blue jeans will cost an average $204, according to consulting firm Mercer's annual survey.

Such sky-high prices have created a big chasm between the haves and have-nots, with 40.5% of the population living in poverty according to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA.)

One thing that is relatively cheap here: gas, at an average of 63 cents a liter. But you'll still pay a high price to take a taxi.



House Narrowly Rejects Proposal To End NSA Surveillance In 205-217 Vote

Moments ago, an unlikely grouping between a 33-year old Republican, Rep-Justin Amash, and an 84-year old Democrat, Rep-John Conyers, resulted in a House vote, that if passed, would have suspended the NSA's "indiscriminate collection of phone records" and effectively ended the program's statutory authority. Yet despite significant lobbying by the White House, security experts and representative on both sides of the aisle, the vote came within a startlingly close 12 votes of passage. A majority of Democrats, 111, voted for Amash's amendment despite the full court press while 83 Democrats voted no. The GOP vote was 94-134. That the vote did not pass is not surprising. However, that it came to just 12 votes of passage is the stunning development and shows a sea change of how Congress approaches both personal privacy and the broader implications of the Patriot Act. All of it thanks to the action of one man who at last check was still stuck in the transit terminal in Moscow.



It's All About The Fundamentals

Presented with little comment aside to ask, rhetorically, when do our existing valuation methodologies fail and we shift to Price-to-Fed-Balance-Sheet metrics?



Guest Post: Japan’s Future: Less Sex, More Shoplifting

A troubling trend has emerged among Japan’s elderly – who represent around a quarter of its 128 million citizens – which is closely bound up with the nation’s greater demographic problems at hand. For the first time ever, Japanese aged 65 and up account for a higher percentage of shoplifting cases than do the country’s teens. Abe's upper-house election win this weekend makes the situation worse. Facing the reality of increasing strain on a shrinking workforce, Abe plans to cut welfare in August, rather than increase government help for the nation’s burgeoning elderly population. With this cut, theft among the elderly could very well increase.



The NSA's Version Of "The Dog Ate My Homework"

When it comes to the conversion of the US into a totalitarian state, few things are quite as symbolic as the construction of the NSA's Bluffdale, Utah Data Canter, which was revealed last year by Wired, yet which did not get much prominence until June's revelations by Edward Snowden. Costing billions in taxpayer money, the facility is simply the largest hard disk ever built, designed to store every current and future electronic communication, both foreign and domestic, to be made available at a moment's notice following the "permission" of the secret FISA court. Which is why one would think that if there is one thing the NSA would excel in (and once can certainly not blame the NSA for being budget-friendly - recall that the The Pentagon has requested $4.7 billion for “cyberspace operations,” even as the budget of the CIA and other intelligence agencies could fall by $4.4 billion) is being able to identify and isolate any particular signal among a veritable mountain of noise. One would be very wrong.



Hoisington: "The Secular Low In Bond Yields Has Yet To Be Recorded"

The secular low in bond yields has yet to be recorded. This assessment for a continuing pattern of lower yields in the quarters ahead is clearly a minority view, as the recent selling of all types of bond products attest. The rise in long term yields over the last several months was accelerated by the recent Federal Reserve announcement that it would be “tapering” its purchases of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities. This has convinced many bond market participants that the low in long rates is in the past. The Treasury bond market’s short term fluctuations are a function of many factors, but its primary and most fundamental determinate is attitudes toward current and future inflation. From that perspective, the outlook for long term Treasury yields to fall is most favorable in light of: a) diminished inflation pressures; b) slowing GDP growth; c) weakening consumer fundamentals; and d) anti-growth monetary and fiscal policies.



High-Speed Train Derails In North-West Spain - 35 Killed, Hundreds Injured

When we recently described the case of the "monoderailed" Spanish "train to nowhere" we hardly had in mind just how sad and tragic this proposition would become in reality just two short weeks later. A high-speed train (traveling at 250kph) has derailed in Northwestern Spain - killing at least 35 people and injusred hundreds more. As CNN reports, the train crashed on a curve near the city of Santiago de Compostela - traveling from Madrid to the town of Ferrol. With China unveiling its plans to save the world's economy via a rail-road infrastructure fund, and Spain already neck-deep in funding rail-roads to nowhere, this evening's terrible disaster in Spain will surely provide some food for thought.


Guest Post: PRISM, Snapchat, And Investment Edge

The rise of the surveillance state and the shifts in our daily usage of portable personal computers (smartphones) are likely to lead to some intriguing shifts in how we communicate and invest.



Hilsenrath Latest: Toss Up Between Summers And Yellen

While hardly a surprise, following recent speculative punditry (which failed miserably in forecasting Mark Carney as the next BOE head, something Zero Hedge predicted half a year ahead of the event due to one simple variable - he is from Goldman) and numerous trial balloons on Bernanke's successor coming hot and heavy from every direction, it was time for the Fed's own mouthpiece, Jon Hilsenrath, to speak, and bring back much needed drama and confusion.




Stocks Slump Most In A Month Suggesting Good Is Definitely Bad

Stocks had their worst day in a month; Treasuries their worst day in 3 weeks; and the USD strengthened the most in 3 weeks as Gold dropped. All seeming signals that the printing machine is less a factor than it was yesterday. The 'Taper' action apparently reflects better headline data this morning (EU PMI once again being claimed that all is well - just like in Jan 2012; US home sales beating expectations (but home prices collapsing); and US PMI beating expectations (in its typical lower highs cyclical pattern of the last few years). Today's good-is-bad drop in stocks was also accompanied by the heaviest volume in almost 3 weeks (as the 3rd day in a row saw the S&P 500 fail to break 1,700 at the opening rush). WTI slid back to around $105 (as gas prices have stabilzied at highs) and the spread to Brent leaks back wider. VIX rose 0.6 vols (its most in a month) back above 13%.


Where College Tuition Money Comes From

With parent income and savings dwindling, grants and scholarships (and student loans) are making up a greater and greater share of the budget for the typical family paying for college.


When The Economic Indicators Finally Break

"We are left in the world of Wile E. Coyote who had the habit of dashing off cliffs in the pursuit of the elusive Road Runner, before  noticing the thin air below. Plenty of economists and money managers have their eyes fixed on leading indicators and tell me that Southern Europe’s economies are "stabilizing" and "prosperity is around the corner." In reality economic activity in Greece, Portugal, Italy, Spain, and also France, is collapsing."



Guest Post: Bankers Own The World

In every era, there are certain people and institutions that are held in the highest public regard as they embody the prevailing values of society. Not that long ago, Albert Einstein was a major public figure and was widely revered. Can you name a scientist that commands a similar presence today? Today, some of the most celebrated individuals and institutions are ensconced within the financial industry; in banks, hedge funds, and private equity firms. Which is odd because none of these firms or individuals actually make anything, which society might point to as additive to our living standards. Instead, these financial magicians harvest value from the rest of society that has to work hard to produce real things of real value. Money is power. And history has shown that power is never ceded spontaneously or willingly. But the stability of this parasitical system begins to weaken quickly when the lifeblood it depends on begins to dry up. And that's when things can begin to go south in a hurry



Detroit Chapter 9 Bankruptcy Objections Denied

The judge has decided to over-rule both objections and that nothing with regard the Chapter 9 process is held up.

Now, we proceed to the Federal eligibility hearing (whether the city is eligible to proceed with Chapter 9). Remember this took almost a year with Stockton, CA. For now, Unions 0 - Orr 1 but it seems like neither side will be a winner when this is all over (which makes sense as while there is the law and the Obama-law, there is simply no money). The current plan (for now rejected by creditors) means a 90% loss for muni-worker retirees, 81% loss for unsecured creditors, and a 75% loss for secured creditors.



Commander-In-Chief Caption Contest

Presenting: the American middle class and its leader.



Stocks Drop Most In 3 Weeks As BTFATH Fails (For Now)

Did the world of retail investors just realize that they are indeed the greater fool (as we showed here), as it seems this high-volume dip in US equities - the largest since the July 5th ramp-fest began - is not seeing the BTFATH mentality coming in quite yet. Or perhaps it is the somewhat belligerent tone that the President is using towards the hard-working US CEOs who see profits over employment.



ERECTION UPDATE: Weiner now blames 'rough time' in marriage...
Pressure mounts to pull out...
Huma following Clinton plan...


CHICAGOLAND: Guardian Angels Warn Magnificent Mile Becoming Muggers' Mile...


America's 'Middle Class' Ranked 27th Worldwide...

Two Food Stamp Recipients Added For Every Job 'Created'...




Who Controls The Global Economy? Do Not Underestimate The Power Of The Big Banks

Great Seal - Photo by IpankoninAre the big banks really as powerful as some people say that they are?  Do they really control the global economy?  If y0u asked most people, they would tell you that governments control the global economy.  But the campaigns of our politicians are funded by the ultra-wealthy, the big banks and the large corporations that they control.  Others would tell you that the Federal Reserve and the rest of the central banks around the world control the global economy.  But the truth is that the Federal Reserve was established by the bankers and for the benefit of the bankers.  As you will see below, at the very core of the global economy there exists a "super-entity" of financial institutions that control an almost unimaginable amount of wealth and power.  These financial institutions and the ultra-wealthy individuals behind them are really the ones that are pulling all the strings.  In this world money equals power, and the borrower is the servant of the lender.  When you follow the pyramid all the way to the top, it begins to become very clear who really is in control. (Read More....)


Debt Levels Are Skyrocketing To Extremely Dangerous Levels – How Long Can This Possibly Keep Going?

SkyrocketingNever before has the world faced such a serious debt crisis.  Yes, in the past there have certainly been nations that have gotten into trouble with debt, but we have never had a situation where virtually all of the major powers around the globe were all drowning in debt at the same time.  And what makes this crisis even more unprecedented is that everyone on the planet is using fiat currency that is backed up by nothing.  It is all just a bunch of paper and data points that people have faith in.  Right now, confidence in this system is being shaken as debt levels skyrocket to extremely dangerous levels.  Many are openly wondering how much longer this can possibly go on. (Read More....)



Obama Administration Requires Magician To Submit A 32 Page “Disaster Plan” For His Rabbit

Rabbit - Photo by Hironori AkutagawaCentral planning in this country is getting completely and totally out of control.  These days, you can hardly do anything without running into a suffocating web of red tape.  For example, a small-time magician from Missouri that does magic shows for kids was absolutely horrified when he learned that the Obama administration is requiring him to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the rabbit that he uses in his shows.  Yes, this is actually true.  His name is Marty Hahne, and he thought that it was bad enough when the U.S. Department of Agriculture busted him for not having a “license” for his rabbit.  He went out and acquired the proper “license” for his rabbit, but he never dreamed that eventually he would also have to submit a 32 page “disaster plan” for the same rabbit. (Read More.....)

Tags: Disaster, Disaster Plan, License, Michael T. Snyder, Missouri, Obama, Obama Administration, Red Tape | Category: Politics | 16 comments

12 Signs That The Decay Of Society Is Accelerating

Police Line TapeWhat in the world is happening to America?  All around us there are disturbing signs that the slow-motion collapse of society is accelerating.  With each passing year, criminals seem to be getting more desperate and more twisted.  Some of the sick things that some people are willing to do to their fellow human beings are simply beyond description.  What kind of psychotic individual would hold elderly men captive for a decade in order to get their Social Security and veteran benefit checks?  How depraved do you have to be before you are able to convince yourself to rape a 16-year-old girl and then throw her body off of a roof?  What kind of heartless teens would pour gasoline on an innocent boy walking home from school and then set him on fire?  The social decay that is eating away at our nation like cancer is starting to get a lot worse, and yet there are still lots of people out there that will flat out deny that society is collapsing.  They have totally bought into the propaganda being pushed by the mainstream media, and they are fully convinced that things in America are actually getting better even though our communities are literally coming apart at the seams all around us.  How much worse do things have to get before everyone finally is willing to admit that we have a major problem on our hands?  The following are 12 signs that the decay of society is accelerating… (Read More.....)




20 Controversial Questions The Mainstream Media Won’t Touch With A Ten Foot Pole

News Studio - Photo by Ed Schipul

Why are so many incredibly important news stories completely ignored by the mainstream media in the United States?  Why do they seem to want to avoid many “controversial questions” as if they were the plague?  Why does the media tend to label those that are willing to ask the hard questions and seek the truth as “conspiracy theorists”?  Sadly, the truth is that the mainstream media in America does not do much real journalism anymore.  At this point, approximately 90 percent of what you see on television is controlled by just 6 giant media corporations.  That is why “the news” seems to be so similar no matter what channel you watch.  Well, it turns out that a lot of Americans are getting tired of the safe, censored, pre-packaged news that they get from the corporate-controlled media.  One recent poll found that 77 percent of all Americans do not trust television news at this point.  This distrust has helped fuel the rise of the alternative media, which has absolutely exploded in (Read More....)


These Are The 217 People Who Voted To Preserve NSA Surveillance

Tyler Durden's picture

Presenting the full roll call breakdown of the Amash Amendment (as described previously) to shutter the NSA's surveillance function.

First the Ayes, or those who voted to end the NSA's surveillance activity. Republicans in roman, Democrats in italic, Independents underlined.


And here are the 217 for whom "protection against terrorism" is of tantamount importance. Certainly more important than the privacy of US citizens.


Finally, since the margin of passage was 12 votes, it is of note that precisely 12 representatives did not vote. The following 12:








It Is Happening Again: 18 Similarities Between The Last Financial Crisis And Today

By Michael Snyder, on July 25th, 2013



It Is HappeningIf our leaders could have recognized the signs ahead of time, do you think that they could have prevented the financial crisis of 2008?  That is a very timely question, because so many of the warning signs that we saw just before and during the last financial crisis are popping up again.  Many of the things that are happening right now in the stock market, the bond market, the real estate market and in the overall economic data are eerily similar to what we witnessed back in 2008 and 2009.  It is almost as if we are being forced to watch some kind of a perverse replay of previous events, only this time our economy and our financial system are much weaker than they were the last time around.  So will we be able to handle a financial crash as bad as we experienced back in 2008?  What if it is even worse this time?  Considering the fact that we have been through this kind of thing before, you would think that our leaders would be feverishly trying to keep it from happening again and the American people would be rapidly preparing to weather the coming storm.  Sadly, none of that is happening.  It is almost as if they cannot even see the disaster that is staring them right in the face.  But without a doubt, disaster is coming. The following are 18 similarities between the last financial crisis and today...

#1 According to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch equity strategy team, their big institutional clients are selling stock at a rate not seen "since 2008".

#2 In 2008, stock prices had wildly diverged from where the economic fundamentals said that they should be.  Now it has happened again.

#3 In early 2008, the average price of a gallon of gasoline rose substantially.  It is starting to happen again.  And remember, whenever the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. has risen above $3.80 during the past three years, a stock market decline has always followed.

#4 New home prices just experienced their largest two month drop since Lehman Brothers collapsed.

#5 During the last financial crisis, the mortgage delinquency rate rose dramatically.  It is starting to happen again.

#6 Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, there was a spike in the number of adjustable rate mortgages.  It is happening again.

#7 Just before the last financial crisis, unemployment claims started skyrocketing.  Well, initial claims for unemployment benefits are rising again.  Once we hit the 400,000 level, we will officially be in the danger zone.

#8 Continuing claims for unemployment benefits just spiked to the highest level since early 2009.

#9 The yield on 10 year Treasuries is now up to 2.60 percent.  We also saw the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries rise significantly during the first half of 2008.

#10 According to Zero Hedge, "whenever the annual change in core capex, also known as Non-Defense Capital Goods excluding Aircraft shipments goes negative, the US has traditionally entered a recession".  Guess what?  It is rapidly heading toward negative territory again.

#11 Average hourly compensation in the United States experienced its largest drop since 2009 during the first quarter of 2013.

#12 In the month of June, spending at restaurants fell by the most that we have seen since February 2008.

#13 Just before the last financial crisis, corporate earnings were very disappointing.  Now it is happening again.

#14 Margin debt spiked just before the bubble burst, it spiked just before the financial crash of 2008, and now it is spiking again.

#15 During 2008, the price of gold fell substantially.  Now it is happening again.

#16 Global business confidence is now the lowest that it has been since the last recession.

#17 Back in 2008, the U.S. national debt was rapidly rising to unsustainable levels.  We are in much, much worse shape today.

#18 Prior to the last financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured the American people that home prices would not decline and that there would not be a recession.  We all know what happened.  Now he is once again promising that everything is going to be just fine.

Are the American people going to fall for it again?

It doesn't take a genius to see how vulnerable the global economy is right now.  Much of Europe is already experiencing an economic depression, debt levels in Asia are higher than ever before, and the U.S. economy has been steadily declining for most of the past decade.  If you doubt that the U.S. economy has been declining, please see my previous article entitled "40 Stats That Prove The U.S. Economy Has Already Been Collapsing Over The Past Decade".

And the truth is that most Americans already know that we are in deep trouble.  Today, 61 percent of all Americans believe that the country is on the wrong track.

It isn't that so many people are choosing to be pessimistic.  It is just that an increasing number of Americans are waking up to the cold, hard reality that we are facing.

Decades of incredibly foolish decisions have brought us to this point.  We allowed our economic infrastructure to be gutted, we consumed far more wealth than we produced, our politicians kept doing incredibly stupid things but we kept voting the same jokers back into office again and again, and over the past 40 years we have blown up the biggest debt bubble in all of human history.

We have been living so far above our means for so long that most of us actually think that our current economic situation is "normal".

But no, there is nothing normal about what we are experiencing.  We are entering the terminal phase of a colossal debt spiral, and when it flames out the economic devastation is going to be absolutely spectacular.

When the next major wave of the economic collapse comes and unemployment soars well up into the double digits, millions of businesses close and millions of American families lose their homes, I hope that those that are assuring all of us that there will not be an economic collapse will come back and apologize.

There are tens of millions of people out there right now that are not making any preparations at all because they have been promised that everything is going to be okay.  When the next financial crash happens, most of them will be absolutely blindsided by it and many of them will totally give in to despair.

Don't let that happen to you.




The WilliamBanzai7 Blog

VISUAL COMBAT (Art That Strikes Back!)

Thursday, July 25, 2013


YES WE CAN by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
YES WE CAN, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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D FOR DANGER by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
D FOR DANGER, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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Wednesday, July 24, 2013


BHARARA AND THE SAC-lops by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
BHARARA AND THE SAC-lops, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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SAC-lops by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
SAC-lops, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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Tuesday, July 23, 2013


WEINER WADD by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
WEINER WADD, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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MEET CARLOS DANGER by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
MEET CARLOS DANGER, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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DZOKHAR THE ROCK STAR by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
DZOKHAR THE ROCK STAR, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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Monday, July 22, 2013


GRANDCANYON NYC by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
GRANDCANYON NYC, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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TOO BIG TO FAIL by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
TOO BIG TO FAIL, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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PREDATORS by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
PREDATORS, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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MCDINOSOFT by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
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Sunday, July 21, 2013


ZERO by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
ZERO, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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AMERICAN DREAM 2.0 by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
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GREETINGS FROM DETROIT by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
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FIRE INCIDENT AT 15 BROAD STREET by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick
FIRE INCIDENT AT 15 BROAD STREET, a photo by WilliamBanzai7/Colonel Flick on Flickr.

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Friday, July 12, 2013