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Monthly Archives: August 2013
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“The heart-breaking news from Fukushima continues to get worse -a lot worse. It is, quite simply, an out-of-control flow of death and destruction.
TEPCO is finally admitting that radiation has been leaking to the Pacific Ocean all along and it’s not showing signs of stopping just yet.
It now appears that anywhere from 300 to possibly over 450 tons of contaminated water that contains radioactive iodine, cesium, and strontium-89 and 90, is flooding into the Pacific Ocean from the Fukushima Daiichi site everyday.
To give you an idea of how bad that actually is, Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945.
There’s a lot you’re not being told…..”
Someone wants to get the United States into a war with Syria very, very badly. Cui bono is an old Latin phrase that is still commonly used, and it roughly means “to whose benefit?” The key to figuring out who is really behind the push for war is to look at who will benefit from that war. If a full-blown war erupts between the United States and Syria, it will not be good for the United States, it will not be good for Israel, it will not be good for Syria, it will not be good for Iran and it will not be good for Hezbollah. The party that stands to benefit the most is Saudi Arabia, and they won’t even be doing any of the fighting.
They have been pouring billions of dollars into the conflict in Syria, but so far they have not been successful in their attempts to overthrow the Assad regime. Now the Saudis are trying to play their trump card – the U.S. military. If the Saudis are successful, they will get to pit the two greatest long-term strategic enemies of Sunni Islam against each other – the U.S. and Israel on one side and Shia Islam on the other. In such a scenario, the more damage that both sides do to each other the happier the Sunnis will be.
There would be other winners from a U.S. war with Syria as well. For example, it is well-known that Qatar wants to run a natural gas pipeline out of the Persian Gulf, through Syria and into Europe. That is why Qatar has also been pouring billions of dollars into the civil war in Syria. So if it is really Saudi Arabia and Qatar that want to overthrow the Assad regime, why does the United States have to do the fighting?
Someone should ask Barack Obama why it is necessary for the U.S. military to do the dirty work of his Sunni Muslim friends. Obama is promising that the upcoming attack will only be a “limited military strike” and that we will not be getting into a full-blown war with Syria.
The only way that will work is if Syria, Hezbollah and Iran all sit on their hands and do nothing to respond to the upcoming U.S. attack. Could that happen? Maybe. Let’s hope so. But if there is a response, and a U.S. naval vessel gets hit, or American blood is spilled, or rockets start raining down on Tel Aviv, the U.S. will then be engaged in a full-blown war. That is about the last thing that we need right now.
The vast majority of Americans do not want to get embroiled in another war in the Middle East, and even a lot of top military officials are expressing “serious reservations” about attacking Syria according to the Washington Post…
The Obama administration’s plan to launch a military strike against Syria is being received with serious reservations by many in the U.S. military, which is coping with the scars of two lengthy wars and a rapidly contracting budget, according to current and former officers. Having assumed for months that the United States was unlikely to intervene militarily in Syria, the Defense Department has been thrust onto a war footing that has made many in the armed services uneasy, according to interviews with more than a dozen military officers ranging from captains to a four-star general.
For the United States, there really is no good outcome in Syria. If we attack and Assad stays in power, that is a bad outcome for the United States.
If we help overthrow the Assad regime, the rebels take control. But they would be even worse than Assad. They have pledged loyalty to al-Qaeda, and they are rabidly anti-American, rabidly anti-Israel and rabidly anti-western. So why in the world should the United States get involved? …”Comments »
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6 parts in all. When the current clips is done click on the clip on the upper left hand corner to continue….
Cheers on your holiday weekend!
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“Albert Einstein, a man who knew a thing or two about celestial mechanics, supposedly once called compound interest “the most powerful force in the universe.” While the remark was likely meant to be funny (astrophysicists can be hilarious), it sheds light on the often overlooked fact that small changes, over time, can yield enormous results. Over eons, small creeks can carve large canyons through solid rock. The same phenomenon may be at work in our economy. A minor, but persistent under bias in the inflation gauge used in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) may have created a wildly distorted picture of our economic health.
It would be impossible to measure the economy without “backing out,” inflation. That is why economists are very careful to separate GDP reports into two categories: “nominal” (which are not adjusted for inflation), and real (which are). Only the real reports matter. The big question then becomes, how do we measure inflation? Just as I reported last week with respect to the biases baked into the government’s GDP revisions, the devil is in the details.
As it turns out there are a number of official inflation gauges that vie for supremacy. Most people tend to follow the Consumer Price Index (CPI) which is compiled by Bureau of Labor Statistics, a division of the Department of Labor. The CPI is regarded as the broadest measurement tool, but it has been changed many times over the years. Most famously, its formulas were loosened in the late 1990’s as a result of the “Boskin Commission” which said that the CPI overstated inflation by failing to account for changes in consumer behavior. I believe those changes seriously undermined the reliability of the index. But the CPI itself has to contend for relevance with its stripped down rival, the “Core CPI,” which factors out food and energy, which many believe are too volatile to be accurately counted. The core CPI is almost always lower than the “headline” number.
Another set of inflation data, the “GDP Deflator” is compiled by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (part of the Commerce Department), and is used by them to calculate GDP. The deflator differs from the CPI in that it has much more flexibility in weighting and swapping out items that are in its sample basket of goods and services. While the CPI attracts the lion’s share of the media and political attention, it is the deflator that is relevant when looking at economic growth.
On a quarterly basis the two numbers are usually close enough to escape scrutiny. (However, the most recent 2nd quarter GDP estimates relied on annualized inflation of a ridiculously low .7%!). But if you look at a broader time horizon a very clear pattern emerges that makes a great difference in how we perceive the economic landscape.
Available data sets for both the CPI and the GDP deflator go back to 1947. That 66 year period falls neatly into two phases. From 1947 to 1977 both yardsticks moved together almost identically, both rising 173% over that time. But in the ensuing 36 years (until 2013), the CPI is up almost three fold (292%) while the deflator is only up about two fold (209%). The CPI rising 40% more than the GDP deflator is an extremely significant factor. How did that happen? As it turns out, quarterly inflation assumptions have been, on average, .17% lower for the deflator than for the CPI since 1977. That is a small number. But as with compound interest small numbers add up to big numbers over time.
Annualized the .17% difference would shave off an additional .68% of annual GDP growth. This is about a quarter of the average 2.85% real growth rate since 1977 that the government has calculated using the deflator. Over 35 years this has likely made a huge difference in the how the economy actually feels and how we live, regardless of the nominal figures that are published. Even if you were to split the difference between the CPI and the deflator you would still get an economy that feels significantly smaller than it appears.
The $64,000 question ($188,000 adjusted by CPI inflation since 1977) is what happened in 1977 to make the CPI and the deflator diverge? Sadly, the details aren’t really made public. What we do know is that ….”Comments »
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“Carla Del Ponte, a member of the U.N. Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, said testimonies from the victims strongly suggest it was the rebels, not the Syrian government, that used Sarin nerve gas in the eastern Gouta.
The UN official told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete suspicions,” that the rebels had used the nerve agent.
She added that her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons, according to the BBC, but she stressed more investigation was needed…..”Comments »
“A grim “urgent action memorandum” issued today from the office of President Putin to the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is ordering a “massive military strike” against Saudi Arabia in the event that the West attacks Syria.
According to Kremlin sources familiar with this extraordinary “war order,” Putin became “enraged” after his early August meeting with Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan who warned that if Russia did not accept the defeat of Syria, Saudi Arabia would unleash Chechen terrorists under their control to cause mass death and chaos during the Winter Olympics scheduled to be held 7-23 February 2014 in Sochi, Russia.
Lebanese newspaper As-Safir confirmed this amazing threat against Russia saying that Prince Bandar pledged to safeguard Russia’s naval base in Syria if the Assad regime is toppled, but he also hinted at Chechen terrorist attacks on Russia’s Winter Olympics in Sochi if there is no accord by stating: “I can give you a guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics next year. The Chechen groups that threaten the security of the games are controlled by us.”
Prince Bandar went on to say that Chechens operating in Syria were a pressure tool that could be switched on an off.“These groups do not scare us. We use them in the face of the Syrian regime but they will have no role in Syria’s political future.”
London’s The Telegraph News Service further reported today that Saudi Arabia has secretly offered Russia a sweeping deal to control the global oil market and safeguard Russia’s gas contracts, if the Kremlin backs away from the Assad regime in Syria, an offer Putin replied to by saying “Our stance on Assad will never change. We believe that the Syrian regime is the best speaker on behalf of the Syrian people, and not those liver eaters” [Putin said referring to footage showing a Jihadist rebel eating the heart and liver of a Syrian soldier HERE], and which Prince Bandar in turn warned that there can be “no escape from the military option” if Russia declines the olive branch.
Critical to note, and as we had previously reported on in our 28 January 2013 report “Obama Plan For World War III Stuns Russia,” the Federal Security Services (FSB) confirmed the validity of the released hacked emails of the British based defense company, Britam Defense that stunningly warned the Obama regime was preparing to unleash a series of attacks against both Syria and Iran in a move Russian intelligence experts warned could very well cause World War III.
According to this FSB report, Britam Defence, one of the largest private mercenary forces in the world, was the target of a “massive hack” of its computer files by an “unknown state sponsored entity” this past January who then released a number of critical emails between its top two executives, founder Philip Doughty and his Business Development Director David Goulding.
The two most concerning emails between Doughty and Goulding, this report says, states that the Obama regime has approved a “false flag” attack in Syria using chemical weapons, and that Britam has been approved to participate in the West’s warn on Iran, and as we can read:
Email 1: Phil, We’ve got a new offer. It’s about Syria again. Qataris propose an attractive deal and swear that the idea is approved by Washington. We’ll have to deliver a CW (chemical weapon) to Homs (Syria), a Soviet origin g-shell from Libya similar to those that Assad should have. They want us to deploy our Ukrainian personnel that should speak Russian and make a video record. Frankly, I don’t think it’s a good idea but the sums proposed are enormous. Your opinion? Kind regards David
Email 2: Phil, Please see attached details of preparatory measures concerning the Iranian issue. Participation of Britam in the operation is confirmed by the Saudis.
With the events now spiraling out of control in Syria, and London’s Independent News Service now reporting that Prince Bandar is “pushing for war,” Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich further warned the West today by stating, “Attempts to bypass the Security Council, once again to create artificial groundless excuses for a military intervention in the region are fraught with new suffering in Syria and catastrophic consequences for other countries of the Middle East and North Africa.”
Heedless of Russian warnings which have fallen on deaf ears, however, British Prime Minister David Cameron this morning recalled the British Parliament to vote on attacking Syria as the Obama regime abruptly cancelled their meeting with Russia scheduled for tomorrow on finding a path to peace for Syria, and the West begins its plans to attack the Syrian nation “within days.”
As Syria itself has warned that should it be attacked by the West there will be “global chaos,” the Western peoples themselves have not been told of the fact that on 17 May 2013, Putin ordered Russian military forces to “immediately move” from Local War to Regional War operational status and to be “fully prepared” to expand to Large-Scale War should either the US or EU enter into the Syrian Civil War, a situation they are still in at this very hour.
With Putin’s previous order, and as we had reported on in our 17 May report “Russia Issues “All-Out War” Alert Over Syria,” and now combined with his new ordering of massive retaliatory strikes against Saudi Arabia, any attack on Syria is viewed by Russia as being an attack on itself…..”Comments »
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“Giant bank holding companies now own airports, toll roads, and ports; control power plants; and store and hoard vast quantities of commodities of all sorts. They are systematically buying up or gaining control of the essential lifelines of the economy. How have they pulled this off, and where have they gotten the money?
In a letter to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke dated June 27, 2013, US Representative Alan Grayson and three co-signers expressed concern about the expansion of large banks into what have traditionally been non-financial commercial spheres. Specifically:
[W]e are concerned about how large banks have recently expanded their businesses into such fields as electric power production, oil refining and distribution, owning and operating of public assets such as ports and airports, and even uranium mining.
After listing some disturbing examples, they observed:
According to legal scholar Saule Omarova, over the past five years, there has been a “quiet transformation of U.S. financial holding companies.” These financial services companies have become global merchants that seek to extract rent from any commercial or financial business activity within their reach. They have used legal authority in Graham-Leach-Bliley to subvert the “foundational principle of separation of banking from commerce”. . . .
It seems like there is a significant macro-economic risk in having a massive entity like, say JP Morgan, both issuing credit cards and mortgages, managing municipal bond offerings, selling gasoline and electric power, running large oil tankers, trading derivatives, and owning and operating airports, in multiple countries.
A “macro” risk indeed – not just to our economy but to our democracy and our individual and national sovereignty. Giant banks are buying up our country’s infrastructure – the power and supply chains that are vital to the economy. Aren’t there rules against that? And where are the banks getting the money?
How Banks Launder Money Through the Repo Market
In an illuminating series of articles on Seeking Alpha titled “Repoed!”, Colin Lokey argues that the investment arms of large Wall Street banks are using their “excess” deposits – the excess of deposits over loans – as collateral for borrowing in the repo market. Repos, or “repurchase agreements,” are used to raise short-term capital. Securities are sold to investors overnight and repurchased the next day, usually day after day.
The deposit-to-loan gap for all US banks is now about $2 trillion, and nearly half of this gap is in Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo alone. It seems that the largest banks are using the majority of their deposits (along with the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing dollars) not to back loans to individuals and businesses but to borrow for their own trading. Acquiring a company or a portion of a company mostly with borrowed money is called a “leveraged buyout.” The banks are leveraging our money to buy up ports, airports, toll roads, power, and massive stores of commodities.
Using these excess deposits directly for their own speculative trading would be blatantly illegal, but the banks have been able to avoid the appearance of impropriety by borrowing from the repo market. (See my earlier article here.) The banks’ excess deposits are first used to purchase Treasury bonds, agency securities, and other highly liquid, “safe” securities. These liquid assets are then pledged as collateral in repo transactions, allowing the banks to get “clean” cash to invest as they please. They can channel this laundered money into risky assets such as derivatives, corporate bonds, and equities (stock).
That means they can buy up companies. Lokey writes, “It is common knowledge that prop [proprietary] trading desks at banks can and do invest in a variety of assets, including stocks.” Prop trading desks invest for the banks’ own accounts. This was something that depository banks were forbidden to do by the New Deal-era Glass-Steagall Act but that was allowed in 1999 by the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act, which repealed those portions of Glass-Steagall.
The result has been a massively risky $700-plus trillion speculative derivatives bubble. Lokey quotes from an article by Bill Frezza in the January 2013 Huffington Post titled “Too-Big-To-Fail Banks Gamble With Bernanke Bucks“:
If you think [the cash cushion from excess deposits] makes the banks less vulnerable to shock, think again. Much of this balance sheet cash has been hypothecated in the repo market, laundered through the off-the-books shadow banking system. This allows the proprietary trading desks at these “banks” to use that cash as collateral to take out loans to gamble with. In a process called hyper-hypothecation this pledged collateral gets pyramided, creating a ticking time bomb ready to go kablooey when the next panic comes around.
That Explains the Mountain of Excess Reserves….”
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“He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
Martin Luther King, Jr.[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WINDtlPXmmE 450 300]
This documentary has 9 parts. The continuing clip will appear in the upper left hand corner after the current clip has ended.[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WHOujO-Qnlw&list=PL72B7DEA62E80469A 450 300]
So all the activists and truthers were ridiculed when they cried that the gulf oil spill should be cleaned up with a natural enzyme found in the ocean.
But the powers that be had CoRexit at the ready which magnified the problem and harmed innocent people.
An Australian 60 minutes report reveals the horrors of a 3 year study called Crude Solutions:
NASDAQ is reporting that 15 minute trade quotes will go live @ 2:45pm…
The cause is still under review[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4JDEspdx58 450 300] Comments »
It appears the NASDAQ has been closed for nearly two hours now. The boob tube has no answers and rumors are circulating that high frequency trading orders may have clogged the system….perhaps dark pools need to do some desk to desk block orders in secret.
The NASDAQ is not saying anything other than they are trying to get the exchange open ASAP.
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