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Monthly Archives: February 2014

Dead Bankers Don’t Talk

“What are we to make of this sudden rash of banker suicides? Does this trail of dead bankers lead somewhere? Or could it be just a coincidence that so many bankers have died in such close proximity? I will be perfectly honest and admit that I do not know what is going on. But there are some common themes that seem to link at least some of these deaths together.

First of all, most of these men were in good health and in their prime working years. Secondly, most of these “suicides” seem to have come out of nowhere and were a total surprise to their families.  Thirdly, three of the dead bankers worked for JP Morgan. Fourthly, several of these individuals were either involved in foreign exchange trading or the trading of derivatives in some way.

So when “a foreign exchange trader” jumped to his death from the top of JP Morgan’s Hong Kong headquarters this morning, that definitely raised my eyebrows. These dead bankers are starting to pile up, and something definitely stinks about this whole thing.

What would cause a young man that is making really good money to jump off of a 30 story building?

The following is how the South China Morning Post described the dramatic suicide of 33-year-old Li Jie…

An investment banker at JP Morgan jumped to his death from the roof of the bank’s headquarters in Central yesterday.

Witnesses said the man went to the roof of the 30-storey Chater House in the heart of Hong Kong’s central business district and, despite attempts to talk him down, jumped to his death.

If this was just an isolated incident, nobody would really take notice……….

……………………..So did all of those men actually kill themselves?

Well, there is reason to believe that at least some of those deaths may not have been suicides after all.

For example, before throwing himself off of JP Morgan’s headquarters in London, Gabriel Magee had actually made plans for later that evening

There was no indication Magee was going to kill himself at all. In fact, Magee’s girlfriend had received an email from him the night before saying he was finishing up work and would be home soon.

And 57-year-old Richard Talley was found “with eight nail gun wounds to his torso and head” in his own garage.

How in the world was he able to accomplish that?

Like I said, something really stinks about all of this…”


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Forex Technical Analysis, Forecasts for 2014 and 2015

“It has been awhile since I have posted on the web and thought this was an appropriate article to share. This article focuses on technical analysis of 3 currencies and the US Dollar Index. A lot of the technical indicators I follow are universal, but the way in which they are modified and put together will not be found anywhere else. Developing the Contracting Fibonacci Spiral and the inverse chiral inversion that happened last summer have played a role in the forecast of this article. As unbelievable as the forecast may seem by time the end of this article, there is a significant amount of logic that went into this and may even defy logic. There is a mathematical basis to this pattern and hopefully it will be understood somewhat by the end of this article.

The US Dollar Index has changed its pattern and has confirmed a number of trends discussed over the past few months. I have spent a lot of time reviewing the US Dollar Index this weekend, due to it remaining under pressure and failing to break higher. The Elliott Wave pattern I was following had the longer term pattern fail due to not breaking higher…This has repercussions for everything.

For one, gold and silver are likely to remain in an uptrend for longer than anyone may think…the last update I stated suggested 2-3 months…this could extend into next year, depending upon how the downtrend of the US Dollar Index progresses. The HUI/Gold Ratio is in an uptrend, so holding or adding to precious metal positions is still in effect.

Oil is again over $100/barrel and if it closes above $101/barrel, then it is going to $111 within 6-8 weeks, followed by a move to $130-140/barrel within 8-12 months. Once oil closes above $101/barrel on a daily basis, oil is locked into an uptrend, which will drive energy stocks higher. Conservative investors should look to enter positions once this trigger becomes activated.

Also, I have been thinking more about what the Chiral Inversion of the Contracting Fibonacci Spiral and what that means. From everything what I can fathom at this point in time, things are going to really move higher between now and Q2-Q3 2015. The CFS had a series of higher lows from 1932 until 2013, which had a series of higher lows. The chiral inversion of the CFS that happened last summer implied a reversal to this trend. A cycle low is expected sometime between Q2-Q3 2016 and suggests a series of lower highs from 2016 until 2020. The following time points are required to complete the CFS sequence after 2016: 2, 1 and 1. Two years after 2016 is 2018, which is the next expected cycle low, followed by 2019 and 2020. The 2020 low should mirror of the amount of time taken for the 2019 leg. As we reach the point of singularity in 2020, the volatility of the cycle will only increase.

So, going short at the right point in time during 2015 will be critical, because between now and then, many people are going to get burned and will not even want to try shorting anything again. At the 2016 bottom there should be a very powerful rally that lasts into 2017/early 2018, followed by another crash into mid to late 2018. Knowing the information above is going to be very critical, because a lot of money will either be made, or lost during this period of time.

I have a lot of updates to do this week to get back on track after spending too much time on this side analysis and thought process for how things unfold, but viewed this as a more important step. It is important to anticipate the hypothesis and continue to alter it and make the required changes to fit the model as time progresses. This is what Science is about…forming thoughts around a number of observations and extrapolating the thought into abstract form to model future experimentation. In our case, the field testing of our hypothesis is the market and because time only travels in one direction, we can not repeat the experiment. We can look back at history, but alas, it too only has one path.

One final thought…if the US Dollar Index is going to go down, then commodities are going to rise, which should in turn raise the value of the Canadian and Australian currencies going forward. It appears that Q2-Q3 2015 is going to represent the cycle low for the US Dollar, which should rise during the deflationary bought expected after this point in time.

Based upon this analysis, a list of gold and silver stocks to consider will be posted this week. Hint…most of these are one’s that I have covered in the past, but a few new one’s will be discussed over the coming week’s.


The daily chart of the Canadian Dollar Index is shown below, with lower Bollinger bands beneath the current price, suggestive that a bottom was put in place. Full stochastics 1, 2 and 3 are shown below in order of descent, with the %K above the %D in all three instances. Extrapolation of the %K trend in stochastics 1 and 2 suggest at least another 2-3 weeks of further upside before a top is put in place. I will post the monthly chart of the Canadian Dollar Index next week, which suggests the upward trend could last into next year. The Canadian Dollar has been in a down trend for over 18 months, so a bounce is expected.

Figure 1

The daily chart of the US Dollar Index is shown below, with upper 21 and 34 MA Bollinger bands in close proximity to each other with rising stochastics, suggestive that further sideways to upward price action is likely. The lower 21 MA Bollinger band is beneath the 34 MA Bollinger band, suggestive that an oversold condition is developing. Full stochastics 1, 2 and 3 are shown below in order of descent, with the %K above the %D in all three instances. Extrapolation of the %K in stochastics 1 and 2 suggest at least another 2-3 weeks of further upward price action before a top is put in place. There is a noticeable positive divergence between stochastics 1 and 2 relative to the price action of the Aussie dollar, suggestive that further upward price action is pending.

Figure 2…..”


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Bitcoin Bashers Beware

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iGIcN4UFEA#t=19 450 300]

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China’s PMI Drops to a Seven Month Low, Now in Recession Territory

“BEIJING—China’s factory activity lost ground in February, as a key gauge of manufacturing slipped to a seven-month low, signaling further economic weakness and rattling markets.

Some analysts called for more government support for the world’s No. 2 economy to ensure that momentum doesn’t slow further. But Beijing may be comfortable with an economy that is expanding—though at a slower pace—as it seeks to focus on longer-term structural changes that will reduce the reliance on government investment and export-led manufacturing for growth.

The preliminary HSBC China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index, a gauge of nationwide manufacturing activity, fell to 48.3 in February from 49.5 in January, HSBC Holdings HSBA.LN -0.87% PLC said Thursday.

A reading above 50 indicates expansion from the previous month, while a reading below 50 indicates contraction.

“There is continued downward pressure on the economy,” said Ding Shuang, economist at Citigroup. “Economic growth will continue to decline to 7% over the next two quarters.”

With domestic demand weak and the global economy still recovering, China’s economic growth slowed to 7.7% in the final quarter of last year from 7.8% in the third quarter.

A government official said this week that the government is looking for growth in industrial output of about 9.5% this year, down from 9.7% last year. Manufacturing is still a major driver of growth, and such a slowing would point to overall weakness ahead. A weaker Chinese economy would mean softer global demand for commodities from grains and metals to coal and oil.

The Australian dollar slipped against the U.S. currency after the release of the manufacturing PMI data. Australia is a major supplier of resources that fuel China’s economic expansion. Hong Kong’s benchmark stock index and shares in Tokyo were also under pressure.

HSBC economist Qu Hongbin said that China needs to make policy adjustments to ensure sufficient momentum in the economy. “We believe Beijing policy makers should and can fine-tune policy to keep growth at a steady pace in the coming year,” he said.

Nomura economist Zhiwei Zhang said he expects Beijing to act. “We reiterate our view that the recovery in China is not sustainable and that GDP growth will slow to 7.5% year on year in the first quarter and 7.1% in the second quarter despite favorable base effects,” he said, adding, “we expect the government to loosen monetary policy in the second quarter to support growth.”

But others said that the weak measure of the nation’s manufacturing health was partly due to the timing of the Chinese Lunar New Year holiday.

They also noted that government policy makers have so far been comfortable with slightly slower growth, though they are carefully watching the employment situation….”

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Shaping the Minds of Our Children

“A troubling new study has found that the number of chemicals capable of impairing child development worldwide is more than double what was previously believed, according to a new story by Time Magazine.

Back in 2006, researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai pinpointed five industrial chemicals that they linked to brain disorders such as autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reduced IQ, and more.

These chemicals were lead, methlymercury, polychlorinated biphenyls (a coolant fluid in motors), arsenic (found naturally and also in pesticides), and toluene (in paint thinner, nail polish, and more).

In a review of their 2006 study, though, the same scientists have now discovered brain development in children could be negatively disrupted by another six chemicals. These chemicals are: chlorpyrifos, dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, fluoride, manganese, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, tetrachloroethylene.

Alarmingly, the researchers discovered that manganese and fluoride, both of which are present in drinking water, can lead to poorer performance in school, lower math scores, and increased hyperactivity. High levels of fluoride, in particular, are potentially capable of lowering a child’s IQ by seven points.

Chlorpyrifos, meanwhile, is a common pesticide that is still used in public areas and in agriculture despite the fact that the Environmental Protection Agency banned it from residential areas in 2001. According to a report by CNN in 2012, even low levels of chlorpyrifos could result in disrupted brain development.

“It’s out there and we do not know what the longer term impact is of lower levels,” Virginia Rauh, professor of Clinical Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, told CNN. “But it does seem to be associated with cognitive damage and structural changes in brain.”

As RT reported this week, some health experts believe the increased rate of severe birth defects in rural Washington state could possibly be linked to prolonged exposure to pesticides, though officials have been unable to determine the precise cause.,,,,”

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Your Tax Dollars at Work

“About Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.”


“Washington Orchestrated Protests Are Destabilizing Ukraine

Paul Craig Roberts

The protests in the western Ukraine are organized by the CIA, the US State Department, and by Washington- and EU-financed Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that work in conjunction with the CIA and State Department. The purpose of the protests is to overturn the decision by the independent government of Ukraine not to join the EU.

The US and EU were initially cooperating in the effort to destroy the independence of Ukraine and make it a subservient entity to the EU government in Brussels. For the EU
government, the goal is to expand the EU. For Washington the purposes are to make
Ukraine available for looting by US banks and corporations and to bring Ukraine into NATO so that Washington can gain more military bases on Russia’s frontier. There are three countries in the world that are in the way of Washington’s hegemony over the world–Russia, China, and Iran. Each of these countries is targeted by Washington for overthrow or for their sovereignty to be degraded by propaganda and US military bases that leave the countries vulnerable to attack, thus coercing them into accepting Washington’s will.

The problem that has arisen between the US and EU with regard to Ukraine is that Europeans have realized that the takeover of Ukraine is a direct threat to Russia, which can cut Europe off from oil and natural gas, and if there is war completely destroy Europe. Consequently, the EU became willing to stop provoking the Ukraine protests.

The response of the neoconservative, Victoria Nuland, appointed Assistant Secretary of State by the duplicitous Obama, was “fuck the EU,” as she proceeded to describe the members of the Ukraine government that Washington tended to impose on a people so unaware as to believe that they are achieving independence by rushing into Washington’s arms. I once thought that no population could be as unaware as the US population. But I was wrong. Western Ukrainians are more unaware than Americans.

The orchestration of the “crisis” in Ukraine is easy. The neoconservative Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the National Press Club in Washington on December 13, 2013, that the US has “invested” $5 billion in agitation in Ukraine. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37599.htmThe crisis essentially resides in western Ukraine where romantic ideas about Russian oppression are strong and the population is less Russian than in the eastern Ukraine.

The hatred of Russia in western Ukraine is so dysfunctional that the duped protesters are unaware that joining the EU means the end of Ukraine independence and rule by the EU bureaucrats in Brussels, the European Central Bank, and US corporations. Perhaps Ukraine is two countries. The western half could be given to the EU and US corporations, and the eastern half could be reincorporated as part of Russia, where the entire Ukraine resided for as long as the US has existed.

The disaffection from Russia that exists in western Ukraine makes it easy for the EU and US to cause trouble. Those in Washington and Europe who wish to destroy Ukraine’s independence portray an independent Ukraine as a hostage of Russia, while a Ukraine in the EU is allegedly under the protection of the US and Europe. The large sums of money that Washington funnels into NGOs in Ukraine propagate this idea and work the population into a mindless frenzy. I have never in my life witnessed people as mindless as the Ukrainian protesters who are destroying the independence of their country…..”

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Coffee Tawk (sic)

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pp2M870u_gQ#t=16 450 300]


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State of the Union: Your Slowly Getting Screwed in More Ways Than One

“Wages aren’t keeping up with food inflation, creating a problem for American families.

While consumer prices overall have risen 6.4 percent since 2011, chicken has jumped 18.4 percent, ground beef 16.8 percent and bacon 22.8 percent, CBS News reports.

“Food inflation is far greater than the government thinks it is,” ConvergEx market strategist Nick Colas told CBS.

At the same time, median income has gained only 1 percent a year, CBS reports. That makes it difficult for parents to save for their children’s college expenses. College tuition has increased 6 to 8 percent a year for the last five decades, according to CBS.

While some economists see the overall economy in fine shape, “middle-class families are quietly struggling,” writes CBS correspondent Michelle Miller.

Colas is concerned. “The disconnect is severe…”

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Empire Manufacturing Falls More Than Expected

“The New York Fed’s Empire State manufacturing survey fell to 4.58 in February, below Wall Street expectations.

Economists expected that the New York area index dropped to 9.01 in February from 12.51 the month prior….”

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Another Banker Jumps Into the Big Empty

“A man jumped off of JP Morgan’s Hong Kong headquarters to his death, according to George Chen of the South China Morning Post.

JP Morgan has confirmed that the man who jumped was a 33 year-old employee at the firm with the last name Li…”

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[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PdHFA4sbKTs 450 300]


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Another Nail in the Coffin of Your Right to Privacy

“As various tax-funded international institutions explicitly outline plans to plunder humanity’s wealth to prop up governments drowning in odious debts, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) last week officially unveiled a new socialist-backed plot to create a global tax information-sharing regime to ensure that nobody except the establishment escapes the upcoming fleecing. Under the proposed scheme, admittedly inspired by “FATCA,” the Obama administration’s latest addition to the sprawling U.S. tax regime, governments and dictatorships worldwide will automatically share all private financial data on citizens with each other to extract as much wealth as possible from the public.

Calling its scheme to put the final nail in the coffin for financial privacy “game changing,” the tax-funded OECD said it would require governments to collect massive amounts of sensitive personal information on individuals from banks and other financial institutions in their jurisdictions. Once gathered, the vast troves of private data would be automatically exchanged between all participating governments and dictatorships. “You collect the data, you put it in the pipe and it goes to the other party,” said OECD tax policy boss Pascal Saint-Amans, who pays no taxes on his bloated tax-funded salary.

Over 40 governments, which the Paris-based OECD misleadingly refers to as “countries,” have already committed to adopt the controversial scheme. In a “joint statement,” participating governments celebrated the plot, which they believe will help extract more revenue from the public. “Tax evasion is a global problem and requires a global solution,” said representatives from dozens of governments, including more than a few run by self-described socialists. “We therefore strongly support the development of the single global standard for automatic exchange of information between tax authorities.”

Sounding suspiciously like a threat, the participating governments also claimed that only countries with rulers who submit to the draconian new regime will “prosper in the future.” In other words, join the global tax regime and violate the privacy rights of everyone in the jurisdiction, or suffer financial penalties. “We call on other countries and jurisdictions to commit to join this initiative at the earliest opportunity with the aim of rapidly creating a truly global system of automatic information exchange,” the governments continued in their joint statement.

Among the early participants in the scheme is the imploding socialist regime ruling Argentina — currently searching frantically for wealth to plunder as the economy it misrules collapses around it. Also onboard is the radical South African Communist Party-African National Congress regime, which has been implicated in genocide in South Africa by the world’s leading expert in the field. Not coincidentally, at a 2012 summit in South Africa hosted by the SACP-ANC government, the premier global totalitarian alliance known as Socialist International signed a declaration demanding global taxes, a planetary currency — and a global tax-information-sharing regime along the lines of what was outlined last week by the OECD.

“There is a pressing need to dismantle tax havens, close loopholes and create automatic tax record exchange systems,” claimed one of the resolutions adopted last year by the socialist outfit’s oftentimes brutal members, many of which are currently in power in ruthless autocracies around the world. “Only under the auspices of a new Global Financial Architecture can this take place, one that significantly increases transparency and strengthens enforcement of the regulations.”

In fact, the OECD even boasts of its collaboration on the plot with tyrannical socialist regimes famous for human rights abuses and in some cases, even mass murder. “Working with partner countries (including Argentina, Brazil, China, India, the Russian Federation and South Africa), the OECD is advancing rapidly in the development of a common model for reporting and automatic exchange of certain account information held by financial institutions, including due diligence rules, reporting formats and secure transmission methods,” the outfit explained before releasing the actual plan on February 13.

A senior OECD bureaucrat claimed that the Obama administration had also committed to “early adoption” of the new world tax plot, though experts and analysts have pointed out that the U.S. president has no lawful authority to follow through on such a pledge without approval from Congress. Multiple EU member governments have also reportedly promised to adopt the scheme. More than a few brutal autocracies are expected to join as well, making the potential for abuses of the highly confidential data even more alarming to analysts.

Developed at the behest of the G-20, a group of the most powerful governments and tyrants including the barbaric communist dictatorship ruling mainland China, supporters of the new tax regime are demanding that it be in effect by 2015. Finance bosses for G-20 powers are expected to sign off on it later this month at a meeting in Australia. With the unaccountable bureaucrats almost always more than happy to trample individual rights and siphon more wealth out of the productive sector, little to no official opposition is expected. Plus, powerful socialist forces and tax-funded “non-governmental organizations,” so-called, are already working overtime to make sure the scheme moves forward.

The New American first reported on the G-20 and OECD global-tax plot early last month. Backed by socialist luminaries and international bureaucrats at various outfits funded primarily by U.S. taxpayers, the planetary regime is being pushed under the guise of ensuring that governments can collect as much tribute as possible. The global plot is admittedly based on a “devastating” new Obama administration taxation scheme known as the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, which purports to force all governments and banks worldwide to become agents of the IRS. Some analysts and critics of the OECD’s international version of the regime have referred to it as “GATCA.”

If and when it goes into effect, governments all over the world will have instant access to people’s most sensitive financial records including bank accounts, assets, income, insurance, interest paid, capital gains, property ownership, investments, sale of real estate, and more. In other words, the age-old notion of innocent until proven guilty is being flipped on its head, and authorities will not require any warrants or even suspicion to search through people’s highly personal information in search of potential crimes. Critics are already sounding the alarm on the vast array of possible abuses and problems that could result from the scheme, too. The OECD, though, celebrated the move…..”

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Comedy Files: The Idiocy of Tom Perkins


“Tom Perkins, the legendary venture capitalist who provoked a firestorm by comparing the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany to the way rich people are treated in the United States, on Thursday offered a provocative idea about how to “change the world.” During an interview with a Fortune magazine jornalist, Perkins said that only U.S. taxpayers should be able to vote in elections.

But that’s not all. Perkins went on to say that wealthy people should get more votes than others because they pay more in taxes. The comments by Perkins, who made his fortune as one of the founders of venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, provoked laughter at the San Francisco Commonwealth Club, where he was being interviewed by Adam Lashinsky ofFortune. Perkins would later say that his comments were meant to be “provocative,” according to Reuters, and at least one reporter at the event said the 82-year-old later claimed he wasn’t being serious.

Earlier in the interview, Perkins elaborated on his controversial view that the wealthiest Americans — sometimes called the 1% — are currently being “persecuted” because they are rich. “The extreme progressivity of taxation is a form of persecution,” Perkins said. “I think if you’ve paid 75% of your life’s earnings to the government, you are being persecuted.” In the U.S., wealthy people pay higher rates of income tax — in what’s known as a progressive tax system — in part to fund social programs for less affluent people.

Later in the interview, Lashinksy asked Perkins for a “60-second idea to change the world.” The venture capitalist’s response: “The Tom Perkins system is: You don’t get to vote unless you pay a dollar of taxes. But what I really think is, it should be like a corporation. You pay a million dollars in taxes, you should get a million votes. How’s that?” (Video below, see comments at 1:03:00.) Perkins later elaborated on those comments to Fortune by saying that because 50% of registered U.S. voters don’t pay taxes, “we got ourselves into a mess.”…”


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Attention #OWS: You Need to Rally Around Cecily McMillan

“Occupy participant Cecily McMillan is being prosecuted for felony police assault and may face up to 7 years in prison. In reality, it is the NYPD that should be on trial for their assault on McMillan. The trial has already been delayed because of the credibility of the arresting officer; however, New York City should review the case and drop all charges against McMillan.

On the Sixth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street Cecily McMillan arrived at midnight to Zuccotti Park to meet some friends and go out to celebrate her birthday. Instead, she would find herself unconscious, in seizures and badly bruised.
McMillan was not in Zuccotti to protest, but she arrived as the police began to violently break up the crowd. She felt someone grab her right breast she involuntarily swung her elbow around and hit the offender in the face. It turned out to be an undercover police officer, Grantley Bovell. She was violently arrested, knocked to the ground, unconscious and began suffering seizures while she was handcuffed. It would be 15 to 20 minutes before an ambulance arrived. Photos of McMillan show bruises from fingers that grabbed her breast, a swollen eye and other bruises.
Officer Bovell has some serious problems in his history as a police officer including alleged police abuse. As PolicyMic reports:
Officer Bovell has been accused of brutality before. He was named in a lawsuit in the Bronx Supreme Court, filed by Reginald Wakefield, a young black man who was 17 at the time, that alleges the police maliciously used an unmarked police car as a weapon to knock him off his dirt bike in the course of a pursuit. In court filings, Wakefield said his nose was broken, two teeth were knocked out and his forehead lacerated following the encounter with Bovell and other officers on March 21, 2010. The suit is still active, according to court records.
And, now it has come out that he has some serious credibility problems, as a result if he testifies his credibility will be put in doubt.  The District Attorney has provided McMillan’s defense attorney, Martin Stolar, documents that show Bovell was part of 500 officers tied to the infamous 2011 Bronx ticket-fixing scandal. Stolar told PolicyMic: “He was involved and internally disciplined.”
If this case goes to trial the NYPD should be put on trial by the defense and the full embarrassment of its response to Occupy Wall Street exposed. The NYU School of Law and Fordham Law School, issued a detailed report that found that the NYPD consistently wielded excessive, aggressive force with batons, pepper spray, scooters and horses. In addition there were mass arrests that were often arbitrary, gratuitous and illegal, with most charges later dismissed. …..”

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Documentary: Trudell

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooZ8xz9AgpM 450 300] [youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XcRGrloB5iM 450 300]

waterloo-new MPW-44884



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Is Growth a Sickness? Talk Among Yourselves

“Countries’ economies are driven by an obsession – continuous growth in the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). And our manic obsession with never-ending economic growth is driving our planet to ruin.

The absurdity of this becomes clear with a little bit of thought. Never-ending growth that relies on extracting resources from a finite planet is, of course, a mathematical impossibility. But well before we reach that point, this obsession will render our planet uninhabitable.


If our concern is the well-being of our citizens, is GDP the appropriate indicator of that?

GDP is defined as:

“… the market value of all officially recognized final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time.”

This implies that a cleaning-up operation after an environmental disaster for example gives a boost to GDP.

Dan O’Neill of the Centre for the Advancement of Steady State Economics (CASSE) makes the point that many bad things – such as family breakdown, wars and environmental disaster – contribute to GDP, but good things, where no money is exchanged, do not — such as volunteering.

Research shows ….”

[youtube://http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqz3R1NpXzM 450 300]

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Behold: #46


“According to a new report from Reporters Without Borders, there was a profound erosion of press freedom in the United States in 2013.

After a year of attacks on whistleblowers and digital journalists and revelations about mass surveillance, the United States plunged 13 spots in the group’s global press freedom rankings to number 46.

Reporters Without Borders writes that the U.S. faced “one of the most significant declines” in the world last year. Even the United Kingdom, whose sustained campaign to criminalize the Guardian‘s reporters and intimidate journalists has made headlines around the world, dropped only three spots, to number 33. The U.S. fell as many spots as Paraguay, where “the pressure on journalists to censor themselves keeps on mounting.”

Citing the Justice Department’s aggressive prosecution of whistleblowers, including its secret seizure of Associated Press phone records, the authors write that “freedom of information is too often sacrificed to an overly broad and abusive interpretation of national security needs, marking a disturbing retreat from democratic practices. Investigative journalism often suffers as a result.”

The threats facing newsgathering in the U.S. are felt by both longstanding journalists like New York Times national security reporter James Risen, who may serve jail time for refusing to reveal a source, and non-traditional digital journalists like Barrett Brown…..”

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