James Rosen, defense reporter for Fox News was tracked by the Department of Justice in 2009. His private emails were read, his comings and goings around Washington DC were monitored.
Bizarrely Rosen is the author of The Strong Man: John Mitchell and the Secrets of Watergate.
The universe can be an oddly poetic place at times.
(From The Washington Post)
When the Justice Department began investigating possible leaks of classified information about North Korea in 2009, investigators did more than obtain telephone records of a working journalist suspected of receiving the secret material.
They used security badge access records to track the reporter’s comings and goings from the State Department, according to a newly obtained court affidavit. They traced the timing of his calls with a State Department security adviser suspected of sharing the classified report. They obtained a search warrant for the reporter’s personal e-mails.
View full post on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org
IRS scandal is just the tip of the iceberg…
by SIMON BLACK on MAY 14, 2013
May 14, 2013
Some days one can’t help but look at the headlines and think of Ayn Rand.
With all the destructive measures by desperate governments from Cyprus to Argentina, it seems sometimes like we’re reading from the pages of her seminal work, Atlas Shrugged.
But what we’re seeing now seems to have far surpassed Atlas Shrugged. We’re definitely into 1984 territory.
We’ve recently learned that the US federal government has (a) secretly tapped the Associated Press’s phone records, and (b) used the nation’s tax authorities to target opposition political groups.
This is the same sort of thing one would expect from Belarus or Azerbaijan. But these sad events are, unfortunately, no longer surprising in the Land of the Free. Nor are they isolated.
One appalling example is the case of Richard Hatch, who I spoke to a few days ago. You may remember that Richard won the first season of the TV series Survivor back in 2000/2001… and the million dollar prize that went along with it.
Tax-wise, it was a complex matter; the production took place off the coast of Borneo, so the prize money was technically Malaysian-sourced income. Plus a number of other issues.
But Hatch and his tax team filed returns. They claimed the prize money. They paid tax on it. They event sought additional guidance from the IRS.
Never once did the IRS issue a ‘notice of deficiency’, essentially a routine letter they send when they think you owe them money.
And yet, Hatch was ultimately charged with a crime– ‘attempted’ tax evasion.
Now, it’s absurd that tax evasion is even a criminal matter in the Land of the Free. It’s even more absurd that ‘attempted’ tax evasion is a crime.
But it defies all reality that an individual, who was fully up to date on his filings and being advised by licensed tax professionals, was personally tried and convicted of such a ridiculous charge, having never once been notified by the government that he owed a single penny.
After this shocking conversation with Richard, I spoke to William Binney, a 35-year veteran of the NSA. During our call, Binney walked me through some very technical details about the government’s illegal monitoring and archiving of ALL Internet traffic, and HOW they’re doing it.
William Binney is a man of tremendous integrity; he resigned from the NSA to protest the wanton dismantling of the Bill of Rights.
Since then, government thugs have kicked down his door at gunpoint. He’s been maliciously sued by Uncle Sam. He’s had his private property seized. All because he continues to expose the crimes that they’re committing.
And these are crimes, plain and simple… clear violations of the Fourth and Fifth amendment.
Bottom line, EVERYONE is being monitored. Every email is being archived. And the data is being shared across the government spectrum with law enforcement as well. This is important.
Today, there are thousands of crimes on the books in the Land of the Free. If they want to, they can get you for anything, even ‘attempted tax evasion’. You can’t even apply for a passport without being threatened with jail time.
And with such ubiquitous surveillance, they can get any information they need to seize property or incriminate anyone they want on whatever stupid law they can dig up.
The easy course of action is to live in denial– “It can’t happen here, it won’t happen to me.” Everyone wants to think this. But it does happen. And given the trend, it’s going to happen much more.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Wed May 15, 2013 5:40 am
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Andrew J. Coulson
We do not claim that the school funding system… is fundamentally flawed, only that there is no correlation at all between the level of per pupil funding and educational outcomes. —Deloitte
Hahahahaha! Ha! Haha! Haaaaaah. Okay. Now a little context.
Last November, the British government “published” a study of its state school system that it had commissioned from the accounting firm Deloitte. Maybe “published” is too strong a word, since there was apparently no press release, no news conference, no effort of any kind to make the public or the media aware of its existence. Perhaps that’s because the study found no correlation between spending and achievement in Britain’s state schools, and the current government’s policy is to increase spending on state schools in an effort to be seen to be doing something.
The sad thing is, the same fundamentally flawed funding systems and dysfunctional political incentives exist in the United States, too… and with much the same effect:
Hat tip: Joanne Jacobs.
View full post on Cato @ Liberty
Sinclair-Swiss Bank Just Refused To Give My Friend His Gold
Today legendary trader Jim Sinclair stunned King World News when he revealed that a dear friend of his who is very affluent just had a Swiss bank refuse to return his large hoard of gold when he asked for it out of an allocated account. Below is what Sinclair, who was once called on by former Fed Chairman Paul Volcker to assist during a Wall Street crisis, had to say in this remarkable and candid interview.
Eric King: “Maguire spoke on KWN yesterday about the fact that one of his clients went to the LBMA to get the metal from them and could not get it. They told him he would be cash settled. This is what you have been talking about is the failure of the physical markets.”
Sinclair: “A person that I know with significant deposits in one of the primary Swiss banks, in allocated gold, wanted to take out his gold and was just refused on the basis of directives from the central bank….
“They told him the amount was in excess of 200,000 Swiss francs and the central bank had instructed them not to do it because it has to do with anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering precautions.
I really wonder whether those are precautions or whether the gold simply isn’t there. Now you tell me that a London delivery has basically failed. It has to raise our suspicions that the lack of physical gold behind the paper gold is literally so severe that we are coming to understand that it is in fact not there.
The gold that people think is stored is not stored, and the inventory of the warehouses for exchanges may not be holding deliverable gold. There has always been speculation about whether or not the physical gold the US claims to store is in fact in those vaults.
The greatest train robbery in history might be all of the gold, and it would only be something like we have described above that would happen right before gold makes historic highs.
There simply is no gold behind the paper. One example is AMRO, a second is your example with Maguire, and a third is my dear friend who was refused his gold on the basis that its value was too high. Remember this friend of mine had his gold in an allocated account in storage at a major Swiss bank. I repeat, there is no gold.”
Eric King: “Jim, when I listen to what you are saying, to what Maguire is saying, it really does tell me we are at the end game in terms of the paper market. It’s collapsing right now as you have been warning.”
Sinclair: “The vicious and blatant manipulation of the gold price (lower) via paper, on Friday and on Monday, may very well be the biggest mistake that the manipulators ever conceived of. I firmly believe it revealed that the price of gold has nothing to do with gold itself.
But I would add that if in fact the physical demand remains at these levels or even increases as the price of gold rises, I believe that the warehouses for the exchanges will be so significantly drawn down that it will force cash settlement.
The bottom line here is the paper market for gold may have just lit itself on fire, and served to burn the manipulators’ houses to the ground. You’ve heard of the phrase, ‘The emperor has no clothes.’ Well, this is infinitely worse because it is finally being revealed that the paper market for gold, in fact, has no gold.”
Statistics: Posted by DIGGER DAN — Tue Apr 23, 2013 5:36 am
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Obama’s ‘Fundamental Transformation of America’ just another name for One World Gov’t
- Judi McLeod ) Sunday, April 7, 2013
Pandora’s deadly secret is out of the box. Obama’s call for the Fundamental Transformation of America is just a fancy name for what he’s planned for America ever since his lofty proclamation in Berlin, 2008 when he announced that he is “a citizen of the world”.
We now know that the Fundamental Transformation America is just another name for One World Government.
In typical Obama Artful Dodger fashion, it was vice president Joe Biden and not he who laid bare the plans for the coming One World Government that will steal America’s 237-year-old sovereignty.
With Obama nowhere in sight, until his next day golf rounds, Biden called for the creation of a “New World Order” with new financial institutions, updated global rules, a redistribution of free market strategies to bring in other countries and a prosperous China rather than a prosperous USA.
Seeing how it went down means making a quick scan at Friday’s White House schedule: At 9:15 the president hosted an Easter Prayer Breakfast, with Biden also delivering remarks in the East Rom.
At 10:30 a.m., The President and the Vice President receive the Presidential Daily Briefing (Closed to the press) in the Oval Office.
At 12:45 p.m. Biden calls for One World Government in remarks delivered at the 2013 Annual Conference of the Export-Import Bank at the Omni Shoreham Hotel.
At the Prayer Breakfast, Obama said he felt “the spirit of Jesus Christ” on his recent trip to the Holy Land.
Just the day before, he was calling California’s Attorney General “by far the best looking attorney general in the country” during a fund raising trip to California—and later apologizing.
After touting himself as a “citizen of the world” in Berlin, Obama laid out for the world precisely what his vision of a new world is at an address to cadets at West Point. Obama wants a new international order that can “resolve the challenges of our times”.
One of the fundamental flaws in the vision of the New World Order crowd is the idea that the United States must submit its sovereignty to an ultimate power greater than our own, Henry Lamb warned Americans in May, 2010.
“Absolutely not and ever!”
There are those who will argue that the notion of a world government has persisted for more than a century. Cecil Rhodes dreamed of a global British Empire, Woodrow Wilson bought into a vision of a League of Nations, Franklin Roosevelt’s vision was One World Order through the creation of the United Nations.
But Barack Obama and Joe Biden—who make it plain they care nothing for the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence—are here to implement it.
Obama and his vice president are giving away a sovereignty that was neither built by them nor even belongs to them in order to to make the giveaway.
Surely the power of a president and vice president does not include the giving away of a country without consulting its millions of inhabitants.
Couldn’t this be categorized as treason?
Meanwhile, whenever a callous Obama refers to his lofty “Fundamental Transformation of America” patriots will know he’s referring to his intention to impose One World Government on America.
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:24 am
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Aristotle defines a voluntary act as one that has its cause in the agent rather than an external force, and that is done in knowledge of the relevant particulars. This is entirely commonsensical. Everyone would agree that in being blown away by the twister, Dorothy leaves Kansas involuntarily, and that the hunter who kills his son mistaking him for a rabbit kills him involuntarily (even though he pulls the trigger voluntarily). Aristotle notes, however, that some voluntary acts are done only because the other available options are far worse. He gives the example of someone who does something shameful in order to protect his family from the tyrant’s wrath, or the captain of a ship who throws the cargo overboard to save the ship from sinking in a storm. In each case, the individual acts under duress. His action is, therefore, not fully voluntary. It is mixed (or, in Michael C. Munger’s words, voluntary but not “euvoluntary”).
This distinction between fully voluntary actions and actions done under duress provides a much-needed framework for understanding and evaluating market exchanges. Some economists maintain that all that is needed for a just exchange is that it be voluntary and give both parties what they expect, ex ante, to get from it (e.g., Murray Rothbard, “Free Market,” The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics, 2008). And all that is needed for a voluntary exchange is that it be free of force and fraud. Hence all exchanges free of force and fraud are just, and the law has no business banning just exchanges. This last is certainly true; indeed, for reasons I explain below, the law has no business banning all unjust exchanges either. However, the claim that all voluntary exchanges are just rests on a far too narrow conception of justice, a conception that reflects neither everyday thinking about justice nor philosophical analysis of it.
The core meaning of justice is giving people their due, and what is due to them is multifaceted, including, among other things, proportionality and a recognition of them, as Kant would say, as ends in themselves rather than mere means to our purposes. Yet many exchanges made under duress violate these requirements of justice, because the circumstances of one party to the exchange lead her to accept a minimal and short-lived benefit in exchange for a weighty and long-term benefit. Kidney sales in poor countries, such as the Philippines, are perhaps the most blatant examples of such exchanges. The snapshot view of transactions typically taken by economists hides from them what is only too evident to common sense: that even a transaction that is free of force and fraud can take unfair advantage of a person’s desperate condition and treat her as a mere means to the ends of the buyer. The moral justice or injustice of an exchange often depends on details that become visible only if we take a wider and longer view of exchanges. A desperately poor but healthy woman whose family is on the brink of starvation because of a drought might be willing to sell her kidney to a well-off man (or his broker) for a large sack of rice – a payment actually proposed as being sufficient by a nephrologist in Manila (see Nancy Scheper-Hughes, “Parts Unknown: Undercover Ethnography of the Organs-trafficking Underworld,” Ethnography 2004; 58). If this is the poor woman’s only means of warding off starvation, there is no doubt that she is better off with the exchange than without it. That sack of rice will enable her and her family to survive for a month instead of, say, only five days. Yet a month’s bare survival in exchange for a kidney that enables the well-off buyer to live well for many years pretty obviously violates the proportionality requirement of justice. Indeed, the disproportionality goes even further: a nephrectomy on a woman on the brink of starvation is all but guaranteed to harm her physically and, eventually, kill her, even should she manage to get another sack of rice from someone else. The kidney recipient saves the desperate woman’s life at time t1 at the cost of depriving her of her health and perhaps even her life at time t2.
Compared to the baseline of no-exchange, the desperate woman is better off. That is reason enough not to ban the exchange, as is the fact that a ban would violate the liberty of consenting adults. But why believe that the no-exchange baseline is the only possible baseline we can use for evaluating the transaction morally? By the baseline of simple humanity, the exchange is both disproportionate, and disrespectful of the desperate individual’s humanity (the idea for such a distinction between baselines is due to Alan Wertheimer, Exploitation, 1996). Indeed, it is no more just than an exchange between a man dying of thirst in a desert and a well-off, well-stocked tourist who, passing by him, agrees to give him some water in return for all his property after they reach home. Every philosophical ethical theory joins commonsense morality in condemning such a deal as unconscionable, and the common law agrees by refusing to uphold it if the thirsty man reneges on it. Likewise, a well-off buyer of a kidney makes an unconscionable deal if all he offers to the desperate woman is a large sack of rice or, for that matter, a few hundred dollars. He ought to give her what he would have given had she not been desperate, just because the kidney seller is a human being like himself rendered helpless by circumstance. What makes both the desert and the kidney exchanges unjust is that the better-off parties save the desperate individuals from impending death in exchange for long-term advantage to themselves and long-term grievous harm, perhaps even death, for the desperate individuals. In doing so, they not only make a highly unequal exchange, they treat the desperate individuals as mere means to their ends, resources to be sucked dry and left to their fate. Their actions and attitudes say, in effect, that the life and well-being of these individuals are of no moment after they have served the interests of the better-off parties.
What, then, is the just price for a kidney, and how is it to be determined? Locke proposes a general answer to the question of a just price when one party is in dire straits in his Venditio. He argues that a ship that is in danger of sinking in a storm because it has lost all its anchors should not be taken advantage of by a ship that has an anchor to spare. The second ship ought to sell the anchor to the first at the price it would charge if the first ship was not in desperate circumstances. This is the price it would charge in a competitive market. Munger and Ricardo A. Guzmán agree with and further elaborate this analysis. But what is a competitive market? Whatever else it might be, it is a market in which people are free to buy and sell. The kidney market, then, is decidedly not a competitive market, since kidney sales are banned in every country but one (Iran). If kidney sales were legal everywhere, or at least in most countries, and there was free legal trade in kidneys, many rich people would go to poor countries for kidney transplants (as they do for other medical procedures) and the price of kidneys would rise in those countries. Ironically, it is the attempt to save people from exploitation by banning kidney markets that has led to the unimaginably high levels of exploitation and injustice that we see in underground kidney deals.
Some libertarians might be inclined to reject my view in the belief that it implies that all cases of profiting in a disaster, such as selling salt at a higher price when most of the salt mines supplying a community have been destroyed, are unjust. But my view does not imply this. My view condemns injustice, but there is nothing unjust about raising the price of a commodity when it is in short supply, and lowering it when it is abundant. Doing so neither takes advantage of people by making grossly disproportionate exchanges, nor treats them as mere means to the seller’s own ends. Nor is it unjust in any other way that I can see. Rather, it is the only economically and morally rational way to act.
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What if your bank shut down, then gave 10% of your (and everyone’s) money to the government? This just happened in Cyprus.
Most Americans don’t know where Cyprus even is. But just know that this island nation has long been a Mediterranean refuge from the cold for many Europeans. These same Europeans do a good bit of banking on the island also. Cyprus is kind of like the Bahamas for Brits and Germans.
On Saturday, as part of a bank bailout deal with the European Union the Cypriot government seized between 6.75% and 9.9% of the funds from every bank account on the island.
Poof! Gone from your account and deposited somewhere back in Brussels. The banks shut their doors and then the EU just took the money. Banks won’t open again until Thursday.
As the attached article explains, this is a a game changer. Why would one hold one’s funds in a Greek, Italian, Spanish, or Portuguese bank with this precedent set? The answer is that one would be nuts to do so. Expect capital outflows (more than what we have seen) from the southern tier European states. Not what they need. Not what the world needs.
I heard rumours about this when I visited Limassol last week, but dismissed them as completely outlandish. And yet, here we are. The consequences are unpredictable, but we are clearly looking at a significant paradigm shift.
This is a breach of fundamental property rights, dictated to a small country by foreign powers and it must make every bank depositor in Europe shiver. Although the representatives at the bailout press conference tried to present this as a one-off, they were not willing to rule out similar measures elsewhere – not that it would have mattered much as the trust is gone anyway.
View full post on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org
I used to live at the foot of the Blue Ridge mountains. Though where I lived was a little island of crunchy small town suburbia, when I looked out my bedroom window I saw the mountains stretching to the sky covered with forest.
Having grown up on suburban flat land, Virginia Beach, it wasn’t until I moved to Crozet that I learned to appreciate the country lifestyle.
When I was a kid it was exciting to see a cow when we took a road trip. It was a rare thing. In Crozet however one could hear cows off in the distance every day, and hawks, and the wind, and guys out in the woods shooting their rifles. I came to love it. It is a freer life than the traffic snarled expanse of Northern Virginia I know these days.
The fellow who is the subject of the attached article left for a much freer life. But the complicated life came to get him anyway. Why is it so wrong to want to just be left alone on one’s own property?
(From The Wall Street Journal)
Last fall, a team of health, construction and fire officials showed up for an unannounced inspection of the preserve, acting on an anonymous tip. Escorted by two sheriffs’ deputies, they executed what Mr. Conway describes as a “SWAT-team raid”—peering into outhouses, stomping around log cabins, and climbing hand-hewn ladders.
Their findings are compiled in a 78-page report with a bullet-point list of violations. Mr. Conway’s sawdust urinal and outhouses? Unpermitted, according to the officials. The wood he used to erect two dozen buildings? Built with lumber that isn’t “grade-marked,” meaning it doesn’t specify the mill where it was produced.
The post Just leave him alone: Building inspectors try to take down survivalist “mountain man.” appeared first on AgainstCronyCapitalism.org.
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Denial Is Not Just A River In Egypt: 10 Hilarious Examples Of How Clueless Our Leaders Are About The Economy
They didn’t see it coming last time either. Back in 2007, President Bush, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and just about every prominent voice in the financial world were all predicting that we would experience tremendous economic prosperity well into the future. In fact, as late as January 2008 Bernanke boldly declared that “the Federal Reserve is not currently forecasting a recession.” At the time, only the “doom and gloomers” were warning that everything was about to fall apart. And of course we all know what happened. But just a few short years later, history seems to be repeating itself. Barack Obama, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and almost every prominent voice in the financial world are all promising that the U.S. “economic recovery” is going to continue even though Europe is coming apart like a 20 dollar suit. But the economic fundamentals tell a different story. Our national debt is more than $6,000,000,000,000 larger than it was back in 2008, the number of Americans on food stamps just hit another brand new all-time record, and the bankers up on Wall Street are selling gigantic mountains of the exact same kind of toxic derivatives that caused so much trouble the last time around. But all of our “leaders” swear that everything is going to be okay. You can believe them if you want, but denial is not just a river in Egypt, and another crash is inevitably coming.
Sadly, many Americans are not even going to see the crash coming because they still have faith in the “experts”. They haven’t figured out that the “experts” really do not know what they are doing.
The blind are leading the blind, and in the end the results are going to be absolutely tragic.
The following are 10 hilarious examples of how clueless our leaders are about the economy…
#1 When I first came across the following chart the other day, it made me chuckle. It is a chart that supposedly tells us the “probability” of a recession, and it was taken from the website of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. According to the chart, right now there is a 0.16% chance of a recession…
#2 Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has also been proclaiming his belief that the U.S. economy will continue to grow. The following is an excerpt from his recent remarks to Congress…
The pause in real GDP growth last quarter does not appear to reflect a stalling-out of the recovery. Rather, economic activity was temporarily restrained by weather-related disruptions and by transitory declines in a few volatile categories of spending, even as demand by U.S. households and businesses continued to expand. Available information suggests that economic growth has picked up again this year.
And Bernanke also insists that the labor market is “improving”…
Consistent with the moderate pace of economic growth, conditions in the labor market have been improving gradually.
Of course the labor market is not actually improving. I showed this using the Fed’s own numbers the other day.
And you can put stock in Bernanke’s forecasting ability if you like, but considering his track record of failure in the past, that might not be too wise. Just check out what he was saying before the last financial crisis: “30 Ben Bernanke Quotes That Are So Stupid That You Won’t Know Whether To Laugh Or Cry“.
#3 Although Bernanke has such a nightmarish track record of failure, Warren Buffett still has faith in him. In fact, Buffett loves all of the money printing that Bernanke has been doing…
The U.S. economy might be “dead in the water” without the stimulus provided by the Federal Reserve under Chairman Ben Bernanke, according to Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway.
“I think very cheap money makes things happen, it makes asset values higher. When asset values are higher, people do have a greater propensity to spend,” Buffett told CNBC.
“I think Bernanke has sort of carried the load himself during this period.”
If Buffett thinks the wild money printing that the Fed has been doing is so wonderful, then he probably would have absolutely loved living in the Weimar Republic.
#4 Barack Obama continues to insist that we do not have a debt crisis, but that we will not be able to balance the budget any time in the foreseeable future either.
Even though the national debt has grown by more than 6 trillion dollars under his leadership and our debt to GDP ratio is now well over 100%, Obama does not believe that it is a significant problem…
“We don’t have an immediate crisis in terms of debt”
“We’re not gonna balance the budget in 10 years”
Sadly, the truth is that the U.S. will never have a balanced budget ever again under our current system, but most of our politicians are not willing to go that far and admit that sad fact to the American people just yet.
#5 But of course it would certainly help if the U.S. government would stop wasting so much money. For example, did you know that the federal government is helping dead people get free cell phones? The following is from a recent article in the New York Post…
Dead people don’t need cell phones.
That’s the message Rep. Tim Griffin of Arkansas wants to send Congress, after he says a controversial government-backed program that helps provide phones to low-income Americans ended up sending mobiles to the dead relatives of his constituents. Griffin has introduced a bill that targets the phone hand-out program, which has ballooned into a fiscal headache for the government.
And of course a lot of living people are abusing the free cell phone program as well. Rep. Griffin says that he has heard of some people getting as many as 10 free cell phones from the government…
“I’ve also gotten calls from people who say their employees were bragging about having 10 phones.”
#6 Meanwhile, the most prominent economic journalist in the United States, Paul Krugman of the New York Times, continues to insist that it is a good thing for the government to be running up so much debt…
First of all… that trillion-dollar deficit is overwhelmingly the result of a depressed economy. And when the economy’s depressed it’s good to run a deficit. You don’t want the government to try and balance its budget right now.
Krugman is also operating under the delusion that the federal government “can’t run out of cash”, that it can just print money whenever it wants and that printing giant piles of money would not hurt anything.
The United States is a country that has its own currency–can’t run out of cash because we print the money. If you even try to think what would happen–suppose that investors get down on the United States. Even so, that would weaken the dollar, not send interest rates soaring, and that would be good. That would help our exports
It is frightening that the top economic journalist in America has such little understanding of how our system actually works. I would encourage Krugman to read a couple of my previous articles so that he won’t be so ignorant in the future…
#7 Many Americans have wondered why the federal government never seems to go after the big Wall Street banks. Well, now we know why. The other day, the Attorney General of the United States admitted that the federal government is very hesitant to prosecute anyone from the big banks because of what it might do to the global economy…
“I am concerned that the size of some of these institutions becomes so large that it does become difficult for us to prosecute them when we are hit with indications that if you do prosecute, if you do bring a criminal charge, it will have a negative impact on the national economy, perhaps even the world economy”
So I guess we now live in a world where there is a different set of rules for the big banks, eh?
Most of us already knew that this was the case, but it is quite chilling to hear the Attorney General of the United States publicly admit this.
#8 Many of the big Wall Street banks are absolutely giddy that the Dow keeps setting new all-time highs, and many of them are projecting wonderful things ahead for the U.S. economy. For example, here is one forecast from Morgan Stanley’s Vincent Reinhart …
“In the Morgan Stanley forecast for the US, the trajectory of economic activity marks an inflection point midway through 2013. The severe financial crisis of 2008-09 necessitated significant downward adjustments by the private sector to the levels of aggregate demand and efficient supply. As the event recedes further into history, however, the drag on growth from these ongoing level adjustments plays out.
In our forecast, the expansion of real GDP steps up to around 2-3/4 percent in the second half of this year and beyond.”
#9 Vice-President Joe Biden is pushing economic optimism to ridiculous levels. Apparently he believes that most Americans are “no longer worried” that a major economic crisis is coming…
But all kidding aside, I think the American people have moved — Democrats, Republicans, independents. They know that the possibilities for this country are immense. They’re no longer traumatized by what was a traumatizing event, the great collapse in 2008. They’re no longer worried, I think, about our economy being overwhelmed either by Europe writ large, the EU, or China somehow swallowing up every bit of innovation that exists in the world. They’re no longer, I think, worried about our economy being overwhelmed beyond our shores.
And I don’t think they’re any more — there’s no — there’s very little doubt in any circles out there about America’s ability to be in position to lead the world in the 21st century, not only in terms of our foreign policy, our incredible defense establishment, but economically.
#10 Right now, many in the financial world are projecting that this will be a year to remember for the stock market. During a recent interview with Fox Business, Wharton School of Business Finance Professor Jeremy Siegel declared that the Dow will cross the 16,000 mark by the end of this year…
“I think by the end of this year, we’ll be in the 16,000 to 17,000 range.”
Of course it is true that other analysts have a much different view of things. Many of them are absolutely amazed that the U.S. economy has become so disconnected from economic reality. For example, just check out what Steve Russell and Hamish Baillie, fund managers at the Ruffer Investment Company, recently had to say…
“If this was explained to a recently arrived Martian he would no doubt be puzzled – US unemployment has almost doubled since 2007, GDP [gross domestic product] growth is a third lower and debt as a percentage of GDP is within a whisker of doubling. The market is forward looking but this is extreme”
So who is right and who is wrong?
Time will tell.
Fortunately, it appears that the American people are getting fed up with the constant stream of lies that they have been told.
According to a new Pew Research survey, just 26 percent of all Americans trust the government to do the right thing.
So what about you?
Do you trust what the government and the “experts” are telling you?
Do you trust them to do the right thing?
Feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
View full post on The Economic Collapse
Are we running out of time? For the last several years, we have been living in a false bubble of hope that has been fueled by massive amounts of debt and bailout money. This illusion of economic stability has convinced most people that the great economic crisis of 2008 was just an “aberration” and that now things are back to normal. Unfortunately, that is not the case at all. The truth is that the financial crash of 2008 was just the first wave of our economic troubles. We have not even come close to recovering from that wave, and the next wave of the economic collapse is rapidly approaching. Our economy is like a giant sand castle that has been built on a foundation of debt and toilet paper currency. As each wave of the crisis hits us, the solutions that our leaders will present to us will involve even more debt and even more money printing. And each time, those “solutions” will only make our problems even worse. Right now, events are unfolding in Europe and in the United States that are pushing us toward the next major crisis moment. I sincerely hope that we have some more time before the next crisis overwhelms us, but as you will see, time is rapidly running out.
The following are 12 things that just happened that show the next wave of the economic collapse is almost here…
#1 According to TrimTab’s CEO Charles Biderman, corporate insider purchases of stock have hit an all-time low, and the ratio of corporate insider selling to corporate insider buying has now reached an astounding 50 to 1….
While retail is being told to buy-buy-buy, Biderman exclaims that “insiders at U.S. companies have bought the least amount of shares in any one month,” and that the ratio of insider selling to buying is now 50-to-1 – a monthly record.
#2 On Friday we learned that personal income in the United States experienced its largest one month decline in 20 years…
Personal income decreased by $505.5 billion in January, or 3.6%, compared to December (on a seasonally adjusted and annualized basis). That’s the most dramatic decline since January 1993, according to the Commerce Department.
#3 In a stunning move, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says that he will appoint an emergency financial manager to take care of Detroit’s financial affairs…
Snyder, 54, took a step he avoided a year ago, empowering an emergency financial manager who can sweep aside union contracts, sell municipal assets, restructure services and reorder finances. He announced the move yesterday at a public meeting in Detroit.
If this does not work, Detroit will almost certainly have to declare bankruptcy. If that happens, it will be the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history.
#4 On Friday it was announced that the unemployment rate in Italy had risen to 11.7 percent. That was a huge jump from 11.3 percent the previous month, and Italy now has the highest unemployment rate that it has experienced in 21 years.
#5 The youth unemployment rate in Italy has risen to a new all-time record high of 38.7 percent.
#6 On Friday it was announced that the unemployment rate in the eurozone as a whole had just hit a brand new record high of 11.9 percent.
#8 The youth unemployment rate in Greece is now an almost unbelievable 59.4 percent.
#9 On Saturday, hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the streets of Lisbon and other Portuguese cities to protest the austerity measures that are being imposed upon them. It was reportedly the largest protest in the history of Portugal.
#10 According to Goldman Sachs, bank deposits declined all over Europe during the month of January.
#11 Over the weekend, the deputy governor of China’s central bank declared that China is prepared for a “currency war“…
A top Chinese banker said Beijing is “fully prepared” for a currency war as he urged the world to abide by a consensus reached by the G20 to avert confrontation, state media reported on Saturday.
Yi Gang, deputy governor of China’s central bank, issued the call after G20 finance ministers last month moved to calm fears of a looming war on the currency markets at a meeting in Moscow.
Those fears have largely been fuelled by the recent steep decline in the Japanese yen, which critics have accused Tokyo of manipulating to give its manufacturers a competitive edge in key export markets over Asian rivals.
#12 Italy is an economic basket case at this point, and the political gridlock in Italy is certainly not helping matters. Former comedian Beppe Grillo’s party could potentially tip the balance of power one way or the other in Italy, and over the weekend he made some comments that are really shaking things up over in Europe. For one thing, he is suggesting that Italy should hold a referendum on the euro…
“I am a strong advocate of Europe. I am in favor of an online referendum on the euro,” Beppe Grillo told Bild am Sonntag.
Such a vote would not be legally binding in Italy, where referendums can only be used to repeal laws or parts of laws, but would carry political weight. Grillo has said in the past that membership of the euro should be up to the Italian people.
In addition, Grillo is also suggesting that Italy’s debt has gotten so large that renegotiation is the only option…
In an interview with a German magazine published on Saturday, Mr Grillo said that “if conditions do not change” Italy “will want” to leave the euro and return to its former national currency.
The 64-year-old comic-turned-political activist also said Italy needs to renegotiate its €2 trillion debt.
At 127 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), it is the highest in the euro zone after Greece.
“Right now we are being crushed, not by the euro, but by our debt. When the interest payments reach €100 billion a year, we’re dead. There’s no alternative,” he told Focus, a weekly news magazine.
He said Italy was in such dire economic straits that “in six months, we will no longer be able to pay pensions and the wages of public employees.”
And of course government debt has taken center stage in the United States as well.
The sequester cuts have now gone into effect, and they will definitely have an effect on the U.S. economy. Of course that effect will not be nearly as dramatic as many Democrats are suggesting, but without a doubt those cuts will cause the U.S. economy to slow down a bit.
And of course the U.S. economy has already been showing plenty of signs of slowing down lately. If you doubt this, please see my previous article entitled “Consumer Spending Drought: 16 Signs That The Middle Class Is Running Out Of Money“.
So what comes next?
Well, everyone should keep watching Europe very closely, and it will also be important to keep an eye on Wall Street. There are a whole bunch of indications that the stock market is at or near a peak. For example, just check out what one prominent stock market analyst recently had to say…
“Every reliable technical tool is warning of major peaking action,” said Walter Zimmerman, the senior technical analyst at United-ICAP. “This includes sentiment, momentum, classical chart patterns, and Elliott wave analysis.
“Most of the rally in the stock market since 2009 can be chalked up to the Federal Reserve’s attempt to create a ‘wealth effect’ through higher stock market prices. This only exacerbates the downside risk. Why? The stock market no is longer a lead indicator for the economy. It is instead reflecting Fed manipulation. Pushing the stock market higher while the real economy languishes has resulted in another bubble.
“The next leg down will not be a partial correction of the advance since the 2009 lows. It will be another major financial crisis. The worst is yet to come.”
Sadly, most people will continue to deny that anything is wrong until it is far too late.
Time is running out, and I hope that you are getting ready.
So what do you think?
How much time do you believe that we have left before the next wave of the economic collapse strikes?
Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…
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