ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Dec 21 13:40

Federal Student Loan Debt up 463% under Obama

Dec 21 13:13

Wars’ Cost to U.S. Since the Sept. 11 Attacks: $1.6 Trillion

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and counterterrorism operations have cost the U.S. a combined $1.6 trillion since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, according to a new Congressional Research Service analysis.

Dec 21 12:30

Milton Friedman - Why Economists Disagree

Dec 21 10:43

Banker death toll hits 36 in 2014, what’s coming economically? Full list

As you may already know something is afoot in the financial sector as 36 bankers, financial professionals have mysteriously wound up dead in the past year.

Dec 21 08:33

How the CIA Launched the «Financial Pearl Harbor» Attacks on Russia and Venezuela

The net result of the CIA-inspired fracking operations, which the Saudis were warned not to pursue by petroleum engineers working for some foreign-based firms like Schlumberger, is that there will be an oil supply glut for the next 5 years. The glut will be followed by a reduction in Saudi oil production unless new oil fields are brought on line. There is now a major push by U.S. and Canadian oil companies to bring online the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the United States to offset the expected sharp rise in oil prices in four to five years. But with Canada suffering financially from the drop in oil revenues, the Keystone XL project is also on financially shaky ground.

Dec 21 08:30

It's A Huge Crisis" - The UK Oil Industry Is "Close To Collapse"

It seems like only yesterday when back on October 11, we first explained - and previewed - the collapse of oil courtesy of the secret deal between the US and Saudi Arabia.

Dec 21 08:06

Will they Hang Bankers Again on Wall Street?

What took place in Washington over the past two weeks with the repeal of Dodd Frank and then the effective repeal of the Volcker Rule sounds strikingly familiar to at least three previous periods in American History that led to total disaster. There were of course the Northern “carpetbaggers”, whom many in the South viewed as opportunists looking to exploit and profit from the region’s misfortunes following the Civil War.The “carpetbaggers” would play a central role in shaping new southern governments during Reconstruction period who were joined by Southerners who saw economic gain in joining the Northerners in the exploitation of the South. There were called “scalawags”.

Dec 21 08:00

The Shale Gas Shell Game

Dec 21 01:54

Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives

The sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses; and the FDIC could be liable, following repeal of key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act last weekend.

Dec 20 20:18

Google is now worth more than the whole Russian stock market

Google has become the third big technology company to be worth more than the entire Russian stock market — and Google itself isn’t even having a very good time of it.

All of the shares listed on Russia’s stock market, the Moscow Exchange, are now worth $325 billion, less than Google’s more than $340 billion.

The value of Russian companies has plunged and has continued to plunge as the weakening rouble, the cost of sanctions and other problems mean that investors take flight from the country.

Dec 20 20:16

Manufacturers face 'bloodbath' in Russia, says Renault Nissan boss

The chief executive of Renault Nissan, Carlos Ghosn, has said that manufacturers in Russia are facing a "bloodbath" because of the plunge in the value of the rouble.

The currency has been dropping steadily for several months, but suffered very sharp falls earlier this week.

The two firms have stopped taking orders for some new models and raised prices on others.

Several rival manufacturers have taken similar steps.

Dec 20 14:54

Buying Bonanza: Russians hunt for Italian castles amid rumbling ruble - See more at: http://xrepublic.tv/node/11607#sthash.iilnOcoA.dpuf

Several dozen historical Italian castles are up for sale, their owners unable to pay maintenance costs and high taxes. But Russian buyers are stepping in, searching for properties in 'strategic locations'

Dec 20 14:50

How bad would an IRS shutdown be?

Dec 20 14:47

Chart Points To Massive Slow Down: “This Is The Biggest Collapse In The ‘Trade’ Indicator Since Records Began”

The following charts tell you everything you need to know about the purported economic recovery and it isn’t pretty.

Dec 20 10:56

How Nonprofit Hospitals Are Seizing Patients' Wages

On the eastern edge of St. Joseph, Missouri, lies the small city's only hospital, a landmark of brick and glass. Music from a player piano greets visitors at the main entrance, and inside, the bright hallways seem endless. Long known as Heartland Regional Medical Center, the nonprofit hospital and its system of clinics recently rebranded. Now they're called Mosaic Life Care, because, their promotional materials say: "We offer much more than health care. We offer life care."

Two miles away, at the rear of a low-slung building is a key piece of Mosaic—Heartland's very own for-profit debt collection agency.

When patients receive care at Heartland and don't or can't pay, their bills often end up here at Northwest Financial Services. And if those patients don't meet Northwest's demands, their debts can make another, final stop: the Buchanan County Courthouse.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In the US, we have the most expensive health care in the world, and many times, some of the most lousy outcomes.

And even if you HAVE insurance, you can still get financially crucified if that policy doesn't come from a union, an association, or membership organisation of some kind.

We know. With the insurance Mike had when he got ill with pneumonia last year, the insurance we had for him only paid 10% of the bill, and we are stuck with the other 90%. I am already in negotiations with the hospital, and having worked collections myself, understand that as long as you are consistent, and offer a reasonable payment plan, the hospital cannot drag you into collection.

Intelligent, enlightened countries in Europe have figured out how to fund health care, and have a single payer system, where you have to have the basic insurance, but if you want more coverage, you can get it by buying more.

Dec 20 10:44

Shops pocket £300m a year from the gift cards we never use

If you’re thinking of giving someone a voucher for Christmas, take note. High street stores are pocketing more than £300million a year from gift cards that are never used.

Shoppers are caught out by confusing small print and hidden fees that eat into their balance.

In some cases, 90p a month is taken off the card if it is not used for a certain period, while in others the entire balance can be snatched. And even big name stores do not always make it clear to recipients when their gift card will expire. Perhaps most outrageously, if a store goes bust it does not have to honour gift cards, so shoppers lose their money.

All in all, £6 of every £100 put on gift cards is never used by the recipient but simply ends up in stores’ coffers.

Dec 20 10:11

Get REAL - Gold Heading From West to East

Dec 20 09:59

Interest rates could rise sharply from here

Dec 20 09:58

Bulgaria ready to issue South Stream permits

Bulgaria is ready to issue all the necessary permits for the construction of the South Stream pipeline, according to Prime Minister Boyko Borisov. He said it will up to Gazprom whether the pipeline is built or not.

Borisov said he has the full support and understanding of the European Union and that Bulgaria is not in the wrong and should not suffer financial consequences for stopping the project, the Bulgarian news agency BGNES reports.

Bulgaria was set to reap $600 million per year in transit fees, and investment on the Buglarian side was estimated at 3.5-4 billion euros.

Russia was originally planning to build a pipeline to Southern Europe to directly export gas, but EU legislation was used to continually delay the project. On December 1 during a visit to Turkey, Putin announced the pipeline would run through Turkey to Greece, instead of Bulgaria as originally proposed.

Dec 20 09:43

IMF holds back Cyprus bailout funds

The International Monetary Fund has said it will not release a further €88m (£69m/US$108m) in bailout money for Cyprus on Friday after the country’s parliament delayed a key foreclosure law that was due to take effect at the end of December.

“Following today’s suspension of the existing legislation on foreclosure, critical requirements for the completion of the fifth programme review are now no longer met,” the IMF said in a statement. Its board had been set to discuss Cyprus’s progress with the loan programme on Friday and was thought likely to release the next instalment of aid.

Cyprus needed an international bailout of €10bn (£7.8bn/US$12bn) from the European commission and the monetary fund in early 2013, largely due to problems in its banking sector.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I a betting woman, I would bet against this "buffering legislation" getting passed, and those who lost horrifically, in terms of losing their jobs, or saw their incomes battered, will be even more financially crucified, given the current state of things in Cypress, coupled with the hideous and inhuman greed of the IMF.

Dec 20 09:04

WW3 Countdown | China Moves Against The Dollar

Dec 20 08:50

Enough of the Sappy "Cop Bought Shoplifter Eggs" story out of Tarrant, Alabama- Here is the REAL SCOOP, And It Ain't Pretty

Sorry to throw cold water on this sappy "Glorious, heroic, saintly police bought a carton of eggs for a shoplifter" story.
I couldn't stand the propaganda anymore so I did some actual research on the Tarrant, Alabama Police Dept. and the city in general. Yikes!

Cops stole guns and sold them to other Tarrant, Alabama Cops, City Passed Drug Warrior Laws For Revenue, Operated Speed Traps, Police Chief and Mayor Are Being Sued for civil rights violations, city threatened to turned off electricity & sentence the financially disadvantaged with "hard labor" .. more.

Dec 20 08:47

TAFTA protesters mass outside EU Council in Brussels

Hundreds of protesters have gathered outside the European Council building in Brussels on Friday to voice growing disapproval of TAFTA, a proposed Transatlantic Free Trade Area between the EU and the US, and to demand changes at the EU institutions.

Dec 20 08:32

Russian Roulette: Taxpayers Could Be on the Hook for Trillions in Oil Derivatives

The sudden dramatic collapse in the price of oil appears to be an act of geopolitical warfare against Russia. The result could be trillions of dollars in oil derivative losses; and the FDIC could be liable, following repeal of key portions of the Dodd-Frank Act last weekend.

Senator Elizabeth Warren charged Citigroup last week with “holding government funding hostage to ram through its government bailout provision.” At issue was a section in the omnibus budget bill repealing the Lincoln Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act, which protected depositor funds by requiring the largest banks to push out a portion of their derivatives business into non-FDIC-insured subsidiaries.

Warren and Representative Maxine Waters came close to killing the spending bill because of this provision. But the tide turned, according to Waters, when not only Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, but President Obama himself lobbied lawmakers to vote for the bill.

Dec 20 08:26

Illegal Aliens Cost North Carolina Public Schools $1 Billion A Year

There are 34,000 illegal aliens between the ages of 3-17 currently enrolled in North Carolina’s Public Schools, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

The state of North Carolina spends an average of $8,409 per student in taxpayer supported schools across the state, which results in $285,906,000 being spent on illegal alien students.

Dec 20 08:14

Paul Craig Roberts – Russia To Unleash Ultimate Black Swan Against The West

“Suppose the Russian government says, ‘Well, since the attack on the ruble is political and you guys are attacking the ruble and causing us so much trouble, we are just not going to pay off the next traunch of our debt that comes due early in 2015.'

Well, the European banking system would collapse because those banks are terribly undercapitalized. Some of them have loans to Russia that almost absorb the entire capital base. So the Russians don’t even have to default. They can just say, ‘We’re not going to pay this year. We will do it later. We’ll do it when the ruble stabilizes.’ (Laughter).

You can understand the impact of such a decision by the Russians on the West. And given all the linkages and the interconnections — when Lehman Brothers went down it had just about as much adverse affect on Europe as it did the United States.

Dec 20 07:46

WEALTH AND POVERTY IN THE UNITED STATES - Jeremy Cloward, Ph.D.

snip: Unlike income, wealth is determined not by one’s salary but instead is based upon an individual’s assets. Based on this criteria, as of 2014, the bottom 80% of the US population controls just 7% of the wealth in the United States combined. Yet, as noted, the gap between the wealthiest 1% of the United States and the other 99% is greater than at any time since 1928, the year before the Great Depression began.

Dec 20 07:31

Millions in Poverty Get Less Media Coverage than 482 Billionaires

snip: “The notion that the wealthiest nation on Earth has one in every six of its citizens living at or below the poverty threshold reflects not a lack of resources, but a lack of policy focus and attention — and this is due to a lack of public awareness to the issue,” writes Frederick Reese of MintPress News. Contrary to widespread media portrayal, the U.S. has one of the highest poverty rates of major Western nations. In order to increase awareness of poverty within the nation, writes PBS talk show host Tavis Smiley, the media must become an accurate and comprehensive source of information—and not only in reaction to a political agenda. According to Smiley, we must call on the news media to “promote our collective appreciation of the inherent values we all share in alleviating domestic poverty.

Dec 20 01:52

How the CIA Launched the "Financial Pearl Harbor" Attacks on Russia and Venezuela

Central Intelligence Agency director John Brennan's long familiarity with Saudi Arabia, owing to the time he spent there as the CIA station chief in Riyadh in the 1990s and his knowledge of Saudi oil operations, has paid off. Petroleum industry insiders claim that Brennan's agents inside Saudi Aramco convinced the firm's management and the Saudi Oil Ministry to begin fracking operations in order to stimulate production in Saudi Arabia's oldest oil fields. The Saudis, who are not known for their hands-on knowledge of their nation’s own oil industry, agreed to what became an oil pricing catastrophe which would not only affect Saudi Arabia but oil producing nations around the world from Russia and Venezuela to Nigeria and Indonesia.

Dec 20 01:37

Free Fall of the Ruble: Who’s Behind it? A Ploy of Russia’s Economic Wizards? Whose Chess Game?

Russia has recently announced that in the future she will no longer trade energy in US dollars, but in rubles and currencies of the trading partners. In fact, this rule will apply to all trading. Russia and China are detaching their economies from that of the western financial system.

Dec 20 01:32

Ruble Takedown Exposes Cracks in Putin’s Defense

Putin’s not going to roll over and play dead for these vipers. He’s got to much on the ball for that. He’s going to beat them at their own game, fair and square. He’s going to implement capital controls, restructure the economy away from the west, and aggressively look for ways to deter Washington from spreading its heinous resource war to Central Asia and beyond.

Dec 19 18:25

Just in Time for the Holidays, Another Wall Street Giveaway

Critics worry that extension to implement Volcker Rule is not about giving big banks more time to comply. It's about giving them more time to kill it off entirely. In what is being criticized as yet another capitulation to Wall Street—and just in time for the holidays—the Federal Reserve on Thursday announced it will give investment banks a one-year extension to implement a key aspect of the Dodd/Frank financial reform act, known as the Volcker Rule, enacted in the aftermath of the 2008 economic crisis.

Dec 19 17:30

The Fracturing Energy Bubble Is the New Housing Crash

The global oil price collapse now unfolding is not putting a single dime into the pockets of American households—-the CNBC talking heads to the contrary notwithstanding. What is happening is the vast flood of mispriced debt and capital, which flowed into the energy sector owning to the Fed’s lunatic ZIRP and QE policies, is now rapidly deflating.

That will reduce bubble spending and investment, not add to economic growth. It’s the housing bust all over again.

Dec 19 16:28

Pollution Fears Crush Home Prices Near Fracking Wells

Properties with private wells suffered a loss in value compared to properties connected to a municipal water system, they found, offsetting gains in value from mineral-rights royalties. The loss varied with distance from the nearest shale-gas well. At 1.5 kilometers, properties with private wells sold for about 10 percent less.

...

Properties suffered greater losses when closer to shale-gas wells where hydraulic fracturing had been employed.

Within 1 km of shale gas wells, properties with private drinking water wells dropped 22 percent in value. Properties connected to public water suffered no losses, but also showed no net gains.

Dec 19 16:11

Are we on the brink of an oil crisis? Why cheaper petrol for us means bad news elsewhere

Part of the explanation is that Quicksilver is a shale driller, one of many US companies targeting oil and natural gas trapped in deep underground layers of rock using a process known as hydraulic fracturing – or fracking.

This demands large–scale upfront investment with the result that many companies take out substantial loans and the boys from Fort Worth certainly did that.

According to the financial news service Bloomberg, Quicksilver spent almost 45 per cent of its first–quarter revenues on interest payments.

To help understand how damaging this is it's worth pointing out US oil giant Exxon Mobil last year spent just 0.1 per cent of its revenues of £280billion making interest payments on its corporate debt.

Dec 19 15:58

Google Search - Homes of the Rothschilds

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Just in case you wondered where all your wealth has gone since the creation of private central banks!

Dec 19 15:45

Santa’s real workshop: the town in China that makes the world’s Christmas decorations

There’s red on the ceiling and red on the floor, red dripping from the window sills and red globules splattered across the walls. It looks like the artist Anish Kapoor has been let loose with his wax cannon again. But this, in fact, is what the making of Christmas looks like; this is the very heart of the real Santa’s workshop – thousands of miles from the North Pole, in the Chinese city of Yiwu. Our yuletide myth-making might like to imagine that Christmas is made by rosy-cheeked elves hammering away in a snow-bound log cabin somewhere in the Arctic Circle. But it’s not. The likelihood is that most of those baubles, tinsel and flashing LED lights you’ve draped liberally around your house came from Yiwu, 300km south of Shanghai – where there’s not a (real) pine tree nor (natural) snowflake in sight.

Dec 19 15:33

FLASHBACK - Revealing Pictures From 1972 Rothschild Illuminati Ball

On 12/12/72 Marie-Hélène de Rothschild, member of the most powerful elite family in the world, held a Surrealist Ball at Château de Ferrières, one of the family’s gigantic mansions. While these events are usually extremely secretive, photographs of this particular Ball surfaced on the web. In short, it is a mix of an “Eyes Wide Shut”-style masked ball mixed with a Lady Gaga-style pop video. I’m not even kidding. Indeed, behind the fun and games, these pics reveal the underlying ideology and the mind state of the occult elite – which is apparently also used in the countless MK/Illuminati theme music videos discussed on this site.

Dec 19 11:14

Wisconsin budget faces $824 million hole

Wisconsin’s state budget would be $824 million short just to continue the current level of services.

That is according to a new analysis released Friday by the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Wisconsin estimated their revenues based on the Federal Government's claims of a 5.6% unemployment rate. So they came up short.

Dec 19 10:44

Russia's parliament rushes through bill boosting banking capital

Russia's lower house of parliament hastily approved a draft law on Friday that would give the banking sector a capital boost of up to 1 trillion rubles ($16.5 billion).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"What? You can't Do that! You can't just create money out of thin air to prop up your banking system! Well, yes, I know that WE do it; but we're the GOOD guys. You're the BAD guys and only GOOD guys are allowed to create money out of thin air. Don't you Russians understand the rules we just made up ... out of thin air?" -- Official White Horse Souse

Dec 19 10:14

Alasdair Macleod - Dumping the Dollar

Dec 19 10:06

A List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

“Who controls the issuance of money controls the government!” -Nathan Meyer Rothschild

“Let me issue and control a nation’s money and I care not who writes the laws.” -Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812), founder of the House of Rothschild.

Dec 19 08:58

Introducing Bitgold. Bitcoin backed by gold.

Dec 19 08:15

Foreign Bankers Rape Ukraine

If it were not for the fact that the lives of some 45 million people are at stake, Ukrainian national politics could be laughed off as a very sick joke. Any pretenses that the October national elections would bring a semblance of genuine democracy of the sort thousands of ordinary Ukrainians demonstrated for on Maidan Square just one year ago vanished with the announcement by Victoria Nuland’s darling Prime Minister, “Yat” Yatsenyuk, of his new cabinet.

Dec 19 08:14

COSTS OF WAR

Economic Costs Summary: $4.4 Trillion and Counting

Dec 19 08:10

Closing the Gate on GMO and the Criminal Transatlantic Trade Agreement

Julian Rose
Activist Post

“What emerges is an understanding of TTIP as the political project of a transatlantic corporate and political elite which, on the unfounded promise of increased trade and job creation, will attempt to reverse social and environmental regulatory protections, redirect legal rights from citizens to corporations, and consolidate US and European global leadership in a changing world order.” (Seattle to Brussels Network, Kim Bizzarri)

A key element of this Transatlantic Trade Agreement, but only one of hundreds of highly controversial proposals, is the move to deregulate the status currently accorded to imports of GM seeds and plants for cultivating in European soils...

Dec 19 08:05

Obama signs Russia sanctions bill, no plans to use it for now

US President Barack Obama has signed a bill that will allow the White House to levy further economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine, though the Administration has said it has no immediate plans to introduce them.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Obama claimed there were going to be no American boots on the ground in this third invasion of Iraq. Then there were going to be boots on the ground but they would not be in combat. Now they are in Combat. Obama will activate the new sanctions against Russia at the moment he thinks they will cause the most damage.

Dec 19 08:03

EU introduces ‘discriminatory’ sanctions on Russia’s Crimea

Having slapped Crimea and Sevastopol with new investment restrictions, the EU stopped short of introducing new sanctions against Russia’s mainland, with political heavyweights including France and Germany cautiously hinting at possible policy reversal.

The EU summit in Brussels, hosted by European Council President Donald Tusk, has abruptly ended half a day earlier than planned with European leaders opting against introducing a new set of sanctions on Moscow. While a number of delegations spoke in favor of new measures, the bloc’s political heavyweights urged caution.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mostly because this new World War will be fought in their own countries!

Dec 19 08:02

Frenzied Chinese Stock Buyers Soak Up So Much Liquidity, Central Bank Forced To Intervene, Prevent Seizure

While today's rabid explosion in the S&P500, coupled with a literal break in the NY Fed/Citadel market boosting algo which went haywire in the last moments of trading and pushed the S&P up to 2130 in milliseconds via Kevin Henry's preferred SPY ETF, may be the stuff of market manipulating legends, nothing compares to the far more berserk situation China finds itself in, where a 50% surge in the Shanghai Composite over the past few months - not on improving fundamentals but just the opposite, hopes of massive liquidity injections to halt China's economic hard landing - has found the PBOC scrambling to find a way to, politely, burst the stock market bubble without causing too much pain.

Dec 19 07:24

What Putin is not telling us

The raid on the ruble was supposed to be a checkmate. It’s not. Not when deployed by amateur scrabble players. And don’t forget the Russia-China strategic partnership. The storm may be abating, but the match continues.

Dec 19 07:23

Missouri Attorney General Sues 13 St. Louis County municipalities Over 'Predatory' Traffic Fines

alleging they violate a Missouri law that limits revenue from traffic fines

Dec 19 07:21

3 Things Worth Thinking About

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve released their financial FOMC meeting statement for 2014. The primary focal point by the financial markets has been answering the question of WHEN the Federal Reserve will begin tightening monetary policy by hiking interest rates. Yesterday, did not answer that question as Tim Duy summed up well:

“Policymakers were apparently concerned that removal of ‘considerable time’ by itself would prove to be disruptive. Instead, they opted to both remove it and retain it:

Dec 19 07:12

Junk bonds are going to tell us where the stock market is heading in 2015

Do you want to know if the stock market is going to crash next year? Just keep an eye on junk bonds.

Dec 18 21:14

What New York City Looks Like from the Rooftops of Buildings (40 Pics)

What New York City Looks Like from the Rooftops of Buildings (40 Pics)

Dec 18 17:18

Junk Bonds Are Going To Tell Us Where The Stock Market Is Heading In 2015

Do you want to know if the stock market is going to crash next year? Just keep an eye on junk bonds. Prior to the horrific collapse of stocks in 2008, high yield debt collapsed first.

Dec 18 16:35

US regulators label MetLife as potential financial threat

Major insurer MetLife Inc. says U.S. regulators have labeled it as a potential threat to the financial system, a designation that brings stricter government oversight.

MetLife said Thursday that the Financial Stability Oversight Council has designated the company as “systemically important.” As a result, MetLife must increase its cushion of capital against losses, limit its use of borrowed money and submit to inspections by examiners. MetLife will come under the supervision of the Federal Reserve. Its primary regulator now is New York state.

Dec 18 16:27

What Options at the Federal Reserve: A Global Financial Crisis is Looming?

It is being said today’s FOMC announcement is “the most important of Yellen’s tenure”, I could not disagree more. In the past I have written pieces regarding the potential announcements by the FOMC and come to the conclusion “what can they possibly say?”. This is more true now, Janet Yellen et al cannot “say” anything of substance because they cannot “do” anything of substance. The Fed backed themselves into a corner of their own making several years ago, I believe it is only a matter of time before the markets “test” them.

Dec 18 15:29

Collapsing oil price brings back memories of 1980s Oklahoma oil and gas bubble - Deja vu all over again

As far as I know, the fracking bubble that’s now well into its denouement didn’t have a single ineptly run bank at its center, as the Oklahoma oil and gas bubble did. Most of the other details of that earlier fiasco, though, were present and accounted for. Sky-high fuel prices, check; reserves unprofitable at earlier prices that suddenly looked like a winning deal, check; a media frenzy that oversold the upside and completely ignored the possibility of a downside, check; vast torrents of money and credit from banks and investors too dazzled by the thought of easy riches to ask the obvious questions, check; a flurry of drilling companies that lost money every single quarter but managed to stay in business by heaping up mountains of unpayable debt, check. Pretty much every square on the bingo card marked “ecoomic debacle” has been filled in with a pen dipped in fracking fluid.

Now of course a debacle of the Penn Square variety requires at least one other thing, which is a banking industry so fixated on this quarter’s profits that it can lose track of the minor little fact that lending money to people who can’t pay it back isn’t a business strategy with a long shelf life. I hope none of my readers are under the illusion that this is lacking just now.

Dec 18 13:08

Wealth Gap Between Rich and Poor Americans Highest on Record

The gulf between rich and poor people in America has hit a new record.

An analysis released Wednesday by Pew Research Center finds that the wealth gap between the top 21 percent of families and everyone else is the widest since the Federal Reserve began collecting such income data 30 years ago.

Last year, the median wealth of upper-income families ($639,400) was almost seven times that of middle-income families and nearly 70 times that of lower-income families.

Dec 18 12:07

EU Q3 EPS in one simple picture

Dec 18 11:22

Philadelphia Fed Business Index Slows

After reporting November business conditions were the best in more than two decades, Mid-Atlantic manufacturers curbed their enthusiasm about the economic environment this month.

Dec 18 10:37

Russia crisis leaves banks around the world exposed by the billions

Major banks across Europe, as well as the UK, US, and Japan, are at major risk should the Russian economy default, according to a new study by Capital Economics.

The ING Group in the Netherlands, Raiffeisen Bank in Austria, Societe General in France, UniCredit in Italy, and Commerzbank in Germany, have all faced significant losses in the wake of the ruble crisis. On Tuesday, the currency had its biggest fall in a decade and a half, losing 20 percent, nearing the 27 percent drop it experienced in 1998 that led to a default.

Dec 18 09:38

Complete List of BANKS Owned/Controlled by the Rothschild Family

“Give me control over a nations currency, and I care not who makes its laws” – Baron M.A. Rothschild

Russia is on the list! Let us see if Vlad ignores the central bank or shuts it down.

Qatar: Qatar Central Bank
Romania: National Bank of Romania
Russia: Central Bank of Russia
Rwanda: National Bank of Rwanda
San Marino: Central Bank of the Republic of San Marino

Dec 18 09:31

North Sea oil industry 'close to collapse': Experts' warning that oil price plunge is not all good news for UK economy

The tumbling oil price has left the UK’s North Sea oil industry ‘close to collapse’ experts warned today

North Sea oil and gas tycoon and government adviser Sir Ian Wood has said around 10 per cent of jobs may go, while Robin Allan, chairman of the independent explorers' association Brindex and Premier Oil executive, said today that at current oil prices it is ‘almost impossible to make money’.

Dec 18 09:21

CPI: I knew it!

Dec 18 09:15

Free Fall of the Ruble – A brilliant ploy of Russian economic Wizards? Who’s chess game?

The world is still hell-bent for hydrocarbon-based energy. Russia is the world’s largest producer of energy. Russia has recently announced that in the future she will no longer trade energy in US dollars, but in rubles and currencies of the trading partners. In fact, this rule will apply to all trading. Russia and China are detaching their economies from that of the West. To confirm this decision, in July 2014 Russia’s Gazprom concluded a 400 billion gas deal with China, and in November this year they signed an additional slightly smaller contract – all to be nominated in rubles and yuan.

Dec 18 09:14

Oil-Wise, Dollar-Foolish

Americans are all giddy about the drop in gas prices because they can’t see economic logic beyond the shadow of its immediate effect on their wallets. Little do they know that much of the nearly 1.2 quadrillion dollars of dodgy derivatives, the liability for which Citigroup masterfully managed to dump on American taxpayers and depositors recently, are riding on high oil prices, which have tanked and look as though they will remain that way for the foreseeable future. It’s almost certain that oil derivatives are soon to follow.

Dec 18 09:12

Is Europe About to Lose the Fight Against GMO’s?

“What emerges is an understanding of TTIP as the political project of a transatlantic corporate and political elite which, on the unfounded promise of increased trade and job creation, will attempt to reverse social and environmental regulatory protections, redirect legal rights from citizens to corporations, and consolidate US and European global leadership in a changing world order.” – (Seattle to Brussels Network, Kim Bizzarri)

Dec 18 08:15

UN claims of asylum seekers’ ‘inhumane’ treatment provoke Dutch ire

The uproar from UN officials came after the central government recently refused to release €15 million in funds for local authorities to provide accommodation and food for those asylum seekers, who have been deemed to lack genuine humanitarian reasons for staying in the Netherlands without a visa

Dec 18 07:51

China sets up new $3bn finance fund for Central and East European countries

At a meeting with the leaders of 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEE) in the Serbian capital of Belgrade on Tuesday, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang announced a new investment fund of $3 billion to facilitate financing in the cash-strapped countries.

Dec 18 07:35

RadioShack Kept Alive by $25 Billion of Swaps Side Bets

RadioShack Corp. (RSH) is finding an unlikely ally in its efforts to stay out of bankruptcy: credit derivatives traders who amassed more than $25 billion of trades speculating how much longer it can keep paying its bills.

After a 60 percent surge this year, the amount of credit-default swaps tied to RadioShack is 28 times its debt, more than any other U.S. company. When the retailer’s biggest shareholder arranged $585 million of funding in October to help it survive the holidays, much of the money came from hedge funds wagering on the company to avoid default, said people with knowledge of the trading. Those included DW Investment Management and Saba Capital Management, the people said.

Dec 18 07:35

What Is the Gold-Oil Ratio Telling Us?

Dec 18 07:27

Swiss Central Bank Plunges Into NIRP, Sends Deposit Rates Negative, Scrambles Against Safe-Haven Capital Flight

Everyone thought that any major monetary policy surprises and/or capital controls today would come from Putin during his annual press conference. Boy were they wrong: just after 2 am Eastern, none other than the Swiss National Bank joined the ranks of the ECB in scrambling to stem the wave of capital flight, not to mention the cost of money, when it announced it too would start charging customers for the privilege of holding cash in its banks

Dec 18 07:26

Switzerland brings in negative interest rates to keep Swiss franc weaker as Russia mayhem prompts huge influx of cash

The Swiss central bank plans to charge depositors a 'negative' interest rate of -0.25 per cent to discourage spooked investors from using it to shelter their cash.

Money has flooded into Switzerland as market turbulence caused by the Russian rouble collapse and oil price slide has prompted a desperate search for safe havens in recent days.

The Swiss National Bank said it would slash its interest rate on balances of over 10million Swiss francs from January 22 - effectively imposing a charge on depositors wanting to hold francs in a bid to keep its currency artificially weak against the euro.

Dec 18 07:23

There Is Hope In Understanding That A Great Economic Collapse Is Coming

If you were about to take a final exam, would you have more hope or more fear if you didn’t understand any of the questions and you had not prepared for the test at all? I think that virtually all of us have had dreams where we show up for an exam that we have not studied for. Those dreams can be pretty terrifying. And of course if you were ever in such a situation in real life, you probably did very, very poorly on that test.

Dec 18 07:14

There Is Hope In Understanding That A Great Economic Collapse Is Coming

Since 2009, I have published 1,211 articles on the coming economic collapse on my website. Some people assume that I must be filled with worry, bitterness and fear because I am constantly dealing with such deeply disturbing issues.

But that is not the case at all.

Dec 18 07:13

Capital Controls for Russia

Bloomberg writer Leonid Bershidsky, under the headline, "Will Ruble's Rout Force Capital Controls?", wrote yesterday on what he called, "the probability that Russia will introduce capital controls."

He asserts his view that President Vladimir Putin is an "anti-Western, authoritarian" leader, noting that in 1998, a leader he views as having the same traits, Dr. Mahathir Muhammed, President of Malaysia, successfully implemented capital controls and brought his nation out of turmoil. Bershidsky then reviews what he calls, the "recipe" for how capital controls worked in Malaysia.

But the author also reports specifically on Putin's advisers calling for capital controls, and moreover, doing so, because Russia is under political attack from the West. He cites in particular, Sergei Markov, an advisor from a different alignment than well-known economist Sergei Glazyev, who reiterated his own policy proposals today, noted below.

Dec 18 07:08

For-Profit Policing

A bill introduced in the Texas legislature would do just that – giving cops credit card readers, as an adjunct to their radar detectors. Instead of just, license, registration and proof of insurance, please – it’ll be: License, registration, proof of insurance… and Visa or Mastercard, please.

And no, I am not making it up.

The bill is HB 121 and you can read all about it here. It was introduced about a month ago by a – you guessed it – “conservative” Republican. You can always count on “conservative” Republicans to bed down with law enforcement – and rape due process.

Especially if there’s a buck to be made.

Dec 18 07:06

Foreign Bankers Rape Ukraine

William Engdahl
Activist Post

If it were not for the fact that the lives of some 45 million people are at stake, Ukrainian national politics could be laughed off as a very sick joke. Any pretenses that the October national elections would bring a semblance of genuine democracy of the sort thousands of ordinary Ukrainians demonstrated for on Maidan Square just one year ago vanished with the announcement by Victoria Nuland’s darling Prime Minister, “Yat” Yatsenyuk, of his new cabinet...

Dec 18 06:53

If You Do Not Have Your Assets Outside of the US Yet, What Are You Waiting For?

Jeff Berwick

The trajectory is clear. Painfully clear.

The US government is so beyond bankrupt it isn't even worth belaboring the point. We've spent the last five years here doing so.

What is more important, if you are an American who still has most of your assets inside the US, is that the walls are closing down around you at an unprecedented rate. Nearly daily the proof continues to mount...

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