ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Jan 30 00:34

High End Retailer Kate Spade Closing Stores

Jan 30 00:33

Ford’s earnings for 2014 plunge 56 percent

Jan 29 23:49

Why the Damage to the Economy Caused by the Oil Crash Is Going to Get Progressively Worse

We are really starting to see the price of oil weigh very heavily on the economy and on the stock market. On Tuesday, the Dow was down 291 points, and the primary reason for the decline was disappointing corporate sales numbers. For example, heavy equipment manufacturer Caterpillar is blaming the “dramatic decline in the price of oil” for much lower than anticipated sales during the fourth quarter of 2014. Even though Caterpillar is not an “energy company”, the price of oil is critical to their success. And the same could be said about thousands of other companies. That is why I have repeatedly stated that anyone who believes that collapsing oil prices are good for the U.S. economy is crazy. The key to how much damage this oil collapse is going to do to our economy is not how low prices ultimately go. Rather, the key is how long they stay at these low levels. If the price of oil went back to $80 a barrel next week, the damage would be fairly minimal.

Jan 29 19:00

We Are The Generation That Gets To Witness The End Of The American Dream

The “American Dream” has been transformed into a very twisted game of musical chairs. With each passing year, more people are falling out of the middle class, and most of the rest of us are scrambling really hard to keep our own places. Something has gone horribly wrong, and yet Americans are very deeply divided when it comes to finding answers to our problems.

Jan 29 18:58

Syriza's Original 40 Point Manifesto

18. Nationalization of banks.

...

That could stir things up a bit

Jan 29 18:57

The Biggest "Hamilton Oil Shock" In History

The most cautionary episode to today was the 62% drop in oil prices from November 1985 to July 1986, although the Hamilton measure is much smaller. Similar to today, most believed this would prove to be a boost to GDP growth. Indeed, the consensus was forecasting average 2.3% GDP growth to increase 0.3pp, but it actually fell 0.9pp (based on the as reported GDP data, third release). This downward surprise continued for three quarters.

Jan 29 16:57

Under mattress, in freezer: Americans hiding cash

Where to stash your cash? Some Americans are sleeping on it—literally. -- While banks are still the go-to solution for most consumers, 29 percent say they’re keeping at least some savings in cash bills and coins, according to a new survey of 1,820 adults from American Express. Of those holding cash savings, 53 percent are hiding it in a secret location

Jan 29 16:46

STOCKMAN: ‘When third bubble collapses will be day of reckoning’

"We've had two huge bubbles that collapsed already in this century," he said. "When this third bubble collapses—and surely it will—I believe that will be the day of reckoning. The credibility of all this central-bank-dominated, Wall-Street-coddling policy will be totally repudiated, and maybe then we can clean the slate and start over."

Jan 29 16:31

U.S. home ownership rate falls to 20-year low

Jan 29 16:18

Gilts hit historic low as fall in oil price brings deflation closer to Britain

Falling inflation and the prospect of official interest rates being kept on hold for longer sent the government’s benchmark measure of borrowing costs tumbling to an all-time low on Thursday.

With the prospect of the rapid fall in oil prices bringing deflation to Britain within the next few months, the yield, or effective interest rate, on 10-year gilts touched 1.396% at one point during the day – lower than during the worst point of the eurozone crisis of 2012, and the first time in history it had been below 1.4%. They closed at 1.42%

If sustained, the downward move in gilt yields will have implications for the cost of servicing the government’s near-£100bn budget deficit and reduce the cost of long-term mortgages. Pensions, however, will suffer a drop in investment returns.

Jan 29 16:12

WTF Chart Of The Day: Baltic Dry Index Crashes To Lowest In 29 Years

Quietly behind the scenes - and not at all reflective of a collapsing global economy (because that would break the narrative of over-supply and pent-up demand) - The Baltic Dry Index plunged over 5% today to 632... That is the lowest absolute level for the global shipping rates indicator since August 1986...

Jan 29 15:19

Signs That The Economy Is Weakening

Jan 29 14:45

Diminishing returns on more leverage

Jan 29 13:28

The end of Currency 'Safe-havens

In the past [even the recent past] investors have often 'parked' their funds in a 'safe-haven' currency, when fears about the dollar or other currencies rose. The leading candidates have always been the Swiss Franc and the Yen, with gold, in the last three years usually being excluded, because of its declining trend against the dollar and the limited amount of stock relative to the availability of these currencies. While gold's trend seems to have changed to the upside now, the developed world is still 'out of gold'.

Jan 29 13:08

Republicans to open February with vote to repeal Obamacare

House Republicans will kick off February with a vote to repeal Obamacare, providing new members the chance to put their opposition on the record as the party chips away at the overhaul and devises some reforms of its own.

“We will begin the month renewing our commitment to individual freedom and opportunity,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California said Thursday in a memo previewing next week’s votes.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Oh? and what about all the people whose expensive Obamacare compliant insurance policies didn't cover their hospital bills?

Jan 29 12:08

Keystone filibuster fails, pipeline poised for approval

The Keystone XL pipeline is closer than it’s ever been to approval after the Senate overcame a Democrat-led filibuster Thursday and was headed for a final passage vote later in the day — setting up an eventual showdown with President Obama, who has promised a veto.

Jan 29 12:08

Why medical debt – and bankruptcy – are growing problems

Burdensomely high medical costs are often blamed for pushing many Americans into bankruptcy. According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau some 43 million Americans have unpaid medical debt on their credit reports.

Medical debt isn’t like other debt. It is not because of unwise purchases, but often because of unforeseen circumstances, like an illness or accident. Unpaid medical debts can harm credit scores, which can make it harder to apply for loans, apply for credit cards or apply for a lease.

My own research on medical debt shows that medical expenses are the predominant factor in 18% to 26% of consumer bankruptcy filings – the leading causal factor.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Not mentioned in this report is the sky-high cost of American medical care, driven upward by insurance company "discounts" forced on hospitals, and made worse by Obamacare, whose approved policies, although more expensive, offer little coverage at all.

Jan 29 11:41

Bank of England governor attacks eurozone austerity

The Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, has launched a strong attack on austerity in the eurozone as he warned that he single-currency area was caught in a debt trap that could cost it a second lost decade.

Jan 29 10:58

Soros as Kiev’s Central Banker and Ridiculous US Laws

If it comes to pass, and it cannot unfortunately be ruled out, recent media rumors say that naturalized US billionaire hedge fund speculator and philosopher, George Soros, a very weary-looking 84-year-old who continues to try to weaken the Russian economy as he did back in 1998, might become the head of the Ukrainian National Bank in Kiev. Soros as head of any central bank in my view is putting the old fox to guard the hen-house. That would complete a quartet of foreign technocrats that clearly would do no good to the shattered real economy of Ukraine nor to peace in the world.

Jan 29 10:57

IRS Prepares to Audit, Raid Dispensaries

Jan 29 10:28

In case it weren’t completely obvious, this is why banking is a total scam

It’s crazy to think that very few people ever conduct due diligence on their bank.

You wouldn’t just walk up and hand over your life savings to some bum on the street.

But put him suit standing in front of a vault and suddenly the air of legitimacy compels us to hand over everything to this complete stranger who has a track record of screwing his customers.

Jan 29 10:06

Pentagon documents: Obama to request big defense budget hike

Obama will ask for $534 billion for the core budget of the Defense Department — a $38 billion increase — according to "pre-decisional" Pentagon documents obtained by The Associated Press on Tuesday. That means there could be some slight changes when the budget actually comes out Monday.

The Pentagon witnessed major budget cuts with the imposition of so-called budget sequestration in 2013 and has been held at a freeze since then. Military brass say the bleaker budgets have forced cuts in flying hours, troop training and maintenance of military equipment. The agency was due for just a $3 billion increase under caps set in a 2011 budget pact.

The increases are likely to find support among defense hawks on Capitol Hill, but Republicans controlling Congress are only in the early stages of figuring out how to pay for them. Simply taking the money from domestic agencies is sure to be opposed by the White House and could lead to gridlock in Washington.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The Republican-controlled Congress will do what it has traditionally done to enhance the military budget; gut social programs as completely as humanly possible to avoid making up the short fall in new taxes.

Jan 29 09:59

Big Business “Regulators” and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Opening the Floodgates to Corporate Plunder

A new leak concerning the talks around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) indicates that the floodgates could be opened even further for corporate influence. The leak has been analysed by the corporate watchdogs CEO and LobbyControl and shows that corporate influence on EU and US policies might dramatically increase via the chapter on so-called ‘regulatory cooperation’.

The leak of the EU draft negotiating proposal dated January 23rd makes unmistakably clear that the EU is seeking a very ambitious chapter that strengthens the role of business in future regulatory legislation possibly via a new institution, the Regulatory Cooperation Body (RCB). Its role would be to coordinate the process of regulatory coherence between the US and the EU and would effectively limit policy space and sideline the public and civil organisations.

Jan 29 09:47

Fired Before Hired: How Corporations Rigged The Job Market And Killed The American Dream

The latest corporate scam is to blame workers for the high unemployment rate. They say there is a skills gap. Even President Obama is in on the joke. The real skills gap is the other way around: too many skills for the low-wage menial jobs that pervade the labor market. The person who makes your coffee or your Big Mac might be able to design the next major bridge or write for The New York Times. Instead of high school kids cooking up your lunch, true professionals are behind the counter, and the future of the country is behind it too. The longer they stay there, the odds increase that America will take a permanent backseat in global power. In one short century, we have gone from superpower to super size me, a plutocracy, a nation that wasted its most valuable resource: the energy and innovation of its own people.

Jan 29 09:44

How the ‘Rich’ get ‘Richer’

Do you really want to know how the ‘rich’ get ‘richer’?

Well, you can plow through this long list at Mother Jones, or if you prefer, I’ll sum it up for you – in one word – DECEPTION.

Jan 29 09:41

It Will Now Cost You 0.5% To Save Money In Denmark: Danish Central Bank Cuts Rates For Third Time In Two Weeks

When the Danish Central Bank cut rates precisely a week ago, going from NIRP to NIRPer, and pushing the deposit rate from -0.2% to -0.35%, the sense of desperation was already in the air: after all this was already the second rate cut by the Denmark's monetary authority in one week, all in the hope of preserving the peg to the DEK to the EUR. That sense of desperation just hit a fever pitch moments ago, when the Dutch central bank just went NIRPest, and cut rates across the board yet again, and made it even more costly to save money in the north European country, where the Deposit rate has just been cut from -0.35% to -0.5%!

Jan 29 09:38

Crude Crumbles To Fresh Lows: $43 Handle

Jan 29 09:36

Putin's Unexpected Victory: Europe Furious That Greece Is Now A Russian Sanctions Veto

Two days ago, Zero Hedge first, and shortly thereafter everyone else, pointed out something stunning: the biggest surprise to emerge so far out of the new anti-Troika/austerity Greek government was not so much its intention to proceed with the first test of "Odious Debt" - this was largely known in advance - but its dramatic pivot away from Germany and Europe, and toward Russia: The most important message that Tsipras is sending to Europe is that (after meeting the Russian ambassador first upon his election) Greece is now effectively a veto power when it comes to future Russian sanctions!

Jan 29 09:33

Comcast Renames Man ‘Asshole Brown’ After He Tries to Cancel Cable

Comcast probably doesn’t relish being one of those companies that many Americans love to hate. But sometimes, the cable giant makes this way too easy.

Consider the case of Ricardo Brown. After Brown’s wife had a disagreement with the cable company recently, Comcast started sending him monthly statements under the name “Asshole Brown.”

The disagreement happened when Brown’s wife Lisa tried to cancel her cable. She got referred to one of the company’s dreaded “retention specialists,” who apparently didn’t like being told “no,” as Lisa Brown told the blogger Christopher Elliott, who first reported the story.

“I was never rude,” she told Elliott. “It could have been that person was upset because I didn’t take the offer.”

Jan 29 09:32

Yanis Varoufakis – Who Called Austerity "Fiscal Waterboarding" – Appointed Greek Finance Minister

Greece's new economic chapter begins as unrepetent bailout critic takes helm ahead of promised bailout re-negotiations

Jan 29 08:57

Chinese yuan now top 5 major intl payment currency

The Chinese currency is the 5th most-used currency in international payments, according to the SWIFT network responsible for international financial transactions. Breaking into the top 5 is symbolic to balance dollar-denominated payments.

Jan 29 08:56

The Big Squeeze and the Destruction of the Middle Class

The Middle Class is being squeezed economically by rising unemployment, declining wages and rising prices -- this is producing a remarkable decline in purchasing power

Jan 29 08:47

Clash Over Sanctions: Syriza Opposes Sanctions on Russia, Calls Them "Neocolonial Bulimia"; Negotiation Rules

snip: In regards to EU sanctions, 1 vote out of 28 can kill the deal. That's a lot of leverage, especially when 27 on the other side want something from you. What are they willing to offer in return?

In contrast, when it comes to bailouts, Greece is outvoted by a huge margin, perhaps 18-1 within the Eurozone block. In this case, Greece desperately wants something from the other 18 instead of the other 27 wanting something from Greece.

The only way to negotiate when it's 18-1 against you (and you are the one who needs something) is to have some leverage. If Syriza teamed up with To Potami and agreed to sanctions, Tsipras may as well put all his cards on the table saying "here, take the ones you like".

Jan 29 08:40

Runaway treasure hunter refuses to reveal gold’s location, arrested in Florida

A treasure hunter who allegedly bilked investors after recovering tens of millions of dollars worth of gold from a shipwreck was arrested in south Florida after years on the run and was due to appear in federal court there on Thursday.

Tommy Thompson was detained on Tuesday night at a Hilton hotel in Palm Beach County, said Barry Golden, spokesman for the U.S. Marshals Service in the Southern District of Florida.

U.S. marshals in Ohio said Thompson would be extradited in a matter of days to that state, where he was charged in 2012 with criminal contempt for failing to appear in federal court to reveal the location of gold and funds from his treasure hunt.

Jan 29 08:37

Rick Rule: Gold is in a war with the US $

Jan 29 08:29

How the Doom will Actually Take Place

Jan 29 08:17

Greece’s new prime minister wants Germany to pay for Nazi war crimes

Syriza has vowed to renegotiate the crippling debts saddled on the Greek economy by European lenders — a move that some fear could threaten the unity of the eurozone. Tsipras and his allies, meanwhile, see their ascension as a historic opportunity, as WorldViews discussed here.

But it's not just the future that's on Syriza's agenda. In what was virtually his first act as prime minister Monday, Tsipras journeyed to the memorial site at the Kaisariani rifle range, where in 1944 Nazi soldiers executed some 200 Greek activists in retaliation for the death of a German officer killed in a Greek ambush.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The part the Washington Post isn't talking about is that Germany forced Greece to loan it billions which were never repaid. If, as the IMF claims, debt is sacrosanct, then with accumulated interest, Germany may owe Greece more than Greece owes the IMF!

Jan 29 08:15

Subprime Bonds Are Back With Different Name Seven Years After U.S. Crisis

The business of bundling riskier U.S. mortgages into bonds without government backing is gearing up for a comeback. Just don’t call it subprime.

Hedge fund Seer Capital Management, money manager Angel Oak Capital and Sydney-based bank Macquarie Group Ltd. are among firms buying up loans to borrowers who can’t qualify for conventional mortgages because of issues such as low credit scores, foreclosures or hard-to-document income. They each plan to pool the mortgages into securities of varying risk and sell some to investors this year. JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts predict as much as $5 billion of deals could get done, while Nomura Holdings Inc. forecasts $1 billion to $2 billion.

Jan 29 08:11

Weimar USA?

Jan 29 07:49

Greece on collision course with its EU partners

The new Greek leaders are hitting the ground running with their campaign promises - having already rolled back some of the crippling austerity measures, but the pledge to cancel a chunk of the country's enormous debt might prove harder to keep. The European Commission's President is ruling out forgiving Greece's debt, because other Eurozone countries just won't stand for it. As Murad Gazdiev reports, Germany has made its position clear.

Jan 29 07:35

President of Soros Founded Economic Institute Says Global Elite In Panic Mode

It wasn't that long ago that Wall Street legend Barton Briggs told super rich to buy farms away from megacities and stock up on food and guns. Many plans have been put forward such as floating cities and armed luxury vessels that will be deployed international waters to keep the 'brigands at bay'. The average working family have surely noticed the price of food and other goods rising but the neo-aristocracy have technocrats and economic forecasters at their disposal and they know the ledge. I wonder how many degenerate French nobility escaped the guillotine? Destabilizing paranoia is rife among the rich but the Soros-backed INET must have some interesting revelations that they won't share with the rest of us.

Jan 28 21:28

‘National moral disgrace’: Over 1 in 5 US children on food stamps & living in poverty

Over 20 percent of US children ? an estimated 16 million youths ? are on food stamps, according to the latest government figures. That number has almost doubled since the Great Recession began in 2007. Nearly a quarter are living below the poverty line.

Jan 28 18:36

BIG MAC ATTACK: MCDONALD'S CEO OUT

Jan 28 17:47

Senator Rand Paul re-introduces ‘Audit the Fed’ bill

Republican Senator Rand Paul, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, on Wednesday re-introduced a bill that would expose the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy discussions and decisions to a congressional audit.

Jan 28 17:19

Oil Collapse: “This Could Cause The Most Destructive Economic Situation Since the Great Depression”

As you’ll see in the succinct breakdown in the micro-documentary below, we’ve got some big problems coming our way.

Jan 28 17:08

Japan waited "with patience" for 20 years.

Jan 28 16:18

The kiwi is getting crushed

Jan 28 15:54

Why the damage to the economy caused by the oil crash is going to get progressively worse

We are really starting to see the price of oil weigh very heavily on the economy and on the stock market

Jan 28 15:18

One in five U.S. children now rely on food stamps- Census data

The number of children in the United States relying on food stamps for a meal spiked to 16 million last year, according federal data, signaling a lopsided economic recovery in which lower income families are still lagging behind.

Jan 28 15:16

The Canadian court case the mainstream media will not cover

The Bank of Canada, unlike the Federal Reserve in the U.S., is wholly owned by the people of Canada. It was nationalized in 1938 and was used very successfully to fund infrastructure, social programs, education, etc, for the benefit of all Canadians. It was used to bring us out of the depression, funded WWII, to build highways such as the McDonald-Cartier freeway, public transportation systems, subway lines, airports, the St. Lawrence Seaway, our universal healthcare system and our Canada Pension Plan.

Unfortunately, since Canada adopted economist Milton Friedman’s theory of monetarism in 1974 this has not been the case and one can track the progression of the dismantling of Canada since then.

Jan 28 15:13

Report: U.S. Not Among Top Nations for Economic Freedom

The United States does not rank among the Top 10 countries in the world for economic freedom, according to the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom.

Jan 28 14:24

President of Soros Founded Economic Institute Says Global Elite In Panic Mode

Super rich hedge fund managers are buying 'secret boltholes' where they can hideout in the event of civil uprising against growing inequality, it has been claimed.

Nervous financiers from across the globe have begun purchasing landing strips, homes and land in areas such as New Zealand so they can flee should people rise up.

Jan 28 14:05

Debt vs. deficit: What's the difference?

Jan 28 13:24

Surrendering Liberty America’s Fatal Freedom Apathy by JAMES BOVARD

snip: How many Americans want government to leave them alone compared to the number of people who value government primarily as a means to forcibly live at someone else’s expense? Almost half of Americans are now receiving some type of benefit from the government. Federal programs create legions of political pawns that rulers can mobilize to perpetuate their own power. When people see voting as a meal ticket, then they will have no concern about limiting the power of their benefactors.

Jan 28 13:16

Moving Money Around Won’t Make Us Richer

The left says “yes, early and often.” And the right says “only in the right circumstances.” Unsurprisingly, both left and right are completely off — stimulus is the quickest way to impoverish an economy.

Jan 28 12:48

Charted: The 20 deadliest jobs in America

Jan 28 12:10

'Patient' Fed shows no signs of wavering on rate hikes

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday gave no sign that it is wavering on hiking interest rates sometime in the second half of 2015. The U.S. central bank was upbeat about the real economy, citing "solid" growth and "strong" job gains.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Here we see the danger of believing ones own propaganda!

Jan 28 12:09

Democrats who wrote Obamacare tell Supreme Court to reject lawsuit

The congressional Democrats involved in writing the Affordable Care Act told the Supreme Court on Wednesday that they intended for consumers in all states to be eligible for subsidies, and they argue that the law they drafted reflects that intention.

Opponents have challenged the Obama administration’s enforcement of the law, arguing that it only allows subsidies to be paid in states that set up their own exchanges, but not to customers in most of the country who use the federal exchange.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

TRANSLATION: "Yes, it's a flustercluck, but we meant well, so leave it alone!"

Jan 28 12:02

Scramble to conclude suspicious EU-US trade deal

UK industry is in intensive care. Should we throw open the door and allow America’s big business battalions to muscle in under cover of a trade treaty?

Critics claim that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) currently being cooked up between the EU and the United States could:

Weaken workers’ rights and put millions of jobs at risk;
Reduce environmental protection and food safety regulation;
Lead to more privatization of public services like education and our prized National Health Service (NHS); Give new powers for corporations to sue European governments, including the UK, in secret courts.

They complain that world leaders are working alongside major corporations at breakneck speed to get this deal sewn up, and refuse to give details.

An especially prickly issue is the imposition of investor-to-state dispute settlement rules (ISDS) enabling foreign investors to sue the host government.

Jan 28 11:52

Washington will do whatever it can to stop BRICS, maintain power - economist

Jan 28 10:19

The spreading alchemy of central bank money-printing

Two years ago, I sat in the hushed fortress of the Bank of England, listening to one of its secretive boffins, a languid fellow named Paul Fisher, explain the creation and meaning of money.

He reached into his wallet and fished out a 10-pound note.

This note is worth 10 pounds, he said, because you and I and all the people walking around on the streets out there believe it's worth 10 pounds.

That's it. That's the only reason it has any value beyond the intrinsic value of the paper and ink itself. It's all about trust and belief.

Jan 28 10:15

BEX ALERT - Russian spy cell in New York 'plotted Wall Street meltdown': Men tried to crash high-frequency radio messages used for trading

Russian spies operating a cell in New York were trying to find ways to cause an economic meltdown, according to court documents.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So, if I understand this right, when the US economy collapses, which now seems inevitable, it won't be because of decades of Wall Street fraud and Washington DC corruption, it won't be the trillions in unregulated derivatives hanging over the top banks, it won't be the debt created by a ponzi-scheme private central bank issuing all of the public currency as a loan at interest; oh no, no, no, no, no, NO, it will be an eeeeeeevil plot by the Russians!

And if you believe THAT one, I have some of Saddam's nuclear weapons to sell you!

Jan 28 10:10

Sears slashes 100 jobs at headquarters

Jan 28 09:54

Zionist Senator Mitch McConnell Supports Rand's 'Audit The Fed' Bill, Calls The Federal Reserve a 'Government Agency' In The Same Breath

Paul retweeted McConnell's supportive message but did not correct the elder senator on the fact that the 'fed' is not part of the government.

Jan 28 09:41

Russia, Turkey announce new gas route with hub in Greece borders

The first gas pipe with a capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters will be operational by December 2016.

Six hundred and sixty kilometers of the new Turkish Stream pipeline will go through the old South Stream corridor and a further 250 kilometers will head in the direction of the European part of Turkey.

The four threads which make up the pipeline will have a capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, Gazprom said in a statement following Tuesday’s meeting between CEO Aleksey Miller and the Turkish Minister of Energy and Natural Resources Taner Yildiz.

The company will apply to carry out design and exploration work in Turkish territorial waters on Wednesday, January 28.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So much for Russia being "economically isolated" by sanctions!!

And after this weekends elections in Greece, the country's ruling majority must be feeling pretty chipper at the speed with which this deal unfolded, because the economic implications of this deal will be terrific for the new Greek government.

Jan 28 09:19

AU, China agree big infrastructure deal

Addis Ababa - China and the African Union agreed on Tuesday an ambitious plan to develop road, rail and air transport routes to link capitals across the continent.

African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma praised the proposal at "the most substantive project the AU has ever signed with a partner", although the ambitious project that includes highways and high speed railways is at present just a commitment to develop the infrastructure, and contains few details.

The memorandum of understanding was signed at AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, ahead of a summit meeting of the leaders of the 54-nation pan-African bloc on Friday.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF fully implemented, this agreement could mean substantial economic growth for Africa, and a real coup for Chinese business entities.

Jan 28 09:16

Rand Paul's 'Federal Reserve Transparency Act' Mandates Audit of 'Financial Injury To Homeowners' Foreclosed in 2009-10

Sec. 3 of S. 264, Paul's 2015 'Audit the Fed' bill mandates an audit of loan files of homeowners who were foreclosed on, the 'extent of financial injury sustained by each homeowner ,' and 'remediation offered to each homeowner.'

Jan 28 09:16

America Unites Against the 1%

Black, white, hispanic; middle class, working poor and veterans; from the streets of Detroit to the mountains of West Virginia, Americans are waking up and beginning to understand the need to unite against the scourge we call the 1%.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And THAT is what they are most afraid of, which is why we get all this fanning of racial tension by the government across the nation.

Jan 28 09:15

Obama drops plan to raise taxes on ‘529’ college savings accounts

The Obama administration said it would drop a plan to tax so-called 529 college savings accounts, after the proposal sparked widespread criticism over its potential impact on the middle class.

Jan 28 09:11

Greece’s new dream team vows to defy foreign creditors

In a taste of what lies ahead, Yanis Varoufakis, the flamboyant new finance minister, said on his way to the government’s swearing-in ceremony that negotiations would not continue with the hated troika of officials representing foreign lenders.

“They have already begun but not with the troika,” said Varoufakis, an economist who has disseminated his anti-orthodox views through blogs and tweets almost daily since the debt crisis exploded in Athens in late 2009 – something he promised on Tuesday to continue to do. “The time to put up or shut up has, I have been told, arrived,” he wrote on his blog. “My plan is to defy such advice.”

Jan 28 09:11

Baltic Dry Index: 666

Forget The Hindenburg Omen and The Hilsenrath Omen, today we have the real deal as The Baltic Dry Index hits the ominous 666 level - the lowest print for this time of year on record. Of course, just like with oil - this is brushed off as over-supply (not under-demand) and we are sure someone will opine how positive this drastic deflation of shipping rates is for global business... but still - this is the lowest print since September 2012 (and practically the lowest since the recession).

Jan 28 09:07

Top Retailers Closing Doors in 2015

Jan 28 08:52

Yes, you are getting a bum deal! Toilet paper rolls are SHRINKING as firms such as Charmin try and squeeze more profits from smaller sheets

The size of individual sheets has decreased from the standard 4.5in by 4.5in, and some companies are now selling non-square paper with fractions of an inch knocked off the length and width.

The decrease means companies have made up to a 25 per cent decrease in toilet paper surface area.

However the price for toilet paper rolls has not fallen and in some cases has even increased by 2 per cent.

Jan 28 08:44

Is The BLS Overstating Jobs

Jan 28 08:39

S&P lowers Atlantic City general obligation rating by four notches

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services cut Atlantic City's rating four notches to junk at 'BB' on Tuesday, the second Wall Street rating agency to issue a super-downgrade in the days before the city plans a $12 million note sale.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Who listens to S&P these days, after the 2008 fiasco?

Jan 28 08:31

UK govt ‘gags & intimidates’ charities that criticize austerity policies

British charities say they have been targeted in a “subtle” yet “menacing” fashion by prominent political figures for publicly criticizing the coalition’s austerity policies. Others are silenced by gagging clauses in government contracts.

Jan 28 08:23

How to Find the Best Offshore Banks

Nick Giambruno, International Man
Casey Research

It’s hard to think of a topic where following the conventional wisdom can be more dangerous.

And that topic is banking.

It’s generally accepted as an absolute truth by the public and most financial experts that putting your money in a domestic bank is a safe and responsible thing to do. After all, if anything were to go wrong, your deposits are insured by the government...

Jan 28 08:11

All Eyes On Yellen Who Better Not Disappoint

So will Yellen save the day again?

The problem is that at this point it is unclear just what that means: if she continues ignoring the global deflationary pressures and not relent to delaying the rate hike, then the USD will surge even more (which at this point is no longer a good thing as explained in "When A Soaring Dollar "Reflects Loss Of Investor Confidence And Is Potentially Devastating""), pressuring US exports and corporations that much more until finally something snaps and the decoupling theme so prevalent for the past 6 months is ruined.

Jan 28 08:10

How Unions Destroy Jobs!

Jan 28 08:05

‘If SWIFT gets weaponized, an alternative system is absolutely realistic’

While the West may try to slap Russia with more sanctions, the SWIFT banking payment system will try to stay out of political crossfire, economist Max Fraad Wolff told RT, adding that if it eventually gets weaponized, an alternative will emerge.

Jan 28 08:01

Koch Brothers Prepared To Unleash Nearly $1Bn Leading Up To 2016 Election

Conservative American oligarchic industrialists Charles and David Koch plan to raise $889 million to spend on political operations ahead of the 2016 election. The sum would be more than twice as much as the Koch network spent during the 2012 election.

Jan 28 07:54

What If Everything Were Cheap?

Jan 27 20:07

EU to consider barring Russia from SWIFT interbank system, Russian PM warns of tough response

Calls to disconnect Russian banks from the global SWIFT interbank system came amid the deterioration of relations between Russia and the West, and the introduction of sanctions in response to Moscow’s alleged role in the Ukraine conflict. Russia’s response to a possible cut-off from the SWIFT international banking payment system will be “unrestricted,” Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev vowed.

Jan 27 20:05

Germany's top institutes push 'Grexit' plans as showdown escalates

A top German body has called for a clear mechanism to force Greece out of the euro if the left-wing Syriza government repudiates the terms of the country’s €245bn rescue.

“Financial support must be cut off if Greece does not comply with its reform commitments,” said the Institute of German Economic Research (IW). "If Greece is going to take a tough line, then Europe will take a tough line as well."

IW is the second German institute in two days to issue a blunt warning to the new Greek premier, Alexis Tsipras, who has vowed to halt debt payments and reverse austerity measures imposed by the EU-IMF Troika.

Jan 27 19:34

SOARING DOLLAR SENDS WALL STREET INTO SPIN

Blue-chip Wall Street stocks saw sharp falls on Tuesday after a string of weak results showed the pressure US multinationals are coming under from a stronger dollar and subdued global growth.

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