From James Harkin (Webmaster & Editor of LindseyWilliams.net). Here is a summary of articles of interest from around the world for this week. Please LIKE the Lindsey Williams Online Facebook Page to see stories posted daily regarding the current state of the economy around the world.
Latest News From April 15, 2016 to April 21, 2016:
- ALERT: Legend Just Warned That All Hell Is About To Break Loose
Egon von Greyerz: “The global economy turned down in earnest in 2006, but with a massive worldwide printing and lending program, the world has had a temporary stay of execution. But the effect of this fabricated money has now come to an end…
- Great Dangers Now Threaten To Destroy The Global Financial System
John Embry: “Eric, last week was interesting when you tied together a number of developments that occurred. Deutsche Bank publicly acknowledged its manipulation of the silver fix. But this is just the tip of the iceberg considering the true scope of the manipulation in silver being conducted primarily by JP Morgan…
- Nine Meals from Anarchy
In 1906, Alfred Henry Lewis stated, “There are only nine meals between mankind and anarchy.” Since then, his observation has been echoed by people as disparate as Robert Heinlein and Leon Trotsky. The key here is that, unlike all other commodities, food is the one essential that cannot be postponed. If there were a shortage of, say, shoes, we could make do for months or even years. A shortage of gasoline would be worse, but we could survive it, through mass transport or even walking, if necessary.
- Chart: US Produces More Energy Than Ever Before
America is producing more energy than ever before thanks to a boom in oil and natural gas, according to a Monday report by the Energy Information Administration (EIA). American oil production increased by 8 percent and natural gas increased by 5 percent in 2015, according to the EIA report. The boom in oil and gas helped offset the enormous 10 percent decline in U.S. in coal production. The increase had little to due with wind or solar power, as American production of green energy remained flat. Overall, America has produced more energy 6 years in a row.
- World Economy Is Terminally Broken After 50 Years Of Misgovernment
In a world of manipulated economic figures and markets, it is not always easy to maintain your sanity. The world economy is now based on fantasy and hope and has very little to do with reality. But the problem is that virtually nobody understands this. Whether it is a bank analyst or a Nobel Prize winner in economics, they are all spreading the same false message. The Western press and news media are just reporting what governments and the elite are telling them. There is no analysis and no attempt to find the truth in anything. This is why we are now in an era of indoctrination and total brainwashing of the masses. Most people are totally apathetic and incapable of realising that they are being led down a path, both morally and economically, that will make life on earth a lot more difficult not just for the present generation but probably for several generations to come.
- Last time the Saudis opened the spigots the stock market crashed and Soviet Union collapsed
If there’s a certain retro feeling in the air, it’s not just because everyone’s talking about a Donald Trump presidential run and a song called “Me Myself & I” is in the charts. Oil markets are also starting to have a distinctly 1986 feel to them. The collapse of the weekend’s oil talks in Doha heralds a phase where open spigots will drive prices lower once again. Brent crude fell as much as 7 per cent when it opened after the meeting broke up in disarray. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf producers refused to cut production unless they could get a matching agreement from an Iran that hadn’t even bothered to attend the talks.
- America 1956 vs. America 2016
Is America a better place today than it was back in 1956? Of course many Americans living right now couldn’t even imagine a world without cell phones, Facebook or cable television, but was life really so bad back then? 60 years ago, families would actually spend time on their front porches and people would actually have dinner with their neighbors. 60 years ago, cars were still cars, football was still football and it still meant something to be an American. In our country today, it is considered odd to greet someone as they are walking down the street, and if someone tries to be helpful it is usually because they want something from you. But things were very different in the middle of the last century. Men aspired to be gentlemen and women aspired to be ladies, and nobody had ever heard of “bling”, “sexting” or “twerking”. Of course life was far from perfect, but people actually had standards and they tried to live up to them.
- Jubilee Jolt: In Historic Move G20 Wipes Out Tax Haven Anonymity – ‘Market Integrity At Stake’
Breaking news from Agency France Presse (AFP): The G20 has just “embraced a crackdown” on tax haven-corporations and shell companies that will savagely and decisively rip away the last remaining vestiges of financial privacy here on Earth. This is a huge change, almost incomprehensible. In a single month, from start to finish, privacy assurances that have existed for centuries are being stripped away. Less than two weeks ago, the Panama Papers (PP) were strategically leaked and we reported, “Financial Elite’s Attack on Worldwide Privacy“. We said it was almost surely a planned leak by financial elites to bring in more worldwide capital controls.
- Is Deutsche Bank’s Gold Manipulation The Main Scam Or Just A Side-Show?
For years now, the easiest way to finesse a debate over whether precious metals markets are manipulated has been to say, “well, if they’re not manipulated they’re the only market that isn’t.” That was unsatisfying, though, because as the big banks got caught scamming their customers on interest rates, mortgage bonds, forex and commodities trades, those markets (presumably) began to operate more-or-less honestly. Gold and silver, meanwhile, kept right on acting strangely, for instance plunging in the middle of the night on no news but massive futures volume, to the detriment of honest investors and traders who naively bet their capital on fundamentals. The (already huge) amount of money thus stolen from gold bugs kept rising.
- Institutionalized Lying—— Why Central Bankers Never See Bubbles
Every day there is more confirmation that the casino is an exceedingly dangerous place and that exposure to the stock, bond and related markets is to be avoided at all hazards. In essence the whole shebang is based on institutionalized lying, meaning that prouncements of central bankers, Wall Street brokers and big company executives are a tissue of misdirection, obfuscation and outright deceit. And they are self-reinforcing, too. As we indicated in our post over the weekend (The Keynesian House Of Denial), it’s all definitional by the lights of today’s central bankers and their Wall Street camp followers. Since the former are busy “accommodating”, massaging and “stimulating” economies all around the world—- bad things like recessions and stock market busts just can’t happen.
- How to Profit as the New Gold Standard Takes Hold
Has Doug Casey convinced the government to bring back the gold standard? Over the past two weeks, Doug has been working on a special project. He’s spent a lot of time with high-ranking government officials, trying to persuade them to back the currency with gold. Believe it or not, the government is taking Doug’s ideas seriously… Unfortunately, we’re not talking about the U.S. government. As you may know, America gave up on the gold standard in 1971. Prior to that, folks could exchange their U.S. dollars for a fixed amount of gold. This kept the government honest and prevented it from printing too much money. Today, U.S. dollars are merely paper, backed by nothing. Or, as Doug says, the dollar is an “I.O.U. nothing.”
- The oil deal that never came to be
ANALYSIS: It was supposed to be the easiest deal ever reached among key oil market players, a mere formality. Eighteen countries were gathering in the Qatari capital of Doha to rubber-stamp the first joint agreement between major OPEC and non-OPEC nations in 15 years, tackling a huge global glut after flooding the market for two years. The text was agreed and the timeframe was clear. Oil prices were rising. Traders were calling the event boring. Then, the first clouds began to appear.
- We might be repeating the mistakes of the 1999 bubble and crash
The stock market may be in danger of repeating some very bad history. The current market environment is looking a whole lot like the 1998-1999 stock market bubble, and the crash of 2000 may not be far behind, said Michael Hartnett of Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “It could simply be 1998/99 all over again. After all, a ‘speculative blow-off’ in asset prices is one logical conclusion to a world dominated by central bank liquidity, technological disruption & wealth inequality,” he wrote in a note Sunday.
- Wall Street banks are getting hammered by the markets — but not the businesses you’d expect
Volatile financial markets took a bite out of earnings at big U.S. banks during the first quarter – not just in trading but wealth management, too. On Monday, Morgan Stanley joined Wells Fargo & Co and Bank of America Corp in reporting weaker wealth management profits, citing less client activity and “an unfavorable market environment” – not to mention fewer trading days than the year-ago period.
- Why All Central Planning Is Doomed to Fail
We’re still thinking about how so many smart people came to believe things that aren’t true. Krugman, Stiglitz, Friedman, Summers, Bernanke, Yellen – all seem to have a simpleton’s view of how the world works. A bunch of famous people with a simpleton view of how the world works…who not only seriously think the economy can and should be “planned”, but arrogantly believe they are the ones who should do it. It’s a bit like the crazy guy who doesn’t know he’s crazy.
- Nomi Prins Reveals A Shocking Private Conversation About The Fed’s Manipulation Of The World
Everything that is happening in the world right now is very connected and predicated on the zero interest rate policy that emanates from the Federal Reserve. Even though we are in the 8th year of that policy and we talk about what Janet Yellen is going to say and do, what’s actually happening is that speculative money, cheap money, continues to flow in and out of places legally and illegally. As an example, the Panama Papers story broke while I was in Brazil. But legally or illegally, the money finds places to be involved for a short-term speculative bet and then it leaves much more quickly.
- What Puerto Rico can teach rural California about minimum wage increases
They’re looking for work in Colusa County, California, but it’s hard to find. It’s also hard to believe there could be a small corner of America – where the national unemployment rate on the national level is down to 5 percent – where more than one-in-five working age adults are unemployed. But that’s the reality in the county of 21,000 people in the Central Valley, a part of the state where nearly every county has unemployment rates two, three or, in Colusa County, four times the national average. No jobs and no work means other problems soon follow.
- As Minimum Wage Marches Toward $15, Small Businesses Adapt
In the aftermath of California and New York becoming the first states to raise the statewide minimum wage to $15, some small businesses with hourly workers are rethinking how they can absorb the increase. The owners of Dog Haus, a chain of about 20 franchise restaurants in the West, may have customers pick up their meals at the counters in two company-owned stores instead of using servers to carry food to tables in the two company-owned stores. The Pasadena, California-based company is also looking at hiring more experienced workers who can shoulder more responsibilities than entry-level staffers who earn minimum wage. For example, a cashier might now take on some administrative tasks. That way, Dog Haus could hire fewer people.
- California minimum wage hike hits L.A. apparel industry: ‘The exodus has begun’
Los Angeles was once the epicenter of apparel manufacturing, attracting buyers from across the world to its clothing factories, sample rooms and design studios. But over the years, cheap overseas labor lured many apparel makers to outsource to foreign competitors in far-flung places such as China and Vietnam. Now, Los Angeles firms are facing another big hurdle — California’s minimum wage hitting $15 an hour by 2022 — which could spur more garment makers to exit the state. Last week American Apparel, the biggest clothing maker in Los Angeles, said it might outsource the making of some garments to another manufacturer in the U.S., and wiped out about 500 local jobs. The company still employs about 4,000 workers in Southern California.
- Saudi Arabia Warns of Economic Fallout if Congress Passes 9/11 Bill
Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The Obama administration has lobbied Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.
- Connecticut Chooses to Cut Jobs Over Increased Taxes in Budget Crisis
Like some other states, Connecticut is facing a budget shortfall. And in part because of its shrinking finance sector and dependence on personal income taxes for revenue, state lawmakers, a majority of whom are Democrats, are finding themselves in a fiscal pickle. Forced to rely heavily on its highest earners to fill the state’s coffers, and fearful of alienating more of the highest-earning residents after a tax increase last year, legislators are not entertaining additional taxes on the rich.
- What Did Fed Chairman Yellen Tell Obama?
This week, President Obama and Vice President Biden held a hastily arranged secret meeting with Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen. According to the one paragraph statement released by the White House following the meeting, Yellen, Obama, and Biden simply “exchanged notes” about the economy and the progress of financial reform. Because the meeting was held behind closed doors, the American people have no way of knowing what else the three might have discussed. Yellen’s secret meeting at the White House followed an emergency secret Federal Reserve Board meeting. The Fed then held another secret meeting to discuss bank reform. These secret meetings come on the heels of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta’s estimate that first quarter GDP growth was .01 percent, dangerously close to the official definition of recession.
- OPEC’s oil crisis talks stumble as Iran refuses to freeze output
Oil prices could fall again as big exporting nations struggled to agree a plan to freeze production, despite holding crisis talks over the weekend to search for a way to push up prices. Prices have fallen precipitously over the past two years as a fall in demand combined with a big rise in production from sources such as shale flooded the market with oil. Ministers from OPEC countries including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Venezuela plus other major oil producers such as Russia met in Doha to discuss a plan to limit production and protect their profits. But Iran decided to stay away from the meeting as it does not want to cap its own production, in a move which could limit the effectiveness of any plan struck by the other nations – and which has raised tensions with Saudi Arabia.
- HSBC: Helicopter money is already here and no-one has noticed
Central banks have a problem. Their usual methods of stimulating the economy, like ultra-low interest rates, don’t seem to be working as well as they used to. Inflation and growth are stuck at low levels in the Eurozone after years of near-zero interest rates. It’s time to get a bit more radical and central banks have talked of using so-called helicopter money – which involves creating new money and giving it directly to people to spend on whatever they want. The American economist Milton Friedman first proposed the idea of helicopter money in 1969 i n a paper called The Optimum Quantity of Money.
- Coal giant Peabody Energy files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy
The nation’s largest coal company, Peabody Energy (BTU), filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday as the coal industry grapples with the fallout of low natural gas prices, costly regulations and China’s economic slowdown. St. Louis-based Peabody, which traces its corporate roots to 1883, had warned in March that “sustained depressed” coal prices had placed it on the edge of insolvency.
- 101 Years Of The Income Tax (In 1 Depressing Table)
More is always better, right? As we noted previously, if you hate taxes, you are far from alone. According to NBC News, here are some of the things that Americans would rather do than pay taxes… Six percent would rather sell a kidney, eight percent would rather name their first-born “Taxes,” and 11 percent would rather spend three years cleaning the bathrooms at noro-torious Chipotle. Of course our system was never intended to be like this anyway. Our founders hated taxes, and they fought a very bitter war to escape the yoke of oppressive taxation. During his very first inaugural address, Thomas Jefferson clearly expressed what he thought about taxes… “A wise and frugal government… shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government.” Why couldn’t we have listened to him?
- U.S. Industrial Production Fell in March
U.S. industrial output slowed in March, a sign that weakness persists for manufacturers and the energy industry. Industrial production—a broad gauge of output across U.S. factories, mines and power plants—decreased a seasonally adjusted 0.6% in March from the prior month, the Federal Reserve said Friday. Output has fallen for six of the past seven months. From a year earlier, industrial production decreased 2% in March. Manufacturing output, the largest component of the index, fell 0.3% in March.
- US Industrial Production Plunges As March Auto Manufacturing Tumbles Most Since 2008
The US economy has never – ever – seen Industrial Production drop YoY for seven months in a row without being in a recession. Down 2.0% YoY in March, the weakest since December and down 0.6% MoM (weakest since Feb 2015) the decline in factory output is driven a 1.6% plunge in vehicle production (2.8% collapse in motor vehicles specifcally) in March. This 1.76% drop is the worst for a March since 2008.
- U.S. Consumer Sentiment Fell for Fourth Straight Month
Consumer confidence fell for the fourth straight month in April amid growing concerns about weaker economic growth. The University of Michigan preliminary consumer sentiment index for April, released Friday, registered at 89.7, compared with a final March reading of 91.0. April’s reading was the lowest since September 2015. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected the April index would rise to 92.0.
- “It’s Getting Worse” – Economic Outlook Plummets In Gallup Poll, Rising Gas Prices Blamed
According to the latest Weekly Economic Confidence poll released by Gallup, Americans’ confidence in the US economy is getting worse. The poll asks people to rate the economy as of today, and whether or not the economy as a whole is getting better or worse. It turns out that ordinary people are not as excited about the US economy as those who are cheerleading minimum wage job creation and market levels being close to all time highs, and certainly not as excited as that group of people called each month by either the Conference Board or UMich, the two far more closely tracked confidence indicators. The Economic Confidence Index for the week ending April 10th came in at -14. Down from the prior week, and hitting a low not seen since the first week of November last year.
- Americans Not Buying what the Fed Is Selling
Here’s some free advice for the Federal Reserve. It’s OK. You can tell them. They already know. As Peter Schiff pointed out on CNBC yesterday, the Fed doesn’t really want to raise interest rates. We just witnessed what even a small nudge upward did to the stock markets after years of low rates and monetary policy artificially pumped them up. But on the other hand, the Fed doesn’t want to admit the US economy really isn’t in great shape.
- Baker Hughes US Oil Rig Count Drops 3 More to 351
Baker Hughes reported the active oil rig count fell by 3 more rigs to 351 for the week ending April 15. The total number of active oil and gas rigs declined by 3 to 440. This is the seventeenth week in a row the combined oil and gas rig count has declined, moving further into record low territory. It is the fourth week in a row for oil-rigs only, pushing the count to the lowest levels since the fourth quarter of 2009. For the week ending April 8 the energy company said 7 combined oil and gas rigs went offline, bringing the total number of oil and gas rigs down to 443. The oil-rigs only count fell by 8 to 354.
- Nomi Prins Just Issued A Dire Warning About What Is Going To Trigger Total Global Collapse
Nomi Prins: “We (already) have inflation. Will the bond market deflate? It absolutely will deflate when these policies run out of steam or get taken off the table. And that is why central banks keep coordinating and are so afraid to go back on what they started in 2008. If any of these policies were to have been working for real economic growth, they wouldn’t need to have gone on for this many years, which means they actually have only existed in order to help inflate assets in the financial system and to create liquidity that would have otherwise not been there for these assets.
- 10 Years of Fracking: Its Impact on Our Water, Land and Climate
In a single year, fracking wells across the country released at least 5.3 billion pounds of the potent greenhouse gas methane, as much global warming pollution as 22 coal-fired power plants. The statistic is one of many in a new study by Environment America Research & Policy Center that quantifies the environmental harm caused by more 137,000 fracking wells permitted since 2005.
- New UN report finds almost no industry profitable if environmental costs were included
If you haven’t been paying attention, I don’t blame you for at first not believing this. After all, companies go to great lengths to greenwash their image and present themselves as progressive and environmentally responsible, even while they turn your land to deserts and your oceans into dead zones. Unfortunately, as Mark Twain once famously said: “It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.”
- FTSE falters on China and UK construction, with housebuilders sliding
Leading shares are slipping lower after China’s economy saw a slowdown in the first quarter, albeit in line with expectations. But the biggest fallers in the UK index were closer to home. Following Persimmon’s cautious trading update on Thursday, housebuilders are leading the way down, with Berkeley Group 106p lower at £28.70, Taylor Wimpey down 4.2p at 172.8p and Persimmon itself falling 21p to £18.79. The falls come despite UK contruction data showing housebuilding recording quarterly growth of 6.8%, the biggest rise since March 2014. Also heading lower is InterContinental Hotels, down 52p to £28.76 as JP Morgan moved from neutral to underweight on worries about its pipeline of rooms.
- Three Historical Patterns Point to Passover 2016 As Major Turning Point
The Jewish feast of Passover is known as a time of major turning points in history. Three historical patterns are now indicating another major turning point is coming during Passover 2016. King Solomon discovered there is an appointed time, a set time for everything and for every event under heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Nothing just happens randomly. Everything happens at a set time following patterns, seasons of time, which are as predictable as sunrise and sunset.
- Deutsche Bank Admits It Rigged Gold Prices, Agrees To Expose Other Manipulators
Well, that didn’t take long. Earlier today when we reported the stunning news that DB has decided to “turn” against the precious metals manipulation cartel by first settling a long-running silver price fixing lawsuit which in addition to “valuable monetary consideration” said it would expose the other banks’ rigging having also “agreed to provide cooperation to plaintiffs, including the production of instant messages, and other electronic communications, as part of the settlement” we said “since this is just one of many lawsuits filed over the past two years in Manhattan federal court in which investors accused banks of conspiring to rig rates or prices in financial and commodities markets, we expect that now that DB has “turned” that much more curious information about precious metals rigging will emerge, and will confirm what the “bugs” had said all along: that the precious metals market has been rigged all along.”
- Why is this country so poor?
“What is it about this place that makes it so poor?” It was a simple question posed to me by a friend as we walked the streets of Managua, Nicaragua earlier this week. Nicaragua is a lovely place. But it’s poor. Very poor. It’s the least developed economy in Central America… and that’s saying something. But it’s worth considering: what makes an economy like Nicaragua so poor? And what makes others so wealthy? Having traveled to nearly 120 countries, I’ve seen the full range of rich and poor nations. And I’ll tell you, it has nothing to do with natural resources or anything like that. I often have meetings with senior ministers and government officials around the world who tell me all about the amazing resources they have in their country. “We have so much forestry land,” or, “Our bauxite reserves are among the highest in the world…” Irrelevant. Venezuela has incredible oil reserves. Yet they’ve been living in poverty for years.
- Deutsche Bank Confirms Silver Market Manipulation In Legal Settlement, Agrees To Expose Other Banks
Back in July of 2014, we reported that in an attempt to obtain if not compensation, then at least confirmation of bank manipulation in the precious metals industry, a group of silver bullion banks including Deutsche Bank, Bank of Nova Scotia and HSBC (later UBS was also added to the defendants) were accused of manipulating prices in the multi-billion dollar market. The lawsuit, which was originally filed in a New York district court by veteran litigator J. Scott Nicholson, a resident of Washington DC, alleged that the banks, which oversee the century-old silver fix manipulated the physical and COMEX futures market since January 2007. The lawsuit subsequently received class-action status. It was the first case to target the silver fix. Many expected that this case would never go anywhere and that the defendant banks would stonewall indefinitely: after all their legal budgets were far greater than the plaintiffs.
- Gold resurgence: who’s buying gold and why
After four years of sharp falls, a sudden revival has been taking place in the gold market. In the first three months of 2016 the price of the yellow metal soared by 20pc – its best quarterly performance since the financial crisis erupted in the final three months of 2008. The gold price, currently around $1,260 an ounce, is well below its record peak of almost $1,900 achieved in July 2011, at the height of the European sovereign debt crisis. For investors who have missed out on the rally so far, the big question is: has gold turned a corner, suggesting that it will continue to rise, or will it crash back down to earth? As gold pays no income, it is difficult to value. Therefore, unlike an individual share or stock market index, it is less clear whether the metal is cheap or expensive at its current price.
- Hate Taxes? You Certainly Are Not Alone…
At this time of the year, millions of Americans are rushing to file their taxes at the last minute, and we are once again reminded just how nightmarish our system of taxation has become. I studied tax law when I was in law school, and it is one of the most mind-numbing areas of study that you could possibly imagine. At this point, the U.S. tax code is somewhere around 4 million words long, which is more than four times longer than all of William Shakespeare’s works put together. And even if you could somehow read the entire tax code, it is constantly changing, and so those that prepare taxes for a living are constantly relearning the rules. It has been said that Americans spend more than 6 billion hours preparing their taxes each year, and Politifact has rated this claim as true. We have a system that is as ridiculous as it is absurd, and the truth is that we don’t even need it. In fact, the greatest period of economic growth in all of U.S. history was when there was no income tax at all. Why anyone would want to perpetuate this tortuous system is beyond me, and yet we keep sending politicians to Washington D.C. that just keep making this system even more complicated and even more burdensome.
- IMF warns of fresh financial crisis
The International Monetary Fund has highlighted risks of a new financial crisis, warning that global output could be cut by 4% over the next five years by a repeat of the market mayhem witnessed during the 2008-9 recession. The IMF used its half-yearly global financial stability report to call for urgent action on the problems of banks in the eurozone, a third of which it said faced “significant challenges” to be sustainably profitable. “In the euro area, market pressures also highlighted long-standing legacy issues, indicating that a more complete solution to European banks’ problems cannot be further postponed,” the Fund said. It said there needed to be a comprehensive strategy to deal with €900bn (£715bn) of non-performing loans (NPLs) on the books of eurozone banks, adding that banks also needed to be closed in order to deal with excess capacity.
- UK government’s fracking definition ‘could allow drilling without safeguards’
The UK government has been accused of including a large loophole in its legal definition of fracking which could enable companies to bypass safety regulations, according to a leading geologist. In rules that came into force on 6 April, fracking is defined by the amount of high-pressure fluid used to fracture shale rocks and release gas or oil. However, the only well fracked in the UK so far, which caused small earthquakes near Blackpool in 2011, would not qualify as fracking under the definition. Furthermore, according to Prof Stuart Haszeldine at the University of Edinburgh, analysis of more than 17,000 gas wells fracked in the US from 2000-10 shows 43% would not be defined as fracking under UK rules. More than 4,500 US wells were fracked to release oil in that time but 89% would not be covered by the UK definition.
- 100,000 Italians sign petition for eurozone exit referendum
Italy’s Five Star Movement (M5S) party has collected more than 100,000 signatures on a petition calling for a law that would allow a referendum on withdrawal from the eurozone. M5S MP Carlo Sibila says he expects a referendum to take place at the start of next year. Though the petition has already surpassed the required amount of signatures needed for the initiative, Sibila said that he hopes it will gather another 50,000 by early May in order to highlight the issue.
- Austria Just Announced A 54% Haircut Of Senior Creditors In First “Bail In” Under New European Rules
Just over a year ago, a black swan landed in the middle of Europe, when in what was then dubbed a “Spectacular Development” In Austria, the “bad bank” of failed Hypo Alpe Adria – the Heta Asset Resolution AG – itself went from good to bad, with its creditors forced into an involuntary “bail-in” following the “discovery” of a $8.5 billion capital hole in its balance sheet primarily related to ongoing deterioration in central and eastern European economies. Austria had previously nationalized Heta’s predecessor Hypo Alpe-Adria-Bank International six years ago after it nearly collapsed under the bad loans it ran up when it grew rapidly in the former Yugoslavia. Having burnt through €5.5 euros of taxpayers’ money to prop up Hypo Alpe, Finance Minister Hans Joerg Schelling ended support in March 2015, triggering the FMA’s takeover. This was the first official proposed “Bail-In” of creditors, one that took place before similar ad hoc balance sheet restructuring would take place in Greece and Portugal in the coming months. Or rather, it wasn’t a fully executed “Bail-In” for the reason that creditors fought it tooth and nail.
- IMF says Britain leaving the EU is a significant risk
A British vote to leave the EU risks causing severe economic and political damage to Europe that will spill over into an already febrile world economy, the International Monetary Fund has warned. Cutting its forecasts for global growth and for the UK and other advanced economies, the IMF listed a potential Brexit vote in June’s EU referendum as a key risk in its latest World Economic Outlook (WEO). “In the United Kingdom, the planned June referendum on European Union membership has already created uncertainty for investors; a ‘Brexit’ could do severe regional and global damage by disrupting established trading relationships,” said Maurice Obstfeld, IMF economic counsellor. The Washington-based Fund said economic growth was also threatened by a host of other factors, including “the tragedy of large-scale refugee inflows” to Europe, a potential reappearance of financial market turmoil, China’s difficult economic rebalancing and growing income inequality.
- As Minimum Wages Go Up, Amazon.com Looks Like the Big Winner
Minimum wages are going up around the country. As the Fight for $15 spreads, several major retailers have lifted their base pay, and states and cities have enacted gradual wage hikes to $15/hour. California, the state that more than one out of 10 Americans calls home, passed a bill last week enacting incremental hikes in the minimum wage from $10/hour today to $15/hour in 2022, or a compound annual rate of nearly 9%, for businesses with at least 25 employees. Next year, the wage will rise to $10.50/hour. New York followed suit with a similar law, mandating an increase to $15/hour by 2019 in New York City and 2022 in the suburbs, and to $12.50 by 2021 in upstate New York. Several other cites, including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Ore., and Washington, D.C., have also passed aggressive minimum wage hikes recently.
- There’s No Free Lunch With The Minimum Wage
This is not just the normal economic observation that there’s no such thing as a free lunch: there’s always costs to something, not just benefits. Rather this is the quite literal observation that cranking up the minimum wage leads to a disappearance of the free lunch itself. Over in my native UK George Osborne has imposed a remarkably silly “national living wage” which is intended to rise to 60% of median earnings soon enough. That’s too high for a minimum wage (the general consensus, even among those who support a higher minimum wage, is that 50% is as high as it is reasonable to go) but that’s what he’s decided to do. And we can generally predict what the effects will be. There will be a rise in unemployment compared to what would have happened without that rise, there will be price rises negating much of the effect of higher incomes and employers will also respond by trying to cut whatever parts of the non-wage employment bill they can.
- China Goes Prospecting for World’s Gold Mines
Chinese gold miners are aggressively scouting for overseas acquisitions, encouraged by historically low gold prices that could help them scoop up assets cheaply. Though gold prices have risen more than 16% since hitting a six-year low in December, the metal has still been trading close to levels last seen in 2010, in a range of roughly $1,220 to $1,240 a troy ounce. China is the world’s largest gold consumer and producer, but only a few Chinese companies, such as Zijin Mining Group Co., have ventured abroad to buy mines, unlike their counterparts in industrial metals.
- Trans-Atlantic & Trans-Pacific “Partnerships” Complete Corporate World Takeover — Paul Craig Roberts
As I have emphasized since these “partnerships” were first announced, their purpose is to give corporations immunity from the laws in the countries in which they do business. The principle mechanism of this immunity is the granting of the right to corporations to sue governments and agencies of governments that have laws or regulations that impinge on corporate profits. For example, France’s prohibitions of GMO foods are, under the “partnerships,” “restraints on trade that impinge on corporate profits. The “partnerships” set up “tribunals” staffed by corporations that are outside the court systems of the sovereign governments. It is in these corporate tribunals that the lawsuits take place. In other words the corporations are judge, jury, and prosecutor. They can’t lose. The “partnerships” set up secret unaccountable governments that are higher and have power over the elected governments.
- Over 11,000 Coal Miners Lost Their Jobs In The Last Year
Coal mines shed more than 11,000 jobs in the last year, according to recently released employment data, as the industry continues to contract under onerous federal regulations and faltering demand. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports there were around 56,700 coal miners employed across the U.S. as of March 2016, which is down about 11,200 jobs from March 2015 when some 67,900 coal miners had jobs.
- Comparing the 1930s and Today
You’ve heard the axiom “History repeats itself.” It does, but never in exactly the same way. To apply the lessons of the past, we must understand the differences of the present. During the American Revolution, the British came prepared to fight a successful war—but against a European army. Their formations, which gave them devastating firepower, and their red coats, which emphasized their numbers, proved the exact opposite of the tactics needed to fight a guerrilla war. Before World War I, generals still saw the cavalry as the flower of their armies. Of course, the horse soldiers proved worse than useless in the trenches. Before World War II, in anticipation of a German attack, the French built the “impenetrable” Maginot Line. History repeated itself and the attack came, but not in the way they expected. Their preparations were useless because the Germans didn’t attempt to penetrate it; they simply went around it, and France was defeated.
- LIST: Who are the World’s Top 10 Oil Producers?
Countries are producing oil at record levels in an attempt to maintain or grow their market share. Here is a list of the world’s top 10 oil producers. Source: US Energy Information Administration; Data includes crude oil, lease condensate, natural gas plant liquids, and refinery processing gain.
- Dead Canaries And Disobedient Falcons: Bad Month Coming, Especially For Banks
Corporate profitability is one of the canaries in today’s financial coal mine. If companies are making more money each year they tend to hire more people, pay more taxes and generally make life easier for everyone else. But when earnings decline, everything from government budgeting to personal financial planning gets much harder. Viewed through this lens, 2015 was a “coming to grips” year in which the financial markets vacillated over the meaning of falling corporate profits: Are they an aberration or the new normal?
- Skunk At A Garden Party—-Kuroda’s Money Printing Failure In Japan Is Bringing Bad News To The G-20
The world’s central bankers, already hitting limits of their effectiveness on growth and inflation, are now contending with another risk: that additional stimulus could produce lackluster results and undercut investor confidence. The Bank of Japan’s decision in January to take interest rates negative has sent bond yields tumbling, while doing little to curb a surging yen that’s squeezing the world’s third-biggest economy just when it needs a weaker currency. That’s put even more monetary and fiscal stimulus on the agenda at a time when Japanese households and companies are increasingly doubting the program. “Japan is bringing bad news to the world,” said Hiromichi Shirakawa, chief Japan economist at Credit Suisse Group AG and a former BOJ official. “It’s demonstrating that massive monetary easing doesn’t work for everyone. Any additional stimulus may invite criticism from other central banks.” The decline in credibility in Japan is a warning sign for central bankers and finance ministers who gather this week in Washington for spring meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank, as well as a Group of 20 session.
- Warren Buffett’s right-hand man gave a dark warning about American finance
Warren Buffett’s right-hand man, Charlie Munger, is worried about American finance. According to the Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman, we have “a vast gambling culture, and people have made it respectable.” Basically, the stock market is a casino, and too many people want to get rich quickly. He said: There’s way, way too much of that in America. And too much of the new wealth has gone to people who either own a casino or are playing in a casino. And I don’t think the exaltation of that group has been good for life generally, and I am to some extent a member of that group.
- Why You Should Own Gold Before the Government Starts Handing Out Free Cash
Ivy League economists agree… The economy is struggling because central banks haven’t printed enough money. If you’ve been reading the Dispatch, you know this statement is absurd. After all, central banks have printed trillions of currency units since the 2008 financial crisis. The U.S. Federal Reserve has printed $3.5 trillion by itself. On top of that, many world central banks have dropped interest rates to zero, making it extremely cheap and easy to borrow money. According to mainstream economists, these easy-money policies were supposed to jumpstart the global economy. But this plan has been a miserable failure. The U.S., Europe, and Japan are all growing at the slowest pace since World War II. China, the second-biggest economy after the U.S., is growing at its slowest pace since 1990.
- ‘In five years the vast majority of the cash will be out of the system’
Mark Barnett, the boss of MasterCard in the UK and Ireland, believes that in five years time cash will be practically extinct in Britain and Ireland — and in 30 years it will seem as old fashioned as the horse and cart. Barnett told Business Insider at the Money2020 conference in Copenhagen last week: “By the time we get to another generation, 30 years down the track, will there be any cash? I very much doubt it. The idea of carrying coins — 2p, 1p, 50p all cluttering up your pocket — it will be an anachronism. It will seem as antediluvian as carrying a pouch full of gold.”
- Pastor Lindsey Williams – The Energy Non-Crisis…
Pastor Lindsey Williams – The Energy Non-Crisis… Learn what happened when Chaplain Williams met the Elite of the world… Watch the FULL Presentation NOW! – FREE!
- Quietly the advantage in gold goes to private investors
I can remember only one other time when market factors lined up as favorably for gold as they do now and that was in the spring of 2008. There are a great many similarities to gold market dynamics between now and then, but there are also great differences. One of those differences is the huge influx of interest from institutional investors led by hedge funds and big banks. In 2008, institutional interest was light. Now HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, ABN Amro, UBS and Deutsche Bank, PIMCO and Black Rock head a growing list of investment houses that view gold favorably. In what could turn out to be the first among many such announcements, Munich Re, the giant German reinsurer, said it was adding gold to its reserves in the face of negative interest rates. Chief Executive Nikolaus von Bomhard told a news conference, “We are just trying it out, but you can see how serious the situation is.”
- Gold – The Best Defense Strategy
The War on Cash is on! If you are used to making visits to your bank to make your credit card payments, you may find this no longer an option in the future. Some banks are no longer accepting (or limiting their acceptance) of cash deposits. The war on cash forges on. Paper money, which is indeed more or less worthless, is slowly being taken out of circulation and being replaced by digital currency.
- Cash Banned, Freedom Gone
Some politicians want to ban cash, arguing that cash is helping criminals. The first steps in that direction are the withdrawal of big denomination notes and the limits imposed on cash payments. Proponents of a ban on cash claim that this will help fight criminal transactions — involved in money laundering, terrorism, and tax evasion. These promises of salvation are used to get the general public to agree to a society without cash. But there is no convincing proof for the claim that the world without cash will be a better one. Even if undesirable behavior is indeed financed by cash, you still need to answer the question: will the undesirable behavior disappear without cash? Or will those who commit the undesirable acts take to new ways and means to reach their goal?
- Economist Warns: “A Tidal Wave Is Coming… Recession Indicator Has Turned Red”
With corporate earnings for the first quarter of 2016 set to be the worst since the Great Recession, Societe Generale economist Albert Edwards is warning that the United States is about to be hit with a tidal wave. A tidal wave is coming to the US economy, according to Albert Edwards, and when it crashes it’s going to throw the economy into recession. …the profit recession facing American corporations is going to lead to a collapse in corporate credit. “Despite risk assets enjoying a few weeks in the sun our fail-safe recession indicator has stopped flashing amber and turned to red” … He continued: Whole economy profits never normally fall this deeply without a recession unfolding. And with the US corporate sector up to its eyes in debt, the one asset class to be avoided — even more so than the ridiculously overvalued equity market — is US corporate debt. The economy will surely be swept away by a tidal wave of corporate default.
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