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Latest News Articles – April 27, 2017

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.

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Lindsey Williams - Latest News Articles

Latest News From April 21, 2017 to April 27, 2017:

  • Democrats: Trump Must Surrender On Funding For A Border Wall To Avoid A Government Shutdown On His 100th Day In Office
    Is Donald Trump going to unconditionally surrender to the Democrats and completely give up his dream of building a border wall in order to avoid a government shutdown on his 100th day in office?  As I have warned before, the Democrats are perfectly willing to force a government shutdown if the Trump administration and the Republicans in Congress do not let them win all of the key battles in this funding bill fight.  It is being reported that the Trump administration wants 3 billion dollars for extra border security and for construction of a border wall, and the Democrats are insisting that they will keep any bill that includes money for a border wall from ever getting through Congress.  And of course the Democrats are also taking a very hard line on funding for Planned Parenthood, federal support for key Obamacare provisions, and resistance to increased defense spending.  If the Trump administration and enough establishment Republicans in Congress cave in to the outrageous demands of the Democrats, a government shutdown will be avoided.  If not, a government shutdown will begin on April 29th (Trump’s 100th day in office), and it could easily turn out to be the longest government shutdown in the history of the United States.
  • G. Edward Griffin: Exposing The Creature From Jekyll Island
    G. Edward Griffin, the author of the seminal book on the formation of the Federal Reserve, The Creature of Jekyll Island, joins the podcast this week to add his perspective to our ongoing critical examination of the Fed and the impact its actions are having on society. Meeting Ed and getting to spend time with him was a real honor for Chris and me. His breadth of knowledge of the central banking system as well as his engaging manner of storytelling are masterful. Plus, he's simply a wonderfully kind person. Ed's decades of research and critique of the Federal Reserve, sadly, have left him with conclusions that corroborate our own. Despite its carefully-crafted image as an essential public servant, Griffin concludes it is anything but. It is a private cartel that has connived its way to tremendous advantage and power, secretly (and not-so-secretly) plundering the American people of their treasure and freedoms.
  • Silver, Platinum and Palladium as Investments – Research Shows Diversification Benefits
    The review surveys and covers the findings on a wide variety of topics in relation to the White Precious Metals including Market Efficiency, Forecast-ability, Behavioral Findings, Diversification Benefits, Volatility Drivers, Macroeconomic Determinants, and their relationships with other assets. For those asking whether or not they should invest in precious metals or to increase their allocation, it can be of use to read some academic research into the role the white metals can play in hedging risk in their investment and pension portfolios. There are many strongly held opinions regarding gold and silver and precious metals and some mathematical and economic analysis can go a long way in helping us to understand how and why we should consider investing in these less popular precious metals.
  • I’m in Awe of How Fast Brick-and-Mortar Retail is Melting Down
    As so many times, Private Equity firms are in the thick of it. Mall traffic is sagging. Department store sales have been in decline since 2001. Most retailers are loaded up with debt. Many have been losing money. Now they’re running out of options. Store closings numbered in the thousands last year. This year they promise to get much worse. “Zombie malls” have become reality, their vast parking lots rented to car dealers to store their excess vehicle inventory. But ecommerce sales are booming, including online sales by some brick-and-mortar retailers, such as Walmart and Macy’s.
  • Trump To “Bully” Fed Into Printing Money – Negative for Stocks, Positive for Gold
    David McWilliams has written an interesting article in which he puts forward the case that Trump is likely to turn on the “enemy within,” the Federal Reserve and bully them into “printing money.” He points out that this was seen in 1971 when Nixon bullied the Fed into printing and debasing the dollar. McWilliams says this would be bad for stocks markets which would fall in value as was seen in the 1970s. This would be positive for gold as the printing of dollars, rising inflation and stagflation saw gold surge in the 1970s when it rose from $35 per ounce in 1971 to over $850 per ounce in January 1980 (see chart). Along the way there was a significant correction when gold prices fell by nearly 50% – very much akin to gold’s price falls from 2013 to 2015.
  • Ron Paul Rages At Trump: “Assange Is A Hero… Don't Declare War On The Truth”
    “I love Wikileaks,” candidate Donald Trump said on October 10th on the campaign trail. He praised the organization for reporting on the darker side of the Hillary Clinton campaign. It was information likely leaked by a whistleblower from within the Clinton campaign to Wikileaks. Back then he praised Wikileaks for promoting transparency, but candidate Trump looks less like President Trump every day. The candidate praised whistleblowers and Wikileaks often on the campaign trail. In fact, candidate Trump loved Wikileaks so much he mentioned the organization more than 140 times in the final month of the campaign alone! Now, as President, it seems Trump wants Wikileaks founder Julian Assange sent to prison. Last week CNN reported, citing anonymous “intelligence community” sources, that the Trump Administration’s Justice Department was seeking the arrest of Assange and had found a way to charge the Wikileaks founder for publishing classified information without charging other media outlets such as the New York Times and Washington Post for publishing the same information.
  • Trump To Order Corporate Tax Rate Cut To 15%, Loading Up To $2 Trillion In Extra Debt
    Ahead of Trump's much anticipated tax announcement on Wednesday, the WSJ reports that the president has ordered his (mostly ex-Goldman) White House aides to accelerate efforts to create a tax plan “slashing the corporate rate to 15% and prioritizing cuts in tax rates over an attempt to not increase the deficit” which means that without an offsetting source of revenue, Trump is about to unleash the debt spigots, a proposal which will face fierce pushback from conservatives as it is nothing more than a continuation of the status quo under the Obama administration, and may well be DOA. The WSJ adds that during an Oval Office meeting last week, “Trump told staff he wants a massive tax cut to sell to the American people” and that it was “less important to him if the plan loses revenue.”
  • If Mortgage Rates Tick Up Even a Little, What’ll Happen to Canada’s House Price Bubble?
    The question now being asked, years too late: How will this end? “Homeowners and potential first time homebuyers are now even more vulnerable to a payment shock from rising mortgage rates,” the National Bank of Canada warns in its housing affordability report. Eight years of super-low interest rates in the US have succeeded in inflating home prices in many cities way past the peaks of the housing bubble that imploded during the Financial Crisis. A boom-crash-boom movement. But home prices in Canada barely dipped during the Financial Crisis and then continued soaring. So a boom-boom movement.
  • Who Will Live in the Suburbs if Millennials Favor Cities?
    Longtime readers know I follow the work of urbanist Richard Florida, whose recent book was the topic of Are Cities the Incubators of Decentralized Solutions?(March 14, 2017). Florida’s thesis–that urban zones are the primary incubators of technological and economic growth–is well-supported by data that shows that the large urban regions (NYC, L.A., S.F. Bay Area, Seattle, Minneapolis,etc.) generate the majority of GDP and wage gains.
  • If This Is Freedom and Democracy, What Is Tyranny?
    If truth be known, Americans are no more free than were Germans under Gestapo Germany. “Freedom and Democracy America” is the greatest lie in the world. Countries sink into tyranny easily. Those born today don’t know the freedom of the past and are unaware of what has been taken away. Some American blacks might think that finally after a long civil rights struggle they have gained freedom. But the civil rights that they gained have been taken away from all of us by the “war on terror.” Today black Americans are gratuitously shot down in the streets by police in ways that are worse than in Jim Crow days.
  • Fear Campaign Against Americans Continues With Nuclear Drills This Week in New York
    In many ways, you have to feel bad for Americans. They have been on the receiving end of constant fear propaganda for decades. Just look back to the 50’s with the “Duck & Cover” fear campaign as one example. Getting malleable young minds to cower under their desks in their government indoctrination camps, as though that would somehow protect them from a nuclear blast, shows that it has nothing to do with safety and everything to do with fear. The US government even convinced their tax slaves that there was a major war going on all the way from the 1950s to the 1980s even though not a single shot was fired. They called it the “Cold War” and warned petrified citizens that at any moment, if not for the brave US government, they could be blown to oblivion.
  • The IMF Is Not Done Destroying Greece Yet
    Austerity is over, proclaimed the IMF this week. And no doubt attributed that to the ‘successful’ period of ‘five years of belt tightening’ a.k.a. ‘gradual fiscal consolidation’ it has, along with its econo-religious ilk, imposed on many of the world’s people. Only, it’s not true of course. Austerity is not over. You can ask many of those same people about that. It’s certainly not true in Greece.
  • Death by Government – one long-term resident’s personal evidential account of how Ecuador is likely following Venezuela over the cliff … and why Correa’s “robolucion” must be outed as the epic failure and corrupt rort it really is.
    There is always something awful and tragic about watching a perfectly good ship sink. It is of course, significantly more distressing if one is on board at the time! To further imagine the captain and crew themselves … those specifically in charge of your and the ship’s well-being, were entirely responsible for the sinking … is almost inconceivable. Such is life, right now, in Ecuador, however. The purpose of this article is to document and describe the events which have transpired over the near-decade I’ve been here, as succinctly and cogently as possible, such that anyone interested will be able to understand the nature of the tragedy which has befallen Ecuador … and which has resulted in the dire conditions people are currently suffering here. Conditions which, following a very dubious recent election (which resulted in the same incompetent and corrupt party of the last decade retaining power – and which millions believe is fraudulent) … are only likely to get worse. Make no mistake, Ecuador is a bitterly divided country right now. It is in no way over-reaching, to suggest a Venezuela-style demise is now very much on the cards.
  • This Vicious Cycle is What Bedevils the US Economy
    Railroads slash capital spending, but plow more money into buying back own shares, after two years of Freight Recession. CSX reported quarterly earnings late Wednesday. Revenues increased 9.5% from the terrible quarter a year ago, which had been the worst quarter in terms of revenues since Q1 2010! So it’s no big feat to beat last year’s fiasco quarter. At $2.87 billion in Q1 2017, revenues are sill 5.3% lower than they’d been in Q1 2015. This time, moribund coal shipments had increased. Since March, there’s a new guy at the throttle. Hunter Harrison is known as a cost cutter. And that was the theme of the earnings announcement. The railroad said that it plans to cut costs further. It had already slashed its capital spending plans for 2017 by 18% to $2.2 billion. Now more cuts for 2017 are likely. But in the same breath, it announced that it would plow $1 billion into buying back its own shares. Stocks jumps.
  • As long as Americans continue to believe…
    The great foreign policy analyst and author Peter van Buren recounts the lies that have kept the American war machine going. As long as Americans continue to believe, the Empire will happily continue its lies.
  • US has regressed to developing nation status, MIT economist warns
    America is regressing to have the economic and political structure of a developing nation, an MIT economist has warned. Peter Temin says the world's’ largest economy has roads and bridges that look more like those in Thailand and Venezuela than those in parts of Europe. In his new book, “The Vanishing Middle Class”, reviewed by the Institute for New Economic Thinking, Mr Temin says the fracture of US society is leading the middle class to disappear.
  • In New Trade Front, Trump Slaps Tariff on Canadian Lumber
    The Trump administration announced on Monday that it would impose new tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber imports, escalating a longstanding conflict with America’s second-largest trading partner. The Commerce Department determined that Canada had been improperly subsidizing the sale of softwood lumber products to the United States, and after failed negotiations, Washington decided to retaliate with tariffs of 3 percent to 24 percent. The penalties will be collected retroactively on imports dating back 90 days. The decision came days after President Trump complained bitterly about Canada’s dairy trade practices, and the tariffs signaled a harsher turn in his relationship with Canada, even as he seeks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. While he has often assailed China, Mexico and others for their trade practices, he seemed to have forged a strong relationship with Canada’s prime minister, Justin Trudeau.
  • Baby Boomers Borrowed $100BN In Student Loans For Their Children And Now Defaults Are Soaring
    America's snowflake millennials aren't used to being told ‘no', especially by their parents.  Perhaps that's why, as we pointed out a few days ago, more millennials than ever are now living at home with mom and roughly one quarter of them don't even both to enroll in classes and/or find a job (see “A Quarter Of Millennials Living At Home Neither Work Nor Study”).  But, when it comes to racking up massive student loans for their lazy, millennial, snowflakes, we suspect a healthy portion of about 3.5 million Baby Boomers are wishing they had a do-over to do just that. Unfortunately, rather than making some difficult decisions about affordability and/or forcing their kids to pay for their own education, Baby Boomers have incurred nearly $100 billion in student loans so that little Johnny and/or Susie could get that Anthro degree they always wanted. In fact, as the Wall Street Journal notes today, so-called “Parent Plus Loans” have soared over the past 15 years as parents have increasingly found it impossible to cover college tuition costs.
  • Central Banks Are Now Printing $200 Billion Per Month… Without a Crisis
    A tidal wave of inflation is rapidly moving through the financial system. Most investors only pay attention to the Federal Reserve. And they are missing the BIG PICTURE for Central Bank monetary policy. The Fed is tightening policy by hiking rates. But the rest of the world’s Central Banks are printing a combined $200 BILLION in QE every single month. Yes, $200 billion. At a time when the financial system is out of crisis and the Fed’s put its own “print” button on “pause.” This is an all-time record… greater even that the global money printing that occurred at the depth of the 2008 Crisis when Central banks were desperate to prop the system up. Indeed, at $200 billion per month, we’re talking about an annualized pace of over $2 TRILLION in money printing every year.
  • Celente – You Won’t Believe The Incredible Desperation I Saw On My Travels In The U.S.
    As the Dow managed to close out the week near the 20,550 level, today the top trends forecaster in the world spoke with King World News about the incredible desperation he saw on his travels in the United States. Eric King:  “Gerald, I know you want to share about your travels across the country.  What’s really going on out there right now?” Gerald Celente:  “The numbers just came out on existing home sales and they rose to levels not seen since 2007.  2007?  Oh yeah, right before the Panic of 2008.  And when you take a trip across the country as I’ve been doing, you go into one city after another that looks like it’s been depleted of any kind of life and any kind of growth.  This is not only in the ‘Rust Belt,’ but in areas where you would expect things to be quite prosperous…
  • It’s All Illusions And Lies: The Supernova Debt Bubble Is About To Trigger The Death Knell Of The Global Financial System
    As we get ready to kickoff what promises to be a wild week of trading, today the man who has become legendary for his predictions on QE, historic moves in currencies, told King World News it’s all “illusions and lies” and warned the supernova debt bubble is about to trigger the death knell of the global financial system. We Told Our Investors To Buy Gold At $300. Egon von Greyerz:  “To ride a bull market is like climbing a wall of worry. Most of the time the market seems to be consolidating or correcting. The bull market in gold fits that picture perfectly. It started in 1999 at $250 but very few got in at the very bottom. At GoldSwitzerland we instructed our clients to put 50 percent of their net worth into physical gold in 2002 while the price of gold was still near a historic low at $300, with a very strong belief that the world economy and financial system would have unsolvable problems…
  • Captains of Dollar Are Panicked
    Market expert and financial writer Bill Holter says elite were in a “panic” last week to try to push down the price of gold and silver. Holter explains, “You have to understand that gold is the direct competitor versus the dollar.  Other currencies in the world compete with the dollar, but the dollar is the reserve currency.  It supplanted gold in 1971.  Gold and the dollar are direct competitors or arch enemies, or whatever you want to call them.  The best way to make the dollar look good is to make gold look bad.  That’s what the purpose of all these naked sales or contracts are to suppress the price (of gold and silver).   That’s the purpose of it. . . . Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were three big sales back to back to back, which shows the captains of the dollar are panicking.  The dollar definitely looks like its rolling over and has been taking some fairly sizable drops intraday.”
  • The Real Reason For America’s Looming Retirement Crisis
    Did you know that approximately 40 percent of all American workers have absolutely nothing saved for retirement? And did you know that pension funds in the United States are currently underfunded by about six trillion dollars? Social Security is supposed to be the underlying safety net for our entire retirement system, but it is essentially just a massive Ponzi scheme that everyone agrees is heading for a major disaster. Now that the Baby Boomers have started to retire, it is becoming clear that our society simply does not have the resources necessary to keep all of the promises that we have made to them. We are facing a retirement crisis of epic proportions, and by the end of this article you will understand the real reason why we have gotten into this mess.
  • Why Are So Many Millennials Living With Their Parents Instead Of Getting Married And Starting Their Own Families?
    Did you know that the percentage of 18 to 34-year-old Americans that are married and living with a spouse has dropped by more than half since 1975?  Back then, 57 percent of everyone in that age group “lived with a spouse”, but today that number has dropped to just 27 percent.  These numbers come from “the Changing Economics and Demographics of Young Adulthood” report that was just released by the U.S. Census Bureau.  Some are postulating that the reason for this dramatic cultural shift is a phenomenon known as “extended adolescence”, while others fear that large numbers of young men and/or young women are giving up on the concept of marriage altogether. Instead of getting married and starting their own households, many young adults are deciding that living with Mom and Dad is the best approach.  In fact, this new Census Bureau report found that one out of every three 18 to 34-year-old Americans is currently living with their parents…
  • Will You Turn Away Family, Friends And Neighbors At Your Door When America’s Day Of Disaster Arrives?
    How will you handle all of the people that will show up at your door when a major crisis strikes because they haven’t been making any preparations of their own?  Earlier today somebody asked me about this on Facebook, and I thought that it was a very good question, because thousands of my readers will be faced with this precise dilemma at some point.  When America’s day of disaster arrives, it is inevitable that most of us that are prepping will have family, friends and neighbors showing up at our door asking for help.  When that happens, what will you do? There are some people out there that are very honest about the fact that they do not plan to share what they have stored up with anyone, and that even close family members will be greeted with a shotgun if they show up unannounced.
  • Major Prophetic Warnings: ‘Socially Accepted But Immoral Lifestyles’ In The Church Will Be Exposed And ‘Judgment Starts Now’
    Judgment begins in the House of God, and those that are playing around with sin need to stop before it is too late.  In recent weeks, I have been writing much about the prophetic voices that have been warning about the “exposure” and the “great shaking” that are coming to the Church.  If you choose to put yourself out there as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ, you can’t embrace great sin and expect that there won’t be any consequences.  Our God is a holy and awesome God, and the only way that any of us are going to make it through what is coming is to live in holiness.  The Scriptures tell us that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom, and there isn’t a lot of the fear of God in our churches today, but there will be soon.
  • North Korea Threat Turns Hot, FBI & CIA Look for Traitor, Economic Update
    North Korea made the most provocative and dangerous threat yet through the state media when it said Kim Jong-Un may order a “super-mighty preemptive strike” against South Korea and the U.S. The U.S. says it is sending an armada to deal with the provocation. China and Russia, which both border North Korea, reportedly have deployed troops there. The threat is the worst ever for the Korean Peninsula as the North now has nuclear weapons that it did not have in the Korean War in the early 1950’s.
  • 11 Facts That Prove That The U.S. Economy In 2017 Is In Far Worse Shape Than It Was In 2016
    There is much debate about where the U.S. economy is ultimately heading, but what everybody should be able to agree on is that economic conditions are significantly worse this year than they were last year.  It is being projected that U.S. economic growth for the first quarter will be close to zero, thousands of retail stores are closing, factory output is falling, and restaurants and automakers have both fallen on very hard times.  As economic activity has slowed down, commercial and consumer bankruptcies are both rising at rates that we have not seen since the last financial crisis.  Everywhere you look there are echoes of 2008, and yet most people still seem to be in denial about what is happening.  The following are 11 facts that prove that the U.S. economy in 2017 is in far worse shape than it was in 2016…
  • Going cashless to fight rising financial crime
    Bribery, tax evasion, money laundering, counterfeiting, corruption, even the finance of terrorism. These are among a long list of crimes enabled by the use of “cash.” The attempt to crack down on these crimes is driving governments and a range of companies to pursue the potential of a cashless society. “Cash plays a big role in crime. I think there's a reason cash is king,” says Harvard economist Kenneth Rogoff, who has written extensively on the costs and benefits of phasing out paper currency. “Even though we have bitcoin, gold coins, uncut diamonds … you still find cash playing a major role [in crime], because it's basically government-licensed, anonymous currency. It has very high liquidity, low transaction costs. You can spend cash anywhere. All these other things, like you take gold coins to someone and they're actually a lot of trouble to verify.”
  • Deutsche Bank: “It Was Good While It Lasted”
    It all started in February, when we first reported that something unexpected had happened: for reasons that were at the time unknown, the global credit impulse had unexpectedly tumbled, turning negative, a move which we predicted would result in a steep slide in the “soft” economic data, end the “reflation” optimism and unleash a wave of dovishness from the Fed. Then, two months later when the reflation trade was officially over, in early April the culprit for this sudden collapse in global growth momentum was identified: China, which together with the price of oil, had been the only catalyst for the global reflation trade since the “Shanghai Accord” in February 2016, and had seen its credit impulse crash at the fastest pace since the financial crisis, dropping to a level not seen since 2010.
  • Clothing retailer Bebe to close all stores by end of May
    California-based women's apparel retailer Bebe announced plans to close all of its stores by the end of May. Bebe said it anticipates the closure of “all of the stores by the end of May,” according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The retailer had already begun to reduce its number of stores, reporting it still had 134 Bebe stores in 31 states, Puerto Rico and Canada as well as 34 outlet stores.
  • Its not different this time
    The Fed will continue to raise interest rates—we cannot continue like this—negative interest rates in most parts of the world are destroying a lot of people. Many pension plans, insurance companies and trusts are suffering badly now—you are going to have some pension plans in America go bankrupt, or not earn any money. They have the obligations to meet their promises as people continue to get older. When interest rates go higher, they are going to make bonds go lower—it is going to help the US dollar. Historically, in the US, if the Fed raised interest rates four times, it meant the stock market would go down and go down substantially for a while—it is clear that the Fed will raise interest rates four times, and it does not mean that it has to happen that way.
  • “The Retail Bubble Has Now Burst”: A Record 8,640 Stores Are Closing In 2017 
    The devastation in the US retail sector is accelerating in 2017, and in addition to the surging number of brick and mortar retail bankruptcies, it is perhaps nowhere more obvious than in the soaring number of store closures. While the shuttering of retail stores has been a frequent topic on this website, most recently in the context of the next “big short”, namely the ongoing deterioration in the mall REITs and associated Commercial Mortgage-Backed Securities and CDS, here is a stunning fact from Credit Suisse:”Barely a quarter into 2017, year-to-date retail store closings have already surpassed those of 2008.”
  • Is World War The Twisted Cure For a Doomed Economy? “Signals for War Are Fiscal”
    The march to war is deafening. But the reasons for it go beyond the elements of military conflict and political intrigue. Underlying it all, the reasons are economic. With a nothing-doing economy that has long dragged on the American soul, there is a growing temptation to wipe the slate clean, and launch a wider war – all with the wider aim of igniting a new economic engine. Theoretically, the economy would spruce up on the same gin that fueled WWII – and not only delivered a victory, but solidified America a prosperous superpower while vanquishing the Great Depression. The thought is twisted, and perhaps more and more likely everyday. Something like economic gains off of spilling blood – true military industrial complex stuff.
  • The Banking Industry Treats Its Customers Worse Than United Airlines
    Last week the Internet was ablaze with disgust after a man was physically dragged off a United Airlines flight. What’s amazing, though, is that there are countless cases of another industry abusing its customers in far, far worse ways than the airlines. I’m talking, of course, about the banking industry. 1. Banks treat you like criminal suspects too. 2. Banks nickel and dime you even more. 3. Overbooking? Try fractional reserve banking. 4. Banks are in bed with the government too. 5. Yet they brazenly screw their own customers.
  • Factory Output Tumbles In March – This Has Never Happened Outside Of Recession
    US Industrial Production peaked in November 2014 and remains down almost 2% from those record highs (despite surging stocks). This has never happened without the US economy being in recession in history. While Industrial production headlines met expectations, factory output for March plunged 0.4% – the biggest drop since Feb 2015. Still who needs ‘production' when we have Snapchat and Netflix!??
  • Meet The Robots That Will Build Your Next House
    The U.S. residential construction industry employs 100's of thousands of people each year in various skilled trades that earn hourly pay rates ranging from minimum wage to $100 per hour, or more. Per BLS statistics, the residential housing space employed over 1 million people at the height of the housing bubble and now accounts for nearly 750,000 jobs. Of course, just like the auto industry, many of those jobs can be done at a fraction of the cost and with much greater precision by industrial robots.  Moreover, those robots work inside a warehouse where they're immune from the negative consequences of weather and can work 365 days per year without compromising construction integrity.
  • MIT Scientist FURTHER Debunks False Flag: “The Nerve Agent Attack that Did Not Occur”
    This analysis contains a detailed description of the times and locations of critical events in the alleged nerve agent attack of April 4, 2017 in Khan Shaykhun, Syria – assuming that the White House Intelligence Report (WHR) issued on April 11, 2017 correctly identified the alleged sarin release site. Analysis using weather data from the time of the attack shows that a small hamlet about 300 m to the east southeast of the crater could be the only location affected by the alleged nerve agent release. The hamlet is separated from the alleged release site (a crater) by an open field. The winds at the time of the release would have initially taken the sarin across the open field. Beyond the hamlet there is a substantial amount of open space and the sarin cloud would have had to travel long additional distance for it to have dissipated before reaching any other population center.
  • Another Flip? Trump Tells Congress Iran Compliant With “Disastrous” Nuclear Deal
    On the heels of an apparant avalanche of flip-flops on campaign comments, President Trump has notified Congress that Iran is complying with the “disastrous… worst deal ever negotiated” 2015 nuclear deal negotiated by former President Obama. During his campaign, Trump raised the prospect the United States will pull out of the nuclear pact it signed last year with Iran, alienating Washington from its allies and potentially freeing Iran to act on its ambitions.
  • Russia Takes $30 Million In Venezuela Oil Hostage Over Unpaid Debt
    Despite having made its bond payment due last week, Venezuela’s state oil company, PDVSA, remains in fire financial straits, with virtually no funds or liquidity, and regardless of the close Russia-Venezuela ties, a Russian state-run shipping company has taken a tanker of PDVSA crude “hostage” in the Caribbean over $30 million worth of unpaid shipping fees. Russia’s shipper Sovcomflot sued PDVSA in the Dutch island St. Maarten in the Caribbean and “imposed garnishment on the aforementioned oil cargo,” Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a St. Maarten court decision. PDVSA had sent the oil cargo to the Caribbean in October last year, hoping it could net around $20 million from the sale of the crude, but Sovcomflot claims the cash-strapped state-run Venezuelan company owes $30 million in unpaid shipping fees.
  • Trump To Crack Down On Visa “Abuse” In “Hire American” Executive Order
    President Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday that aims to overhaul the H1-B visa program used by tech companies to bring high-skilled workers to the U.S., directing a government-wide review aimed at putting new teeth back into decades-old “Buy American” and “Hire American” directives. As The Hill reports, Trump will travel to a manufacturing plant in Kenosha, Wis., to sign the order, which the administration says will make it more difficult for U.S. companies to look overseas for workers to fill middle-income jobs.
  • Free Money! Is The Fed Paying Banks $22 Billion To Not Lend?
    Excess reserves of depository institutions peaked at $2.7 trillion in August of 2014. By December of 2016, excess reserves fell to $1.9 trillion but have since climbed back to $2.2 trillion. On October 3, 2008, Section 128 of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 allowed the Federal Reserve banks to begin paying interest on excess reserve balances (“IOER”) as well as required reserves. The Federal Reserve banks began doing so three days later. As interest rates have risen, so has the free money to banks.
  • Harvard ‘Shock' Study: Each $1 Minimum Wage Hike Causes 4-10% Increase In Restaurant Failures
    A ‘shocking' discovery was made when a pair of researchers at Harvard Business School decided to analyze the impact of higher minimum wages in San Francisco on restaurant failures…hint:  they went up. Entitled “Survival of the Fittest: The Impact of the Minimum Wage on Firm Exit”, this latest study on the devastating consequences of minimum wage was conducted by Dara Lee Luca and Michael Luca and concluded that each $1 increase in the minimum wage results in a roughly 4-10% increase in the likelihood of a restaurant going out of business.
  • Honeymoon from Hell: The Liberal Media vs. President Trump
    As President Trump approaches the end of his first 100 days in office, he has received by far the most hostile press treatment of any incoming American president, with the broadcast networks punishing him with coverage that has been 89% negative. The networks largely ignored important national priorities such as jobs and the fight against ISIS, in favor of a news agenda that has been dominated by anti-Trump controversies and which closely matches what would be expected from an opposition party. For example, President Trump’s push to invigorate the economy and bring back American jobs received a mere 18 minutes of coverage (less than one percent of all airtime devoted to the administration), while his moves to renegotiate various international trade deals resulted in less than 10 minutes of TV news airtime.
  • Death by overwork: Japan's 100-hour overtime cap sparks anger
    Workaholic Japan has unveiled its first-ever plan to limit overtime, but critics want to give it the boot, saying an “outrageous” 100-hour-a-month cap will do nothing to tackle karoshi, or death from overwork. Tokyo's bid to ease a national health crisis comes after the top executive at advertising giant Dentsu quit late last year in response to the suicide of a young employee who regularly logged more than 100 hours of overtime a month. The death of Matsuri Takahashi generated nationwide headlines, prompting the government to come up with a solution to punishing work hours blamed for hundreds of deaths due to strokes, heart attacks and suicides every year.
  • Is The Deep State Creating Another “Crash Of 1929”?
    In his speech above, future Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke acknowledged that, by raising interest rates, the Fed triggered the stock market crash of 1929, which heralded in the Great Depression. Yet, in her speech above, Fed Chair Janet Yellen announced that “it makes sense” for the Fed to raise interest rates “a few times a year.” This is a concern, as economic conditions are similar to those in 1929, and a rise in interest rates may have the same effect as it did then. So let’s back up a bit and have a look at what happened in 1929. In the run-up to the 1929 crash, the Federal Reserve raised rates to 6%, ostensibly to “limit speculation in securities markets.” As history shows, this sent economic activity south rather quickly. Countless investors, large and small, who had bought stocks on margin, would be unable to pay increased interest rates and would be forced to default. (It’s important to understand that the actual default was not necessary to crash markets. The knowledge that investors would be in trouble was sufficient to send the markets into a tailspin.)
  • Steve Keen: “Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?” (Spoiler Alert: No!)
    Economic theory is like a layer cake: Explanations within one layer make sense, but once you move to another layer, they no longer apply. Economist Steve Keen‘s new book “Can We Avoid Another Financial Crisis?” is an illustrative example. The good news is that Keen accurately describes the current economic system; the bad news is that the answer to the question in the title is “no.” (And, despite what I believe is his accurate overall assessment, he misses, or skips over, a few key, hidden elements of economic theory.) Keen defines his question within the layer of a corrupt banking system, the system we have now. He explains how it is that banks create money in the form of debt, and how this leads to financial instability.
  • Looks Like John McCain Is Happy With Trump's Foreign Policy
    President Trump and Senator John McCain started off with a rocky relationship. But now that the President has suddenly come around in all the wrong ways, the notoriously war hungry Senator is pleased. McCain was recently on Meet The Press with Chuck Todd, and he joyfully expressed his approval of the Washington establishment sucking Trump in. Isn't it funny how things work in Washington? One week Trump accuses John McCain of “always looking to start World War III,” and the next week McCain is praising Trump for doing that very thing!
  • “Out Of Cash” – More Than 90% Of India ATMs Run Dry
    Five months have passed since the demonetisation drive, but the people of India continue to face a shortage of cash in banks and ATMs. The Times of India reports that more than 90% of the ATMs in the northern region do not have cash, and in the southern states as many as 65% of ATMs have run dry. Speaking to TOI, State Bank of India (SBI) deputy general manager Ajoy Kumar Pandit said the customers are losing confidence in them due to the crisis. “Nearly 70 per cent of our 648 ATMs in the three districts are out of cash. The rest will also become dry in the next few days as we do not have cash to refill the machines. We are helpless from our side,” he said.
  • The Last Country We “Liberated” from an “Evil” Dictator Is Now Openly Trading Slaves
    It is widely known that the U.S.-led NATO intervention to topple Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 resulted in a power vacuum that has allowed terror groups like ISIS to gain a foothold in the country. Despite the destructive consequences of the 2011 invasion, the West is currently taking a similar trajectory with regard to Syria. Just as the Obama administration excoriated Gaddafi in 2011, highlighting his human rights abuses and insisting he must be removed from power to protect the Libyan people, the Trump administration is now pointing to the repressive policies of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and warning his regime will soon come to an end — all in the name of protecting Syrian civilians.
  • Angst In America – Disappearing Pensions
    There was once a time when many American workers had a simple formula for retirement: You stayed with a large business for many years, possibly your whole career. Then at a predetermined age you gratefully accepted a gold watch and a monthly check for the rest of your life. Off you went into the sunset. That happy outcome was probably never as available as we think. Maybe it was relatively common for the first few decades after World War II. Many of my Baby Boomer peers think a secure retirement should be normal because it’s what we saw in our formative years. In the early 1980s, about 60% of companies had defined-benefit plans. Today it’s about 4% (source: money.CNN). But today defined-benefit plans have ceased to be normal in the larger scheme of things. We witnessed an aberration, a historical anomaly that grew out of particularly favorable circumstances.
  • Wars and Rumors of Wars
    The world is nervous. With the recent US missile strike in Syria and escalating tensions in North Korea, people have turned their thoughts to war. Google searches for “world war 3” have hit all-time highs according to info available on Google Trends. Related searches such as “Trump war,” “Syria war,” and “nuclear war” are also trending at record levels. The Korea Times reported a high level of anxiety in South Korea as the US and North Korea spar in an escalating war of words and military posturing. President Trump recently ordered a US carrier group to waters near the Korean peninsula, saying North Korea is “looking for trouble.” An aid for Kim Jong-un warned a ‘reckless’ Donald Trump that North Korea will ‘annihilate’ the US. Meanwhile, South Koreans have flooded a popular message board in that country with talk of war.
  • Remember quantitative easing? It could make a comeback, says Boston Fed president
    The next recession is likely to force the Federal Reserve to once again buy up large amounts of assets to boost the supply of money and stimulate the economy, a move that nearly a decade ago was considered drastic and unconventional, according to Boston Federal Reserve president Eric Rosengren. During a speech Wednesday at Bard College in New York, Rosengren said that such purchases — called quantitative easing — will probably become a go-to tool for the Federal Reserve in dealing with recessions. Low inflation, limited productivity growth, and an aging population “may necessitate more frequent use of large-scale asset purchases during recessions,” he said.
  • Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – April 20, 2017
    Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen with his regular short weekly video for readers of Pastor Williams' weekly newsletter.

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One Response to “Latest News Articles – April 27, 2017”

  1. Cnk Guy says:

    It’s time that everybody got behind President Trump!

     

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