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Latest News Articles – March 30, 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 March 24, 2017 to March 30, 2017:

  • After Dramatic Obamacare Failure, Trump Now Faces A Looming Government Shutdown He May Not Be Able To Prevent
    If you thought that the Obamacare debacle was bad, just wait until you see what happens next.  The continuing resolution that is currently funding the government expires on April 28th, and if a new funding agreement is not reached prior to that time, there will be a government shutdown like we witnessed in 2013 starting on April 29th.  Unfortunately, as I will explain below, if a government shutdown happens it may go for a lot longer than just a couple of weeks this time around. April 28th may sound like it is quite some time away, but because the congressional calendar has so many “holes” in it, there is actually not very much time for Congress to act. If you can believe it, there are only 12 “legislative days” between now and April 28th, and if something is not done on one of those 12 days the government will shut down on April 29th.
  • Broken America
    Is this the beginning of the end for the United States of America?  It has been said that a house divided against itself will surely fall, and today we live in a shattered union.  In all my years, I have never seen so much strife, discord, bitterness and resentment in this country.  Everyone can see what is happening, but nobody can seem to stop it.  Politically, you have got tens of millions of people trying to pull America one way, and you have got tens of millions of people trying to pull it the exact opposite way.  As I discussed in a previous article, the term “civil war” is now being thrown around by some pundits even though nobody has started shooting yet.  We are a deeply divided and broken nation, and if we don’t find a way to fix things America will not survive.
  • Obamacare is the Reason for Anemic Growth
    Analyst and entrepreneur Karl Denninger predicted years ago that Obamacare would “kill the economy” and “eventually implode.” Today, the first quarter GDP came in at just .9%, and Denninger contends Obamacare is part of the reason the economy is so anemic. Denninger says, “Since the crash in 2008, we’ve had 2% GDP expansion roughly on an average basis, and you are trying to expand the growth of one program in the government by 8.5%, and that’s not going to work. This is the problem you have. What Obamacare has done has caused the 2% expansion. . . . So, what has happened here is we have taken this program and crammed these costs into the economy on a mandated basis, and the result is the productivity expansion has gone into the toilet.”
  • Ex-cyber security chief says Government is ‘using' Westminster attack to grab unnecessary spying powers
    The Ministry of Defence’s former cyber security chief has accused the Government of trying to “use” the devastating Westminster attack to grab unnecessary and intrusive surveillance powers. Major General Jonathan Shaw said ministers were attempting to “use the moment” to push for security services having more control, despite there being only a weak case for it. Home Secretary Amber Rudd has turned up the heat on internet firms, saying it is “completely unacceptable” that authorities cannot look at encrypted social media messages of attacker Khalid Masood, but her words come as debate continues over allowing spy agencies further intrusive powers – only last year Parliament granted them sweeping new capabilities.
  • Congress just cleared the way for internet providers to sell your web browsing history
    Internet providers now just need a signature from President Trump before they’re free to take, share, and even sell your web browsing history without your permission. The House of Representatives passed a resolution today overturning an Obama-era FCC rule that required internet providers to get customers’ permission before sharing their browsing history with other companies. The rules also required internet providers to protect that data from hackers and inform customers of any breaches. The resolution was first passed by the Senate last week and now heads to the president, who’s expected to sign it. At that point, there’ll only be a vague baseline of privacy rules governing internet providers and some promises from them not to misbehave.
  • The Unaccountable Military Industrial Complex Is Destroying America and the Rest Of The World Too
    On Jan. 17, 1961, US President Eisenhower gave the nation a dire warning about what he described as a threat to democratic government. He called it the military-industrial complex. He warned, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.”
  • Russia Plans 2017-2019 Budget Based On $40 Barrel
    Russia is budgeting its federal spending to expectations that oil prices will hover around $40 a barrel for the next several years, according to a new report by Bloomberg. Such preparations go against predictions by international oil industry experts that barrel prices will rise to $60 and remain there over the long term. These forecasts are based on expectations that the global oil supply glut will reverse over the next couple of years, bringing prices up to a new normal, which will still stand far lower than the $100+ levels seen before the market crash occurred in late 2014.
  • Australia, China to protect globalization
    In a testament of growing bilateral ties, Australia and China pledged on Thursday to safeguard globalization and free trade and do away with barriers which might be established as protectionist policies. “We believe that to resolve trade imbalance we need to continue to expand trade, that is the solution. We cannot close our doors, that is not the solution,” Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said during his visit to the Australian capital Canberra. “Free trade can only thrive in a peaceful and stable environment, both our countries know this well,” Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. While this is the first visit by a Chinese Premier to Australia in more than a decade, it comes on the heels of strengthened trade ties between the two countries.
  • Health-Care Industry Debt Turns into “Systemic Recession Risk”
    Sector booms and busts have historically been driven by speculation and over-borrowing, often triggering regional or even national recessions. Textbook examples include the 2014 Energy and 2008 Financial sector collapse. In both of these instances, fallacies such as perpetual $100+ oil and ever rising home prices drove rampant speculation, overinvestment, and unsustainable debt buildup.
  • More About The Great Collapse In Retail
    Retail Revolutions Are Neither Rare Nor Permanent – Sears, Roebuck and company recently issued a very strong caution about its ability to survive while moving forward. That instantly brought to memory the near dominance in retailing Sears had once attained. The fascinating story of the rise and reverse of Sears is wonderfully outlined as part of some recent presentations by my good friend John Mauldin.
  • Global Warming Is Real Say the Academies of Sciences of All of the Major Countries, But a Handful of my Readers Know Better
    I am fortunate in having readers who look after me. Some have offered me refuge in their countries and their homes from what they expect otherwise will inevitably be the midnight knock on my door. Others correct my mistakes from typos to content. As I have never considered myself infallible, I carefully read what they have to say. Usually those who want to straighten me out on a subject are polite and respectful. However, among those corrections brought in by my reporting on the dangers implied by the warming of the poles and melting of the ice were a few not merely ignorant and uninformed, but also condescending and rude. One even accused me of selling out to the climate change hoax in order to buy my way off the lists of Russian agents and fake news purveyors.
  • Trump is America’s Last Chance
    Economist John Williams says President Trump has to do something fast and big to turn the faltering U.S. economy around. Williams explains, “You are seeing the economy slow down.  Some people are recognizing that.  The Fed’s statement a week or two ago . . . many analysts consider that dovish.  The Fed knows what’s going on here.  They are trying to get rates up a little, but they have a circumstance that they are not out of the woods with the banks.  What they are hoping for is maybe the Trump Administration is going to bail them out and stimulate the economy.”
  • One Mother’s Chilling Close Encounter With A Team Of Child Abductors That People Can’t Stop Talking About
    After reading this article, you will never be careless with your child in a public place ever again. There really are predators out there that make a lot of money abducting children. Some of the children that are abducted are abused, tortured or even killed inside the United States, but many others are quickly sent to the nearest port, shipped overseas, and ultimately used for some of the most horrific purposes that you can possibly imagine. So if your child is kidnapped by professional traffickers, there is a chance that your precious little one could end up on the other side of the planet.
  • Thousands Of Americans Are Fleeing The Big Cities In Preparation For The Coming American Apocalypse
    Why are so many people suddenly moving away from major U.S. cities?  Recently, I wrote about the mass exodus that is happening out of the state of California, but the truth is that what is happening there is just part of a national phenomenon.  The populations of some of our largest cities are steadily shrinking, and many experts are completely mystified by the seismic demographic shifts that we are now witnessing.  Of course there are a whole host of reasons why people would want to move away from huge cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Baltimore and Cleveland.  For some families, it simply comes down to wanting a better life for their children.  But as you will see below, there are others that believe that things in this country are about to take an apocalyptic turn, and the big cities will not be a place that you want to be when economic collapse, rioting, looting, civil unrest and crime are all spiraling out of control.
  • UK set to begin ‘momentous journey' to life outside EU
    Britain will take the first step on its “momentous journey” to a future outside the European Union when Theresa May launches divorce proceedings that will bring to an end a relationship of more than 40 years. The Prime Minister has signed the letter that starts the formal exit process and the historic document will be hand-delivered by a senior diplomat to EU chiefs. It will mark the start of complex and contentious negotiations that put the UK on course to break its ties with the Brussels club by the end of March 2019.
  • Chile pensions protest draws tens of thousands
    Tens of thousands of people in Chile have taken part in demonstrations against the country's controversial privatised pension system. Demonstrators called on the socialist government of Michelle Bachelet to scrap the the system, which is managed by private funds. Critics say the system benefits the rich but leaves poorer Chileans with a pension below the minimum wage.
  • Europe Unveils New Gun Laws: “Like Putting A Band-Aid On A Bullet Wound”
    The EU has almost regulated firearms enough to keep people completely safe from terrorism. Just one more law, and they should be able to usher Europe into a new age of utopian peace. What happened: The European Parliament passed a bill this month which closes loopholes in regards to “acoustic” and “deactivated” prop guns to make them irreversibly unusable. If the law passes the Council of Ministers, it will also apply stricter regulations on semi-autos with high capacity magazines. Included in the bill are obligations of member states to monitor the issuance of firearms licenses, and share that information across the EU. Countries in the EU will have 30 months to implement the required procedures for tracking firearms.
  • “We've Reached Our Limits” – Greece Begins Blocking Refugees
    Greece will cease taking back refugees under the controversial Dublin Regulation, as the country’s limited capacities to host people are already on the brink of collapse, the Greek migration minister announced in an interview. RT reports that as the European Commission pressures Athens to re-implement the Dublin Regulation – stipulating that refugees can be returned to the first EU state they arrived in – the Greek migration minister told Spiegel his country is not in a position to do so. The agreement was put on hold for Greece back in 2011 over problems in the country’s asylum system.
  • Your Pension Will Be At The Center Of America's Next Financial Crisis
    I’m not a fan of the “greed is good” mentality of Wall Street investment firms. But the next financial crisis that rocks America won’t be driven by bankers behaving badly. It will in fact be driven by pension funds that cannot pay out what they promised to retirees. According to one pension advocacy organization, nearly 1 million working and retired Americans are covered by pension plans at the risk of collapse. The looming pension crisis is not limited by geography or economic focus. These including former public employees, such as members of South Carolina’s government pension plan, which covers roughly 550,000 people — one out of nine state residents — and is a staggering $24.1 billion in the red. These include former blue collar workers such as roughly 100,000 coal miners who face serious cuts in pension payments and health coverage thanks to a nearly $6 billion shortfall in the plan for the United Mine Workers of America. And when the bill comes due, we will all be in very big trouble.
  • America's March To Default
    “May you live in interesting times,” says the ancient Chinese curse.  No doubt about it, we live in interesting times.  Hardly a day goes by that we’re not aghast and astounded by a series of grotesque caricatures of the world as at devolves towards vulgarity. Just this week, for instance, U.S. Representative Maxine Waters tweeted, “Get ready for impeachment.” Well, Maxine Waters is obviously right – impeaching the president is an urgent task of the utmost importance. As everybody knows, he is best friends with Vladimir Putin, the shirtless barbarian who rules the Evil Russian Empire (they were seen drinking kompromat together in Moscow, a vile Russian liquor that reportedly tastes a bit like urine. Senator McCain has the details on that story). And as Maxine Waters has just disclosed, Putin’s armies are recently advancing into Korea! We cannot let this stand, or he’ll invade Kekistan next (note that he already controls Limpopo and Gabon). Who knows where it will end?
  • Pensions mistakes of the past must be avoided, says John Cridland
    Mistakes of the past must be avoided when telling people of any rise in their state pension age, the author of a major review has told the government. John Cridland published the independent review on Thursday, proposing that those under the age of 45 may have to work a year longer, to 68. He told BBC Radio 4's Money Box that there should be no repeat of the issues currently facing women in their 50s. Many say they were not told directly of two rises in their state pension age.
  • Over-Regulation Has Criminalized The Practice Of Medicine
    This criminalization of everyday life is not just insanely costly and insanely counter-productive–it's insanely punitive. The average person has little exposure to the criminalization of everyday enterprise in America via over-regulation and outsized penalties for even accidental violations of rules and regulations. One field that continues to be burdened with excessive/counter-productive regulations and outsized penalties is the practice of medicine.
  • Goldman Asks “Have We Reached Peak Cash?”
    In several major economies it's crunch time for the future of cash. Goldman Sachs notes that this is largely policy-driven: tangible steps are being taken to wean economies off cash (e.g. India, Europe); but adds that, at the same time consumer expectations around convenience are rising and enabling technologies have proliferated in the shape of contactless cards, mobile wallets, cryptocurrencies and more. So, they ask, does the decline in cash payments imply the demise of cash? Not necessarily.
  • UK's ‘largest undeveloped oil field’ discovered off Scottish coast
    Shares in U.K.-listed Hurricane Energy gushed higher Monday after the firm said it had found the “largest undeveloped (oil) discovery on the U.K. continental shelf”. Hurricane Energy said in a market release Monday that the firm has located a kilometer-deep oil column which is believed to connect to an existing field. The discovery is near the Shetland Islands, off the north coast of Scotland.
  • Russia Readies Back-Up System For Potential “Split With International Banking System”
    The grand order of things could be undergoing some major overhauls. To put it more bluntly, a war to reset the global financial order is about to be unleashed. Preparations inside Russia are being made in case the ultimate banking sanctions are placed on them, cutting off commerce inside the all-encompassing Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecomm SWIFT system – which runs credit, debt, and banking card transactions across a real time global network. As it would be doled out by the banking elites, the price for misbehavior at the Kremlin could be ostracization from this global commerce vehicle. But that isn’t the end of the story… Putin is readying his people to divorce from the international banking system altogether, and start over with a nationalistic platform, backed by thousands of tons of gold, and growing alliances with Europe, China and the BRICS nations, the Middle East and several emerging powers.
  • Watch These Geopolitical Flashpoints Carefully
    Anyone who has been involved in alternative geopolitical and economic analysis for a decent length of time understands that the establishment power structure thrives according to its ability to either exploit natural crises, or to engineer fabricated crises. This is not that hard to comprehend, but for some reason there are a lot of people out there who simply assume that global sea-change events just happen “at random,” that the elites are stupid or oblivious, and that all outcomes are a matter of random chance rather than being directed or manipulated.  I call these people “intellectual idiots,” because they believe they are applying logic to every scenario but they are sabotaged by an inherent bias which causes them to deny the potential for “conspiracy.”
  • McCain: “The New World Order Is Under Enormous Strain”
    It was a bumper day for John McCain when on Friday Donald Trump's Republican nemesis gloated as Trump's “art of the deal” collapsed in the last minute, after the President and Ryan-led effort to repeal Obamacare suffered what appears to be a terminal setback. In the wake of Trump's misfortune, McCain renewed his calls on Friday for a return to a legacy neocon status quo, when speaking at the Brussels forum, said that the world “cries out for American and European leadership” through the EU and Nato, and said that the EU and the US needed to develop “more cooperation, more connectivity”.
  • Canada Passes ‘Blasphemy' Bill To Silence Critics Of Islam
    Despite polls showing that 71% of Canadians would not have voted for the measure, Canada's Parliament, with the strong backing of Justin Trudeau's Liberal government, passed a motion this week 201 to 91 that critics say singles out Islam for special protection. Tabled by Muslim liberal MP Iqra Khalid, M-103 urges the federal government to “condemn Islamophobia” and to “develop a whole-of-government approach to reducing or eliminating systemic racism and religious discrimination including Islamophobia.” The term “Islamophobia” is nowhere defined in the motion.
  • China Bans Buying Of Hong Kong Property On Credit Cards
    In China's latest effort to control capital flight, authorities have banned Chinese citizens from buying property in Hong Kong using their credit cards.The use of Chinese credit cards to pay for a portion of property transactions is widespread in Hong Kong. Willy Liu, chief executive of local real estate agent Ricacorp, said 15-20 per cent of new property buyers were mainland Chinese. The majority use UnionPay cards to pay for 5 per cent of the home price as a mortgage deposit in Hong Kong. Most of those transactions are worth at least HK$500,000 ($64,371), Mr Liu said, surpassing the $50,000 annual limit for personal foreign exchange imposed by China’s regulators.
  • What A Westinghouse Bankruptcy Could Mean For U.S. Utilities
    International news services now report that Japan’s Toshiba Corporation (9502.T) is preparing to make a chapter 11 bankruptcy filing for its Westinghouse Electric subsidiary as soon as this Monday, March 27. For most of our readers this news evokes little surprise. This is merely another chapter of a slow moving financial and accounting train wreck involving nuclear design and construction firm Westinghouse and its troubled Japanese parent, Toshiba. But like an old, leaky garbage scow there is much to clean up in its wake.
  • Spying Lying Exposed-Trump Proven Right, Economy Tanking, North Korea Update
    Donald Trump was mocked by the mainstream media (MSM) for saying Obama “wiretapped” or spied on Trump and his top advisors. This week, Trump was proven 100% correct when information came out that President-elect Trump and his transition team were, in fact, wrapped up in government surveillance.  Information was illegally leaked to the press, and identities were illegally “unmasked” to discredit and embarrass the incoming President and his team.  This makes Watergate look like a squirt gun fight, and this investigation is now set to reveal “smoking gun” proof that the Obama Administration was involved in illegal activity.  This investigation is far from over and could directly implicate former President Obama.
  • Trump to approve Keystone XL pipeline
    President Trump and his administration will approve the Keystone XL pipeline on Friday, according to senior U.S officials, but only after the State Department delivers a positive recommendation to start construction on a project that has been delayed for quite some time, the Keystone pipeline has served as a key point in the debate about climate change. The undersecretary of state for political affairs, Tom Shannon, would make a recommendation on Friday that the pipeline serves U.S national interests, said two senior officials. Afterwards, the White House would make a formal announcement citing approval, said the officials, who weren’t given permission to comment publicly on the matter.
  • Banks Are Crashing
    Party's over… With the yield curve flatter than before Trump's election, and rates collapsing, reform was the last best hope for bank bulls… And after Friday's debacle, it appears investors have lost patience… Banks are now red YTD… Think banks are oversold? Maybe not…
  • Financial Collapse Will Trigger Civil War
    Best-selling author Doug Casey wrote “Crisis Investing” at the time when the U.S. political landscape was transitioning from the Carter Administration to the Reagan Administration. Now, Casey sees a coming crisis that is equal or worse than the Civil War.  Casey explains, “In the U.S. right now, there seems to be so much antagonism it’s almost like pre-Civil War.  There is actually hatred in the U.S. at this point.  It used to be the Republicans and Democrats could disagree, but they could have a civil conversation about a difference of opinion.  Now, it’s active hatred between these two groups.  This is not going to end well.”
  • “They're Like The Praetorian Guard” – Whistleblower Confirms NSA Targeted Congress, The Supreme Court, & Trump
    NSA whistleblower William Binney told Tucker Carlson on Friday that the NSA is spying on “all the members of the Supreme Court, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Congress, both House and Senate, as well as the White House.” Binney, who served the NSA for 30 years before blowing the whistle on domestic spying in 2001, told Tucker he firmly believes that Trump was spied on.
  • Prophetic Voices: ‘Exposure’ And ‘Dividing’ Are Coming Due To ‘Perversion’ In The Church
    When prophetic voices all over the nation start saying the exact same thing, you might want to start listening. In the Scriptures, there is a very clear pattern when it comes to judgment. God always sends warnings in advance so that people can have a chance to repent. In recent days there has been a flood of warnings for the church in America, and I am going to share a few of those with you in this article. Considering the fact that there is such agreement in the prophetic community, it would be quite foolish to refuse to take these warnings seriously.
  • Scientists Warn That The Coming California Megaquake Could Plunge Large Portions Of The State Into The Ocean
    Over the years, many people have been shown that someday a giant earthquake will cause significant portions of California to fall into the ocean. But up until now, most scientists have disputed the idea that this could ever actually happen. Well, now all of that has changed. According to a brand new study, a megaquake along the west coast “could plunge large parts of California into the sea almost instantly”. In fact, the researchers that conducted this study say that it is almost certain to happen eventually. Of course they probably don’t believe that such an event is imminent or else they would be moving out of the state like so many other people are.
  • Member Of Congress Warns Of A 1,000 Point Stock Market Crash If Obamacare Lite Does Not Pass
    Are we going to see a dramatic stock market plunge if the effort to get “Obamacare Lite” through the U.S. House of Representatives ultimately fails?  On Thursday, a vote on the Republican healthcare bill was postponed once it became clear that there would not be enough votes for it to pass.  House Republican leaders are still optimistic that there will still be a vote on Friday, but that is far from certain.  Many strong conservatives in the House are balking at supporting this bill because while it does eliminate a few of the most troublesome provisions of Obamacare, it keeps many of the elements of Obama’s signature healthcare law that have proven to be popular with the American people.  In other words, this bill is much more about “tweaking” Obamacare than “repealing” it.
  • Jobs of the future may not have stable hours, holiday pay, sick pay, or pensions, DWP secretary says
    Jobs of the future may not have stable hours, holiday pay, sick pay, or pensions, the Work and Pensions Secretary has said. Damian Green described the trend in employment practices towards the so-called “gig economy” as “exciting” and said the changes had “huge potential”. The Cabinet minister’s endorsement of the approach comes a month after an employment tribunal found that drivers for the Uber car service should in fact get the minimum wage and paid holiday. The tribunal dismissed the taxi company’s claim that its drivers were in fact self–employed and not entitled to these rights.
  • The Worst Retail Cataclysm Ever: Sears Warns It Is On The Verge Of Collapse As Payless Prepares To File For Bankruptcy
    More than 3,500 retail stores are going to close all across America over the next few months as the worst retail downturn in U.S. history gets even deeper.  Earlier this week, Sears shocked the world when it announced that there is “substantial doubt” that the company will be able to “continue as a going concern” much longer.  In other words, Sears has announced that it is on the verge of imminent collapse.  Meanwhile, Payless stunned the retail industry when it came out that they are preparing to file for bankruptcy.  The “retail apocalypse” that I have been warning about is greatly accelerating, and many believe that this is one of the early warning signs that the economic collapse that is already going on in other parts of the globe will soon reach U.S. shores.
  • None of the world’s top industries would be profitable if they paid for the natural capital they use
    The notion of “externalities” has become familiar in environmental circles. It refers to costs imposed by businesses that are not paid for by those businesses. For instance, industrial processes can put pollutants in the air that increase public health costs, but the public, not the polluting businesses, picks up the tab. In this way, businesses privatize profits and publicize costs. While the notion is incredibly useful, especially in folding ecological concerns into economics, I’ve always had my reservations about it. Environmentalists these days love speaking in the language of economics — it makes them sound Serious — but I worry that wrapping this notion in a bloodless technical term tends to have a narcotizing effect. It brings to mind incrementalism: boost a few taxes here, tighten a regulation there, and the industrial juggernaut can keep right on chugging. However, if we take the idea seriously, not just as an accounting phenomenon but as a deep description of current human practices, its implications are positively revolutionary.
  • This New Bubble Is Even Bigger Than The Subprime Fiasco
    In 1988, a bank called Guardian Savings and Loan made financial history by issuing the first ever “subprime” mortgage bond. The idea was revolutionary. The bank essentially took all the mortgages they had loaned to borrowers with bad credit, and pooled everything together into a giant bond that they could then sell to other banks and investors. The idea caught on, and pretty soon, everyone was doing it.
  • 5 Charts That Scream “This Is It”
    Before yesterday, the S&P 500 and DJIA hadn’t seen a 1% drop since October 2016. For some perspective, Hillary Clinton was the presidential frontrunner the last time markets fell 1%. This was the longest such streak for both indices in over 20 years. In February, the DJIA recorded its longest “winning streak” since 1987. It closed 2,000 points above its 200-day moving average for the first time ever. Also in February, the combined market cap of the S&P 500 topped $20 trillion for the first time. Its market cap has increased by over $2 trillion since the election—staggering. Like we discussed last month, with a proliferation of “record” highs in 2017, where are market valuations at today? The five charts below paint the whole picture best.
  • Lead Poisoning In “Dozens Of California Communities” Worse Than Flint, Michigan
    California, a state infamous for its environmental protections, including a $65 billion tunnel project being pushed by Governor Jerry Brown so as not to disrupt the habitat of a tiny, non-native fish species, may be facing a lead poisoning crisis more severe than Flint, Michigan.
    According to blood test data obtained by Reuters, rates of childhood lead poisoning in several California cities surpass those measured in Flint, Michigan, with one Fresno locale showing rates nearly three times higher. In fact, in Fresno’s downtown 93701 zip code, nearly 14% of children tested showed lead levels at or above 5 micrograms per deciliter of blood, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s current threshold for an elevated reading. As the CDC noted, no level of lead exposure is safe, but children who test that high warrant an immediate public health response.
  • Sears Enters Death Spiral: Vendors Halt Shipments, Insurers Bail
    When we commented yesterday morning on the unexpected “going concern” notice in Sears' just filed 10-K which sent the stock crashing, we pointed out the immediate spin provided by Eddie Lampert's distressed retailer which promised that its comeback plan may help alleviate the concerns, “satisfying our estimated liquidity needs 12 months from the issuance of the financial statements”, to which however we added the footnote that “the question is what happens when vendors start demanding cash on delivery as concerns about SHLD.'s liquidity concerns continue to grow.”
  • Dear America: Better Read The Fine Print On Your Credit Card Statement
    What will replace the current system after it self-destructs? That's the question. You know those disclosures on your credit card statements? That it will take 27 years to pay off your balance if you only make the minimum payment each month, and so on?
  • PBOC Injects Hundreds Of Billions Into Chinese Banks After Sudden Defaults In Interbank Payments
    As is customary virtually every time the Chinese central bank commences some form of tightening, overnight the PBOC injected “hundreds of billions of yuan into the financial system after some smaller lenders failed to repay borrowings in the interbank market”, according to people familiar with the matter. According to a brief note by Bloomberg, Tuesday’s injections followed missed interbank payments on Monday, anonymous sources said; the matter is not made public over concerns of bank deposit flight risk. The institutions that missed payments included rural commercial banks. One of Bloomberg's trader sources said a borrower failed to repay an overnight repo of less than 50 million yuan ($7.3 million). China’s smaller lenders have been squeezed by a rise in money market rates this week, with the benchmark seven-day repurchase rate jumping to the highest level since April 2015 on Tuesday. As we described last Wednesday, the PBOC for the second time in a month engaged in tightening by hiking the rate on reverse repos as well as various liquidity conduit operations such as the MLS.
  • Venezuela Stops Publishing Money Supply Data For Obvious Reasons
    More than a year after hyperinflating banana republic Venezuela stopped reporting official inflation data, Venezuela has stopped publishing money supply data, depriving the general public of the last, and best, available tool to ascertain soaring inflation in what has become the world's worst-performing economy. Then again, one hardly needs official data to confirm the blistering wave of hyperinflation sweeping through the nation which has seen the value of the bolivar disintegrate under the Maduro regime. The money supply indicator suddenly stopped appearing on the central bank's website on Feb. 24. The data in question, which will no longer be updated, looked as follows most recently.
  • Genetically-modified crops have benefits – Princess Anne
    Princess Anne has said genetically-modified crops have important benefits for providing food and she would be open to growing them on her own land. She told BBC Radio 4's Farming Today “we have to accept” the process could help production and livestock health. Her brother, the Prince of Wales, has previously warned GM crops could cause an environmental disaster. But Princess Anne said: “To say we mustn't go there ‘just in case' is probably not a practical argument.”
  • The Curse of Unlimited Money
    We live in an age of government fiat money, meaning it's not real and constitutional money, like gold and silver. Since government, via its central bank, can create as much money as it wants, it can finance whatever it wants….wars, welfare, social engineering, you name it. No price tag is too big. Imagine having the ability to create (out of thin air) as much money as you'd like. Putting all jokes aside, what would become of you? How would that change you? We're not talking about earning as much money as you'd like. That's totally legitimate. We're talking about — one moment the money doesn't exist, and the next it's in your hands. How would that warp every aspect of your humanity? Let's just say, it wouldn't be pretty, as intoxicating as the prospect may sound on the surface.
  • Meals on Wheels Responds to Fake News Claims Trump’s Budget Will Shut Them Down
    For the mainstream media sending hundreds of millions of tax dollars to support terrorists organizations in the middle east isn’t worth covering. But God forbid Trump dare propose cutting $250K from Meals on Wheels. A budget move that, if you only listen to what the fake news complex feeds you, would have you believing will shut down the organization and close its doors for good. But is that $250K really going to cripple Meals on Wheels? Is that really the bulk of funding for the organization? Not even close. In fact, around 3% or less of their funding comes from taxpayers via the federal government.
  • Iconic Wall Street Bull Artist Unhappy with Fearless Girl Statue
    For decades, an iconic bronze bull has stood at the ready in front of the New York Stock Exchange, a symbol of America’s perseverance during difficult financial times. On March 7th the bull met what many felt was an inspirational opponent in a statue dubbed “The Fearless Girl” – a young woman standing tall and staring down the behemoth animal meant to act as a symbol of the power of women in modern American society.  The only problem with the young lady’s visage is that it has adversely affected the power of bull’s symbolism, according to the artist who created and donated the beast to The Big Apple.
  • Opinion: Here’s where the next financial crisis is lurking
    Animal spirits are running high. President Donald Trump’s promises to repeal Obamacare, cut taxes, and roll back regulations have supercharged stock prices and business optimism. However, history teaches when expectations are most buoyant, investors and decision makers are inclined to overlook dangers in specific markets that could abscess into a systemic collapse. Here are five problems that could saddle Trump with the next financial crisis: Housing Bubble, Student Debt, European Banks, China and Trump’s Promises and Political Divisions.
  • Mainstream Media in Total Collapse
    Few any longer believe the “mainstream media,” that is, the presstitutes. This has put them into a panic as the presstitutes lose their value to the ruling elite if the presstitutes cannot control the explanations in order to justify the self-serving agendas of the ruling elite. To fight back against the alternative media that does tell the truth, a secret group, PropOrNot, as well hidden as an offshore money-laundering operation, published a list of 200 websites accused of being “Russian agents/dupes.” PropOrNot’s effort to discredit truth-tellers was hurt by the site’s anonymity.
  • NSA Whistleblower Releases Documents Proving Trump Surveillance
    At a time when deep state insiders have been consistently leaking classified information in an effort to discredit President Trump, they have either failed to recognize the fact that they were endangering American lives, or they just simply didn’t care. With liberals, the ends always justify the means… so don't be surprised if it's the latter. Despite the deep state's best efforts, the Russian conspiracy allegations are fast being disproved, and with any luck they’ll collapse on themselves once and for all sooner before later. Meanwhile, the “Obamagate” scandal has just begun to pick up steam. New evidence has recently emerged that’s bound to throw more fuel into the fire, making things a bit hot for President Obama.
  • Central Bank Shell Game: What Sweden’s Negative Interest Rates Do to Consumers 
    Sweden’s welfare state supposedly allows for success while providing a safety net for those unable to keep up with the market. In principle, it is an ideal, utopian-like state. However, Sweden’s touted economic success has come at the expense of its currency, the Krone (SEK), and long-term sustainability. Riksbank, the Swedish Central Bank, like its European contemporaries, has undertaken experimental policy, driving real and nominal interest rates below zero.
  • The Collapse of Trust in the West
    Just as President Putin has stated that governments and media in the West have destroyed Russia’s trust in the West, the governments and media in the West have destroyed the trust of their citizens, who have been transformed into serfs to whom government no longer is accountable. I have stressed in many columns that the absence of trust between nuclear powers is a great threat to all life on earth. Yet the Western governments and media continue to work 24/7 to worsen relations between the US and Russia and the US and China. Those of us who warn of the possible consequences are put on lists of “Russian dupes” and purveyors of “fake news.” These lists show the desperation behind the orchestrated “Russian threat.” A one thousand billion dollar annual military/security budget is at stake along with American financial and political hegemony. In brief, greed for money and power are driving the world to destruction.
  • Rising Inflation, Four Rate Hikes, Financial Repression on Menu in 2017: Fed Heads
    Inflation will rise above target, and that’s OK, the Fed heads who’ve been talking since last week’s meeting said. The Fed will hike rates, maybe faster than expected, but they won’t catch up with inflation, keeping the Fed purposefully behind the curve, and inflation will overshoot, and real interest rates will be deeply negative, whether you like it or not. That’s the Fed’s message emerging since the last meeting. Today, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans echoed Fed Chair Janet Yellen who’d suggested on Wednesday that the Fed could try to push inflation above the 2% “target.”
  • The Conspiracy Against President Trump 
    Listening today to the broadcast of testimony by FBI Director Comey and National Security Agency Director Admiral Michael Rogers before the House Intelligence Committee (an oxymoron) made it clear that the Democrats, Comey, and Rogers intend conflict with Russia. The Republicans, for the most part, were interested to know how security leaks targeted at Trump Republicans came from meetings at which only the CIA Director, NSA Director, and FBI director were present. Of course, they did not get an answer, which shows how powerless congressional oversight committees are. Comey repeatedly said that he could not tell the committee anything, because it would confirm that a press leak was true. But, he said, speaking generally and of no specific leak, most leaks come from “someone who heard something” and passes it on to the media, which also explains the inaccuracy of some leaks. In other words, don’t blame us.
  • Pastor Lindsey Williams introduces Pastor David Bowen – March 23, 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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