Tag Archives: Foreign Bankster Take-Over

12 Signs That An Imminent Global Financial Crash Has Become Even More Likely

Financials

Did you see what just happened?

by Michael Snyder | Economic Collapse | August 12, 2015

The devaluation of the yuan by China triggered the largest one day drop for that currency in the modern era.  This caused other global currencies to crash relative to the U.S. dollar, the price of oil hit a six year low, and stock markets all over the world were rattled.  The Dow fell 212 points on Tuesday, and Apple stock plummeted another 5 percent.  As we hurtle toward the absolutely critical months of September and October, the unraveling of the global financial system is beginning to accelerate.  At this point, it is not going to take very much to push us into a full-blown worldwide financial crisis.  The following are 12 signs that indicate that a global financial crash has become even more likely after the events of the past few days…

#1 The devaluation of the yuan on Tuesday took virtually the entire planet by surprise (and not in a good way).  The following comes from Reuters
China’s 2 percent devaluation of the yuan on Tuesday pushed the U.S. dollar higher and hit Wall Street and other global equity markets as it raised fears of a new round of currency wars and fed worries about slowing Chinese economic growth.

#2 One of the big reasons why China devalued the yuan was to try to boost exports.  China’s exports declined 8.3 percent in July, and global trade overall is falling at a pace that we haven’t seen since the last recession.

#3 Now that the Chinese have devalued their currency, other nations that rely on exports are indicating that they might do the same thing.  If you scan the big financial news sites, it seems like the term “currency war” is now being bandied about quite a bit.

 

#4 This is the very first time that the 50 day moving average for the Dow has moved below the 200 day moving average in the last four years. This is known as a “death cross”, and it is a very troubling sign.  We are just about at the point where all of the most common technical signals that investors typically use to make investment decisions will be screaming “sell”.

#5 The price of oil just closed at a brand new six year low.  When the price of oil started to decline back in late 2014, a whole lot of people were proclaiming that this would be a good thing for the U.S. economy.  Now we can see just how wrong they were.

At this point, the price of oil has already fallen to a level that is going to be absolutely nightmarish for the global economy if it stays here.  Just consider what Jeff Gundlach had to say about this in December…

And back in December 2014, “Bond King” Jeff Gundlach had a serious warning for the world if oil prices got to $40 a barrel.

“I hope it does not go to $40,” Gundlach said in apresentation, “because then something is very, very wrong with the world, not just the economy. The geopolitical consequences could be — to put it bluntly — terrifying.”

#6 This week we learned that OPEC has been pumping more oil than we thought, and it is being projected that this could cause the price of oil to plunge into the 30s

Increased pumping by OPEC as Chinese demand appears to be slackening could drive oil to the lowest prices since the peak of the financial crisis.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures skidded through the year’s lows and looked set to break into the $30s-per-barrel range after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries admitted to more pumping and China devalued its currency, sending ripples through global markets.

#7 In a recent article, I explained that the collapse in commodity prices that we are witnessing right now is eerily similar to what we witnessed just before the stock market crash of 2008.  On Tuesday, things got even worse for commodities as the price of copper closed at a brand new six year low.

#8 The South American debt crisis of 2015 continues to intensify.  Brazil’s government bonds have been downgraded to just one level above junk status, and the approval rating of Brazil’s president has fallen into the single digits.

#9 Just before the financial crisis of 2008, a surging U.S. dollar put an extraordinary amount of stress on emerging markets.  Now that is happening again.  Emerging market stocks just hit a brand new four year low on Tuesday thanks to the stunt that China just pulled.

#10 Things are not so great in the United States either.  The ratio of wholesale inventories to sales in the United States just hit the highest level since the last recession.  What that means is that there is a whole lot of stuff sitting in warehouses out there that is waiting to be sold in an economy that is rapidly slowing down.

#11 Speaking of slowing down, the growth of consumer spending in the United States has just plummeted to multi-year lows.

#12 Deep inside, most of us can feel what is coming.  According to Gallup, the number of Americans that believe that the economy is getting worse is almost 50 percent higher than the number of Americans that believe that the economy is getting better.

Things are lining up perfectly for a global financial crisis and a major recession beginning in the fall and winter of 2015.

But just because things look like they will happen a certain way does not necessarily mean that they will.  All it takes is a single “event” of some sort to change everything.

So what do you believe will happen in the months ahead?

Please feel free to join the discussion by posting a comment below…

 

Anti-austerity Protesters and Police Clash Outside Greek Parliament

Demonstrators oppose surrender of Greek sovereignty to European bankers

July 15, 2015

Demonstrators opposed to the surrender of Greek sovereignty to European bankers are confronting police and throwing Molotov cocktails in Athens, according to reports.

clash

The protests against the $96 billion bailout plan have shut down much of the city.

USA Today reports:

As the deadline neared and Greece teetered on the verge of financial collapse, a general strike and at least 10 separate protests took place in Athens as demonstrators called for the government to reject the new rescue package or try to renegotiate for better terms from international creditors that include the European Central Bank, eurozone governments and the International Monetary Fund. So far, the lenders have been unyielding in their terms.

 

 

Maintaining the Illusion of Stability Now Requires Ever-Greater Extremes

Brittleness is being passed off as stability

economy

by Charles Hugh Smith | Of Two Minds | July 10, 2015

 

This much-needed re-set to an economy that serves the many rather than the few is what the Powers That Be are so fearful of.

On the surface, everything still looks remarkably stable in the core industrial economies. The stock markets in Japan, Germany and the U.S. are only a few percentage points off their highs, and we’re constantly assured that inflation no longer exists and official unemployment is low.

In other words, other than the spot of bother in Greece, life is good. Anyone who signs on the dotted line for easy credit can go to college, buy a car or house or get another credit card.

With more credit, everything becomes possible. With unlimited credit, the sky’s the limit, and it shows.

Europe is awash with tourists from the U.S., China and elsewhere, and restaurants are jammed in San Francisco and New York City, where small flats now routinely fetch well over $1 million.

In politics, the American public is being offered a choice of two calcified, dysfunctional aristocracies in 2016: brittleness is being passed off as stability, not just in politics but in the economy and the cultural zeitgeist.

But surface stability is all the status quo can manage at this point, because the machine is shaking itself to pieces just maintaining the brittle illusion of prosperity and order.

 

Consider what happened in Greece beneath the surface theatrics.

1. Goldman Sachs conspired with Greece’s corrupt kleptocracy to conjure up an illusion of solvency and fiscal prudence so Greece could join the Eurozone.

2. Vested interests and insiders gorged on the credit being offered by German and French banks, enriching themselves to the tune of tens of billions of euros, which were transferred to private accounts in Switzerland at the first whiff of trouble. When informed of this, Greek authorities took no action; after all, why track down your cronies and force them to pay taxes when tax evasion is the status quo for financial elites?

3. If Greece had defaulted in 2010 when its debt was around 110 billion euros, the losses would have fallen on the banks that had foolishly lent the money without proper due diligence or risk management. This is what should have happened in a market economy: those who foolishly lent extraordinary sums to poor credit risks take the resulting (and entirely predictable) losses.

4. But since the big European banks that were on the hook for the 110 billion in bad debt were highly leveraged (estimates are 30 to 1), then a mere 5% loss in their capital would render them insolvent–a Lehman Moment of cascading defaults that the European leadership could not allow, as not only would their cronies lose fortunes but they would lose power when the fragile house of cards they’d constructed collapsed.

Here is the debt in 2009–mostly owed to private banks and bondholders:

5. The status quo’s solution: transfer all the private bank debt to the taxpayers of the Eurozone members and loan Greece another 200+ billion euros in exchange for the illusion of reform and a squeezing of average Greek households to pay the interest due on the ballooning debt.

Here is the debt in 2015–almost all was shifted onto the backs of Eurozone taxpayers:

6. Five years later, the debt has exploded to 340 billion euros, triple the debt that should have been written off in 2010 when it became clear Greece could not pay the debt down or even service the interest payments.

7. Five years of austerity and suffering by the Greek people have all been for naught, as the entire euro system is untenable, the debt cannot be paid and the simulacra reforms did nothing to change the power structure or the corrupt, dysfunctional status quo in the country.

8. To maintain the surface illusion of stability for five years, the Powers That Be tripled the debt, vastly increased the risk of default and the damage a default would unleash, and caused undue suffering above and beyond the costs of default and a return to a national currency–a re-set that, if undertaken when it became clear there was no way the debt could be paid in 2010, would already be over and done.

This re-set, while painful in the short-term, is the only mechanism available to force reforms on a self-serving kleptocracy and rid the economy of a dependence on unsustainable credit expansion.

This much-needed re-set to an economy that serves the many rather than the few is what the Powers That Be are so fearful of, for it is the few who garner most of the gains of a corrupt, fully financialized neofeudal system and it is these few who fund the election campaigns of the politicos who are so desperate to maintain the perquisites of the Financial Nobility.

Austerity is meted out to debt-serfs while those at the top transfer tens of billions to their private accounts.

There are variations of this basic flow of income from serfs to the nobility, of course; stock market bubbles are inflated by authorities, insiders sell, sell, sell as credulous banana merchants and wage-earners buy, and then when the bubble bursts, these same authorities ban selling by the small-fry bagholders.

But this is not real stability; it is a brittle simulacrum of stability, an illusion that has required the status quo to pursue extremes of policy and debt that are intrinsically incapable of yielding stability.

In effect, the status quo has greatly increased the system’s vulnerability, fragility and brittleness–the necessary conditions for catastrophic collapse–all in the name of maintaining a completely bogus facade of stability for a few more years.

 

 

 

 

 

A Serial Short Seller Asks “Do Governments & Central Banks Ever Lose?”

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by Jared Dillian | Zero Hedge | July 10, 2015

We are about a week into the Greek non-crisis, and nothing especially scary has happened. Stocks opened up lower a couple of times, and there was one wild trading day in EURUSD, but everything is essentially unchanged. Which surprised everyone. Including me, a little.

I used to be a plunger. Loved shorting stuff. I had one muscle, and I flexed it constantly. By my rough calculations, I was up about 18% by the time Lehman went bankrupt in 2008. The more turmoil, the better.

I was born in a bear market. Literally, in 1974, and figuratively—I learned to trade in the dot-com bust. Seven years into my trading career, I had experienced two crashes. I know lots of people who got rich buying GE at six bucks. I almost shorted it there.

So the past six years have been tough on me. I’ve made money, but not a lot. Worse, I’ve been conditioned to expect that whenever I spend a bunch of money on S&P puts, I’m going to get sconed and watch them melt to zero while the market rips higher.

The real kick in the nuts was when the market was melting down on Ebola fears in October and St. Louis Fed President Bullard walks out with a “buy” ticket stapled to his forehead.

Here’s another way to look at this: We had two crashes in seven years, and if you go back in history, the market doesn’t crash all that often.

Like the ‘50s. Stocks went up, quietly, for a decade. Nothing happened.

But this isn’t the ‘50s. There’s an IPO boom, a VC boom, valuations are stretched, and crap like Fitbit is going public. Shake Shack has a bigger valuation (I am told) than the entire coal industry.

We have unicorns and decacorns, and it’s only a matter of time until we have a centicorn. All the kids are going to startups. Talk about risk-taking.

I have seen worse bubbles, but the markets are definitely running hot.

So a developed country is about to default on a couple of hundred billion dollars worth of debt, and the market just shrugs. Worse, it sets a nasty precedent for other, larger economies defaulting on debt. Seems much more contagious than Russia in 1998. And stocks are bulletproof. The only selling going on is in China.

Serious question: Do you give up shorting? Like, throw in the towel?

The thing that gets a lot of people is that they believe the market is engineered by the authorities to go higher. Like Bullard with his rate comments. But it’s gotten so bad, there are wide swaths of people who think the Fed is actually buying stocks. ZeroHedge talks about this all the time.

There is a pretty funny Twitter account called 3:30 Ramp Capital, LLC. Plunge Protection Team rumors have been around since the beginning of time, but six years of stocks going straight up have given rise to all kinds of other theories. (For the record, the Fed fully acknowledges its interventions in the bond market, but it has never admitted to trading stocks.)

And it’s true that “the authorities” want the price of financial assets (stocks, bonds) to go up, and the price of hard assets (commodities) to go down… which is exactly what has happened.

So do governments and central banks ever lose?

In the old days, they lost all the time. In one extreme example, an individual hedge fund took out the entire Bank of England. But central banks are currently on a massive winning streak.

So to answer the question, “Will we ever have a crisis,” you need to answer the question, “Will we ever be allowed to have one?”

I’m not just some crazy guy asking these questions. Market professionals I talk to, hedge fund managers, mutual fund managers, will freely discuss the widespread distortions in the market. They feel like they can’t ply their trade. What I mean is, you can’t buy stuff cheap and sell it dear. Everything is dear, and it keeps going up, and you have to participate or get left behind.

That’s not the way it was in the ‘50s. There was all kinds of value to be found. That was how Warren Buffett made his money.

Today, I realized that, outside of some biotech stuff, I haven’t written about an individual stock in months. There’s just nothing interesting to buy, and you certainly can’t short anything. You’ll get your head blown off.

At one point in my career, I was really good at market timing. Calling tops and bottoms. You just can’t do it anymore. Tops never happen, and bottoms don’t get deep enough to find value. We haven’t had a 10% correction in how long?

Honestly, it’s so hard to invest in this environment, I’ve made nearly all my money in the last two years trading FX. It’s the only thing that makes sense.

This is a lot of me whining. And I’m secretly hoping that this letter means there will be a return to rationality soon.

But probably not. Stupid usually gets stupider.

 

Chinese Stocks Collapsed Right Before NYSE Shutdown

Before NYSE shutdown, Hang Seng Index plunged its most since 2008 financial crisis

by Kit Daniels | Infowars.com | July 8, 2015

european-stocks

 

Chinese stocks were suffering huge declines prior to the New York Stock Exchange shutdown due to an alleged “technical issue,” fueling concerns whether the NYSE was actually halted due to the free fall in China.

Companies in China fell 20% from a May high and, right before the NYSE shutdown, the Hang Seng Index plunged its most since the 2008 financial crisis.

“The Hang Seng Index fell 5.8% to 23,516.56 at the close today, the biggest drop since November 2008, after slumping as much as 8.6%,” Bloomberg’s Kana Nishizawa wrote.

Overall, China’s stock market plunge has wiped out around $3.2 trillion since June 12.

“Investors are disappointed and afraid that the Chinese policy makers lost control of the market,” Mari Oshidari, a Hong Kong-based financial strategist, said. “With no end in sight to the plunge, sentiment has turned cold.”

“With liquidity drying up in the mainland, the Hong Kong market is being sold instead –- the only thing it can do is just quietly take the storm.”

The global economy is so dependent on China that if the country were to completely implode, a world-wide recession would likely result.

Not long after China suffered huge losses on Wednesday, the New York Stock Exchange temporarily halted trading due to an alleged “technical issue.”

“NYSE/NYSE MKT has temporarily suspended trading in all symbols,” the NYSE said in a statement. “Additional information will follow as soon as possible.”

Art Cashin, director of floor operations at the NYSE, told CNBC it had been a “bumpy day” before the stock market was shut down.

“We had some technical problems even before the opening,” he said.

 

Capturestocks

 

 

Greece ‘48 Hours Away From Unrest’

Greek Unrest

Hedge fund managers turned cautious on global equities in the run-up to Sunday’s vote

by Will Wainewright | Bloomberg | July 6, 2015

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras probably has 48 hours to resolve a standoff with creditors before civil unrest breaks out and ATMs run out of cash, hedge fund Balyasny Asset Management said.

Fund managers are questioning how the International Monetary Fund and Europe’s leaders can seal a deal with Athens following the “no” vote in a Greek referendum on Sunday. Sixty-one percent of voters rejected austerity, increasing the likelihood of an exit from the euro area.

“I don’t see a good resolution any time soon,” Colin Lancaster, senior managing director with Balyasny, a $9 billion fund based in Chicago, said in an e-mailed statement. “The big question is whether the EU adopts a strategy of waiting them out. The hope would be that the unrest leads to a unity government or change in government.”

Hedge fund managers turned cautious on global equities in the run-up to Sunday’s vote, with sales of stocks sending a gauge of manager bullishness sliding. The Evercore ISI index of hedge fund long versus short bets was at 50.5 in the week ending July 1, down from 51.8 at the start of June, data from the New York-based research firm show.

The survey, based on 31 hedge funds with about $86 billion under management, tracks investments on a zero through 100 scale. Readings of zero show “maximum” short selling, or the sale of borrowed equities with the hope of profiting by buying them at lower prices later; 100 means “maximum” bullish bets. The index has dipped below 50 only twice in the past year.

 

Plan B

There’s little chance of Greece accepting a deal unless the country’s debt is restructured, Philippe Ferreira, global strategist at Lyxor Asset Management, a Paris-based unit of Societe Generale SA with investments in about 100 hedge funds, said in an e-mail. Investors should be cautious as European Union leaders may not have an adequate plan B if negotiations fail, he said.

Greece has been targeted by some hedge funds seeking returns in a market viewed as too risky for many traditional investors. John Paulson of Paulson & Co. bought bank stocks, while Perry Capital, Knighthead Capital Management and Monarch Alternative Capital purchased Greek debt. Randy Smith, who runs Alden Global Capital, started a Greek-focused fund in December.

Bruce Richards, co-founder of U.S. hedge fund Marathon Asset Management, said last week Tsipras will be gone within 30 days regardless of the outcome of the nation’s referendum.

A “no” vote would cause “rioting in the streets come weeks from now when the banks are closing and you have drachma,” he said in an interview on the television program “Wall Street Week.”

Europe’s leaders run the danger of setting a precedent for other governments if they agree to a writedown for Greece, said Savvas Savouri, chief economist at Toscafund Asset Management, a $3 billion London-based hedge fund.

“Other debt-burdened countries will campaign for the same treatment,” he said. “That is especially relevant with a Spanish election in December.”

 

 

 

How Capitalism Dies

out of business

Can you think of a single thing a politician or central banker has contributed to the welfare of the world?

Bill Bonner | Zero Hedge | January 27, 2015

Two Comedy Acts

Today, we’re going to tell you why America’s middle class is getting poorer. Or put another way, we’re going to show you how capitalism dies.

Two comedy acts appeared last week: President Obama’s State of the Union address and Mario Draghi’s QE announcement.

Mr. Obama claimed credit for a “recovery” that has left the typical American poorer than he was before. And not only is he poorer, but also he is more dependent on the very people who engineered the phony recovery. (See below.)

Mr. Draghi followed up with a series of one-liners, the gist of which was that he now proposes to save Europe from the specter of inadequate inflation.

ECB to the Rescue

Who could take Draghi seriously? After all, what’s wrong with stable prices? Nothing at all! The 19th century had fairly stable prices… as well as the fastest GDP and wage growth in human history. Serious consumer price inflation didn’t begin in the US until the 1970s, when America’s new flexible, adaptable, expandable, super-duper fiat money came into service.

Since then, the cost of living in the US is up roughly 600%. And the rate of economic growth has fallen. Mr. Draghi did not mention these facts when he announced his euro-debasement program. But it hardly mattered. The real purpose of euro-zone QE is the same as the real purpose of the US version – to prevent the cronies from getting what they deserve.

 

They own hundreds of billions of euro worth of European sovereign bonds – now trading at the highest prices and lowest yields in recorded history. Many were bought with negative yields. And now, with aging populations, rising debt levels, gummed-up regulations, rising living costs, rising taxes and falling revenues, there is almost no way these bonds can be worth what speculators paid for them.

How are the insiders going to get their money back? The ECB to the rescue! It promises to transfer $1.3 trillion to the financial elite over the next 21 months – buying sovereign bonds and other slippery obligations at the rate of €60 billion ($67 billion) every month. Not that we are complaining; we’ve got a sense of humor!

Besides, we’re card-carrying members of the 1%… and happy to get a share of the loot. If only we had bought those Italian sovereign bonds! So, there you have it…

In the New World, the commander-in-chief claims credit for something he didn’t do. In the Old World, the central-banker-in-chief claims to be doing something not worth doing. Neither is doing what he should do.

 

Germany-2-yr_-yield

Germany’s 2 year note now sport a yield to maturity of minus 0.143%. All over the developed world, more than $ 4 trillion in sovereign debt are now trading at negative yields. This is no longer just return-free risk, it is at the next stage where you have to pay for the risk to lend money to governments that in a sober assessment cannot be called anything but effectively insolvent.

America’s Disappearing Wealth Creators

We chuckle … and move on. We were supposed to tell you about how it was possible for the average American to get poorer at a time that should have been the most productive and prosperous ever. We won’t disappoint you.

Who makes people better off? President Obama? Mario Draghi? Can you think of a single thing a politician or central banker has contributed to the welfare of the world? We can’t.

Did they invent hamburgers? Did they pave roads? Did they produce wheat or lay bricks? We’re exaggerating to make our point. They are, no doubt, amusing at dinner parties. And they pet their dogs.

But sticking to the material world, the world of getting and spending, has a president or central banker ever put in a decent day’s work or added a single centime or farthing to the nation’s GDP? Not that we know of. Then who has?

If we had to put a title on this little discussion, we might call it: “America’s Disappearing Wealth Creators.” Or if we wanted to be more lurid: “How the Zombies Ate America’s Entrepreneurs.”

More information…. Source

 

 

If the Fed Has Nothing to Hide, It Has Nothing to Fear (Audit the FED….)

The-US-Federal-Reserve-II-A1

The American people have suffered long enough under a monetary policy controlled by an unaccountable, secretive central bank…

Ron Paul | January 19, 2015

Since the creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913, the dollar has lost over 97 percent of its purchasing power, the US economy has been subjected to a series of painful Federal Reserve-created recessions and depressions, and government has grown to dangerous levels thanks to the Fed’s policy of monetizing the debt. Yet the Federal Reserve still operates under a congressionally-created shroud of secrecy.

No wonder almost 75 percent of the American public supports legislation to audit the Federal Reserve.

The new Senate leadership has pledged to finally hold a vote on the audit bill this year, but, despite overwhelming public support, passage of this legislation is by no means assured.

The reason it may be difficult to pass this bill is that the 25 percent of Americans who oppose it represent some of the most powerful interests in American politics. These interests are working behind the scenes to kill the bill or replace it with a meaningless “compromise.” This “compromise” may provide limited transparency, but it would still keep the American people from learning the full truth about the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy.

Some opponents of the bill say an audit would somehow compromise the Fed’s independence. Those who make this claim cannot point to anything in the text of the bill giving Congress any new authority over the Fed’s conduct of monetary policy. More importantly, the idea that the Federal Reserve is somehow independent of political considerations is laughable. Economists often refer to the political business cycle, where the Fed adjusts its policies to help or hurt incumbent politicians. Former Federal Reserve Chairman Arthur Burns exposed the truth behind the propaganda regarding Federal Reserve independence when he said, if the chairman didn’t do what the president wanted, the Federal Reserve “would lose its independence.”

Perhaps the real reason the Fed opposes an audit can be found by looking at what has been revealed about the Fed’s operations in recent years. In 2010, as part of the Dodd-Frank bill, Congress authorized a one-time audit of the Federal Reserve’s activities during the financial crisis of 2008. The audit revealed that between 2007 and 2008 the Federal Reserve loaned over $16 trillion — more than four times the annual budget of the United States — to foreign central banks and politically-influential private companies.

In 2013 former Federal Reserve official Andrew Huszar publicly apologized to the American people for his role in “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time” — the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing program. Can anyone doubt an audit would further confirm how the Fed acts to benefit economic elites?

Despite the improvements shown in the (government-manipulated) economic statistics, the average American has not benefited from the Fed’s quantitative easing program. The abysmal failure of quantitative easing in the US may be one reason Switzerland stopped pegging the value of the Swiss Franc to the Euro following reports that the European Central Bank is about to launch its own quantitative easing program.

Quantitative easing is just the latest chapter in the Federal Reserve’s hundred-year history of failure. Despite this poor track record, Fed apologists still claim the American people benefit from the Federal Reserve System. But, if that were the case, why wouldn’t they welcome the opportunity to let the American people know more about monetary policy? Why is the Fed acting like it has something to hide if it has nothing to fear from an audit?

The American people have suffered long enough under a monetary policy controlled by an unaccountable, secretive central bank. It is time to finally audit — and then end — the Fed.

This article first appeared at RonPaulInstitute.org.

Obama to Hold ‘Global Security Summit’

obama-explains

President who empowered al-Qaeda now wants to take your liberties (in the name of the ‘War on Terror’)

Reuters | January 11, 2015

U.S. President Barack Obama will invite allies to a Feb. 18 security summit in Washington to try and prevent violent extremism, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Sunday after meeting his European counterparts in Paris.

The gathering of justice and interior chiefs came as France mourned 17 victims of Islamist gunmen this week in the worst assault on its homeland security in decades.

“We will bring together all of our allies to discuss ways in which we can counteract this violent extremism that exists around the world,” Holder told reporters.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said after the meeting that European interior ministers had agreed to boost cooperation in an effort to thwart further jihadist attacks.

“We all agree that we need to put in place better control on certain passengers, on the basis of objective criteria and with respect for fundamental liberties and without disrupting cross-border travel,” he said.

He said Europe needed urgent progress in establishing a European Passenger Name Record database, which would facilitate the exchange of data about passengers between member states.

“We are convinced of the need for such a tool, to follow those who travel to terrorist operating theaters or who return from there,” he said, adding that this database would also be useful in the fight against other serious crimes.

Cazeneuve said the Internet needs to remain a space for free expression, but that Europe should fight against abusive use of the web to spread hate speech, anti-Semitic messages and the recruiting vulnerable young people for violence.

“We need to work more closely with Internet companies to guarantee the reporting and if possible removal of all content that amounts to an apology of terrorism or calls for violence and hatred,” he said.

Cazeneuve said EU interior and justice ministers planned to meet soon to discuss further action. A European source said the meeting could take place next week in Brussels.

Source

Ukraine’s Creditors Grab for the Biggest Pieces of Its Carcass

011115ukraine

Ukraine completely torn apart

Eric Zuesse | Washington’s Blog | January 11, 2015

The lifelong Russia-enemy George Soros, and the Russian government itself, are now openly fighting over which parts of the Ukrainian government they’ll be getting in the bankruptcy proceeding that’s already unofficially starting.

Here’s the necessary background, so that the battle now occurring on the part of Ukraine’s creditors can be truthfully and honestly understood:

In December 2013 — just before the overthrow of the Russia-friendly Ukrainian Government of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, by Soros’s American President and major political-campaign investment, Barack Obama — Russia lent Ukraine $3 billion with a contract saying that if Ukraine’s debt would rise above 60% of Ukraine’s GDP, then Russia would be able to demand immediate repayment, and Ukraine agreed to the contract’s condition that Ukraine wouldn’t pay a cent to any other creditor before the entire due-balance on this $3 billion loan is returned to Russia.

Then, on 4 February 2014, Victoria Nuland of Obama’s State Department selected Ukrainian banker Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the person to take control over Ukraine as soon as Obama’s Ukrainian coup would occur, which turned out to be 18 days later, on February 22nd.

Soros’s and Obama’s plan was to privatize as much of the Ukrainian Government as possible in a fire-sale of its assets, such as the valuable gas-fields in the Yuzivska region in Ukraine’s southeast (where the civil war now is), so that Soros and the other investors would be able to get their money back, with interest. Furthermore, inasmuch as only Soros and other insiders would be in on this fire-sale, those same people would also be the bidders; and thus Ukraine’s assets would be sold to them at prices far lower than their actual worth as economic investments for the future. This would turn their prior Ukrainian bonds into super-discounted equity or stock in what now are Ukrainian Government-owned gas-fields, electrical power companies, factories, etc. Furthermore, Western agribusiness giants are now coming into Western Ukraine to buy up Ukrainian farmland, which is among the world’s most-fertile.

The basic privatization-scheme that’s being used here had originally been drawn up by the Harvard economist, and the then-World-Bank chief, Lawrence Summers, and by Harvard’s Economics Department, in the 1990s, as being the way for American insider investors and the U.S.S.R.’s Communist Party insiders, to buy the U.S.S.R.’s assets dirt-cheap, and thereby profit from the dissolution of the U.S.S.R. Those economists oversaw the sell-offs of industrial and other assets throughout many of the 15 nations comprising the Soviet Union, one of which is Ukraine, where the fire-sales are now occurring.

With this as the background, the world’s great newspaper, German Economic News, headlines, on January 10th (as translated by the present writer into English), “Putin v. Soros: Russia Grabs for EU-Billions to Ukraine,” and reports that:

“Just a few days after Angela Merkel cleared the way for a 1.8 billion euro loan from the EU’s tax-money for [Ukrainian Premier] Arseny ‘Yaz’ Yatsenyuk, Russia launched its interest in this money: Moscow is considering to mature a loan it had made to Kiev. Russia makes this move especially against the speculator George Soros.

Ukraine’s ‘Yaz’ Yatsenyuk met with Chancellor Merkel, at the Chancellor’s Office, on Thursday [Jan. 8]. No sooner was the Premier assured by the EU of receiving 1.8 billion euros, than Russia intervenes for the money — Moscow may trigger the state bankruptcy of Ukraine.

Russia could use the EU payments to Ukraine to mature a loan that is due at the end of January, and Kiev cannot use its own resources: Moscow could demand early repayment of a three-billion-dollar loan to Ukraine. Ukraine did not meet a number of conditions [of the loan-agreement], reported the Russian news agency RIA Novosti on Saturday [the 10th], citing government sources. Under these circumstances, Russia was forced to insist on the earlier payment.”

Soros has been lobbying very intensively, after the coup (see all about it by clicking on that link), to persuade the EU, IMF and U.S., to donate enough of Western taxpayers’ money, so as to enable Ukraine to buy enough weapons to win its war against the rebelling portion of Ukraine — the region which had voted 90% for the overthrown former President, Viktor Yanukovych — the region in Ukraine that’s often called “Donbass,” which is in Ukraine’s far east, and which has declared its independence, and which includes much of the Yuzivska gas-field. That region has consistently rejected the Obama-coup-imposed Government; and consequently its gas cannot be used to repay Ukraine’s debts unless Ukraine regains control over that land, where now, almost certainly, even more than 90% of the people reject that Government. (Click here in order to see the transcript of the EU officials’ phone-conversation in which their Foreign-Affairs Minister Catherine Ashton was informed by her own investigator, on 25 February 2014, that Yanukovych had been overthrown in a violent coup, rather than himself perpetrated the bloodshed, and that Ukraine’s current President, Petro Poroshenko, himself acknowledged to the EU’s investigator at the time, that it was a coup — which Ashton hadn’t known of until that moment.)

This is the reason why the IMF informed the coup Government, on 1 May 2014, that unless it could regain control over the rebels’ land, which means eliminate its residents (since they would never accept a Government that is set upon exterminating them), the IMF would stop lending (actually donating, since these ‘loans’ will come at the end of the long line in the bankruptcy proceeding that’s now inevitable) Ukraine more of its Western taxpayers’ money. Without those gas-fields and other assets, even the existing IMF loans to Ukraine wouldn’t likely ever be able to be paid back. New IMF loans surely won’t be.

On 6 January 2015, an aide to Poroshenko announced that, as the news-headline on this story the following day phrased it, “Ukraine Says $450 Million Was Stolen from Its Military in 2014.” This report also noted that, “This amount happens to be precisely the same maximum amount of money that the U.S. Government, in legislation that was supported by more than 98% of U.S. Senators and Representatives and that was signed into law by U.S. President Barack Obama on December 18th, will donate to Ukraine’s military for this year, 2015.” Both Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly support Obama’s ethnic-cleansing program to get rid of the people in that region of Ukraine and thus endorsed the $450 million donation by U.S. taxpayers. However, if the people we’re hiring to do that job are stealing as much money as we’re donating to them, then people like Soros could end up losing money on their bond-investments. This is the reason why Soros is pressing the European Union to donate lots more of their taxpayers’ money to this war. In the 5 February issue of the New York Review of Books, he says, “all the consequences of helping Ukraine would be positive. By enabling Ukraine to defend itself, Europe would be indirectly also defending itself.” He doesn’t mention that Ukraine’s Government resulted from a coup instead of from the anti-corruption demonstrators in the Maidan, and he portrays Russia’s President Vladimir Putin as being the aggressor for accepting Crimea back into Russia (where it had been during 1783-1954), and not America’s President Barack Obama as being the aggressor for perpetrating the coup and trying to oust Russia’s Black Sea Fleet from Crimea. Soros says:

“Putin’s ambition to recreate a Russian empire has unintentionally helped bring into being a new Ukraine that is opposed to Russia and seeks to become the opposite of the old Ukraine with its endemic corruption and ineffective government. The new Ukraine is led by the cream of civil society: young people, many of whom studied abroad and refused to join either government or business on their return because they found both of them repugnant. Many of them found their place in academic institutions, think tanks, and nongovernmental organizations. A widespread volunteer movement, of unprecedented scope and power unseen in other countries, has helped Ukraine to stand strong against Russian aggression.”

Here is the type of people that Obama’s team actually placed into control over the actually coup-Government. It’s the opposite of “the cream of civil society.” In fact, the very same person who is described there led the organization, called Right Sector, which perpetrated the massacre of the people inside the Trade Unions Building in Odessa on May 2nd, the day after the IMF had said that if the opponents to the new regime weren’t eliminated, IMF loans to Ukraine would stop. And the main financier paying those Right Sector operatives to do that was this man, who recently hired two young people who are closely associated with the Obama White House.

The Russian novelist Zakhar Prilepin was quoted on 3 January 2015 in an interview by RIA Novosti Ukraine, after having travelled through Donbass and spoken with many people there, in order to understand why the separation from Ukraine had occurred. He said:

“I thoroughly questioned local guys what led them to battle, I think Ukraine should know the answers. One of the main points of reference was not even Maidan [the demonstrations, and the extreme violence there that produced the coup in February], which many looked upon with distaste, but suffered, and namely it [the start of the civil war] was the events in Odessa [the May 2nd massacre in Odessa] — and the reaction of thousands of Ukrainian bloggers on this obvious atrocity.”

In other words: Until the massacre in Odessa, residents in Donbass were willing to have some kind of federation arrangement with the post-coup Government; but, after the massacre, they knew that this new Government wanted them dead. That massacre was thus the real start of Ukraine’s civil war.

Soros’s International Renaissance Foundation (or Fund) was one of the three top financial backers of Ukraine’s Hromadske TV, which interviewed (and never criticized) a guest who said:

“Donbass, in general, is not simply a region in a very depressed condition, it has got a whole number of problems, the biggest of which is that it is severely overpopulated with people nobody has any use for. Trust me I know perfectly well what I am saying. If we take, for example, just the Donetsk oblast, there are approximately 4 million inhabitants, at least 1.5 million of which are superfluous. That’s what I mean: we don’t need to [try to] ‘understand’ Donbass, we need to understand Ukrainian national interests. Donbass must be exploited as a resource, which it is. I don’t claim to have a quick solution recipe, but the most important thing that must be done — no matter how cruel it may sound — is that there is a certain category of people that must be exterminated.”

The other main funders of Hromadske TV are the U.S. Government and the Netherlands Government.

Soros’s NYRB article closes with a five-point analysis of where the tens of billions of dollars that will be required in order to exterminate those people should come from. He lists: Balance of Payments Assistance, European Financial Stability Mechanism, Macro-Financial Assistance Facility, European Union, IMF, Extended Fund Facility, European Investment Bank, World Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Paris Club.

He says that if they don’t come up with the funds: “Europe will be left on its own to defend itself against Russian aggression, and Europe will have abandoned the values and principles on which the European Union was founded. That would be an irreparable loss.”

On 1 January 2015, he headlined a Project Syndicate oped at Live Mint and other sites, “Europe at War: Supporting the New Ukraine in 2015 and Beyond Is the Most Cost-Effective Investment the EU Could Make,” and he said:

By invading Ukraine in 2014, President Vladimir Putin’s Russia has posed a fundamental challenge to the values and principles on which the European Union (EU) was founded. …

Putin’s regime is based on rule by force, manifested in repression at home and aggression abroad. …

Russia annexed Crimea and established separatist enclaves in eastern Ukraine’s Donbas region. …

The West, sadly, has provided embattled Ukraine with only a façade of support. …

All available resources should be put to work in the war effort, even if that requires running up budget deficits. Europe is fortunate that German Chancellor Angela Merkel has behaved as a true European with regard to the threat posed by Russia. …

Helping Ukraine to defend itself against Russian aggression would have a stimulative effect on Ukraine and Europe. The EU’s members are at war—and they need to start acting like it. …

Ukraine needs an immediate cash injection of, say, $20 billion, with a promise of more when needed. …

The “new Ukraine” is resolutely pro-European. …

Supporting the new Ukraine in 2015 and beyond is the most cost-effective investment the EU could make.

His call here was a more detailed presentation of the argument that the Financial Times had made earlier, on 30 November 2014, under the headline, “The Economic Collapse of Ukraine Must Be Halted: The IMF and Western donors need to inject $15bn of emergency funding.” Nobody mentions that those “Western donors” are taxpayers, and that the Ukrainian public aren’t being bailed out but that the Western aristocracy is.

However, Arseniy Yatsenyuk himself said essentially this very thing, on 9 January 2015, under a Ukrainian site’s headline (translated here) “IMF money will be used only for the payment of foreign debts – Yatseniuk,” which presented this quotation from him:

“I would also like to note that the money that we get in the framework of international financial assistance, does not go to finance the state budget deficit, it does not go to the payment of pensions, does not go to the payment of wages. All of this is happening in the first place, to perform our external obligations.”

Those “external obligations” were first stated, on 1 May 2014, by the IMF, when it demanded, basically, that the people in Donbass be exterminated. Western aristocrats want the land that’s there, not the people who live on it. And Western taxpayers are supposed to foot the bill in order to get rid of the residents in Donbass.

This is the deal that’s being proposed — and executed — in Western ‘democracies.’

Source

The second most powerful banker in America

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Stanley Fischer settles in as Janet Yellen’s No. 2 at the Fed

Kate Davidson | Politico | January 2, 2015

Stanley Fischer came to the Federal Reserve in the spring with a higher profile than any vice chairman in the 100-year history of the institution after leading Israel’s central bank and holding top jobs at the International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen pushed for him to be her No. 2 in a move that was viewed as a show of confidence and strength as she prepares to lead the Fed through one of it most challenging periods, managing the wind down of massive stimulus programs put in place following the financial crisis.

The pairing was dubbed a central banking “dream team” by Fed watchers.

In his first six months on the job, Fischer has rewarded Yellen’s confidence by helping communicate the Fed’s policy moves to nervous financial markets while publicly defending the central bank against a growing chorus of critics. To many on Wall Street he helped alleviate worries about the lack of direct financial market involvement on her résumé.

“Stan Fischer has market experience and goodwill that Chair Yellen doesn’t have,” said Jack Ablin, chief investment officer at BMO Private Bank. “It’s not a slam on the Fed chairman, it’s simply different experience.”

Read more

 

Michael Lewis Explains How the Stock Market Is Rigged

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April 2, 2014

Dick Durbin said the Banksters own the place…  and they also own Congress.

 

Watch the report filed on YouTube here…

 

The Federal Reserve Has No Integrity

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Paul Craig Roberts and Dave Kranzler

April 1, 2014

As we documented in previous articles, the gold price is driven down in the paper futures market by naked short selling by the Fed’s dependent bullion banks. Some people have a hard time accepting this fact even though it is known that the big banks have manipulated the LIBOR (London Interbank Overnight Rate – London’s equivalent of the Fed Funds rate) interest rate and the twice-daily London gold price fix.

Image: Federal Reserve (Wiki Commons).

Almost every week it is possible to illustrate the appearance of a large number of contracts shorting gold at times of day when trading is thin. The short-selling triggers stop-loss orders and margin calls and hammers down the gold price.

The Fed has resorted to this practice in order to protect the value of the US dollar from Quantitative Easing.

In order for the Fed to effectively support the reserve status of the U.S. dollar by pushing it higher when it starts to drop, the Fed has also to prevent the price of gold from rising. Intervention in the gold market has been occurring for a long time. However, in the last several years the intervention has become blatant and desperate, as rising concerns about the dollar are causing countries such as China and Russia to accumulate fewer dollars and more gold.

During the month of March the Fed and the big banks implemented aggressive intervention against the rising price of gold and the plunging value of the U.S. dollar. Events in Ukraine may have stimulated demand for physical gold and selling of the U.S. dollar, but it was mainly further erosion of the U.S. economy, as reflected in more deterioration of economic data released during March, that pushed gold up and the dollar down.

The dollar index is a “basket” of currencies used to measure the relative value of the U.S. dollar. The largest components of this basket are the euro and the yen (it also includes the British pound, Canadian dollar, Swedish krona and Swiss franc). During February and March, the dollar started to decline in response to increasingly negative U.S. economic reports, continued Fed money printing (QE) and the Ukraine crisis.

On the last day of February, the dollar index dropped below 80. The 80 level is a key technical trading level and if the dollar were to stay below this benchmark for an extended period of time, large holders of dollars would start selling their dollar holdings out of fear that the dollar would be headed even lower. The Fed and the U.S. Treasury needed to do something in order to force the dollar index back over 80.

As part of its intervention in the currency market to get the dollar back over 80, the Fed also needed to stop gold from rising back over $1400, which it was on the verge of doing by the middle of March. Just like 80 is key level, below which technical selling of the dollar kicks in, $1425 is another key level for gold for which large buy and short-covering orders would be triggered. In other words, to support any manipulated move higher in the dollar, the Fed needed to intervene in the gold market to force the price of gold lower. The graphs below illustrate the key points of dollar/gold intervention during March.

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As we reported previously, the Fed, using its agent banks like JP Morgan and Goldman Sachs, intervenes in the gold market by “bombing” the market with a large quantity of Comex gold future contracts. This typically occurs at periods of time when the market is very quiet and trading is at a lull. These engineered market interventions are now commonly referred to as “mini-flash crashes.”

As the dollar was consolidating its trading range below 80 and the price of gold was headed toward $1400, flash crashes started occurring more frequently and with more intensity. During the first week of March, gold was getting ready to shoot through the $1350 level and the Fed used two distinct flash crashes to contain gold below $1350 (first two red circles on the graph).

During the week of March 10th, the price of gold started moving quickly higher toward the $1400 level, as the Ukraine crisis was front and center in the news and investors moved money into the safe-haven of gold. The Fed used several mini-flash crashes in an attempt to contain the move. The red circles on the gold graph show the points in time in which the Comex gold futures market was “bombed” with contracts in order to slow down the upward momentum that the price of gold was gaining in the first half of March.

Then early in the morning on March 17th, with the tension subsiding somewhat between the U.S. and Russia after Crimea voted to join Russia and war didn’t break out, the Fed and its agent banks went to work on manipulating the price of gold lower and forcing the U.S. dollar higher . The red arrows on the gold graph show where the Fed dropped gold future “bombs” on the gold market in order to force the price of gold lower. The huge bursts of sell-volume almost always occurred during periods of low trading activity.

On March 18th, the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee (FOMC) convened for a two-day meeting, with its policy statement to be released March 19th at 2 p.m. EST. A study of how gold performs during the week in which there is an FOMC meeting showed that, on average, gold drops $37 for that week. This compares to almost no change during the same week during months in which no meeting is held. As you can see, the mini-flash crashes were used to force the price of gold down $72 from top to bottom during the March FOMC meeting week. The dollar graph shows the big spike in the dollar, which took the dollar back over the 80 level right after the FOMC meeting was concluded.

The Fed’s aggressive engineering of the mini-flash crashes continued during the last week of March. The group of red arrows on the right side of the gold graph show points in time Monday (March 24) – Friday (March 28) when there were sudden bursts of high volume selling in the April gold contract. Monday’s flash crash to start the week involved 6,437 contracts dumped onto the Comex right as the Comex gold trading floor opened at 8:20 a.m. For comparison purposes, 855 contracts had traded the minute before the Comex opened. Recall from one of our previous articles that gold gets hit right at the open of the Comex flooor trading session at least 85% of the time. This serves to set a downward momentum for the day’s trading.

Remember, the purpose of Quantitative Easing is to support the balance sheets of a few over-sized banks and to finance the federal budget deficit at an artificially low rate of interest. In other words, QE supports failed banks and federal fiscal irresponsibility. In order to successfully carry off this blatant misuse of public policy, the price of gold, a measure of the dollar’s value, must be suppressed. The Federal Reserve’s lack of integrity speaks volumes about the corruption of the US government.

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

 

Related Articles

IMF: Everything You Have Will Be Taken

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David Knight covers the latest news, including developments in Ukraine as the country’s Parliament rejects the bankster IMF deal designed to impose suffocating austerity on the people and strip the nation of its wealth.

Watch the Interview filed on YouTube here

 

 

 

The Federal Reserve Is Not “Independent” Or “Apolitical”

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Washington’s Blog

February 24, 2014

The Federal Reserve likes to pretend that it is “independent” and “apolitical”.

Federal Reserve (Wikimedia Commons).

The facts are different:

 

Hacked Emails Reveal Vitaly Klischko Worked With West to Undermine Ukraine

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voiceofrussia.com

February 23, 2014

Anonymous Ukraine is battling the forces in Ukraine that are funded and directed from the West and attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government of the sovereign country of Ukraine. Anonymous Ukraine is operating in what can only now be described as a war zone and the security measures they are forced to take are extreme.

A member of Anonymous Ukraine who wishes to remain anonymous spoke to the Voice of Russia about the operations and the recent release of e-mails between Vitaly Klischko and the Lithuanian Presidential advisor. The e-mails show that Klitschko was intentionally planning to destabilize the country, is being instructed and funded from abroad and has his accounts in Germany.

Greetings citizens of the world. We are Anonymous Ukraine.

The Anonymous Hacktivist Collective worldwide is partially divided on the issue of Ukraine. This has to do with the western mass media propaganda and the conflicting reports that are coming out of the country. This is sad as some Anons are unknowingly supporting the dark forces at work in Ukraine.

Members of Anonymous Ukraine are aware of the internal meddling by the United States, NATO and the European Union into the internal sovereign affairs of Ukraine. Anonymous Ukraine supports peace and the right of the people to self determination. The Bandera Nazis and fascist thugs that are beating and killing police and members of the security services of Ukraine do not represent the will or the wishes of the people of Ukraine. The people of Ukraine do not want European Union integration. The people of Ukraine do not want NATO on their territory. The people of Ukraine voted for President Yanukovich to lead them in fair and just democratic elections. The people of Ukraine plea to the President and to Russia for help in stopping the siege of Ukraine by Nazi thugs and murderous gangs.

The people of Ukraine do not want to see their beloved capital Kiev occupied by Nazi killers and burned to the ground. The people of Ukraine want their independence to be recognized and be allowed to determine their own fate without pressure from US, NATO, European Union. The people of Ukraine want peace and want the Bandera Nazis to be stopped once and for all. Anonymous Ukraine does not like nor support what is happening in Ukraine now. The so-called opposition is trying to tear Ukraine apart. Anonymous Ukraine has released the e-mails of one of the leaders of the so called opposition and will continue to expose the moves by the west to subvert the sovereign country of Ukraine.

The e mails released by Anonymous prove that Vitaly Klichko is a puppet of the West and is being financed through intermediaries in Lithuania. The e mails also prove that Klitchko has bank accounts in Germany and is receiving funding for his coup d’état from the West. We will continue fighting these puppets. The western puppet opposition leaders will hurl Ukraine into chaos. We appeal to the president of our country. The people of Ukraine urge you. President Yanukovich, to restore order and bring calm and stability and disperse the gangs of robbers and Nazis. Anonymous Ukraine will strike at all of the web resources of western hirelings and fascists. Anonymous Ukraine calls for Ukraine to be unified and independent.

The government of Ukraine promoted the country’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions despite the reluctance of Ukrainian people. Ukrainian citizens realize that signing of the Association Agreement with the European Union will lead to the collapse of Ukrainian economy in the near future. We express our support to the people of our country. We want Ukrainian government and EU leadership to understand that people of Ukraine do not want their country to become a raw material donor to Europe.

Ukraine must be free. We do not want to be dependent on other countries or organizations. Ukrainian people do not need a speculative Association Agreement with the European Union. Ukraine does not need to be a part of Russia-led Eurasian customs union. We do not need to be servants of NATO. Ukraine does not need European Union. Ukraine does not need NATO. Ukraine should not be anybody’s servant. We stand for independent Ukraine. We declare the continuation of Operation Independence. We will strike at the web resources of countries and organizations that pose a threat to freedom and independence of Ukraine!

Operation Independence continues… Expect us

We are Anonymous Ukraine.

We are Anonymous.

We are Legion.

We Do Not Forgive.

We Do Not Forget.

Expect Us.

 

Ukraine: Western Powers Sleepwalking Into Destructive Conflict

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Paul Craig Roberts

February 23, 2014

On the 100th Anniversary of World War 1, the Western powers are again sleepwalking into destructive conflict. Hegemonic ambition has Washington interfering in the internal affairs of Ukraine, but developments seem to be moving beyond Washington’s control.

 

Regime change in Ukraine for a mere $5 billion dollars would be a bargain compared to the massive sums squandered in Iraq ($3,000 billion), Afghanistan ($3,000 billion), Somalia, and Libya, or the money Washington is wasting murdering people with drones in Pakistan and Yemen, or the money Washington has spent supporting al Qaeda in Syria, or the massive sums Washington has wasted surrounding Iran with 40 military bases and several fleets in the Persian Gulf in an effort to terrorize Iran into submission.

So far, in Washington’s attempt at regime change in Ukraine large numbers of Americans are not being killed and maimed. Only Ukrainians are dying, all the better for Washington as the deaths are blamed on the Ukrainian government that the US has targeted for overthrow.

The problem with Washington’s plot to overthrow the elected government of Ukraine and install its minions is twofold: The chosen US puppets have lost control of the protests to armed radical elements with historical links to nazism, and Russia regards an EU/NATO takeover of Ukraine as a strategic threat to Russian independence.

Washington overlooked that the financially viable part of today’s Ukraine consists of historical Russian provinces in the east and south that the Soviet leadership merged into Ukraine in order to dilute the fascist elements in western Ukraine that fought for Adolf Hitler against the Soviet Union. It is these ultra-nationalist elements with Nazi roots, not Washington’s chosen puppets, who are now in charge of the armed rebellion in Western Ukraine.

If the democratically elected Ukraine government is overthrown, the eastern and southern parts would re-join Russia. The western part would be looted by Western bankers and corporations, and the NATO Ukraine bases would be targeted by Russian Iskander missiles.

It would be a defeat for Washington and their gullible Ukrainian dupes to see half of the country return to Russia. To save face, Washington might provoke a great power confrontation, which could be the end of all of us.

My series of articles on the situation in Ukraine resulted in a number of interviews from Canada to Russia, with more scheduled. It also produced emotional rants from people of Ukrainian descent whose delusions are impenetrable by facts. Deranged Russophobes dismissed as propaganda the easily verifiable report of Assistant Secretary of State Nuland’s public address last December, in which she boasted that Washington had spent $5 billion preparing Ukraine to be aligned with Washington’s interests. Protest sympathizers claim that the intercepted telephone call between Nuland and the US Ambassador in Ukraine, in which the two US officials chose the government that would be installed following the coup, is a fake.

One person actually suggested that my position should be aligned with the “sincerity of the Kiev students,” not with the facts.

Some Trekkers and Trekkies were more concerned that I used an improper title for Spock than they were with the prospect of great power confrontation. The point of my article flew off into space and missed planet Earth.

Spock’s mental powers were the best weapon that Starship Enterprise had. Among my graduate school friends, Spock was known as Dr. Spock, because he was the cool, calm, and unemotional member of the crew who could diagnose the problem and save the situation.

There are no Spocks in the US or any Western government and certainly not among the Ukrainian protesters.

I have often wondered if Spock’s Vulcan ancestry was Gene Roddenberry’s way of underlining by contrast the fragility of human reason. In the context of modern military technology, is it possible for life to survive humanity’s penchant for emotion to trump reason and for self-delusion to prevail over factual reality?

 

Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

 

28 Points Of Comparison Between 1970s America And America Today – Which Do You Think Is Better?

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Michael Snyder
The Truth

January 30, 2014

If you could go back and live in America during the 1970s would you do it?  Has the United States become a better place to live over the past 40 years or have things gotten worse?  Without a doubt there are arguments that can be made both ways.

 

For example, who really wants to go back to a time when you actually had to “dial” a phone or rewind a cassette tape in order to find your favourite song?  On the other hand, wouldn’t it be nice to live at a time when virtually everyone could find a good job, when television was not so filthy and when you didn’t have to worry about locking your front door at night?  Some would say that we have come a long way in 40 years.  Others lament how far we have fallen.  So what do you think?  Read over the 28 points of comparison between 1970s America and America today posted below and then share your opinion by leaving a comment at the end of the article…

1. In the 1970s we had Disco.  Today, we have Justin Bieber and Katy Perry.

2. In the 1970s we had Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter.  Today, we have Barack Obama.

3. In the 1970s, Americans fell in love with stupid fads such as mood rings, lava lamps and pet rocks.  Today, we have twerking, “planking”, crocs, wedge sneakers and pajama jeans.

4. In 1970, a gallon of gasoline cost 36 cents.  Today, the average price for a gallon of gasoline is about $3.27.

5. In the 1970s we still had rotary phones.  Today, we have iPhones.

6. In the 1970s, presidents were tapping the phones of their enemies.  Today, the government is recording all of our calls.  In fact, the NSA intercepts and permanently stores close to 2 billion emails and phone calls every single day.

7. In the 1970s, gum chewing and talking in class were some of the major disciplinary problems in our schools.  Today, many of our public schools have been equipped with metal detectors because violence has become so bad.

8. In the 1970s, you could sit down and watch television with your children in the evenings without being too concerned about what they were about to see.  Today, not so much.

9. In the early 1970s, Pong was the hottest video game in America.  In the late 1970s, Space Invaders took America by storm.  Today, the video games have become so incredibly advanced and so extremely entertaining that video game addiction has become a major problem.

10. In the 1970s, most of the products in our stores were made in America and we barely conducted any trade with China.  Today, it seems like almost everything we buy has “made in China” stamped on it and our yearly trade deficit with China is now about 300 billion dollars.

11. In 1973, the United States was #2 in GDP per capita.  Today, the United States is #13 in GDP per capita.

12. In 1970, the average woman had her first child when she was 21.4 years old.  Now the average woman has her first child when she is 25.6 years old.

13. In the 1970s, the “inactivity rate” for men in their prime working years (25 to 54) was less than 6 percent.  Today, it is up close to 12 percent.

14. For most of the 1970s, the average duration of unemployment was less than 15 weeks.  Today, it is more than 37 weeks.

15. In the 1970s, Star Wars was released.  It is still far superior to any movie that has come out so far this year.

16. In the 1970s, redistribution of wealth was considered to be something that “the communists” did.  Today, redistribution of wealth is the official policy of the U.S. government.

17. In 1970, about 18 million Americans had manufacturing jobs.  Today, about 12 million Americans have manufacturing jobs even though our population has grown far larger.

18. In the 1970s, many Americans regularly left their cars and the front doors of their homes unlocked at night.  Today, many Americans live with steel bars on their windows and gun sales are at record highs.

19. Consumer debt in the United States has risen by a whopping 1700% since 1971, and today 46% of all Americans carry a credit card balance from month to month.

20. In the 1970s, most Americans still respected the U.S. Constitution.  Today, if you are a “Constitutionalist”, you may get labelled as a potential terrorist by the U.S. government.

21. Back in 1970, the five largest U.S. banks held 17 percent of all U.S. banking industry assets.  Today, the five largest U.S. banks hold 52 percent of all U.S. banking industry assets.

22. 40 percent of all workers in the United States actually make less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968.

23. In 1977, Elvis was found dead.  Today, the entire U.S. middle class is dying.

24. Back in the 1970s, about one out of every 50 Americans was on food stamps.  Today, about one out of every 6 Americans is on food stamps.

25. In 1979, Sony introduced the Walkman.  When you wanted to listen to a particular song, you had to rewind your tape to find it.  Today, everyone has iPods and it takes just seconds to sort through thousands of songs.

26. In the 1970s, the United States loaned more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.  Today, the United States owes more money to the rest of the world than anybody else.

27. In 1970, the U.S. national debt was about 371 billion dollars.  Today, it is more than 46 times larger.

28. In the 1970s, hippies were smoking dope, attending rock festivals and singing protest songs.  Today, they are running the U.S. government.

What would you add to this list?  Please feel free to share your thoughts by posting a comment below…

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About the author: Michael T. Snyder is a former Washington D.C. attorney who now publishes The Truth. His new thriller entitled “The Beginning Of The End” is now available on Amazon.com.

 

 

US-China Rivalry More Dangerous Than Cold War?

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Zachary Keck
The Diplomat

January 30th, 2014

The prominent realist international relations scholar John Mearsheimer says there is a greater possibility of the U.S. and China going to war in the future than there was of a Soviet-NATO general war during the Cold War.

Mearsheimer made the comments at a lunch hosted by the Center for the National Interest in Washington, DC on Monday. The lunch was held to discuss Mearsheimer’s recent article in The National Interest on U.S. foreign policy towards the Middle East. However, much of the conversation during the Q&A session focused on U.S. policy towards Asia amid China’s rise, a topic that Mearsheimer addresses in greater length in the updated edition of his classic treatise, The Tragedy of Great Power Politics, which is due out this April.

In contrast to the Middle East, which he characterizes as posing little threat to the United States, Mearsheimer said that the U.S. will face a tremendous challenge in Asia should China continue to rise economically. The University of Chicago professor said that in such a scenario it is inevitable that the U.S. and China will engage in an intense strategic competition, much like the Soviet-American rivalry during the Cold War.

While stressing that he didn’t believe a shooting war between the U.S. and China is inevitable, Mearsheimer said that he believes a U.S.-China Cold War will be much less stable than the previous American-Soviet one. His reasoning was based on geography and its interaction with nuclear weapons.

 

Full article here