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Articles Posted by Lorianne

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  • Falling North Sea oil revenue 'to hit government finances'

    07/11/2014 3:02:31 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    BBC News ^ | 10 July 2014
    Dwindling revenue from North Sea oil will increase the pressure on government finances over the coming decades, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR). The OBR has cut its estimate of tax income from the North Sea between 2020 and 2041 by a quarter, to £40bn. The fall is down to lower production forecasts over the next few years. But its assessment was dismissed as "stuff and nonsense" by Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond. The Scottish government has argued that the OBR figures are based on a "very low estimate of future total production", which resulted in them being...
  • Poor man’s polar vortex to make shocking summer return in eastern U.S. next week

    07/11/2014 1:20:13 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Washington Post ^ | 10 April 2014 | Jason Samenow
    Call it the ghost of the polar vortex, the polar vortex sequel, or the polar vortex’s revenge. Meteorological purists may tell you it’s not a polar vortex at all. However you choose to refer to the looming weather pattern, unseasonably chilly air is headed for parts of the northern and northeastern U.S at the height of summer early next week.
  • Here's what's happening in Portugal [banks]

    07/11/2014 12:44:59 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 7 replies
    CNBC ^ | 10 July 2014 | Matt Clinch
    As stock markets around the world fell amid a wide-spread sell-off Thursday, many investors were pointing fingers at the European country of Portugal and concerns over the health of one of its lenders as the root cause of the day's troubles. Here's a brief look at why we should be worried about Portugal. Why is this happening? After several months of rumbling, Portuguese conglomerate Espírito Santo International this week delayed payments to some of the holders of its short-term debt securities. Its Swiss banking arm Banque Privee Espirito Santo is at the center of the concerns after it failed to...
  • Thursday Humor: The New US Tax Return

    07/10/2014 4:16:48 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 10 July 2014 | Tyler Durden
  • A Harsh Climate Calls for Banishment of the Needy [Norway]

    07/10/2014 7:51:07 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 27 replies
    New York Times ^ | 09 July 2014 | Andrew Higgins
    LONGYEARBYEN, Norway — As governor of Norway’s northernmost territory, Odd Olsen Ingero commands a police force with just six officers and a single detention cell for an area twice the size of New Jersey. Even that is overkill: Nobody has been locked up here in the capital of Svalbard since last summer. And that was for just two days. It is not just that there are not many people — fewer than 3,000 are officially registered as residents — or that what are elsewhere run-of-the-mill crimes like car theft are an exotic and very risky business in a place where...
  • Islamic State-Loose Artillery Shell on the Deck of the Ship of History-James Howard Kunstler

    07/09/2014 6:38:30 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 8 replies
    USA Watchdog ^ | 09 July 2014 | Greg Hunter
    Veteran journalist and author, James Howard Kunstler, is worried about the violence heating up in the Middle East–especially Saudi Arabia. Kunstler says, “Saudi Arabia is between a rock and a hard place, or should I say Iraq and a hard place. Both sides that are now contending in Iraq, the Shiite and the Islamic State or caliphate, are both not friendly with Saudi Arabia. When we talk about Saudi Arabia, we have to make a distinction. We are really talking about the Saud Family and their Kingdom and their gripe on the Kingdom. . . . Now, they are stuck...
  • 'America Has Ceased to Exist': Investment Guru Doug Casey on the Coming Economic Meltdown

    07/09/2014 6:28:27 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 32 replies
    Reason ^ | 25 June 2014 | Nick Gillespie & Amanda Winkler
    "America is a marvelous idea, a unique idea, fantastic idea. I'm extremely pro-American. But America has ceased to exist," declares Doug Casey, an economist and author most recently of Right on the Money. He has also produced a new documentary called Meltdown America which predicts the economic and political unraveling of the U.S. Casey recently sat down with Reason TV's Nick Gillespie to discuss the political, social, and economic challenges the US must conquer as well as lessons we can learn from failed states. [Video at site] About 15 minutes.
  • Mexico’s cartel-fighting vigilantes get closer to the Texas border

    07/09/2014 3:23:09 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 2 replies
    Global Post ^ | 08 July 2014 | Ioan Grillo
    Armed residents are taking on the feared Zetas cartel in Tamaulipas state. One desperate town’s mayor applauds them ___ HIDALGO, Mexico — The gunmen nabbed watermelon farmer Jesus Manuel Guerrero as he drove from his ranch to buy supplies and held him for five painful days in the trunk of a car. When family members finally paid a $120,000 ransom and they released him, he was urinating blood. He’s just one of hundreds of victims of a wave of kidnapping that’s swept this once peaceful farming town, about 130 miles south of Texas. But almost three years after his brutal...
  • Bill Still inteviews NSA whistleblower William Binney

    07/08/2014 1:03:16 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 13 replies
    You Tube ^ | June 2014, July 2014 | Still/Binney
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm-WA6XnBuc PART 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oQ5Tatq73Tw PART 2 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BwpyS3IJIrs PART 3 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPcyGxcZtoQ PART 4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--4Nka4_v_Q PART 5 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ooBiByfsEfk PART 6
  • Egypt to raise fuel prices by up to 78 percent from midnight

    07/07/2014 7:05:48 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 8 replies
    Reuters ^ | 04 July 2014
    Egypt was set to raise mainstream fuel prices by up to 78 percent from midnight on Friday, an Oil Ministry source told Reuters, in a long-awaited step to cut energy subsidies to ease the burden on its swelling budget deficit. Food and energy subsidies traditionally eat up a quarter of state spending. The government is cutting subsidies in hopes of reviving an economy battered by more than three years of political turmoil. Successive governments have failed to curb energy product subsidies, fearing backlash from a public used to cheap fuel. "The increase will start being implemented by midnight," the source...
  • It's politics, not science, driving climate mania:[extra long title from UK]

    07/07/2014 11:18:54 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Guardian (UK) ^ | 05 July 2014 | Andrew Mountford
    For years, computer simulations have predicted that sea ice should be disappearing from the Poles. Now, with the news that Antarctic sea-ice levels have hit new highs, comes yet another mishap to tarnish the credibility of climate science. Climatologists base their doom-laden predictions of the Earth’s climate on computer simulations. But these have long been the subject of ridicule because of their stunning failure to predict the pause in warming – nearly 18 years long on some measures – since the turn of the last century. It’s the same with sea ice. We hear a great deal about the decline...
  • The changing correlation between the S&P 500 and oil

    07/05/2014 5:19:57 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    World Complex ^ | 02 July 2014 | mickeyman
    Today we investigate the relationship between oil and the broad US market, using the S&P 500 index as a proxy. A common thought is that the two functions are inversely correlated, with the US market in danger whenever oil rises too high. The relationship has been a complex one over the past 11 years, but the correlation is positive most of the time. In particular, we see from 2003 until late 2007, both oil and the market rose in tandem. The only time the two records show an inverse correlation was during the windup to the financial crisis--from late 2007...
  • GM switch complaints began 17 years ago, long before Cobalt

    07/05/2014 5:13:15 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 15 replies
    Reuters ^ | 04 July 2014 | Paul Lienert
    General Motors car owners have been complaining to dealers about defective ignition switches since 1997, years before the automaker launched the Chevrolet Cobalt and other small cars with faulty switches linked to at least 13 deaths. GM this week expanded its recall of cars with switch issues by more than 8 million, but it did not indicate when it first learned of problems in cars including the 1997 Chevrolet Malibu and the 2000 Chevrolet Impala. A Reuters review of a consumer complaints database maintained by U.S. safety regulators showed that GM dealers were told of switch-related defects almost as soon...
  • IMF warns of negative spiral in France as recession looms again

    07/05/2014 5:06:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 03 July 2014 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    France has sunk into an economic malaise and could take years to climb back out ___ France is on the cusp of a fresh recession as services contract sharply and the country braces for yet another round of austerity cuts, with record jobless levels likely to bedevil Francois Hollande’s presidency for years to come. Markit’s PMI services gauge for France fell for the third month to 48.2 in June, pointing to an outright fall in GDP following zero growth in the first quarter. The International Monetary Fund cut its growth forecast this year from 1pc to 0.7pc, warning that there...
  • Can Sweden avert ‘Nordic Japan’ fate?

    07/05/2014 5:04:11 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 16 replies
    CNBC ^ | 03 July 2014 | Catherine Boyle
    Swedish central bank meetings are generally as staid as you'd expect, but they have just got a lot more interesting, as the Nordic country contemplates the specter of Japan-style stagnation. On Thursday, the Riksbank, Sweden's central bank, cut its main policy rate by 50 basis points to 0.25 percent, surprising the market, as most economists had forecast a 25 basis points cut to 0.5 percent. The Swedish krona tumbled to its lowest level against the dollar for close to a year, and its lowest level against the euro for more than three years, following the news.
  • US jobs report shows growth in part-time, low-wage work

    07/05/2014 5:02:00 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 22 replies
    World Socialist Web Site ^ | 04 July 2014 | Andre Damon
    The Obama administration seized on the jobs report to once again proclaim an economic turnaround. “This is one of the strongest reports we’ve seen since the end of the recession,” said Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez. “There was good job creation in high-wage, mid-wage and low-wage positions. It was broad-based.” In reality, jobs growth was again led by low-wage industries. The retail trade sector added 40,000 jobs, while the leisure and hospitality sector, which pays an average of $13.83 per hour, added 39,000. The health care sector added 34,000 jobs. Relatively higher paying sectors lagged behind. The manufacturing sector added...
  • Yellen Is Flat-Out Wrong: Financial Bubbles Are Caused By The Fed, Not The Market

    07/05/2014 4:57:34 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 5 replies
    Conta Corner ^ | 03 July 2014 | Jeffrey P. Snider
    More of the same from Janet Yellen in her latest speech, but her focus on “resilience” caught my attention as it relates to very recent developments. The taper threat experience last year may have been a warning, but it doesn’t seem like it resonated with her or policymakers. The major bond selloff, which led to global ripples of crisis in credit, funding and currencies, was the opposite of flexibility. Perhaps a better definition of the word would be a place to start. But her meaning was a bit different, in that it is clear (from this speech and prior assertions,...
  • Expropriation Is Back - Is Christine Lagarde The Most Dangerous Woman In The World?

    07/04/2014 12:58:01 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 13 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 04 July 2014 | Tyler Durden
    I have gone on record that the most dangerous organization is the now French led IMF with Christine Lagarde at the helm, which has presented a concept report that debt cuts for over-indebted states are uncompromising and are to be performed more effectively in the future by defaulting on retirement accounts held in life insurance, mutual funds and other types of pension schemes, or arbitrarily extending debt perpetually so you cannot redeem. Yes you read correctly, The new IMF paper is described in great detail exactly how to now allow the private sector, which has invested in government bonds, to...
  • You Can Buy An Entire Town In South Dakota For The Bargain Price Of $400K

    07/03/2014 6:21:58 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 29 replies
    Consumerist ^ | 30 June 2014 | Mary Beth Quirk
    Check your pockets and dig into the couch cushions — if you can rustle up some spare change to the tune of $400,000, you could be the owner of your very own town in South Dakota. The man who owns Swett, S.D. — and its bar, single house, workshop, three trailers and 6.16 acres of land — is looking to sell. Sure, $400,000 is a lot of money for anybody. But instead of just owning a single house, you could crown yourself Grand High Empress/Emperor of this unincorporated hamlet about two hours from Rapid City, reports the Rapid City Journal....
  • US and Germany want gas hub in Ukraine

    07/03/2014 5:56:47 PM PDT · by Lorianne
    Russia Today ^ | 02 July 2014
    German and US companies want to start using Ukraine as a gas hub, according to Aleksandr Todiychuk, Deputy Chairman of the country’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz. “For them [Germany and the US] it’s an opportunity to gain a foothold in the region. Our underground gas storage is interesting for both sellers and buyers of gas. This is why potentially everybody who’s interested in creating a hub, are talking about our high potential in this field,” Todiychuk said in an interview with the Russian daily Kommersant. Gazprom, the world’s largest producer of natural gas, has stopped using Ukraine as...
  • BRICS morphing into anti-dollar alliance

    07/03/2014 4:48:53 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 6 replies
    Voice of Russia ^ | 03 July 2014
    Before the crucial visit to Beijing next week, the governor of the Russian Central Bank, Elvira Nabiullina met Vladimir Putin to report on the progress of the upcoming ruble-yuan swap deal with the People's Bank of China and the Kremlin used the meeting to let the world know about the technical details of its international anti-dollar alliance. On June 10th, Sergey Glaziev, Putin's economy advisor published an article outlining the need to establish an international alliance of countries willing to get rid of the dollar in international trade and refrain from using dollars in their currency reserves. The ultimate goal...
  • Juncker is galling for Britain, but life-threatening for France and Italy (EU)

    07/03/2014 4:44:33 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 3 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 02 July 2014 | Ambrose Evans-Pritchard
    The Cromwellian method by which Jean-Claude Juncker was foisted upon the nation states is a breach of the Treaties ___ The sovereign parliaments of Europe are victims of a constitutional sleight of hand, though some acquiesce more easily than others. The Cromwellian method by which Jean-Claude Juncker was foisted upon the nation states is a breach of the Treaties. The episode clarifies the need for British withdrawal from the Union, or the withdrawal of France or any other country that wishes to remain self-governing under a rule of law.
  • How Wall Street Manipulates The Buy-to-Rent Housing Racket

    07/03/2014 4:41:08 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 8 replies
    Testosterone Pit ^ | 02 July 2014 | Wolf Richter
    Private equity firms are the ultimate smart money on Wall Street; they know how to wring out the last dime from their own clients, such as pension funds and rich individuals, through hidden fees, obscure expenses, elaborate expense shifting, lackadaisical disclosure, and “zombie advisers,” to the point where SEC Inspection Chief Andrew Bowden singled them out in a speech in May. Now the lawyers are circling. And these PE firms invented a whole new business: buying vacant homes out of foreclosure and from banks and renting them out. Flush with the Fed’s nearly free money, Blackstone Group ended up spending...
  • One Hundred and Four Horses: A Memoir of Farm and Family, Africa and Exile

    07/03/2014 2:58:40 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Amazon/ ^ | October 2013 published | Mandy Retzlaff (book author)
    Amazon description: There is little in this world that a family cannot endure, if endure they must. For we all have it within us to lose everything, absolutely everything, and still find strength in the most simple, beautiful things. Pat and Mandy Retzlaff lived a hard but satisfying farming life in Zimbabwe. Working all hours of the day on their sprawling ranch and raising three boisterous children, they savored the beauty of the veld and the diverse wildlife that grazed the meadows outside their dining room window. After their children, the couple's true pride and joy were their horses. But...
  • Bill Ayers planned to murder 25 million Americans!

    07/03/2014 7:29:42 AM PDT · by Lorianne · 52 replies
    You Tube ^ | originally 1982
    In 1969 undercover FBI agent Larry Grathwohl infiltrated the Weather Underground. Watch Hilder's films go to http://www.freeworldfilmworks.com/fwa... to learn more about the machinations of the NWO Gangsters. Bill Ayers said when he took over America he would send Patriots to re-education camps and murder those who would not accept the New World Order. He estimated he would have to murder 25 million American Patriots. Published on You Tube Jun 26, 2012
  • Court: NY towns make final call on gas drilling

    07/02/2014 3:38:04 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    CNBC/Reuters ^ | 30 June 2014
    New York state's top court ruled on Monday that towns have the authority to ban gas drilling within their borders, giving a boost to opponents of the drilling method known as fracking. The Court of Appeals in a 5-2 decision upheld drilling bans in the Ithaca suburb of Dryden and in Middlefield, near Cooperstown, saying the laws were extensions of the towns' zoning authority. Drilling company Norse Energy USA and an upstate dairy farmer separately sued the towns, claiming the bans violated a law designed to create uniform statewide regulations on the oil and gas industry. The court disagreed, saying...
  • Auto sales close to hitting the brakes

    07/02/2014 3:29:01 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 30 replies
    CNBC ^ | 01 July 2014 | Phil LeBeau
    America's auto industry, in the midst of a five-year run where sales have rebounded more than 55 percent, is close to seeing a slowdown according to a new study. The AlixPartners 2014 Automotive Study suggests sales of cars and trucks in the U.S. will hit a peak this year and then gradually pull back. Read More GM announces 6 new recalls, 7.6 million cars in the US "This is a cyclical industry and we think this current cycle has just about run its course," said Mark Wakefield of AlixPartners. "We're a little less optimistic than others about the demand for...
  • Don’t Mistake This Phony “Recovery” for the Real Thing

    07/02/2014 3:23:08 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Acting Man ^ | 01 July 2014 | Bill Bonner
    “De hosses run down an den dey come back / Doo dah, doo dah Bet my money on a bob-tail nag / Oh de doo dah day” – “Camptown Races,” Stephen Foster A trifecta of disappointment last week … As you know, dear reader, the idea behind the Fed’s ZIRP and QE policies is to stimulate demand. More demand – meaning more consumers spending more money they don’t have on more things they don’t need – is supposed to be a good thing. Fed economists have bet trillions of dollars on it. Not their money, of course. Each year, since...
  • BIS: ultra low interest rates could make global economy permanently unstable

    07/02/2014 3:18:51 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 29 Jun 2014 | Szu Ping Chan
    Ultra low interest rates and the failure of policy to "lean against" the build-up of financial imbalances are in danger of making the global economy permanently unstable, the Bank for International Settlements has warned. In its annual report, the Swiss-based "bank of central banks" spelled out the risks of relying too heavily on monetary policy to stimulate the economy. The BIS warned that central banks including the Bank of England and US Federal Reserve could keep monetary policy loose for too long, with potentially damaging consequences. "The prospects for a bumpy exit together with other factors suggest that the predominant...
  • Credit - The Molotov Cocktail

    07/02/2014 3:16:18 PM PDT · by Lorianne
    Macronomy blog ^ | 01 July 2014
    "Incendiary capitalism is carrying its out evil works more dangerously than ever, and is doing so in the increasingly dangerous neighborhood of the powder kegs that are the great European military powers." - Karl Liebknecht, German politician, 1871-1919. Looking at the dismal US GDP print for the 1st quarter at -2.9%r while enjoying the latest yield compression in US yields, thanks to our contrarian take since January 2014, and seeing the increasing trouble brewing in the Middle-East, with German businesses unsupportive of the sanctions against Russia according to Michael Harms, chairman of the Russian-German Trade Chamber, in conjunction with the...
  • The race to stop Las Vegas from running dry

    07/01/2014 7:14:58 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 32 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | 28 June 2014 | Nick Allen
    Outside Las Vegas’s Bellagio hotel tourists gasp in amazement as fountains shoot 500ft into the air, performing a spectacular dance in time to the music of Frank Sinatra. Gondolas ferry honeymooners around canals modelled on those of Venice, Roman-themed swimming pools stretch for acres, and thousands of sprinklers keep golf courses lush in the middle of the desert. But, as with many things in Sin City, the apparently endless supply of water is an illusion. America’s most decadent destination has been engaged in a potentially catastrophic gamble with nature and now, 14 years into a devastating drought, it is on...
  • Insurer Warns Some Pooled Pensions Are Beyond Recovery

    07/01/2014 7:02:04 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 19 replies
    New York Times ^ | 30 June 2014 | MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
    More than a million people risk losing their federally insured pensions in just a few years despite recent stock market gains and a strengthening economy, a new government study said on Monday. The people at risk have earned pensions in multiemployer plans, in which many companies band together with a union to provide benefits under collective bargaining. Such pensions were long considered exceptionally safe, but the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation reported in its study that some plans are now in their death throes and cannot recover. Bailing out those plans seems highly unlikely. But if they are simply left to...
  • After BNP, U.S. targets range of firms in crackdown on illicit money flows

    07/01/2014 6:58:29 PM PDT · by Lorianne
    Reuters ^ | 01 July 2014 | Aruna Viswanatha
    BNP Paribas’ guilty plea and agreement to pay nearly $9 billion for violating U.S. sanctions is part of a larger U.S. Justice Department shift in strategy that is expected to snare more major banks and other firms across the financial food chain. Two other major French banks, Credit Agricole CAGR.PA and Societe Generale SOGN.PA, Germany's Deutsche Bank AG DBKGn.DE, and Banamex USA, the U.S. arm of Citigroup Inc's C.N Mexican banking group Banamex, are among those being investigated for possible money laundering or sanctions violations, according to people familiar with the matter and public disclosures. The Justice Department and other...
  • Euro zone unemployment stuck, recovery stalls

    07/01/2014 6:54:20 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    CNBC ^ | 30 June 2014 | Katrina Bishop
    The euro zone's unemployment rate held steady in May, at 11.6 percent, in a further sign that the region's bumpy recovery is struggling to take hold. It followed separate data which revealed that manufacturing activity in the euro zone slid to a seven-month low in June. Some 18.55 million people were unemployed across the currency bloc in May, according to Eurostat data published Tuesday, a fall of 28,000 from April. However this reduction in joblessness was not enough to drive the unemployment rate lower. The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria and Germany, at around 5 percent. However joblessness...
  • The Secret Reason the Fed Is 'Tolerating' Bubbles

    07/01/2014 6:48:11 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Testosterone Pit ^ | 30 June 2014 | Wolf Richter
    Swiss megabank UBS, one of the great beneficiaries of the Fed’s policies, ponders in its latest FX Comments how to deal with asset bubbles, “most importantly in housing markets,” a topic that is a “hotly debated issue among central banks.” Turns out, after nearly six years of printing money and inflicting ZIRP and financial repression on most developed economies, thus creating these asset bubbles in the first place, central bankers find themselves “essentially in an experimental phase.” Shouldn’t they have thought about this before? It seems. But publically, the Fed and other central banks are still vociferously denying that there...
  • 500 Years Of Dutch Bond Yields [lowest in 500 years]

    07/01/2014 6:38:14 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 3 replies
    Zero Hedge ^ | 01 July 2014 | Tyler Durden
    Day after day we are told that stocks are the place to be and that bonds are a disastrous bet as "rates must rise" but it appears that, increasingly, the world's developed (and debt-laden) economies are turning Japanese (with German 2Y rates at 2bps for example). But, for some context as to how low rates really are, Deutsche's Jim Reid unveils 500 years of Dutch (European) interest rates... and we have never been lower.
  • Border Guards Then and Now (Iraq)

    06/27/2014 7:07:26 PM PDT · by Lorianne
    Steyn Online ^ | 23 June 2014 | Mark Steyn
    The Iraq/Syria border no longer exists: ISIS has simply erased the Anglo-French settlement of 1922. Jordan has just one border post with Iraq - the one I crossed all those years ago - and it's asking an awful lot of these lads to be more respectful of Jordan's sovereignty than they've been of Iraq's or Syria's. Where next? With Syrian refugees expanding the population of his country by 25 per cent, I wonder how Jordan's King Abdullah feels about being an "ally" of Obama's. Perhaps he nodded his head at the reported comments of the Polish Foreign Minister - that...
  • Why Government Pension Funds Became Addicted to Risk

    06/25/2014 5:29:39 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 9 replies
    New York Times ^ | 25 June 2014 | Josh Barro
    A public pension fund works like this: The government promises to make payments to its employees after they retire; it invests money now and uses those investments, and the returns on them, to make those promised payments later. Back when interest rates were high, this was fairly simple to do. Pension funds could buy bonds — ideally bonds that would mature around the time they would need the money to pay pensioners — and use the interest on those bonds to fund the payouts. In 1972, more than 70 percent of pension fund investment portfolios consisted of bonds and cash,...
  • Forward guidance: making it up as you go along

    06/25/2014 5:24:10 PM PDT · by Lorianne
    CNBC ^ | 24 June 2014 | Moorad Choudhry
    The banking industry likes superfluous language. There's "quantitative finance" for example, which (given that finance isalready a quantitative subject) is a bit like saying "aerial flight" or "wet swimming". And then there's "forward guidance". What, as opposed to backward guidance? I mean, what other type of guidance is there? Last summer the Bank of England (BoE) decided it wanted to import the U.S. Federal Reserve's forward guidance policy. In short this went along the lines of "we'll link future moves in the base rate to other external market indicators, so that as these other indicators move then so will base...
  • Why San Francisco Is Flipping For The Fed: 2013 Gains Averaged $194K/Flipped House

    06/25/2014 5:21:41 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 2 replies
    Conta Corner ^ | 24 June 2014 | David Stockman
    It still may be recalled that 2012-2013 was the time of the Fed’s housing liquidity flood—–when hedge funds and LBO shops swooped in to buy busted mortgages with cheap money from the Fed/Wall Street. And once the party got started and prices in some formerly devasted markets like Phoenix, Los Vegas and much of California and Florida started soaring by 20-40% after March 2012, it appears that local flippers did not waste much time climbing aboard the fast train. Redfin has some stunning figures out on profits during 2013 from house flipping in about 30 major markets. The short answer...
  • The United States Doesn't Know With Certainty Who Just Launched Airstrikes in Iraq

    06/25/2014 2:21:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 22 replies
    Slate ^ | 25 June 2014 | Ben Mathis-Lilley
    United States officials are not entirely confident they know who is behind the airstrikes being reported against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria forces in western Iraq. From ABC News: According to the U.S. official, the United States has “pretty good information that the Syrians are behind the fighter aircraft bombing in western Al Anbar,” a province in Iraq that includes the Syrian border. The official said the United States is still trying to gather more information that Syria was behind the strikes...A U.S. official also said it was not clear whether the Iraqi government requested or authorized Syrian air...
  • “End the Fed” Rallies are Exploding Throughout Germany

    06/24/2014 12:43:42 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 31 replies
    Liberty Blitzkrieg ^ | 19 June 2014 | Michael Krieger
    This is a fascinating development and one that I had no idea was happening until today. It seems that rallies are spreading throughout Germany protesting the corrupt and dying global status quo. One of the key targets of these groups is the U.S. Federal Reserve system, which as I and many others have maintained, is the core cancer infecting the entire planet. According to the organizer of these rallies, they have now spread to up to 100 cities and have a combined attendee base of around 20,000. What is also interesting, is that the mainstream media in Germany is calling...
  • Two major oil companies evacuating Iraq

    06/24/2014 12:12:01 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 12 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | 18 June 2014 | Ryan Holeywell
    Exxon Mobil officials are not commenting on reports that the company has evacuated from Iraq amid growing instability due to militants. The company has undertaken a “major evacuation” of its staff, Reuters reported Wednesday, citing comments from Dhiya Jaffar, head of Iraq’s state-run South Oil Co. A spokesman from Exxon Mobil told FuelFix that the company does not comment on security issues. Iraq instability: Insurgents capture largest Iraq oil refinery Jaffar also said BP had evacuated about 20 percent of its staff in Iraq. Officials from BP did not respond immediately to questions from FuelFix about the reported evacuation. “We...
  • Half-price Kurd oil threatens Iraq breakup with Turkish help

    06/24/2014 12:09:37 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 11 replies
    Fuel Fix ^ | 19 June 2014 | Selcan Hacaoglu, Jack Fairweather and Nayla Razzouk
    A tanker containing a million barrels of crude oil is floating around the Mediterranean, and its cargo is available at half-price. Yet if any country seizes the bargain, it may be pushing Iraq closer to disintegration. The oil aboard is at the center of a fight over its ownership between the semi-autonomous region of Kurdistan, which pumped and shipped the crude from its territory in northern Iraq, and the central government in Baghdad, which claims the rights to all oil revenue. Kurdish Peshmerga armed forces seized on the anarchy in northern Iraq, where militant Islamists routed the Baghdad government’s army...
  • Hockey Sticks over Hasakah (Steyn)

    06/22/2014 1:13:49 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 4 replies
    Steyn Online ^ | 20 June 2014 | Mark Steyn
    Following the news that global warming is to blame for those kidnapped Nigerian girls, Al Gore explains that it's also to blame for the unstoppable march of ISIS across Syria and Iraq. Fortunately, Secretary of State John Kerry has been keeping his eye on the big picture by devoting his energies to figuring out how to lower the oceans with renowned climate expert Leonardo di Caprio. It's a shame Leo's yacht is too big for the Tigris, since I'm sure he and John could settle this Iraq thing in nothing flat if they just anchored it at the Mosul Sailing...
  • Hedge fund chiefs and former bankers enter the shadows close

    06/20/2014 5:15:52 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 2 replies
    Financial Times ^ | 20 June 2014
    In the six years since the financial crisis, the financial services world has seen all kinds of new institutions take over lending deals and clients that were once the domain of traditional banks. There has also been a parallel transformation: the mutation of bankers into shadow bankers, writes Patrick Jenkins in London. The bosses of many shadow banks – hedge funds, private equity and debt funds, tax-efficient “business development companies” and peer-to-peer lenders – seem increasingly to have been drawn from the upper ranks of the big traditional lenders. Many bankers have become disillusioned with the old ways of doing...
  • Organic agriculture attracts a new generation of farmers

    06/18/2014 3:20:31 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 38 replies
    Los Angeles Times ^ | 07 June 2014 | Ricardo Lopez
    By 9 a.m., Jack Motter had been planting peas for hours.. He pushed a two-wheeled contraption that deposited a seed every few inches along neat rows at Ellwood Canyon Farms, just outside Santa Barbara. As clouds gathered overhead, he picked up the pace to avoid losing days of work to the fall rain. Timing can mean the difference between profit and loss for the 4-year-old farm. Motter and his business partner, Jeff Kramer, are part of a growing crop of farmers — many of them young — choosing to produce food without pesticides and synthetic fertilizers. As consumers demand more...
  • Japan's Abe unveils plan to cut corporate tax rate to spur growth

    06/18/2014 1:57:30 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 5 replies
    Reuters ^ | 13 June 2014 | Tetsushi Kajimoto, Antoni Slodkowski
    Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe unveiled a plan on Friday to cut the corporate tax rate below 30 percent in stages to help pull the economy out of two decades of sluggish growth and deflation. Investors have been scrutinising whether Japan can substantially lower the corporate tax rate - among the highest in the world - to spur growth in the world's third-largest economy. Abe also needs to strike a delicate balance between stimulating growth and reining in snowballing public debt, twice the size of its $5 trillion economy. The corporate tax cut is a major issue to be included...
  • Japan: How The Government Pension Fund Plans A Masssive Bond Dump Into A Dead JGB Market

    06/18/2014 1:55:15 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 1 replies
    Conta Corner ^ | 11 June 2014 | David Stockman
    So this is how it works. Japan has the most massive public debt in the world relative to national income, but the implicit aim of Abenomics is to destroy the government bond market. After all, if inflation goes to 2% or higher, government bonds yielding 0.6% will experience thumbing losses. Even the robotic Japanese fund managers no longer want to hold the JGB—- as evidenced by another session when no future contracts on either the 10-year or 20-year bond changed hands. As Zero Hedge noted, You know things have got a little too strange when the largest government bond market...
  • Gazprom puts Ukraine on gas prepayment plan after ‘chronic’ failure to pay debt

    06/17/2014 8:20:28 PM PDT · by Lorianne · 25 replies
    RussiaToday ^ | 16 June 2014
    After failing to pay its gas bill, Ukraine now has to pay in advance for any natural gas from Russia, Gazprom said on Monday. Both companies have filed lawsuits against each other at the Stockholm Arbitration Court “This decision was taken due to systematic failure of Naftogaz Ukraine to pay. The debt of the company for Russian gas stands at $4.458 billion, including $1.451 billion for November and December 2013, and $3.007 billion for April-May 2014,” Gazprom said in a statement posted on their website. “They’ve paid zero. Correspondingly we deliver zero,” Sergey Kupriyanov, a Gazprom spokesperson said in a...