Monday, December 16, 2013

Secret FDIC Plan to Loot Bank Accounts

Stephen Lendman
Activist Post

It shouldn't surprise. It's already policy. Market analyst Graham Summers explained. Depositor theft is coming. Europe is banker occupied territory. So is America.

Finance is a new form of warfare. It's more powerful than standing armies. Banking giants run things. Money power has final say.

Economies are strip-mined for profit. Communities are laid waste. Ordinary people are impoverished. Even their bank accounts aren't safe.

Cypriot officials agreed to tax them. Canada, New Zealand, and Euroland member states plan doing the same thing. So does America.

Officially they're called "bail-ins." It's code language for grand theft. Instead of breaking up, nationalizing, or closing down failed banks, depositor funds will keep them operating.

Money printing madness can't go on forever. Regulators, like FDIC, haven't enough money to insure depositors. It's simple mathematical logic.
More here:

ObamaCare: Another Deadline Slips

Another Obamacare deadline was pushed back on Thursday and now the White House is asking insurers to accept late payments and still give individuals coverage in the interim.
The Department of Health and Human Services extended the deadline for individuals who want to be covered on the first of the year to Dec. 31 from Dec. 23.
HHS is asking insurers to accept payments through this extended date and give consumers additional time to pay their first month’s premium while still offering coverage starting on Jan. 1
The department also said more deadlines could be bended later and it is “considering moving the deadline to a later date should exceptional circumstances pose barriers to consumers enrolling on or before December 23.”
Under the ACA every individual in the country must have insurance by the end of open enrollment period, on April 1, 2014, or they will face a fine of $95 a year, or 1% of their annual income for failing to comply with the law.
The announcement comes a day after the administration announced 364,682 Americans had selected an insurance plan on the marketplaces since Oct.1. far below initial enrollment forecasts. The number  includes people who may or may not had yet paid their monthly premium. It’s standard practice in the insurance industry to only consider a person as covered once he or she has paid the first month’s premium.
Of the total amount of enrollees, 227,478 had enrolled via the 16 state-based marketplaces and 137,204 on the federal exchange on, which serves 36 states. The figures were far off base from the 3.3 million the administration projected in September it would have enrolled by the end of December.
The Obama Administration also originally aimed to have seven million people enrolled in year one of the ACA, 2.7 million being young and healthy policyholders that are needed to keep premium costs down.
Yevgeniy Feyman, Manhattan Institute scholar, says that while the pushback is not shocking, it could be risky for both consumers and insurance companies.
“The administration needs this [law] to work, so they want to give it as much time as humanly possible,” he says. “Whether that means people have coverage or not, is something else. If someone goes on the exchange on Dec. 31 and signs up for coverage at 11 p.m., I find it hard to believe that on Jan. 1 they will have coverage.”
Under the ACA, the enrollment requirements had previously been that individuals had to enroll in a plan by the 15th of a month in order to have coverage kick in by the 1st of the next month.
The latest pushback also comes after a glitch that was confirmed last week by CMS, that the back-end mechanism that allows the government to pay insurers for subsidized and cost-sharing plans had not yet been built. Insurance companies will have to bill the government for these premium tax credits, and the government has announced it will act in a timely manner.
Feyman doesn’t rule out another delay in the future, and that this latest postponement undoubtedly puts insurance companies in a precarious position.
“This screws insurers,” he says. “I don’t know any insurer that can get coverage ready to go in one day.”

After 100 Years Of Failure, It’s Time To End The Fed!

By Dr. Ron Paul
A week from now, the Federal Reserve System will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its founding. Resulting from secret negotiations between bankers and politicians at Jekyll Island, the Fed's creation established a banking cartel and a board of government overseers that has grown ever stronger through the years. One would think this anniversary would elicit some sort of public recognition of the Fed’s growth from a quasi-agent of the Treasury Department intended to provide an elastic currency, to a de facto independent institution that has taken complete control of the economy through its central monetary planning. But just like the Fed's creation, its 100th anniversary may come and go with only a few passing mentions.
Like many other horrible and unconstitutional pieces of legislation, the bill which created the Fed, the Federal Reserve Act, was passed under great pressure on December 23, 1913, in the waning moments before Congress recessed for Christmas with many Members already absent from those final votes. This underhanded method of pressuring Congress with such a deadline to pass the Federal Reserve Act would provide a foreshadowing of the Fed's insidious effects on the US economy—with actions performed without transparency.
Ostensibly formed with the goal of preventing financial crises such as the Panic of 1907, the Fed has become increasingly powerful over the years. Rather than preventing financial crises, however, the Fed has constantly caused new ones. Barely a few years after its inception, the Fed's inflationary monetary policy to help fund World War I led to the Depression of 1920. After the economy bounced back from that episode, a further injection of easy money and credit by the Fed led to the Roaring Twenties and to the Great Depression, the worst economic crisis in American history.
But even though the Fed continued to make the same mistakes over and over again, no one in Washington ever questioned the wisdom of having a central bank. Instead, after each episode the Fed was given more and more power over the economy. Even though the Fed had brought about the stagflation of the 1970s, Congress decided to formally task the Federal Reserve in 1978 with maintaining full employment and stable prices, combined with constantly adding horrendously harmful regulations. Talk about putting the inmates in charge of the asylum!
Now we are reaping the noxious effects of a century of loose monetary policy, as our economy remains mired in mediocrity and utterly dependent on a stream of easy money from the central bank. A century ago, politicians failed to understand that the financial panics of the 19th century were caused by collusion between government and the banking sector. The government's growing monopoly on money creation, high barriers to entry into banking to protect politically favored incumbents, and favored treatment for government debt combined to create a rickety, panic-prone banking system. Had legislators known then what we know now, we could hope that they never would have established the Federal Reserve System.
Today, however, we do know better. We know that the Federal Reserve continues to strengthen the collusion between banks and politicians. We know that the Fed's inflationary monetary policy continues to reap profits for Wall Street while impoverishing Main Street. And we know that the current monetary regime is teetering on a precipice. One hundred years is long enough. End the Fed.

Obama’s SOCIALIST AGENDA is DESTROYING Middle Class | Greg Mannarino

IN THIS INTERVIEW:*”Market is calling the Federal Reserve’s bluff” (0:50)*Gold price will end the year down for the first time in 12 years (6:05)*Our policy makers are collapsing the economy by design (7:50)*More government is not the solution to this crisis! (14:40)?*Dump Bitcoin (20:09)? 

How Elizabeth Warren Is Scaring the Banksters

Tonight’s “Big Picture Rumble” discusses the latest school shooting in Colorado, Connecticut taking the lead on labeling GMOs and how Sen. Warren is scaring the banksters. In tonight’s “Conversations with Great Minds” Thom talks with First Amendment Attorney James C. Goodale, author of the new book “Fighting for the Press.”

Conservative to Unemployed People: ‘Blame Yourselves’

Ryan McMaken
In my recent post on Pope Francis’s writings, I noted that conservatives have a tendency to have contempt for poor people and that this, in some cases, may be fueling their overreaction to the Pope’s unfortunate comments on poverty and markets. Tom Woods categorically dismissed my claim.
He went on to note some of the more unfortunate and objectionable outcomes that could arise from the Pope’s commentary, and some unfortunate outcomes that have occurred in the past due to the economic and factual blunders of past popes. His points 1, 2, and 3 are all indeed insightful. These three points added useful information to my original point but did not contradict it. His fourth point remains a mystery to me, however. Apparently in an attempt to explain how the conservative reaction has nothing to do with an uncharitable view of the poor, Dr. Woods describes the internal squabbles between the Vatican and a small religious order of Franciscans, and the hard feelings apparently harbored by some Catholics who believe they have been “kicked in the teeth” by the Pope. Given that the groups Dr. Woods mentions are very small and virtually unknown even within the Catholic world, and their connection to American conservatism unclear, it’s fairly obvious that the views of this obscure Catholic population do not have any discernible effect at all on the larger conservative movement, and thus do not have anything to do with my original post.
For the record, I did not, of course, claim that all the opposition to the Pope’s bad economics is necessarily motivated by contempt for the poor. Had I thought that, I would not have linked favorably to an article that systematically refuted the Pope’s claims and assumptions about markets and the poor. Indeed, many free-market economists have approached the issue in just the right way, and have pointed out the Pope’s errors.
When looking at conservative activists, it is quite a different matter, and we see here the usual flippant attitude toward poverty that we find so eloquently postulated by Herman Cain here:
If you’re unemployed “blame yourself,” is the declaration of one-time GOP presidential front-runner Herman Cain, who can’t comprehend how central banks or the federal government place financial independence out the reach of a great many Americans.
For people like Cain, one should simply save and invest, and one will quickly be on the road to riches. Where one should actually invest these savings must remain a mystery for anyone familiar with the task of saving when one has very little money. Shall one put money in a savings account or CD where one’s money will actually lose value because the interest rate isn’t even enough to keep up with inflation? Or perhaps one should just hold onto lots of cash then watch the value of that decline thanks to the central bank’s inflation? Meanwhile, the minimum wage essentially outlaws entry-level jobs for millions of Americans.
And then of course, how is one to save money when no matter how poor you are, you must pay exorbitant payroll taxes (aka de facto income taxes) that take an enormous bite out your paycheck. Naturally, many famous conservatives are so clueless about the realities of low-income life that they even absurdly claim that almost half of Americans don’t pay taxes which is absolutely not true, as I explain here.
So, if one manages to get a job in the present bust economy (a bust caused by the feds and big banks) one then faces taxes on every dime earned, plus sales taxes on most everything, of course, and then one is left with nowhere to invest money, since no investments open to low-income people pays interest rates above inflation. Anyone with a conscience would view such a system with alarm, but for some people, like Glenn Beck, it’s a cause for hilarity when he wrote
“Can you spare some change? Have you ever been asked this by some random panhandler? A good response is ‘Sorry, I only carry hundreds.’ It gets em every time.”
Ho ho! Aren’t panhandlers hilarious? Yes, I recognize that many of them are con artists and grifters, but I also recognize that many of them are mentally ill, or the victims of domestic abuse ,and call me a commie if you wish, but I don’t happen to find mental illness or domestic abuse to be all that ribald. And since I don’t know the personal stories of the panhandlers I encounter, I politely decline their requests for money rather than have fun at their expense. (NB: I shouldn’t have to say it yet again, but for those of you who aren’t paying attention, I’m not claiming that the government can or should solve these problems.)
And then, as just an example of the views of the more rank and file conservatives, there are these two GOP politicians who declared that pregnant teens (who often end up destitute as a result of their regrettably poor judgement) are best described as “sluts.”
Indeed, this flippant attitude toward the unfortunate is so widespread that even some conservatives feel the occasional need to ask their fellow conservatives what exactly is wrong with them.
So, while I cannot read the minds of conservative commentators like Limbaugh and others, I cannot of course prove my thesis about some of the motivations behind their comments. But I think I can assert that my thesis is at least plausible.
With permission

Ireland asks unemployed citizens to move away

Ireland asks unemployed citizens to move away

The Irish authorities have asked the unemployed citizens to leave the country. This request is none other than a desperate attempt of the Irish authorities to reduce social security spending, “The Independent” says.

The Irish government has sent letters to approximately 6,000 unemployed citizens, asking them to go to other EU countries, if they have a chance to get a job there. This is how the Irish authorities are trying to reduce spending on the payment of unemployed benefits, “The Financial Times” says.
These letters contain various proposals for jobs. For example, the proposal made to an Irish electrician is to go to Coventry in the east of the West Midland in England, and for another Irish citizen the local authorities have found a driver job in Malta. Saying that although their wages there will be low, the Irish officials say that one of the advantages of getting a job outside the country, will be, for example, the “Mediterranean climate”.
The Irish authorities say that all these letters are only recommendations and that nobody is going to force Irish citizens to leave the country.
As you might remember, Ireland is due to exit its bailout programme on December 15th . In 2010 Ireland asked the European Union (EU) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to offer it financial aid, after its unemployment rate jumped to 14 per cent. Following this official Dublin worked out and agreed with its European creditors measures, which have enabled it to carry out reforms and to reduce spending.
Ireland’s population has reached 4.5 million, which is less than 1 per cent of the population of the EU countries.
As a result of the austerity measures, adopted by the Irish government, the unemployment rate in the country is going down. Despite that every 4th citizen under 25 does not have a job in Ireland.
Voice of Russia, RT

Rigging Foreign Exchange Markets. Finance Capital’s “Control Fraud”

Stephen Lendman
RINF Alternative News

It’s the world’s largest financial market. It trades around $5 trillion daily. It’s more than all global equity markets combined. It operates round-the-clock. It’s manipulated for profit.
Grand theft reflects official Wall Street policy. Bankers make money the old-fashioned way.
They do it through fraud, grand theft, market manipulation, front-running, misrepresentation, scamming investors, naked short selling, precious metals price suppression, controlling Washington, getting open-ended low or no interest rate bailouts when needed, and assuring world financial capitals are banker occupied territories.
They do it artfully. Few people know what’s going on. Scandals rarely surface. Budding ones are usually buried. Little more than dust gets kicked up. Headlines disappear in short order.
In June 2012, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testified before the Senate Banking Committee. He discussed his firm’s trading losses at the time.
It was more of a homecoming than grilling. Washington is Wall Street occupied territory. Regulators don’t regulate. Oversight is absent.
Investigations rarely happen. Initiated ones are whitewashed. Criminal fraud is institutionalized. It’s encouraged, not curbed.
Congress, the administration, SEC, and credit rating agencies incestuously collude with giant banks and other major financial institutions. Whatever they want, they get.
Wall Street never had it so good. Senators didn’t lay a glove on Dimon. His grand theft business model wasn’t discussed.
Former bank regulator/financial fraud expert Bill Black’s book titled “The Best Way to Rob A Bank Is To Own One” explains well.
He coined the term “control fraud.” It lets corporate officials commit grand theft. Finance capital never had it so good. Trillions of dollars are stolen. Nothing intervenes to stop it.
MF Global (MFG) looted customer accounts. Former Goldman Sachs chairman/CEO Jon Corzine ran operations.
MFG faced a run on its holdings. In October 2011, it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Months before doing so, it moved hundreds of millions of dollars in customer money from its US brokerage unit to Bank of New York Mellon Corp.
It looted them. It used client money to speculate, pay down debt and cover losses. It committed grand theft. It’s longstanding Wall Street practice.
Why not when rare punishments at most are wrist slaps. Top Wall Street officials aren’t punished. They free to steal again.
Markets are rigged. Movements up or down aren’t random. The
Wall Street controlled Fed and high-level insiders manipulate them for profits.
Washington facilitates their lawlessness. It does it with business friendly legislation. It does it with similar executive orders. It does it by turning a blind to the worst of what goes one.
Market rigging is longstanding practice. It’s part of the system. On March 18, 1989, Ronald Reagan’s Executive Order 12631 created the Working Group on Financial Markets (WGFM).
It’s commonly called the Plunge Protection Team (PPT). Officials involved (or their designees) include:
  • the Treasury Secretary as chairman;
  • the Commodity Futures Trading Commission chairman.
PPT’s “Purposes and Functions: Recognizing the goals of enhancing the integrity, efficiency, orderliness, and competitiveness of our Nation’s financial markets.”
”(T)he Working Group shall identify and consider:
(1) the major issues raised by the numerous studies on the events (pertaining to the) October 19, 1987 (market crash and consider) recommendations that have the potential to achieve the goals noted above; and
(2)….governmental (and other) actions under existing laws and regulations….that are appropriate to carry out these recommendations.”
Government and Wall Street collude. They manipulate markets doing so. They move them up and down. Enormous profits are made both ways. Most people don’t know what goes on.
Wall Street/Washington invisible hands work better than Adam Smith imagined. They do it in dirty ways unknown in his day.
Mythology holds that prices move up or down randomly. Market forces do so, it’s claimed. Manipulation isn’t mentioned.
It’s commonplace. It’s longstanding. Tools are much more sophisticated than earlier. Computer technology facilitates blatantly illegal practices.
The 1934 Gold Reserve Act created the Treasury’s Exchange Stabilization Fund (ESF).
Section 7 of the 1944 Bretton Woods Agreements made its operations permanent.
The Treasury runs the Fund. Congressional oversight is bypassed. Manipulation keeps sharp dollar fluctuations up or down from disrupting financial markets.
Treasury operations include stabilizing foreign currencies, extending credit lines to foreign governments, and guaranteeing money market funds against losses up to tens of billions of dollars.
In 1995, Clinton provided Mexico a $20 billion peso credit stabilization line. It did so in time of crisis.
Earlier administrations extended loans or credit lines to various other countries. Current US lending to the IMF tops $35 billion.
Years earlier it was $57 billion. In 2009, Congress expanded contributions by $108 billion. The Treasury’s web site states:
“By law, the Secretary has considerable discretion in the use of ESF resources.”
“The legal basis of the ESF is the Gold Reserve Act of 1934.”
“As amended in the late 1970s….the Secretary (per) approval of the President, may deal in gold, foreign exchange, and other instruments of credit and securities.”
In other words, the Treasury maintains a slush fund. It uses it for whatever purposes it wishes. It manipulates markets. It operates secretly.
In 1999, the Counterparty Risk Management Policy Group (CRMPG) was established. It followed the Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) crisis.
CRMPG manipulates markets beneficially for Wall Street giants. It lets them collude through large-scale program trading. Doing so manipulates markets up and down advantageously.
Troubled giants get bailed out. Ordinary people get sold out. The process repeats as needed. A secret FDIC plan involves looting bank accounts.
Depositor theft may follow. Doing so is called bail-ins. It’s code language for grand theft.
Ordinary people and richer ones have trillions in bank accounts. It’s low-hanging fruit. It’s a treasure trove begging to be looted. Legislative shenanigans may legitimize it.
Cypriot officials did it. Canada approved it. So did Eurozone member states and New Zealand. It’s theft by other means.
Leading US banks warned about charging depositors. They may do so if the Fed cuts interest it pays them on bank reserves.
Imagine being charged for checking, savings and/or money market accounts. Depositors already earn virtually nothing on them. Penalizing them further may follow.
Libor markets are rigged. It’s an acronym for London Interbank Offered Rate. It’s a fundamental rate-setting benchmark. It’s set daily between UK banks for overnight to 12 month durations.
It’s produced for ten currencies with 15 maturities. It represents the London market’s lowest cost of unsecured funding. It’s the primary global short-term rate benchmark.
In the 1980s, it began expanding exponentially in importance. London’s status grew as an international financial center. It’s the world’s largest.
It handles over 20% of all international bank lending. More than 30% of foreign exchange transactions go through London.
Demand grew for an accurate measure of the real rate at which banks and other financial institutions could borrow from each other.
It affects the price and availability of capital. The higher Libor goes, the greater the borrowing cost for business, individuals, real estate and other loans.
When things work right, operations are hardly noticed. When trouble occurs, all hell breaks loose.
Libor rigging affects countless trillions of dollars. Amounts involved exceed global GDP multiple times over.
Predatory banks manipulate things advantageously. Practices are too corrupted to fix. The longer they go unaddressed, the more harm done.
Financial giants, central bankers and complicit politicians bear full responsibility. Dirty policies persist out-of-control.
Libor rigging is one of many manipulative market practices. Systemic corruption breeds more of the same. An illusion of stability conceals business as usual.
Gold and other precious metals markets are rigged. Naked short selling offsets rising bullion demand. Prices are driven lower.
Naked shorts reflect what sellers don’t have. It’s illegal. It persists anyway. Bullion prices would be much higher otherwise. Eventually they’ll rise to their true value. When remains to be seen.
QE reflects Fed market rigging. Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities are bought. Too-big-to-fail banks hold enormous amounts of junk. Fed buying substitutes dollars for toxic assets.
Banks get lots of cash to speculate. Markets are manipulated up in response. It’s artificial. It’s not real. It can’t last. It continues until bubbles eventually pop.
Foreign exchange markets are rigged. On October 12, The Economist headlined “The FX is in,” saying:
It’s “been a dreadful couple of years for financial benchmarks.” Banks rig libor. “Commodities prices from crude oil to platinum have been the subject of allegations and inquiries.”
Authorities now scrutinize global foreign exchange (FX) markets. Trillions of dollars are involved daily. “(S)uspect banks have tampered with those, too.”
On October 4, Reuters headlined “Switzerland probes banks over possible forex rigging.” FINMA said it’s “currently (investigating) several Swiss financial institutions in connection with possible manipulation of foreign exchange markets.”
It’s coordinating with regulators in other countries. “(M)ultiple banks around the world are potentially implicated.”
UBS is Switzerland’s largest bank. It was fined $2.7 billion for market rigging. Credit Suisse may be involved. So are major Wall Street banks.
Bloomberg said major ones use advance customer order knowledge to push through trades manipulatively.
They colluded with other banks doing so. FX markets are poorly regulated. Most trading takes place away from exchanges. It’s a shadowy anything goes realm.
Price rigging is standard practice. Hundreds of banks trade currencies. Four dominate the market: Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Barclays and UBS.
Concerns center around what’s known as the “London Fix.” It’s a daily snapshot of currency prices.
Enormous shifts happen during a 60-second window before 4PM London time. It’s when markets are especially liquid.
Banks set a certain rate for trades of one currency against another. Shortly afterwards, prices revert to normal rates.
Forex traders call the practice banging the close. It reflects blatant market manipulation. Betting the right way yields huge profits in seconds.
A fraction of a cent is all it takes. Trading involves a measure called a “pip.” It represents one basis point or 1/100th of 1%.
Multiple trades near the London Fix can yield enormous profits. Repeating the process many times daily multiplies it hugely. A few pips in the right direction is all it takes.
The so-called WM/Reuters (WMR) rate works as follows. It’s when “more than 40% of daily global FX trading is done. It’s the nearest thing to a closing price in a 24-hour, self-regulated market.”
Unwary traders are fleeced big time. Banks know big trades they’ll execute on behalf of others.
Moving forex prices ahead of the fix yields big profits. Major banks do it at the expense of unsuspecting clients.
According to New York University’s Stern School of Business Professor Marti Subrahmanyan:
“There’s no policeman. These things have sort of fallen through the cracks. Foreign exchange is really nobody’s kind of baby.”
Major forex traders collude in electronic messaging groups. They’re called “the bandits club” and “the cartel.”
They profit at the expense of clients. They do so by manipulating markets up or down. Regulators do virtually nothing to stop it.
Investigations come and go. Minor penalties at most are imposed. It’s part of the system. It shifts enormous wealth to major players.
Forex trading is a buyer’s beware market. Traders call it the wild west. Volatility is valued. Sharply enough rice movements create profit opportunities. Stability minimizes them.
Manipulation is part of the system. Forex trading shenanigans reflect grand theft. Who said crime doesn’t pay?
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book is titled “Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity.”
Visit his blog site at
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

2016 Looks Disturbingly Good For the Corporate State

Sheldon Richman
If you share my belief that the major obstacle to the free society is the national-security/corporate state, 2016 is shaping up to be a year of apprehension. The Wall Streeters, who are among the biggest advocates of partnership between big government and big business, are looking forward to a presidential contest between Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, a contest the bankers can’t lose.
They have already discounted any populist rhetoric Clinton may need to fight off a primary challenge from, say, Sen. Elizabeth Warren. As “one well-placed Democrat” told Politico, “Wall Street folks are so happy about [having Clinton run] that they won’t care what she says.”
Clinton recently spoke to a gathering in New York organized by Goldman Sachs, the giant, influential (and bailed-out) investment bank, a gathering that Politico says was attended by “a few hundred major investors.”
Read more

Italy is a 'slave of Jewish bankers'

Andrea Zunino, a spokesman for Pitchfork, the movement behind a wave of anti-austerity protests across Italy this week, said the country is a "now a slave of the bankers, like Rothschild" and that "five of the world’s six richest people are Jews".
The farmer, from Biella in northern Italy, made the comments during an interview with the daily newspaper, La Repubblica.
"It's curious and is something I need to figure out,” he added.
Rothschilds is an international banking dynasty that was founded by Mayer Amschel Rothschild in Frankfurt’s Jewish ghetto in the 18th century.
Renzo Gattegna, the president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities, said the remarks were “delusional”.
Gattegna told Il Sole 24 that the claims “give a sense of unease that becomes even deeper, and recalls, without shame, a period of history characterized by death, violence and denial of the most basic rights.”
Source and full story: The Local (Italy), 13 December 2013

Reports of erroneous WA health exchange debits

Credit: KING
Washington state's health exchange, Washington Healthplanfinder


For the second week in a row, the Washington Healthplanfinder website is down, and it's causing problems for people who are dealing with billing issues. Some of them say the website is mistakenly debiting their accounts.
Shannon Bruner of Indianola logged on to her checking account Monday morning, and found she was almost 800 dollars in the negative.
“The first thing I thought was, ‘I got screwed,’” she said.
The Bruners enrolled for insurance on the Washington Healthplanfinder website, last October. They say they selected the bill pay date to be December 24th. Instead the Washington Healthplanfinder drafted the 835 dollar premium Monday.
Josh Bruner started his own business this year as an engineering recruiter. They said it’s forced them to pay a lot of attention to their bills and their bank accounts.
“Big knot in my gut because we're trying to keep it together,” said Shannon Bruner. “It's important to me that this kind of stuff doesn't happen.”
They're not alone.
One viewer emailed KING 5 saying, "They drafted my account this morning for a second time."
Another woman on Facebook with a similar problem commented, "We are all in the same boat."
“We've got to figure out how to get money to pay the bills for the next week or two until we have another check come through,” said Josh Bruner. “It's just crazy.”
Washington Healthplanfinder emailed the Bruners a few days ago telling them to log in to view their invoice, something they couldn't do because the website has been down. The Bruners haven't been able to get through on the helpline either. They finally contacted Healthplanfinder administrators by posting a message on their Facebook page.
Washington Healthplanfinder tells KING 5 their staff is looking into the problem.
Until it's resolved, the couple is putting their best face forward.
“We haven't bought anyone's Christmas gifts yet,” said Shannon Bruner. “We're just kind of waiting.”
“We wrote a check to our nanny last week, it isn't going to work,” said Josh Bruner. “So she can't get paid.”

The great Christmas rip-off: Shoppers end up paying 50% more for must-have toys as retailers increase prices

  • Stores including Tesco, Asda and Toys R Us increased prices
  • Items including Furbies, fairy dolls and doctor play-sets were affected
  • In some cases price wars had lowered the cost of most sought-after toys
  • But shoppers missed out when the prices returned to normal
By Kieran Corcoran

Christmas shoppers are being faced with soaring prices as retailers increase the price of must-have toys in the run-up to Christmas.
Stores including Tesco, Asda and Toys R Us have been attacked by consumer groups after they increased prices on Furbies, fairy dolls and doctor play-sets for the last weeks of festive shopping.
The hikes, in some cases as high as 45 per cent, come after a price war in November when retailers were trying to out-do one another and offer the best holiday bargains.
Hike: Tesco increased the price of the Furby Boom by £5
At Toys R Us the Teksta robot puppy was £47.99 but is now £59.99
Hike: Tesco had been stocking the Furby Boom, left, for £49.99 but have increased the price to £54.99, while Toys R Us increased the cost of the Teksta robot puppy, right, from £47.99 to £59.99

Increased: Asda was selling the Nerf Elite Rapidstrike foam gun for £25, but it now costs £35
Increased: Asda was selling the Nerf Elite Rapidstrike foam gun for £25, but it now costs £35

But now consumers who missed out are being left with the original prices, which consumers bodies say has allowed them to 'milk' shoppers for their cash as they run out of options.
One of the products to increase recently was the Nerf Elite Rapidstrike foam gun at Asda, which was £25 but is now on sale for £35, according to figures in the Sunday Mirror.
Parents looking to buy the must-have Flutterbye Fairy Flying Doll from Toys R Us would also have found themselves out of pocket as the item increased from £23.99 to £34.99 - a 45 per cent jump.

Tesco also stopped stocking the Furby Boom virtual pet for £49.99, increasing the price to £54.99.
Toys R Us also increased the cost of the 'Teksta' robot puppy from £47.99 to £59.99, the RoboFish playset from £14.79 to £19.99 and the Monster High 13 Wishes Party Doll range from £16.49 to £22.99.
There was also evidence of traders on Amazon ramping up prices on Doctor Who merchandise not available in shops in the wake of the show's 50th anniversary.
Sink or swim: Toys R Us had lowered the price of this RoboFish bowl play-set to £14.79, but has now returned it to £19.99
Sink or swim: Toys R Us had lowered the price of this RoboFish bowl play-set to £14.79, but has now returned it to £19.99

The process of suddenly increasing prices as demand peaks - known as 'scalping' is said to be widespread in toy retail.
Marc Gander, of the Consumer Action Group website, condemned the rising prices, saying 'It’s set to be a very merry Christmas for everybody except the consumer.'
Alan Simpson, of the Toy Retailers Association, said: 'Some shops are using toys as a tool to drive footfall through their doors and sell other goods', adding that online retailers 'will milk' their stocks on toys in short supply to ensure maximum profit.
However, the retailers defended their position, with Tesco saying: 'Our price for a Furby is among the lowest of any retailer.'
This Monster High Party Doll was £16.49 at Toys R Us, but is now £22.99
A Flying Fairy Doll was £23.99 at Toys R Us and is now £34.99
Doll wars: The Monster High 13 Wishes Party Doll, right, has changed in price from £16.49 to £22.99, while the Flutterbye Fairy Flying Doll, right, rose from £23.99 to £34.99 at the same store

Toys R Us said 'We are always keen to ensure we offer the best and lowest possible prices to our customers which is why our price match policy is in place all year round to ensure we remain the best priced toy retailer.'
A spokesman for Argos said the offers change constantly so that shoppers can 'always get a great deal'.
He added: 'The Doc McStuffins Doctors Bag Set is not currently on offer, however, customers can choose from 1,000 other toy lines which are reduced as part of our Toy Sale, some of them up to half price.'

EU Officials Controversial About Future of Ukraine Trade Deal

EU Suspends Work with Ukraine on Trade Deal – Official
23:00 15/12/2013
Originally posted at 15:53, updated throughout the day

MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti) – European officials gave controversial statements about the future of a trade and cooperation agreement with Ukraine on Sunday.
EU enlargement chief Stefan Fuele said on Sunday European Union has put on hold its work with Ukraine on the agreement.
The Ukrainian government’s arguments “have no grounds in reality,” Fuele said on Twitter. The remarks come after Fuele’s talks with Ukraine's first deputy prime minister Serhiy Arbuzov last week in Brussels.
"After that further discussion is conditioned on clear commitment to sign. Work on hold, had no answer," Fuele said.
However, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said later in the day that Ukraine was free to sign the agreement at any time.
“The door is wide open for Ukraine to sign association and free trade agreement with EU. It’s ready. Any time,” he said.
Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius, who visited the rallies in Kyiv on Saturday, said the Ukrainian president will have to offer explanations about his Friday’s statement that the deal was “to the detriment of Ukraine’s national interests.”
“Of course, the EU is always ready [to sign the agreement], as we’ve said many times before,” Linkevicius said. “But, of course, we need explanations. It would be illogical to prepare for the signing of an agreement that, according to one of the parties, damages its national interests.”
Two members of the European parliament, Elmar Brok and Rebecca Harms, told protestors in Kiev on Sunday that parliamentarians have adopted a resolution that confirms Europe’s readiness for closer cooperation with Ukraine.
“Our message to you is very simple: doors to the association with Europe remain open for Ukraine,” said Brok, who chairs the European Parliament’s foreign affairs committee.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov's spokesman Vitaliy Lukyanenko said the Ukrainian government remains committed to signing the agreement.
Kiev “would take into account only official statements on behalf of the European Union and will respond only to such statements,” Lukyanenko said.
“For today, the official European Union stance remains unchanged: the door to the association with EU remains open,” he said.
Kiev turned its back on a widely expected association deal last month, saying it would harm economic relations with Russia, prompting mass demonstrations by pro-EU protesters and throwing the country into a political crisis. Last Wednesday, Azarov said Kiev would return to talks on the association agreement with the EU in the spring.
Both the EU and Moscow have accused the other of using strong-arm tactics to secure economic ties with Kiev.
A senior Russian lawmaker Alexei Pushkov said on Sunday that “Yanukovych and Azarov had all reasons to reject the agreement.
“The meagre [aid] package proposed by the EU to Ukraine is nothing for any normal country. It’s an attempt to colonize Ukraine for 660 million euro [$907 million],” he said.
Pushkov, who heads the State Duma’s international affairs committee, said Fuele’s words demonstrated intentions by certain European politicians to have Yanukovych removed from his post.
“Previously, Yanukovych was considered as a possible partner in [association] talks, but now he is seen as an evident political rival, who must be pushed into resigning,” Pushkov said.
He described Fuele’s statement as a possible sign that a group of European politicians who had taken a harsh stance against Yanukovych and his government, has prevailed over those in favor of additional financial assistance to encourage Ukraine to sign the deal.
Changes headline, lead, recasts throughout

I work 4 jobs and I'm still struggling

low wage jobs bingham Bobby Bingham works 4 jobs, shares a one-bedroom apartment with a roommate, has virtually no money saved and can't remember the last time he took a vacation.


Bobby Bingham works four jobs in Kansas City, Missouri, yet he has very little to show for it.

Bingham is 37 years old and has a college degree, but like many Americans, is stuck working many hours in low wage, part-time jobs.

Each week, he works a total of about 60 hours in his jobs as a massage therapist, a waiter at a Mexican restaurant, a delivery man for sandwich chain Jimmy John's and a receptionist at his massage school.
He brings home about $400 a week, or $20,000 per year, and has joined the nationwide movement of fast food protests fighting for higher wages.
"I've come to the point in my life where I wonder if I can ever support a family," he said. "I have no idea how that's ever going to logically happen."
Bingham's is an increasingly common story. The share of part-time workers who couldn't find full-time jobs surged during the Great Recession, more than double what it was in the preceding decade. Though their situation is improving now, more than 7.7 million Americans are still settling for part-time work, compared to about 4.1 million on average in 2006.
Related: The myth of the American Dream
Here's what one week of juggling schedules and part-time paychecks looks like for Bingham:
- 24 hours waiting tables at Mexican restaurant Taco Republic. He makes tips plus $2.13, which is the federal minimum wage for tipped employees, like waiters.
-30 hours delivering sandwiches for Jimmy John's, which pays him $7.35 an hour, plus tips.
-3 one-hour massages, for a total of $60.
-9 hours as a receptionist at his former massage school. (The amount of money he makes working at the school isn't included in his $400 weekly pay, since it goes directly to repay $9,500 worth of student loans.)

Wage wars: The fight for higher pay
Bingham shares a one-bedroom apartment with a roommate, has virtually no money saved and can't remember the last time he took a vacation.
This is not where Bingham thought he'd be. After struggling to make ends meet while also intermittently attending college, he finally graduated in 2008 with a bachelor's degree in liberal arts from University of Missouri, Kansas City. He had even higher hopes from his massage therapy degree.
"My family told me, 'just get your degree and it will be fine,'" he said. "A degree looks very nice, but I don't have a job to show for it."
But Bingham, like millions of other hourly wage earners, doesn't know if there is a possible path to a higher paying job. In fact, wages fell for the entire bottom 70% of the wage distribution during the Great Recession and its aftermath, according to research from the Economic Policy Institute.
And he feels like there aren't a whole lot of places to go from here. He can't afford to go back to school, and even if he could, Bingham said it wouldn't be worth it. He doesn't have time to take on a fifth job.
Related: Sick days: A luxury many hourly workers don't have
So he has turned to the fast food protests in hopes of improving his current situation.
He walked off work last Thursday as part of a nationwide day of action planned by union-backed groups like Fight for $15 and Fast Food Forward. Organizers say that workers in more than 100 cities were calling for fast food chains to increase their wages to $15 an hour.
Currently, the nationwide average hourly wage for fast food workers is just over $9 an hour, or about $18,500 a year.
The low-wage protest movement began with a small walkout by fast food workers in New York City in November 2012 and has since picked up steam. Strikes this past August drew fast food workers in 60 cities, organizers said.
Bingham said the protests are the only way he sees things getting better.
"The only choice I have is to go into work and do this," he said. "Looking around and seeing all these other people I work with, they don't see any other choices either." To top of page

Volcker’s Market Making Mayhem and The Fed’s Money for Nothing

JP Morgan is cutting another check to the Justice Department, this time for the troubles of Bernie Madoff. We’ll tell you all about it.
Plus, this week five financial regulatory agencies approved “The Volcker Rule.” Erin speaks with Bart Naylor, Financial Policy Advocate at Public Citizen, about what made crafting the rule so difficult.
Also “When you or I print money it’s called counterfeiting,” that’s a direct quote Jim Bruce’s new film “Money For Nothing” ( ). The director joins us today form our LA studios to discuss his ‘Fed-Flick.’
Finally, wouldn’t it be nice if real-life shopping was more like online shopping? Well, one start-up is trying to make that a reality. Rachel Kurzius and Erin will tell you all about it in today’s Big Deal.
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America becomes a Nation of Tent Cities

The Wild and Cruel Gap Between Debtors and Creditors

The word “inequality” is much in vogue these days. We hear almost daily about the inequality of wealth, income and wages between the richest top 2 or 3 percent of people and the majority of the country’s wage earners. But not much attention is given and not many marches and other protests are addressing the huge inequalities between creditors and debtors.
Of course the aforementioned inequalities, especially of wages and income, worsen the plight of individual debtors. One more distinction needs to be made – that between corporate debtors who receive many favored legal entitlements (even in bankruptcy) and individual debtors who are slammed and harassed by debt collectors.
Start with the Federal Reserve’s low-interest policy of the last five years with no end in sight. Savers who used to get interest of 4 to 5 percent from their bank or money market now get, if they are lucky, ¼ of one percent on their savings. This Fed policy is supposed to stimulate the economy but doesn’t work very well if there is not enough consumer demand in a recession to attract new investment. Meanwhile, the hundreds of billions of dollars held by small, middle to low income savers are generating no interest to help pay their living expenses.
The situation is bad and getting worse. These savers are being turned into “lockbox customers” in peril of having to actually pay the banks to hold their money. The Financial Times reports that “leading US banks have warned that they could start charging companies and consumers for deposits” if the Federal Reserve cuts interest rates further.
Why don’t all those bellowing Congressional deregulators of health and safety standards ever object, except for the pure Ron Paul libertarians, to the overreaching Federal Reserve, the biggest market regulator of them all?
Source and full piece: Ralph Nader, Common Dreams, 14 December 2013

BREAKING: EU puts on hold Ukraine integration deal! Anti-Austerity Riots come to Italy

Protesters clashed with police at anti-austerity demonstrations in Rome, Turin and Venice on Saturday, as part of a wave of social action led by Italy’s Forconi (Pitchforks) movement of farmers and truck drivers.
Students threw paint bombs at the police in Turin in northern Italy, a once-mighty industrial hub that has been laid low by the economic crisis and has been at the epicentre of protests that began this week.
Far-right activists wearing Italian flag masks and white nooses around their necks also rallied outside the European Commission’s office in Rome and took down a European flag outside before being chased off by police.
In Venice, police fired tear gas to break up far-right and far-left protesters near the train station.
Two people were detained and around 10 police officers were lightly injured in the Venice protest, which forced the closure of a new bridge between two islands by award-winning architect Santiago Calatrava.
“The situation is very worrying because it is an expression of great social unease,” Economic Development Minister Flavio Zanonato said at the opening of an airplane components factory near Milan.
“We must hurry up and re-launch our country,” he said.
Watch Ruptly’s footage of the violent scenes on the streets of Madrid:
EU puts on hold Ukraine integration deal – EU enlargement chief
The European Union is freezing its work with the Ukrainian government on a controversial trade agreement, which the country decided to postpone last month triggering massive protests.
The EU believes that Ukraine’s position in the negotiations on the Association Agreement has “no grounds in reality”, tweeted EU enlargement chief Stefan Fuele following a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolay Azarov.
The European Union said on Sunday it was putting on hold work with Ukraine on a trade and cooperation agreement, saying the arguments being made by the Kiev government had “no grounds in reality”.
Exclusive: McCain Flies to Ukraine as Protests Rage 
Ukraine’s capital girds for major demonstrations
The EU Has Suspended Trade Talks With Ukraine

Is War With China Inevitable?

Guest Post: Brandon Smith of Alt-Market blog

As a general rule, extreme economic decline is almost always followed by extreme international conflict. Sometimes, these disasters can be attributed to the human survival imperative and the desire to accumulate resources during crisis. But most often, war amid fiscal distress is usually a means for the political and financial elite to distract the masses away from their empty wallets and empty stomachs.
War galvanizes societies, usually under false pretenses. I’m not talking about superficial “police actions” or absurd crusades to “spread democracy” to Third World enclaves that don’t want it. No, I’m talking about REAL war: war that threatens the fabric of a culture, war that tumbles violently across people’s doorsteps. The reality of near-total annihilation is what oligarchs use to avoid blame for economic distress while molding nations and populations.
Because of the very predictable correlation between financial catastrophe and military conflagration, it makes quite a bit of sense for Americans today to be concerned. Never before in history has our country been so close to full-spectrum economic collapse, the kind that kills currencies and simultaneously plunges hundreds of millions of people into poverty. It is a collapse that has progressed thanks to the deliberate efforts of international financiers and central banks. It only follows that the mind-boggling scale of the situation would “require” a grand distraction to match.
It is difficult to predict what form this distraction will take and where it will begin, primarily because the elites have so many options. The Mideast is certainly an ever-looming possibility. Iran is a viable catalyst. Syria is not entirely off the table. Saudi Arabia and Israel are now essentially working together, forming a strange alliance that could promise considerable turmoil — even without the aid of the United States. Plenty of Americans still fear the Al Qaeda bogeyman, and a terrorist attack is not hard to fabricate. However, when I look at the shift of economic power and military deployment, the potential danger areas appear to be growing not only in the dry deserts of Syria and Iran, but also in the politically volatile waters of the East China Sea.
China is THE key to any outright implosion of the U.S. monetary system. Other countries, like Saudi Arabia, may play a part; but ultimately it will be China that deals the decisive blow against the dollar’s world reserve status. China’s dollar and Treasury bond holdings could be used as a weapon to trigger a global sell-off of dollar-denominated assets. China has stopped future increases of dollar forex holdings, and has cut the use of the dollar in bilateral trade agreements with multiple countries.  Oil-producing nations are shifting alliances to China because it is now the world’s largest consumer of petroleum. And, China has clearly been preparing for this eventuality for years. So, given these circumstances, how can the U.S. government conceive of confrontation with the East? Challenging one’s creditors to a duel does not usually end well. At the very least, it would be economic suicide. But perhaps that is the point. Perhaps America is meant to make this seemingly idiotic leap.
Here are just some of the signs of a buildup to conflict...
Currency Wars And Shooting Wars
In March 2009, U.S. military and intelligence officials gathered to participate in a simulated war game, a hypothetical economic struggle between the United States and China.
The conclusions of the war game were ominous. The participants determined that there was no way for the United States to win in an economic battle with China. The Chinese had a counterstrategy to every U.S. effort and an ace up their sleeve – namely, their U.S. dollar reserves, which they could use as a monetary neutron bomb, a chain reaction that would result in the abandonment of the dollar by exporters around the world . They also found that China has been quietly accumulating hard assets (including land and gold) across globe, using sovereign wealth funds, government-controlled front companies, and private equity funds to make the purchases. China could use these tangible assets as a hedge to protect against the eventual devaluation of its U.S. dollar and Treasury holdings, meaning the losses on its remaining U.S. financial investments was acceptable should it decide to crush the dollar.
The natural response of those skeptical of the war game and its findings is to claim that the American military would be the ultimate trump card and probable response to a Chinese economic threat. Of course, China’s relationship with Russia suggests a possible alliance against such an action and would definitely negate the use of nuclear weapons (unless the elites plan nuclear Armageddon). That said, it is highly likely that the U.S. government would respond with military action to a Chinese dollar dump, not unlike Germany’s rise to militarization and totalitarianism after the hyperinflationary implosion of the mark. The idea that anyone except the internationalists could “win” such a venture, though, is foolish.
I would suggest that this may actually be the plan of globalists in the United States and their counterparts in Asia and Europe. China’s rise to financial prominence is not due to its economic prowess. In fact, China is ripe with poor fiscal judgment calls and infrastructure projects that have gone nowhere. But what China does have on its side are massive capital inflows from global banks and corporations, mainly based in the United States and the European Union. And, it has help in the spread of its currency (the Yuan) from entities like JPMorgan Chase and Co. The International Monetary Fund is seeking to include China in its global basket currency, the SDR, which would give China even more leverage to use in breaking the dollar’s reserve status. Corporate financiers and central bankers have made it more than possible for China to kill the dollar, which they openly suggest is a “good thing.”
Is it possible that the war game scenarios carried out by the Pentagon and elitist think-tanks like the RAND Corporation were not meant to prevent a war with China, but to ensure one takes place?
The Senkaku Islands
Every terrible war has a trigger point, an event that history books later claim “started it all.” For the Spanish-American War, it was the bombing of the USS Maine. For World War I it was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. For U.S. involvement in World War I, it was the sinking of the Lusitania by a German U-Boat. For U.S. involvement in World War II, it was the attack on Pearl Harbor. For Vietnam, it was the Gulf of Tonkin Incident (I recommend readers look into the hidden history behind all of these events). While the initial outbreak of war always appears to be spontaneous, the reality is that most wars are planned far in advance.
As evidence indicates, China has been deliberately positioned to levy an economic blow against the United States. Our government is fully aware what the results of that attack will be, considering they have gamed the scenario multiple times. And, by RAND Corporation’s own admission, China and the United States have been preparing for physical confrontation for some time, centered on the concept of pre-emptive strikes.  Meaning, the response both sides have exclusively trained for in the event of confrontation is to attack the other first!
The seemingly simple and petty dispute over the Senkaku Islands in the East China Sea actually provides a perfect environment for the pre-emptive powder keg to explode.
China has recently declared an “air defense zone” that extends over the islands, which Japan has already claimed as its own. China, South Korea and the United States have all moved to defy this defense zone. South Korea has even extended its own air defense zone to overlap China’s.
China has responded with warnings that its military aircraft will now monitor the region and demands that other nations provide it with civilian airline flight paths.  China has also stated that it plans to create MORE arbitrary defense zones in the near future.
The U.S. government under Barack Obama has long planned a military shift into the Pacific, which is meant specifically to counter China’s increased presence. It’s almost as if the White House knew a confrontation was coming.
The shift is now accelerating due to the Senkaku situation, as the U.S. transfers submarine-hunting jets to Japan while pledging full support for Japan should war ignite.
And most recently, the Japanese press has suggested that war between the two countries could erupt as early as January.
China, with its limited navy, has focused more of its energy and funding into advanced missile technologies — including “ship killers,” which fly too low and fast to be detected with current radar.  This is the same strategy of cheap compact precision warfare being adopted by countries like Syria and Iran, and it is designed specifically to disrupt tradition American military tactics.
Currently, very little diplomatic headway has been made or attempted in regards to the Senkaku Islands. The culmination of various ingredients so far makes for a sour stew.
All that is required now is that one trigger event — that one ironic “twist of fate” that mainstream historians love so much, the spark that lights the fuse. China could suddenly sell a mass quantity of U.S. Treasuries, perhaps in response to the renewed debt debate next spring. The United States could use pre-emption to take down a Chinese military plane or submarine.  A random missile could destroy a passenger airliner traveling through the defense zone, and both sides could blame each other. The point is nothing good could come from the escalation over Senkaku.
Why Is War Useful?
What could possibly be gained by fomenting a war between the United States and China?  What could possibly be gained by throwing America's economy, the supposed "goose that lays the golden eggs", to the fiscal wolves?  As stated earlier, distraction is paramount, and fear is valuable political and social capital.
Global financiers created the circumstances that have led to America’s probable economic demise, but they don’t want to be blamed for it. War provides the perfect cover for monetary collapse, and a war with China might become the cover to end all covers. The resulting fiscal damage and the terror Americans would face could be overwhelming. Activists who question the legitimacy of the U.S. government and its actions, once considered champions of free speech, could easily be labeled “treasonous” during wartime by authorities and the frightened masses. (If the government is willing to use the Internal Revenue Service against us today, just think about who it will send after us during the chaos of a losing war tomorrow.) A lockdown of civil liberties could be instituted behind the fog of this national panic.
Primarily, war tends to influence the masses to agree to more centralization, to relinquish their rights in the name of the “greater good”, and to accept less transparency in government and more power in the hands of fewer people. Most important, though, is war's usefulness as a philosophical manipulation after the dust has settled.
After nearly every war of the 20th and 21st century, the subsequent propaganda implies one message in particular: National sovereignty, or nationalism, is the cause of all our problems. The establishment then claims that there is only one solution that will solve these problems: globalization. This article by Andrew Hunter, the chairman of the Australian Fabian Society, is exactly the kind of narrative I expect to hear if conflict arises between the United States and China.
National identity and sovereignty are the scapegoats, and the Fabians (globalist propagandists) are quick to point a finger. Their assertion is that nation states should no longer exist, borders should be erased and a one-world economic system and government should be founded. Only then will war and financial strife end. Who will be in charge of this interdependent one world utopia? I’ll give you three guesses...
The Fabians, of course, make no mention of global bankers and their instigation of nearly every war and depression for the past 100 years; and these are invariably the same people that will end up in positions of authority if globalization comes to fruition. What the majority of people do not yet understand is that globalists have no loyalties to any particular country, and they are perfectly willing to sacrifice governments, economies, even entire cultures, in the pursuit of their "ideal society".  "Order out of chaos" is their motto, after all.  The bottom line is that a war between China and the United States will not be caused by national sovereignty. Rather, it will be caused by elitists looking for a way to END national sovereignty. That’s why such a hypothetical conflict, a conflict that has been gamed by think tanks for years, is likely to be forced into reality.

'Bitcoin Will No Longer Be the Anonymous Tool of Anarchists'

By Andrew Moran

What was once considered the monetary tool for anarchists due to its anonymity and fight against fiat currency will soon become just another regulated payment system that will lose its prominence in the world of alternative currencies.
First, please allow me to confirm that I support the ultimate goal of a lot of bitcoiners: a legitimate alternative(s) to the failed experiment of fiat money. As a libertarian and a student of the Austrian School of Economics, I am fully in favor of competing currencies in the free market; gold and silver, bitcoin and litecoin. Anything is better than the greenback or the euro.
Therefore, to all the bitcoiners who will ultimately disagree with my conclusion, please do not bombard me with anger, rage, vitriol and even death threats. Now, onto the point of this piece, which I concede will not gain the favor of bitcoin owners, investors and miners.
Over the past month, I have reported and opined extensively on bitcoin for a handful of publications – I have also been following the digital currency regularly since about 2010 when I first heard about it through the Ridley Report. One aspect that is continually promoted is that the cryptocurrency is anonymous and therefore a perfect tool for those who are described as monetary anarchists.

Perhaps at first it was, but with growing acceptance among both the marketplace and even governments around the world, it shall no longer be. Whether it’s a pump and dump scheme (Robert Wenzel) or a Ponzi scheme (Gary North) is a different story, but the bitcoin is losing one of its most popular characteristics: anonymity.

HyperReport – Self Defence Victory