Sunday, February 1, 2015

Think Greece is in a mess? Wait till the UK's debt mountain explodes in our face

Would we cope with misery as well as the Greeks? If our great fat cushion of state-backed jobs, welfare payments, tax credits and easy loans were whipped away one morning, how would we get on?
I think we would do very badly. In Greece, the suddenly poor and destitute turned to their strong extended families. 
And if those families had not taken them in and supported them, there would have been nothing else. Fortunately, they did.
Scroll down for video 
A woman celebrates the election of the Syriza party in Greece this week which has vowed to put an end to the austerity measures which have punished the Greek people
A woman celebrates the election of the Syriza party in Greece this week which has vowed to put an end to the austerity measures which have punished the Greek people
This country doesn’t have strong extended families any more. In many cases, it doesn’t really have families at all. 
In too many places, it has gangs instead. And those that survive are weakest just where they would be needed most in a crisis – among the poor.
This country lives on the edge of serious disorder. The misnamed ‘riots’ of August 2011 were nothing of the kind. 
They had no political pretext, no wider aim. I suspect many thought of joining in, but didn’t quite.
They followed the realisation by a large number of people, in a period of good weather, that the forces of order were weak, absent and afraid. Many of them were laughing as they stole, wrecked and burned.
Mostly, they turned on shops rather than private homes or individuals. But this seems to have been a matter of chance. 
There were one or two especially frightening moments when the lawless mob came into direct contact with the cosseted middle class, who hid from their hooded attackers under restaurant tables while the kitchen staff, ready to defend their livelihoods with force, beat off the assault with rolling pins.
And almost all of the looters got away with it. It was only the dim stragglers who were caught and whom I watched shuffling through the courts in the weeks afterwards, most of them with criminal records nearly as long as a Hilary Mantel historical novel. 
Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek Prime Minister, has vowed to put an end to savage state cuts by renegotiating debt repayments with the EU
Alexis Tsipras, the new Greek Prime Minister, has vowed to put an end to savage state cuts by renegotiating debt repayments with the EU
They were baffled to find that, after years of cautions, unpaid fines, suspended sentences, community service and limp rebukes, something might actually now happen to them. 
Actually, not much did in the end.
That’s bad enough. But what about the rest of us? Generations of all classes have been taught to expect a comfortable, well-fed existence, a reliable safety net. 
How much privation would it take to turn us into beggars, then looters and food rioters? I ask this because we are much closer to a Greek-style crisis than we think.
Our debts, national and personal, are huge. We can never pay them off. Our trade imbalance is just as bad. Our recovery is based entirely on a house-price balloon that could burst in a moment. 
The main effort of the Government is to avoid any shocks until the Election is over – but what then?
I feel for the Greeks. I don’t blame them for refusing to endure more collective punishment, though they were foolish – as we are now – to let politicians lead them into a swamp of debt. 
But I wonder whether, not far hence, it will be the Greeks who are sympathising with us.
The riddle behind our Gaddafi disaster
Gaddafi was overthrown because Cameron lent the RAF to little-known ihadi groups, and they have now turned the country into a war zone
Gaddafi was overthrown because Cameron lent the RAF to little-known ihadi groups, and they have now turned the country into a war zone
Last week, the BBC rightly but cruelly replayed David Cameron’s ludicrous words from September 2011, when he went to Tripoli to say: ‘Your city was an inspiration to the world as you overthrew a dictator and chose freedom.’
Now it’s an inspiration to nobody. He can’t go there to say so, because it’s too dangerous. Why isn’t he in more trouble over his active destruction of an entire country? It’s all very strange. 
The Gaddafi regime fell because Mr Cameron lent the RAF to various gangs of Libyan jihadis (about whom we knew nothing). 
But less than a year before, in October 2010, Henry Bellingham, a Tory Minister, was referring to Gaddafi as ‘Brother Leader’ at a summit in Tripoli.
About the same time, another Minister, Alistair Burt, told the Libyan-British Business Council that Libya had ‘turned a corner’ which ‘has paved the way for us to begin working together again’. 
What changed? Could it be the same forces which decreed that flags in Britain should fly at half-mast to mark the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia? 
The Saudis always hated Libya’s dictator because he had overthrown a dynasty very like their own.
Do we still have an independent foreign policy, or is it governed by another, richer country?
Robots are no match for the most beautiful machines of all...
Some of the best films of modern times feature lifelike robots. 
The latest, Ex Machina, starring Alicia Vikander, right, is a clever and cunning mystery story which I’ll say as little about as possible in case it spoils the ending.
But, as I discovered on a recent visit to a Tokyo robotics expert, we are far, far away from developing anything remotely like a human consciousness, let alone a human ability to move limbs and experience pain, pleasure or grief.
The real wonder in our midst is the astonishing complexity, beauty and mystery of the human body, and the insoluble puzzle of where and what consciousness is. 
We fantasise about creating human-like robots because it helps us close our minds to some of the strongest evidence for the existence of God – an idea we dislike.
My local police force, Thames Valley, has recently admitted (thanks to a Freedom of Information request) that 54 of its officers, some of them specials, have criminal convictions, including for burglary, arson, drug possession, actual bodily harm, criminal damage and computer misuse. 
I expect other forces have similar numbers. Are the police really so short of recruits that they cannot find people without such pasts? 
Forgiving and forgetting is all very well, but these are the people who come into the homes of burglary victims, and whom we trust absolutely with highly personal details. 
Those who rely on the medical profession’s wisdom should note that the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence now says 1.2 million people may have been misdiagnosed with asthma. 
I’m glad someone has noticed the absurd keenness of doctors to classify healthy children as asthmatics. 
How long before they notice that something similar may be happening with some other fashionable ailments, such as the non-existent complaint ‘ADHD’? 
Or will the fact that huge drug contracts rely on these subjective diagnoses protect them from watchdogs? 
Have you noticed that the people most excited about women bishops in the Church of England are those who don’t believe in God and never go near a church? 
Personally, I couldn’t care less what sex a bishop is. I’d like it if they believed in God, preferred poetry and beauty to banality, and didn’t mix up Christianity with socialism. 
Perhaps I should start a campaign. 

Croatia just canceled the debts of its poorest citizens

(Rick Noack)  Starting Monday, thousands of Croatia’s poorest citizens will benefit from an unusual gift: They will have their debts wiped out. Named “fresh start,” the government scheme aims to help some of the 317,000 Croatians whose bank accounts have been blocked due to their debts. Given that Croatia is a relatively small Mediterranean country of only 4.4 million inhabitants, the number of indebted citizens is significant and has become a major economic burden for the country. After six years of recession, growth predictions for Croatia’s economy remain low for this year.
“We assess that this measure will be applicable to some 60,000 citizens,” Deputy Prime Minister Milanka Opacic was quoted as saying by Reuters. “Thus they will be given a chance for a new start without a burden of debt,” Opacic said earlier this month.
To be eligible, Croats need to fulfill certain criteria: Their debt must be lower than 35,000 kuna ($5,100), and their monthly income should not be higher than 1,250 kuna ($138). Those applying for the scheme are not allowed to own any property or have any savings.
Among economists, the scheme is regarded as unprecedented and exceptional. “I can’t think of anything comparable,” Dean Baker, co-director of the Washington-based Center for Economic and Policy Research, told The Washington Post.
Although the program is expected to cost up to 210 million Croatian kuna ($31 million), according to Austrian press agency APA, the Croatian government expects economic long-term benefits that will outweigh the short-term investment. Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic has convinced multiple cities, public and private companies, the country’s major telecommunications providers, as well as nine banks to clear some of their citizens of their debt. The government will not refund the companies for their losses.
Overall, the debt of all Croats amounts to $4.11 billion — and the debt that is about to be wiped out accounts for less than 1 percent of that. However, for those who are eligible the agreement will make a significant difference by enabling them to gain access to their bank accounts. By reducing debt by less than 1 percent, Croatia frees nearly 20 percent of the country’s debtors from their obligations.
Some economists, among them Baker, are skeptical whether the scheme will succeed: “I am not sure that this is the best way to help low-income people. If lenders think this can happen again they will charge very high interest rates to low-income borrowers,” Baker said.

Did The Federal Reserve Make A Major Math Error When Reporting Its December Gold Withdrawals?

A month ago, when we first observed the biggest monthly gold repatriation from the NY Fed since 2001, when 47 tons of foreign-owned gold were withdrawn from the vault below 33 Liberty street which lowered the gold inside to just 6,029 tons, and which brought the 2014 YTD total withdrawal to 166.5 tons, we noted a math anomaly when accounting for the previously reported 122 tons of gold withdrawn by the Netherlands:
net of the Netherlands withdrawals, there is some 44 tons of extra gold that has been also quietly redeemed (by another entity). The question is who: is it now the turn of Austria to reveal in a few weeks that it too, secretly, withdrew some 40+ tons of gold from "safe keeping" in the US? Or was it Belgium? Or did the Dutch simply decide to haul back some more. Or did Germany finally get over its "logistical complications" which prevented it from transporting more than just a laughable 5 tons in 2013? And most importantly, did Germany finally grow a pair and decide not to let "diplomatic difficulties" stand between it and its gold?
Ironically, less than three weeks later, our bolded speculation above was proven to be absolutely correct when Germany confirmed that not only had it resumed repatriating its gold from the NY Fed as originally announced two years ago, after the mere 5 tons of gold transported to Frankfurt in all of 2013, but had substantially picked up the pace, when on January 19 the Bundesbank reported that it had indeed "grown a pair" and repatriated 35 tonnes of gold from Paris and, more importantly, 85 tonnes of gold from the NY Fed in all of 2014.
This is what Buba said:
The Bundesbank successfully continued and further stepped up its transfers of gold last year. In 2014, 120 tonnes of gold were transferred to Frankfurt am Main from storage locations abroad: 35 tonnes from Paris and 85 tonnes from New York. "Implementation of our new gold storage plan is proceeding smoothly. Operations are running very much according to schedule," said Carl-Ludwig Thiele, Member of the Executive Board of the Deutsche Bundesbank.

The Bundesbank took advantage of the transfer from New York to have roughly 50 tonnes of gold melted down and recast according to the London Good Delivery standard, today's internationally recognised standard. "We also called on the expertise of the Bank for International Settlements for the spot checks that had to be carried out. As expected, there were no irregularities," said Mr Thiele.

According to its new gold storage plan, unveiled in January 2013, the Bundesbank will be storing half of Germany’s gold reserves in its own vaults from 2020 onwards. This necessitates a phased transfer to Frankfurt am Main of 300 tonnes of gold from New York and all 374 tonnes of gold from Paris.

Since the transfers began in 2013, the Bank has relocated a total of 157 tonnes of gold to Frankfurt am Main - 67 tonnes from Paris and 90 tonnes from New York. This is equivalent to roughly 23% of the total quantity to be transferred. The following table gives an overview of the gold that has been transferred to date.

As at 31 December 2014, the Bundesbank's gold reserves were stored at the following locations.

The Bundesbank assures the identity and authenticity of German gold reserves throughout the transfer process - from when they are removed from warehouses abroad until they are stored in Frankfurt am Main. As soon as the gold was removed from the warehouse locations abroad, Bundesbank employees cross-checked the lists of bars belonging to the Bundesbank against the information on the bars removed. Finally, once they arrived in Frankfurt am Main, all the transferred gold bars were thoroughly and exhaustively inspected and verified by the Bundesbank. When all the inspections had been concluded, no irregularities came to light with regard to the authenticity, fineness and weight of the bars.
At the time we commented that there was "a curious amount of precautions and safeguards when transporting the "safe" and "untainted" gold held at the NY Fed to Frankfurt. Almost as if the Bundesbank, gasp, did not trust the quality and content of the NY Fed-held gold, nor its well-meaning intentions."
Judging by the latest disclosure by the NY Fed, Buba may have had good reason to be "concerned" about its gold at the Fed, because according to the Fed's latest update of "earmarked gold" for December there was yet another math anomaly.
Whereas in November, the cumulative total correctly hinted that there was more withdrawals than had been disclosed, the December 2014 total suggests that either the Fed just made an egregious math error, one costing literally about $1.1 billion, when keeping track of its entrusted physical gold, or someone is lying.
As a reminder, based on purely public information, between just the Netherlands' 122 tons of repatriated gold and the Bundesbank's 85 tons, at least 207 tons of gold were quietly withdrawn from the NY Fed in all of 2014. This is what the NY Fed should have reported in its December earmarked gold update delivered yesterday. It also means that the NY Fed should have reported some 40.5 tons of gold withdrawn in December, after reporting 166.5 tons of withdrawals for 2014 through November, for the math to make sense. Instead, according to Federal Reserve data, only $14 billion in earmarked gold was withdrawn in December, bringing the total down to $8,170 billion, or 6,019 tons.
Translated into actual metal, this means that the Fed reported only 10.3 tons of gold withdrawals in the last month of the year, suggesting that there is a quite substantial hole of 30 tons in publicly withdrawn gold that, at least for the time being, is unaccounted for by the Fed.

So what happened: did an intern input the Fed's gold redemptions figures for December, supposedly a different intern than the one who works at the IMF and who caused a stir earlier this week when the IMF, allegedly erroneously, reported that the Dutch - after secretly repatriating 122 tons of gold - had also bought 10 tons of gold in the open market for the first time in nearly a decade.
Or perhaps some "other" bank, central or commercial, decided to offset the redemptions by the Netherlands and Germany, and inexplicably added 30 tons of gold in December? The question then becomes: "who" deposited said gold, especially when one considers that even the adjoining JPM vault which is allegedly connected to the NY Fed by a tunnelonly contains some 740K ounces of gold, or about 23 tonnes.
Or is it simply that when it comes to accurately reporting the flows of physical gold, classical math is incapable of keeping track of the New Normal gold moves, and the Fed has decided that even when dealing with physical gold there is a "settlement" period?
We will find out the answer for sure next month, when unless the Fed revises its 2014 numbers, or plugs the outstanding repatriation "hole" with a late January withdrawal, then a key question will emerge, namely: how can central banks report 2014 inflows of 207 tons from the NY Fed, while said NY Fed only reports 177 tons of outflows.
And no, the GAAP vs non-GAAP excuse won't work this time.
Source: Selected Foreign Official Assets Held at Federal Reserve Banks

Fund Manager: PMs Raided to Prevent Feb Delivery Run on COMEX Gold!
With Silver enduring the largest 1-day smash in 18 months Thursday, PM Fund Manager Dave Kranzler joined the show this week discussing:
1. Gold & silver take-down on options expiration/ First Notice Day- Cartel had to force selling of 3 million oz of Feb gold contracts to prevent a potential run on delivery in Feb gold!
2. With the cartel desperate to prevent a delivery run on Feb gold, are fireworks looming for April delivery?
3. Kranzler explains why One of these months a high percentage of longs will finally stand for delivery, & its LIGHTS OUT for the COMEX!
4. Is the End Game in progress- Could the long awaited Economic Armageddon finally arrive in 2015?
5. The Indian Physical Giant is stirring- Kranzler explains why data out of India indicate a BIG move is imminent
6. Gold & the Dollar rising in tandem- why this might foretell one of the largest bull moves of the secular bull run!

The Brutal Economics of Blogging

by Charles Hugh-Smith
I’ve found that much of the advice about how to make money blogging suffers from survivorship bias.
I was surprised to read that Andrew Sullivan was closing down his blog and subscription service, as his site was apparently making a lot of money. By a lot I mean enough to have three employees, i.e. a lot in sole proprietor terms, but not in tech start-up terms, where young guys sell their ventures for $26 million and then go back to college because they want to play soccer on a college squad.

This was one story I overheard while waiting for a BART train the other evening; the fellow was relating his excitement at meeting this young tech guru who’d just sold his start-up for $26 million. The BART commuter was confident this young guru would be able to help him launch his own start-up.
A bicyclist who boarded our car at the next stop was carrying a copy of The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses which is something of a bible for youthful entrepreneurs seeking to cash in on the tech gold rush.
The tech gold rush offers about the same odds as the Yukon and California gold rushes in the 19th century. 100,000 strivers with little knowledge of what they were getting into headed out to grab some of that gold, and a mere handful found enough gold and kept enough of it to live large in San Francisco or back east.
The advantage of the tech gold rush is it’s a lot easier, cleaner and safer to sleep on a sofa in San Francisco and code your dreams on a laptop than it was to clamber up mountains, dig the ore out of hard rock with a pick and avoid getting shot in the back if you did strike a vein of gold.
The problem with finding gold is that much of the process boils down to luck and being first. Those who stumbled on the easy wealth could write an account of how they located the gold, but the account would not be as useful to those coming after as we might imagine, due to survivorship bias, a topic I’ve covered several times: The Unknown Unknowns and Survivor Bias (June 15, 2013)
Why Advice From Highly Successful People Is Misleading (and thus potentially harmful)(December 23, 2013)
Blogging, on the other hand, holds little prospect for wealth on the scale of $26 million. In fact, some bloggers can’t even afford an office or a cubicle–they have to work outdoors. Some of these poor devils can’t even afford a shirt on their back. Yes, blogging is a brutal business; look at this wretch, stripped to the waist and tapping out some foolishness:
OK, so your heart isn’t bleeding for this shirtless fool (actually, me).
Tongue-in-cheek aside, blogging is not on anyone’s list of get-rich-quick schemes. The primary revenue streams are adverts, affiliate sales, direct sales and subscriptions. Even sites with audiences in the millions that are going full bore on all these fronts might generate $50,000 a month or more–very substantial over time but not $26 million.
The average income-producing blog generates a few hundred or perhaps a few thousand dollars a month for the writer/owner, roughly (so I’ve read) 1% of the site’s page views: by this rule of thumb, 40,000 page views/month = $400 in revenue.
I have no idea if this is accurate, but I reckon it’s a fair description of the long taildistribution of blogging income: a few sites collect most of the revenue, and the rest is distributed over thousands of blogs with smaller audiences.
I’ve found that much of the advice about how to make money blogging suffers fromsurvivorship bias: a new writer could follow all the advice and not generate the income that was supposed to result from doing all the things that presumably created success.
I don’t presume to know what makes a blog acquire an audience, but if pressed I would offer these six quotes as potentially useful guidelines:
“You do not merely want to be considered just the best of the best. You want to be considered the only one who does what you do.” (Jerry Garcia)
“He who will not risk cannot win.” (John Paul Jones)
“All fixed set patterns are incapable of adaptability or pliability. The truth is outside of all fixed patterns.” (Bruce Lee)
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most adaptable to change.” (Charles Darwin)
“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” (Winston Churchill)
“We must believe in luck. For how else can we explain the success of those we don’t like?” (Jean Cocteau)

Gold And Silver – Probability for A Lower Low Has Increased. Even With Lower Prices As A Possibility, Silver [and Gold] Is Artificially Being Suppressed.

by Michael Noonan
Mention is often made that one should wait for confirmation of a particular move in
futures before making a commitment, either way.  Last week, it appeared evidence was
mounting that November could be a possible low for the correction since late 2011.
Then, we run across this graph from which shows an inordinate
build-up of short positions in silver by what we would call “smart money,” “insiders.”
These large traders do not make such overtly strong commitments to the short side
without expectations that things will go their way.  If anything can be said about the
market manipulators, mostly the elite’s central bankers/Wall Street/Fed, it does not
really matter as to accurate identity, for they hide their source[s] very well.  What matters
is the outcome from the effort, and to date, there has been a lot of “smashing” success in
taking both silver and gold lower, at will, and with no opposition.
We will rely on the proverbial picture being worth 1,000 words and not add anything
further to the ominous implications that this chart portends, and it is why the probability
for a lower low has to be respected as a highly possible event.  The breed of faction behind
these kind of moves make them for good reason and with near “slam dunk” assurances.
Silver Shorts Crude oil’s express elevator decline is an example of what can happen when those in
control decide to move a market.  These days, almost every market is undergoing some
degree of manipulation to the extent that “free markets” are nonexistent.  It should come
as no surprise that the troika US/CIA/Fed is directly behind most events whose outcomes
are typically destructive.  If not directly involved, then the named trio, acting individually
or in concert, are indirectly involved as in the case of crude oil.  An argument can be made
that the Saudi’s are purposefully punishing all opposition to their market by taking the
price of crude to levels that cannot be economically sustained by other world producers.
In particular, the US shale industry is being targeted as payback against the US for all the
past draconian measures taken against the Saudis, and the Saudis may well be taking
direction from China, or at least acting in concert with China as the “takedown” of the US
and its petrodollar are being driven into oblivion.  Things are getting nasty, in the process,
and the US/Fed are acting more and more like cornered rats.
The elites have become terrified that everything they have been doing and working
toward, as in their New World Order, is at risk, something unthinkable until they started
messing with Putin and Russia.  Putin has been a game-changer against the
moneychangers, and things have really gone south for the elites ever since Obama has |
been directed to impose unimposing sanctions on Russia.  It has been Europe that is
suffering the most as a result of lost business and greater economic hardships imposed by
unelected, non-representative, US-led sycophant bureaucrats from the EU in Brussels.
It will be one of the world’s greatest ironies if Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s newly elected Prime
Minister from the upstart Syriza Party, becomes a huge factor in upsetting the EU’s money
apple cart and helping bring down the European Union, failed organization that it has
been.  PM Tsipras is telling Germany, and the rest of the EU, that Greece does not want
their stinking loans anymore.  The previous loans have destroyed Greece, its economy,
and ruined the lives of so many Greek citizens suffering under German/EU austerity.
Greece is a microcosm of all that is wrong with the unelected organizations, IMF, BIS,
EU, lending money created out of thin air, overburdening sovereign countries to the
point where each country can no longer survive under such onerous imposed debt
burdens.  As other nations watch how Greece is giving the financial finger to Germany
and the EU, as politely and as pointedly as possible, there could be a domino effect that
would be disastrous and cause the breakup of the EU, which will happen anyway.
None of these events are directly correlated to the price of gold and silver, and these are
just a few of a myriad of events occurring around the world that are keeping a lid on the
PMs prices, for now.  While all of the fundamental considerations are very valid, they
are not what is driving gold and silver.  Ukraine, as an Obama false flag, sanctions against
Russia, the collapse of crude oil, the growing solidarity of the BRICS cartel, and now
Greece are all factors driving the destructive ways of the US/CIA/Fed as they fight for
survival.   It will get uglier, and the first chart above may be a harbinger of what is yet
waiting in the wings.
The Concentration Of Traders Chart may influence silver over the next several months.
The timing of unfolding events is impossible with so many developing surprises, like
Greece.  The reading of the charts is irrespective of specific news and/or events, but the
current prices do reflect all that is going on.  We mention “anything can happen,” [crude
oil as a most recent example] a few times here because the charts do not show a likely or
immediate change in trend, so one has to go with “what is” as the charts currently show.
With a new recent low just two weeks ago, there is no way silver can be viewed  as
being in anything other than a down trend with the possibility of still lower prices to
come. Even with lower prices as a possibility, silver [and gold] is artificially being
suppressed.  When you reflect on the increasingly faster pace of events unfolding,
almost all negatively, owning silver and continuing to buy more and more is one of
the best ways to protect oneself from the financial failure that is certain to come.
Price should not matter, any more.  You either have silver and gold or you do not.
If you do not, you are at grave financial risk when the US collapses economically,
and it will as the Fed’s fiat [worthless] “dollar” is increasingly under attack.
We have refrained from putting a time frame on when silver and gold will finally
break free from the manipulative forces, but 2015 could be a defining year.  It
remains to be seen, but events are unfolding at such an increased level and so
unpredictably that this could be the year.  We did not say this in 2013 nor in 2014,
and it may take going into 2016, but be prepared, or you will not be spared.
SI M 31 Jan 14 Silver’s direction has a greater degree of clarity than gold, at least in the charts. The
narrower range at resistance, 2 weeks ago, said sellers were protecting that price level
and preventing buyers from extending the range higher.  Last week’s decline had greater
ease of downward movement, noted by the larger bar.  This keeps silver on the defensive,
and caution is warranted.
SI W 31 Jan 14 The chart comments cover what else needs to be said.
SI D 31 Jan 15 The volume and price activity, since November 2014, has a more positive bias, but the
trend has not turned up, and caution is advised.  This does not imply to exercise caution
in continuing to buy physical gold, and silver, as much as one reasonably can.  Price will
not stay down here for much longer, nor may there be the degree of availability, either.
Best not to be penny wise and pound foolish.
GC M 31 Jan 15 As the chart comments imply, gold is not an easy read, nor should it be, given how it is in
the middle of a TR [Trading Range], where the level of knowledge is at its lowest when it
comes to making an informed decision.  With a greater level of ambiguity in gold, the
somewhat more certainty of the silver charts may be a swaying factor, here.
GC W 31 Jan 15 The message is mixed on the daily.  An area of apparent resistance held to push price
lower, last week, yet the activity is holding half-way retracement areas which is to be
expected in an up trending market, and less so in the current gold market.
A clearer analysis NMT.  [Needs More Time].
Keep buying the physical, and do not fret over what you paid on previous purchases.
Physical gold and silver are being bought for a specific purpose, and price is not the
objective…security is.  Remember: “if you do not hold it, you do not own it” has proven
to be true in too many cases.  For sure, do not keep any gold or silver in a bank under
any circumstances, including and especially retirement accounts.
GC D 31 Jan 15

When FDR made gold illegal to own for everyday people – At the point of a gun (A short video)

Source: Against Crony Capitalism

gold stolen cc

FDR, the man who studied Mussolini, who birthed the current intrusive state, who started the drug war in earnest, who put Japanese Americans into concentration camps, who extended the Depression years longer than it needed to be and thereby contributed to the genesis of the Second World War, who tried to pack the Supreme Court, who gave away half of Europe to the Soviets at Yalta,  and who confiscated the gold – the real wealth – of the American people.
What a guy. And he still has his face on the dime.

Read More

John Rubino: The Greeks Must Be Crazy, Or Are They?

Kerry Lutz, Financial Survival Network, Released on 1/26/15
Click Here to Listen to the Interview
Greece just elected an anti-austerity government that insures there will be a conflict with Germany and the ECB. Will they default or repudiate their debt. According to the mainstream media’s meme this is an act of pure insanity. But then again, if you’re Greece and have seen your economy decimated by the Euro, it makes perfect sense. And so do precious metals…
Click Here to Listen to the Interview

Nick Barisheff – Gold Is On Its Way to $10,000 For Sure

Nick Barisheff, CEO of Bullion Management Group, wrote his book $10,000 Gold almost 2 years ago. While many laughed, we certainly didn’t. Nick is sticking to his prediction and feels that the recent moves in the Euro, Swiss Franc and Oil, further bolster his case. Gold has been moving up since the beginning of the year. Nick sees the ceaseless pm appetite of the Russians and Chinese as further proof that his target will be attained sooner rather than later. So buckle your seat belt for the ride of a life time. CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO INTERVIEW

‘Giant currency war’: Euro drops 40%, yen 30%, against US dollar:

If everyone home in America grew a garden, high food prices would collapse within one month

View image on Twitter

Greece CRISIS Goes Systemic as Banker Controlled EU Suffering MELTDOWN

“Russia would consider giving financial help to debt-ridden Greece”
“Stiglitz: Germany Is Eurozone’s Problem, Not Greece”…
“Cramer: Europe going ‘non-German way’”
“Reagan’s OMB head: Wealth inequality is a problem”
“Under a mattress, in the freezer: Why so many are hiding cash”
“U.S Senate stops Keystone XL pipeline bill from moving forward”
“Buffett would profit from Keystone cancellation – Washington Times”…
“U.S. Stocks Fluctuate, Treasuries Fall Amid Earnings, Labor Data – Bloomberg Business”…
“Sen. Charles E. Schumer: Campaign Finance/Money – Summary – Senator Career | OpenSecrets”…

The Huge Problem With For-Profit Prisons

The United States incarcerates more people than any other country in the world and overcrowding has become a serious issue. Why is America imprisoning so many people?
Learn More:
Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013…
“This report summarizes data from several Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) correctional data collections to provide statistics on the total population supervised by adult correctional systems in the United States.”
Mass Incarceration: The Whole Pie…
“This briefing presents the first graphic we’re aware of that aggregates the disparate systems of confinement in this country, which hold more than 2.4 million people in 1,719 state prisons, 102 federal prisons, 2,259 juvenile correctional facilities, 3,283 local jails, and 79 Indian Country jails as well as in military prisons, immigration detention facilities, civil commitment centers, and prisons in the U.S. territories.”
NAACP: Criminal Justice Fact Sheet…
On Life Support: Public Health in the Age of Mass Incarceration…
“Over the last 40 years the criminal justice system has expanded to such a degree that, today, mass incar- ceration is one of the major contributors to poor health in communities.”
Federal Bureau of Prisons: Inmate Statistics…
The Sentencing Project: Research and Advocacy For Reform…
“Research to date generally indicates that increases in the certainty of punishment, as opposed to the severity of punishment, are more likely to produce deterrent benefits. This briefing paper provides an overview of criminological research on these relative impacts as a guide to inform future policy consideration.”

Spain rally: Podemos holds Madrid mass 'March for Change'

Tens of thousands of people have massed in central Madrid for a rally organised by radical Spanish leftists Podemos.
The "March for Change" is one of the party's first outdoor mass rallies, as it looks to build on the recent victory of its close allies Syriza in Greece.
Podemos leader Pablo Iglesias told the crowd a "wind of change" was starting to blow through Europe.
Podemos has surged ahead in opinion polls, and has vowed to write off part of Spain's debt if it comes to power.
The BBC's Tom Burridge in Madrid says that there has been an impressive turnout and a carnival atmosphere at the rally.
Several of Madrid's main avenues became a sea of people and purple, the party's colour, he says, after its supporters travelled from all over Spain.
'We dream' Marching from Madrid city hall to the central Puerta del Sol square, protesters shouted "Si, Podemos!", meaning "Yes, we can".
Broadcaster TVE reported that hundreds of thousands were at the demonstration, but there was no official tally.
"The wind of change is starting to blow in Europe," Mr Iglesias said, addressing supporters in Greek and Spanish at the start of the rally.
Pablo Iglesias with other Podemos leaders on stage at rally - 31 January Pablo Iglesias (C) said people with serious dreams could change things
Podemos supporters attend the 'March for Change' in Madrid The Podemos march takes place amid public anger over spending cuts and allegations of political corruption
Banner at Podemos rally reads "is now" - 31 January The party is hoping to build on Syriza's recent successes in Greece
"We dream but we take our dream seriously. More has been done in Greece in six days than many governments did in years."
Protesters are parading in the same streets that over the past six years have seen many other gatherings against financial crisis cutbacks imposed by successive governments.
One marcher, Jose Maria Jacobo, told Reuters news agency that people had to fight back against the political class.
"It is the only way..., to kick out all of those politicians who are taking everything from us. They even try to take our dignity away from us. But that they won't take that from us," he said.
But speaking in Barcelona, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said Podemos had no chance of winning elections.
"I don't accept the gloomy Spain which some want to portray because they think that by doing so they will replace those who are governing and have had to face the most difficult crisis in decades. They will not succeed," he said.
Uncompromising message Many Spaniards are enraged over reports of political corruption and public spending cuts implemented by Mr Rajoy's People's Party and before that by the Socialists.
The two big traditional parties have described the party - less than a year old and whose names translates as "we can" - as populist.
Our correspondent says that since Podemos stormed onto the political scene in last May's European elections, it has moved from strength to strength with its uncompromising message against austerity and corruption.
But both left-wing and right-wing media have criticised Podemos, accusing it of having ties with Venezuela's left-wing leaders and alleging financial misconduct by some of its senior members.
The party's leaders have in response promised to publish their tax returns, with Mr Iglesias remaining defiant.
"In the face of their hatred, we smile," is one of his regular pronouncements, according to the AFP news agency. After the Syriza triumph in the Greek elections he said that "hope had been born".
Spain has now officially come out of recession but nearly one in four workers remains unemployed.
Last year was the first time there has been full-year economic growth in the country since 2008, when a property bubble burst, putting millions of people out of work and pushing the country to the brink of a bail-out.

What’s Really Happening? with Michael Rivero

b7 Rory, The Daily Coin
few years ago the gold market manipulation story began taking root in the mainstream media. When Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), former head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), appeared in the spotlight various countries began to question wether their gold, supposedly stored in safe-keeping at the Federal Reserve in New York, was actually still in the vaults.Michael Rivero, Editor in Chief of What Really Happened, website and radio show, appeared on the History Channel’s “America’s Book of Secrets: The Gold Conspiracy”. This TV program provided some detail of what happened during the DSK arrest for allegedly having a sexual encounter with a chamber maid at a New York City hotel. DSK was actually removed from a plane headed to Germany where DSK was to attend a meeting the next day. DSK had been asking questions about gold the Federal Reserve was suppose to turning over to the IMF.Michael explains how this situation ties into what we are witnessing today with countries the world over questioning gold being held by the Federal Reserve. A lot of people are familiar with Germany’s gold repatriation efforts. But what about Austria asking questions, Belgium and a host of other countries wondering about their gold. Does the gold exist?The Federal Reserve has made plans to return some of Germany’s gold over the course of 7 years; approximately 700 tons. To date, the only gold that is 100% verified is approximately 5 tons. Germany originally requested the gold be returned in beginning in January 2013. January 2015 Germany supposedly received an additional 85 tons from the Federal Reserve. This gold has NOT been verified by any third party within Germany. The people of Germany have asked for paperwork, photos, serial numbers, something to verify the gold was returned. As of this writing they have not received one item to verity the gold has been received.With at least 5 countries now questioning their gold holdings, how will the Federal Reserve be able to continue to dodge request for an audit or repatriation from other countries? Will the question of gold being held by the Federal Reserve create the next world war?This brings up the question of Libya’s gold. Where are the 144 tons of gold that went missing when the US dropped 110 tomahawk missiles on Libya, killed Gaddafi and closed the State Bank of Libya? Oh yeah, there was a new Central Bank, operated by western bankers, put into place shortly after the bombings and the other mayhem that was created. Gaddafi just wanted to sell his oil for gold Dinar’s instead of US Dollars. That, is a problem. That will get you killed. Don’t believe me. Ask Saddam Hussein; that’s right, he’s dead too. Why? Because he had cut a deal to sell Iraq’s oil for Euro’s instead of US Dollars. Weapons of mass destruction. anyone, anyone? No. That lie not working anymore?What about the situation in Ukraine, Russia, Syria and Israel? Michael ties all this together and brings us up to speed with the coming false flag, 2 million sunscreen and brass keys for missile silos.This interview gets down to business in a hurry. Michael was pressed for time and was gracious enough to share some of his very valuable time with us. We hope you learn something and we hope you listen to the end, because Michael has something to share with each of you.

Obama Estate Tax Plan: Die Once, Get Taxed Twice

(Stephen Moore)  President Obama’s proposed changes to inheritance and capital gains taxes could raise the estate tax rate in the U.S. to the highest in the industrialized world.
The plan, announced during the State of the Union address, would eliminate what is called “step-up basis at death” on capital gains taxation. And the top capital gains rate would jump to 28% from 20%.
Under current law, when a parent or grandparent dies, the increase in the valuation of his or her asset from when it was originally purchased is not taxed.
This is to offset the effects of the estate tax.
Obama’s plan would tax estates and impose the regular capital gains tax on inherited assets — a business, property or stocks.
This could bring the effective death tax rate to 57%, according to Dick Patten, chairman of the American Business Defense Council.
Including state inheritance taxes, the rate would average 65% but could go as high as 68%.
Of 38 industrialized countries tracked by Ernst & Young, only Belgium would have a higher death tax, at 80%. But Belgium provides a lower 60% rate to immediate family members.
Add in state estate taxes, and the U.S. would have the highest rate in the world. At least a dozen nations, including Sweden, Russia and China, impose no death tax at all.
The Obama proposal would raise about $200 billion over the next decade, according to White House projections. Spouses would not have to pay the tax, but other family members, including children, would.
‘Dagger’ For Family Firms
“The Obama plan is effectively a dagger in the heart of family-owned businesses,” said Patten, who is leading an effort in Congress to eliminate the death tax altogether. “If the tax were to ever get this high, most family businesses would have to be sold at the time of death in order to pay the taxes owed. This seems almost un-American.”
In many plans to eliminate the estate tax entirely, the step-up basis at death on capital gains would go away. So heirs would have to pay only the capital gains tax rate (now 23.8%) on the increase in the valuation of an asset once it is sold.
What makes the Obama plan shocking to estate-tax planners is that he would tax the estates as capital gains and as an inheritance — a double-tax whammy.
Making matters worse, the new plan to soak the rich would continue to raise the capital gains tax. When he entered office, it was 15%. He imposed an income-tax surcharge of 3.8% to help pay for ObamaCare. Then he raised the rate an additional five percentage points as part of his tax increase on the rich in 2012.
Obama has proposed raising that 23.8% rate to 28% — the highest since the late 1980s and nearly double the rate when he entered office.
Not Just The 1%
Obama has been trying to sell the plan on rich-vs.-poor rhetoric. The White House fact sheet on the plan begins by saying: “Our tax system has changed over time in ways that make it easier for the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share.”
The administration calls the step-up basis at death policy on capital gains “perhaps the single largest loophole in the entire individual income-tax code.”
What the White House has not acknowledged is that under its proposal to end the “trust fund loophole,” hundreds of thousands of families with small or midsize estates would get hammered with the Obama death tax, according to estate tax planners.
Under current law, estates of less than $5 million are exempt from estate taxation. Under Obama’s plan, the new capital gains tax on inherited assets would exempt only the first $200,000 of inherited assets for a married couple and only $100,000 for singles.
Take a daughter who inherits from her deceased father a family home worth $1 million. If she sells the home, and it has risen in value by, say, $500,000 from its original purchase price, the first $250,000 of gain is tax-free.
But the woman would have to pay a 28% tax on the rest of the $250,000 net gain. She would have to write a check to the IRS for about $70,000, whether she is rich or not. This means that many estates with an asset appreciation valuation of $250,000 to $5 million that are not currently subject to tax now could be.
“So much for only taxing millionaires and billionaires,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “This looks like yet another Obama tax lie.”
For those who are rich, the combined estate and capital gains tax for major estates could reach more than 60%. “This isn’t fair,” Patten said, “because remember, the income was already taxed when it was originally earned.”
Steve Forbes of Forbes magazine calls the estate tax “an indefensible double tax on family businesses. It runs contrary to the American ideal.” Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are moving ahead aggressively with a plan to eliminate the estate tax altogether.
“This is Obama’s way to try to head off our estate-tax repeal legislation,” said one GOP staffer on Capitol Hill. “But we are very close to having the votes in the House and Senate now to get rid of this hated tax.”
Republicans point to a 2012 study by the Joint Economic Committee that found “the estate tax has reduced the amount of capital stock in the U.S. economy by roughly $1.1 trillion since its introduction as a permanent tax in 1916.”
It also concluded the tax “is an overwhelming cause of the dissolution of family businesses. The estate tax is a significant hindrance to entrepreneurial activity because many family businesses lack sufficient liquid assets to pay estate tax liabilities.”
The issue and coming battle over the estate tax highlights the deep ideological divide between the Republican Congress and the Obama White House: The GOP wants to get rid of the death tax; the president wants to nearly double it.

Big Business “Regulators” and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP): Opening the Floodgates to Corporate Plunder

A new leak concerning the talks around the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) indicates that the floodgates could be opened even further for corporate influence. The leak has been analysed by the corporate watchdogs CEO and LobbyControl and shows that corporate influence on EU and US policies might dramatically increase via the chapter on so-called ‘regulatory cooperation’.
The leak of the EU draft negotiating proposal dated January 23rd makes unmistakably clear that the EU is seeking a very ambitious chapter that strengthens the role of business in future regulatory legislation possibly via a new institution, the Regulatory Cooperation Body (RCB). Its role would be to coordinate the process of regulatory coherence between the US and the EU and would effectively limit policy space and sideline the public and civil organisations.
Existing and future EU regulation would have to go through a series of investigations, dialogues and negotiations in this Council. This would move decisions on regulations into a technocratic sphere, away from democratic scrutiny. Also, there would be compulsory impact assessments for proposed regulation, which will be checked for their potential impact on trade. This would be ideal for big business lobbies: creating a firm brake on any new progressive regulation in the very first stage of decision-making.
Kenneth Haar of CEO says:
“The proposal fulfills the ambitions of some of the biggest business lobby groups. It will provide them with a big tool box they can use to roll back regulation adopted in the public interest.”
A December 2014 version of the draft indicates that there were even ambitions to include the municipal level in the list of those who are to report on planned regulations that affect trade. Even though this has been taken out of the proposal now, it clearly shows that there are desires on the EU-side to subjugate social and environmental legislation at all levels to international trade.
Max Bank of LobbyControl says:
“Trade Comissioner Malmström has to step back on regulatory cooperation in TTIP. Like Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS), it strengthens big business and threatens democracy on both sides of the Atlantic.”
‘Regulatory co-operation’ is a ploy to open the door to massive influence by big business over future laws. The EC argues that its proposal for regulatory co-operation in TTIP is nothing more than a rational dialogue, for example to avoid duplication of laws on both sides of the Atlantic, and that it would not restrict the ability of regulators and legislators to pursue public interest objectives.
However, there has always been a gap between the EC’s documents for public consumption and the actual texts from the negotiations that have emerged via leaks. And the recent leaks of new proposals from December 2014 and January 2015 not only confirm the validity of the criticism but show that the EC’s true negotiating position is even worse than critics imagined.
In late 2012, BusinessEurope and the US Chamber of Commerce had several meetings with the EU Commission to push their agenda. Regulatory cooperation is promoted as a solution to the problem that agreeing on harmonised standards or mutual recognition of standards can prove difficult in the short term. Consequently, on issues such as food standards, chemicals and financial regulation, because negotiators might not be able to strike a deal on common rules between the US and EU while the trade negotiations are under way, regulatory co-operation can provide a space for business groups and regulators to reach results to their liking after TTIP is agreed, in the long term and without much public scrutiny.
BusinessEurope and the US Chamber of Commerce presented the EC with a series of proposals in 2012, which would enable them – in their words – to “co-write regulation”.
Despite claims by the EC that there is no secrecy concerning the negotiations, the notes of European Commission meetings with business lobbyists released to Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) under the EU’s freedom of information law some time back were heavily censored. The documents showed that the EC invited industry to submit wish lists for ‘regulatory barriers’ they would like removed during the negotiations. The documents showed clearly that removing differences in EU and US regulations is the key issue in the talks: in other words, a race to the bottom in setting the lowest barriers possible. It is therefore no surprise that the strong similarities between the EC’s proposals and those of the industry lobbyists sparked a backlash against the onerous privileges being awarded to business groups
When the EC talks about the involvement of interest groups in regulatory issues, it uses the neutral term ‘stakeholder’. The overwhelming majority of lobbyists in Brussels represent business: ‘involving stakeholders’ is another expression for opening yet one more avenue for corporate lobbyists to influence policymaking. Past experiences of involvement of ‘stakeholders’ in ‘regulatory co-operation’ between the EU and the US have demonstrated that these procedures are easily open to big business and often closed to other interest groups.
The agenda of regulatory co-operation is first and foremost about promoting trade – not about securing consumer rights, public health, or any other public policy objective.
And, as if to underline the stitch-up of the European public between officials and big business, the only way the public has access to what is really being negotiated is through leaked documents.
(Much of the text for the above was sourced from the Corporate Europe Observatory website. A more detailed explanation of the issues surrounding regulatory cooperation are discussed here.)
The British general election takes place in three months. The election campaign has already begun. Force TTIP onto the campaign agenda. Do not let get it get sidelined. TTIP could adversely impact us all in a huge way for decades to come. 
Source: Global Research, January 29, 2015

Russia might bailout Greece – finance minister

Greece hasn’t outright asked Russia for a loan, but Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov said Moscow wouldn’t rule it out. His statement comes days after Greece openly opposed further economic sanctions against Russia.
“Well, we can imagine any situation, so if such [a] petition is submitted to the Russian government, we will definitely consider it, but we will take into account all the factors of our bilateral relationships between Russia and Greece, so that is all I can say. If it is submitted we will consider it,” Siluanov told CNBC in an interview in Moscow on Thursday.
The new left-wing Syriza government in Greece won a majority at last Sunday’s election on the promise to renegotiate the country’s €317 billion debt and end austerity.
Greece needs to negotiate with EU policymakers by February 28 in order to receive the next tranche of bailout funds. If Athens doesn’t get the money it will have difficulty servicing its debt. Two bailouts were paid in 2010 and 2014 totaling €240 billion.
The new government was quick to show support for Moscow, and has openly called for an end to Russian sanctions, and may veto any future sanctions.
Source and full story: Russia Today, 30 January 2015

“Oil Capital of California” Declares Fiscal Emergency, Oil Bust Exposes Sins Committed And False Promises Made In Good Times.

Wolf Richter,
Oil, pensions, and a new jail do in Kern County.
Crude oil plunged 4% on Wednesday, with West Texas Intermediate now at a new multiyear low of $44.36 per barrel. Consumers love the cheaper gasoline, and they’re saving their money, and some of them are shifting it to iPhones, food, and whatnot. But the economic consequences of the collapse in oil and natural gas prices are ricocheting around the largest hydrocarbon producer in the world, the USA.
Kern County, which includes the city of Bakersfield, is considered the oil capital of California. Its Midway-Sunset oil field amounts to about 4% of US oil production. The local crude oil grade, Midway-Sunset, traded for $101.87 in June 2014. Chevron’s Price Bulletin on January 28 priced it at $38.94. A 61% plunge.
The oil and gas sector in Kern County, as elsewhere, has responded to the new pricing reality with layoffs.
“If it continues and you see more of the layoffs, you’re going to definitely see it trickle down,” fretted Melissa Rossiter of the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce onKBAK TV two weeks ago.
“We’re probably looking at about 24,000 jobs,” guesstimated real-estate appraiser Gary Crabtree. “It just dominoes to everything … New construction may be affected,” he said. “We’re just waiting for the next shoe to drop. I think everyone is just holding their breath. Probably the only ones that are panicking at this point in time is the government.”
And the government has reason to panic.
Where does Kern County get much of its money? Property taxes. Oil and gas properties, according to the Assessor’s Office, accounted for almost 35% of the assessment roll in 2013. And these properties have seen their assessed values nosedive in sync with the price of oil.
As a result, oil-property taxes are expected to plunge by $61 million in the next fiscal year, starting July 1. The estimate is based on a price of Midway-Sunset crude of $55 a barrel – quite an uptick from today’s $38.94 a barrel.That’s not the only problem.
Pension costs have spiraled out of control, and no one can figure out what to do about them. By dropping the annual assumed rate of return from an unrealistic, nay, ridiculously high 7.75% to a nearly as ridiculously high 7.5%, the county’s pension costs will jump another $21 million in the next fiscal year, to $300 million a year.
And then there’s the new county jail, that after over six years of debate, was approvedlast December, the biggest public works project Kern County government has tackled in at least 15 years, maybe more, according to Assistant County Administrative Officer Jeff Frapwell. The first $100 million will be paid by state grant. The remainder of the operating costs, including $20.5 million for the initial staffing costs, will be up to the county. But it no longer has the money.
Plunging revenues and soaring costs topped off with layoffs in the private sector and wage cuts or furloughs in the public sector are a highly toxic mix. The effects will ripple into retail sales, and thus sales tax revenues, then spread to housing, with one domino falling after another. To avert a fiscal fiasco, the County Board of Supervisors would have to come up with a plan.
That was two weeks ago. Now Kern County supervisors came up with their plan, an ingenious one: they declared a state of fiscal emergency.
It won’t solve the oil-property tax crisis or the insurmountable pension-costs debacle, but it will allow the county to tap into its $40-million reserve fund to balance the budget, and it will allow the county to whittle down staffing at the fire department.
The county’s general fund will absorb $44 million of the $61 million shortfall, and the county’s fire fund will be hit with the remaining $17 million, officials said. Cuts will have to be made, and they’re trying to start making them now, rather than all at once in July. To fund the staffing costs of the jail, all departments in the general fund will get cut equally for five years.
Everyone in Kern County is hoping that oil prices will shoot back up. The county is, and has been for decades, strongly Republican, and this kind of mess is embarrassing. They’re having visions of a hockey-stick recovery. Some of them are hoping that the Fed will step in and do a QE-Oil or something, or that the despised White House will announce that it would speed up buying oil for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Anything to get prices back up.
But both of these options would be fraught with political risks: bailing out the oil industry by hitting consumers in their wallets before an election? So maybe not.
Kern County’s scenario is beginning to play out across the oil patch in North America. Only the nuances and numbers are different. In Canada, the Province of Alberta is already getting hit hard by low oil prices [Recession in Tar-Sands Rich Alberta?]. In the US, all oil states are impacted, but none more than Alaska [Alaska’s State Budget Collapses by 50%].
What’s happening in Kern County is a microcosm of the insidious nature of an oil bust whose many tentacles are grabbing and strangling different aspects of the economy and government. It invariably exposes the sins committed and false promises made during good times, when the price of oil was so high that everything was possible and nothing could go wrong.
The oil bust is also demolishing the junk bonds that funded the fracking boom. But now, the pain is spreading to non-energy companies. Read… Junk-Bond Bubble Implodes Beyond Energy, Deals Scuttled, Yields Soar, Suddenly “Insufficient Demand”