Tuesday, January 29, 2013

SURVEY: 50% Oppose Larry Summers As Fed Chairman

Fresh from his nap.
Love this story.  Now that Geithner has removed his name from consideration, here's a look at Larry's chances to replace Bernanke.
Not good.
Almost half of global investors say President Barack Obama shouldn’t select former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers as the next chairman of Federal Reserve Board, according to the latest Bloomberg Global Poll of investors.
Only 17 percent of the 862 surveyed say it would be a good idea to appoint Summers, 57, to replace current Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke, 58, whose term expires in January 2014.  Thirty-four percent didn’t have an opinion and 49 percent said it was a bad idea.
The Nov. 27 poll of Bloomberg customers who are investors, traders or analysts was conducted by Selzer & Co., a Des Moines, Iowa-based company.  It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
“Although Lawrence Summers is an exceptionally talented man, the Fed chair is in need of a man with less connections and entanglements to the establishment,” Fredrik Fyring, a derivatives trader at Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken in Stockholm.
Continue reading...

Summers last month on Bloomberg.  Runs 1 minute.
'Nobody who holds Treasuries should worry about getting paid.  The U.S. will meet all its obligations.'
If you remember, both Summers and Geithner guaranteed last year that the U.S. would never be downgraded, and then it happened a few months later, in August of 2011.  So Mr. Somnolence is choosing his words quite carefully in this clip.
Dylan Ratigan annihlates Larry Summers while Steve Rattner sits in denial:
Dylan Ratigan with Barry Ritholtz and Steve Rattner.
"He's headed back to Harvard.  Presumably to teach students how to steal a whole bunch of other people's money, and then cover it up."
How Larry Wrecked Harvard's Endowment:

Wall Street Fraud Enabler Lanny Breuer Steps Down (with Eliot Spitzer)

Spitzer precisely at the 2:35 mark.
Excellent discussion.  Give this a few minutes.  You can skip the introduction and start watching about 1:20 in.  Recorded Jan. 24, 2013.
Description from the Youtube page -- Former New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer, discusses the new Frontline documentary 'The Untouchables', why the Obama Administration failed to prosecute fraud on Wall Street, why the Justice Department did not aggressively investigate fraud across the financial industry, the resignation of Lanny Breuer, why paying fines will not solve the problem of crime on Wall Street, Obama's choice for the new head of the SEC and the need for justice to be more creative and structural.

You can watch the full broadcast here:

PBS Frontline - Wall Street Untouchables

And the details of Lanny Breuer's departure are here:

Wall Street Shill Lanny Breuer Done At DOJ

House Of Jacob Rothschild Hoarding Gold In Face Of Coming Collapse?

A recent appointment of Rothschild as “financial advisor” by the Board of Directors of gold exploration company Spanish Mountain Gold is yet another unmistakable indication that the ancient family is moving the world’s gold supply to both “emerging markets” and Central Banks worldwide, strengthening the family’s monopoly position when the fiat-based house of cards comes crashing down in the West.
The Board of Directors of the British Columbia based gold exploration company appointed Rothschild to “review strategic options with the objective of maximizing shareholder value.” In July of 2012, Spanish Mountain Gold’s CEO Brian Groves boasted already that the excavation in British Colombia is a project worth “several million ounces in gold” and is backed by “an enormous network of connections globally”, Groves told Resource Clips.
Indeed, this recent appointment of Rothschild’s financial expertise (from centuries worth of experience) has increased the value of this company somewhat, propelling the gold-producing company into newer heights (or depths), depending on what end of the gold bar you find yourself. It also is a sure sign that the family is tightening its grip on gold, in both the excavation, the producing and the trading phase.

In the beginning of this century there were signs that Rothschild was starting to pull back from gold. With the announcement of Lord Jacob Rothschild that his “investment vehicle” RIT Capital Partners “has ridden the rally in gold prices but will now incrementally sell down” many observers were led to believe the ancient house was abandoning the precious stuff. Jacob Rothschild stated in 2011:
“There is I believe a growing awareness of the dangerous position which confronts many countries, particularly those in the developed world. In spite of these concerns, we continue to take advantage of areas that we believe are attractive, but we will remain cautious in terms of the quantum of capital that we allocate”.
Already in 2004 Rothschild blew the horn, announcing with a loud voice (that tends to carry far and wide throughout the world’s financial community) that the family was withdrawing from its gold-based assets. In April of 2004 theTelegraph reported:
“The investment bank that has chaired the London meetings setting the world gold price since 1919 is quitting the market.”
In 2011, an analysis makes clear how and why Rothschild manipulates the price of gold downward:

Despite these earlier indications that Rothschild was backing away from its gold assets (which smell like the calculated diversion techniques of an experienced illusionist), the recent appointment in the Spanish Mountain project is a clear sign that gold is still foremost on the mind of the family, as it has been for many centuries past. These earlier manoeuvrings by Rothschild seem to suggest a consciously constructed effort to bring down the price of gold- with the aim of buying large quantities later on, when the price was especially low. The reason for such a move is explained by Jeff Thomas in February 2012, when he wrote:
“Many economists project that, following the crashes of the Euro and the dollar, a return to gold-backed currencies would appear as a world trend. This is only natural, as the fiat currency concept would have been shown to be the farce that it is.”
For this reason, Thomas argued, the hoarding of gold is being done with the aim of redistributing it later on to those nations (or supra-nations, such as the EU and China) the elite have destined to be the future global engines after the old one has been discarded:
“It is entirely possible that all currencies could receive a shake-up, and an entire worldwide system of gold-backed currencies may develop. If this were to occur, the countries that held the largest amounts of gold at that time would be out in front economically.”
This indeed seems to be the case. As Edmond de Rothschild’s France-based asset management company analyzes for 2013, the so called “emerging markets” are increasingly scooping great chunks of gold from the world’s supply:
“It is (…) reassuring to see that physical demand has started the year well with an increase in Chinese and Indian buying. The Chinese are buying before the Lunar New Year while Indians seem to be anticipating higher duties on imported gold. At the same time, central bank buying continues. They bought 536 tonnes in 2012 (+17% on record 2011 levels) or 13% of total demand.”
Another document issued by Edmond de Rothschild’s “Goldsphere”-enterprise analyzes the global gold-trade, the buyers, the sellers, the winners and the losers. In one of its assessments the global elite recognizes that European nations are reluctant to sell their gold stocks and the current trend is a continuous rover of gold towards the East:
“European countries are in no rush to sell their bullion reserves as they are small in value compared to their debt problems and some of the gold might already have been pledged in collateralised loans.”
While all the major strongholds of the elite are being abandoned in the US, new lairs are being set up in China. The document concludes by saying that gold-producing companies and miners are not sufficiently riding the wave of ever-rising gold prices:
“All the recent meetings we have had with gold companies tend to confirm the industry’s acceptance that gold mines and gold projects have to be better managed so as to get shareholder returns more in line with the current strong gold price. And some projects have in fact already been postponed or cancelled because of insufficient profitability.”
This puts the recent “appointment” of Rothschild by Spanish Mountain Gold somewhat into perspective doesn’t it? It seems the ancient House of Rothschild has feigned a retreat from gold in the beginning of this century, only to then snatch it again at a good prize and move it into the East- their future global engine. When Baron Benjamin de Rothschild was asked by Israeli newspaperHaaretz what the family’s intentions are in regards to China, he answered unhesitatingly “to increase our focus in that region”.
As the elite’s engine of control is incrementally deconstructed in the West, the world’s gold is gradually moving towards its new engine in the East.
This article is brought to you courtesy of Jurriaan Maessen from ExplosiveReports.com
Related Tickers: iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA:SLV), ProShares Ultra Silver (NYSEARCA:AGQ), iShares Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:IAU), SPDR Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:GLD), Ultra Gold Trust (NYSEARCA:UGL).

So What Does An American Deficit Of $916,666,666,667 A Month Mean?

Professor Laurence Kotlikoff tells us that if we use Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) which requires corporations to acknowledge debts as they accrue that America’s debt is 211 trillion dollars and not the more than 16 trillion in outstanding Treasury bonds. The real shocker is that our debt grew by 11 trillion dollars in 2011. That is $916,666,666,667 a month. There are 31,536,000 seconds in an ordinary year (60x60x24x365). This works out to $347,705 a second. Try to get the people you talk to to wrap their minds around these numbers because we have to start a national dialogue.
The United States and Great Britain are both in the midst of the greatest Bubble in history. When our over priced Treasury bonds collapse in value, both nations will enter the worst Depression in 500 years of Western civilization. Not that I would recommend the euro or the Japanese yen. They will die too.
We have to completely reform the system before the federal government goes bankrupt, declares a bank holiday and the dollar crashes. We need to overhaul several systems at the same time. Need I remind you that I previously predicted that over a thousand American cities, counties and local agencies would go bankrupt in 2013 and that will add 2 trillion dollars to its big 16 trillion dollar plus pile of bonds.
I once read a study by an actuary who said that if a married couple worked at the minimum wage from age 18 to 65, they would have a million dollars when they retired provided they put it in a mutual fund and not give their money to Social Security. Of course this was in the old days before Wall Street was given a free pass to steal everything you worked for. Do you remember Al Gore’s Locked Box? He wanted is to  pay a lot of taxes to Social Security so they could buy  US Treasury bonds and put them in a Locked Box. So what happens when people retire and the Social Security Dept redeems those bonds at the Treasury so they can pay retirees? The Treasury then tells the Congress and the President to pay for those redeemed bonds by raising taxes. And the sheeple thought they were paying into a fund that would take care of them in their old age. It was all a Ponzi scheme.  We need a discussion of retirement. It must not be a system where Wall Street bankers and brokers have access to your money because they will steal as much of it as they can.
To prevent the coming Depression I want to do is to cancel all Unpayable Debts and to outlaw the creation of those debts. I would make it illegal for the federal, state or local governments to sell bonds. The total of federal state and local government  debts in the US is 21 trillion dollars. If you add in federal guaranteed loans like Fannie Mae and Sallie Mae, the total is 27 trillion dollars. As I explained at length before, I would seize all assets of government agencies listed at CAFR1.com to pay off all bonds and to fund all pensions. I would also cancel $20,000 in debts for every adult citizen not in institutional care. To fund that I would have the military invade a lot of offshore bank havens from the Cayman Islands to Lichtenstein to Dubai. I would only take the money of criminals. I would cancel the government debts of any nation that agreed to join in my suggested bank reforms. I would end fractional reserve banking and interest bearing currencies. Under the present system a bank can create money out of nothing and collect interest. Currencies should be created by the government and not require taxpayers to pay interest to the bankers who did nothing but print money. This burden of paying interest for nothing of value in return leads to Unpayable Debts through the miracle of compound interest. This practice must be stopped worldwide. To convince the people of Europe to quit the EU, which I have called Rothschild Land, I would offer the Europeans government and personal debt cancellation as well as the repeal of their VAT (sales taxes). This would require they end all interest bearing currencies.
Finally. I would release all American secret government scientific advances to corporations that would issue stock shares to American citizens which would be deposited in their name at local cooperative depository trusts in accounts under their name and control. Instead of an employer promising to pay you X dollars in 20 years or contributing to Social Security. I would henceforth make pension promises illegal. All money paid by an employer including the government would be paid into your account in the current year at that local cooperative depository trust. These trusts would dwarf any power from Wall Street so the Balance of Power in the body politic would shift from the bankers to us. I would allow these trusts to operate credit unions, issue credit cards, make loans and sell simple insurance policies with all profits going to fund retirements.
I wrote a series of articles about an American military coup being the worlds last, best and only hope. I should write another. The US and Israeli governments have finally been convinced that attacking Iran would be suicidal for both countries. The US government has been occupied by Zionists and bankers since they killed President Kennedy in 1963 and some say since the Federal Reserve was created in 1913. The most recent version is here.
Memo To Pentagon: Compare The Invasion Of Lichtenstein And The Cayman Islands To War With Iran And Syria
You can read about monetary reform here.
http:/IMF Economists: ‘We Were Wrong.’ Will Someone Please Tell The Press And The Politicians
I wrote two articles on debt cancellation and pension reform here.
What Real Debt Cancellation Combined With Pension And Health Care Reform Looks Like Part I

What Real Debt Cancellation Combined With Pension And Health Care Reform Looks Like Part II

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Iceland President: Let Banks Go Bankrupt

Peter Schiff & Ryan Dawson

DOJ COMPLAINS: 'The Untouchables Was A Hit Piece'

Lanny Breuer on line 1.
'We will never co-operate with Frontline in the future.'
Not a huge story but still incredibly satisfying for molecular-level Wall Street revenge seekers.  A win is a win except in the Harbaugh family, and this is a victory for our side.  We can celebrate the fact that the Justice Department contacted Frontline producers last week after 'The Untouchables' aired Tuesday night and and threatened to blackball the award-winning PBS show.
You read that right.  And they called it a 'hit piece' for good measure.
Thin skin much, Lanny and Eric?  The truth hurts and the knives come out.
John Titus, who attempted to participate, offered the following summary.
DB--At your suggestion, I took part in the online chat and submitted nearly 20 questions, none of which was answered or acknowledged.  Moderator Peter Eavis plays an old man's game of 16" slow-pitch softball over there at NYT Dealbook.  Apparently he didn't see any of the four-seam hard balls that I sent over the middle of the plate.  All in all, it would have been a complete waste of 1 hour but for the following exchange:
FRONTLINE: Marty - some viewers have wondered about whether or how the Justice Department or other government agencies have responded to the film.  Any word?
Martin Smith: Well, the Justice Department called and said they thought it was a hit piece, that I came with an agenda and that they will never co-operate with us in the future.
Martin Smith: I'll let viewers decide if we were fair.
Continue reading...
Summary from Frontline:
More than four years after the financial crisis, not one senior Wall Street executive has faced criminal prosecution for fraud.  Are Wall Street bankers simply “too big to jail?”
In The Untouchables, FRONTLINE producer and correspondent Martin Smith investigates why the U.S. Department of Justice has failed to act on credible evidence that Wall Street knowingly packaged and sold toxic mortgage loans to investors, loans that brought the U.S. and world economies to the brink of collapse.
So, after talking with top prosecutors, government officials and industry whistleblowers, what did he find?  Is there a chance some prosecutions may still take place?  What do we really know about the criminal cases that could be have been pursued?  And what does this investigation reveal about Wall Street and its relationship with the government?

You can watch the full broadcast here:

PBS Frontline - Wall Street Untouchables

And the details of Lanny Breuer's departure are here:

Wall Street Shill Lanny Breuer Done At DOJ

USA considers scenario of war with China

USA considers scenario of war with China. 49214.jpeg

The fact that the relations between China and the U.S. have been slipping into a confrontation similar to the Cold War has been discussed by media for two years, but for the first time these allegations began to take practical shape. Obama called China a "rival" and instructed to study the degree of nuclear threat posed by the country. The U.S. began redeploying its fleet in the Pacific Rim.

The reasons behind the confrontation are both economic and political. China is the world's only country capable of leaving the U.S. behind in terms of GDP in the near future (according to experts - 8 years from now). America is experiencing economic recession, high unemployment and a threat of a default. China is growing steadily, artificially maintaining low exchange rate of the yuan, which stimulates domestic production and exports. In addition, in recent years China has been withdrawing U.S. dollars from its foreign exchange reserves and investing them in gold, euros, and raw materials. The trend is clear - China no longer wants to be a creditor of the U.S.

The U.S. is concerned and trying to work through international institutions. For example, Obama signed a claim to the WTO, accusing the Chinese government of offering subsidies for Chinese auto companies. The U.S. lawmakers have actually recognized China as a manipulator in the currency pair yuan-dollar, and the U.S. imposed trade tariffs on twenty Chinese goods. However, this is a drop in the ocean. Actions similar to "Jason-Vanik" amendment are nowhere in sight. Why? Because the U.S. dependence on the Chinese economy is so high that by introducing such sanctions the United States would destroy its own industry that is being rapidly brought to China.
From a political point of view, first of all, these are two completely different systems. On the one hand - communist, collective, but isolated China, on the other - neo-liberal, individualistic U.S. Second, the political relations worsened after the adoption in January of 2012 of a new U.S. military doctrine, according to which the main area of ​​its military presence has become the Asia-Pacific Region (APR).

The tense relations between China and Japan over territorial claims may lead the U.S. to a tough choice of joining the military conflict on the side of its ally. The same can be said with regard to the Philippines, with which the United States has a mutual defense treaty. China is flexing its muscles, staging military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region (including those shared with Russia), conducting cyber-attacks against the U.S., and bringing people into the streets at unprecedented anti-Japanese protests. In response, the Americans are conducting their exercises, trying to play a role of the arbiter in maritime disputes between China and its neighbors, entering into an agreement on the development of ballistic missiles with South Korea, creating a military base in Australia, etc.
The situation is deteriorating, and the USA is considering possible scenarios of a war with China, and even nuclear conflict. On January 2nd, Obama signed into law a new concept of national security, which ordered the U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) by August 15th to submit a report on the underground network of tunnels in China and the U.S. capabilities to use conventional and nuclear forces to neutralize and destroy these tunnels. Director of the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists Hans Kristensen said that the lack of transparency in the intentions of both countries increases the risk of a war between China and the U.S. He said that the two countries are dancing a dangerous dance that increases military tension and could potentially lead to a small war in the Pacific.  
Ian Bremmer, an American political scientist and president of Eurasia Group, said in an interview with Time that the current strategic relations between the two countries are very similar to the Cold War.
He said that the U.S. ideology has not changed, although it is not as powerful as before. Its main provisions are individual freedom, democracy, and free enterprise. But in recent years it has been hit hard, both by the financial crisis and the violation of human rights in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib, as well as huge interest of corporations in the elections. Old institutions like the G-20 are no longer working. Bremmer acknowledged that the country was poorly prepared for the challenges of the Cold War.
In the end, experts said, if the U.S. wants to establish productive relations with China, it should create a strong foundation in the form of organizations that China is interested in joining. Ultimately, a club that the Chinese would want to join needs to be created, Bremer said. However, he provided no explanation on what this "club" would be like. A club against Russia? Quite the contrary, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) where the United States is not present has been already established in Asia. Or is it a club where all Asia-Pacific countries will be playing against China? This is unlikely, because at the last summit of another regional association - the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) (which does not include China) in July of 2012 with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a strategy against China's actions in the disputed archipelago South China Sea has not been developed. Chinese allies are obvious - Cambodia, Thailand and Myanmar with which China has a powerful financial leverage.

Bremmer may be talking about an Agreement on Trans-Pacific Partnership that is seen in the U.S. as an instrument of the "return to Asia" and is intended to replace the APEC (that includes Russia and China). But China would not join an organization where the rules are dictated by the U.S. This means that creation of the said "club" is not realistic.
Lyuba Lulko

GEICO Canceling Insurance Because Customers Work in Firearms Industry

An SD reader has sent us his notification of cancellation of auto insurance from GEICO effective 1/22/13 due to the fact that ”the vehicle does not meet our underwriting guidelines because it is used in conjunction with a company that deals in the weapons industry”.
First Bank of America began confiscating the funds of firearms dealers, now GEICO believes it can cancel service for anyone working in the firearms industry. Who needs gun bans when the the banksters are more than willing to do the dirty work and pull strong armed corruption Chicago style stunts?
Submitted GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Company) notice of cancellation of insurance letter is below:

geico cancels insurance

Will the International Banksters Replace the Petro Dollar with the Blood Dollar?

The petro dollar is on its way out and many, including myself, are wondering what the corporate mafia’s next move will be.  All appearances indicate that the new world order agenda is quite out of sync as it does not look like gun confiscation in the US can be accomplished before the crash of the dollar.
Could it be that the illuminati will attempt to up the ante through United Nation control over the sale of weaponry around the planet?  How about bolstering the petro dollar via the blood dollar and putting the industrial war complex up on point while moving the oil industry back into the ranks of the main body? 
The US invaded Libya to stop that country from instituting a campaign to move oil trade away from the US petro dollar towards the gold dinar.  The fact is the countries now slated for invasion are those that refuse the central banks and the dominating and controlling petro dollar.
The international banksters have overreached and now need to stall for the time needed to incrementally accomplish gun confiscation in the United States through the gradual implementation of the full blown police state.  Will this time be bought with the blood dollar?
If all sales and transfers of weapons and armament fall under UN control, could not a dictate follow that says this product, like oil, can only be traded in the fiat US dollar?  Then the agitation of more internal wars all over Africa in places like Mali, and the new arms sales they would represent, could be the mechanism to prop up the dollar for a little while longer.  At the same time the UN small arms treaty could be used to disarm the American people with the aid of United Nation troops.
If such a plan was followed logically, could not the so called military style weapons confiscated from we Americans be repackaged and sold to opposing factions in Africa?  The internationals can then belay the collapse of the dollar while arming both sides in the African conflicts, and in the end, decide who would win the conflict simply by cutting arms sales to the advantage of the faction that agrees to turn over the African gold to the banksters, who are desperate to replace the gold missing from Fort Knox.
Of course many innocents will be murdered in the process, but as these Zionists consider all the other peoples of the world as nothing more than herd animals to be slaughtered to the benefit of Zion, would not the blood dollar make sense?
God help us to truly understand just how evil and diabolical the Zionists are.

Russian Gold Reserves Up 8.5% In 2012 - Palladium Reserves “Exhausted”

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,656.75, EUR 1,232.43, and GBP 1,052.77 per ounce.
Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,670.25, EUR 1,243.39, and GBP 1,058.93 per ounce.
Silver is trading at $30.90/oz, €23.08/oz and £19.74/oz. Platinum is trading at $1,689.00/oz, palladium at $741.00/oz and rhodium at $1,200/oz.

Cross Currency Table – Bloomberg

Gold fell $8.80 or 0.53%% in New York on Friday and closed at $1,658.90/oz. Silver saw an initial gain hitting $31.77 in Asia, but it then slipped to a low of $31.11 in New York and finished with a loss of 1.45%. Gold was down 1.50% on the week, while silver fell a further 2.01%.

Gold in USD 2 Years – (Bloomberg)

Gold was slightly lower on Monday, as the poor short term technical picture dimmed bullion’s safe haven appeal.
European banks will repay more than 130 billion euros of crisis loans to the European Central Bank next week, making payments earlier than expected.
European leaders still warned although the single currency has stabilized the crisis in Europe has not abated, noting it will take years to recover and highlighted the mass unemployment on the continent. The euro is now on an eleven month high verses the U.S. dollar.
The U.S. CFTC numbers for the week finished January 22nd show that net long bets were raised for gold and silver.
The Standard & Poor's 500 Index closed above 1,500 for the first time in over 5 years on Friday on strong U.S. earnings reports, including Procter & Gamble's, helped the benchmark extend its rally to 8 days.

Silver in USD, 2 Years – (Bloomberg)

Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkey expanded their gold holdings in December, seeking to diversify their foreign reserves and protect from currency devaluation risk.
Russian gold holdings climbed 2.1% to 957.8 metric tons or 30.793 million ounces, according to data on the International Monetary Fund’s website.
The increase in December takes the increase in Russian gold reserves in 2012 to 8.5%.
The Russian central bank has said that they will continue buying gold. The pace of the purchases may vary, First Deputy Chairman Alexei Ulyukayev told reporters this month.
He denied that there is a 10% target for gold’s share in the reserves according to Bloomberg
Kazakhstan’s gold reserves expanded 1.7 percent to 115.3 tons or 3.707 million ounces last month, and surged 41% over the year, the data showed.
Turkey’s holdings jumped 14.5% to 359.65 tons last month, according to the IMF data. The amount has increased due to it accepting gold in its reserve requirements from commercial banks.
Philippines gold reserves fell 1% in November from October while Mexico’s holdings were down 0.1 percent in December to 4.004 million ounces, according to the IMF.
Iraq cut its gold holdings by a quarter to 29.9 tonnes in November, reversing some of the country's recent efforts to bolster its reserves.
Countries bought 373.9 tons in the first nine months of last year, according to the producer-funded World Gold Council, which said in November that full-year additions for 2012 would probably be at the “bottom end” of a range from 450 to 500 tons. Central banks purchased 456 tons in 2011.
Central bank diversification will continue to give long term support to gold.

Palladium in USD, 2 Years – (Bloomberg)

Tightness in the platinum and palladium markets has begun to see prices move higher.
Palladium reserves in Russia, the world’s largest producer of the metal, are “pretty much exhausted” and sales this year may be only 3 metric tons, according to Johnson Matthey Plc.
Russian inventory sales dropped 68 percent to 250,000 ounces last year from 775,000 ounces in 2011, according to Johnson Matthey.
Shrinking Russian stockpiles at a time when output is falling helped send the metal into the biggest shortage in 12 years.
Output in South Africa, the second-biggest producer, was disrupted by labor disputes and strikes, while lower grades contributed to a decline in Russia.
Palladium for immediate delivery has risen again today and is trading at $741/oz. Palladium, last quarter’s best-performing precious metal, has risen 5.4% this year after advancing 7.5% in 2012.
Palladium supply declined 12% in 2012 to 6.48 million ounces on the South African disruptions.

Platinum in USD, 2 Years – (Bloomberg)

Platinum supply dropped 10% to 5.68 million ounces because of declines in top producer South Africa, coming to less than the 5.84 million ounces forecast in November, according to Johnson Matthey.
Zimbabwe was the only major producing nation to increase output, Duncan said.
Platinum supply probably will be curbed further because of difficulties in South Africa, while auto catalyst demand is expected to stay “flat” this year, before a “much stronger” 2014, according to JM.

Italian Scandal Widens As Italy’s Third Largest Bank Set To Get Third Bailout In 3 Years; Draghi, Monti Implicated

Source: Zero Hedge
While little has been said in the mainstream western press about the ongoing fiasco surrounding Siena’s Banca Monte dei Pasci, Italy’s third largest bank and the world’s oldest which may get its third bailout in three years - or even be nationalized – as soon as today, for fears that it may break the thin veneer of “recovery” in the European financial system, the situation on the ground in Italy is getting more serious by the minute, and will have implications on both next month’s general election, on Mario Monti, on Silvio Berlusconi, on frontrunner for the Prime Minister post Pier Luigi Bersani, and reach as far up as the head of the ECB – Mario Draghi.
Several hours ago, on Saturday morning, the four-member board of the Bank of Italy – this time without its prior president Mario Draghi – met to consider the position of scandal-hit bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena and decide whether to authorize its request for 3.9 billion euros ($5.3 billion) of state loans.
As we reported previously, it has emerged over the past week that due to previously undisclosed derivative contracts first exposed by Bloomberg, the Siena bank has hid as much as $1 billion in losses. However as was explained in “Will The Super Goldman Mario Brothers Succeed In Covering Up The Latest Italian Bailout Scandal“, this discovery has far greater implications for both the bank’s future viability, as well as the implied credibility of both the Bank of Italy, and especially the man who headed it for five years before becoming head of the ECB (where he now demands the same supervisory authority over all European banks that he had in Italy, only to supposedly let countless derivative fiascos slip through his fingers).
As Zero Hedge first connected the dots, it is not so much a question of why BMPS engaged in a variety of derivative deals, of which only three have emerged so far and likely has many more on the books, but how or rather why, the then-Draghi led Bank of Italy allowed this to happen not once, not twice, but at least three times.
What the ultimate purpose of these deals was is still unclear and will likely become apparent eventually, however it will likely require the former Chairman of the bank, Giuseppe Mussari, who served as Chair from 2006 until April 2012, and who officially quit his post as Italy’s top banking lobbyist after today’s revelations, to testify. One person whom he may testify against is none other than current ECB head Mario Draghi, who just happened to be the head of the Bank of Italy from 2006 to 2011, or the entire period when Monte Paschi was engaging in what increasingly appears to have been fraudulent activity.
The next day, Retuers released “Draghi under fire over Monte Paschi derivatives scandal” continuing where we left off:
European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is facing criticism over a scandal involving loss-making derivatives trades made by troubled Italian lender Monte dei Paschi di Siena while he was Italy’s central bank governor.
Former Economy Minister Giulio Tremonti said in a tweet that it was “stupefying” that in his role as supervisor of Italy’s banking system Draghi had failed to discover or prevent the trades, which took place between 2006 and 2009.
An ECB spokeswoman declined to comment on the matter, saying that it was “the responsibility of national authorities.”
Current Economy Minister Vittorio Grilli avoided mentioning Draghi directly but stressed that it was not the government but the central bank that was responsible for bank supervision.
“It wasn’t us that did the controlling,” he told reporters. “On the checks, all I will say is that it is the responsibility of the Bank of Italy.”
Draghi saw no evil, smelled no evil, and certainly heard no evil:
On Wednesday the central bank tried to deflect any criticism, saying the nature of the trades had been “kept hidden” and were only recently divulged by new management appointed last year to turn the bank around.
Draghi, who has won wide plaudits as ECB president, left the Bank of Italy in late 2011 after a five-year stint as governor.
During this time he was also president of the Financial Stability Board, an international body charged with improving financial supervision and regulation.
The deals under scrutiny are the so-called “Alexandria” trade with Japanese bank Nomura, the “Santorini” trade with Deutsche Bank and a derivative called “Nota Italia”, with an unspecified bank.

One of the roots of its problems – the 2007 acquisition of smaller rival Antonveneta for a whopping 9 billion euros in cash just months before the beginning of the financial crisis – was also done under Draghi’s watch.

“One has to wonder what the Bank of Italy was doing given all the visits they’ve paid to Monte dei Paschi in recent months,” said a source close to the situation.
“If what they came here to look at was only the information publicly available in the bank’s financial statements, they could have done that from Rome.”
If only Mario Draghi could threaten to print countless lira, as he has effectively done as head of the ECB, to contain, for now, the European banking implosion, all would be well, however he can’t, and for now at least the problem is contained to Italy.
Of course, the Bank of Italy could punt, and effectively push the problem to the ECB’s plate, but the second that happens the fragile alliance between surreality and outright idiocy that has gripped European pundits and “analysts”, who claim Europe is fixed, when in reality nobody knows what the banks have on their balance sheets, or how many more trillions in liquidity they collectively need before their capitalization is fixed (that is a trick statement, of course, because excess liquidity will never, ever help with capitalization issues, as much as the ECB pretends otherwise) will crash and burn.
The problem for the ECB in coming to an indirect cash bailout of BMPS would be its own historical record from as recently as a month ago, when the second bailout of Monte Paschi was being finalized. From Reuters:
The terms of a state bailout scheme for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Italy’s third biggest lender, could pose more challenges to the bank’s performance, the European Central Bank said. The ECB, which will supervise euro zone’s lenders from March 2014, also said on Thursday it was told by the Italian government too late into the process about the details of the rescue.
Monte dei Paschi was forced to request state aid after failing to meet tougher capital requirements set by the European Banking Authority.
the ECB said issuing more bonds to pay for the coupon would add to the bank’s debt burden in an already difficult economic environment.
“This could pose further challenges to the bank’s performance in the near term and impair its capacity to redeem (the bonds) in a timely manner,” the ECB said in an opinion posted on its website. It said it would be preferable for the bank to issue new shares to the treasury to help pay interest – an option that is possible under the scheme but is not favored by the treasury or by the bank.
So the Italian head of the ECB was told by the Italian government headed by Monti, both former workers of Goldman Sachs about the terms of the second Monte Paschi bailout, “too late”? And upon hearing of said bailout, it was the ECB’s determination that a more feasible bailout structure would be to issue equity - equity from an entity that one short month later would need another bailout and possibly nationalization (hint: equity value = zero)?

One couldn’t make this up!
But if it was only a question of implicating Draghi, we are confident that the BMPS scandal would promptly go away after the Frankfurt-based central bank slipped a few billion €s under the table to the current head of the BOI – Ignazio Visco – delaying the eruption of the problem for another year. However, what is unique this time is that the BMPS fallout has far broader political implications due to BMPS’ historical links to the centre-left, and the fact that Bersani’s Democratic Party runs the local government in Siena where Monte Paschi is based, and controls the banking foundation that is the lender’s biggest shareholder.
As a reminder Bersani is the frontrunner to replace Mario Monti as Italian PM. Which means the immediate involvement of the entire media empire apparatus of who else but…

Yup – Silvio, who is also running in next month’s election, is now on the case, and where Silvio goes, the public is sure to follow.
As Bloomberg reports:
Berlusconi and his allies have slammed Monti over the bailout by linking the aid to an unpopular real estate levy on first homes, known as the IMU, which raised from Italian taxpayers an amount similar to the emergency loans designated for Monte Paschi.
We paid the IMU to Monti so that he could save the bank” of the Democratic Party, read yesterday’s front-page headline in newspaper Il Giornale, owned by Berlusconi’s brother Paolo. “What has been said about interventions and comparisons between the amount used for aid and the revenue from taxes is a complete fantasy,” Monti said.
Monti said today in an Italian radio interview that the election campaign shouldn’t affect the bailout timing because it’s being carried out under European rules. Still, he acknowledged that the Monte Paschi case “has a lot to do with the ugly beast of mixing banks and politics.”
The irony of course, is that the first bailout that Monte Paschi received was when Berlusconi was still PM:
Monte Paschi, the world’s oldest bank, received a first bailout from Berlusconi’s government in 2009, and has now added 500 million euros to its aid request to cover potential losses linked to the structured-finance deals, bringing the total cost of the rescue to 3.9 billion euros
However, to distract from his involvement, Silvio will be more than happy to throw none other than Draghi under the bus for having been the BOI’s head at the time, and after all – it was Draghi’s decision to bail out BMPS, not the Prime Minister’s.
Ah, the plot thickens:
“We want to know the truth, we’re tired of being taken advantage of,” said shareholder Gianni Acciughi, 60, who took early retirement from Monte Paschi in 2009. “How is possible that nobody knew anything about this? If that’s the case, then legal action has to be taken immediately against those responsible.”
Members of the Northern League party, a partner in Berlusconi’s previous government, demonstrated at today’s investor meeting. They distributed leaflets criticizing Mussari’s management and his ties to the Democratic Party.
And for those who still believe this is a non-issue, Beppe Grillo, the leader of the 5 Star Movement running in the campaign, and a very popular grass roots candidate among voters disenchanted by both parties, “said the bank’s case will turn into a scandal worse than the collapse of food company Parmalat SpA in 2003.
Needless to say the scramble by everyone to cover their backsides ahead of what is sure to be an epic media, publicity and political scandal has started:
[Bank of Italy head] Visco attended the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday where he gave a spate of interviews to try to deflect accusations that the BOI had not done its job properly.
“It is wrong to insinuate that there was a lack of supervision by the Bank of Italy,” he told CNBC television, adding that his institution had nothing to hide and would cooperate with prosecutors probing the Tuscan lender.
Visco told reporters on Friday that “there is no question that the bank is stable.”
Actually, there is:
Outgoing Prime Minister Mario Monti said late on Friday he considered it a “remote hypothesis” that the bank would end up needing to be nationalized.
So… there is “a question“?
It only gets better:
In Davos, Visco sidestepped questions about whether Draghi knew about the derivatives trades, which were conducted between 2006 and 2009 and involved Japanese bank Nomura and Deutsche Bank.
Internal auditors at Monte Paschi already detected anomalies at the bank’s finance department responsible for derivative operations three years ago, daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported on Saturday, quoting parts of the audit dated November 26, 2009.
However, the outcome of the audit was “partially favorable” for the Siena-based bank, contrasting with “partially unfavorable” rating given by Bank of Italy inspectors led by Vincenzo Cantarella at the end of an inspection from May-August 2010.
Press reports on Saturday suggest the scandal around Monte Paschi is widening.
Yes it is. And it is “widening” at a time when former Bundesbank head Weber said in Davos that everyone in Europe has succeeded in sticking their heads in the sand:
Central banks can buy time, but they cannot fix issues long-term,” former Bundesbank President Axel Weber, now chairman of UBS AG, said in the Swiss ski resort yesterday. “There’s a perception that they are the only game in town.”
This coming from the former head of the one European central bank which several days ago requested that all of its Paris gold, and much of its New York-based gold, be repatriated.
And when the next leg of the financial crisis flares up, which it will as nothing at all has been fixed, unless one considers stuffing all outstanding issues under the rug “fixing”, nobody will have been able to foresee any of it. As always.
And it will be, naturally, “someone else’s fault.”
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Iceland President: Let Banks Go Bankrupt

Iceland’s President Schools the Financial Media

Top economists say that Iceland did it right … and everyone else did it wrong.
Iceland’s president explains how they did it:

Brace for worst earnings since recession rebound

S&P 500 firms slated to report earnings drop; low-balling is typical

By Wallace Witkowski, MarketWatch
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — This earnings season threatens to be one of the roughest since U.S. companies started to pull themselves out of the Great Recession — even if, as usual, results don’t live up to the worst of the gloom-and-doom forecasts.
Revenue streams are drying up as China’s growth slows and Europe reels from crisis to crisis. Companies are finding fewer places to cut costs. It’s looking so bad, in fact, that results won’t have to be that great to inject a burst of optimism into the market. Quarterly earnings season kicks off next week with reports from Alcoa Inc. AA +0.03%  and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM +0.56%  
On the whole, profits for the S&P 500 SPX +0.05%  in the three months ended in September are forecast to drop 2.6% from the year-ago quarter, according to a FactSet analyst survey. If results match expectations, the quarter will break a streak of 11 straight quarterly gains that reaches back to late 2009, as Corporate America was clawing its way out of a financial crisis and severe recession that ended in June of that year.
Wall Street is likely responding to downbeat cues from companies, who have collectively given one of the most negative earnings outlooks in several years. 

Eighty out of the 103 S&P 500 companies that have given earnings guidance, or 78%, have issued a third-quarter forecast that falls below the Wall Street consensus estimate. That’s the highest negative-outlook rate since FactSet started tracking the data in 2006.
Yet history suggests the quarter will not end up nearly as bleak as these projections. And the downbeat projections may set up the market for a relief rally as the October reports get underway. Even during the peak of the 2007-2008 financial crisis — the third and fourth quarters of 2008 — more than half of S&P 500 companies topped Wall Street estimates.
“That tells you all you need to know about beats and misses,” said Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG.
In fact, over the past four years, 72% of companies have beaten the Wall Street earnings consensus, on average. And 79% of the companies on the S&P 500 beat their own negative outlook on average over the same period, according to FactSet.
“Earnings guidance is a game that everybody plays and nobody acknowledges,” Greenhaus added.
The final earnings result has averaged between 2 to 3 percentage points above the forecast over the past few years, according to FactSet senior earnings analyst John Butters. If that trend extends into the third quarter, the S&P 500 is balanced between a slight loss or an even slighter gain.
A more solid metric is growth over time, Greenhaus said.
And while the past 11 quarters have turned in earnings growth, that growth has slowed dramatically. Earnings rose more than 6% year-over-year during the first and second quarters of this year. These gains followed nine straight quarters of at least double-digit earnings growth, beginning with the easy year-over-year comparisons in the fourth quarter of 2009, when profits doubled.

Global unease

Companies and analysts are taking out more insurance this earnings season because of the high level of uncertainty, according to Doug Roberts, chief investment strategist for Channel Capital Research.
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The modern office rewards narcissists and psychopaths, say scientists

  • Psychologist Oliver James reveals the darker side of office politics
  • Those who display the most selfishness and deviousness rise to the top
  • Narcissistic and Machiavellian tendencies thrive in the workplace

Look around your office. Can you spot the psychopath? The Machiaveliian? Or even the narcissist?
Oliver James, a psychologist and broadcaster, has identified these three types of dysfunctional personalities among professional workers.
The first, quite often bosses, compete for domination and attention and have no worries about trampling over others.
Top dog: Ricky Gervais as the delusional boss David Brent in the award-winning satire on the modern workplace, The Office
Top dog: Ricky Gervais as the delusional boss David Brent in the award-winning satire on the modern workplace, The Office

Gordon Gekko, Michael Douglas's iconic character from the film Wall Street, is just the sort of Machiavellian personality that thrives in a modern work environment
Gordon Gekko, Michael Douglas's iconic character from the film Wall Street, is just the sort of Machiavellian personality that thrives in a modern work environment
The second like nothing more than to plot and scheme while the third drone on endlessly about themselves.
Alarmingly, he believes there is a fourth dysfunctional type or ‘triadic  person’ who is a combination of all three characteristics.
Such staff, Mr James warns, have a dangerous, yet effective mix of self-centredness, deviousness, self-regard and a lack of empathy which can propel them to the top of the organisations.
Among the examples he gives of these 'triadics' are Gordon Gecko, the fictional trader played by Michael Douglas in the film Wall Street, whose mantra is 'greed is good'.

The television series Mafia boss Tony Soprano and Russian dictator Josef Stalin are also identified in this group.
Other fictional managers such as David Brent, played by Ricky Gervais in The Office, would score highly on the scale, while Lord Mandelson, the former Labour minister, is described as having Machiavellian tendencies.
Research has suggested that there has been an increase in the 'triadic' conditions over the past 30 years because there are no objective criteria for success or failure in workplaces.
In his book, Office Politics, Mr James warns how people who do not suffer from the disorders can lose out in the world of work and damage their emotional health unless they learn how to survive among such personalities.
Donald Sutherland (left), Colin Farrell (centre) and Jason Sudeikis (right) star in the Hollywood comedy about pathological managers, Horrible Bosses
Donald Sutherland (left), Colin Farrell (centre) and Jason Sudeikis (right) star in the Hollywood comedy about pathological managers, Horrible Bosses
There are more than eight million people who work in offices, as well as those based in schools, hospitals and particularly television studios could also be affected.
Describing psychopathic tendencies, Machiavellian cunning and narcissistic selfishness a 'dark triad', James told The Sunday Telegraph: 'This dark triad of characteristics is very likely to be present in that person in your office who causes you so much trouble.
'Whether you work in the corporate sector, a small business or a public sector job, the system you are in is liable to reward ruthless, selfish manipulation.
'The likelihood of your daily working life being sacrificed by a person who is some mixture of psychopathic, Machiavellian and narcissistic is high. If you do not develop the skills to deal with them, they will eat you for breakfast.'
Mr James researched various offices to study various traits.
In his book, he cites an advertising and film executive whom he nicknames 'Rat', who introduced a female colleague to another man saying, 'The last time I saw Suzy she was stark naked'
The author says that partners in one elite law firm were in many cases humourless, charmless and had social skills akin to someone with Asperger's syndrome, so unaware were they of the thoughts and feelings of others.
He also discloses how an investment banker got his job by fooling the interview panel at a leading American institution into believing that he was an expert in a product he knew nothing about. He then conned his socially insecure boss into believing that he was from an 'old money' background by lying about 'decadent weekends at grand and historic country houses'.
James reserves some of his most scathing views for the television industry in which he has himself worked for both BBC and independent broadcasters.
He said: 'Television is jam-packed with untalented people who have managed to associated themselves with successful programmes and disassociate themselves from failures.'