Friday, February 8, 2013

Short US Gov. Bonds ‘Right Now’: Jim Rogers

With the Federal Reserve and now Bank of Japan printing massive amounts of money, billionaire investor Jim Rogers told CNBC's "Closing Bell," he is shorting U.S. government debt.
"It's all artificial what's going on right now," Rogers said. "The Federal Reserve is printing money as fast as they can. The Bank of Japan said 'we're going to print unlimited money.'"
He called the Fed's monetary stimulus "outrageous."
All that money printing has Rogers bearish on U.S. Treasury debt. He said he's shorting government bonds and that if it's indeed the end of the 30-year bond bull market, those shorts will pay off. In particularly he said it's time to short long-dated U.S. government debt.
"Stocks may go up too, but I don't know how this can last too long," he added.
While Rogers is negative on the U.S. stock market and said he's been short Apple [ AAPL 468.22  +13.52 (+2.97%) ] since the fall, he sees better opportunities in Japan and Russia.
The Bank of Japan's money printing is not good for the world he said, but it's making markets go up. "The yen is collapsing, but the stock market is going through the roof," Rogers said.
And while the Federal Reserve is also printing money through its quantitative easing program, Rogers noted that the U.S. equity market is flirting with all-time highs, while Japanese stocks are down 75 percent from their all-time high.
"I hope I'm buying low and selling high," he said. He wondered why the Japanese market couldn't double even while the yen collapses while the Japanese central bank continues to print money.
Rogers mentioned the WisdomTree Japan Hedged ETF [ DXJ 41.00  -0.13 (-0.32%) ] as a currency-neutral way to play Japan.
He also likes Russia for the first time in his career. Russia is changing but the market remains unloved. Rogers is buying the bonds, the currency and stocks.

"Currency Wars Leads To World War"

"Currency Wars Leads To World War"

Jim Rogers "If The World Economy Is Gonna Be Based On Printing Presses, It's A Bad Scene"


Obama On Letterman: 'Not Sure How Much The Debt Is'

Obama's headline appearance on the Late Show with Dave Letterman, Sep. 18.

Too scared to say '$16 trillion' on national television, the Deficit President plays dumb on the debt.
All politicians should be required to wear clocks around their necks displaying a running tally of the national debt.  Something like this:
Letterman:  "Here’s what I found troubling at the GOP convention.  They had the clock, the debt countdown clock and, I mean, this thing is moving like crazy and it’s several trillion dollars.  Now, what is that?"
Obama responded with a recent history of government spending.
Then Letterman went back to the tally: "Now, do you remember what that number was?  Was it $10 trillion?"
Then came the payoff, as the president made clear that he really didn’t want to say the word '16': "I don’t remember what the number was precisely."
Obama says the debt is not a problem in the short term but is a medium and long term concern.  We wonder how he is defining short, medium and long term.  To Obama, short term means the next 4 years if he wins re-election, and medium and long term are when it becomes someone else's problem.

In 2008 candidate Obama said Bush was "unpatriotic" for adding over $4 trillion to the national debt in eight years.
But the numbers show that Obama will add $6 trillion to the debt in just 4 years. Perhaps this explains his national debt amnesia on Letterman.
One last clip:

Obama also told Letterman that it isn’t right to refer to political opponents as 'unpatriotic.'  Naturally he didn’t say that he’s the one exception to that rule.
Obama is not being honest with the numbers.  A brilliant rebuttal from STR.
For the record, the national debt was $10.626 trillion the day Obama took office.  Bush increased it by $4 trillion during his entire 8-year presidency and Obama demonized him.  But by the time Obama looks at his calendar on January 20, 2013, he will have racked up more than $6 trillion in just four years.
Obama says, “When I walked into office we had a trillion dollar deficit.”  That’s actually a blatant lie.  When Obama walked into office Bush handed him a (still way too high unless you compare it to Obama) $400 billion budget deficit.  That $400 billion was the deficit that Bush left Obama for fiscal year 2009 if Obama hadn’t then loaded and larded it up with debt piled on top of debt.
Obama is blaming Bush for: 1) Obama’s $862 billion stimulus; 2) Obama’s $79 billion bailout for Government Motors and their union Democrats; 3) Obama’s $410 billion Omnibus bill; 4) Obama’s  $350 billion in TARP money that Obama voted for and that Bush left for him.  That’s how you turn Bush’s $400 billion into Obama’s whining about a trillion.
In a way what Obama is trying to do with his deficit is what he’s trying to do in pretty much everything.  Obama spends $79 billion to bail out GM.  Obama takes credit for it as an evidence of his glorious Obamaness.  But who does Obama stick with the bill?  Bush.  That deal happened in March of 2009 and therefore is “Bush’s fault.”  Bush gets zero credit but gets stuck with the entire bill for Obama’s extravagance.
Our real debt isn’t the $16 trillion ($6 trillion of which accumulated under Obama’s watch); it’s $222 trillion PLUS because of all the unfunded costs of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

"The national debt is so f-ing funny, Dave..."

S&P FIGHTS BACK: 'Govt Ramped Up Investigation After U.S. Downgrade'

Floyd Abrams with David Faber on Tuesday.

'After the downgrade the intensity of the investigation significantly increased.  And we don’t know why.'
More evidence that this was an act of prosecutorial revenge against S&P for its high-profile downgrade of the U.S. AAA credit rating in 2011.

And what about Moody's, which happens to be a major holding of Warren Buffett.
A person familiar with the investigation told McClatchy that Moody's was originally part of the government's investigation, but interest in the agency waned at around the same time S&P downgraded the U.S.
S&P is the only one of the three major credit rating agencies currently facing a lawsuit.

Full interview:


'Everyone was doing it...'
Abrams also told CNBC that he does NOT plan to use a First Amendment defense in the case.  Experts had expected S&P to use the same argument ratings agencies have been using for years to defend wrong ratings -- they’re a matter of opinion and therefore protected as free speech.
Standard and Poor's has hired John Keker, one of the country's top white-collar defense attorneys, to help fight a $5 billion lawsuit brought by the U.S. government.
Keker, who is based in San Francisco and has represented everyone from cyclist Lance Armstrong to Enron's Andrew Fastow, was hired at the recommendation of Floyd Abrams, a prominent New York attorney who also represents the ratings firm.
More on S&P and Moody's:


Faber discusses Moody's.
Here are juiciest parts of the 119 page lawsuit (from the emails)...

Highlights from Holder's presser:

WATCH: Holder Slams S&P For $5 Billion Fraud

Watch: Greeks Fight For Food: “I Never Imagined That I Would End Up Here”

People reach out to take fruits and vegetables distributed for free by farmers during a protest against high production costs outside the Agriculture Ministry in Athens
(Pictured: February 6, 2013: Greeks reach out to take fruits and vegetables distributed for free by farmers. Over 100,000 pounds of food was not enough to feed everyone.)
Once a bastion of European success and center of tourism, the country of Greece has become the harbinger of things to come for the rest of the world’s developed nations.
Not long ago Greeks were enjoying high paid salaries, early retirements, excess cash, and seemingly never ending economic growth.
Today, just a short time after a financial collapse that rocked global financial markets, Europe’s darling has turned into a frightening example of what happens when governments and their people take on more debt than they can ever hope to repay.
The end result is a warning to the rest of us.
Hundreds of people jostled for free vegetables handed out by farmers in a symbolic protest earlier on Wednesday, trampling one man and prompting an outcry over the growing desperation created by economic crisis.
Images of people struggling to seize bags of tomatoes and leeks thrown from a truck dominated television, triggering a bout of soul-searching over the new depths of poverty in the debt-laden country.
“These images make me angry. Angry for a proud people who have no food to eat, who can’t afford to keep warm, who can’t make ends meet,” said Kostas Barkas, a lawmaker from the leftist Syriza party.
Other lawmakers from across the political spectrum decried the images “of people on the brink of despair” and the sense of “sadness for a proud people who have ended up like this“.
People have seen their living standards crumble as the country faces its sixth year of recession that has driven unemployment to record highs.

The free food handout in Athens began peacefully as hundreds of Greeks lined up in advance outside the agriculture ministry, where protesting farmers laid out tables piled high with produce, giving away 50 metric tonnes (55.11 tons) of produce in under two hours.
Tensions flared when the stalls ran out of produce and dozens of people – some carrying small children – rushed to a truck and shoved each other out of the way in the competition for what was left.
One man was treated for injuries after being trampled when he fell to the ground in the commotion.
“I never imagined that I would end up here,” said Panagiota Petropoulos, 65, who struggles to get by on her 530-euro monthly pension while paying 300 euros in rent.
I can’t afford anything, not even at the fruit market. Everything is expensive, prices of everything are going up while our income is going down and there are no jobs.
Reuters via Zero Hedge

Desperation, sadness, poverty, disbelief – these are the horrors that await the unprepared.
While European (and U.S.) officials would have us believe they’ve mitigated the crisis in Greece, the fact is that this experiment in centralized governance is, in its entirety, on the brink of collapse.
We’ve chronicled the desperate situation in Greece for the last few years.
Personal accounts from some of our readers express their fear and uncertainty as political and socioeconomic conditions have deteriorated.
Shortages of life savings medicines and food have led to widespread riots and looting. Food has become so expensive in Greece that it has become unattainable for many, prompting the Greek government to authorize grocery retailers to sell expired food at discounted prices.
On a national level, Greece’s manipulation of economic health numbers and their ability to repay loans has left them unable to meet their financial obligations and has led to talks of their exit from the Euro, a move that has the potential to destroy the European currency system altogether.
The debts have gotten so high that the country faced the possibility of a complete collapse of their power and gas infrastructure when local utility companies were unable to settle their agreements with regional suppliers – an effect caused by their customers’ inability to pay their monthly bills.
This is what it looks like when a system collapses. Sometimes it happens overnight in a waterfall event. In the case of Greece, a country that has the backing of the world’s two largest central banks, it’s been a slow but steady process of grinding down all aspects of life.
A similar grinding down should be apparent in other Western nations, namely the United States, where we’ve seen employment decline unabated over the last decade and tens of millions of people added to government funded social safety nets like food assistance and disability.
Make no mistake. We are Greece.
Now is the time to prepare for the desperate situation that will soon be in America. For millions it’s already here.
Every day we edge closer to disaster. Life in America as we have come to know it is in the midst of a massive paradigm shift.
It will no doubt be difficult. But despite the challenges, with the proper mindset and preparation, perhaps we can avoid being one of the many who will be depending on handouts when the worst comes to pass.

David Cameron's referendum may never be necessary

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard has covered world politics and economics for 30 years, based in Europe, the US, and Latin America. He joined the Telegraph in 1991, serving as Washington correspondent and later Europe correspondent in Brussels. He is now International Business Editor in London. Subscribe to the City Briefing e-mail.


David Cameron's referendum may never be necessary

David Cameron's pledge for an 'in-or-out' referendum on Europe will be overtaken by internal events long before we reach 2017. The vote may never be necessary. He is entirely right to play for time.
The eurozone's North-South misalignment has not been resolved. The Club Med bloc is still sliding into deeper depression. The financial crisis — never more than a symptom — has graduated into a more intractable economic, social, and therefore political crisis.
The ECB's Mario Draghi has taken the risk of a sovereign default in Spain and Italy off the table, but he has not restored these countries to economic viability within a D-Mark currency bloc, and nor can he.
Take a moment to read Eurozone crisis: it ain't over yet by Professor Paulo Manasse from Bologna University, posted on VOX EU.
Look at the German-Italian gap below. The… Read More

Top Marginal Tax Rate Now Exceeds 50% in California, New York, and Hawaii

Gerald T. Prante and Austin John (both of Lynchburg College, School of Business and Economics) have updated their paper, Top Marginal Effective Tax Rates by State and by Source of Income, 2012 Tax Law vs. 2013 Scheduled Tax Law, to reflect the passage of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012:
This paper compares state-by-state estimates of the top marginal effective tax rates (METRs) on wages, interest, dividends, capital gains, and business income for tax year 2012 to the rates enacted into law for 2013 by the American Tax Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA). Overall, the average top METR on wage income increased by approximately six percentage points (41.8% to 47.9%), while taxes on dividends and capital gains increased by an average of 9.4 percentage points. The top METRs on wages, interest, and partnership/sole proprietor income now exceed 50% in California, Hawaii, and New York City.

"People Will Find Out Soon That There Is No Safety In Paper" - Peter Schiff

Israeli forces demolish home, well near Hebron

HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Wednesday demolished a partially constructed home and a water well near Hebron in the southern West Bank.

The home, measuring 200 square meters, and the well near al-Fawwar refugee camp belonged to Khalil Ahmad al-Azzah.

Israeli troops also handed out notices to four people in the area ordering the demolition of their wells, locals told Ma'an.

HOT LINKS: Green Energy Corruption Chronicles

Blythe Masters, the Queen Bee of carbon tax.
John's weekly update on graft, corruption and waste in the energy sector.

Carbon Markets In Death Spiral As Deutsche Bank Quits

REPORT - Deutsche Bank Quits Carbon Trading
Deutsche Bank is understood to have pulled the plug on its carbon trading desk, but will continue to operate in the European power and gas markets.  The bank is believed to be in the process of winding down its emissions trading operations, the bulk of which operates in London.
Answering a question about the business at a press conference at the German bank’s results announcement, Stephan Leithner, board member for compliance, said: “We stopped emissions trading, and we have discontinued it.”  Deutsche Bank’s press office refused to comment further on his statement, but it is understood that the desk in London is being wound down.

REPORT - Barclays, Deutsche Bank Lose Top Carbon Analysts
LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters Point Carbon) – Investment banks Barclays and Deutsche Bank have parted ways with their leading carbon analysts, sources at both firms told Reuters Point Carbon on Wednesday, as banks continue to pare back activity in the battered emissions trading market.

BUSTED: Deutsche Bank Raided In Carbon Tax Fraud
Two board members at Deutsche Bank, including the CEO, have been drawn into a police investigation into tax evasion related to the group’s carbon trading business.
Jürgen Fitschen, co-chief executive, and Stefan Krause, a director, are involved in the investigation that on Wednesday saw hundreds of police and tax officials raid the bank’s headquarters in Frankfurt, as well as private addresses in Berlin, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt.
The investigation is centred on 25 of the bank’s staff, according to German prosecutors, and involves allegations of tax evasion, money laundering and obstruction of justice linked to carbon trading certificates.
About 500 police and tax officials were involved in the raids and five staff members were arrested as part of the carbon trading investigation.

World Bank To Launch Carbon Fund In Spring
The World Bank aims to launch a new carbon fund this spring after it was delayed almost a year because falling carbon prices made it harder to raise cash, a senior official at the bank told Reuters Point Carbon.

Power Chief: Carbon Markets Face Junk Bond Future
Last week, MEP’s on the European parliament’s industry (ITRE) committee rejected a proposal to firm up carbon prices by withholding – or ‘backloading’ – 900 million EU allowances from the 2020 auctioning period.  Analysts expect a narrow majority for action in key votes on the parliament’s environment committee on 19 February and, crucially, in a plenary later this Spring.
But Hans ten Berge, secretary-general of Eurelectric, warned that “if we choose the strategy of a lost decade then we are going for a collapse of the carbon market and it will be impossible to achieve the 2050 decarbonisation targets.”
Carbon prices, which are supposed to entice low-carbon investments, plunged to a record low of just €2.81 per tonne after the ITRE committee vote, down from a peak of €32 in April 2006. But ten Berge said that the price could yet fall further.  “Just ask investors what the value is of a bond that you would not be able to cash before 2025,” he said. “I think that would be called a junk bond.”

Kerry Regrets Climate Failures As Senator, To Push Agenda At State Dept
Kerry, a longtime advocate of curbing greenhouse gas emissions, has vowed to make climate change and green energy a focus at Foggy Bottom, and the State Department’s work on the topics should give him plenty of chances.

Among Solar Stocks - Who Has The Liquidity To Last? (Good Charts)
With solar power component prices forecasted to decrease again this year due to continued overcapacity, investors need to assess which of the world’s largest photovoltaic (PV) suppliers have the liquidity to sustain additional revenue and earnings shortfalls. With the demand cycle unlikely to rebalance until 2015, even size won’t save some manufacturers from being forced out of the solar market.

Energy Secretary Chu To Step Down
Chu was also forced to walk back comments he made several years ago, when he noted that "we have to figure out a way to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe." With the average price of gas doubling over Obama's first term, Chu's remarks were seized on by Republicans.
Obama has not yet named a successor for Chu. The confirmation process, however, should provide Senators with a vehicle to examine the Department's loan and grant programs for renewable energy. It is an opportunity to ensure that better safeguards are in place to protect taxpayer money.

GOP Senator Slams Chu Over Solyndra
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is bashing Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s record in the wake of Chu’s announcement Friday that he’s stepping down.  Issa, who has probed the Energy Department green technology loan program that backed the ill-fated solar company Solyndra, cleared his throat with praise for Chu before attacking him in a Friday statement.
“While I wish Secretary Chu well in his future endeavors and respect his contributions to his country as a scientist, the direction the Department of Energy has taken under his leadership has been disconcerting,” Issa said.
“While many will remember Secretary Chu for his comments about the need to raise gas prices on American consumers and the high grades he publicly bestowed on himself, I found taxpayer losses on projects like Solyndra and the department’s deeply misguided effort to use taxpayer dollars as an investment bank for unproven technologies to be the most problematic aspects of his legacy,” he said.

Check out these clips of the fire at First Wind in Hawaii.

UPDATE - Fire At Hawaii Wind Farm Blamed On Fire Department Response 
Firefighters responded to the blaze in 14 minutes, but were told by a representative of First Wind that based on two earlier fires, the flames were likely to die down on their own.  Instead, the fire burned for more than seven hours and completely destroyed the warehouse, knocking the 30-megawatt wind farm offline.
Gotcher testified a surveillance camera videotaped the fire, and as a result, 30 possible causes had been narrowed to just two – a battery ground fault in the warehouse or some type of foreign object left in the aisle near the battery rack system.  Of the 14 energy storage systems Xtreme Power has deployed nationwide, only the Kahuku wind farm has experienced problems with fire, in April and May of 2011, and the fire earlier this year.

DOJ Must Explain SELECTIVE Targeting Of Energy Industry Over Bird Deaths
Sens. David Vitter (R-La.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder why he is “targeting” oil and gas companies by prosecuting them for the unintentional death of birds.  The senators said on the Senate floor Wednesday that they sent Holder a letter asking him why he is prosecuting oil and gas companies for violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA) by killing birds, yet he is not going after wind energy companies.
“This is not even handed enforcement of the law,” Vitter said. “What that is, is targeting one type of energy producer.”

First Wind Takes Steps To Protect Birds
First Wind officials said Tuesday that they have started work on a program to preserve the population of threatened or endangered Hawaiian seabirds in West Maui, several miles from the company’s Kaheawa Wind project.  First WInd is constructing two fenced enclosures about 10 miles west of Wailuku to protect the Hawaiian petral, which is federally endangered, and the threatened Newell’s shearwater. The enclosures, which will encompass four to five acres, will have features to keep predators such as rats and mongoose out.

First Wind CEO on learning from mistakes, plays the sympathy card
MY younger sister, Maureen, was born with cerebral palsy. That shaped my view of the world, as I saw the challenges that she and my parents had to deal with.  My sister went to special schools for years. She graduated from college and is doing well, but it made me appreciate all she had to go through and all I had. I look at people with disabilities personally.

Video: First Wind CEO boasts about getting expedited stimulus money.

Bill Barrett Corp Names Jim Mogg Chairman
Note: Mogg is also chaiman of First Wind and sits on many other boards
DENVER, January 7, 2013 – Bill Barrett Corporation (NYSE: BBG) announced today that its Board of Directors has appointed R. Scot Woodall, Chief Operating Officer, as interim Chief Executive Officer following Fred Barrett’s decision to step down as Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, President and a director of the Company, effective immediately. Jim W. Mogg, lead independent director, has been elected as non-executive Chairman of the Board, effectively immediately.

Chesapeake CEO Resigns After Scrutiny On Personal Loans
Aubrey McClendon’s agreement to resign effective April 1 culminated a shareholder revolt by Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management Inc.’s O. Mason Hawkins that earlier had cost the CEO the chairmanship he’d held for more than two decades. McClendon also relinquished his annual bonus and saw executive perks curtailed amid federal investigations of a portfolio of personal loans that topped $840 million.

Here Is What The Analyst Who Uncovered Enron Thinks Of Chesapeake
Clever traders at Enron and El Paso Energy created many financing tricks that in the years since have become part of the financing trade: derivatives, synthetic credit default swaps, deals financed with little or no equity. “Enron was the past master,  but the game just resurfaced,” says Olson, referring to wild west deal making that inflated the housing bubble and led to the collapse of Lehman Bros. “They took it to a $3 trillion exposure.”
That makes him a little concerned about Chesapeake, which has long trumpeted its active trading and hedging strategies. “You don’t know what they have. I know that I don’t know.”  “Chesapeake has valuable assets, but they have a financial dynamic that only works in the fourth dimension: they need $12 billion when their cash flow is just $2 billion.”
Chesapeake has outspent its cash flow every year for the past decade — forging ahead with acquisitions of land and drilling more wells than any operator — convinced that it will be able to find others to finance its growth. Over the years McClendon has convinced the likes of Total, Statoil, Cnooc, BHP Billiton Petroleum, BP, ExxonMobil and more to keep his ship afloat by buying Chesapeake assets.  But today with natural gas prices so low, it has become a buyer’s market.  And all the buyers know that with Chesapeake on the ropes they ought to be able to extract a good price.

Declassified: Chesapeake Wants Relief From Oklahoma Law It Helped Write
Just two years ago, Chesapeake Energy helped write a state law mandating staggered terms for the board members of large publicly traded Oklahoma companies.  This week, the Oklahoma City-based natural gas giant said it would seek “relief” from the very same law, which was designed to help prevent what’s essentially happening now at Chesapeake: a takeover of its corporate board.
The law requires companies incorporated in Oklahoma to have what’s known as a “classified” board structure. That means board members are divided into classes with staggered elections so that only one-third of the members face a vote of shareholders each year.  Such classified structures make companies less vulnerable to board takeovers, a threat Chesapeake now faces.
After weeks of headlines questioning the company’s entangled financial relationship with its CEO Aubrey McClendon, Chesapeake this week bowed to the demands of its two largest shareholders, which now include billionaire corporate raider Carl Icahn. The activist investor and Southeastern Asset Management will name four new Chesapeake board members, the company said Monday.

Chesapeake On Shaky Ground With W Va. Land Mortgages
By mortgaging properties that appear to be some of his company's least desirable assets, Mr. McClendon can raise money off holdings that might not otherwise be profitable. And should he default on the loans, he would lose a stake in property that wasn't his company's best bet anyway.
The arrangement protects Mr. McClendon from bigger personal losses while exposing the company's shareholders to the kind of risky financial deals that have drawn scrutiny and caused the stock price to plummet in recent weeks.
Meanwhile, the private equity firms lending the money for the mortgages haven't specified what research went into the properties, and shareholders have been told little about the specific pieces of farmland that are being used by Mr. McClendon to raise money on the promise of future drilling.

Everything You Need To Know About Chesapeake
If you’ve been hearing a lot about Chesapeake Energy Corporation and its CEO Aubrey McClendon as of late, you might have some questions. What is this company? Who is McClendon and what’s the deal with his wine and antique map collection?  To tackle some of those questions and more, StateImpact reporters in Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Texas teamed up to create a reading guide to Chesapeake Energy’s recent financial woes.

How Fracking Dumb Do They Think We Are
While the urban media cover the staged protests and relay the protesters’ talking points, here’s a look behind the curtain.  This link describes how the United Arab Emirates government provided funding so the movie Promised Land could be made.
Here’s one from Vivian Krause documenting Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s “partnership income” from competing pipeline ventures in the U.S., flowed through to efforts by West Coast Environmental Law and Pembina Foundation to oppose the Enbridge project.
And here’s one where the executive director of the Sierra Club admits to accepting $26 million from Chesapeake Energy, one of the U.S.’s largest gas companies, to run a campaign against coal. Michael Brune gamely argues that this was before Sierra discovered the evils of fracking, and tries to make it sound like they refused the dirty gas money, but you’ll notice they didn’t give any of it back.

Due to the blackout at the superbowl, I present this...
The Centre for Industrial Progress plans to film impromptu interviews with Bill McKibben et al during The Blackout Rally on February 17, 2013 in Washington DC.
The Sierra Club,, and many other self-proclaimed environmentalist groups are planning the forward on climate rally.
To assess whether this is a good thing, you need know only two facts.
  1. In all of human history, there have been only three cheap, plentiful, reliable sources of energy: fossil fuel energy, nuclear energy, and hydroelectric energy. (Solar and wind have always been radically inferior as they have always been expensive and unreliable.)
  2. The leading “forward on climate” groups seek to destroy not only vital fossil fuel energy, but also nuclear and hydroelectric energy, which emit no CO2.
Conclusion: This rally has nothing to do with climate, though I know many of its participants believe it does.  It is about opposing any form of practical energy for any reason.  It is a Blackout Rally.  And today’s so-called environmentalist movement is a Blackout Movement.
NOTE: The Rockefeller Fund finances

Kinder Morgan CEO Stepping Down
During Kinder Morgan Inc.'s fourth quarter earnings call on Wednesday afternoon, President C. Park Shaper told investors he would be stepping down at the end of March.  Steve Kean, currently executive vice president and COO, will become president and COO of the company, effective March 31.
Shaper will continue to serve on the Kinder Morgan (NYSE: KMI) board of directors, but he is resigning from the boards of directors of Kinder Morgan Management LLC, Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP and El Paso Pipeline Partners LP, all affiliated companies.
Oneok To Buy Kinder Morgan Pipelines (2007)
Oneok Partners LP agreed to buy an interstate pipeline system from Houston‐based Kinder Morgan
Oneok Shuffles Top Management
ONEOK and ONEOK Partners have generated solid earnings and announced growth projects in the past year, but have also found themselves snared in several thorny issues lately. The planned Bakken Crude Express Pipeline, ONEOK's supposed entry into oil transport from the Bakken Shale of North Dakota and Montana, was dropped last month due to a lack of producer commitments.
Trading firm Barcas LLC, meanwhile, sued ONEOK Partners in federal court, alleging fraud and breach of contract over efforts to secure commitments on the Bakken Crude Express. Houston-based Barcas accused the Tulsa leadership of trying to reap the benefits of the Bakken's financial windfall without compensating the trading firm for its efforts on ONEOK's behalf.
Norton was one of the executives singled out in the Barcas complaint. He was quoted as telling the Houston company it was excluded because one producer, Tulsa-based Samson Resource Co., would not work with Barcas leader Kevin Foxx. Foxx was a central figure in the financial collapse and bankruptcy of SemGroup LP four years ago.

Prized Phosphate Drives Controversial Investments In Africa (Must Read)
Last year, the Norwegian government, which has the world's largest sovereign wealth fund, divested PotashCorp because of its purchase of Western Saharan phosphate. Several European banks have done the same. And the European Union last year ended a fishing agreement with Morocco, which included Western Sahara waters, because of concerns that it violated international law.
Other resources are still being exploited. Sand is exported to the nearby Canary Islands, owned by Spain, to bolster beaches there. Several international companies are exploring for oil in Western Sahara or off its shores. Activists say the Austin, Tex.-based company Crystal Mountain Sel Sahara is producing salt in Western Sahara. And several European companies as well as American company UPC Renewables are developing wind farms in Western Sahara, with plans to export the energy. Such investments go forward with little controversy, despite the legal gray area.

Last Week's Green Corruption Stories...

The Real Obama Climate Plan

Photos by William Banzai7...

IMF Fantasy Report: Afghanistan Needs a VAT!

Afghan economy better than expected, says IMF … In 2013, the economy will continue to grow and inflation is expected to be stable. An IMF report, released on Monday, noted that a large crop has boosted real GDP growth to 12 per cent and helped moderate inflation, which was 6pc year-on-year in December 2012. The IMF team reached staff level understandings with the authorities on a path to complete the combined 2nd and 3rd reviews, subject to implementation of key structural benchmarks for submission of laws to parliament and strengthening banks’ capital. − Dawn
Dominant Social Theme: Let us civilize Afghanistan properly with a stiff dose of Western regulatory democracy.
Free-Market Analysis: We often repeat our points because they are idiosyncratic and no one else will. Perhaps it costs us readership but the truth is not always convenient.
One important argument is that the West’s current wars are for control not resources. We get a lot of pushback on this because we don’t offer the standard argument that the West is in the grip of despotic corporations looting impoverished countries via military action and unilateral demands.
In fact, we don’t believe corporations run the world at all. We believe corporations are run by a tiny, ruthless power elite and that this power elite does not care about resources, as the world contains plenty of resources and the elite already controls most of them.
The furor over Peak Oil is just one example. Turns out that fracking allows US and Australian industry – just two examples – to turn from oil importers into oil exporters.
There are also reports (on alternative websites) that fracking is a suppressed technology that has been around for decades.
Oil, like most other resources, would likely be in plentiful supply were the Invisible Hand allowed to operate. But a power elite struggling to create world government suppresses easy access to many resources. It even attempts to make food and water scarce.
Scarcity is a main dominant social theme of the elite. Another dominant social theme is that modern war is necessary for self-defense or it is part of a “great game” played by nation-states to gain resource advantages and strategic dominance.
Today, the Great Game is supposedly being played out between the US and China.
But this is probably nonsense. China was controlled entirely by British officials throughout the 1800s. And there is ample evidence that Western powers have steered China’s fate ever since and even conspired to put Mao in power.
Elites NEED faux opposition in order to make their world-spanning plans a reality. They create false-flag opposition and resultant military conflicts all the time.
The war in Afghanistan famously has no purpose and no reason at this point to exist. But the mainstream media is constantly offering rationales. The most popular ones nowadays often have to do with occupying Afghanistan so that it does not fall into the Chinese “orbit.”
Of course, the Pentagon INVITED China into Afghanistan to exploit Afghan minerals and energy resources. But we are presumably not supposed to remember this.
The other fortitudinous event that has come out of the war in Afghanistan is that it has given the West the opportunity to build a civilized economy in what had been a tribal backwater.

This is the “White Man’s Burden” dominant social theme, a hoary one that has been dusted off with new rhetoric.
The power elite never lets memes go. It just dusts them off and recycles them.
The IMF in this case is the “white man” and this article in Dawn is intended to be a reaffirmation of how far Afghanistan has come since the US decided to attack it, er … free it, er … keep it out of the hands of the Chinese, er … civilize it.
Well, you get the point. Here’s more:
The economic outlook for Afghanistan is broadly positive and growth and inflation in 2912 were better than expected, says the International Monetary Fund.
An IMF team visited Kabul during Jan 19 to Feb 2 to conduct discussions on the combined second and third reviews of Afghanistan’s IMF-supported programme under the Extended Credit Facility.
To build revenue momentum over the medium term, the Afghan authorities will continue and intensify their preparations for the successful implementation of the value-added tax in 2014.
You may believe all this is, dear reader, but we don’t. What it does tell us is that the REAL reason for the Afghan war had to do with extending the power elite franchise in order to put the finishing touches on the feasibility of world government.
Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Northern Africa were evidently and obviously not fully under elite control. That’s the reason that war has flared up in these regions, from what we can tell.
War is the anvil. Supra-national organizations like the IMF are the hammer.
They are brought in after the fire of war has raged to reshape the economy. In this case, we can see that the IMF intends to inflict on Afghanistan all of the failed recipes with which it has tortured other economies.
Its officials want VAT taxes, austerity and certain economic policies. In this case, the IMF has done us a service because the ludicrousness of this report highlights the REAL reason for the Afghan war.
Afghanistan is in no way a Western country and the latest attempt at bringing it into the Western orbit has seemingly failed, just as a previous one 100 years ago failed.
The exact same outcome is anticipated. The stubborn Pashtuns and devious Punjabis – two of the oldest tribes in the world – have fought off Western depredations and probably ended incipient hopes of creating true world government.
The IMF’s ridiculous verbiage is highlighted for us in this regard. Afghanistan was supposed to be pacified by now. But the idea of the Taliban paying a VAT tax only emphasizes the disconnect between what the Western power elite intended and what has actually occurred.
There probably will be no VAT tax in Afghan’s immediate future. There may not even be a Karzai government or a central bank or any of the other “modern” facilities of economic control that the West has tried to emplace.
The IMF may end up exiled. Women may continue to wear veils and be educated separately.
Some of the changes the West wished to bring to Afghanistan were no doubt positive. But these changes were mostly promotional.
The real reason the US and NATO were in Afghanistan was to impose a Western style demos onto a tribal peoples.
Not for resources. Not to fight China.
To control what’s left of the world. The IMF proscriptions show us that.
Western-style regulatory democracy is not an unmitigated blessing, by any means. The elites that propound it have an agenda that has nothing to do with the betterment of the world.
They are seeking to rule this weary globe not to better it.
The IMF was supposed to be in charge by now. Instead, its silly – and injurious – recipes ring hollow.
We can see in their purveyance what was really intended – and what will probably not come to pass.
The elites that want to run the world justify war in all sorts of ways. Do not be fooled. There are plenty of resources and those who run such places as China have much more in common with Western power elites than they do with anyone else.
Conclusion: Please internalize this insight to better understand the Way the World Really Works.


Top general of Delta force speaks on the planned economic collapse and martial law

Lt. General W.G. Boykin (ret.) warns about the Marxist insurgency in the US government:

KGB defector Yuri Bezmenov’s shockingly prophetic warning from 29 years ago, describing what’s happening in America today almost to the letter (A MUST WATCH):

DHS INSIDER: “There won’t be any meaningful deal about the fiscal crisis. This is planned … The coming collapse of the U.S. Dollar is a done deal.”
Obama key campaign contributor George Soros:
“China will be the NEW world reserve currency”
Obama speaking OPENLY about the need for creating a “Civilian National Security Force” rivaling the military (which he obviously couldn’t trust):

Obama arming DHS to the teeth: 450 Million rounds of hollow-point bullets and another 175 million .223 caliber rifle ammo massive ammunition purchase:
Obama to Top Brass: Will you fire on American Citizens?

The clock is ticking… (just hit $16.5 Trillion in fact):
BREAKING INTEL: Obama’s Cyber Warriors Prepping for Economic Collapse
DHS Insider: Obama’s cyber warriors & preparing for collapse
The following information was provided by a DHS contact on two different occasions.
Top level DHS brass, is clamping down on leaks. One way they are finding leakers is to put out false information specific to certain individuals. They can trace the information directly to the leaker due to the nature and specificity of the information.
Two days after the inauguration, at exactly 7:00 a.m. on January 23, something called “the Cyber-Warriors for Obama Project” was activated. I heard about this the week after the election, but only saw a hardcopy draft in late December. From what I was told, I believe this is a project that is being paid for through funds from Obama’s political corporation, the 501(c)4 Organizing for Obama.

The economic devastation that will take place is an attack, a planned attack on the U.S. Just look at it that way. This “regime” already knows the outcome, which is the debasement of our national currency. Like I said, it’s been in the works most recently since the 1990s. A collapse does not happen without a lot of pain – people losing everything in their retirement accounts, savings and so on. Don’t you think that will cause one hell of a national security problem? And who is running our national or domestic security? DHS.


Norquist: Sequestration ‘Fine Way’ to Stop Overspending

With time once again running out to avoid $1.2 trillion in automatic spending cuts, conservative activist Grover Norquist, who invented the “anti-tax increase” tax pledge embraced by Republicans, tells Newsmax TV's Steve Malzberg that conservative legislators should allow the cuts to proceed barring an 11th-hour shift in the president’s negotiating tactics.

“The president has put exactly nothing on the table with the exception of sequestration, which is the law of the land,” said Norquist, appearing Wednesday on “The Steve Malzberg Show” on Newsmax TV in New York.

“The sequester is going to take effect because Obama has no interest in managing spending restraint more artfully than the sequester and his idea of replacing or delaying the sequester is a complete nonstarter,” said Norquist.

Obamacare: Massive New Rules Revealed for 2013

The Malzberg show is broadcast by Newsmax Media Inc. It will also be carried live on SiriusXM’s Channel 166 nationwide, and will soon air on major radio stations. The show can be seen live on Newsmax's website.

On Tuesday, Obama urged Congress to postpone the across-the-board spending cuts scheduled to begin on March 1 to avoid what he described as “real and lasting impacts” on U.S. economic growth.

He urged lawmakers to instead act on a smaller package of spending cuts and changes to the tax code that would increase revenue, such as limiting tax breaks, to replace part of the $1.2 trillion sequestration.

Norquist dismissed the president’s plea as disingenuous.

“Sequestration is a fine way to cut the budget from Obama’s overspending,” Norquist asserted. “Now the president hoped that Republicans were so scared by the idea of nicking the Pentagon’s budget that when push came to shove — when we came to the time for sequestration to start — the Republicans would come and beg him, ‘Oh please, let’s do something other than reduce any military spending at all.’”

Republican leaders have also said they expect the spending cuts to take effect, partly because they won’t agree to new revenue measures that Obama and some other Democrats have said they want.

Norquist believes that sequestration is all but inevitable.

“It will begin. It will last 10 years. It will be good for the economy. It will be very helpful,” he predicted. “Are there alternative ways to save that same amount of money? Sure, and I know the Republicans will put those forward. Do I believe for a moment that the president will entertain those? No.”

While the cuts will be particularly hard on the military, Norquist said that Republicans know “better than anyone else” that a lot of money can be saved at the Pentagon.

“Defense is an important thing for the government to do but it’s important not to waste money, so budget cuts are a good idea,” he said. “We need to do them as gracefully and as artfully and as thoughtfully as possible.”

The Harvard-educated president of Americans for Tax Reform started soliciting signers to the no-tax-increase pledge from state capitols to Capitol Hill in 1986 with the passage of the landmark Tax Reform Act.

Norquist acknowledges that there could be a better alternative to sequestration if Democrats would be open to compromise.

“Sequestration is a little bit of a meat-ax approach, which is why Republicans several times, twice now, passed alternative savings for the same dollar amount, if you wanted to look at doing it slightly differently,” observed Norquist. “The Republicans are committed to saving $1.2 trillion of the president’s overspending over the next 10 years. The Republicans are open to saving it different ways.”

He believes that the president’s focus on tax loopholes is yet another example of class warfare, but one that would not simply affect wealthy Americans.

“Your home mortgage — interest on your home mortgage — the state and local taxes, the property taxes that people deduct from their income, when they pay their income taxes, charitable contributions,” he explained. “Those are the big ones. That’s what the president’s talking about. He’s not talking about corporate jets or something like that.”

Obamacare: Massive New Rules Revealed for 2013

Congress created the automatic cuts in August 2011 as part of an agreement to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. They were set to begin in January, though Congress delayed them for two months in a Jan. 1 measure that let tax rates rise on top earners’ income.

Norquist added that if Democrats want to avoid the automatic cuts, they should push through an alternative in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

“This is a law that’s passed. You want to alter this law, you write something down in legislative language. You get 51 or 60 Democrats in the Senate to vote for it,” admonished Norquist. “Don’t come and talk to us about essays written — a haiku about what might be. Write it down, pass it in the Senate, then we could look at it.”

Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

What if you were told the money a bank lent you never existed?

Do Wall Street Insiders Expect Something Really BIG To Happen Very Soon?

wall streetEconomic Collapse – by Michael
Why are corporate insiders dumping huge numbers of shares in their own companies right now?  Why are some very large investors suddenly making gigantic bets that the stock market will crash at some point in the next 60 days?  Do Wall Street insiders expect something really BIG to happen very soon?  Do they know something that we do not know?
What you are about to read below is startling.  Every time that the market has fallen in recent years, insiders have been able to get out ahead of time.  David Coleman of the Vickers Weekly Insider report recently noted that Wall Street insiders have shown “a remarkable ability of late to identify both market peaks and troughs”.  That is why it is so alarming that corporate insiders are selling nine times as many shares as they are buying right now. 
In addition, some extraordinarily large bets have just been made that will only pay off if the financial markets in the U.S. crash by the end of April.  So what does all of this mean?  Well, it could mean absolutely nothing or it could mean that there are people out there that actually have insider knowledge that a market crash is coming.  Evaluate the evidence below and decide for yourself…
For some reason, corporate insiders have chosen this moment to unload huge amounts of stock.  According to a CNN article, corporate insiders are now selling nine times more of their own shares than they are buying…
Corporate insiders have one word for investors: sell.
Insiders were nine times more likely to sell shares of their companies than buy new ones last week, according to the Vickers Weekly Insider report by Argus Research.
What makes this so alarming is that corporate insiders have been exceedingly good at “timing the market” in recent years.  The following comes from a recent CNBC article entitled “Sucker Alert? Insider Selling Surges After Dow 14,000“…
“In almost perfect coordination with an equity market that was rushing toward new all-time highs, insider sentiment has weakened sharply — falling to its lowest level since late March 2012,” wrote David Coleman of the Vickers Weekly Insider report, one of the longest researchers of executive buying and selling on Wall Street. “Insiders are waving the cautionary flag in an increasingly aggressive manner.”
There have been more than nine insider sales for every one buy over the past week among NYSE stocks, according to Vickers. The last time executives sold their company’s stock this aggressively was in early 2012, just before the S&P 500 went on to correct by 10 percent to its low for the year.
“Insiders know more than the vast majority of market participants,” said Enis Taner, global macro editor for “And they’re usually right over a long period of time.”
There are other indications that the stock market may be headed for a significant tumble in the months ahead.  For example, as a Zero Hedge article recently pointed out, the last time that the financial markets in the U.S. were as “euphoric” as they are now was right before the financial crisis of 2008.
And as I mentioned above, some people out there have recently made some absolutely jaw-dropping bets against stocks which will only pay off if there is a financial crash at some point in the next few months.
According to Business Insider, the recent purchase of 100,000 put options by a mystery investor has a lot of people on Wall Street talking…
According to Barron’s columnist Steven Sears,someone made a big bet against the financialsETF yesterday (ticker symbol XLF), and it has everybody buzzing.
The trader bought 100,000 put options on the ETF (a put option increases in value when the price of the underlying asset, in this case, the ETF, goes down).
To put that number in perspective, Sears writes, “Few investors ever trade more than 500 contracts, so a 100,000 order tends to stop traffic and prompt all sorts of speculation about what’s motivating the trade.” According to Sears, the trade “has sparked conversations across the market.”
Reportedly, those put options expire in April.
And as Art Cashin of UBS has noted, there was also another extremely large bet that was placed recently that is banking on a financial crash within the next two months…
A Very Big Bet In A Somewhat Unlikely Instrument – My friend, Jim Brown, the ever-alert consummate professional over at Option Investor pointed us to a rather unusual trade. Here’s what he wrote in last night’s edition of his valuable newsletter:
In past years I have reported on trades that were so large it appeared someone had inside knowledge of a pending event. Sometimes those were massive put positions on the S&P. A new trade just appeared that suggests there will be a market event in the near future. Last week somebody put on a call spread on the VIX using the April 20 and 25 puts. They bought 150,000 contracts for a net of $75 per contract. That is an $11,250,000 bet that the VIX will move over 20 over the next 60 days. You would have to be VERY confident in your outlook to risk $11 million on a directional position with the VIX at five year lows and the markets trying to break out to new highs.
So does all of this guarantee that the stock market is going to move a certain way?
Of course not.
But when you step back and look at the bigger picture, it does appear that Wall Street insiders are preparing for something.
Meanwhile, the government continues to assure us that happy days are here again for the U.S. economy and that we don’t have anything to worry about.
The Congressional Budget Office has just released a report that contains their outlook for the next decade.  The report is entitled “The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023″, and if you want a good laugh you should read it.
Here are some of the things that the CBO believes will happen…
-The CBO believes that government revenues will more than double by 2023.
-The CBO believes that government revenue as a percentage of GDP will rise from 15.8 percent today to 19.1 percent in 2023.
-The CBO believes that the unemployment rate will continually fall over the next decade.
-The CBO believes that the federal budget deficit will fall to just 2.4% of GDP in fiscal year 2015.
-The CBO believes that the federal budget deficit will only be $430 billion in 2015.
-The CBO believes that we will not have a single recession over the next decade.
-The CBO believes that inflation will stay at about 2 percent for the next decade.
-The CBO believes that U.S. GDP will grow by a total of 67 percent by 2023.
Wow, all of that sounds great until you go back and take a look at how CBO projections have fared in the past.
In fact, Bruce Krasting has gone back and looked at the numbers from the Congressional Budget Office’s Budget and Economic Outlook 2003.  I think that you will find the differences between the CBO projections and what really happened to be very humorous…
Estimated 10-year budget surplus = $5.6T.
Reality = $6.6T deficit. A 200+% miss.

Estimate for 2012 Debt Held by Public = $1.2T (5% of GDP).
Reality = Debt Held by Public = $11.6T. A 1000% miss.

Estimated fiscal 2012 GDP = $17.4T.
Reality = $15.8T. A $1.6T (10%) miss.
So should we trust what the CBO is telling us now?
Of course not.
Instead, perhaps we should listen to some of the men that successfully warned us about the last financial crisis…
-”Dr. Doom” Marc Faber recently stated that he “loves the high odds of a ‘big-time’ market crash“.
-Economist Nouriel Roubini says that we should “prepare for a perfect storm“.
-Pimco’s Bill Gross says that we are heading for a “credit supernova“.
-Nomura’s Bob Janjuah believes that the financial markets will experience one more huge spike before collapsing by up to 50%
I continue to believe that the S&P500 can trade up towards the 1575/1550 area, where we have, so far, a grand double top. I would not be surprised to see the S&P trade marginally through the 2007 all-time nominal high (the real high was of course seen over a decade ago – so much for equities as a long-term vehicle for wealth creation!). A weekly close at a new all-time high would I think lead to the final parabolic spike up which creates the kind of positioning extreme and leverage extreme needed to create the conditions for a 25% to 50% collapse in equities over the rest of 2013 and 2014, driven by real economy reality hitting home, and by policymaker failure/loss of faith in “their system”.
The truth is that no matter how much money printing the Federal Reserve does, it is only a matter of time before the financial markets catch up with economic reality.
The U.S. economy has been in decline for a very long time, and things just continue to get even worse.  Here are just a few numbers…
-The percentage of the civilian labor force that is employed has fallen every single year since 2006.
-According to John Williams of, truly accurate numbers would show that U.S. GDP growth has actually been continuously negative all the way back to 2005.
-U.S. families that have a head of household that is under the age of 30 have a poverty rate of 37 percent.
-One recent survey found that nearly half of all Americans are living on the edge of financial ruin.
-According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are more than 146 million Americans that are considered to be either “poor” or “low income” at this point.
For many more statistics that demonstrate that the U.S. economy has continued to decline in recent years, please see this article: “37 Statistics Which Show How Four Years Of Obama Have Wrecked The U.S. Economy“.
So where is all of this headed?
Well, after the next major financial crisis in America things are going to get very tough.
We can get a hint for how things are going to be by taking a look at what is going on over in Europe right now.
Can you imagine people trampling each other for food?  That is what is happening in Greece.  Just check out this excerpt from a Reuters article
Hundreds of people jostled for free vegetables handed out by farmers in a symbolic protest earlier on Wednesday, trampling one man and prompting an outcry over the growing desperation created by economic crisis.
Images of people struggling to seize bags of tomatoes and leeks thrown from a truck dominated television, triggering a bout of soul-searching over the new depths of poverty in the debt-laden country.
The suffering that the Greeks are experiencing right now will come to this country soon enough.
So enjoy this false bubble of debt-fueled prosperity while you can.  It is going to end way too soon, and after that there will be a whole lot of pain.