Thursday, February 14, 2013

Boycott Houston Texas for Selling Out to Carry Out the Fed’s Police State Adventures.

The city government of Houston is going to have to start suffering the consequences for every time they take Federal money that infringes on people’s rights.  Do they know that Texas does have a Constitution? Do they know there are laws on the books that prohibit them from accepting money and entering into a contract with the Federal government that the residents of Houston never consented to that violate people personal liberties?
First and foremost. Mayor Parker needs to be recalled along with the city council members being thrown out for going along with it. If there is going to be a recall election, let it be with paper ballots and toss the Diebold machines into the Gulf of Mexico. Just like the people of Austin Texas singing onto Agenda 21 and illegal blood drawing during a traffic stops ought to be recalling their mayor and city council because it has been said the contract they singed onto violates state laws and the people of Austin never consented to. This is Texas, we cannot tolerate city governments in these big cities selling out for grant money. We cannot allow them to get away with it.
What I really say why we need to boycott Houston Texas. is because when I heard Gold Dealers have to get finger printed with mug shots treated like a criminal for nothing. I like to know how much is the Federal government paying them to do their dirty work. That was the last straw.
Then I hear the Houston Police chief telling about we need Obama’s gun control laws and support Obama’s executive orders. Then we have of US troops training inside the Houston city limits in violation of the Posse comitatus act. Then to add insult to injury, the TSA was on the city buses acting as secret police. The people in Houston did not consent to the TSA to be on public transportation. The already hate the TSA. The people cannot stand them in the Airports. So why does Houston want TSA them on city buses when they are hated already?
We have to send a message that Police States are bad for Business. I do not do business with New York City or Chicago. We should not be doing business in Houston either. I will not go to the Sporting events or even the Houston Rodeo that is starting this week. Patriot groups should not hold their conventions in any city that sold out to the Federal government. We should be taking our business to cities and counties that uphold freedom and the Constitution. We should be supporting those places having events where the bill of rights is respected.
Mayor Sharon Parker needs to be held accountable for signing on to contracts with the Federal government that might violate state law and definitely the people of Houston never consented to. I also blame the people of Houston for putting people like Sharon Parker into office and reelecting her to another term.
There are plenty of nice places outside of Houston Texas to hold conventions and have fun with the family. Stay out of Houston. The city going along finger printing gold dealers with mug shots like a criminal is the last straw. We need to boycott cities like Houston. To send a message they work for the people, they are not to go out and prostitute for the feds nor accept their emoluments to do Homeland Security’s dirty work.
Money talks and we all know what walks. If we cannot hurt them politically. We need to vote with our wallets and take our business elsewhere. We need to vote with our wallets by staying away from any big city that does the dirty work for homeland security. Lets send a message that Police States are bad for business. 


Is It Fair For People On Food Stamps To Buy Prime Rib And Lobster While Working Families Barely Survive?

by Michael
Is It Fair For People On Food Stamps To Buy Prime Rib And Lobster While Working Families Barely Survive?
Should we all quit working and jump on board the Obama gravy train?  Of course I am being facetious, but when you are barely surviving does there come a point when it just becomes easier to give up and totally rely on the government?  Today, the federal government runs nearly 80 different means-tested welfare programs, and many state and local governments have their own welfare programs on top of that.  If you become an expert on those programs and you learn how to game the system, can you live more comfortably than someone that lives honestly and works as hard as they can and yet still makes less than 10 dollars an hour?  Now, right from the outset of this article, let me make it abundantly clear that I do not believe that most people are abusing the system.  As I have written about over and over, the number of Americans living in poverty is rapidly increasing because there are not enough jobs.  There are not enough jobs because we are shipping millions of them out of the country to the other side of the globe, and we are also losing millions of jobs to technology.  There have always been those that need our help, and because of the foolish decisions that we have made as a nation, the ranks of the poor will continue to expand.  But it is also true that there are some people out there that are very brazenly abusing the system.  For example, is it really fair for people on food stamps to buy prime rib and lobster while many working families barely survive?  People like that are taking advantage of their fellow Americans, and they are making it harder for the people that really need the help to be able to get it.
Unfortunately, we are rapidly becoming an “entitlement society”.  Close to half the country lives in a home that receives some sort of monetary benefits from the federal government each month at this point.
In particular, the food stamp program has experienced explosive growth in recent years.  Since Obama has been president, the number of Americans on food stamps has grown by more than 49 percent, and more than 11,000 people a day have enrolled in the food stamp program since Obama entered the White House.
And if you can believe it, the number of Americans on food stamps now exceeds the entire population of Spain.
Will we all eventually be on food stamps?
Actually, the truth is that there are millions upon millions of hard working American families that are desperately trying to make it on their own and that don’t want to become financial dependents of the federal government.  Unfortunately, it can be a little disheartening when you are barely making it from month to month and yet you see others using government benefit cards to buy luxury items.
The other day my wife came across a discussion on Facebook that really caught her attention.  I thought that I would share with you all the post that got that discussion going.  As far as I can determine, this woman shared what she believed she actually saw at her local grocery store, but I have no way of determining if this story is true or not.  But I have seen quite a few similar stories of food stamp abuse in the past.  Either way, I think the following story will be good to help spark a conversation about whether our current system is broken or not.  All of the names have been removed so as to protect the identity of the woman that originally posted this on Facebook…
Okay…so, I’m going to go on a rant for a minute…just to get it off my chest…
**** & I went to the grocery store to pick up a few things because we were getting low…sooo, we pick up our 40% off chicken and buy one get two free items and proceed to checkout.
There is a woman ahead of us with a child about 4 years old. The woman, I couldn’t help but notice….had beautiful fingernails, clearly professionally done…and I also noticed her brand new IPHONE…which she was talking on, and I think that is rude while you are being checked out. Her little girl was commenting on the TWO live lobsters in a bag on the checkout, asked if it was going to hurt when they get cooked, her mom brushed her off…at that time I took a look at what else she had on the counter…A HUGE roast, sirloin tips, shrimp, beef ribs and pork ribs…only the prime cuts… I thought to myself….mmmmmm someone is having a yummy dinner and must have a great job as I could not afford these things (not that I’d get my nails done anyway)….
So…the cashier gives her a total and what does she pull out of her wallet but a BENEFIT card!!!!!!! I had all I could do to contain myself…
Sometimes people need help, and I’m okay with that, and those who need it should get it….BUT…if you can afford the latest IPHONE and fancy nails then why in the world are the taxpayers paying for your LOBSTER?!!!! If she really needed help and food, she should have been buying the “sale” items…40% off chicken, buy one get one free cheese ravioli…you know, like the rest of us working class have to buy!
It especially makes me mad because there ARE PEOPLE WHO NEED HELP and can’t get it…My son and his girlfriend and brand new baby aren’t eligible for an ounce of help…they tried, she works days and he works nights so that they don’t have to pay for day-care, they use inexpensive diapers and try to save money anyway they can, they struggle to make ends meet and to pay for their straight talk phones and to boot are paying off college loans…but they supposedly make too much…c’mon, really, he works at McDonalds and she works in a nursing home…lets be real here…those are the type that SHOULD get help…UGHHHH Our system is broken and something needs to be done about it!!!
There, that’s my rant…kudo’s to you if you managed to read the whole thing as I know it was an awful long rant….Gotta go work now, ;) Thanks for listening.
In response to her story, dozens of people posted comments.  Quite a few people said that they had seen similar things where they lived.
And the truth is that food stamps are accepted just about wherever you look these days.  Just check out this shocking article: “Obama’s food-stamp nation: ‘We accept EBT’ signs are everywhere“.
So is this kind of thing fair?
If not, what can be done about it?
What everybody can agree upon is that the number of food stamp recipients is absolutely exploding.  The following is from a recent CNS news article

When Obama entered office in January 2009 there were 31,939,110 Americans receiving food stamps.  As of November 2012—the most recent data available—there were 47,692,896 Americans enrolled, an increase of 49.3 percent.
But this didn’t just start under Obama.  Back in the year 2000, there were just 17 million Americans on food stamps.
30 million more have been added to the program since then.
And of course food stamps is not the only federal welfare program that is being abused.
According to the Wall Street Journal, there has been a tremendous amount of abuse in the free cell phone program as well.
The U.S. government spent about $2.2 billion last year to provide phones to low-income Americans, but a Wall Street Journal review of the program shows that a large number of those who received the phones haven’t proved they are eligible to receive them.
The Lifeline program—begun in 1984 to ensure that poor people aren’t cut off from jobs, families and emergency services—is funded by charges that appear on the monthly bills of every landline and wireless-phone customer. Payouts under the program have shot up from $819 million in 2008, as more wireless carriers have persuaded regulators to let them offer the service.
A lot of people refer to those free cell phones as “Obamaphones”, but the truth is that the program has been going on for a long time.  It just has accelerated greatly under Obama.
So what is the solution to all of this?
Well, what we really need are a lot more jobs, but in the State of the Union address last night Obama simply rehashed a lot of the same tired proposals that he and our former presidents have been promoting for years.
If we continue to do the same things that we have been doing, we are going to continue to get the same results.
There is a reason why the percentage of the civilian labor force in the United States that is employed has been steadily declining every single year since 2006.  We keep pursuing foolish policies, and those policies are steadily destroying our economy.
Sadly, many of our politicians appear to be engaged in some form of “doublethink”.  The things that they tell us will solve our problems are actually the things that are making our problems even worse.
For example, Barack Obama says that we need even more “free trade agreements” and that we need to integrate our economy into the emerging one world economic system even more deeply.
But as I have shown in article after article, the “free trade” agenda of the global elite has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of U.S. businesses and millions of good paying U.S. jobs.
For much more on this, please see the following article: “55 Reasons Why You Should Buy Products That Are Made In America“.
And of course Obama once promised that he would never “rest” until he had fixed our employment problems, but that hasn’t exactly been the truth either.  The following is from a recent article by Dan Gainor
Back in 2009, the president promised never to “rest” until the job situation was fixed. Nearly four years later, he’s done a lot of resting.
According to The Weekly Standard, Pres. Obama has had 83 vacation days overall and says he took 26 of those in 2009. That means the president has taken at least 57 vacation days since his vow not to “rest.”
But hey, he needs his rest.  Life is rough.  U.S. taxpayers only spendabout a billion dollars a year on the Obamas.  How is he supposed to scrape by on such limited resources?
Meanwhile, Americans are still incredibly pessimistic about the economy.  The following is what one recent survey found…
  • Eight in 10 Americans are skeptical that career and employment opportunities will be better for the next generation.
  • More than half of Americans say the economy will not fully recover from the 2007-2009 recession for another six years; 29% believe the economy will never fully recover.
  • 73% of Americans were directly impacted by the recession: individuals surveyed had either lost a job themselves or a family member/close relative had been out work because of the economic downturn.
  • The majority of survey participants said college would become unaffordable for most young Americans.
  • 56% reported having fewer savings than before the recession.
  • More than half of those who were laid off or lost a job said they cut back on medical treatment or doctor visits.
  • 40% of Americans have borrowed money from family or friends.
  • Nearly 25% of participants said they have sought professional help for stress or depression.
And as you can see from the charts in this article, U.S. businesses remain very pessimistic about the future of the economy as well.
Unfortunately, those that are pessimistic about the economy have very good reasons to be so.
And as bad as things are right now, they are going to be getting much, much worse.
That means that millions more Americans are going to be wanting to sign up for food stamps and other welfare programs.
But what will happen someday when the safety net breaks and all of those welfare programs start getting cut back dramatically?
What kind of riots will we see in major U.S. cities when the international community insists that the U.S. implement its own version of “austerity” in response to a massive debt crisis?
Will we eventually end up just like Greece and Spain or even worse?
Please share this article with as many people as you can, and please feel free to leave your thoughts on this article above by posting a comment below…
Did Your Tax Dollars Buy This Lobster?

The Ruthless State of the Union: The Current Crime Boss Speaks

Contributed By No More Fake News

Perhaps it’s presidents running down the whole laundry list of issues, but it seems to me the last dozen or so State of the Union speeches by presidents could put a galaxy of insomniacs to sleep.
Originally, the State of the Union was the president talking to Congress. Now we all know no one from the Senate or the House is going to move a new inch by anything the president says in his speech.
It’s just a dog and pony show. It’s also a chance for the president to talk to the television audience. That’s the real event. The president’s on TV.
It’s a stage play and it closes the night it opens. The script is always too long. It should have been cut by nine-tenths in rehearsals.
The droning of the laundry list is, of course, a reflection of the fact that big government has its paws and nose in every facet of our lives.
I was waiting for Obama to talk about an adequate supply of toilet paper and paper towels in public-park restrooms, and the danger of pictures of guns brought to school.
And how about those unsightly vegetable gardens growing on front lawns? Would be bring in the FBI and the ATF and DHS to solve that problem?
Would he push for free sex-change operations for all college students? Radioactive body scanners in coffee shops? I think the system for assigning names to hurricanes and blizzards should be subjected to a task-force study.
When tonight Obama said the only way to make progress was for us all to work together, he didn’t just mean the Congress. He meant the American people, aka the television audience. But I’ve never understood that idea.
What are we all working together to accomplish? What’s the program? Giving away more of our income to the federal government? Agreeing to more surveillance of our movements?
Supporting the invasion of more countries? Refraining from photographing the police making arrests? Restricting our Facebook posts to happy faces and rainbows?
Are we all working together to surrender our guns in exchange for movie tickets and candy? Are we pretending to be overjoyed that the federal government wants to force everyone to get vaccinated and eat GMO food, and take SSRI antidepressants that demonstrably cause people to go crazy and kill others? Is that it?
Are we somehow working together to print endless amounts of money? Are we working together to push the percentage of Americans collecting free government money from 40 percent to 60 percent? Is that the glorious goal?
Are we working together to give money to alternative-energy companies so they can go broke and declare bankruptcy?
Are we working together to protect and defend the World Trade Organization, so ravenous mega-corporations can export jobs to China and roam the global landscape, raping and pillaging resources and labor?
Are we working together to accept Obamacare, which will steadily eliminate natural-health alternatives and enroll more people in a medical system that kills 225,000 people (actually a lot more) every year like clockwork? Is that the goal?
Are we working together to pretend we have two very different major political parties in the country, instead of one party with two heads?
Are we working to assure that no bankster is ever sent to prison for scamming the American people out of trillions of dollars?
Are we working together to take guns away from people who would only use them to defend themselves and their families against criminals, while at the same we work to ignore gang violence stemming in part from the fact that Mexican drug cartels use these gangs as subcontractors, under the protection of the federal government?
Are we working together to imagine that our troops are really fighting wars to protect and defend the nation?

Are we working together to hide the fact that, although interest rates are artificially low, we’re spending more and more money every month to buy what we need to survive?
Are we working together to hamstring every small business in America with red tape and taxes?
Are we working together to ignore the absurd insanity called climate-change science, so the government can install carbon taxes and penalties and lop the top off of American industry?
Are we all working together to frame attractive free incentive packages for unlimited numbers of immigrants who come to America, while untold numbers of Americans are going hungry every night, and people can’t find jobs anywhere? Is that the objective? Destabilization of society, under the cynical guise of humane gift-giving?
Are we working to dream that when the president says he’s going to focus on jobs in his second term, this means he’s actually going to do more than squint at the sun?
Are we working to find more foreign enemies we can invade, as our military advance teams pave the way for imperial corporations and continue to launch some sort of ridiculous “surround Russia” operation?
Are we all working together to drown the Third World in “free” medical drugs and vaccines that destroy immune systems, rather than cleaning up contaminated water supplies and installing simple sanitation systems (at a millionth of the cost of the drugs)?
Are we all working together just “to work together” and continue the fine tradition of destroying the nation from the inside?
That’s what I thought. Yes, that’s what I thought.
Hell of a speech, Mr. President. You and GW and Bill and Bush the Elder and Ronnie and Jimmy and Gerry and Nixon really know your laundry lists. You talk, and the government gets bigger. It’s magic.
There’s always more to do and the government has to make it happen. Otherwise, what are you there for?
I ask myself that question all the time. I’m still looking for an answer, other than, “We’re all in this together.”
Who is this WE you keep taking about? And what is this TOGETHER? You mean we who are watching on television and you who are talking on television? You mean you who are slicing the Constitution into little pieces while ridiculing it as a Neanderthal document?
You mean you who are covert agents of Globalism? You mean you who have been vetted to make sure you’re on board with the op to take American down into a planetary management system that will bring a thousand years of peace to people made over into androids?
That’s what I thought.
You talk and the government gets bigger. You bankroll education and students are brainwashed into “uplifting social themes,” and become more dumb. You talk and the state-corporate media strain themselves into hernias to praise your erudition or passion.
You talk and thousands of lobbyists who have the inside track on your souls parse your words and plan their new strategies. You talk and the American people desperately try to imagine you’re making a grain of sense.
You talk and the winds blow and the snow falls and Somebody Actually Important, at a much higher level of the Mob, pats you on your shoulder and folds you up like a puppet and drops you in his pocket and walks upstairs to the Residence and puts you to sleep.
Asleep, you dream of a strange and alien thing: the freedom and power and independence of the individual. For you, it’s a nightmare.
The author of an explosive collection, THE MATRIX REVEALED, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California.
Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe.
Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world.

Banks lured up to a quarter of savers into risking their nest eggs on the stockmarket

As many as one in four savers could have been lured by banks into gambling their life savings in risky stockmarket investments, it emerged yesterday.
An investigation by the City watchdog has revealed how vulnerable customers were convinced by greedy salesmen to take big risks with cash they had put by as a nest egg.
Yesterday the Financial Services Authority demanded banks review recent sales and pay back anyone who was misled.
Payback time: The Financial Services Authority has demanded banks review recent sales and pay back anyone who was misled
Payback time: The Financial Services Authority has demanded banks review recent sales and pay back anyone who was misled
It could open the door to huge compensation payouts for tens of thousands of customers who are understood to have lost many millions of pounds because of bad advice.
One bank, believed to be Santander, faces hefty fines after being referred to the FSA’s special investigations unit. It is thought to have ignored previous warnings after being fined £1.5million for poor investment advice in February 2012.

The revelations marked another day of shame for banks, which are desperately trying to restore their reputations in the wake of the interest-rate rigging scandal.
Adam Phillips, chairman of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, says: ‘It is very disturbing that a quarter of customers are still getting poor advice. 
‘We are calling on the FSA to take tough action and to publicly name and shame the banks found mis-selling.’ The FSA conducted an undercover investigation at all major High Street banks between March and September last year.
It found poor or misleading advice was given in 25 per cent of cases. The failings included:
Encouraging savers to take too much risk; Convincing people to lock up money for longer than they needed to; Ignoring customers’ personal circumstances.
One in six investors was recommended a product too risky for them, and in just under half the cases, advisers failed to give the correct information.
In December, the FSA privately scolded six major High Street banks and demanded drastic improvements. 
On December 7, Santander suspended all its 880 investment advisers.
Redundancies: Santander has suspended all of its 880 investment advisers
Redundancies: Santander has suspended all of its 880 investment advisers
The Spanish-owned bank is understood to be entering redundancy negotiations with unions following a crunch meeting with staff in Birmingham yesterday.
However, any job cuts are unlikely to prevent serious punishment.
A spokesman for Santander said the bank had made ‘significant improvements’ since the FSA investigation last year.
He added: ‘We continue to believe it is important to offer customers access to a broad range of financial products which are suitable to their needs and individual situations, and we are working towards that objective.’
A spokesman for the British Bankers’ Association said: ‘Any examples of advisers failing to gather enough information on their customers and not recommending the right products are unacceptable. 
‘This review will help all banks to focus on retraining staff and changing processes to improve standards for customers in the future.’

King blames rising inflation on 'own goals' by ministers: Governor attacks green taxes and university fees

  • Sir Mervyn said squeeze on living standards will last for another three years
  • He said there was ‘cause for optimism in the UK’
  • But he added that economic growth is ‘likely to be weak’ in coming months

Speaking out: Sir Mervyn King yesterday accused the Government of scoring an embarrassing ¿own goal¿ by pushing up inflation through green taxes and tuition fees
Speaking out: Sir Mervyn King yesterday accused the Government of scoring an embarrassing 'own goal' by pushing up inflation through green taxes and tuition fees
Sir Mervyn King yesterday accused the Government of scoring an embarrassing ‘own goal’ by pushing up inflation through green taxes and tuition fees.
The Governor of the Bank of England warned that the unprecedented squeeze on living standards will last for a further three years as prices rise and wages stagnate.
But, in a coded attack on ministers, he said much of the pain was ‘self-inflicted’ because it stemmed from big increases in energy bills and tuition fees.
‘Whether it’s on financing education, green policies or other policies, what they have done is push up prices and that clearly makes our job in the short-run more difficult,’ Sir Mervyn said.
The average household energy bill is now more than £1,300 a year and has risen nearly 25 per cent since early 2011, with suppliers blaming green levies imposed by the Government. Rail fares, which are regulated by the Government, have also soared and university tuition fees are now as much as £9,000 a year.
Speaking at the Bank’s quarterly inflation report yesterday, Sir Mervyn said there was ‘cause for optimism in the UK’ but added that economic growth is ‘likely to be weak’ in the coming months.
He also said the level of economic output is not expected to return to its pre-recession peak in 2008 until 2015 – marking a seven-year downturn.
And with inflation expected to remain above 2 per cent until early 2016 there could be three more years of squeezed living standards. Even in 2016, there is a ‘50-50 chance’ inflation would stay above target.

Senior figures in Westminster expressed amazement that the Governor had spoken out so vociferously against Government policies.
Former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott said: ‘The Governor is basically blaming the Chancellor for pushing up prices.’
Not happy: The governor of the Bank of England believes inflation has been pushed up by the introduction of tuition fees. This is a file picture of graduates
Not happy: The governor of the Bank of England believes inflation has been pushed up by the introduction of tuition fees. This is a file picture of graduates
Bank critics, however, accused Sir Mervyn and the Monetary Policy Committee of ‘an abdication of responsibility’ for allowing inflation to spiral above the 2 per cent target for so long. It was last below target in November 2009.
David Ruffley, a Tory member of the Treasury Select Committee, said: ‘This is a quite extraordinary intervention. It is the Bank of England’s job, when setting interest rates, to hit a 2 per cent inflation target, to take account of precisely items like tuition fees and green taxes. It’s fundamental to the MPC forecast.’
Sir Mervyn’s dramatic intervention came just months before he hands over the reins to Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of Canada, in July. ‘The UK economy is set for a recovery,’ said Sir Mervyn.
Surprised: David Ruffley, a Tory member of the Treasury Select Committee, said Sir Mervyn's comments were a 'quite extraordinary intervention'
Surprised: David Ruffley, a Tory member of the Treasury Select Committee, said Sir Mervyn's comments were a 'quite extraordinary intervention'
‘That is not to say the road ahead will be smooth. This hasn’t been a normal recession and it won’t be a normal recovery.’
The report forecast inflation to rise from its current level of 2.7 per cent to above 3 per cent in the coming months, eating into household budgets.
Sir Mervyn said tuition fees, rail fares and utility bills added around one percentage point to inflation at the end of last year and will do so throughout 2013 and 2014.
‘It’s a bit of an own goal because it looks as if inflation is worse without any change in the underlying economy,’ he said. ‘It is a bit of a self-inflicted goal in terms of the damage done to real take-home pay.’
The inflation report warned that the higher cost of education would add 0.3 percentage points to inflation in 2013 and again in 2014.
Electricity and gas bills are expected to add 0.3 percentage points while other ‘regulated and administrative’ prices, including rail fares, water, and taxes on air travel, alcohol, tobacco and fuel, would add 0.4 percentage points.
The Governor said the increase in these prices made ‘the challenge of bringing inflation back to 2 per cent more difficult’.
But he warned that raising interest rates to curb rising prices ‘would risk derailing the recovery’.
A Treasury spokesman said: ‘Government has taken continued action to help with the cost of living, by freezing fuel duty for more than two years and also taking action to freeze council tax.’

Obama calls for U.S. free trade pact with European Union

Reuters – by Doug Palmer
President Barack Obama on Tuesday called for talks on a far-reaching free trade agreement with the 27 nations of the European Union, throwing his weight behind a deal that would encompass half the world’s economic output.
“Tonight I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs,” Obama said in his annual State of the Union speech.
The United States and the EU already have the largest economic relationship in the world, and one of the most complicated. A pact would unite the United States, the world’s largest economy, with four other countries in the top ten: GermanyFrance, Britain and Italy.
Faced with slow growth on both sides of the Atlantic and rising competition from China and other emerging economies, the long-time allies in late 2011 began looking at ways to build on their existing relationship.
Last week, EU leaders endorsed trade talks with the United States, putting it at the top of a larger agenda that includes negotiations with Canada andJapan.
Two-way goods trade between the United States and the EU now totals more than $600 billion annually. Services trade, including sales by majority-owned U.S. or EU companies in each other’s market, adds about $1.2 billion.
U.S. companies have invested around $1.9 trillion in production, distribution and other operations in the EU, far more than in China or anywhere else in the world. EU companies have invested about $1.6 trillion in the United States.
Since most tariffs between the United States and the EU are already low, reducing regulatory barriers to trade in areas like agriculture and chemicals is expected to be the most challenging aspect of the talks.
The EU recently lifted bans on imports of U.S. live swine and beef washed with lactic acid to help build confidence that it can address U.S. agricultural concerns.
Leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, in a letter to U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk earlier on Tuesday, welcomed those steps but said any agreement must also reduce EU restrictions on genetically modified crops, poultry treated with chlorine washes to kill pathogens and meat from animals fed the growth stimulant ractopamine.
“A strong, comprehensive trade and investment agreement with the EU has the potential to create significant good-paying jobs for Americans,” but negotiations will be tough, Representative Dave Camp, the Republican chairman of the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee, said in a statement welcoming Obama’s announcement.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an early proponent of trade talks with the EU, applauded the news and urged swift negotiation of a high-standard pact.
The U.S.-EU talks also are expected to tackle new areas, such as setting rules to govern the free flow of information across borders. That is an increasingly important priority for big U.S. Internet companies like GoogleFacebook and Amazon but could be hard for EU members France andGermany to accept because of privacy concerns.
Meanwhile, the two sides are locked in a long-running battle at the World Trade Organization over government support for Boeing, the largest the U.S. exporter, and its European rival, Airbus.
That dispute threatens to erupt into a transatlantic trade war in coming years unless the two sides can work out a negotiated settlement.
Obama also reaffirmed his commitment to talks with ten countries in the Asia-Pacific region on a free trade pact called the Trans-Pacific Partnership that negotiators hope to finish this year after more than three years of bargaining.
Talks on the U.S.-EU accord are expected to begin by June. A successful conclusion to both negotiations would secure Obama’s reputation as a free trade president after what critics say was a slow start in his first term.
Camp and the Senate Finance Committee leaders also said they planned to push this year for renewal of “trade promotion authority,” a law that expired in 2007 that allowed the White House to submit trade deals to Congress for a straight yes-or-no vote without any amendments.
That legislation has long been considered essential in persuading other countries to put their best offers on the table in trade talks with the United States.
(Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Jim Loney)

Feds Now Letting Big Banks Review Their Own Foreclosures For Errors

Pre-recession banks turned a blind eye to problems with the mortgages they handed out, bundled, sold and securitized. When that bubble burst, these same banks put the foreclosure process on auto-pilot, allowing anyone with a pulse to sign legal documents. So who better to review all those foreclosures for errors than the institutions that didn’t care in the first place?
According to a new DealBook report, in an effort to expedite the distribution of billions of dollars in relief to people who were wronged by a faulty foreclosure process, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has done away with the requirement of an independent, third-party review.
Writes DealBook:
To accelerate the payments, the comptroller’s office decided to cut out the middlemen, the consultants, from the reviews. In a conference call last week, the government outlined a plan to use the lenders instead, according to people with direct knowledge of the discussion. Banks will now have to assess each loan for potential errors, which will help determine the size of the payments to homeowners.
The foreclosure review process has already been heavily criticized for the long delays in getting the promised pay-outs to homeowners who were the victims of foreclosures that were improperly handled by banks that hired so-called robo-signers to rubber-stamp all foreclosure-related documents without even understanding what they were signing.
The hope had been for initial payments to go out in 2012, but it looks like the earliest anyone will see a dollar is this spring.
There is also the cost issue. These independent reviewers has billed for $2 billion in fees over the course of 14 months, but only reviewed a small fraction of the 500,000 complaints filed by homeowners.
The independence of the review process had also been called into question. In December, ProPublica revealed that Bank of America had been providing reviewers with “cheat sheets” that already had responses written into the form.
But that is no longer an issue, as the burden of doing these reviews has been put back on the banks. These institutions will now go through each foreclosure to determine if an error had been made. Military personnel, a number of whom were illegally foreclosed on while serving overseas, will be the first to get reviewed.
After reviewing a foreclosure, the banks will determine whether or not an error has been made and how much should be paid in restitution to the homeowner.
Taking this process out of the hands of independent reviewers is a mistake, say some advocates.
“The whole process has been a slap in the face to homeowners and a slap on the wrist to banks,” an organizer with the community group Lynn United for Change tells DealBook. “The latest development shows how there has been no accountability.”
It’s also worth pointing out that some of the folks involved in banks’ internal review process may not be the best people for the job. For example, the person running Chase’s foreclosure review department is a former Countrywide COO who did nothing while her then-employer instituted a program known as “The Hustle,” which removed all underwriting roadblocks to mortgage approval in an attempt to cash in by selling as many crappy mortgages to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as possible.
However, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency says that while the independent reviewers are no longer in the picture, the OCC will be spot-checking banks to guard against any malfeasance.
“Regulators will verify and test the work of servicers to slot borrowers into broad categories and then regulators will determine the amount of payment for each category,” explained the deputy comptroller in charge of supervising large banks.

HIGHLIGHTS: Jack Lew's Treasury Confirmation Hearing

'I promise to be better than Tiimmaaayy.'
Full Statement
Treasury secretary nominee Jack Lew appeared before the Senate Finance Committee for his confirmation hearing on Wednesday.
Live Blog At Wash Po
Live Blog at Marketwatch
Lew Defends Cayman Islands Investment (Reuters)
Lew Tells Senate U.S. Must Avoid Sequester (Bloomberg)
‘Robin Hood’ Photobombs Jack Lew During Senate Hearing (Wash Po)
Lew asked about Citigroup bonus.

Meet The $5 Billion Highway Only Cronyism Could Build

ld Build

Kashkari for Congress.
Kashkari The TARP Czar Fails At Fund Management, Now Wants To Run For Congress
Launches Website For Political Career -
Neel T. Kashkari, who was the initial overseer of the Treasury Department’s bank bailout program, told The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that he was planning to leave his post at Pimco to weigh running for office. In a statement, he confirmed those plans.
“As much as I have enjoyed my time at Pimco, I feel an obligation and a desire to serve my community through public service,” Mr. Kashkari said in the statement. “My time at the Department of the Treasury was the most rewarding professional experience of my life and I want to find ways to continue to serve my fellow citizens in some capacity.”  Staying true to his roots, he would run as a Republican — even in overwhelmingly Democratic California.
Morning links.
Meet The $5 Billion Highway Only Cronyism Could Build
A Farewell To Sanity: Proposal To Expand Fed's Balance Sheet From $3T To $33 Trillion
Bloomberg Summary Of Obama's SOTU Speech
Bloomberg Summary Of GOP Response From Marco Rubio
DEJA LIBOR - Deutsche Bank Suspends Traders Over Euribor Manipulation
Entrepreneur Got Away With Dumping 100 Tons Of Iron Dust In Ocean
Reagan' s Home Could Become A Parking Lot For Obama's Library
Another Pay Cut For Morgan Stanley CEO
Fed's Evans Says QE Is 'Energy Bar' For The Economy - MarketWatch
Can You Fight Poverty In Africa With A Five-Star Hotel? - ProPublica Investigation
Apple CEO Talks About David Einhorn Lawsuit
Goldman Sachs CEO Lloyd Blankfein Defends Aborted Plan To Dodge Taxes On Bonus
Former NYC Prosecutor Busted for Felony Marijuana Sales
Unraveling the Freddie-Fannie Tangle - ProPublica
How Green Was My Bankruptcy? U. S. Army Edition | Watts Up With That
Banks Should Try To Beat Sweden’s 12% Minimum - Bloomberg
Too Big To Fail, Too Rich To Jail: HSBC, Reddit's Aaron Swartz And The Rule Of Law
Hacktivism: Civil Disobedience Or Cyber Crime? - ProPublica
World Bank Ready To Support Troubled Vietnam Banks - Bloomberg
Apple At Cheapest Since 2000 Signals Buy To Fund Managers - Bloomberg
Apple Said to Have Team Of 100 Designers Developing iWatch Computer
Corrupt Chinese Politicians Are Buying Billions In U.S. Real Estate | Zero Hedge
Wells Fargo Sued By German Compnay For $160 Million In CDO Fraud
Withdrawn: $114 Billion From Big U.S. Banks This Month - And No One Knows Why
POLL: 25% Say God Influences Sporting Events

Hank Greenberg: 'Geithner & Paulson Smelled Blood In The Water'

Backdoor bailout, bitchez.
'Paulson and Geithner rolled AIG to bailout Goldman Sachs and other favored institutions.'
Start watching at the 3-minute mark.  Excellent interview.  He blames Eliot Spitzer for the start of AIG's problems, then discusses Geithner and Paulson.
Greenberg is the former Chairman of AIG.  Broadcast Jan. 31, 2013.
WSJ Interview With Hank Greenberg
The former chairman of AIG wonders why Goldman Sachs got paid in full on its AIG exposure while AIG itself was forced into slow-motion liquidation.
How did it all come apart so quickly? Here are the pieces Mr. Greenberg says he sees falling into place. In 2005, a trade group called the International Swaps and Derivatives Association got together and drafted new standards for the kinds of credit default swaps AIG had been writing.
Previously, Mr. Greenberg explains, losses to the underlying securities were paid off at maturity. Now, cash payments would have to be forthcoming to cover any drop in value or credit downgrades even before any losses were realized.
"I don't know whether Goldman Sachs was the force behind the ISDA change or Deutsche Bank," Mr. Greenberg concedes. "That's something investigative reporters are going to have to spend time digging out."
The next piece fell into place, he says, with recent reports in the press about how, at the top of the housing bubble, "a couple of people there [at Goldman Sachs], bright guys, decide the housing market is going to collapse." Goldman went to work creating new subprime housing-backed derivatives , Mr. Greenberg says, and "began marketing the hell out of them and at the same time shorting them" (or betting they would fall in value).
Bingo. When the housing boom imploded, Goldman demanded giant cash collateral payments from AIG on a "mark to market" basis for housing-backed securities whose price was plummeting even if the underlying payment streams were intact. True, Goldman was hardly the only one demanding cash, but Mr. Greenberg is suspicious about the size of the payments Goldman demanded based on Goldman's own "marks" (i.e. estimate of the securities now-depressed value). "Goldman had the lowest marks on the Street by everything I hear," he says. "There was no exchange. Where was the price discovery? It was all in the eye of the beholder."
In short, it added up to a perfect trap for AIG. As panic spread through the financial sector, impossible amounts of cash were required of the firm under insurance contracts that had years to run and (as Mr. Greenberg argues and events seem to be showing) would likely end up performing adequately in the long run.
But this is just half the puzzle, he says. When the government took over AIG, why did it insist that Goldman and other firms receive 100 cents on the dollar on their AIG exposure, while the terms of AIG's own bailout were so onerous as to force the firm into slow-motion liquidation? When the government's bailouts of Citigroup, Bank of America, GM and Chrysler were clearly designed to restore the firms to health, why was AIG's apparently designed to create a wasting asset that would wither and die in taxpayer hands?
Most of all, he cannot fathom why Treasury and the Federal Reserve let billions of dollars in taxpayer cash fly out the backdoor to Goldman and other firms. Washington could simply have ordained that AIG's debts were the government's debts and so no collateral was due give Uncle Sam's bulletproof credit rating.
Continue reading...

More on Spitzer and Greenberg.  This is pretty funny:
Spitzer Battles Bartiromo Over AIG: 'You Are Under Oath Right Now Maria'


Paul B. Farrell: Wall Street’s profits addiction and $100 million trading days will drive America over a new 1929-style cliff and into a new Great Depression II…It’s Inevitable!!!

By Paul B. Farrell, MarketWatch

Wharton School economist Jeremy Siegel, author of two classics, “Stocks For the Long Run” and “The Future for Investors,” is one of America’s most respected financial minds. He recently told cable channel CNBC that Dow 15,000 was “definite,” with 50-50 odds of Dow 17,000 by year-end 2013.
He even doubled down in Kiplinger’s: “My Dow 17,000 projection may turn out to be too timid.” Now that’s real bull, a 20%-plus gain for 2013.
Dow 15,000? Dow 17,000? Irrational exuberance? DNA flaw? Delusional? Or are these predictions just typical marketing hype calculated to drive Main Street’s 95 million investors into Wall Street casinos for another end-of-a-bull-market slaughter?
Whoa, stop, take a deep breath before we dissect Siegel’s over-the-top Dow 17,000 prediction. First, a refresher course in basic market psychology. Let’s remind ourselves: There’s a profound difference between the DNA, brains and biases of bulls versus bears.
A bull brain has a massive blind spot. They can’t see the light-at-the-end-of-a-tunnel. Only short-term profits. Wall Street makes money on the action, on volatility. Whether up and down generates opportunities and profits. Bulls blindly hang on till the profitable last drop. Bears do see the light. But once lured into the game, they’re blinded by the light. Trapped as both ride over the cliff.

One more time, Wall Street will push everyone to the edge … and over

Here’s a great summary looking inside a bull’s brain:
“While the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors,” predicts the CEO of a leading Wall Street bank, “we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit.”
Profits, profits, profits … get it? Bulls may see the end of a rally, end of a bull cycle … but till the very last unpredictable minute, they’ll squeeze every last ounce of profits out of the casino … and into their pockets.
And they honestly believe they can get out well ahead of all the little investors who are always left holding the bag … America’s 95 million average investors who naively believe predictions like Siegel’s Dow 17,000 for 2013 … who get stuck with heavy losses in the next recession … till Wall Street starts hyping a new bull market.
Can you guess which bank CEO concluded, “We believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit?” It was a CEO in the Cartoon Bank. Actually, that prediction was made by the New Yorker magazine’s Robert Mankoff who brilliantly captured the behavioral science problems with Wall Street’s brain.

28 words tell all you need to know about Wall Street’s addictive brain

Read it, commit it to memory … those 28 words are everything you will ever need to know about behavioral economics … everything about what a neuroscientist sees in the brain scans of high-frequency derivative traders … about the all-consuming addiction driving Wall Street bank CEOs … about the obsessions that drive financial lobbyists to block all regulation reforms … even the fierce war against the environment waged by corporate CEOs … everything you can ever imagine about the stock market’s ever-increasing volatility, wild disastrous swings … everything you need to know about why, inevitably, Wall Street’s profits addiction and $100 million trading days will drive America over a new 1929-style cliff and into a new Great Depression II.
Behavioral economics isn’t complicated. The DNA in Wall Street’s brain is simple: Markets go up. Markets go down. Wall Street knows how to get rich in up and down markets. Their casino makes money skimming a third off the top. On the way up or down. And when the end comes, Wall Street bulls are always several steps ahead of Main Street’s 95 million naive investors. So the house always wins at the Wall Street casino.
No, we’re not predicting the end of the world. That’s not the point of our behavioral economics lesson. Rather we want you to visualize Wall Street’s brain in action, see what their brains are doing every microsecond, every minute, of every day. Throughout 2013. For all eternity.
Their brains are your worst enemy, plotting their next move in the stock market, to take maximum advantage of your naivete, smiling as they say: “While the end-of-the-world scenario will be rife with unimaginable horrors, we believe that the pre-end period will be filled with unprecedented opportunities for profit.” So you trust, invest in their money-losing casinos.

11 reasons Dow 17,000 prediction creates a “sucker’s rally” in our minds

A long 10 months ago USA Today’s mutual fund guru John Waggoner said in his column “the bull market was now in its fourth year.” That reminded us of something Bill O’Neil, the publisher of Investors Business Daily, said in the first edition of his classic, “How to Make Money in Stocks”: “During the last 50 years, we have had 12 bull markets and 11 bear markets … The bull markets averaged going up about 100% and the bear markets, on the average, declined 25% to 30%,”And “the typical bull market lasted 3.75 years and the classic bear market lingered only nine months.”
Get it? This aging bull is now way past retirement age, ripe for a lengthy bear. And yet bulls like Jeremy Siegel want us to believe the rally in stocks (which rocketed over 100% since March 2009) can go up another 20%, at least to 15,000.
More likely, that will lure you into a suckers rally, where the bulls just keep hyping the good times so every naive investor left will finally pile in, fearful they’re missing the race to 17,000 … forgetting the dot-com disaster in 2000, forgetting the huge losses after the subprime mortgage disaster of 2008.
The professor should follow his own advice, be more cautious in making such over-the-top predictions. In his classic “Stocks for the Long Run,” Siegel studied market turning points from 1801 to 2001. His bottom line: In 75% of the time he found no rationale for big market turns. None.
Siegel should also reread Nassim Taleb’s “The Black Swan,” as well as Brandeis Professor William Sherden’s “The Fortune Sellers: The Big Business of Buying and Selling Predictions.” Sherden tested the accuracy of leading forecasters over many decades. His research concluded: There’s “no way economic forecasting can improve since it is trying to do the impossible.”
In short, whether you’re a bull or bear, optimist or pessimist, conservative or progressive, Republican or Democrat, predicting the future of the economy is impossible, delusional, bordering on hoax … in fact, most of the time the game of predicting is an attempt by Wall Street to manipulate investors’ minds. Sherden’s 11 findings are scary:

1. Economists’ predictions are no better than guesses

Forecasting skill of economists is no better than guessimates by Main Street investors.

2. Government economists often worse than guesses

Sherden discovered that predictions made by the elite economists on the President’s Council of Economic Advisors, the Federal Reserve Board, and even the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office were actually worse than guessing.

3. Long-term accuracy is impossible

The accuracy of forecasting declines the longer the lead times.

4. Turning points cannot be predicted

Economists cannot predict the crucial turning points in the economy, confirming Siegel’s research. Worse, the vast majority of all long-term predictions fail.

5. No specific forecasters are better than the rest of pack

Sherden also learned that no particular forecasters were consistently more accurate.

6. No forecaster was more expert with specific statistics

No forecaster has consistently higher skills in predicting any one economic statistic.

7. No one ideological orientation was better

No ideology perspective consistently produced superior forecasts.

8. Consensus forecasts do not improve accuracy

But still, the press and their readers love those lists, averages and consensus forecasts.

9. Psychological bias distorts forecasters and their forecasts

Some economists are naturally optimistic and bullish. Others are naturally pessimistic bears. Some are conservative, some progressive. Why? Look inside their brains at their DNA, Every economist has mental biases and political ideologies that distort their choice of research topics and data selection, and therefore, skew their predictions.

10. Increased sophistication does not improve accuracy

Sorry folks, but all the new scientific methods, technologies, algorithms and computer models of the economy can make forecasts worse. At least give skilled Wall Street insiders an even better edge over naive retail investors.

11. No improvement over the years

Finally, Sherden says there’s no evidence that economic forecasting has improved in recent decades, despite vast new technologies.
In recent years the science of forecasting has been deteriorating more as partisan politics intensifies, along with global macro trends, high-frequency trading, Wall Street’s market manipulations, and unpredictable black swan events. All increase volatility, uncertainty and create countless new ways for forecasters to invent new illusions of economic accuracy, while hardening the mental biases of forecasters.
Fidelity’s Peter Lynch said it best many years ago: “If you spend 15 minutes a year studying the economy, that’s 10 minutes too much.”

Europe is Fixed? Just Like Wall Street Was “Fixed” in May 2008, How’d That Turn Out?

by Phoenix Capital Research

In 2008, as the financial crisis picked up steam, one by one the big bank Wall Street CEOs came forward to assure everyone that “everything is fine” and that their banks were “well capitalized.”

Anyone who did a bit of actual research knew this was not the case. But a large component of corporate (and political) leadership is to maintain confidence and calm no matter how bad things get.

As a result of this, in May 2008 alone, executives at Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Lehman Brothers, and Merrill Lynch all stated that the worst was over for financials.  That’s right, in just one month executives at ALL of these firms issued proclamations that everything was just dandy for the banks.

The market took about five months to realize the truth, at which point these firms imploded taking the market with them.

I bring this up because we’re seeing this same game played out on a much larger scale in Europe today. Starting in November, various political bigwigs from the EU, whether it be Germany’s Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble, France’s Prime Minister Francois Hollande, of Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy have all stated that the EU Crisis is either over… or that at least the worst of it is over.

It’s rather incredible when you consider the complete and utter failure of these folks to solve the debt problems for a country as small as Greece (which makes up only 2% of the EU’s GDP).

Greece entered a crisis in 2010. Three years later, its major banks are STILL insolvent, the Greece economy has contracted over 20% (the sort of collapse Argentina saw in 2001 when its entire financial system failed), and nothing has been fixed.

So… the EU, with the help of the ECB, IMF, and the US Fed (QE 2 and 4 were basically EU bank bailouts in disguise), COULDN’T SOLVE GREECE’S PROBLEMS. And we’re supposed to believe that these folks can solve Spain, Italy or even France’s!?!

Let’s cut through the crap here.

The European banking system is a complete and total disaster. Remember how bad Wall Street was in 2008? Europe’s banks are many multiples worse than that. The US at least recapitalized its banking system after the Crisis.

Europe hasn’t. At all. That’s right, the banks in Europe have not raised capital to bring down their leverage rations, which is why the ENTIRE EU BANKING SYSTEM IS LEVERAGED AT 26 TO 1.

Lehman, which was a total sewer of garbage debt, was leveraged at 30 to 1. Europe’s ENTIRE SYSTEM is leveraged at 26 to 1.

Let’s take Spain by way of example.

In the run up to the Spanish banking crisis, Spain sported a housing bubble that DWARFED the US’s. Spain is the DARK blue line in the chart below. The US housing bubble is the little green lump below it.

How does a housing bubble get that out of control? By banks lending to anyone with a pulse. Indeed, a little know fact is that the banks sitting on 56% of the Spanish mortgage market were TOTALLY unregulated up until about 2010. As bad as US lending standards leading up to our housing bust, Spain had us beat by many multiples as the above chart illustrates.

The Spanish Government’s solution to this mess was to merge one garbage bank with another. They’ve been doing this for three years… but the Spanish banking system remains screwed up beyond anyone’s comprehension.
Take Bankia for example.
Bankia was formed in December 2010 when the Spanish Government merged seven bankrupt smaller banks in
The bank was touted as a success story, posting a profit in 2011 and even considering paying a dividend. Then the following happened in 2012…
  • May 9th: Bankia requests €4.5 billion loan, Spanish Government states that the bank is “solvent.”
  • May 21st: Spain meets Bankia’s request for loan and takes a 45% stake in the bank thereby instigating a partial nationalization.
  • May 23rd:  Bankia’s bailout needs grows to €11 billion
  • May 24th: Bankia’s bailout needs grow to €15 billion
  • May 25th: Bankia’s bailout needs are now €19 billion (2011 profits revised to €4 billion loss)…
  • December 27th: Spanish bailout fund announces that Bankia still has a “negative value of €4.2 billion” and will need another €13.5 billion in capital
  • January 2nd (2013): Bankia shares halted on Spanish stock exchange.
As a summary… Bankia was considered profitable in 2011… it was actually talking about paying out a dividend in April 2012. And in the following eight months, it was discovered that the bank was not only un-profitable, but completely and totally insolvent.
Today, nine months later, the bank has swallowed up over €19 billion in bailouts and still has a NEGATIVE value. With the additional €13.5 billion Spain claims it needs (assuming that is the actual limit… which I doubt) the bank will have consumed over €32 billion in bailouts.
If you think Bankia is an isolated incident, you’re out of your mind.
The point of this? Europe’s banks are totally insolvent and have not been fixed. No EU leader is going to tell you this because their jobs depend on convincing people that everything is fine. Bankia was supposedly “fine” right up until the truth came out. Just like the Wall Street banks were “fine” going into 2008.
Just like Europe is “fine” today.
I know the markets have yet to fully realize this…the S&P 500 is approaching its all-time highs. But back in late 2007, the last time the markets were at this level… did stocks get what was coming then too? Nope. And by the time stocks “got it” things moved VERY quickly.
So if you have not already taken steps to prepare for systemic failure, you NEED to do so NOW. We’re literally at most a few months, and very likely just a few weeks from Europe’s banks imploding, potentially taking down the financial system with them. Think I’m joking? The Fed is pumping hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars into EU banks right now trying to stop this from happening.

We have produced a FREE Special Report available to all investors titled What Europe’s Collapse Means For You and Your Savings.
This report features ten pages of material outlining our independent analysis real debt situation in Europe (numbers far worse than is publicly admitted), the true nature of the EU banking system, and the systemic risks Europe poses to investors around the world.
It also outlines a number of investments to profit from this; investments that anyone can use to take advantage of the European Debt Crisis.
Best of all, this report is 100% FREE. You can pick up a copy today at:
Phoenix Capital Research

T-Mobile Won’t Refund Peace Corps Volunteer’s ETF Because South Pacific Isn’t ‘Overseas’ Enough

Naseem is a Peace Corps volunteer, serving in the South Pacific. She had once been told that as a U.S. government employee sent to an overseas posting, she would be freed from her T-Mobile contract when the time came for her to leave the country. She had nothing to worry about, all of the company representatives she talked to assured her. It would be fine. She would have to pay an early termination fee. Until someone at T-Mobile decided that the South Pacific doesn’t count as “overseas,” and she has to somehow prove that she’s not still in the United States.
Normally one would do this with a lease, a utility bill, or some other kind of proof of living in the modern, developed world. In her volunteer housing in Vanuatu, Naseem has none of these things.
I am a currently serving Peace Corps Volunteer in Vanuatu (in the South Pacific). I found out about my departure for Peace Corps in early July and called T-Mobile at least 3 times over the next 3 months before my departure (Oct 5 2012) to make sure that I would not be charged an early termination fee. I was reassured that as an employee of the US govt being sent overseas, I sure wouldn’t. I called in again a few weeks before leaving and was told that I probably would be charged a fee, but that I would just have to send an email to their contract review department with proof of my contract and I would receive a refund. Easy peasy. I did so. I did not hear back before my departure but called T-Mobile again two nights before I left the US and reviewed the situation. I was assured there was nothing to worry about, sometimes that department is behind, it takes at least 2 weeks to hear back, etc, etc.
Fast forward to November, when I was able to check my email for the first time in a month and had received an email address that was unable to receive responses, stating that since I had moved to Vanuatu and that was not overseas, I would have to provide further proof that I was eligible. I was living in a remote training village with no electricity or running water, never mind internet, so I asked my parents if they could work on this-my father is an authorized user on my account and also possesses a Power of Attorney on my behalf. He made no headway, and gave up. I had our Peace Corps administrative officer write a letter on PC letterhead that stated all the relevant information and sent it in. Again, no go. When I was able to get to a place with internet access again, months later, I tried to live chat T-Mobile a startling number of times but the session always ended immediately after I typed my problem and after trying for three hours one day, I became extremely irritated and gave up. I am now in town again for a few days and successfully live chatted with a T-Mobile representative to whom I tried to explain the extremely extenuating circumstances of my situation. Let me share:
I cannot provide a utilities bill because I do not HAVE any utilities. No lights, no gas, no water, and certainly no trash collection.
I cannot provide citizenship documentation because I am NOT a citizen, for heaven’s sake, I’m a Peace Corps volunteer and a citizen and employee of the US government.
I cannot provide a vote registration card, because again, I’m not registered to vote. I vote in the US.
I cannot provide a rental agreement or lease because I don’t pay rent. Again, I am a volunteer, and am housed in a structure appointed/built by the village for a volunteer.
This particular representative was for more flexible than others I have dealt with in that he was able to deviate from his script to try and assist me, but the conclusion we came to is that clearly the rules do not account for situations like mine. His last suggestion was to have the village chief (a man who is illiterate and does not speak English) write a letter on my behalf, verifying my residency in the village. Hopefully you can see how this might be an issue.
I am at my wit’s end and if I wasn’t broke as a joke living in the third world and hoping to travel after giving up two years of my life to help the indigenous people of this country build toilets and water systems, I would forget this $50 and run as far away from T-Mobile as I could when I’m in a situation to do that again. But at this point, it’s about the principle, and well, like I said, I’m a volunteer-and broke!
That’s a lot of hoops to jump through for fifty bucks, but Naseem is right: at this point, it is the principle. What if they wanted hundreds of dollars?
T-Mobile executives have proven receptive to the executive e-mail carpet bomb in the past, which may be an option now that Naseem has access to e-mail again.

A Warning I have received this week from two different Former Government Officials (One top rank Military - One Intelligence Officer)

I am going ahead and writing about some conversations I have had this week with two different individuals.

Both are former government officials.  One was a top ranking Military official and another was an Intelligence Officer.  I confirmed both were who they said they were after they had contacted me originally.   I have not written about them on this blog or our conversations, as we will discuss current events etc on the phone.  They have never given me any "top secret" type information (FYI - for any govt. officials reading this).   But they do give me what is real or not real when events happen.

 Both had contacted me awhile back and I was very leery in the beginning.  I did not know if they were trying to get information about me etc.   But after a short amount of time I found they were both genuine and sincere of their contacting me.

This week both of them have contacted me and have been giving me "warnings."

Two things from past conversations with them about current events:

First they have both told me "Sandy Hook was a false flag."  It is to get into the mind set of people that their children are at risk it is the psychology of fear for the masses.   Also the intelligence person said that the Dorner thing, something was really not right about it and he believed the manifesto was written by a few different people due to the way it read and how it was written.  We were not able to get into a long conversation about it so I really can't say much about that here. (He did say that Dorner will be killed because of what he knew about LAPD)

Second, I was told all the listening into people's conversations and reading of the emails, people don't really need to worry about that.  The intelligence officer said "Yes, they are, BUT they don't give a Sh** about all of our opinions.  They care about money.  They are paying attention to the big corporation phone calls and emails and to know who is making a big money deal with who, so they can make money off that information."  He said "The rest of it is boring to them and they couldn't care less what people think.  It is all about money."  He said all that is going on from the top down is not about money, it is simply about Control of the people.  They have more money than they can ever spend it is the control and power and making downtrodden slaves of the people.

He told me....  Officers that are in government agencies (FBI etc) right now, know the truth about 9/11 and the Oklahoma bombing but they don't say anything and evidence proves the truth that has never been released (especially with Oklahoma).

The warnings both called me about this week has been about the break down of the U.S.  They both said it is coming this year, with an estimated time of 6 to 12 months at the longest.   They both told me the most important things people need to do right now is to have food, water and something to protect that and your family with.

They have both stressed that to me this week, individually.   I had mentioned to both that we had expected this in 2008 and 2009 and it didn't happen so people were weary of those type warnings.   They both said "It will happen this year."

I am not writing this to "freak" people out or to cause "fear or panic."  In fact the intelligence officer said one time to me "Giving predictions just gets people upset and if it doesn't happen they look at you as a fool, if it does happen they won't ever remember that you gave that warning out in the first place."

The Former military officer sent this article from SHTF to me this morning with the subject line: "Warning Report"

Report: Realistic Urban Training is DHS and DOD “Conducting Desensitizing Exercises”

Small Portion:

Preferring to remain unnamed for obvious reasons, he told me, “DHS and DOD are conducting desensitizing exercises all across the U.S.,” he paused, then added, “we’re being prepared for mass civil unrest in major U.S. cities.  DOD will be expected to help – when we’re requested.”I asked if there was a timeline for expecting civil unrest in our cities and why should we expect it to begin with.
I was told that there were many reasons, but that the continued devaluation of our currency, the predicted history-setting prices for gasoline this summer and the continued gun control debate are forming a perfect storm of civil discontent.  When this storm hits, it will most assuredly produce mass casualties.  When does DHS expect this to happen? This summer.

I am going ahead and writing about this and I will simply say:  Do what feels right to you.  Watch what is going on and see if the current events hint to a break down this  year where getting food won't be as easy as it is right now. 
They have said the food part will be because there will not be fuel to get the food to the stores and the shelves will be empty.  
So again... I am simply passing along information about "Warnings" I have been given and both were very somber and serious about the warnings when they called me.   
It will be up to all of us individually to decide if the warnings have any meaning to each of us and take actions of various sorts if they do. 
OH... something else...the Military officer said "A new government Will be born from this and that it is going to be a difficult time... but it will be a Good government and a government that is suppose to be for this country." (one that is actually BY the people - no more "elite"  at the end of our last conversation. 
May we always be guided by Truth and Higher Intelligence as we go forward.