Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Group: Banks closing accounts of Arab-Americans

An Arab-American advocacy group has asked the federal government to investigate banks for closing accounts of community members.
The Arab-American Civil Rights League in Dearborn said Tuesday that it sent a letter to the U.S. Justice Department after learning about a half-dozen closures in the past month.
Executive Director Rana Abbas said the customers are from the area’s large Arab community and most are professionals. She said several banks haven’t explained why they closed the accounts.
The Michigan Bankers Association said it lacks specific information about the complaints on which to comment.
The league says the banks’ silence could be related to the issue of secret national security letters. The FBI sends thousands annually to banks and other businesses demanding customer information.
A federal judge last week declared the letters unconstitutional.

AP: Costs of US wars linger for over 100 years

(AP) OLYMPIA, Wash. - If history is any judge, the U.S. government will be paying for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for the next century as service members and their families grapple with the sacrifices of combat.
An Associated Press analysis of federal payment records found that the government is still making monthly payments to relatives of Civil War veterans _ 148 years after the conflict ended.
At the 10 year anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, more than $40 billion a year are going to compensate veterans and survivors from the Spanish-American War from 1898, World War I and II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the two Iraq campaigns and the Afghanistan conflict. And those costs are rising rapidly.
U.S. Sen. Patty Murray said such expenses should remind the nation about war’s long-lasting financial toll.
"When we decide to go to war, we have to consciously be also thinking about the cost," said Murray, D-Wash., adding that her WWII-veteran father’s disability benefits helped feed their family.
Alan Simpson, a former Republican senator and veteran who co-chaired President Barack Obama’s deficit committee in 2010, said government leaders working to limit the national debt should make sure that survivors of veterans need the money they are receiving.
"Without question, I would affluence-test all of those people," Simpson said.
With greater numbers of troops surviving combat injuries because of improvements in battlefield medicine and technology, the costs of disability payments are set to rise much higher.
The AP identified the disability and survivor benefits during an analysis of millions of federal payment records obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.
To gauge the post-war costs of each conflict, AP looked at four compensation programs that identify recipients by war: disabled veterans; survivors of those who died on active duty or from a service-related disability; low-income wartime vets over age 65 or disabled; and low-income survivors of wartime veterans or their disabled children.
_The Iraq wars and Afghanistan
So far, the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and the first Persian Gulf conflict in the early 1990s are costing about $12 billion a year to compensate those who have left military service or family members of those who have died.
Those post-service compensation costs have totaled more than $50 billion since 2003, not including expenses of medical care and other benefits provided to veterans, and are poised to grow for many years to come.
The new veterans are filing for disabilities at historic rates, with about 45 percent of those from Iraq and Afghanistan seeking compensation for injuries. Many are seeking compensation for a variety of ailments at once.
Experts see a variety of factors driving that surge, including a bad economy that’s led more jobless veterans to seek the financial benefits they’ve earned, troops who survive wounds of war and more awareness about head trauma and mental health.
_Vietnam War
It’s been 40 years since the U.S. ended its involvement in the Vietnam War, and yet payments for the conflict are still rising.
Now above $22 billion annually, Vietnam compensation costs are roughly twice the size of the FBI’s annual budget. And while many disabled Vietnam vets have been compensated for post-traumatic stress disorder, hearing loss or general wounds, other ailments are positioning the war to have large costs even after veterans die.
Based on an uncertain link to the defoliant Agent Orange that was used in Vietnam, federal officials approved diabetes a decade ago as an ailment that qualifies for cash compensation _ and it is now the most compensated ailment for Vietnam vets.
The VA also recently included heart disease among the Vietnam medical issues that qualify, and the agency is seeing thousands of new claims for that issue. Simpson said he has a lot of concerns about the government agreeing to automatically compensate for those diseases.
"That has been terribly abused," Simpson said.
Since heart disease is common among older Americans and is the nation’s leading cause of death, the future deaths of thousands of Vietnam veterans could be linked to their service and their benefits passed along to survivors.
A congressional analysis estimated the cost of fighting the war was $738 billion in 2011 dollars, and the post-war benefits for veterans and families have separately cost some $270 billion since 1970, according to AP calculations.
_World War I, World War II and the Korean War
World War I, which ended 94 years ago, continues to cost taxpayers about $20 million every year. World War II? $5 billion.
Compensation for WWII veterans and families didn’t peak until 1991 _ 46 years after the war ended _ and annual costs since then have only declined by about 25 percent. Korean War costs appear to be leveling off at about $2.8 billion per year.
Of the 2,289 survivors drawing cash linked to WWI, about one-third are spouses and dozens of them are over 100 years in age.
Some of the other recipients are curious: Forty-seven of the spouses are under the age of 80, meaning they weren’t born until years after the war ended. Many of those women were in their 20s and 30s when their aging spouses died in the 1960s and 1970s, and they’ve been drawing the monthly payments since.
_Civil War and Spanish-American War
There are 10 living recipients of benefits tied to the 1898 Spanish-American War at a total cost of about $50,000 per year. The Civil War payments are going to two children of veterans _ one in North Carolina and one in Tennessee_ each for $876 per year.
Surviving spouses can qualify for lifetime benefits when troops from current wars have a service-linked death. Children under the age of 18 can also qualify, and those benefits are extended for a lifetime if the person is permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before the age of 18.
Citing privacy, officials did not disclose the names of the two children getting the Civil War benefits.
Their ages suggest the one in Tennessee was born around 1920 and the North Carolina survivor was born around 1930. A veteran who was young during the Civil War would likely have been roughly 70 or 80 years old when the two people were born.
That’s not unheard of. At age 86, Juanita Tudor Lowrey is the daughter of a Civil War veteran. Her father, Hugh Tudor, fought in the Union army. After his first wife died, Tudor was 73 when he remarried her 33-year-old mother in 1920. Lowrey was born in 1926.
Lowrey, who lives in Kearney, Mo., suspects the marriage might have been one of convenience, with her father looking for a housekeeper and her mother looking for some security. He died a couple years after she was born, and Lowrey received pension benefits until she was 18.
Now, Lowrey said, she usually gets skepticism from people after she tells them she’s a daughter of a Civil War veteran.
"We’re few and far between," Lowrey said.

Cyprus & the Biggest Myth of Banking Today

Cyprus & the Biggest Myth of Banking Today
by Adrian Ash, BullionVault
Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Bank deposit accounts should be sacred. Right up until they’re not…

YOU’D THINK that with all this practice, politicians would know how to handle a banking crisis by now. Most especially in the Eurozone.
But no. Five years since Bear Stearns hit the skids (the anniversary was Monday) the Cypriot mess is such a mess that people elsewhere feel the urge to say that “it couldn’t happen here.”
Portugal’s finance minister said it Tuesday afternoon. Italy’s La Stampa newspaper said it Tuesday morning. Yet a raid on banking deposits already happened in Italy, a mere 21 years ago with a 0.6% hit across all bank accounts. Italy applied a hit of 4% or so in 1920 as well, back when the Czech government, Austria, Germany and Hungary all tried the same move too. Norway made a grab for savers’ cash in 1936. Brazil and Argentina used the gambit – raiding savers’ accounts for emergency cash – a little over a decade ago.
Still, it could never happen, right?
“Protect the small savers” – barring the more recent examples above, that has been the mantra of policy wonks and politicians dealing with bank failures since the Great Depression 80 years ago.
Customers of Bear Stearns barely noticed the change, for instance, when it collapsed into the warm, taxpayer-funded embrace of J.P.Morgan for just $2 per share on 18 March 2008. Because amongst major-currency nations, the preferred route to whacking the little guy – and getting him to pay for the banks’ excesses – has been via interest rates, as our chart above shows.
Get borrowers to pay way more than depositors earn, and post the difference straight to your bottom line. Throw in negative real rates on bank savings and government bonds – courtesy of central banks squishing rates below the pace of inflation – and the same scam can help entire economies chip away at the real value of their public debt, too.
But this rule – the rule of hiding the theft from savers – finally broke Saturday morning. To get a bail-out from the rest of Europe, the government of Eurozone-member Cyprus agreed a 9.9% levy on anyone with €100,000 in a Cypriot bank. Most amazing, small savers are no longer sacred. They would be hit for 6.75% on deposits below €100,000.
The FT called this a stupid idea whose time has come. Paul Krugman writing in the NY Times said “It’s as if the Europeans are holding up a neon sign, written in Greek and Italian, saying ‘Time to stage a run on your banks!‘” The UK government, ever eager to pretend that we Brits are immune to bank-account losses, is shipping out €1 million in cash to help pay our armed forces stationed there, and it has also promised UK tax-payers will make good any loss the troops might suffer on their Cypriot deposits in just the way that we all shared the £100m cost of making UK users of high-yielding Icelandic banks whole in 2008.

Heaven forbid anyone should say that such high-paying bank accounts should have been warning enough. Like Felix Salmon says, a promise is a promise, and Cypriot savers had bank-account insurance up to €100,000. It’s just not fair!
A few other talking-heads meantime guess – as we do – that the initial “levy” was a dummy, intended to make the real savings tax look much less drastic. But lots of people also note that Russian mafia money, a huge part of Cypriot banking, will see its 9.9% levy as just a cost of doing business. The island’s reputation as a money-laundering centre will be intact, at the cost of hurting the little guy.
Cyprus accounts for just 0.5% of the 17-nation Eurozone economy. The proposed levy will raise perhaps €5.8 billion, just $7.5bn. Yet the Eurogroup’s action has already seen stock markets sink, along with the Euro. The gold price in Euros jumped 2.3% at the start of Asian trade Monday morning, and has since jumped again as the chaos in Cyprus’s rescue gets worse.
Now, this is very much a crisis in motion. The Cypriot finance minister, for example, may or may not have resigned Tuesday whilst visiting Moscow to discuss Russian aid and bank savings. And as we say, odds are that the levy on small savers will yet be cut, altering the terms to make whatever deposit-grab is left more acceptable. But either way, the big lie behind the financial crisis so far – that bank savings are safe – has blown up again.
Putting cash on deposit makes you a creditor. And in financial crises, the creditor always pays in the end, whether through inflation, default or a “levy”. Yes, you are supposed to be safe from immediate loss, thanks to the charade of deposit insurance. But the cost of getting off price risk is credit risk lying unseen and unstated until the day that it matters.

Holding a little physical property, in contrast, exposes you to price movements. But it gets a chunk of your savings away from the myth of bank-account security. Hence the jump already this week in gold.
Even without that price move, gold still makes sense as a physical escape from all-too transient banking. Of which in Nicosia and all points west there remains way too much. The Cypriot solution is at least one way of shrinking the finance sector overnight.

Adrian Ash is head of research at BullionVault – the secure, low-cost gold and silver market for private investors online, where you can buy gold and silver vaulted in Zurich on just 0.5% dealing fees.

(c) BullionVault 2013

Please Note: This article is to inform your thinking, not lead it. Only you can decide the best place for your money, and any decision you make will put your money at risk. Information or data included here may have already been overtaken by events – and must be verified elsewhere – should you choose to act on it.

Jim Rogers: "Washington Lies About Inflation"

Rogers laughs at Kudlow.
When Larry Kudlow says there's no inflation even though central banks are printing money, Jimmy disagrees, saying inflation is going "through the roof."
"You don't see inflation Larry, because you don't do your own shopping."

Here's the truth:

The REAL Inflation Rate Is 10%

Shock: Globalist Plan for IMF Failing in US Congress?

The Daily Bell

Is the US holding back IMF reform? … The legislation would implement reforms agreed by the G20 in 2010, which were described by then IMF Managing Director Dominique Strauss Kahn as ‘the most important decision on the governance of the IMF since its creation in 1944.’ He went on to say that ‘what we did today puts an end to a discussion on legitimacy that had lasted for years, almost decades.’ Yet three years later these ‘historic’ reforms have not been implemented because of US opposition. – The Interpreter
Dominant Social Theme: Please unchain the IMF so it can change the world!
Free-Market Analysis: Mike Callaghan – Director of the Lowy Institute’s G20 Studies Centre – provides us with insight into a big congressional battle going on over the International Monetary Fund. Like most really important struggles, this one is being under-reported, really not reported at all.
But it may be that the outcome of this fight determines whether we have a global currency and how soon we have it. What’s increasingly obvious is that Money Power itself is looking to the IMF for a solution to the current economic crisis affecting the West.
The idea is to take the IMF’s SDRs that are already accepted around the world by various nation-states and turn them into a global currency backed by a number of national currencies such as the dollar, yuan, euro, etc. Perhaps even gold will be become part of the basket.
What is notable about all this is that the IMF has to become stronger and more powerful if it wants to assume this sort of role – and the additional powers given to it are being held up by the US Congress.
The problem is similar to gun control – a much favored Money Power program that has not made much progress in the US despite strenuous efforts of the globalists that back it.
And now it looks like US politics – US exceptionalism, really – may scupper the grand plans of the IMF and its backers, as well. Here’s more from the article:
President Obama‘s attempt to have the legislation passed was rejected by Congress, being described as ‘too politically sensitive in the tense budget environment.’ The Administration is expected to have another go later in the year.
A large majority of IMF members has passed the reforms, but the changes require an 85% majority within the IMF to be implemented and the US has veto power with its 16.75% voting share.
The reform package doubles IMF quotas, shifts six percentage points of quota share to the fast growing emerging markets, moves two of the 24 IMF Executive Board seats from Europe to developing countries and introduces an all-elected Executive Board (currently the five largest members appoint a Director).
While the IMF’s quotas would be doubled, this would not result in an increase in IMF resources. With the increase in quotas (equivalent to capital) there would be a corresponding reduction in the lines of credit the IMF has with its members (debt). The size of the financial commitments by the US to the IMF would not change. Hence this should not be a sticking point for the passage of the bill through Congress.
Despite the article’s tone, it is likely that much of the IMF package is a “sticking point” for a certain part of Congress, especially those labeled as “Tea Party” congressmen who reside in the US House of Representatives.
The article ends on an opinionated note, pointing out that the US may lose “credibility” if it doesn’t sign off on increased IMF powers. Further, the lack of US good will on this issue “is undermining the IMF, the G20 and efforts to enhance better international economic cooperation.”
Conclusion: To which many in the Tea Party would reply, “That’s just the point.”

Everything Is Moving Fast!! Stocks Sliding, Euro Tanking, Cyprus Contagion Spreading, The European Project Is Dying – Are You Ready For the Next Round of the Great Crisis? Just Breaking: Cypriot Parliament Rejects Ruling Party Request To Postpone Vote!

Stocks Sliding, Euro Tanking
This uncertainty is causing stocks to sell off and the euro to tumble.
In fact, Bloomberg’s Sara Eisen reports that the euro is now below $1.29 for the first time since December.
At  $1.2858, its down 0.76 percent for the day.

Read more:
Cypriot parliament rejects ruling party request to postpone vote!!! PIMCO says it is cutting allocations to Eurozone after Cyprus deposit levy!!!
Cypriot parliament rejects ruling party request to postpone vote
PIMCO says it is cutting allocations to Eurozone after Cyprus deposit levy – PM
Juergen Baetz‏@jbaetz
NICOSIA (@AP) #Cyprus’ Parliament’s speaker says vote on bank levy will go ahead today, despite delay request by the governing party. #sigh

 Cyprus parliament rejects deposit levy: reports
Former Cyprus Central Banker Goes Off On The EU And Says The European Project Is Dying
“We are witnessing historic times. What we are witnessing is the slow death of the European Project. We are in a situation that some European governments are essentially taking actions that are telling citizens of other member states that they are no…
Cyprus Finance Minister Resigns, President Refuses To Accept Resignation
Update: President Anastasiades rejects FinMin Sarris’ resignation. Unclear what happens next.
Things just took a turn for the much worse following this news from Market News:
#Cyprus: vote on deposit tax expected at 8pm. No party will support it.

Cyprus Contagion Spreading – Greek Bonds Plunge Most Since Bailout
Greek government bonds, levitated on a sea of central bank excess & a plethora of promises, are coming back to earth rapidly as the fears of their Mediterranean brethren spreads contagiously to other bond markets. Spain & Italy are suffering …

…”The rule of law in the entire Western financial world is apparently vaporizing faster than the spent fuel at Fukushima.”
Depositor haircut wealth confiscations have just gone from a one-off in Cyprus to the new thing in 2013.
The New Zealand government is reportedly pursuing a policy of Cyprus style depositor haircuts for all future bank failures!
The plan would not limit the haircuts to any percentage, but would steal whatever is necessary from depositors to prop up the failing bank institution: Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep the bank afloat.

The rule of law in the entire Western financial world is apparently vaporizing faster than the spent fuel at Fukushima.
Daylight robbery in Cyprus will come to haunt EMU
One’s first reflex is to gasp at the stupidity of the EU policy elites, but truth is that most EU officials handling the Cyprus crisis know perfectly well that their masters have just set the slow fuse on a powder keg – and they can only pray that it…

Cyprus bailout – live
Eurozone governments are “essentially blackmailing” Cyprus, said Anthanasios Orphanides, former governor of the Cypriot central bank, as he warned against the “slow death of the European project”.

Brookings’ Elliott: Cyprus Plan to Have Huge Impact on Future Crises 
The plan to tax Cyprus bank deposits may have a huge impact on future banking crisis, says Douglas Elliott, a former investment banker and a fellow at the Brookings Institution, warning that possible contagion risks are enormous.
Read Latest Breaking News from
German Bankers Generously Offer Cypriots Helping Hand If They Transfer Deposits
Eric Reguly‏@ereguly
Bailout vote looks to be lost Cyprus, wc cd trigger banking collapse. What is Plan B?
Pradeep K Paijwar ®‏@paijwar
Russia offers to bail out Cyprus… for a price

Rollover 1981… world economic collapse   

Other headlines:
Failing Health of Italian Banks Hangs Over Markets
Fitch Takes Rating Actions on Italian Banks Following Sovereign Downgrade
Bitcoin apps soar in Spain – will the Cyprus shocker boost virtual currencies?
Cyprus Deposit Raid Stokes Senior Bond Concerns: Credit Markets
Cyprus parliament ready to veto deposit tax
China’s Suntech Power in $541m debt default
Former Cyprus central bank governor says European governments are ‘blackmailing’ country

Troops betrayed in Cyprus bank grab... as Russians seize £2bn

FURY erupted yesterday as it emerged that rich Russians withdrew £2billion BEFORE a tax raid on bank savings in Cyprus was announced.

The revelation came as Eurozone ministers proposed a plan to protect investors with under 100,000 euros (£85,700).
But British troops on the Mediterranean island were left fearing they may still lose out as the UK Government watered down a guarantee to safeguard their cash.
An earlier scheme to grab 6.75 per cent of smaller savings would see an estimated 60,000 British ex-pats — with £1.7billion in Cypriot banks — potentially losing thousands.
The controversial one-off tax was announced on Saturday as part of a 10billion euro bailout.
But Russian oligarchs and big investors emptied accounts in the days beforehand, prompting claims they were tipped off by bank insiders. A source told The Sun: “It leaked out. Bankers warned their best clients. Government officials warned their friends and relatives.
“Billions disappeared from accounts in days, most from accounts held by Russians.”
Russians are by far the biggest overseas investors in Cyprus, with a stake estimated at 20billion euros. There are accusations criminals use the island for money-laundering. Russian president Vladimir Putin yesterday called the tax “unfair and dangerous”.
A vote on the levy was postponed as hundreds of protesters gathered at the parliament building in Nicosia.
There was anger too in the House of Commons as it emerged that the 3,250 British troops and civilian staff in Cyprus will not all be fully protected. The MoD admitted they will only be covered for “reasonable losses” and each case will be decided on its merits “rather than automatic, blanket coverage”. Shadow armed forces minister Kevan Jones said: “It is absolutely vital that no member of our Armed Forces is out of pocket."
The crisis fuelled fears of a run on banks in other troubled Eurozone economies such as Spain and Ireland.
Stock markets dived with more than £1.8billion wiped from the value of Barclays, which has a branch in Cyprus. The FTSE 100 closed down 31 points, mirroring falls in Germany and France.

Chase Bank customers temporarily see ’0′ balance

Nine people indicted in the biggest case of its kind

Nine people indicted in the biggest case of its kind
Þórður Snær Júlíusson and Stigur Helgason skrifar
Nine people have been indicted by the Special Prosecutor for their involvement in a general market manipulation by Kaupthing Bank with its own shares.

Among the accused are Hreiðar Már Sigurðsson former CEO of Kaupthing Bank, Sigurður Einarsson former acting chairman of the bank, Magnús Guðmundsson former CEO of Kaupthing Bank in Luxembourg, and Ingólfur Helgason former CEO of Kaupthing in Iceland. The other five are all former employees of Kaupthing Bank.

This is the largest case of its kind in the world, that has lead to an indictment, and by far the most extensive case the Special Prosecutor has investigated. The indictments were issued last week, and served to the accused yesterday.

The case involves five different cases of market manipulation connected to Kaupthing Bank, which the Special Prosecutor has been investigating for a long time. These have now been combined into one indictment.

Among these are Kaupthing's acquisitions of 29% of its own stock in 2005 to 2008. The Special Prosecutor believes there is a well-founded suspicion that these transactions were carried out, with the knowledge and approval of the bank's chief executive officers, in a systematic and organised manner, to preserve the value of the bank's stock, usually through preferred customers who received loans from the bank for the acquisitions. The day before Kaupthing Bank collapsed, in October 2008, 92% of the portfolio of the bank's own trade were shares in the bank itself.

Eurozone crisis live: Cyprus crisis deepens as MPs reject bailout terms

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades talks with media representatives as he leaves the presidential palace after a cabinet meeting in Nicosia, Cyprus, 18 March 2013.
Cypriot president Nicos Anastasiades is struggling to get support for the country's bailout deal. Photograph: Filip Singer
Good morning. The Cyprus bailout remains in the balance today as the government struggles to find support for its controversial bank deposit levy.
After Monday's cancellation, MPs are scheduled to vote on the package this afternoon - at 4pm GMT. But it isn't clear that president Nicos Anastasiades has enough support to get the deal passed.
The government's official spokesman, Christos Stylianides, has already warned this morning that the levy could be rejected.
Speaking on state radio early this morning, Stylianides said:
It looks like it won't pass.
Should the measure be defeated, then Cyprus would be plunged into an even deeper crisis - as the bailout deal agreed over the weekend would be effectively sunk.
As we reported in the blog last night, eurogroup ministers insisted that Cypriot savers should still yield €5.8bn towards the bailout, but that the Cypriot authorities will introduce "more progressivity in the one-off levy".
That fuelled hopes last night that deposit holders under €100,000 could be spared -- but there is no word from Cyprus, yet, on what it will do.
According to Reuters, Stylianides could hold talks with the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and with Russian president Vladimir Putin today.
Meanwhile, Cyprus's banks remain shut until Thursday, and we're expecting fresh protests outside the presidential palace today.
We'll be following all the action through the day.

U.S. fed-state govts eliminating private pensions & retirement accounts

In a post nearly a year ago, I sounded this warning:
The governments of five European countries — Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, Ireland and France – have taken over their citizens’ private pension money to make up deficits and budget shortfalls. Given the American Left’s oft-stated admiration for Europeans, who are further down the ruinous road of socialism than the United States, this should sound the alarm for all Americans who want to hang onto our private pensions and savings.
That was not paranoia speaking because a year before, in January 2010, Bloomberg’s Business Week had reported that the Obama administration wanted to convert all 401(k) savings and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) into annuities or other steady payment streams.
Business Week also reported that the Treasury and Labor Departments was planning to solicit the public’s reaction, although a report by the Investment Company Institute had already found that Americans oppose any government initiatives that would force us to give up control over our 401(k) accounts. Seven in 10 U.S. households indicated they wanted to preserve their present retirement account features and flexibility, and objected to the idea of the government requiring retirees to convert part of their savings into annuities that supposedly guarantee a steady payment for life.
Now, it appears the Obama administration and state governments indeed are moving to get rid of private pensions and retirement plans.

Linda Stern reports for Reuters, Feb. 29, 2012, that baby boomers may be the last generation to retire with 401(k) plans. A week before, a hearing on the future of pensions and retirement was held in the U.S. Senate, attended by representatives of unions, employers, financial services providers, government agencies and consumer groups. The only thing they all seemed to agree on was that the 401(k) plan has been sort of a failure, which is a most curious consensus, given the fact that current and future retirees have successfully amassed some $4.3 trillion in 401(k) and other defined contribution accounts.
Stern reports that “policymakers are now looking beyond the once-vaunted 401(k) because it has two significant shortcomings: (1) It’s not powerful enough to secure the retirements of low-income workers who can’t afford to stash away enough money; and (2) It leaves each accountholder alone to manage risks.” Without being able to pool risk, participants have to settle for lower returns and lower withdrawals. That, in turn, reduces the amount that they can spend in retirement, and reduces the likelihood that their money will last until they die.
Blah, blah, blah.
In other words, there is a rising crescendo of voices calling for the conversion of privately-managed 401(k) and IRAs in favor of Government Retirement Accounts (GRAs) — government-managed retirement instruments like annuities that “promise” to “guarantee” retirees a “steady stream of retirement income” that’ll last until they die.
Sounds just like Social Security, doesn’t it? The government takes money out of our monthly paychecks and puts it into our separate Social Security accounts. In return, when we retire, we’ll get a Social Security check every month until we die.
And we all know how well that turns out.
Stern concludes her report for Reuters by warning that policy changes down the road could change the shape of our retirement savings significantly because “everything from a curtailing of 401(k) tax breaks to new state-run programs is under consideration somewhere, by somebody.”
A NewsMax report describes the latest move towards replacing private pensions and retirement plans with Government-run Retirement Accounts (GRAs):
The Latest move can be found in the Obama Administration`s, 256 page- FY 2013 Budget Proposal.  The revival of his 2008 presidential run, the “Automatic IRA” which has now “Evolved” into two proposals:
Secure Choice Pension & Government Retirement Accounts (GRA’s), both of which automatically “Mandate” 5%-6% contributions into Government Run Pension funds.
One feature of GRAs  is once a participant dies, the uncollected equity belongs to the government.  It’s no wonder the Retirement age for GRAs will be 67, and one proposal calls for 69 years of age.  They’re “off the hook” as soon as you’re dead.
Another change to the retirement account laws, the Tax Benefit.  The current Tax Deduction will be replaced with a “Credit”, which is only redeemable after retirement. To be Eligible for the Tax Credit, you will be given the “Option” to place Your Equity into Annuities composed of U.S Treasury Bonds, that will payout an estimated 3% annually.
Yes, you`ll be Investing/Buying what China No longer wants, U.S. Debt (Treasury-Bonds). [...]
No matter who wins [the 2012 presidential eleciton], our government is Neck-Deep in Debt. When faced with the Reality of a Complete government Collapse… a Politician will do, what a Politician, needs to do!   The $4.6 Trillion in IRA’s and the $4.3 Trillion in 401(k)s … are all too tempting!
Some legislators already have introduced bills toward transforming Americans’ private pensions and retirement accounts into Government Retirement Accounts (GRAs):
  • S. 1020: Saving Enhancement by Alleviating Leakage in 401k Savings Act of 2011A U.S. Senate bill introduced on May 18, 2011, by senators Herb Kohl (D-WI) and Mike Enzi (R-WY). If approved, S. 1020 would “amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to modify the rules relating to loans made from a qualified employer plan, and for other purposes.” In other words, S. 1020 (or the federal government) would impose restrictions on how 401(k) owners can access the money accumulated in their accounts. You wouldn’t even be able to borrow from your own 401(k) account!
  • California state bill, SB 1234: Golden State Retirement Trust – A bill introduced on February 23, 2012, by California congressman Kevin De Leon, to replace private pensions and retirement accounts with GRAs. Here’s a quote from SB 1234: “Existing federal law provides for tax-qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts or individual retirement annuities by which private citizens may save money for retirement. This bill would establish the Golden State Retirement Savings Trust Act, which would create the Golden State Retirement Savings Trust that would be administered by the Golden State Retirement Savings Investment Board, which would also be established by the bill. The bill would require eligible employers, as defined, and would authorize other employers to enroll eligible employees, as defined, into an employer-sponsored retirement plan or pension plan, as specified, offered by the trust, or a personal pension in the case of a nonparticipating employer, as specified. The bill would require a specified percentage of the annual salary of an eligible employee participating in the retirement or pension plan to be deposited in the Golden State Retirement Savings Trust, which would be segregated into a program fund and an administrative fund, both of which would be continuously appropriated to the board for purposes of the act. The bill would limit expenditures from the administrative fund, as specified.”
  • Connecticut state bill HB 5337: An act “to create a task force to study the need for a public retirement plan,” introduced on May 6, 2012, by Lauren Schmitz, a research analyst at the Bernard L Schwartz Center for Economic Analysis, the very same institution that had originated the GRA concept.
  • Other states such as, Massachusetts, Florida and Ohio have made or are actively conducting moves such as GRAs.
And what will happen to all those Government Retirement Accounts? Why, like that mythic Social Security “trust fund,” the money in those GRAs will simply be dumped into the government’s ever-dwindling general funds to pay for the government’s ever-increasing expenses, of course!
Don’t believe me?
In May 2011, with little media publicity, the Obama administration began dipping “temporarily” into raiding the pensions of federal government employees to keep funding government operations. (Read more, here.)

How German fears of underwriting Russian oligarchs pushed Cyprus to crisis

Source: CSM
Could the tiny economy of Mediterranean Cyprus, in urgent need of a bailout package, pull the whole eurozone back into crisis?
The answer, it became clear in the past few days, is yes. And the responsibility lies with the eurozone’s strongest economy, Germany.
For months, eurozone finance ministers have been debating how to help Cyprus, whose banks, exposed to large amounts of bad Greek debt, are in dire need of recapitalization. Cyprus is the fourth eurozone country to apply for financial aid from the European Union, the European Central Bank (ECB), and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), after Greece, Portugal, and Ireland.
It is also by far the smallest, and the amounts needed to keep it afloat are relatively modest, around 10 billion euros ($13 billion). So, late last week the ministers at a meeting in Brussels finally decided on a bailout package.
But for the first time, at the insistence of the German government, private account holders were being asked to shoulder a part of that bailout, around 5.8 billion euros ($7.5 billion), through a special levy on their savings.
“The German taxpayer is willing to help Cyprus,” says Michael Fuchs, a member of Parliament for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats. “But the Cypriots have to help themselves and pay a tax on their deposits.”
An ashen-faced Nicos Anastasiades, president of Cyprus, told his fellow countrymen in a televised statement that it was either this deal or state bankruptcy. Under the deal, people with more than 100,000 euros in their accounts would have to pay a 9.9 percent tax, while people with less than that would pay 6.7 percent.
Cypriots’ reactions were shocked and angry, the more so when they realized that over the weekend accounts had been frozen and transactions were impossible. Banks were closed today for a national holiday and officials said they would remain closed until Thursday to prevent panic reactions amongst customers.
Today, the Cypriot parliament was meant to approve the bailout deal. The vote was postponed to Tuesday though when it became clear that President Anastasiades would face defeat. MPs are particularly unhappy about the fact that holders of small accounts should be taxed too. Angry protests in the streets of the capital, Nicosia, lay the blame with Germany’s government.
But German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble made it clear in an interview on German television today that for him it was not important where the Cypriots raised the money – as long as they did raise it.
There are two reasons for this unusual conditionality. First, German politicians and many of their European colleagues suspect Cyprus to be a tax haven and a money-laundering site for Russian oligarchs. Of the 68 billion euros stored in Cypriot bank accounts, around 20 billion ($26 billion) belong to Russian account holders. A report compiled last year by the German secret service, the Bundesnachrichtendienst, claims to have found evidence that Cypriot banks or Russian bank branches based in Cyprus are used to launder illegal money.
The second reason is that Germany’s ruling coalition of conservatives and liberals is facing general elections in September, and politicians fear accusations they are sacrificing German tax money to bail out Russian billionaires. “There is a lot of, let’s say, difficult money in Cypriot accounts,” says Mr. Fuchs. “We want this to be taxed.”
The question now is what the rest of the eurozone – and indeed the international financial markets – make of the deal. The verdict seems to be a general thumbs-down. Shares in Europe, particularly those of banks, were down today.
And economists warn the Cypriot example could set a risky precedent. American Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman called it a “dangerous solution” that could cause mass withdrawals in countries like Greece and Italy. And Peter Bofinger, a member of the so-called council of wise men advising the German government on the economy, said in an interview with German magazine Der Spiegel, “From now on Europe’s citizens really have to worry about their money.”

Cyprus: The Case For Leaving the E.U. Economic Slavery Plantation

Cyprus has an opportunity this week. A chance to become free…

Thieves and mafia always look for easy target from which to steal easy cash.

More than anything, it’s become abundantly clear that the recent financial crisis facing Cyprus is merely a test balloon for the central banking elite, by first imposing draconian levies and capital controls on the smallest EU member state in order to see how much the public will react. If the people remain on the reservation, then that’s a signal to the central bankers that they can replicate the crime in other countries like Ireland and Portugal, and take it from there.

Banking elite are afraid that the people of Cyprus might become smart and realise that this is the best the EU has to offer – allowing bankers to literally steal people’s life savings to pay off their gambling debts and fraudulent financial ponzi products.

The pro-banking mainstream media is busy trying to maintain the narrative surrounding the banker heist currently underway in Cyprus, where bankers are lording over the EU bureaucrats to impose a feudal tax over those Cypriots who were prudent enough in the first place to keep money in savings accounts. Shame on those prudent savers.

The media talking point looks like this now: “Veto would push the island closer to a default and banking collapse”, and as they did with Greece two years ago, the pro-banking media are completing ignoring the most viable option for Cyprus here: tell the bankers to go to hell, default, and leave the EU. The earlier you get out, the better you will be in two to three years time.

Two years ago, Greece not only blew their chance to exit the “European Debt Community”, but they also got stuck with a banker-appointed technocrat. Iceland pulled off a similar move 5 years ago, and are already in recovery. Now look at Greece, a country gone from bad to worse, and further in debt to the banker class. T
hat of course is the biggest secret, as many in mainstream culture are still totally unaware that Iceland was a success, let alone aware of how Icelanders actually did it.

Notice below how the mainstream media has framed this latest crisis – submit to a tax on savings now, or face a sinkhole of national debt and austerity later. It’s framed as if ‘There Is No Alternative’ other than do remain within the bankers’ grip – the defacto “lose-lose” paradigm, or choice.

There are choices in life, and remaining a helpless slave is certainly one of them…

Cyprus may vote to reject tax on bank deposits and risk default

‘Veto would push the island closer to a default and banking collapse’

The Independent

Cyprus’s parliament was set to reject a divisive tax on bank deposits in a vote scheduled for this afternoon, a government spokesman said, a move that would push the island closer to a default and banking collapse.
A weekend announcement that Cyprus would break with previous practice and impose a levy on bank accounts as part of a €10 billion (£8.6 bn) EU bailout prompted some turmoil on European financial markets yesterday.
Cypriot and eurozone officials have sought to soften the initially proposed levy of 6.75 per cent on depositors of up to €100,000 and 9.9 per cent above 100,000 to ease the burden on small savers.
But passage of the bill in the 56-member chamber, where no party has a majority, was unlikely and it was not clear if the vote would even go ahead later today if leaders were sure it would be rejected.
“It looks like it won’t pass,” Cypriot government spokesman Christos Stylianides told state radio.
The House of Representatives was expected to meet at 4pm GMT. Rejection of the measure would effectively block a bailout that Cyprus needs to keep its banks afloat and government paying wages and welfare.
Today’s vote, originally planned for Sunday, has been postponed twice already. Three parties have said outright they will not support the tax, while a fourth, in the co-governing coalition, said it cannot support it as it stands either.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades asked the EU for more aid during a telephone conversation with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday, with a second call likely today.
Stylianides said Anastasiades may also speak to Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said the bailout was the maximum that could realistically be expected to be paid back. “Above €10 billion we are entering into a size of debt that is not sustainable,” he told reporters.
The tax will batter not only Cypriots, but thousands of Europeans and Russians with business interests on the island. Putin yesterday described it as “unfair, unprofessional and dangerous.”
Cypriot Finance Minister Michael Sarris was due to hold meetings in Moscow tomorrow, partly to try and get an extension to an existing €2.5 billion loan.
Stunned islanders emptied cash machines over the weekend and banks are to remain shut today and tomorrow to avoid a bank run. Hundreds of protesters rallied outside parliament yesterday, honking horns and holding banners saying “We are not your guinea pigs!”
“If they vote for this tax they will face the fury of the people,” said Markos Economou, a 47-year-old physics teacher and father of two. “The banks and the politicians should pay for this mess, not the people…

EU Willing to Destroy Rule of Law to Maintain Power

Source: Zero Hedge

Submitted by Lucas Jackson,

“When it becomes serious, you have to lie.”
-Jean Claude Juncker, PM of Luxembourg, and the head of the Eurogroup council of eurozone finance ministers
May, 2011
Prior to yesterday, if you were trying to handicap how the unelected leaders of the Eurozone were going to react to a tough situation, you only had to refer to the quote above from Mr. Junker to understand their mindset.
But so long as someone at the ECB was willing to flood the world with free EURs (with significant backup provided the US Federal Reserve) the market closed its eyes, held its breath and took the leap of faith that all was well.
However, post the Cyprus decision, the curtain has been pulled back and wizard revealed with all his faults and warts.  The age of innocence is dead and with it died institutional and retail trust, confidence in the system writ large and the rule of law.
It would be hard to over-emphasize how significant the Cyprus situation is. The EU demonstrated under no uncertain circumstances that they will destroy the rule of law to maintain their own power.  It was a recognition of tyranny that many of us have always assumed was the case but yesterday became reality.
The damage done here is not related to the size of the haircut – currently discussed between 3 and 13% – but rather that the legal language which each and every investor on the planet must rely on in order to maintain confidence in the system has been subordinated to the needs of the powerful elite.  To the power elite making the major decisions in DC, London, Berlin, France, Brussels, et. al., laws are like ice cream, easily melted.
Which begs the question, who is next?  Will it be Portugal?  Greece? Spain?  Italy?  France???
Will they impose a “one-time” tax on your bank account?  Your house?  Your stocks and bonds?  Retirement accounts?
The major banks of Europe are levered beyond anyone’s wild guess.  They cannot afford a hit to their capital base lest they be exposed for the over-levered giants they are.  This, of course, opens up the exposure all of these banks have to the greater than $1tr derivatives market where the failure of any one of these derivative banks could lead to the collapse of them all.
So, of course, the powers that be in Europe must do everything in their power to prevent the world from noticing that their banks are broke.  This means they will lie and take anything they deem necessary.  Including the forceful seizure of savings accounts of innocent people.
The Government Is Your Friend?
Markets have been rallying for years on the back of the idea that government’s are going “all-in” to save the current economic system. To many of the talking heads on the business channels, we are supposed to view this as a good thing.
This has produced all kinds of non-market based solutions such as the bailout of the major US banks and their subsequent TBTF moniker, the “bailout” (I use the term loosely because this was really a political stunt) of GM and a never-ending stream of free money being handed out by the major central banks.
The markets have seemed to like this ham-handed involvement and have rallied to all-time highs.
But all along the way there have been those of us who have said that there will eventually be a price pay. With the Cyprus decision, investors now know what the price is: your money is not really your money.  Your bank account is not really your bank account.  Your bonds, stocks, home and anything else you think you own isn’t really yours.  The governments of the world will take it from you whenever things get bad enough.
Look at China. Do you think if the global economy ever shrinks far enough that the Chinese will allow all those American companies to keep their assets on Chinese soil?  How likely is it that the Chinese will suffer through their own problems of inflation and social instability and yet allow Apple, GE, GM and the rest to keep benefiting?
Think about global mining and oil stocks? Most own assets in countries other than the home domicile of the company.  If the prices of precious metals and/or oil ever meaningfully breaks out, do you think the poor governments that originally granted the mining/drilling concessions will simply respect the rule of law and allow these multi-national corporations to keep sending their country’s wealth abroad?  Not likely.
How about in the US? Could the US declare a bank holiday and unilaterally devalue the currency in one swift move?  I will get over 9,000 responses saying this could never happen in the good ol’ US of A but of course it could.  In fact it has already been done before during FDR’s first 100 days in office.  The template already exists.  Electronic banking only makes the process that much easier.
Technically, since the Fed has been running a policy of monetary inflation since about 1920, the government here already has been quietly taxing the savings accounts of its citizens without their permission for decades. The subtle difference between what Europe is doing in Cyprus and what the Fed does every day to American citizens is that the Cyprus theft is happening in one discrete event while the Fed’s theft drips in slowly over years.
But no matter which way you look at the situation, expect things to deteriorate from here.
Lehman Part Deux
What could be next?
Bank runs will continue apace where they are already going and will begin in countries previously seen as impervious to such events such as France, Germany and even Switzerland.
The difference in pricing between the paper and physical precious metals markets will rise.  Good luck to those of you owning paper gold and thinking this will help you when things get bad.  The legal language on your piece of paper is worthless.  If savings accounts aren’t sacrosanct, then neither is that ETF.
Did you or your firm stash a bunch of money off-shore in some tax-friendly haven that probably has a favorable relationship to the British Crown?  Best of luck with that. Tax havens are nothing more than legal arbitrages.  With the value of law moving to zero, the value of your account approaches the same.
Trade wars will begin to rear their ugly heads as the losers in the currency wars retreat to their last line of defense. Once you tear up the rule of law, trade agreements quickly get thrown by the wayside once your domestic situation deteriorates enough.
Moar and moar government micro-management of individual economies, markets, sectors and companies. The Amateur Barack Obama and his minions will continue the tradition started by George II of abandoning free market principals to ostensibly save the free market.  Once they are done there will be little left of the market and none of us will be free.

SCHIFF: 'Banks Are Just A Few Rate Hikes From Insolvency'

Great clip.  Schiff battles CNBC bank bailout drones.
Peter Schiff on Closing Bell this afternoon.  Start watching right at 1:00.  Other guests are Jason Pride of Glenmede, and Hank Smith of Haverford Investments.
One of the buy-side tools exclaims:
I think everyone agrees TARP saved the banking system.
Schiff responds:
The banks are in the worst shape they've even been.  They are a just a few interest rate hikes from insolvency.
Maria Buffoonromo and a few other idiots talking book.  Schiff goes off, and Maria, ever the financial media protector of JPMorgan et al., gets killed.  It's more of the same, but the true colors come out for a few minutes. (Hat tip to Josie)

Latest ECB Haircut Offer: Cyprus Depositors -0%, Russian Oligarchs -15.6%

Reuters headlines are reporting that the Eurozone finance bureaucrats were looking at the same chart we were this afternoon, and are ready to back down regarding the Cypriot depositor haircut- at least as it pertains to ordinary Cypriots with deposits under €100,000 and make sure they remain whole. Astoundingly, the ECB continues to demand that the entire €5.8 billion deposit wealth confiscation level must still be achieved.
As to those unfortunate to have saved more than €100,000 in a Cypriot banking institution (i.e. all Russian oligarchs), the ECB proposes now a 15.6% wealth confiscation!
We will see whether the offer to keep ordinary Cypriot citizens whole while increasing the punishment to those with over €100,000 can induce 9 more bankster votes by 4pm tomorrow when the Cypriot Parliament is scheduled to vote on the bail-in (unless of course 29 votes are still not in the bag, in which case the Cypriot banking system will remain closed indefinitely).

Concerning Ravenous, Insatiable Beasts with Human Faces.

Dog Poet Transmitting.......

May your noses always be cold and wet.

Back around the turn of the century, before the most recent one, in the United States, there was a philosophy that got legs, similar to a mugger, hotfooting it away from the scene of a crime. The ones who came up with this sterling example of advanced and compassionate mentation, were not unlike muggers. They also mirrored the actions and mindsets of those who would follow in their footsteps a century later. Of course, there was no real break in the action but, for the purposes of illustration, I'm saying it like I'm saying it. Word.

This philosophy was called, The Gospel of Wealth. Wealth must be understood and so also, our responsibility for it. The Gospel of Wealth was coined by Andrew Carnegie, the second richest man on the planet at the time, whose commentary on it wasn't half bad. It was then later taken to mean that God made the rich rich and the poor,poor. At this point let me say, I don't want a ration of shit for tacitly implying that Carnegie wasn't cut exactly from the same stripe as so many of his peers were and are. I don't know enough about him to be any kind of expert on his life.

So, initially the Gospel of Wealth meant one thing but was then translated into something else; God loves the rich more. God favors the lifestyles and behavior of the rich more so than the poor, ad nauseum. We are presently in Robber Baron redux. Insatiable crocodile swine, are in a feeding frenzy. What needs to happen is for Iceland to become an international template, rigorously pursued, acted upon and enforced by governments worldwide, suddenly wakened from a manipulated sleep. To quote The Bard, “a consummation devoutly to be wished". One might also paraphrase The Bard and say, “first we kill all the bankers". Of course, I'm not advocating this line of action but I can definitely see it, presently and not so slowly, coming into the minds of those being economically hammered by these fiends.

The poor and oppressed and increasingly desperate, know where the rich live and they know who they are. They, not just a few of them, know that the governments are the lapdogs of the corporations and the banks. A raging tidal wave of unbridled anger is roiling and rising and coming to the shores of privileged existence. Here is what Lao Tzu said about those presently engaged in planetary wide rape and pillage;

"People starve if taxes eat their grain, and the faults of starving people are the fault of their rulers. That is why people rebel. Men who have to fight for their living and are not afraid to die for it are higher men than those who, stationed high, are too fat to dare to die".

Lao Tzu also said;

"If I had any learning of a highway wide and fit, would I lose it at each turning? Yet look at people spurning Natural use of it! See how fine the palaces and see how poor the farms, how bare the peasants' granaries, while gentry wear embroideries, hiding sharpened arms, and the more they have, the more they seize, how can there be such men as these, who never hunger, never thirst, yet eat and drink until they burst! There are other brigands, but these are the worst of all the highway's harms".

How accurately does this mirror the present state of affairs?

(I am going to pass on to you one of the greatest gifts you will ever receive, if you can intuit how to apply it and possess the determination to do so. In these 81 sutras is all the wisdom anyone could ever need. This is not to discount those other marvels of deep inspiration. Some of them too are clear and precise explications of eternal verities. As I have mentioned before, I used to take LSD and sit for hours reading this book, so as to imprint it on my consciousness. If you have not read this before, I expect you will be transfigured and enthralled by the simple elegance and truth found therein.. It literally hits the system as if it were food. It is certainly sustenance of a high order.)

There will be no links today, detailing the banker caper in Cyprus. There is enough commentary and articles around so that one could be engaged in reading throughout the day. Lao Tzu said:

"Those who would take over the earth and shape it to their will never, I notice, succeed. The earth is like a vessel so sacred that at the mere approach of the profane it is marred and when they reach out their fingers, it is gone. For a time in the world, some force themselves ahead and some are left behind. For a time in the world, some make a great noise and some are held silent. For a time in the world, some are puffed fat and some are kept hungry. For a time in the world, some push aboard and some are tipped out: at no time in the world will a man who is sane over-reach himself, over-spend himself, over-rate himself".

Herein you can visualize the destiny of the monsters by reflection upon the last portion of the quote.

Mobsters are often referred to as connected guys. We have a surfeit of connected men and women. Some are in the government, some in the corporate world, some in organized religions. You find them all over the place these days, resonating with that mantra, 'it's not what you know, it's who you know'. We see the three piece suits, the insincere smiles and fake bonhomie of the corporate reavers. We do not see the assassination teams that are employed by the corporations but they are an integral part of some number of international firms. United Fruit was a classic example. Coca Cola employs mercenary killers to implement and insure desirable policies. These things are business as usual for the big guys. Banks do the same. The Vatican is complicit in such activities and one might easily presume that among The Jesuits and Opus Dei there are assassination teams. Given the churches horrific history from The Crusades, The Inquisition, burnings at the stake ...and it's long history of black clad priests employed in the buggery of the innocent, this seems to be obvious on the face of it. Here is a classic example of the reversed Kundalini brought about when a powerful force demands a particular expression, due to the constraints of forced celibacy and the inevitable result, when this tremendous power breaks through the weakest link in the chain. It's inevitable and why it was happening in so many places at a far remove from one another.

The most important point to take away from all of this is the condition of overreaching on the part of the power and greed maddened, crocodile swine, who slither through the world seeking whom they may devour. Our minds have to be rooted in the certitude that all of this is meant to be for the purpose of demonstration. It can be very hard to get your head around that. It impinges on your life and turns existence into unpleasant, mottled shades of gray. It siphons away our confidence and optimism by the sheer weight of its ponderous appearances in whatever direction you turn.

The idea that the governments, the courts, law enforcement and so many other institutions, whose original job description was anything but what we are seeing, is a bitter pill. How is it possible that all of this will right itself, when this collective of brutes and beasts has such a stranglehold on our daily existence? What can one do when they steal and oppress with impunity? What new and greater outrages await around the corner? Excesses are being piled upon excesses. The conspicuous excesses of Tribe members who looted entire countries goes on apace. The ridiculous mates with the ridiculous to produce the ridiculous and it just goes on and on into madness. I could literally do this all day. Of course I am not going to go on all day. I've just give you two more. This one and then there's this one. The insanity of materialism... oh my God, what have we come to? The callous indifference of one class of supposed human beings toward those they consider their inferiors. This pornographic, conspicuous consumption, while people are starving and in desperate straights, most of them brought to that state by the very people purchasing these things. It never crosses their mind to extend their largesse to their fellows and when they do give it is to enhance a false reputation, through giving to bogus charities, where the proceeds never come to the ones on whose behalf the charities were ostensibly created to serve.

They give everywhere but where it is needed and they only give to call attention to themselves and then write if off in any case. Heads are going to roll. It's inevitable. Whatever these execrable creatures may be thinking, they are out of the loop in terms of the degree of mayhem that is possible once you have squeezed people beyond endurance. Sooner or later the dam of stored up anger and resentment is going to break and there will be Hell to pay.

I want to point out that the coming chaos and varieties of revolution will not be taking place everywhere. In many parts of the world there will be little sign of what is taking place elsewhere. The main locales for the worst of it will be urban and suburban. There are going to be some real surprises in terms of what comes to pass on the part of the police and the military, when push comes to shove. There are other forces at work within all of us that may well have a great deal more to do with what comes to pass than will that which is outside of us.

End Transmission.......

Cyprus Disaster is Worse Than You Think!

DEMCAD’s Corner – by Reginald Kaigler
The Cyprus Bailout is the result of years and years of escalating attacks against taxpayers all across the world. This bailout is in reality a grand theft. The European Union is offering the island nation a supposed 13 billion euro bailout that will come at the cost of having bank accounts taxed 9.9%. Small accounts will be taxed 6.7%, while people with larger savings will lose at least 9.9% of your money. This is never happened before. And you can beg your bank account that it will happen again. I think this is a test run for something bigger.  
This is why bailouts don’t work.
1. Bailouts are essentially legalized theft. A transfer of wealth from one group (usually taxpayers) to a privilege group (usually bankers).
2. Bailouts prevent failed leaders and ideas from failing. This encourages the group to continue the behavior that led to failure in the first place.
3. Bailouts punish the successful companies and groups by stealing from them and destroying true competition.
So for all of you Americans who shrug your shoulders at this disaster, don’t forget that TARP didn’t solve any of your problems. it only made things worse.
Don’t think it can’t happen here.
Resistance in Cyprus Grows to Europe’s Bailout Plan
Trader Jim Sinclair told King World News that the Cyprus disaster is much worse than what the media is presenting.
 “If people believe that $13 billion is the total of this bailout, they are out of their minds.  $130 billion is not the true total of even the Russian deposits in Cyprus banks.  One important Russian businessman, in his various business enterprises, would have $100 billion on deposit himself.  10% of all deposits in Cypress could be $500 billion or more because Cyprus is the banking entity for Russia, not Switzerland or Grand Cayman.

If this is true, how in the hell can the Russians let the EU steal their money? This is going to get ugly.

Why Social Mobility In The United States Is A Total Myth

study released in March by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco reports that nearly half, 44%, of American adults who are in the bottom 20% in income were born to parents who were also in the bottom 20%; nearly half, 45%, of adults in the top 20% had parents who were also in the top 20%. Most Americans who were born in the middle 60% had parents who were also born in the middle 60%.
The cup of inter-generational mobility in the U.S. is thus about half full, and about half empty.
If you were born in the bottom 20%, your chances of ending up in the top 20% are about one in 20: 5%.
If you were born in the top 20%, your chances of ending up in the bottom 20% are about one in 20: 5%.
It’s not entirely a hereditary aristocracy and hereditary serfs; but the circumstances, genes, and connections that a person is born with do have a marked impact in this country.  
Here’s the chart, from this study:
el2013 06 2

Read more:

UROKO: The True History of the Banking Cartels and the Federal Reserve

MTV Congressman Gets Aggressive With Bernanke

Dr. Bernanke meets the Real World.
Bernanke battles MTV's Sean 'voice of the people' Duffy last week during House testimony. Duffy is concerned the Fed Chairman is giving the wrong signal to Congress about the national debt, deficit spending and the incredibly over-hyped sequester.
Austerity my ass.  By the way, Duffy is wrong about interest on the debt.  Hell, he's not even close.  It's way worse than he thinks.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Debt Machine rolls on, borrowing $3 million per minute.

Related links:
MUST SEE: The Truth About The Sequester Cuts
Simple Sequester Math
CAUGHT ON TAPE: Obama Lies About Sequester
HILARIOUS: Maxine Waters Has The Sequester All Figured Out
Bloomberg: 'We Can Borrow INFINTE Amount Of Money'
'Thou Hast Sequestered Thy Lord, And My Wrath Is Great' - Obama Speaks
COMEDY: Drinking Your Way Through The Sequester

Bernanke - Gold Varmint

College Conspiracy (Full Length)

College Conspiracy is the most comprehensive documentary ever produced about higher education in the U.S. The film exposes the facts and truth about America’s college education system. ‘College Conspiracy’ was produced over a six-month period by NIA’s team of expert Austrian economists with the help of thousands of NIA members who contributed their ideas and personal stories for the film. NIA believes the U.S. college education system is a scam that turns vulnerable young Americans into debt slaves for life.

Ex-Chancellor Alistair Darling Warns of Bank Runs Across Europe

Confidence in security of deposits under 100,000 euros shattered
Paul Joseph Watson

Former British Chancellor of the Exchequer Alistair Darling has warned that the raiding of people’s saving accounts in Cyprus could trigger bank runs across Europe.
Image: Wikimedia Commons
Darling said that the unprecedented step of looting banks account of those with 100,000 euros or less could lead to a collapse in confidence because it “blows apart” the notion that such sums are protected.
“They have actually now said to people ‘We will come after your deposits, no matter how small your savings are’ and that seems to me to make it more likely that, if you are a saver in Spain or in Italy, for example, and you have just the sniff of the EU or the IMF coming your way, you will take your money out and you will get a run on the bank,” he told BBC Radio Four’s Today show.
Highlighting the case of Northern Rock, a UK bank that became the first in 150 years to suffer a bank run, leading to its collapse, Darling warned that the precedent set in Cyprus could cause chaos.
“I’m not suggesting that tomorrow morning everybody in Southern Europe is going to take their money out of their banks,” he said. “We saw with Northern Rock, everything can be fine on day, and even though I said the Government was standing behind people’s money, we saw queues grow and grow and grow because people thought they were doing the right thing getting their money out.”
Darling concluded that the way the European Union had handled the issue illustrated how the EU was beginning to “unravel”.
Others such as Pimco CEO Mohamed El-Erian have also warned that the brazen looting of people’s bank accounts could trigger civil unrest.
Nobel Prize-winning economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman also raised the prospect of bank runs, writing, “It’s as if the Europeans are holding up a neon sign, written in Greek and Italian, saying ‘time to stage a run on your banks!’”
Italians will certainly not be comforted by German Commerzbank chief Joerg Kraemer’s call for a 15% tax on all financial assets.
With the Cypriot government struggling to gain support for the bailout bill in parliament, a new draft would spare those with 20,000 euros or less from having their savings looted. However, this new version would create a €400m funding gap.
Cyprus central bank chief Panicos Demetriades warns that unless savers with up to 100,000 euros are spared from the tax, the Mediterranean island’s banks will lose 10% of their deposit base within days.
After Vladimir Putin described the bank levy as “dangerous and unfair,” Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s envoy to the EU, labeled the tax as an act of “forceful expropriation,” adding that it threatened to cause a collapse of Cyprus’ whole banking system.
Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for and Prison He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.