Tuesday, March 26, 2013

European Markets Sliding (Fast)

FX, bond, and stock markets in Europe are not happy. As the EURRUB sees it biggest drop this year (Ruble buying), it appears whatever confidence-inspiring Dijsselblom believed in last night has faded rapidly as Italian and Spanish stocks plunge to the lows of last week (after opening gap higher). Italian and Spanish bank stocks are on-and-off halted. EURUSD is getting hammered. Italian and Spanish bond spreads are blowing wider from gap tighter openings. This is not good... The reason appears to be:
  • Cyprus a Template For EU, Reuters Says, Cites Dijsselblom

Molasses to be used on radioactive waste threatening Denver’s water supply?

A uranium company wants to use molasses to clean up an abandoned mine west of Denver. [...]
The Denver Post, March 22, 2013: Cotter Corp. is preparing to brew a multimillion-gallon uranium cocktail in a mine shaft west of Denver — an innovation aimed at ending a threat to city water supplies. [...] Such “bioremediation” would save Cotter tens of millions of dollars as an alternative to perpetually pumping out and treating mine water laced with uranium — which reached concentrations as high as 24,000 parts per billion inside the mine shaft, well above the 30 ppb federal drinking water standard. Uranium seeping from the mine has contaminated Ralston Creek, which flows into Denver Water’s Ralston Reservoir, a source of drinking water for 1.3 million metro residents. Utility treatments remove uranium before it reaches households. [...]

See  also: Plutonium up to 1,579 pCi/kg detected near Denver at Rocky Flats -- Contamination levels remain as high as 40 years ago, BEFORE site 'cleaned up'

I Moved My Money Out of the Stock Market This Morning Because European Bank Runs Could Spread Like Wildfire Due to Cyprus Banks – Laurence Kotlikoff

By Greg Hunter’s USAWatchdog.com
In January, Economist Dr. Laurence Kotlikoff said he was “worried” that the economy was reaching “a real threatening point.”  The Cyprus banking crisis hit the Globe last week.  Now, when asked if he was still “worried,” he replied, “This morning, I moved my money out of the stock market  . . . because I’m worried about Cyprus.”

nigel farage – major european bank runs now taking place

Today Nigel Farage told King World News that what they have done in Cyprus has now sparked major banks runs in Europe.  Farage, who is Britain’s popular MEP, also stated, “Even people like me who have spent many long years warning that things are out of control are really, really scared by the events of the past few days.”  Below is what Farage had to say in this extraordinary and exclusive interview:

Eric King:  “The Cyprus deal that’s been brokered here, your thoughts in the aftermath of that?”
Farage:  “Clearly the little man (under 100,000 euro deposits) has gotten off of the hook for the moment.  They were quite prepared to break their own deposit guarantee scheme initially, but they have now gone for a much, much more spectacular coup in terms of the amount of money they are going to steal from big companies, and from bigger savers (deposits over 100,000 euros)....“I must say the thing I find the shabbiest about it is there insisting that it doesn’t need to be subjected to a vote in the Cypriot Parliament.  I very much hope that the members of the Cypriot Parliament say, ‘To hell with that, we demand another vote.’

It’s funny isn’t it, the Germans are going to have a vote on it in their Parliament, but the Cypriots are being told that they shouldn’t have a vote on it.  If that’s not moving into a German dominated Europe, I don’t know what is.

I said last week that I felt any savers who had money in other eurozone banks, particularly in the Southern eurozone countries, really ought to think seriously about getting their money out.  Well, this afternoon something far more serious has happened.  The Dutch Finance Minister, about an hour and a half ago, said that he saw the Cyprus eurozone bailout as now being a template of how they intend to act in the future.  So the burden of all of this will now fall on the private sector, and not on the public sector.

Frankly, what that now says is that anybody that has money, or anybody that has big money sitting in a Spanish or an Italian bank, and particularly if you happen to be a financial officer for a company, it would be criminally negligent of you to now leave your money or a company’s money in a Spanish or an Italian bank.

I think what they’ve done today is to spark a major run on those banks.  I see that some of the banks stocks have fallen 6% this afternoon, and I think in their desperation to keep the eurozone propped-up, I really believe that long-term they have made an absolutely fatal error.  They have now crossed the bounds into one of complete criminality, and from this their reputations will never, ever recover.”

Eric King:  “Nigel, there are so many people around the world that are disturbed by what they have seen in Cyprus, what do you see going forward?”

Farage:  “What I see is a Western political class that has effectively bankrupted countries, firstly by spending far more than we’re earning in order to pander to electorates.  And nobody has had an honest conversation with those people about what a mess countries are in.

And secondly, I see all of that compounded many times more seriously by the sheer stupidity and lunacy of the eurozone project.  But now there is the total refusal to accept that the best way forward would simply be to break the whole thing up.

Western civilization hinges on democracy and the rule of law, and what we are seeing is democracy being smashed and the rule of law of law being treated with contempt.  Even people like me who have spent many long years warning that things are out of control are really, really scared by the events of the past few days.”

Eric King:  “Can the West recover from this going forward?”

Farage:  “The sooner the whole eurozone breaks up and collapses the better off we will all be.  Clearly, any sense of an orderly retreat from the eurozone is now going to be very difficult to achieve.  But the alternative to that is the rise of violence and extremism across the south of Europe.  It’s not pretty whichever way it goes, but as I said, the sooner it breaks up the better.

The game that is going on now is so big it is really difficult to foretell what’s going to happen.  But I do fear that if the Cypriot banks have suffered the way they have, mostly of course because of their holdings of Greek debt and the haircuts they had to take, I really think the concern now will move toward the Spanish banking sector.

We need to remember that Spain is a very big country.  To bail out Spain appeared to me to be something that was just too big.  I have said before on King World News that it would mean massive amounts of IMF and American money.  The scale of a Spanish bailout would be a staggering 500 billion to 700 billion euros, but now they have shown they are prepared to steal private money.  I just do not know where we go from here, but it’s very, very difficult to see things getting better.”

***IMPORTANT - There was a delay due to circumstances outside of KWN in the release of the brand new & extraordinary audio interview with former US Treasury Official Dr. Paul Craig Roberts regarding the ongoing crisis in Cyprus and much more, but it is available now and you can listen to it by CLICKING HERE.

© 2013 by King World News®. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.  However, linking directly to the blog page is permitted and encouraged.

The interviews with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, Gerald Celente, Michael Pento, Nigel Farage, Eric Sprott, Egon von Greyerz, Rob Arnott, James Turk, Jim Sinclair, and Andrew Maguire are available now.  Also, be sure to listen to the other recent KWN interviews which included Marc Faber, Felix Zulauf and Art Cashin by CLICKING HERE.

Eric King


Public Banking Conference: June 2-4, 2013 – You’re invited to $trillions!

The Examiner – by Carl Herman
Public Banking Institute is having our 2013 conference in San Rafael (Northern California) on June 2, 3, 4 to publicly present solutions in banking and money worth tens of trillions of dollars to Americans.
You literally have nothing more valuable to attend to (registration info here).
Among public banking’s available benefits:  
Each of the above topics will have its own article to explain in detail within the context of public banking, along with an open letter to economics teachers/professors, and a final call to the public for their action. Those links will be added at my hub articles at Washington’s Blog and Examiner.com as I complete them.
Our tentative schedule:
Sunday — Public Banking Perspective and Background
Sunday’s schedule begins at 1pm for some of the very best public speakers of our day:
Discussion focuses on how we move from a two-tiered justice system (one favoring the financial elites and one for the rest of us) to reclaim economic sovereignty from Wall Street banks and the US Congress.
The Funding the New Economy Conversation is Sunday night only — a one-time educational, media and cultural event, featuring the music of slack-key guitarist Makana and singer Israel Kamakawiwo’ole, the “Voice of the People.” Special guests include 13-year-old Victoria Grant, public speaker extraordinaire.
Funding the New Economy Conversation registration is available separate from the conference for those who have time to only attend on Sunday evening.
Monday — Public Banking Policy and Issues
Monday’s schedule explores one of the core foundations of successful economies around the world: a distributed network of public banks that operate in the public interest of each respective community. Speakers include Tim Canova, Maine State Treasurer Neria Douglass, Ellen Brown, with case studies on public banking, Germany’s Energiewend, and Hurricane Sandy.
Tuesday — Public Banking Roadmap and Planning
Roadmaps for solutions include funding hard and soft infrastructure that health care, education, and renewable energy.
“The recent (2012) Public Banking conference held in Philadelphia offered a message that is at once so simple – but also so bold – it is hard for most Americans to pause long enough to understand how profoundly their thinking had been corralled by the masters of finance – in ways far, far, far more insidious and powerful than even the latest financial crisis suggests.” - Gar Alperovitz, Lionel R. Bauman Professor of Political Economy at the University of Maryland, co-founder of the Democracy Collaborative, author of America beyond CapitalismMore quotes from 2012 Public Banking Conference here.
Want to help but can’t attend? Contact us.

Scientist Predicts 60% Market Collapse

Chris Martenson is a world-renowned expert on identifying dangerous, yet hidden, exponential growth patterns in global economies, energy demand, and food consumption...

And he is predicting a 60% stock market collapse will strike in the next three months.

Martenson’s opinion isn’t to be taken lightly, as his research is highly regarded by the United Nations, UK Parliament, and Fortune 500 companies.

His shocking forecast is based on a new alarming pattern he’s identified — he’s calling it “a dreaded triple top” (pictured below).

Martenson’s research suggests that the stock market has patterns, as seen in the above chart.

This proven pattern suggests the market goes through three common “tops.”

The first “top” was in 1999, followed by a 60% market decline. The second “top” was in 2007, again followed by a 60% market plunge. And a third top has now formed, and a 60% stock market drop is inevitable - and it could strike at any moment.

Unfortunately, Martenson is not the only economist predicting a massive, historic meltdown.

In fact, his figures are conservative compared to other experts in his field.

In a recent interview, Robert Wiedemer — an economist best known for correctly predicting the collapse of the U.S. housing market of 2006 and the stock market collapse of 2008 — provides disturbing evidence for 50 percent unemployment, a 90 percent stock market crash, and 100 percent annual inflation . . . starting this year.

When the host of the interview expressed disbelief in Wiedemer’s claims, he calmly displayed five indisputable charts to back up his predictions (click here to see those exact charts).

Wiedemer says the blame lies squarely on those whose job it was to avoid the exact situation we find ourselves in, including current Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and former Chairman Alan Greenspan, tasked with preventing financial meltdowns and keeping the nation’s economy strong through monetary and credit policies.

At one point in the interview, Wiedemer even calls out Bernanke, saying that his “money from heaven will be the path to hell.”

But it’s not just the grim predictions that are causing the sensation in Wiedemer’s video interview. Rather, it’s his comprehensive blueprint for economic survival that’s really commanding global attention.

The interview offers realistic, step-by-step solutions that the average hard-working American can easily follow.

Editor’s Note: See the 5 signs the stock market will collapse in 2013. Click here now.

“[The interview] was originally filmed for a private audience,” stated Aaron DeHoog, the financial publisher who is unapologetic for the release of controversial footage that has gained international attention (a donor to President Obama actually tried to ban it from their far reaching empire).

“People were sitting up and taking notice, and they begged us to make the interview public so they could easily share it.”

Since that day, over 50 million concerned citizens have tuned in to prepare for “the unthinkable.”

Asked if he is concerned if Wiedemer’s predictions don’t come true, DeHoog replied, “Absolutely not. The best-case scenario is that Wiedemer is wrong.

“Unfortunately, he has been dead-on thus far. No, our real concern is this, and it’s the more likely scenario — what if just half of Wiedemer’s predictions come true? Bottom line, it is imperative that Americans be prepared, and that is why we will continue to air this powerful interview.”

Editor’s Note: For a limited time, Newsmax is showing the Wiedemer interview and supplying viewers with copies of the new, updated Aftershock book including the final, unpublished chapter. Go here to view it now.


© 2013 Moneynews. All rights reserved.

Fedcoin: A centrally-issued alternative to peer-to-peer currencies

by Alex Delmar

A member of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors left his notebook at a local gentlemen’s club. We present this incomplete memo, found in said notebook, without comment as it speaks for itself.
Memo: internal use only
Fedcoin: A centrally-issued alternative to peer-to-peer currencies
The biggest problem with the so called “virtual currencies” is that we, the Federal Reserve and our associates, are cut out of the money creation process. Unless we can all get good at Bitcoin mining soon, we’re ruined.
Since its’s hard to get Ben to even switch from his AOL account, our friends in Creative Finance have suggested a possible solution: Fedcoin.
Fedcoin is just like a Federal Reserve Note except in the virtual space. Even better, we control it.
They’re easy to make. JPMorgan, Bank Of America, etc. run a modified version of Super Mario Brothers in which Mario’s character is computer controlled. JPM’s Mario would be Mario1, BoA’s Mario would be Mario2, etc. Every time a Mario gets a coin, $100 million dollars in Treasury bills are created and $100 million goes into the account of Mario1, Mario2, or whatever bank’s Mario got a coin. Oh yeah, $100 million in debt gets put on the government’s bill. No one will ever notice.
Only banks can use Fedcoins but they can issue paper notes against their Fedcoin holdings by a factor of 10, 50 or 100 times. We’re still fine-tuning the exact figure.
As paper Fedcoins will decrease in value, people will get rid of them quickly causing a rise in currency usage. This is always a good sign of economic activity by our measure.
Fedcoin is backed by the credit and good faith of the Federal Reserve and the government of the United States of America…
Memo ends here.

Financial Crash Red Alert March 25th 2013

A Letter from Cyprus: Economy Shutting Down, Going CASH ONLY!

An SD reader has submitted a boots on the ground report on the escalating crisis in Cyprus, as the entire Cypriot economy is now on the verge of collapse:
Nowhere in Cyprus accepts credit or debit cards anymore for fear of not being paid, it is CASH ONLY. Businesses have stopped functioning because they cannot pay employees OR pay for the stock they receive because the banks are closed.
If the banks remain closed, the economy will be destroyed and STOP COMPLETELY. Looting, robberies and theft are already on the rise.
If the banks open now, there will be a massive run on the bank, and the banks will FAIL loosing all of its deposits, also causing an economic crash

From SD Reader tzy:
Another letter from Cyprus :
A friend from Minneapolis has a son who is in Cyprus now. Here is an email that he wrote home, describing the chaotic situation there:
Hey fam!  Things are getting pretty crazy over here in Cyprus. I don’t know if you guys have been watching the news or seen things online, but Cyprus is on the verge of economic collapse. 
Over the past 5 years the Cyprus stock market has lost 98% of its value and the country has recently entered into a severe economic crisis, considered worse than Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal etc.. As of last week the two largest banks in the country have completely shut down and froze all wire transfers out of the banks. Walking outside every day this week I have seen massive lines of people at the ATMs trying to withdrawal the maximum amounts. Today there was a man who was trying to get money out and when he realized it was out of cash he shook the machine violently and punched the display while cursing in Greek. If these banks go under (and this may happen) ALL money and all deposits will be lost, which will completely destroy the economy and way of living here.
Last week the European Central Bank offered a multi-billion Euro bailout package to Cyprus in exchange for a massive tax on all civilian bank accounts in the country. If this goes through (and I hope to God it does NOT) It will also devastate the economy and cause a giant run on the bank. Cyprus has also looked to Russia for help because Russians hold tens of billions of euros of investments in Cyprus (and the majority of bank deposits), however, Russia declined.
As it stands now, nowhere in Cyprus accepts credit or debit cards anymore for fear of not being paid, it is CASH ONLY. Businesses have stopped functioning because they cannot pay employees OR pay for the stock they receive because the banks are closed. If the banks remain closed, the economy will be destroyed and STOP COMPLETELY. Looting, robberies and theft are already on the rise. If the banks open now, there will be a massive run on the bank, and the banks will FAIL loosing all of its deposits, also causing an economic crash. TONIGHT there are demonstrations at most street corners and especially at the parliament building (just 2 miles from me).
Many are thinking that the ECB and EU are allowing Cyprus to fail as a test ground for new financial standards.
Just wanted all you guys to know the real story of whats going on here. Prayers are appreciated (although this is very interesting to watch) many of my local friends have lots of money in the banks.

United States Circulating Coinage Intrinsic Value Table

This table does not reflect U.S. Mint production costs, but the pure base metal value that composes the coin. Calculations are based on coin weight, metal composition, and base metal prices. The "Metal % of Face Value" column represents the percentage of metal that comprises the denomination's purchasing power. A coin that is over 100% in this category has more base metal value than purchasing power.

Table based on March 26, 2013 overseas base metal prices:
Copper $3.4374/lb down 0.0052 Zinc $0.8678/lb down 0.0005 Nickel $7.6279/lb down 0.0017

Description Face Value Metal Value Metal % of Face Value
Lincoln Copper Cent1909-1982 Cent (95% copper) *
Jefferson Nickel1946-2013 Nickel
Lincoln Zinc Cent1982-2013 Cent (97.5% zinc) *
Roosevelt Dime1965-2013 Dime
Washington Quarter1965-2013 Quarter
Kennedy Half Dollar1971-2013 Half Dollar
Ike Dollar1971-1978 Eisenhower Dollar
Susan B. Anthony Dollar1979-1981, 1999 SBA Dollar
Sacajawea Dollar2000-2013 Sacagawea Dollar
Presidential Dollar2007-2013 Presidential Dollar

* The U.S. Mint issued both compositions in 1982; they can be differentiated by weight (3.11 g copper, 2.5 g zinc). The 1943 steel cent is not included in the table above. Also, a tin alloy is used in one cent pieces from 1864 until 1962, but that value isn't significant enough to calculate.

Base Metal Coin Calculator

Base metal coins not included above:   Jefferson Nickel1938-1942 Jefferson Nickel,   Buffalo Nickel 1913-1938 Buffalo Nickel,   Indian Cent 1864-1909 Indian Cent  

United States Circulated Silver Coinage Intrinsic Value Table

These coins were in standard circulation until silver was removed from all coinage in 1965 and 1970 (40% silver half-dollars). I recognize that the silver Eisenhower dollar was issued as a collectible only, but I'm still categorizing it with this group. This table illustrates how far the metal value has progressed compared to the denomination's purchasing power after the debasement.

Table based on March 26, 2013 3:03 AM EDT silver prices:
Silver $28.72/oz down -0.05
Description Face Value Silver Value Silver % of Face Value
Silver War Nickel Value1942-1945 Nickel **
1916 Mercury Silver Dime Value1916-1945 Mercury Dime
1964 Silver Roosevelt Dime Value1946-1964 Roosevelt Dime
Liberty Silver Quarter Value1916-1930 Standing Liberty Quarter
1964 Silver Quarter Value1932-1964 Washington Quarter
1947 Silver Walking Liberty Half Dollar Value1916-1947 Half Dollar
1962 Silver Franklin Half Dollar1948-1963 Franklin Half Dollar
JFK silver half dollar1964 Kennedy Half Dollar
40% JFK silver half dollar1965-1970 Half Dollar (40% silver)
Morgan Silver Dollar1878-1921 Morgan Dollar
Peace Silver Dollar1921-1935 Peace Dollar
Silver Ike dollar1971-1976 Eisenhower Dollar (40% silver) ***

** The U.S. Mint issued two compositions of the nickel in 1942. The copper-nickel composition used today and the 35% silver composition listed here.
*** The 40% silver version of the Eisenhower dollar was issued as a collectible only, they are generally not found in circulation. The best way to distinguish the two versions is by weight. The copper-nickel version weighs 22.68 grams, the silver Ike dollar weighs 24.59 grams.

Silver Coin Calculator

Silver coins not included above:   Barber Half Dollar1892-1915 Barber Half Dollar,   Barber Quarter 1892-1916 Barber Quarter,   Barber Dime 1892-1916 Barber Dime  

"Paper money eventually returns to its intrinsic value --- zero."
Voltaire (1694-1778)

Further limits on ATM cash withdrawals

TRYING to avert a further ATM run on Cyprus’ banks, daily withdrawal limits were further limited yesterday across the two biggest banks.
The Bank of Cyprus said on its website that the maximum withdrawal amount had dropped to €120 while the Popular Bank limited daily cash withdrawals to €100 daily from 1pm yesterday.
Previously on Thursday, Popular set a daily limit of €260 on ATM withdrawals to cope with high demands as customers queued to withdraw funds after rumours that the bank was closing down.
A Popular Bank spokesman, who was not named, told Reuters the daily limit would remain in place until the bank reopens as scheduled on Tuesday, or until confirmation of continued emergency funding from the European Central Bank (ECB).
It is still unclear what will happen if and when the banks reopen although a legal framework was set on Friday by parliament placing capital controls to avoid further destabilisation of its banking sector.
The finance ministry is expected to issue an announcement clarifying what the restrictions will be and setting any further measures deemed necessary for reasons of public order and safety.
Bank customers have no idea what to expect if banks do open tomorrow.
Nigel Christodoulou, a 53-year-old married father of three said he did not know whether he would be able to meet his financial obligations because he gets paid in his UK account and transfers money to his Cyprus account every month to go towards paying bills.
He is in the rather unusual position therefore of actually needing to bring money in to Cyprus.
“Will I be able to carry on as normal, transferring money to go towards my standing orders?” he asked. “Will standing orders even work? What about online transactions?” 
Others were not sure if they will be allowed to transfer money from their Cypriot banks to accounts of their children, studying abroad. Some families have bypassed that problem by cash transfers via the post office, and with UK universities shut for English Easter that problem is pushed back for now.
The law gives sweeping powers to the finance ministry of the Central Bank governor to restrict cash withdrawals, ban or restrict interbank or same bank transactions, and restrict movement of capital, payments and transfers. It also allows for restricted use of credit, debit or prepaid cards, banning premature termination of time deposits and compulsory reprogramming of maturing time deposits.

Growth For Bottom 90 Percent Of Americans Averaged Just $59 Over 4 Decades: Analysis

Another day, another mind-blowing fact about the staggering difference between the haves and the have-nots.
Incomes for the bottom 90 percent of Americans only grew by $59 on averagebetween 1966 and 2011 (when you adjust those incomes for inflation), according to an analysis by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston for Tax Analysts. During the same period, the average income for the top 10 percent of Americans rose by $116,071, Johnston found.
To put that into perspective: if you say the $59 boost is equivalent to one inch, then the incomes of the top 10 percent of Americans rose by 168 feet, Johnston explained to Alternet last week.
Johnston’s long-distance analogy is one way to look at the huge gap between the rich and everyone else, and there are many ways to think about and compare income growth and inequality across various segments of the population. Incomes for the bottom fifth of Americans, for instance, grew about 20 percent between 1979 and 2007, according to a 2011 study from the Congressional Budget Office. During the same period, members of the top 1 percent saw their incomes grow by 275 percent.
Another way to illustrate the huge disparity: the six heirs to the Walmart fortune had a net worth equivalent to the bottom 41.5 percent of Americans combined in 2010, according to an analysis from Josh Bivens at the Economic Policy Institute.
While income inequality may be great for those reaping the big bucks at the top, it’s likely hurting Americans overall. Greater income equality is correlated with stronger economic growth, according to a 2011 IMF report.

Cyprus, And It's Gone (Financial Crisis Mash)

It’s Head for “The Mattress” Time for Savers Worldwide

MobsterLiberty Gold and Silver
Throughout the colorful history of organized crime in the United States, periodic eruptions of inter-gang Mafia violence have dotted the criminal landscape. When turf wars broke out between competing crime families in major cities such as New York and Chicago, the combatants would conduct their warfare from unsavory redoubts such as abandoned warehouses or low-rent hotels and apartments. In such locations, the soldiers would spend their off hours sleeping on rented mattresses until the internecine conflicts had run their course; hence the expression “going to the mattresses.”  
Well, there is another turf war going on, a worldwide one, one that threatens the entire economic and political landscape of the planet. It is between all the hard working savers on the planet and the ever greedy criminal bankers and their cohorts in government. The real big canary singing out an extreme danger warning to all traditional savers who wish to entrust their wealth to banks and other paper vehicles – stocks, bonds, etc., is the incredible emergency banking shutdown in the tiny island nation of Cyprus. Granted, Cyprus represents only .02% of the population of the European Union. Yet what is occurring there is the harbinger of great risk to traditional savers on every continent; and equally important, there are many more scary danger signs raising their ugly heads as well.
To recap for a moment, let’s briefly itemize the situation in Cyprus. Cyprus, like just about every other country on the planet, has for decades been politically committed to a socialist based economy. In this scenario, politicians have promised benefits to the various voting classes which have far exceeded their annual tax revenue. This has caused its government to continually accumulate deficits that have resulted in a very large national debt in relation to its GDP. This debt has been collateralized by sovereign bonds sold to and purchased by large banks in Europe and elsewhere. Now this debt has become so large the government of Cyprus can no longer afford to pay even the interest, let alone reduce principal. What happens at this juncture, is that a powerful international banking institution, in this case, the European Central Bank (substitute your favorite lender of last resort – the Federal Reserve, the IMF, the World Bank, etc., etc.), has agreed to come to the rescue of the cash strapped government and help it make its current annual debt payment.
However, this emergency funding comes with a draconian penalty for the trusting taxpaying savers. In this instance, the European Central Bank has cut a secret deal with the Cypriot government to raid the bank accounts of all the country’s bank depositors, between six and ten percent. This proposed robbery, if it comes to pass, will confiscate billions from citizens and non-citizens alike who have placed their trust in the security of Cyprus’s banks. What has resulted, of course, is riotous response throughout the nation and frantic sell-offs in world equity markets.
What is important to understand here, though, is that this same game plan has been occurring for several years now in many countries throughout the world. Here is the short list of some of the transgressions that unscrupulous governments, under pressure from their major bank lenders, have perpetrated, and continue to perpetrate upon unsuspecting savers.
October 2008 – Argentina’s leftist government, facing a gigantic revenue shortfall, proposes to nationalize all private pensions so as to meet national debt payments and avoid its second default in the decade.
November 2010 – Headline – Hungary Gives Its Citizens an Ultimatum: Move Your Private Pension Fund Assets to the State or Permanently Lose Your Pension – This is an effective nationalization of all pensions.
November 2010 – Ireland elects to appropriate ten billion euros from its National Pension Reserve Fund to help fund an eighty-five billion euro rescue package for its besieged banks. Ireland also moves to consider a regulatory move that compels some private Irish pension funds to hold more Irish government debt, thereby providing the state with a captive investor base but hugely raising the risk for savers.
December 2010 – France agrees to transfer twenty billion euros worth of assets belonging to its Fonds de Reserve pour les Retraites (FRR), the funded portion of its retirement system, to help pay off recurring social benefits costs. No pensioners are consulted.
April 2012 – Argentina announces that its Economy Ministry has taken an emergency loan from the national pension fund in the amount of $4.3 billion. No pensioners were consulted.
June 2012 – Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unilaterally appropriates $45 billion from US federal pension funds to help tide over US deficits for the remainder of fiscal year 2011.
January 2013 – Treasury Secretary Geithner again announces that the government has begun borrowing from the federal employees pension fund to keep operating without passing the approaching “fiscal cliff” debt limit. The move effectively creates $156 billion in borrowing authority from federal pension funds.
March 2013 – Open Bank Resolution finance minister, Bill English, is proposing a Cyprus style solution for potential New Zealand bank failures. The reserve bank is in the final stages of establishing a rescue scheme which will put all bank depositors on the hook for bailing out their banks. Depositors will overnight have their savings shaved by the amount needed to keep distressed banks afloat.
Ladies and gentlemen, this trend is JUST getting underway. Bank failures, sovereign bond collapses, and national government bankruptcy are just around the corner. Because of the interconnectedness of world debt markets and derivatives risk, counted in hundreds of trillions of dollars, the risk to traditional investment vehicles looms ever closer. We’re at critical eleventh hour crossroads where savvy investors need to head for “the mattresses” to protect their life savings. We may be biased but we strongly feel that the very surest and safest “mattress plan” in this extremely dangerous financial environment, is to invest in the one vehicle that has survived every crisis in recorded history, precious metals. When all else fails, gold and silver will be there to save you.
To learn more about the rewards of precious metals investing, including how to fund your existing IRA with gold or silver, call Liberty Gold and Silver seven days a week at 888.751.3330. To learn about the most generous referral program in the precious metals industry, please visit the Liberty Gold and Silver Referral Program.
We’re happy to spend as much time as you need to discuss the details with you.

James Rickards: Texas Law Would Protect Its Gold from Government Seizure

A Texas state lawmaker has proposed a bill that would allow the state to store its own gold in a manner that deem any attempts of government confiscation to be “null and void,” James Rickards, senior managing director of Tangent Capital Partners and author of Currency Wars, told Yahoo.

The state's gold reserves are currently stored in New York under the watch of the Federal Reserve. But Gov. Rick Perry thinks Texas should be keeping watch over its own gold. On the Glenn Beck show, Perry announced that the legislative process to bring the gold home is currently under way, The Texas Tribune reported.

The idea of Texas becoming the keeper of its own gold raises issues of storage and protection.

Editor's Note:
Get David Skarica's Gold Stock Adviser — Click Here Now!

But Perry noted that the state is at least as capable as the Fed is of safeguarding the state’s “physical gold.”

The bill, put forth by State Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, would create the Texas Bullion Depository.

Rickards has read the proposed legislation and describes it as a “very significant development.”

With regard to the proposed depository, he said to “think of it as the Fort Knox of Texas.”

He explained that a facility such as Fort Knox is a sovereign depository, which houses sovereign gold. Likewise, a private depository offers services to private owners.

What is being proposed in Texas is “one of the first sovereign depositories of private gold.” This means gold belonging to individuals could be stored with state government backing.

Moreover, Rickards says, the bill includes language that will tell the government to “shove off” if they ever tried to confiscate the gold. He said the power to do so is granted by the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

“You’ve got the state of Texas standing up for you if the federal government tries to do what they tried to do in 1933, which is take the people’s gold,” Rickards told Yahoo.

“Personally I think this is a game changer in the way the world of institutional investors are going to look at gold,” he added.

If the bill were to become law, according to Rickards, it would permit Texas pension funds to invest in physical bullion, an option they currently do not have.

Capriglione identified financial security as a key benefit of the proposed legislation. He believes having a state depository could prove to be a wise move in the event of a crisis or even for people who are concerned about the risk of crisis.

“For us to have our own gold, a lot of the runs on the bank and those types of things, they happen because people are worried that there’s nothing there to back it up,” Capriglione told The Tribune. “So I think this cures a problem before it can happen.”

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US Senate Unanimously Votes To End Unfair Subsidies For ‘Too Big To Fail’ Banks

“Too big to fail.”
This phrase will always be associated with the 2008 economic collapse that sent America into the deepest recession since 1929. In order to stop the financial bleeding, the U.S. government voted to rescue the big banks rather than allow them to fail and take our economy with them. Ever since, big banks have only gotten bigger on the premise that if they fail again, the government will bail them out. Billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies have been dealt to those very banks in the years since.
But on Friday, the U.S. Senate did something that it rarely does these days. An amendment was offered as an attachment to the Senate budget bill and it not only gained the support of both Republicans and Democrats, it received unanimous support. By a vote of 99-0, the U.S. Senate voted to strip “too big to fail” banks of the taxpayer subsidies they’ve been getting for far too long.
According to The Hill, the amendment was introduced by Louisiana Republican David Vitter and Ohio Democrat Sherrod Brown. The bipartisan proposal “ends Too Big To Fail subsidies or funding advantages for Wall Street mega-banks with more than $500 billion in assets.”
Senator Vitter said:
“There are at least three independent studies recently that underscore that ‘Too Big To Fail’ is still alive and well,” and that, “’Too Big To Fail’ policies are creating an unfair playing field for smaller banks.”
Additionally, The Hill reported:
“Brown and Vitter argue that the Dodd-Frank financial reform law didn’t do enough to keep large banks in check. They say that if banks are still ‘Too Big To Fail,’ they have an unfair advantage and are able to borrow more money since lenders believe they would be bailed out if a risky investment fails.”
The unanimous vote marks the first time the U.S. Senate has made a move against “too big to fail” since passage of the Dodd-Frank law. The amendment should be seen as a victory for Occupy Wall Street, which protested the big banks and “too big to fail” for over a year. It’s also a win for Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren, who has been crusading against the big banks on behalf of taxpayers since long before being elected to office last year.
The amendment to end big bank subsidies is certainly justified. Two reports indicate that the banks were rolling in taxpayer dollars that they didn’t need. In February, Bloomberg News reported that the big banks made an estimated $83 billion a year. But that number could be even higher, according to top banking analyst, Chris Whalen. In March, Whalen estimated that big banks rake in more than $780 billion of government subsidies every year. That means banks have been making trillions of dollars over the last few years even though they didn’t need the money.
After hearing those numbers, it’s clear the U.S. Senate made a wise decision to eliminate subsidies for big banks. This will undoubtedly save hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars to be used for different causes like infrastructure and jobs.
The only problem, of course, is now that the Senate has passed their version of the budget, complete with an end to government handouts to Wall Street banks, it falls to the House to approve the bill and send it to the President. In short, we have to depend on House Republicans to get the job done and, considering the conservative obsession with forcing the Ryan Budget upon America, passage of the Senate bill looks grim. The Senate finally gets their act together and unites to do something right for a change, and now conservative extremists in the House could ruin it for everyone. Now would the time for everyone to get on the phone with their representative in Congress to demand passage of the Senate budget.
The Senate deserves credit and huge cheers for uniting against the big banks that have been trying to take American taxpayers for every penny they’ve made over many years. Now if the Senate could just strip defense contractors and Big Oil of their taxpayer subsidies as well, we can pay off our debt, stop targeting programs that help Americans, and get back to the surplus days of the Clinton Administration.

BERNANKE: "Bank Account Seizure Unlikely In U.S."

Bernanke on Cyprus and taxing bank deposits in the U.S.
Highlight clip from Bernanke's press conference yesterday.  Runs 2 minutes, and it takes Ben nearly that long to answer the question, before finally, in the last 10 seconds, he says it is "extremely unlikely" to happen in the U.S.  He does not say, however, that taxing or seizing assets from bank accounts is impossible.  This is a door left wide open.
More highlight clips below.


Unemployment still too high, QE to remain.
Bernanke updates the Fed's view of the economy.
Read the official FOMC statement...
Bernanke's complete remarks...


No risk of Cyprus contagion.
Runs 30 seconds.
"We Have No Idea How Much Money We're Giving The Banks..."


Full press conference video.

Another clip from same press conference:

Bernanke: "We Have No Idea How Much Money We're Giving The Banks"

No Bank Account is Safe Today (Not Just The Ones in Cyprus)

Peter Schiff: Cyprus More Honest Than US By Confiscating Deposits Rather Than Using Inflation


U.S. stocks drop on European concerns

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — U.S. stocks declined Monday, erasing gains that briefly had the S&P 500 index less than one point from its record close, as Wall Street worried about Europe’s troubles.

Stocks had initially rallied as a deal was reached to avert a financial meltdown in Cyprus. But equities retreated as investors questioned what the plan for bank restructuring in the island nation would mean for other European countries.
“This is just a reality check. The initial euphoria was Cyprus at least didn’t sink into the Mediterranean Sea. But, as you dive in further, you realize Europe still does have significant issues to resolve,” said Ron Florance, managing director of investment strategy at Wells Fargo Private Bank.
After coming within a fraction of its all-time closing high of 1,565.15, hit in October 2007, the S&P 500 SPX -0.33%  ended at 1,551.69, off 5.20 points, or 0.3% on Monday.

Getty Images Enlarge Image
Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem.
The S&P 500 initial nearing of its all-time closing high is “much more of a Main Street story than a Wall Street story, as we’ve been watching this from 2009,” said Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets, referring to the bull market that started a fifth year in March. The index has more than doubled from its 2009 bottom.
Industrials and materials were the worst performing of the S&P’s 10 major sectors, all of which lost ground.
Dell Inc. DELL +2.62% shares gained 2.6% after the computer maker confirmed it received competing bids from private-equity firm Blackstone Group LP BX -0.41%  and billionaire investor Carl Icahn that could top one offered by founder Michael Dell.
Best Buy Co Inc. BBY +1.84%   advanced 1.8% after the consumer-electronics retailer said founder Richard Schulze would return as chairman emeritus, offsetting talk that its largest investor was considering selling his stake in the company.
After rising as much as 51 points and then falling 117 points, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA -0.44%  declined 64.28 points, or 0.4%, to end at 14,447.75.
The Nasdaq Composite COMP -0.30%  dropped 9.70 points, or 0.3%, to 3,235.30.
For every two stocks that rose, three fell on the New York Stock Exchange, where 655 million shares traded.
Composite volume approached 3.2 billion.

Bloomberg News/Landov Enlarge Image
Michael Dell, Carl Icahn
The euro fell, along with U.S. and European equities, after Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem suggested to Reuters and the Financial Times that a depositor bail-in, the most controversial aspect of the Cyprus rescue, could be repeated among others in the 17-member euro zone. His office later dialed back his comments.
The euro EURUSD +0.18%  slid to $1.2855 after rising as high as $1.3048 in Asian trade on Monday.
Cyprus and international lenders struck a last-minute bailout deal early Monday, clearing the way for the euro area’s third-smallest economy to receive 10 billion euros ($13 billion) in financing. The agreement calls for a restructuring of two of the island country’s largest banks — Popular Bank of Cyprus (also known as “Laiki Bank”) and Bank of Cyprus — as well as a downsizing of the nation’s overall banking sector.

Relief rally for Cyprus soon fizzles

A bailout deal for Cyprus to avoid bankruptcy gave the markets little lasting boost. Katie Martin reports.
Deposits at both banks larger than €100,000, the cutoff between insured and uninsured deposits, will be subject to a levy.
“We were having too much of a celebration over the near-term success of fixing the Cyprus problem, but the devil is in the details, and the details are still coming out,” said Hogan. “The good news is disaster has been avoided; the bad news is the knock-on effect,” he said.
In a speech Monday afternoon in New York, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said the Fed’s monetary policy should remain “very accommodative” to give the labor market more time to strengthen. Dudley also said the Fed must press ahead with its bond-buying program as Congress is going about fiscal policy the wrong way.
“If you are worried about the Fed ending asset purchases early, you would need an outlook shift from Fed members such as Dudley. At least today, no such shift was seen,” noted Dan Greenhaus, chief global strategist at BTIG LLC, in emailed commentary.
In Britain, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke told the London School of Economics that low interest rates in developed countries help the global economy while not disrupting trade via weaker currencies.
Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.