Thursday, May 2, 2013

1.3MILLION with interest-only loans face losing their homes in mortgage 'timebomb'

  • May have to borrow money from family or friends to make up shortfall
  • Others face extending their mortgages well into their 70s
  • Financial Conduct Authority says mortgage 'timebomb' will hit 40,000 people a year between 2017 and 2032

  • Around 1.3million families face losing their homes after taking out mortgages which they have little or no hope of repaying, a major report reveals today.
    Many householders on ‘interest-only’ deals have failed to make provision for paying back the capital, the Financial Conduct Authority concludes.
    When their mortgages expire, they could be forced to sell their family homes or borrow money from friends or family to make up the shortfall. Others face extending their mortgages well into their 70s.
    Homeowners with an interest-only mortgage could be forced to sell their property or borrow money to pay back the capital
    Homeowners with an interest-only mortgage could be forced to sell their property or borrow money to pay back the capital
    Asked how they planned to repay the capital, some admitted their only hope was that they will have died before their bank asks for its money back.
    The FCA believes the mortgage timebomb will hit 40,000 people a year between 2017 and 2032, many of whom will be over the age of 65 when their loan matures.
    It said its report was a ‘wake-up call’ for the 2.6million householders with interest-only mortgages, which allow them to pay off only the interest. At the end of the term, they are supposed to have amassed enough in savings or equity to pay off the capital.
    However, the FCA found that the average amount owed on interest-only loans is £72,000, with many owing more than double that.
    The FCA report warns that a shocking 48 per cent of such borrowers either have no way of repaying the loan, or will fall woefully short of the amount they need.
    Around 260,000 have no strategy at all for repaying the debt. Many said they planned to ‘downsize’ to a smaller home, while others were pinning their hopes on inheriting a lump sum from a relative.


    Heartbreak: Colin and Mandy Mee have an interest-only mortgage and are worried they will be forced to sell their home in Darlington
    Heartbreak: Colin and Mandy Mee have an interest-only mortgage and are worried they will be forced to sell their home in Darlington
    Colin and Mandy Mee have no idea how they will pay off their £119,000 mortgage in 2028.

    Mr Mee took out the interest-only loan on a three-bedroom semi-detached home in Darlington in 2005. He was attracted by the £466-a-month payments with a 4.7 per cent interest rate.

    The couple planned to switch to a repayment loan but Mr Mee was made redundant last year.

    The couple now play in a Fifties-style wedding band called the Mee Kats, with 50-year-old Mrs Mee on the double-bass. A repayment mortgage would raise their monthly payments to £675, which they could no longer afford.

    Their house is now worth £150,000 and they are considering selling it before the capital is due.

    Mr Mee said: ‘I keep saying to Mandy that when we need to retire we are going to be forced to sell up if we haven’t paid off the mortgage by then. That would be heart-breaking because I love everything about this place. In a worst-case scenario, we can take the equity and rent.

    ‘What would really scare me is if our bank tried to push us back on to a repayment loan tomorrow because there is absolutely no way we could afford it.’
    In addition, many borrowers are already in dire financial straits, with one in ten having ‘in excess of £25,000 of unsecured borrowing’, including credit card bills, overdrafts and payday loans.
    The report said 65,000 householders believe they were mis-sold the mortgages and claim they had no idea they would be expected to repay the original loan.
    Over the next 12 months, homeowners whose loans are due to mature within the next seven years are to be sent a formal letter to warn them about the problem.
    Interest-only mortgages were sold by many banks and building societies until 2009, with some people allowed to borrow more than seven times their salary.
    Interest-only mortgages have almost disappeared from the mortgage market, with lenders such as Nationwide refusing to sell them to new customers
    Interest-only mortgages have almost disappeared from the mortgage market, with lenders such as Nationwide refusing to sell them to new customers
    The FCA made it clear that borrowers – not their banks – must take responsibility for the loans that they took out. Martin Wheatley, chief executive, said: ‘My advice to borrowers is to not bury your head in the sand. Take action now.’
    The Council of Mortgage Lenders echoed the FCA, saying: ‘The responsibility for repaying the mortgage lies with the customer.’
    Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer watchdog Which?, said: ‘Lenders should recognise their responsibility, communicate clearly with their customers and explain all the options available to help them. It is essential that customers trapped on their current mortgage are treated fairly, and lenders must show forbearance to people who are struggling.’
    Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said interest-only mortgages had helped many people to buy their first home, but added: ‘It is not suitable for everyone. In retrospect, perhaps at the height of the market, interest-only mortgages were dished out rather too freely.’
    Interest-only mortgages have almost disappeared from the mortgage market, with lenders such as Nationwide and the Co-op refusing to sell them to new customers.


    By Simon Lambert, of  Mail Online's This is Money
    The report suggests bright young things are trapped by big mortgages, says Simon Lambert
    The report suggests bright young things are trapped by big mortgages, says Simon Lambert
    The interest-only timebomb ticking away for borrowers has been laid bare again.

    We have long warned about this issue and have even built our own wake-up alarm calculator (below) to help people understand it.
    It's important to note that not all interest-only mortgages are bad. Used sensibly they can be an efficient and flexible way to borrow.
    But the new Financial Conduct Authority report identifies in its great detail a band of borrowers we have warned about – dubbed the Bright Futures.
    These are young professionals with good career prospects who borrowed big to get on the property ladder in the late boom years. There is a disproportionate number of them in London and the South, where house prices are highest - many of them also carry large amounts of personal unsecured debt on credit cards and loans.
    A shift to a repayment loan would mean severe cutbacks to their spending - and hamper their chance of saving, especially for retirement.
    As someone in my mid-30s, I know plenty of them - they are my peers in good jobs who cannot really afford their sizeable mortgages. They bought properties before the 2007 peak and were encouraged by lenders and brokers to go for broke.
    In fact, when my wife and I bought our first flat in 2006 we were openly invited to borrow more and buy a more expensive home by going interest-only. We turned that offer down, but many didn't.
    The FCA report quite rightly identifies that this chunk of borrowers have the time and the earnings potential to switch to a repayment mortgage and get the debt cleared.
    The only problem is that while that may be true over the next two decades or so, it doesn't mean they can afford to stump up the extra £500 a month they may need know to switch to a repayment loan now.
    And with lenders having called time on interest-only loans that means they can't move or remortgage, putting their own crunch moment a lot closer than they think.

    Penny and Nickel Debasement Bill Introduced in U.S. Congress

    Survival Blog – by James Wesley, Rawles
    Reader Joe K. sent this news link: Bill Seeks Steel Cents, Nickels, Dimes, and Quarters. Note that the bill’s main sponsors are from Ohio, which is a steel manufacturing state. But this legislation is more than just grandstanding.
    Unlike similar legislation in previous sessions of congress, this new bill will probably gain traction in the current congress, since the government has now been losing money with the seigniorage costs of pennies and nickels for many years. Well, I’ve been warning you since 2009, folks.   
    While this bill is still in committee, I suspect that a coinage composition change will take place before the end of 2013. The ravages of inflation made the change inevitable. The Coinflation web site presently lists the scrap value of the base metal content of the current U.S. zinc penny at $0.021192 (211.92% of face value) and the cupronickel five cent piece at $0.045671 (91.34% of face value), and their actual minting and distribution costs are actually much higher. According to Coin Update, it cost the US Mint $0.1009 to produce and distribute each nickel, as of fiscal year 2013. They can’t go on spending 10 cents producing each five cent coin much longer.
    You gave been warned. I strongly urge you to go to your local bank or credit union and ask them to order you some $200 U.S. Mint Boxes of nickels. In just a few years, after the debasement is completed and the rational self interest of Gresham’s Law psychology purges all of the real cupronickel nickels from circulation, rolls ofpre-2013 nickels will sell at a substantial premium. Because nickel is a base metal, this premium will never be as high as that for silver coins, but at least you’ll know that you possess some genuine money that will hold its value, even if the Quantitative Easing monetization process continues indefinitely. (Quantitative Easing is debasement of the dollar, writ large.)
    In addition to hedging against gradual inflation, holding nickels will also provide you insurance against the less likely sudden revaluation of the Dollar. As I’ve explained previously, if a zero is ever lopped off the Dollar, new paper currency will be issued, but the old coinage will probably still circulate. (Since it would be too expensive to replace.) This will make anyone holding coins the beneficiaries of an overnight 10X gain.
    This may be your last chance to stock up on nickels at face value, and without any sorting, folks! If you don’t already have four or five .30 caliber ammo cans full of rolls of nickels, then you are behind the power curve. Don’t dawdle any longer. – J.W.R.

    The Problem with Social Security Reform is the Gov Already Stole the Money

    Town Hall – by Bill Tatro
    I’ve been waiting in the wings very patiently for the all the uproar to die down before I weighed in on the incredibly stupid 2010 comment made by former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson in which he called me and my fellow senior citizens, “The greediest generation.”
    With essentially no lack of antagonism directed toward career politician Simpson for all this time, I definitely feel the need to finally come forward in order to shed more light on the subject.  Let me begin by explaining that in addition to being ill-advised, Simpson’s remark also reveals everything that you need to know about career politicians in general, irrespective of their political party affiliation.   
    I’m fully aware of the argument about those people who are just like my father—he will be 89-years-old in June—receiving more in Social Security benefits than they ever contributed.  I also acknowledge the contention that Social Security was never originally designed to be a person’s sole source of income and that life expectancies are much longer today than when the federal program was first introduced in 1935.
    In addition, I understand that so-called “career politicians,” especially Alan Simpson, have consistently viewed the Social Security Trust Fund as a honeypot in which they could dip into anytime they saw a potential problem on the horizon—a situation created by their own blundering desire for reelection.  Moreover, it is recognized that neither I nor anyone else signed up to support a government that artificially deprives its citizens of a reasonable return on its life savings (ZIRP), thus creating even more dependence for that Social Security check each month.
    Therefore, I firmly believe that Alan Simpson along with the other several hundred career senators and congressmen are truly the greedy group.
    Nevertheless, it would appear that we are at a standstill since no amount of discussion, argument, or commentary is going to change either Alan Simpson’s opinion or my opinion.  Therefore, I have a very simple solution.  I am the first of the baby boomers, thus give back to me and my “greedy generation” all the money that we’ve contributed to the Social Security Fund for the past forty-years and I’ll even let the government keep the so-called interest that it supposedly earned.  This resolution will eliminate the name calling since I think even a career politician would agree that the return of what is rightfully ours cannot be classified as greed.
    I’ll take my money, buy an annuity, and immediately annuitize it which would provide a monthly distribution for both me and my wife, something Social Security simply can’t do.  Then, allow Social Security to wither on the vine after taking care of the Greatest Generation.  Again, this removes the name calling.
    The only problem I foresee is that to give me my money back, the money actually needs to be there.  That could present a major difficulty since Alan Simpson and all of his cronies have already stolen the money—and in my opinion that is truly greed.

    Bill Tatro

    Along with his 40-years of dedication in the financial services industry, Bill is the President and CEO of GPSforLife, has authored a highly successful book entitled The One-Hour Survival Guide for the Downsized, acts as editor-in-chief of his dynamic monthly financial newsletter MacroProfit, maintains his very own website at, and faithfully continues his third decade on the radio with It’s All About Money which can be heard Monday through Friday on Money Radio 1510 KFNN (Phoenix, AZ). Bill can be reached via email:

    Nullify the Fed! Arizona Constitutional Tender Bill on the Governor’s Desk for a Signature

    Dees Illustration
    Activist Post

    The Arizona state senate concurred with the house on Senate Bill by a vote of 18-0, sending the legislation to Governor Jan Brewer’s desk for a signature. SB1439, the Constitutional Tender Act, allows businesses and the state government to accept payments in gold or silver. It specifies that legal tender in Arizona consists of all of the following:
    1. Legal Tender authorized by Congress.
    2. Specie (containing gold or silver) coin issued at any time by the U.S. government.
    3. Any other specie that a court of competent jurisdiction rules by a final, unappealable order to be within the scope of state authority to make legal tender.
    The bill previously passed the state senate by a vote of 17-11. Since there was a House amendment which tightened up some of the language, constitutionally, the bill needed one final vote on the floor of the State Senate before going to Jan Brewer’s desk for a signature.


    Currently all debts and taxes in Arizona and the rest of the United States are either paid with Federal Reserve Notes (dollars) which were authorized as legal tender by Congress, or with coins issued by the U.S. Treasury — very few of which have gold or silver in them.

    The United States Constitution states in Article I, Section 10, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.” The Constitutional tender act is a big step towards that constitutional requirement which has been ignored for a long time in every state of the country. Such a tactic would achieve the desired goal of abolishing the Federal Reserve system by attacking it from the bottom up – pulling the rug out from under it by working to make its functions irrelevant at the State and local level.

     Passage of the Constitutional/Legal Tender Act would introduce currency competition with Federal Reserve Notes. Professor William Greene explains further:

    Over time, as residents of the State use both Federal Reserve Notes and silver and gold coins, the fact that the coins hold their value more than Federal Reserve Notes do will lead to a "reverse Gresham’s Law" effect, where good money (gold and silver coins) will drive out bad money (Federal Reserve Notes). As this happens, a cascade of events can begin to occur, including the flow of real wealth toward the State’s treasury, an influx of banking business from outside of the State – as people in other States carry out their desire to bank with sound money – and an eventual outcry against the use of Federal Reserve Notes for any transactions.
    Once things get to that point, Federal Reserve notes would become largely unwanted and irrelevant for ordinary people. Nullifying the Fed on a state by state level is what will get us there.

    Without a single act of Congress, the Federal Reserve system can be brought to its knees by passing such bills in states all over the country.


    The amendment passed by the house makes two technical revisions to the bill on the same Constitutional principle. They are as follows:


    This part of the amendment is constitutionally-sound. It makes sure the bill is in line with Article 1, Section 10 of the Constitution, which makes reference to debts, but not taxes. It reads, “No State shall…make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts.”


    The is constitutionally-sound for the same reason as above. Taxes, however, can be debts, so at best, this text was redundant.

    ACTION ITEMS for Arizona

    1. Contact Governor Brewer. Strongly, but politely, let her know that you want her to SIGN SB1439 into law. It is strongly recommended that you CALL rather than email.

    (602) 542-4331
    800-253-0883 (outside Maricopa County only)

    2. Share this information widely. Please pass this along to your friends and family. Also share it with any and all grassroots groups you’re in contact with around the state. Please encourage them to email this information to their members and supporters.


    If you’re outside of Arizona, please contact your own legislators regarding Constitutional Tender legislation. If none has been introduced in your state, you can email them the model legislation:

    Track the status of the Constitutional Tender Act in states around the country:

    Original link HERE

    A Day After Hitting An All-Time High – Two Unofficial “Recession Indicators” Are Flashing For The First Time Since The Recovery Began; Stocks Plunged Sharply Over Bad Economic News; Margin Debt Hitting Levels Only Seen One Other Time In History!

    Just Two ‘Recession’ Indicators

    “The other times we have seen such a collapse, the economy was either in recession or just coming out of one…”
    Retail Sales collapsing…

    and absent the might of the US deficit, real personal income is also collapsing…

    Charts: Bloomberg and Gluskin Sheff


    A day after hitting an all-time high, stocks took a beating thanks to some ugly economic news.
    First the scoreboard:
    Dow: 14,700, -138.8 pts, -0.9%
    S&P 500: 1,582, -14.8 pts, -0.9%
    NASDAQ: 3,299, -29.6 pts, -0.8%
    And now the top stories:
    • The bad news started in Asia.  First, we learned that Korean export growth dropped sharply in April.  Then we learned that Chinese manufacturing decelerated more than expected.
    • In the U.S., the ADP jobs report showed that America’s private companies added just 119k new jobs in April.  This was much less than the 150k expected by economists.  This doesn’t bode well for Friday’s official jobs report.
    • The American manufacturing picture was a bit mixed, but that was largely due to economists’ expectations being so low.  U.S. PMI fell to 52.1 in April from 54.6 last month.  The ISM Manufacturing index fell to 50.7 from 51.3 last month.  Both readings were a bit above expectations.  Also, any reading above 50 signals growth.
    • Construction spending was particularly ugly, unexpectedly falling 1.7% month-over-month in March.
    • ….

    This indicator is suggesting slower economy and lower stock prices-

    Lumber prices over the past 25 years have been a quality leading indicator for the future direction of the economy and the stock market, in both directions.
    Back in March, the Power of the Pattern pointed out that Lumber was at the top of a 25-year channel (formed a bearish rising wedge), where 50% declines in Lumber often happen in the past…. which was followed by a slowing economy and lower stock prices.  (see post here)

    This trend/pattern has only happened for the past 25 years!!! 

    Margin debt hitting levels only seen ONE other time in history!

    Some times in history, investors feel so confident about the future of stocks, they actually use up all their available cash and then borrow money to invest in the stock market.  Now is one of those times!!!
    The chart below was created by Doug Short, see his outstanding work here.

    Positive net worth takes place when.….Investors have little money borrowed and plenty of cash in their brokerage accounts.  (2003 & 2009)
    Negative net worth takes place when.…Investors have large amounts of money borrowed (on margin) and little cash in there brokerage accounts. (2000, 2007, 2011 & now)
    The above chart reflects that only one other time in history has negative net worth been this low, which was the tech bubble back in 2000. The prior two times that negative net worth were this low was 2007 (50% S&P 500 decline) and 2011 (17% S&P 500 decline). …

    300 Million Young People Out of Work? Economist Mag Suggests 'Solution'

    300 Million Young People Out of Work? Economist Mag Suggests 'Solution'

    By Staff Report
    Generation jobless ... "YOUNG people ought not to be idle. It is very bad for them," said Margaret Thatcher in 1984. She was right: there are few worse things that society can do to its young than to leave them in limbo ...The International Labour Organisation reports that 75m young people globally are looking for a job. World Bank surveys suggest that 262m young people in emerging markets are economically inactive. Depending on how you measure them, the number of young people without a job is nearly as large as the population of America (311m). – Economist
    Dominant Social Theme: This is a global tragedy and we need more education and training.
    Free-Market Analysis: The bad news goes on and on. From The Economist magazine we learn that some 300 million young people are out of work in emerging markets. We suppose this does not count the tens of millions out of work in Southern Europe and a similar number in the US.
    What really isn't working is the rigid, inflationary system of monetary debasement that is gradually (purposefully?) crushing Western civilization.
    Ironically, it is our suspicion that all is NOT so bad as it seems, that the West's plight is at least in part a deliberate effort to "even out" East and West preparatory to installing yet more globalist economic solutions. The BRICs are "up" coincidentally just as the West is "down." We are either not supposed to notice this or to believe – despite the enormous clout of central banking – that this is merely some sort of vast coincidence.
    In any event, we are not supposed to blame it on the "system." The system, mind you, is just what it is. It has "evolved." In other words, it was never controlled and is not controlled now. Monopoly central banking and the leadership provided by the BIS (where central bankers meet bi-monthly) is yet another serendipitous evolution.
    We know this because the mainstream mouthpiece of elitist control – The Economist magazine – tells us it is so. Here's more from this discouraging article.
    Two factors play a big part. First, the long slowdown in the West has reduced demand for labour, and it is easier to put off hiring young people than it is to fire older workers. Second, in emerging economies population growth is fastest in countries with dysfunctional labour markets, such as India and Egypt.
    The result is an "arc of unemployment", from southern Europe through north Africa and the Middle East to South Asia, where the rich world's recession meets the poor world's youthquake. The anger of the young jobless has already burst onto the streets in the Middle East. Violent crime, generally in decline in the rich world, is rising in Spain, Italy and Portugal—countries with startlingly high youth unemployment.

    Federal Reserve Open Market Committee To Extend Low Interest Rates, Purchases of Treasuries, Mortgage-Backed Securities

    By | May 01 2013 2:13 PM
    The powerful Federal Open Market Committee of the U.S. central bank said Wednesday it will continue holding interest rates at historic low levels and continue buying $85 billion in debt securities every month until the unemployment rate falls.
    The FOMC said it will keep the federal funds rate at 0 percent to 0.25 percent as long as unemployment is above 6.5 percent. It is currently at 7.6 percent.
    Further, the rate-setting panel said it will continue purchasing additional agency mortgage-backed securities at a pace of $40 billion per month and longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month.

    Now He's After Your 401(k)

    How many times have you read financial-advice stories lecturing you to max-out on your IRA, save as much as you can in your 401(k), and even pay taxes now to change your regular IRA into a Roth IRA that will be tax-free until you die?
    Well, be careful how much you save.
    Assistant editor Allysia Finley on President Obama’s attack on tax deferred retirement accounts.

    Related Video

    A lot of job-switchers are ignoring what may be one of the best options to get the most out of their retirement: Moving their savings into their new employer's 401(k). MarketWatch's Jim Jelter explains the benefits. (Photo: AP)
    That's the message in President Obama's budget for fiscal 2014, which for the first time proposes to cap the amount Americans can save in these tax-sheltered investment vehicles. The White House explanation is that some people have accumulated "substantially more than is needed to fund reasonable levels of retirement saving." So Mr. Obama proposes to "limit an individual's total balance across tax-preferred accounts to an amount sufficient to finance an annuity of not more than $205,000 per year in retirement, or about $3 million for someone retiring in 2013."
    Thus do our political betters now feel free to define for everyone what is "needed" for a "reasonable" retirement. Not to be impertinent, but does this White House definition include being able to afford summers at age 70 at Martha's Vineyard near the Obamas?
    The feds may think $3 million is all you need after a lifetime of work, but that's roughly the value of a California police sergeant's pension if she works for 30 years, retires at age 50 and lives to normal life expectancy.
    Out in the private economy, people generally have to work longer than that before they retire, and some of them do manage to save significant amounts. We're talking about people who work for decades and abstain from buying the bigger house or the new car so they can contribute the maximum to their 401(k)s or IRAs. The people who defer gratification and build a nest egg to avoid becoming a burden on their kids or their fellow taxpayers. The people whose savings finance productive enterprise. You know, the bad guys.
    Best-selling books used to celebrate these "millionaires next door" who worked and saved their way to financial independence. But now Mr. Obama wants to treat them as if they all got rich by sheltering investments in the Cayman Islands or extracting bonuses from bailed-out banks or scooping up sweetheart mortgage deals from allegedly nonprofit universities. Someone should tell the President that most Americans can't swing the bonuses that his Treasury Secretary Jack Lew arranged at NYU and Citigroup C -1.69% .
    The budget offers few details on how the government would enforce this cap across a worker's various accounts, but you can bet it would be complicated. Right now the government doesn't track all tax-deferred account balances. Financial firms don't have to send IRS 1099 forms to investors unless there's a distribution, nor do the firms know how much customers hold at other institutions.
    So the IRS would get new power to impose new burdens on millions of taxpayers. And all so the government could raise what the White House claims would be $9 billion more in revenue over 10 years, as if people wouldn't change their savings habits. After this proposal, only a fool would pay taxes now to transfer to a "tax-free" Roth IRA that the feds may decide to tax someday.
    The Occupy Wall Street crowd will be cheering this ideological assault, but the occupiers who mature into productive citizens will someday find themselves in the cross-hairs. The cost of a $205,000 annuity changes over time and inflation will reduce its value. The Employee Benefits Research Institute points out that such an annuity stream could be had for as little as $2.2 million, not $3 million, within the last several years. As a result, EBRI estimates that under such a scenario as much as 6% of today's younger workers age 26-35 could end up hitting the cap.
    Liberals say tax-advantaged plans are unfair because the affluent benefit more than the poor. It's true that you can save more when you earn more, but the savings are also channeled into productive investment and they are eventually taxed when they're withdrawn. Congress wanted to encourage people to save, especially as it understood that Social Security and Medicare will become increasingly unaffordable.
    The Treasury Department says its proposal would still allow existing accounts to continue to grow tax-free until distributions occur, but it would prevent new contributions once a saver hits the cap. We'd be happy to support a reduction in these tax incentives as part of a tax reform that reduced tax rates. But until that happens, these tax incentives are ways that thrifty Americans can shelter savings from punitive tax rates.
    The Administration's political motive here is two-fold: First, it's a redistributionist play and a revenue grab. But for many on the left it's also about reducing the ability of individuals to make themselves independent of the state. They have always disliked IRAs, just as they oppose health-savings accounts, because over time they make Americans less dependent on federal entitlements or transfer payments.
    Amazingly, Mr. Obama has surveyed the economic landscape and somehow decided that it's time to discourage savings if you make more than he thinks is "reasonable."
    A version of this article appeared April 12, 2013, on page A14 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Now He's After Your 401(k).

    Surviving The Coming Financial Collapse! You missed it by this much

    This guy is off by a few years, I personally think we will make it till 2016 but, what he says will most likely happen.
    When I saw the Google map of camp locations and overseas positioning of the pawns, it freaked me out!
    Do yourself a favor and watch it. Good info.

    PUMP! PUMP! PUMP! Foreigners Now Hold More Than $13 Trillion In American Securities, Payments in Chinese Yuan Grew by 171% From Year Ago And Yuan Hits Record High vs. Dollar

    Fed Keeps Interest Rates Low, Continues Bond Buying Program
    The Federal Reserve held fast to its ultra-accommodative monetary policy Wednesday, solidified by what board members described as an economy weakened by fiscal policy.
    Interest rates will remain at historically low levels while the U.S. central bank will not alter its $85 billion a month asset purchasing program, the Fed’s Open Markets Committee decided at this week’s meeting.
    While recent meetings have been remarkable for signs of dissent over the long-standing Fed policy, the sentiment this month turned towards concerns about “downside risks” to growth, though the FOMC made no mention of the recent set of weak economic data.
    Foreigners now hold more than $13 trillion in American securities
    Foreigners now hold more than $13 trillion in American securities, a record set as the U.S. seeks to assert itself as the safest port in troubled global waters.
    China and Japan combined owned more than $3.4 trillion, including $2.4 trillion in debt, a number that has grown since the data set was compiled.
    The total value of U.S. stocks and bonds under foreign ownership rose 6.5 percent in 2012, with stocks actually rising more on a percentage basis, according to the most recent data from the U.S. Treasury.

    Payments in Chinese Yuan Grew by 171% From Year Ago…
    press release from the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT) shows that the value of payments using Chinese Yuan currency grew by 171 percent between January 2012 and January 2013.
    In January 2013 alone, payments in the Chinese currency grew in value by 24 percent from December, pushing the Yuan passed the Russian Rouble to the thirteenth slot for world currency payments.
    This 24% spike is nearly double the 13% increase recorded across all currencies.

    Yuan Hits Record High vs. Dollar
    Why the Treasury Market is Headed for Collapse
    SPRING SWOON: ‘Real’ Jobless Rate Still Above 10% In Most States, Job Forecasts Revising Down, And CONSTRUCTION SPENDING UNEXPECTEDLY FELL
    Feds caught promoting welfare to foreigners/Judicial Watch report: Obama cannot be trusted to protect borders
    The U.S. government has been caught promoting the delivery of taxpayer-funded welfare benefits to foreigners, and Judicial Watch’s conclusion is that the Obama administration “cannot be trusted to protect our borders.”Judicial Watch, the Washington watchdog which is known for tracking down and trying to stamp out government corruption, has issued a report revealing that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is working with the Mexican government to promote the U.S. food stamp program to illegal aliens.
    New $100 bill to begin circulating on October 8, 2013 They are going to change the money – get ready for a devaluation !!
    The newly redesigned $100 note will begin circulating on October 8, 2013.

    Year of the yuan: China’s explosive currency goes global
    The ‘people’s currency’ of China is redefining the global economic monetary system. The closed-capital pariah is blossoming into a reserve standard and is hedging appeal against the indebted dollar and the untested euro, piquing foreign interest. Degenerating credit quality across the board has prompted asset managers to shy away from the dollar, euro, Japanese yen, British pound, and Swiss franc. And some are turning to the yuan, a currency that 10 years ago was completely off limits to foreign investors.
    National Debt Numbers
    Treasury Direct link

    The Daily History of the Debt Results

    Historical returns from 04/10/2013 through 04/30/2013
    The data for the total public debt outstanding is published each business day. If there is no debt value for the date(s) you requested, the value for the preceding business day will be displayed.
    Debt Held by the Public vs. Intragovernmental Holdings )
    Date Debt Held by the Public Intragovernmental Holdings Total Public Debt Outstanding
    04/10/2013 11,966,412,740,544.37 4,832,571,494,247.96 16,798,984,234,792.33
    04/11/2013 11,973,457,167,619.66 4,834,609,936,524.40 16,808,067,104,144.06
    04/12/2013 11,972,610,122,573.13 4,835,630,263,700.38 16,808,240,386,273.51
    04/15/2013 11,949,925,556,918.45 4,851,381,930,298.11 16,801,307,487,216.56
    04/16/2013 11,950,741,882,219.27 4,861,323,727,153.97 16,812,065,609,373.24
    04/17/2013 11,951,382,624,833.00 4,855,887,740,074.39 16,807,270,364,907.39
    04/18/2013 11,916,935,124,816.33 4,862,534,449,476.35 16,779,469,574,292.68
    04/19/2013 11,917,014,399,413.45 4,864,953,302,991.92 16,781,967,702,405.37
    04/22/2013 11,917,551,034,088.30 4,869,900,084,059.02 16,787,451,118,147.32
    04/23/2013 11,919,663,839,494.38 4,879,288,760,461.21 16,798,952,599,955.59
    04/24/2013 11,920,312,314,073.28 4,874,037,513,824.02 16,794,349,827,897.30
    04/25/2013 11,882,018,443,343.86 4,876,088,638,954.77 16,758,107,082,298.63
    04/26/2013 11,882,358,300,866.68 4,874,286,092,840.37 16,756,644,393,707.05
    04/29/2013 11,883,187,129,042.84 4,874,981,100,337.37 16,758,168,229,380.21
    04/30/2013 11,943,148,398,205.65 4,885,697,098,978.25 16,828,845,497,183.90

    U.S. Homeownership Rate Falls to Lowest Since 1995

    The U.S. homeownership rate fell to the lowest in almost 18 years, reflecting rising demand for rentals and investor purchases in the housing market.
    The share of Americans who own their homes was 65 percent in the first quarter, down from 65.4 percent a year earlier and the lowest level since the third quarter of 1995, the Census Bureau reported today. The vacancy rate for rented homes dropped to 8.6 percent from 8.8 percent a year earlier, while vacancies for owner-occupied houses fell to 2.1 percent from 2.2 percent.
    nvestors are buying single-family homes and renting them out to capitalize on demand among families unable to qualify for a mortgage. Their purchases, many made with cash, are helping to support the housing recovery and pushing up prices. Home values in 20 cities increased 9.3 percent in February from a year earlier, the most since May 2006, according to the S&P/Case- Shiller (SPCS20Y%) index released today.

    “Credit conditions are still tight and investors are taking advantage, in the interim, of favorable yields,” Paul Diggle, property economist for Capital Economics in London, said in a telephone interview. “They’re making hay while the sun shines.”
    Diggle said the homeownership rate will continue to fall throughout the year. It peaked at 69.2 percent in June 2004, spurred by easy credit.
    “Tight credit, tight for-sale inventory, the challenge of saving for a down payment, and more rental single-family supply all helped lower the homeownership rate,” Jed Kolko, chief economist for Trulia Inc. (TRLA), a San Francisco-based online real estate information service, said today in a statement.
    The number of homes on the market in March was down 16.8 percent from a year earlier, the National Association of Realtors said last week.
    The number of occupied residences increased to an estimated 114.6 million in the first quarter from 114.1 million a year earlier, according to the Census Bureau. The number of renter- occupied homes rose to 40.1 million from 39.5 million. Owner- occupied residences slipped to 74.5 million from 74.6 million.

    Gold buyers forced to go on waiting list

    Gold buyers are having to wait up to six weeks for their bars and coins after a price dip led to increased interest.

    Gold bars Customers are having to wait for their gold bars

    Investment company Physical Gold said there were waiting lists of three weeks for some coins, and four to six weeks for gold bars. "Previously all would have been available within a few days," the company said.
    The company said that it had seen a 50pc increase in enquiries about purchasing gold and a 35pc increase in sales, with people buying tax-free gold coins. "We are now starting to experience physical gold shortages," said Daniel Fisher, CEO of Physical Gold.
    "In particular there are waiting times on some gold bars and a real difficulty in obtaining mixed year Sovereigns. "However, many clients are willing to 'do a deal' and wait for delivery as they want to secure the current price as they feel it will be higher in the near future."
    Gold prices have fallen significantly recently, which may have created some demand. Mr Fisher said his clients had been "waiting in the wings" for the current price adjustment. "Clients who have been ready to pounce have now bought as they realise they are getting good value and the environment for gold is still strong. There are still few decent alternatives to gold as a safe haven asset."
    Adrian Ash, from gold trading market BullionVault, said that households had been investing heavily in gold, but that money market managers and hedge funds continued to drive the price down.
    "Private households worldwide continue to take advantage of the drop, buying precious metals at prices not seen in almost two years," he said.
    The Scoin Shop, which sells gold coins in the Westfield Shopping Centre, said that sales of Kruggerand have increased 468 per cent last week, as investors rush to get the precious metal at what they see as a cheap rate.
    – The best of the week's money advice is emailed out on Wednesdays. Sign up for free.

    Fed holds steady on stimulus, worried by fiscal drag

    By Pedro da Costa and Alister Bull
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve said on Wednesday it will continue buying $85 billion in bonds each month to keep interest rates low and spur growth, and added it would step up purchases if needed to protect the economy.
    Expressing concern about a drag from Washington's belt-tightening, the Fed described the economy as expanding moderately in a statement that largely mirrored its last policy announcement in March. Fed officials cited continued improvement in labor market conditions and did not change their description of inflation, saying it should remain at or below the central bank's 2 percent target.
    But policymakers reiterated that unemployment is still too high and restated their intention to keep buying assets until the outlook for jobs improves substantially.
    "Fiscal policy is restraining economic growth," the U.S. central bank's Federal Open Market Committee said in its policy statement at the close of its two-day meeting. "The Committee is prepared to increase or reduce the pace of its purchases to maintain appropriate policy accommodation."
    Some economists were surprised that the statement did not contain a clearer acknowledgement of a recent weakening in the economic numbers.
    Until recently, analysts had expected the Fed to buy a total of $1 trillion in Treasury and mortgage-backed securities during its ongoing third round of quantitative easing, known as QE3, with expectations the Fed would start to take its foot off the accelerator in the second half of this year.
    Now, things are looking a bit more shaky.
    "The talk of tapering has not only been pushed to the back burner but pushed off the stove altogether. It's not something we're likely to see until 2014," said Michael Woolfolk, senior currency strategist at BNY Mellon in New York.
    Wall Street stocks finished close to 1 percent lower after initially paring losses following the Fed statement, and the U.S. dollar weakened in choppy trade.
    The president of the Kansas City Fed, Esther George, dissented for a third straight meeting on Wednesday against the Fed's support for growth, citing concerns about financial imbalances and long-term inflation expectations.
    Economic growth rebounded in the first quarter after a dismal end to 2012, but the 2.5 percent annual rate of expansion fell short of economists' estimates, and forecasters are already penciling in a weaker second quarter.
    The housing market continues to show signs of strength. However, the industrial sector is not quite as perky, with a report on Wednesday showing national factory activity barely grew in April.
    And the job market, the focus of much of the Fed's efforts, remains sickly. U.S. employers added only 88,000 workers to their payrolls in March, while private-sector data on Wednesday suggested continued weakness in hiring.
    At the same time, inflation has steadily been coming down. The Fed's preferred measure of core inflation, which excludes more volatile food and energy costs, rose just 1.1 percent in the year to March. Overall inflation was up just 1 percent, the smallest gain in 3-1/2 years.
    The Fed targets inflation of 2 percent.
    In response to a deep financial crisis and recession, the Fed cut overnight interest rates to effectively zero in late 2008. It has also bought over $2.5 trillion in assets, more than tripling its balance sheet, to keep long-term rates low.
    If the economy's fortunes do not improve, the central bank may well look for fresh ways to boost its support to the economy, and increasing the amount of assets it is buying is just one option.
    The Fed could announce an intent to hold the bonds it has bought until maturity instead of selling them when the time comes to tighten monetary policy. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke has already raised this as a possibility.
    Policymakers could also set a lower unemployment threshold to signal when the time might be ripe to finally raise rates. Currently, the threshold stands at 6.5 percent, provided inflation does not threaten to breach 2.5 percent.
    Research suggests such "forward guidance" about the future path of interest rates can have a strong impact on current borrowing costs, and one Fed official -- Narayana Kocherlakota, president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank -- has already suggested lowering the threshold to give the economy a boost.
    (Additional reporting by Alister Bull; Editing by Tim Ahmann, Andrea Ricci and Leslie Adler)

    Non-Muslims Carried Out More than 90% of All Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil

    Terrorism Is a Real Threat … But the Threat to the U.S. from Muslim Terrorists Has Been Exaggerated

    An FBI report shows that only a small percentage of terrorist attacks carried out on U.S. soil between 1980 and 2005 were perpetrated by Muslims.
    Princeton University’s Loon Watch compiled the following chart from the FBI’s data (as explained below, this chart is over-simplified … and somewhat inaccurate):
    Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005, According to FBI DatabaseTerrorist Attacks on U.S. Soil by Group, From 1980 to 2005, According to FBI Database
    According to this data, there were more Jewish acts of terrorism within the United States than Islamic (7% vs 6%).  These radical Jews committed acts of terrorism in the name of their religion.  These were not terrorists who happened to be Jews; rather, they were extremist Jews who committed acts of terrorism based on their religious passions, just like Al-Qaeda and company.
    (Loon Watch also notes that less than 1% of terror attacks in Europe were carried out by Muslims.)
    U.S. News and World Report noted in February of this year:
    Of the more than 300 American deaths from political violence and mass shootings since 9/11, only 33 have come at the hands of Muslim-Americans, according to the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security. The Muslim-American suspects or perpetrators in these or other attempted attacks fit no demographic profile—only 51 of more than 200 are of Arabic ethnicity. In 2012, all but one of the nine Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered were halted in early stages. That one, an attempted bombing of a Social Security office in Arizona, caused no casualties.
    Wired reported the same month:
    Since 9/11, [Charles Kurzman, Professor of Sociology at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, writing for the Triangle Center on Terrorism and National Security] and his team tallies, 33 Americans have died as a result of terrorism launched by their Muslim neighbors. During that period, 180,000 Americans were murdered for reasons unrelated to terrorism. In just the past year, the mass shootings that have captivated America’s attention killed 66 Americans, “twice as many fatalities as from Muslim-American terrorism in all 11 years since 9/11,” notes Kurzman’s team.
    Law enforcement, including “informants and undercover agents,” were involved in “almost all of the Muslim-American terrorism plots uncovered in 2012,” the Triangle team finds. That’s in keeping with the FBI’s recent practice of using undercover or double agents to encourage would-be terrorists to act on their violent desires and arresting them when they do — a practice critics say comes perilously close to entrapment. A difference in 2012 observed by Triangle: with the exception of the Arizona attack, all the alleged plots involving U.S. Muslims were “discovered and disrupted at an early stage,” while in the past three years, law enforcement often observed the incubating terror initiatives “after weapons or explosives had already been gathered.”
    The sample of Muslim Americans turning to terror is “vanishingly small,” Kurzman tells Danger Room. Measuring the U.S. Muslim population is a famously inexact science, since census data don’t track religion, but rather “country of origin,” which researchers attempt to use as a proxy. There are somewhere between 1.7 million and seven million American Muslims, by most estimates, and Kurzman says he operates off a model that presumes the lower end, a bit over 2 million. That’s less a rate of involvement in terrorism of less than 10 per million, down from a 2003 high of 40 per million, as detailed in the chart above.
    Yet the scrutiny by law enforcement and homeland security on American Muslims has not similarly abated. The FBI tracks “geomaps” of areas where Muslims live and work, regardless of their involvement in any crime. The Patriot Act and other post-9/11 restrictions on government surveillance remain in place. The Department of Homeland Security just celebrated its 10th anniversary. In 2011, President Obama ordered the entire federal national-security apparatus to get rid of counterterrorism training material that instructed agents to focus on Islam itself, rather than specific terrorist groups.
    Kurzman doesn’t deny that law enforcement plays a role in disrupting and deterring homegrown U.S. Muslim terrorism. His research holds it out as a possible explanation for the decline. But he remains surprised by the disconnect between the scale of the terrorism problem and the scale — and expense — of the government’s response.
    “Until public opinion starts to recognize the scale of the problem has been lower than we feared, my sense is that public officials are not going to change their policies,” Kurzman says. “Counterterrorism policies have involved surveillance — not just of Muslim-Americans, but of all Americans, and the fear of terrorism has justified intrusions on American privacy and civil liberties all over the internet and other aspects of our lives. I think the implications here are not just for how we treat a religious minority in the U.S., but also how we treat the rights & liberties of everyone.”
    We agree. And so do most Americans. Indeed – as we’ve previously documented – you’re more likely to die from brain-eating parasites, alcoholism, obesity, medical errors, risky sexual behavior or just about anything other than terrorism.
    Kurzman told the Young Turks in February that Islamic terrorism “doesn’t even count for 1 percent” of the 180,000 murders in the US since 9/11.
    While the Boston marathon bombings were horrific, a top terrorism expert says that the Boston attack was more like Columbine than 9/11, and that the bombers are “murderers not terrorists”.  The overwhelming majority of mass shootings were by non-Muslims.  (This is true in Europe, as well as in the U.S.)
    However you classify them – murder or terrorism – the Boston bombings occurred after all of the statistical analysis set forth above. Moreover, different groups have different agendas about how to classify the perpetrators  (For example, liberal Mother Jones and conservative Breitbart disagree on how many of the perpetrators of terror attacks can  properly be classified as right wing extremists.)
    So we decided to look at the most current statistics for ourselves, to do an objective numerical count not driven by any agenda.
    Specifically, we reviewed all of the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil as documented by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START). (2012). Global Terrorism Database, as retrieved from
    The START Global Terrorism Database spans from 1970 through 2012 (and will be updated from year-to-year), and – as of this writing – includes 104,000 terrorist incidents.  As such, it is the most comprehensive open-source database open to the public.
    We counted up the number of terrorist attacks carried out by Muslims.  We excluded attacks by groups which are obviously not Muslims, such as the Ku Klux Klan, Medellin Drug Cartel, Irish Republican Army, Anti-Castro Group, Mormon extremists, Vietnamese Organization to Exterminate Communists and Restore the Nation, Jewish Defense League, May 19 Communist Order, Chicano Liberation Front, Jewish Armed Resistance, American Indian Movement, Gay Liberation Front, Aryan Nation, Jewish Action Movement, National Front for the Liberation of Cuba, or Fourth Reich Skinheads.
    We counted attacks by Al Qaeda, the Taliban, Black American Moslems, or anyone who even remotely sounded Muslim … for example anyone from Palestine, Lebanon or any other Arab or Muslim country, or any name including anything sounding remotely Arabic or Indonesian (like “Al” anything or “Jamaat” anything).
    If we weren’t sure what the person’s affiliation was, we looked up the name of the group to determine whether it could in any way be connected to Muslims.
    Based on our review of the approximately 2,400 terrorist attacks on U.S. soil contained within the START database, we determined that approximately 60 were carried out by Muslims.
    In other words, approximately 2.5% of all terrorist attacks on U.S. soil between 1970 and 2012 were carried out by Muslims.*  This is a tiny proportion of all attacks.
    (We determined that approximately 118 of the terror attacks – or 4.9% – were carried out by Jewish groups such as Jewish Armed Resistance, the Jewish Defense League, Jewish Action Movement, United Jewish Underground and Thunder of Zion. This is almost twice the percentage of Islamic attacks within the United States.  In addition, there were approximately 168 attacks – or 7% – by anti-abortion activists, who tend to be Christian. Fuerzas Armadas de Liberacion Nacional  – a Puerto Rican paramilitary organization -  carried out more than 120 bomb attacks on U.S. targets between 1974 and 1983, and there were some 41 attacks by Cuban exiles, and a number of attacks by other Latin American groups. If we look at worldwide attacks – instead of just attacks on U.S. soil – Sunni Muslims are the main perpetrators of terrorism.  However: 1. Muslims are also the main victims of terror attacks worldwide; and 2. the U.S. backs the most radical types of Sunnis over more moderate Muslims and Arab secularists.)
    Moreover, another study undertaken by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism – called ”Profiles of Perpetrators of Terrorism in the United States” – found:
    Between 1970 and 2011, 32 percent of the perpetrator groups were motivated by ethnonationalist/separatist agendas, 28 percent were motivated by single issues, such as animal rights or opposition to war, and seven percent were motivated by religious beliefs. In addition, 11 percent of the perpetrator groups were classified as extreme right-wing, and 22 percent were categorized as extreme left-wing.
    Preliminary findings from PPT-US data between 1970 and 2011 also illustrate a distinct shift in the dominant ideologies of these terrorist groups over time, with the proportion of emerging ethnonationalist/separatist terrorist groups declining and the proportion of religious terrorist groups increasing. However, while terrorist groups with religious ideologies represent 40 percent of all emergent groups from 2000-2011 (two out of five), they only account for seven percent of groups over time.
    Similarly, a third study by the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism Religion found that religion alone is not a key factor in determining which terrorists want to use weapons of mass destruction:
    The available empirical data show that there is not a significant relationship between terrorist organizations’ pursuit of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear) weapons and the mere possession of a religious ideology, according to a new quantitative study by START researchers Victor Asal, Gary Ackerman and Karl Rethemeyer.
    Therefore, Muslims are not more likely than other groups to want to use WMDs.
    * The Boston marathon bombing was not included in this analysis, as START has not yet updated its database to include 2013 terrorist attacks.  3 people died in the Boston attack.  While tragic, we are confident that non-Musliims killed more than 3 during this same period.
    We are not experts in terrorism analysis.  We would therefore defer to people like Kurzman on the exact number.  However, every quantitative analysis of terrorism in the U.S. we have read shows that the percent of terror attacks carried out by Muslims is far less than 10%.
    Postscript: State-sponsored terrorism is beyond the scope of this discussion, and was not included in our statistical analysis.  Specifically, the following arguments are beyond the scope of this discussion, as we are focusing solely on non-state terrorism:
    • Arguments by  University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole that deaths from 20th century wars could be labeled Christian terrorism

    We’re In Bubble Created By Central Bank Policy. When It Deflates In A Few Years 2008 Will Pale In Comparison

    Central banks create all modern financial bubbles. Real market interest rates will destroy the US stock market prices, bond market prices, commodities market prices and so-called recovering housing market prices. Volcker showed us what raising interest rates will pop bubbles. Bernanke is showing us that forcing down interest rates through monetizing the Treasury and GSE markets blows bubbles everywhere.
    Remember when the market would tank and the FED came to rescue always, cut rates cut rates… wealth effect model is the best thing we have here
    We are at mini bubble 2.0 in home prices now and Bernanke was complaining after the Fed Minutes that Lending standards are too tight even with all this cheap money into the system.
    Had to take a shot at Bernanke for that on Bloomberg recently.
    For Bernanke to think lending standards are too tight when they poured 3 trillion dollars into the system and people still can’t buy homes .. show they have no grasp of where DTI capacity is..
    But then again, they never saw the crash coming because they never understood the leverage no capacity debt bubble we were in
    Now even with record low interest rate, look at how much struggle we have with consumption.

    One item on home prices.
    Take a look at any long term chart of housing prices and then focus on 2001-2006 and then look at the re inflation of prices with the long term trend line.
    We never ever corrected properly enough on home prices in relationship to real time Debt to income ratio.
    Housing Inventory crisis which is a major hangover from the housing bubble is actually the main reason why home prices are rising again. Then add to that these super low crazy rates which 70% of the market place is still mortgage buyers. We don’t have enough income growth to handle housing inflation .

    In Japan, Kuroda is paying trillions of yen in JGBs from banks and insurance companies, in order to weaken the yen. So he is boosting exports, pumping up the stock market, but ultimately ramping up the prices of imports and forcing up the cost of living on cash-strapped Japanese citizens.
    The two charts linked below show the relationship between the JCB weakening of the yen against the USD, and the bubbles in the NIKKEI 225 that follow.

    black swan

    Peter Schiff: "If Some Of These Indebted Nations Like Cyprus Or Spain Is FORCED To Sell Some Of THEIR Gold..."

    Peter Schiff: "If Some Of These Indebted Nations Like Cyprus Or Spain Is FORCED To Sell Some Of THEIR Gold..."

    Arizona lawmakers pass bill making silver, gold legal tender

    Reuters – by David Schwartz
    The Arizona Senate on Tuesday approved a measure to make gold and silver legal currency in the state, in a response to what backers said was a lack of confidence in the international monetary system.
    The legislation cleared the Republican-controlled Senate by an 18-10 vote after being approved by the state House earlier this month. It now goes to Republican Governor Jan Brewer, who has not indicated if she will sign it into law or veto it. 
    The bill calls for Arizona to make gold and silver coins and bullion legal tender beginning in mid-2014, joining existing U.S. currency issued by the federal government.
    If signed into law, Arizona would become the second state in the nation to establish these precious metals as legal tender. Utah approved such legislation in 2011.
    More than a dozen states have considered similar legislation in recent years, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
    The use of gold and silver as currency would be strictly voluntary, with businesses left free to accept the precious metals as payment for goods and services as they choose.
    State Senator Chester Crandell, a Republican and sponsor of the bill, said the ability to use gold and silver in everyday life in the state is still a “work in progress” and that more legislation was needed before it could be viable.
    “This is the first step in getting it into the statute so we can build on it,” Crandell said at an earlier hearing on the bill.
    But Democratic state Senator Steve Farley said the bill could create massive problems for businesses in the state and government officials trying to administer what would in effect be a dual monetary system.
    “There’s no reason for us to do this,” Farley told lawmakers during the final vote on Tuesday. “This is another one of those things that gets national press for us – and not in a good way.”
    He also pointed to the recent decline in the value of gold – which sank to $1,321.35 per ounce on April 16, its lowest price in more than two years – noting that “anybody who thinks gold or silver is a really safe place to put your money had better think again.”
    The push to establish gold and silver as currency has become increasingly popular in the United States in recent years among some hardline fiscal conservatives, with the backing of groups including the Tea Party movement, American Principles Project and the Gold Standard Institute.
    Keith Weiner, president of the Gold Standard Institute advocacy group and a supporter of the bill, said the legislation was needed to counter what he sees as insolvency in the global monetary system.
    “The dollar system and all of the other derivative currencies, including the euro, are a recipe for worldwide bankruptcy,” Weiner told lawmakers at an earlier hearing, adding that a “sound and honest money system such as gold and silver” was needed to bring stability. (Editing by Tim Gaynor, Edith Honan and Eric Beech)

    A dollar collapse could be starting now – We have all the ingredients in place – This process will start to accelerate over the next couple of months


    I’ve been pointing out for several months now that the recent rally in the dollar was a mirage, an illusion generated by the yen, euro, pound, and Canadian dollar all dropping into yearly, or intermediate cycle lows together. This selling pressure in the four major currencies that make up the dollar index spawned what looked like a strong dollar.
    With Bernanke printing 85 billion of them a month, there is no such thing as a “strong dollar”. I’ve been saying for months that once these four currencies completed their bottoming cluster it would be the dollar’s turn to crash. The recent collapse in the yen was 23%. The Pound 9%. I think the dollar will be somewhere in between with a loss of 9-12% as it drops down into its yearly cycle low.
    As this process starts to accelerate over the next couple of months the dollar bulls are going to get a rude awakening, as our currency shows its true colors. The acceleration began today as the dollar has now completed a lower low and a lower high.

    Why a Dollar & Euro Collapse Is Guaranteed

    Anti-austerity protests rock Slovenia as fears of bailout grow (PHOTOS)

    Source: RT

    Around 2,500 protesters have gathered in the center of Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital, on Saturday to protest against further austerity measures, which are due to be introduced by the new center-left government.
    “I am here because I believe we have to get rid of anyone who has held high political office during the last 20 years. I fear that things will get even worse in Slovenia if the Troika comes, but I hope that can still be avoided,” Damijan Sencar, a 51-year old electrical engineer, told Reuters.
    Saturday saw the first demonstrations since the center-left government of Prime Minster Alenka Bratusek took office in late March.
    The new government plans further tax increases and public sector wage cuts in order to further reduce it though the deficit has fallen from 6.4 percent of GDP last year to 4 percent this year.
    Many on the streets of Ljubljana expressed hope that Slovenia will be able to avoid a Cyprus- or Greek-style bailout.
    People take part in a demonstration gathering thousands on April 27, 2013 in central Ljubljana to protest against corruption and austerity measures in the crisis-hit eurozone country and to demand early elections take place by the end of the year (AFP Photo / Jure Makovec)
    People take part in a demonstration gathering thousands on April 27, 2013 in central Ljubljana to protest against corruption and austerity measures in the crisis-hit eurozone country and to demand early elections take place by the end of the year (AFP Photo / Jure Makovec)
    The country’s three biggest banks are seen as in a risky position, and the state has a large stake in all of them. The government is planning to establish a special bank in June that will take over most of the country's toxic loans burdening the ailing banking sector.
    Slovenia was badly hit by the global financial crisis and fell into recession last year amid lower export demand and a fall in domestic spending caused by budget cuts. Unemployment is also at a 14-year high, and is expected to rise further.
    But the government of the tiny Alpine state of 2 million people says the country will be able to solve its problems without international help.
    The Troika – a group of EU and IMF lenders – is likely to be as unwelcome in Slovenia as it was in Cyprus.
    Banners held by the protesters read “Power to the people” and “Let’s fire the troika, not the people.” Similar protests in January helped to topple the conservative government of Janez Jansa, drawing crowds of up to 20,000 people.
    A protester wears a gas mask as he takes part in a protest against corruption in political class in Ljubljana, Slovenia on April 27, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jure Makovec)
    A protester wears a gas mask as he takes part in a protest against corruption in political class in Ljubljana, Slovenia on April 27, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jure Makovec)
    Protesters take part in a protest against corruption in political class in Ljubljana, Slovenia on April 27, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jure Makovec)
    Protesters take part in a protest against corruption in political class in Ljubljana, Slovenia on April 27, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jure Makovec)
    People take part in a protest against corruption in political class in Ljubljana, Slovenia on April 27, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jure Makovec)
    People take part in a protest against corruption in political class in Ljubljana, Slovenia on April 27, 2013 (AFP Photo / Jure Makovec)