Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Global shock as manufacturing contracts in US and China

Manufacturing has begun to contract in the US and China for the first time since the Lehman crisis, raising fears of a synchronized downturn in the world’s two largest economies.

Dameon Hogan installs a dashboard into a Jeep Cherokee at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit  
The closely-watched ISM index of US factories tumbled through the 'boom-bust line' of 50 to 49, far below expectations

The closely-watched ISM index of US factories tumbled through the “boom-bust line” of 50 to 49, far below expectations. It is the lowest since the depths of the crisis in mid-2009 and a clear sign that US budget cuts are starting to squeeze the economy. New orders plunged 3.5 to 48.8 on weak foreign demand and reduced federal contracts.
The news came hours after HSBC said its index for China also fell below 50, a major inflexion point for the world’s industrial workshop.
“This is not a good moment for the world economy,” said David Bloom, currency chief at HSBC. “The manufacturing indices came in weaker than expected in China, Korea, India and Russia, and then we got America’s ISM.
“We thought we had a clear picture that the US was recovering, Japan was printing money and were we’re back to happy days, and now suddenly a huge spanner has been thrown in the works.”
Mr Bloom said a sharp strengthening of the Japanese yen on safe-haven flows and the 16pc fall of the Nikkei index from its peak are disturbing. “People are asking whether the 'Abenomics’ bubble is bursting.”

The OECD says the US is tightening fiscal policy by 3.2pc of GDP this year, the biggest squeeze in half a century. Consumers spent their way through the initial shock in the first quarter by slashing the national savings rate to 2.5pc.
“People have been living in a psychological bubble,” said Charles Dumas from Lombard Street Research. “They ignored the cuts but now they are starting to feel it.”
The ISM quoted a string of gloomy comments from different sectors, such as “government spending has tightened” (computers), “over the past 20 days we have seen the trend flatten” (furniture), or “downturn in European and Chinese markets is having a negative effect on our business” (machinery).
Wall Street reacted calmly to the ISM shock, betting that the US Federal Reserve will delay plans to taper its monthly bond purchases of $85bn (£55.5bn). Stephen Lewis from Monument Securities said this may be a misjudgement. The latest minutes of the Federal Advisor Council, which advises the Fed on markets, are packed with warnings over the side-effects of quantitative easing.
The council said it is “not clear” that QE is boosting the economy, and warned that zero rates are pushing pension funds underwater on their liabilities, and may be causing firms to defer investment on the grounds that rates will remain low.
They also said Fed purchases of mortgage bonds was depriving banks of “bread and butter” business, pushing them into riskier corporate and emerging market debt, and blowing a "bubble" in fixed income and equity markets.
“Normally the council just goes along with the Fed says but it is clear that they have become more alarmed at aspects of Fed policy, so this is significant," said Mr Lewis.
Fed chairman Ben Bernanke has since begun to echo some of the concerns, testifying to Congress on May 22 that “very low interest rates, if maintained too long, could undermine financial stability”.
The Boston Fed’s ultra-dovish president Eric Rosengren has also shifted ground, saying the bank may need to start tapering soon. The Fed's centre of gravity has clearly shifted.
The concern is that the Fed has largely made up its mind to turn off the liquidity spigot and will not be deterred unless the economy deteriorates dramatically. Or as one trader commented, the “Bernanke Put” has become the “Bernanke Call”.

IMMINENT: “I Don’t Think Obama is Going to Finish His Second Term Without the Bottom Dropping Out”

Mac Slavo
June 3rd, 2013

One year ago this month it was revealed that throughout the course of this crisis some40% of all wealth in America had been vaporized. It was a stunning number to be sure, and one that many analysts predicted would reverse as the Bernanke/Obama recovery took hold. Now, a full year on, the news has not gotten any better. It’s gotten much, much worse. According to a new report, the average American household has lost 55% of their net worth since the onset of the recession in 2008.
Many are likely holding to the belief that our benevolent government politicians and financial leaders have taken the necessary steps to turn this economy around.
But they’d be wrong.
The next wave of crisis is imminent and the end result will be a total wipe out for Americans:
“I think we are heading for a worse economic crisis than we had in 2007,” [Peter] Schiff said. “You’re going to have a collapse in the dollar…a huge spike in interest rates… and our whole economy, which is built on the foundation of cheap money, is going to topple when you pull the rug out from under it.”

According to Schiff, these numbers are unsustainable.
And the Fed has no credible “exit strategy.”
Eventually interest rates will rise… and when they do, Schiff says, stocks will tank and bonds dip to nothing. Massive new tax hikes will be imposed and programs and entitlements will be cut to the bone.

“The crisis is imminent,” Schiff said. “I don’t think Obama is going to finish his second term without the bottom dropping out. And stock market investors are oblivious to the problems.”

“We’re broke, Schiff added.
“We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit; look at the debt to GDP ratio, the unfunded liabilities. If we were in the Eurozone, they would kick us out.”
Schiff points out that the market gains experienced recently, with the Dow first topping 14,000 on its way to setting record highs, are giving investors a false sense of security.
“It’s not that the stock market is gaining value… it’s that our money is losing value. And so if you have a debased currency… a devalued currency, the price of everything goes up. Stocks are no exception,” he said.
“The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering,” he noted. “It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode.“
Via Money Morning
Peter Schiff knows a thing or two about what’s going on, and he’s been sounding the alarm since before 2008. He, like many others, understand that there is no way out.
There is no credible financial or economic exit strategy.
The government knows this and that’s why they are actively implementing an expansive control grid across this entire country.
Those with insider knowledge fully understand what’s coming and they have been war-gaming large scale economic collapse and the widespread civil unrest that will follow.
Make no mistake. The powers that be have an exit strategy – it just doesn’t involve recovery, stability or your well-being.

Public Banking Conference good news: solutions already here for deficits, debt

Public Banking Institute’s 2013 conference explains, documents, and proves that economic solutions for deficits, debt, and full-employment are structurally:

  • easy to understand and self-evident upon inspection
  • easy to implement
  • would improve our economy amazingly quickly and thoroughly

The conference link contains a complete schedule for access to each speaker’s contributions. The details on any one issue are many, and available at one’s interest to look.
What’s missing for the implementation of these solutions is that our 1% “leaders” will not and can not implement solutions without becoming visible in criminal culpability for having the current system that parasitically transfers literal trillions from the 99%.
Matt Taibbi: “If the public isn’t educated quickly, we won’t have a chance. The current system (of banking and finance) is completely corrupt.”
The solution to this problem is also obvious: prosecute obvious criminals in “leadership” in government, economics, and corporate media for fundamental fraud by lying to the 99% that debt is “money,” and lying in omission by failing to inform that public credit and money would solve all current economic issues. The public costs of this fraud are trillions of dollars, and needed-to-be-estimated harm to millions of Americans and significant totals of deaths. An alternative to criminal prosecution is Truth and Reconciliation.
Please remember: for 18 years I worked with both parties’ “leadership” to end poverty that had full academic agreement, full political agreement on paper, and two UN Summits. The 1990 World Summit for Children was the largest meeting of heads of state in world history, yet even the political organization at that level has been thwarted in policy realization. Poverty continues because the 1% use “leadership” in government and media to take no action and keep their inaction quiet from public attention.
Therefore, while I welcome anyone and everyone to learn whatever details of interest in public banking and monetary reform, I lived the intense learning and work to have appreciable command of the facts inclusive in the areas of ending poverty, I lived the work to help organized political agreement and meetings at the highest levels on the planet, and lived the life-changing defeat of all that work through political, economic, and media interest in competing areas. The 1% destroy democratic civic participation by removing choices from public consideration through their silence, despite obvious public enthusiasm when informed of the facts.
That said, the 100 million families who’ve received microcredit and worked their way out of poverty are surely appreciative of our work. These benefits saved ~100 million human lives, reduces population growth, and according to the CIA reduces the sole statistic most linked to global terrorism (infant mortality).
I see no policy realization in public banking without removal of our criminal 1% with competing interests in living off parasitic debt (full explanation here).
One of the ways to achieve that result is certainly through broad public education, providing choice to legislators of whether they wish to reclaim their hearts with public solutions, and local media and community outreach.
The solutions are here, with only parasites between humanity and their realization.

How The Federal Reserve is Suppressing a Recovery

feature photo We like the look of the gold mining companies. They're relatively cheap. And sooner or later, they’re going to pop up too.
You know why? Ludwig von Mises explained more than half a century ago:

If it were really possible to substitute credit expansion (cheap money) for the accumulation of capital goods by saving, there would not be any poverty in the world.
Few people understand this. But the Federal Reserves ZIRP and QE policies are not bringing about a recovery. They're not bringing prosperity. They're bringing poverty. They're suppressing...repressing...depressing...a real recovery.
Why? Because a real recovery stifles the aforementioned ‘accumulation of capital good by saving.’ People need to save...and they need to invest in real productive enterprises. Those businesses, factories and enterprises then create real jobs and real  wealth...goods...services... stuff.
See how simple this is? You save money. You use it to buy a sawmill or build a software company. You hire people. You cut logs. You produce boards and make a profit. The world is a more prosperous place.
But the Federal Reserve depresses interest rates. Savers get nothing for their efforts. Why bother to save when savings earn such trifling interest? People don’t save...
That's the purpose of Federal Reserve policy: to prevent people from saving. They want them to spend! To speculate! To party...party...party, until someone calls the cops.
No saving...no capital goods...no new production...no new jobs... Hey, no real recovery!
Mr. Keith Eubanks of Arlington, Massachusetts, explained the Fed's policy succinctly, in a letter to The Wall Street Journal:
‘Private investment drives economic growth. The policies currently labeled as "stimulus" and "austerity" are failing because both policies reduce private investment, contracting both the means and incentive for private citizens to invest in their futures.’
In the US, the private sector is still about three-quarters of the economy. If the private sector is not saving and investing in the economy, it will not grow.
‘Stimulus’ policies increase deficits and allow the feds to spend more moneymore @ dailyreckoning

Asian shares creep up, nonfarm payrolls in focus

By Marc Jones
LONDON (Reuters) - The dollar and world shares recovered from their lowest levels in a month on Tuesday and German Bund futures eased, after weak U.S. data calmed concerns of an early cut in central bank stimulus.
The dollar was back above 100 yen and the U.S./ currency's index (.DXY) was clawing back some of the 1 percent falls seen on Monday after the Institute for Supply Management's (ISM) index of U.S. factory activity fell to 49.0, its lowest since June 2009.
European stocks (.FTEU3)<.stoxx50e> opened 0.6 percent higher, tracking an overnight rebound in U.S. and Asian shares and looking to snap a two-day losing streak that has left them at their lowest level since early May. (.EU)
"With (positive) closes in the U.S. and Japan we'll try to recover today," said Ouri Mimran, an equities strategist at Natixis in Paris. "A break above yesterday's high (on the Euro STOXX 50) will give the bullish signal."
As risk assets stabilized and investors kept positions tight ahead of the European Central Bank and Bank of England's monthly meetings on Thursday and key U.S. jobs data on Friday, German Bund futures dipped and peripheral euro zone debt edged up.
Commodity markets were also steadier. Copper climbed for a second session, while gold and oil were both little changed at $1,406 an ounce and $102 a barrel respectively.
(Reporting by Marc Jones; Editing by John Stonestreet)

Insight: Corbat faces ghost of Weill's deals in Citi's machines

By Dan Wilchins, David Henry and Nadia Damouni
(Reuters) - When Vikram Pandit was abruptly ousted as Citigroup Inc's (C.N) chief executive late last year, senior bank employees speculated for weeks about who would follow him out the door.
Chief Operating Officer John Havens had already left with Pandit, and the employees bet the new CEO, Michael Corbat, would push out other Pandit loyalists. High on their list was Don Callahan, who headed operations and technology.
But when Corbat named his new team in January, he kept Callahan, albeit in a reduced role. People familiar with the matter said Callahan survived because he oversees an effort critical to both Corbat and bank regulators - simplifying and standardizing thousands of Citigroup's information technology systems. The process, which ramped up in the aftermath of the financial crisis, will take at least two more years to complete, they said.
Corbat's choice highlights how some 15 years after Sanford "Sandy" Weill merged Travelers Group and Citicorp to create Citigroup, the bank is still trying to integrate all its operations. For example, it still uses different account opening procedures and systems in different countries.
If Callahan gets it right, Citigroup will better track risks and satisfy U.S. regulators who have been pressing it to improve its systems for more than 10 years, and will more efficiently sell products to retail, corporate, and institutional customers. It will help bring down costs and raise revenue, potentially adding $750 million to annual profits starting in 2015 from improvements in consumer banking alone.
The bank spends around $18 billion a year - or about a third of its operating expenses - on operations and technology, including facilities, systems and hardware, making it a major area of concern for the board as well, two sources said. The board is considering hiring a new director with technology expertise to help monitor and assess management's efforts, they said.
Citigroup spokeswoman Shannon Bell said that the bank is simpler than it was before the financial crisis, having sold more than 60 businesses and $800 billion of assets that were not central to its strategy.
"We have worked diligently to integrate and modernize or replace legacy systems while investing in their safety and soundness," Bell said. "The continued integration and consolidation of our technology platforms will improve productivity and client service across the company, improving results for all stakeholders."
Weill, who retired as Citigroup CEO in 2003 and as chairman in 2006, told Reuters he was tireless in integrating companies he acquired.
Over about a dozen years, Weill built Citigroup into the largest U.S. bank, starting with a small consumer lending company in Baltimore and using it as a platform for a series of mergers and acquisitions with companies, including Primerica and Travelers.
"I don't want to sound cocky, but I think I managed it (Citigroup) very well," he said.
To Citigroup's critics however, its lingering technology problems are a sign of how the bank is too unwieldy for anyone to run.
"These institutions are too big and complex to manage effectively," said Gary Stern, former president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and co-author of "Too Big to Fail: The Hazards of Bank Bailouts," a 2004 book policymakers often cited during the financial crisis.
"It is a daunting challenge to effectively integrate systems," Stern added.
The technology issues have had a real impact on the bank's business, current and former executives said. As markets cratered during the financial crisis, for example, it took days for the bank to gather data about risks from different trading desks, according to a person involved in the quest to figure out the bank's exposure to particular securities, derivatives and counterparties.
"We were flying blind," said another former executive.
These problems also affected day-to-day operations of the bank. In 2005, for example, a customer service representative at a Citibank branch needed to know how to operate 89 different systems to sell every product the bank offered. At one point, the bank employed 30 people whose sole job was to help branch staff reset passwords to these systems, a former official at the bank said.
Corporate clients complained that they felt like they were being called on by hundreds of Citigroup sales people, each of whom was oblivious to the efforts of their colleagues, one of the former bank officials said.
The systems problems that Citigroup faces are, in varying degrees, issues for every major U.S. bank, most of which also arose through acquisitions. JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), for example, says it spends more than $8 billion a year on systems and technology, but generated some $6 billion of trading losses last year from the "London whale" scandal that were in part due to flawed valuation systems.
"A lot of these banks have grown through mergers, so they have a Noah's ark of platforms: they have two of everything and they have to all come together," said Ray August, a senior executive at CSC, which helps banks rationalize their systems.
Citigroup's problems may be worse than many of its rivals, say executives who have worked there and at other major banks.
Shortly after the turn of the century, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York demanded the bank integrate its credit risk management systems globally as well as its market risk management systems, a person familiar with the matter said.
A 2008 report by the New York Fed, that was made public through the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, found that almost a decade after the huge bank was cobbled together, Citigroup was still engaging in "significant integration efforts" in information technology, and characterized the bank's tech risks as "high."
The New York Fed declined to comment.
For Citigroup's management, technology is one of its biggest opportunities to cut costs and win new business, which is where Callahan comes in. He now oversees bank-wide operations and technology, and helps ensure that when businesses upgrade or build their systems, the result is compatible with what the bank already has.
He is also spearheading a five-year project, known as the "Global Data Roadmap," to create standards for different businesses to share information with one another. Citigroup is more than three years into that project.
Under a separate multi-year effort known as "Project Rainbow," the bank is moving its retail systems to a common platform that can be tweaked to fit local laws, but can still communicate with other parts of the retail business.
Corbat has said technology improvements will be responsible for much of the targeted efficiency gains in the consumer businesses. The improvements, a 2015 goal, could add as much as 25 cents per share, or some 6 percent, to the company's 2012 adjusted profits, according to Reuters estimates checked by two stock analysts. The efficiency goals for the whole company would bring Citigroup roughly in line with what other banks deliver.
Corbat said at a March investor conference that he is counting on Project Rainbow.
"Today, for example, we run different account opening procedures in almost every country," Corbat said. "We have to ensure that this process is identical for both our customers and our employees, whether it's happening in New York, Mexico City, or Warsaw."
(Reporting by Dan Wilchins, David Henry and Nadia Damouni in New York; Editing by Paritosh Bansal and Leslie Gevirtz)

The Fed and Inequality

Is the Federal Reserve a driving force behind the post-recession growth in inequality? It’s a provocative idea, voiced by writers including Neil Irwin and Robert Frank.
It is certainly true that inequality, in terms of both income and wealth, has widened since the recession. A study by the lauded economist Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley, found that the top 1 percent of earners have accounted for all of the income gains in the first two full years of the recovery. Their incomes have climbed about 11.2 percent. The incomes of the 99 percent have declined by about 0.4 percent.
Those patterns repeat when looking at measures of wealth, meaning the value of a family’s assets, like its house and savings account, minus the value of its debts, like mortgages and credit card balances. A recent report from the Pew Research Center found that the wealth of the richest 7 percent of households climbed about 28 percent from 2009 to 2011. For the remaining 93 percent, average wealth dropped about 4 percent.
The Federal Reserve has been a major force propping up economic growth, even as Washington has started to slash the federal deficit and as droughts and debt crises abroad have taken their toll. A study by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco estimated that the Fed’s aggressive policies have shaved 1.5 percentage points off the unemployment rate and have more broadly aided growth.
So if the Fed has been propping up the economy, has it also been propping up inequality? The argument would go something like this:
First, many financial experts consider the Fed’s policies a driving force behind the surge in the stock market. Since the depths of the crisis, the Dow Jones industrial average has more than doubled, increasing about 16 percent this year alone. Such gains have helped to lift the earnings and the net worth of the half of Americans who own stocks. But the wealthy have benefited disproportionately. According to recent research by the New York University economist Edward Wolff, the richest 10 percent of households own more than 81 percent of stocks, as measured by value.
A second factor is the rebound in the housing market, aided by the Federal Reserve’s purchase of about $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities every month. The effort has helped push down mortgage rates and make it cheaper for millions of families to buy a house or to free up some cash by refinancing. But because of tight credit standards, that windfall has mostly gone to the rich – families that meet the standards to refinance, and investors with enough cash to buy.
Looking at those two factors, there’s a strong argument that the Fed stands behind growth in inequality, particularly when it comes to wealth. But the picture is murkier when it comes to income. And experts sounded a note of caution about trying to work out the distributional effect that the central bank’s policies might be having more generally.
“I don’t think we know that much about it,” said Josh Bivens, an economist at the left-of-center Economic Policy Institute, a Washington-based research group. “It would be interesting to have a really determined academic look at the effect on all these asset groups and try to figure it out from there.”
Even if the Fed had stoked some wealth inequality through the stock and housing markets, he said, that would not be the full picture. How much did the Fed’s policies account for the housing turnaround, or the stock-price rebound? That would be hard to say. In the case of the stock markets, corporate earnings seemed the main factor, Mr. Bivens said.
Moreover, the fuller picture would need to take into account how the Federal Reserve might have eased earnings inequality by reducing unemployment. “High unemployment is much more destructive to wage growth for low-income workers than for high-income workers,” Mr. Bivens said. “The Fed might have done quite a bit to keep wages from falling even further at the low end.”
Other experts said they thought the Fed might have reduced inequality, if anything, and that one way or another it would be difficult to tell. “The effect is going to be at the margin if it is there at all,” said Joseph E. Gagnon, a former Fed official now at the Peterson Institute for International Economics in Washington. “It’s kind of a silly question to ask, though. It’s relevant to talk about international trade. It’s relevant to talk about technology. It’s relevant to talk about regulation. Monetary policy seems far down the list.”
One piece of analytical evidence that the Fed might be stoking inequality comes from the Bank of England. That central bank also undertook an aggressive round of asset purchases, and a report released last year found it helped the economy over all – but the rich much more than the poor.
Still, it described those distributional effects as unavoidable, and worth it in the long run. “Without the bank’s asset purchases, most people in the United Kingdom would have been worse off,” the report said. “Economic growth would have been lower. Unemployment would have been higher. More companies would have gone out of business. That would have had a detrimental impact on savers and pensioners along with every other group in our society.”
One way or another, it is a subject the Federal Reserve itself might have some interest in. Speaking at a conference in New York in April, Sarah Bloom Raskin, a Federal Reserve governor, posed the question of whether “inequality itself is undermining our country’s economic strength.” Her answer was an unequivocal yes. “I am persuaded that because of how hard these lower- and middle-income households were hit, the recession was worse and the recovery has been weaker,” she said.
“It is not part of the Federal Reserve’s mandate to address inequality directly,” she added, “but I want to explore these issues today because the answers may have implications for the Federal Reserve’s efforts to understand the recession and conduct policy in a way that contributes to a stronger pace of recovery.”

#Occupy Ankara #occupyturkey #occupytaksim #occupygezi #occupyistanbul #occupyankara #occupyizmir #direngezipark

*720-1080p modunda izleyin This video was taken in Ankara(capital of Turkey) on the first of June by Neo Beat Generation. 1 Haziran günü Kızılay Meydanı'nda ...


occupygezipics: <br /
Water canon targets a single protester in Ankara (time/date unknown)

Water canon targets a single protester in Ankara

Protesters in Ankara shield themselves behind barricades.


Jim Roberts


Protesters take cover behind makeshift shield in


#occupyturkey #occupytaksim #occupygezi #occupyistanbul #occupyankara #occupyizmir #direngezipark

Gold futures shoot up to session high after dismal ISM data

Gold futures spiked to the highest levels of the session on Monday, after data showed that the U.S. manufacturing sector contracted unexpectedly in May, underlining concerns over the U.S. economic recovery.

On the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, gold futures for August delivery traded at USD1,401.25 a troy ounce during U.S. morning hours, up 0.6% on the day.

Comex gold prices held in a range between USD1,388.55 a troy ounce, the daily low and a session high of USD1,402.25 a troy ounce.

Gold futures were likely to find support at USD1,353.55 a troy ounce

Do The Math (It Doesn’t Add Up), Presentation By Grant Williams

Why are stocks/equities are so high when all the economic general indicators are collapsing? Check out this video. Well worth watching at least several minutes of. Covers China, France, gold prices, etc.
Do The Math (May 24, 2013 on YouTube)
My recent presentation to the 66th Annual CFA Conference in Singapore in which I discuss the disconnect between financial markets and mathematical reality.
Link above is to the presentation starting at 6 minutes, 45 seconds, when the actual presentation starts after a loooooong preamble. Actual full link is below (recommend skipping to the above starting point mentioned):

What the College Industrial Complex Doesn’t Want You To Know

Dave Hodges
Activist Post

The United States has the most expensive post-secondary education system in the world. In Part One of this series, I detailed how the government, as well as institutions of higher learning, the media and the banks have loosely conspired to dramatically drive up the costs of a college education and enslave middle-class college students through their lifetime by coercing their participation in a system which almost guarantees an adulthood filled with massive debt.

The Exorbitant Cost of a College Education Is No Accident

The elite have created a post-secondary education system which is out of the financial reach of an increasing number of middle-class students. This is deliberate and it is NOT being driven by market forces. It is a conspiracy concocted by the wealthy to limit the elite’s children to the dangers of competition from middle-class children. Yet, on the other side, the elite have convinced the federal government to fund the college educations of the poor and the disadvantaged so they can create competition for the middle class. The omnipresent goal is to create a bifurcated two-class feudal society, and education is the starting point in this plot to control social stratification.

There Is Way to Avoid This

The astronomically rising costs of funding a college education, as well as the establishment of predatory lending practices, are the weapons of the mass destruction being used against the middle class’ ability to obtain a college degree. This is classic divide-and-conquer class warfare. However, there are cracks in the educational caste system, and I am going to reveal a few strategies which might allow you to provide a college education for your children.

The economics underlying the obtaining of a college degree are as exploitative as any scheme which could have been devised by the most ardent dictators who are hell bent on creating a society of “haves and have nots”.

The economics of funding the post-secondary education system is predicated on wealth redistribution by making it increasingly difficult for the middle class to send their children to college as opposed to the wealthy or the poor. Many in the bottom tier of the economic strata get the government to fund elaborate financing mechanisms (e.g. Federal Financial Aid, Federal Work-Study, etc.) in order to pay poor children’s education at the expense of higher taxes for the middle class. And it is ironic that these middle class taxpayers don’t see any economic or educational benefit for their children with the taxes they are paying.

Consequently, middle-class children are cast into a corrupt system of debt enslavement in order to fund a college education.

Conversely, the wealthy don’t blink an eye at spending $60,000 per year to send their children to schools like the University of Southern California. And before the bleeding heart liberals jump through their computer screen to attack me, please allow me to state that I am not opposed to helping poor children to become what God intended them to be. I am opposed to poor children getting access to a benefit which is increasingly being denied to middle class children. Both strata of socio-economic classes deserve the same opportunity. I am not socialist, but in this case I would support taking back the bailout money and ending the war in Afghanistan and applying the savings to funding a free post-secondary education system. Oh, but that would not benefit the agenda of the elite, because their kids might get competition for meaningful jobs by children from the wrong side of the tracks.

You Want Answers?

So, what is a middle-class parent to do? The options are very narrow, but there is a way to finance a college education at a fraction of the cost that young adults face when they set foot on a university campus this coming September. However, I do not expect that this opportunity will remain available indefinitely because universities are actively lobbying against the plan that I am setting forth here which will finance college education at a fraction of the cost. The strategies to reduce college costs will be covered later in this article, but first parents must prepare your child to be college ready at an early age if they want to reap the benefits of the tuition reduction plan.

The Middle School Years Form the Foundation for Funding a College Education

Most college courses require a certain level of literacy, math skills and work ethic. If a child is encouraged to develop the critical and essential basic skills in seventh and eighth grade, a foundation is set in order to take honors classes in ninth and tenth grade. Honors courses often provide a student with the academic rigor that they will need in order to be prepared to master the skill sets needed to begin to take college courses at a young age.

The middle school years are the age that parents need to invest in tutors, if needed, and to look for alternative methods to prepare their children for college courses. For example, last year my son took a reading comprehension and speed reading course on Sunday afternoons at a local college designed for elementary aged children. We also pay a small fee for him to be tutored in math, science and literature.

To get your child college ready, I strongly recommend the development of a study skills plan for your child. The one that I chose for my son is called the Study, Question, Read, Recite, Review (SQ3R). This was the study skills plan that I was taught in seventh grade, along with speed reading. I was able to utilize the SQ3R method starting in middle school and I successfully employed these study principles all the way through my post-graduate education. I teach a modified version of the SQ3R to my students on the first day of class and I am now beginning to teach it to my son. And no, I do not have a business relationship with the creators or publisher of this method. I use the system because it works.

I also suggest that children take as much math as they possibly can at an early age because math forces a child to use different parts of the brain. The earlier math is introduced to a child, the easier the mastery of math is obtained.

The brain goes through a definitive and major change between the ages of 11-12, and this is the time that a child should be taking Algebra as well as foreign language. During the period from six to puberty, scientists have found that the gray-matter spike shifts to the temporal and parietal lobes. These parts of the brain play a major role in language skills and spatial relations which are critical to math. The growth rate of these brain cells then falls off fast, which may explain why, as a rule, the ability to learn languages declines sharply after the age of 12. Therefore, the window of maximum opportunity is narrow. As children age, brain growth moves in a sort of wave from the front of the brain to the rear which results in an increase in gray matter in the front part of the brain right before puberty, which occurs around age 11 in girls and 12 in boys. This is your optimal developmental window to introduce pre-college learning experiences which are critical to later success. How do I know this? This is part of what I have taught at the university level.

I would also advise parents to get their children to take some career interest inventories and identify a career path as early as possible. Academic indecision and changing majors are two huge factors which will drive up the cost of a college education. A solid career interest inventory test that I have utilized is the Self Directed Search by John Holland. Again, I have no financial interest in this testing instrument.

As your child becomes college ready, it is time to move to the next step which involves taking dual enrollment college courses at their local high school.

Turning Eleventh and Twelfth Grade Into a Money-Maker

If you live in or near a metropolitan area anywhere in the United States, you will find high schools which offer dual enrollment. Dual enrollment is a program in which a high school student takes a high school course which is also offered in conjunction with a nearby community college as a 3-5 credit college course. Parents do have to find the funds to pay for these tuition costs. However, these costs are relatively minimal compared to the cost of a university education. Let’s look at a cost comparison in Arizona which is typical for students living in any state.

The University vs. the Community College

It’s fun and it is sexy to go away from home to a major university. There are no parental restrictions, no curfew, there is an abundance of alcohol, a plethora of social gatherings and there is of course the opposite sex. It is exciting, but it is a very expensive way to break away from parental controls. Middle class students should come to grips with the fact that there is a much more efficient and cheaper way to grow into adulthood than the four-year university on-campus experience.

For many students, a four-year university experience can produce the kind debt which can enslave a person instead of creating economic opportunity, which is what education was intended to do. I have composed a typical cost comparison between attending a University or a Community College for two years.

For an incoming freshman who will be attending Arizona State University (ASU), the following are the cost estimates of attending ASU as published on the ASU website.


Base tuition and fees: $9,724
Room and meal plan (average): $9,094
Books and supplies (average): $1,000
Total direct costs: $19,818


Base tuition and fees: $22,977
Room and meal plan (average): $9,094
Books and supplies (average): $1,000
Total direct costs: $33,071

There are some high schools which offer dual enrollment courses for nearly every discipline. In some high schools, students are earning an Associates two-year degree by the time they graduate from high school.

A potential ASU student would save a huge sum of money by enrolling in dual enrollment courses offered through the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) while still in high school.

Maricopa Community College Tuition Schedule – 2013-2014

Registration Fee: $15 per semester

Resident Tuition: $81 per credit hour (subject to change) or $2,430 per year for 15 credit hours

Out-of-County: $317 per credit hour

Audit Fees: $25 additional fee per credit hour/plus tuition/fee

Non-Resident: $317 per credit hour $215 per credit hour – courses offered out of Arizona, including distance learning, to non-resident, out-of-state students

Do the Math

For a total of $4,890 a high school student can fund the first two years of a college education. I did not include book costs because in a state-supported high school, textbooks are generally offered free of charge.

The same student attending ASU for their first two years has paid almost $40,000. Your child is saving themselves over $35,000 by taking dual enrollment courses. By the way, the ASU estimates of only paying a $1,000 per semester for books is grossly underestimated. If a student takes the normal five course (three credits each), they are paying $100-200 per book. Again, do the math and you will note that ASU is understating textbook costs, and many courses require more than one book.

What If Your Local High School Has Limited Dual Enrollment Opportunities?

It is possible that your family may live in area in which your local high school may not offer many dual enrollment courses. Most states mandate open enrollment for just these kinds of reasons. Parents, do your homework and find a high school which offers a variety of dual enrollment courses and subsequently enroll your child.

If all else fails, there are community colleges which offers online dual enrollment college credit and will coordinate with your local high school counselors. Don’t wrinkle your nose up at online learning; it is the inevitable wave of the future because it is cost effective.

This Window May Not Be Open Long

In 2001, I testified before the House of Representatives Education Committee at the Arizona State Legislature with regard to the quality of dual enrollment programs and high school students readiness to take on these challenges. My testimony was offered as a counter to the ASU paid lobbyists which tried to get lawmakers to outlaw dual enrollment programs. ASU’s had a clear financial motive to oppose dual enrollment; it was taking money out of their coffers.

The Arizona Legislature reached a compromise in which they limited students to taking only two dual enrollment courses in any one semester unless they were ahead on their credits needed for high school education. I have discovered that this is a typical restriction in most states. It is very easy to get ahead on credits. For example, in the summer before a student’s junior year, a student should enroll in one or two community college courses, which can be offered as dual enrollment at their high school, or by taking the class online.

If You Can’t Beat Them, Join Them

Today, ASU has embraced online education and is no longer attempting to destroy dual enrollment programs. However, the federal government will not acquiesce so easily. If more and more students opt for dual enrollment as a means of avoiding the predatory lending practices for obtaining and paying back a federal student loan, you can look for the feds to move in and control dual enrollment in the same manner as ASU attempted to back in 2001.

A Final Cost Analysis

Cutting back on college costs and avoiding predatory student loans will result in financial savings which are substantial to a middle income family.

Four years at ASU will cost an in-state student around $80,000. By following the plan I have laid out here in which a student attends an ASU satellite campus for only the last two years and lives at home, will cost a middle-class student around $40,000 to obtain a college degree. And with these kinds of “reasonable” costs, a college student can fund their own college education with a fairly minimal part-time job. And by avoiding predatory federal loan practices, you will, unlike Kenneth Wright, not have a SWAT team breaking down your front door, physically abusing you and terrorizing the rest of your family members for the non-repayment of an estranged wife’s college loan.

The biggest advantage to following this plan is that when a college graduate launches their career, they will not do so under the tyrannical thumb of the federal government, at least not yet.

And one more warning for your soon-to-be college student. Do not send them to a high school where the recently implemented Common Core curriculum is the base standard of their educational system. The system is designed to lessen math achievement and compromise literature courses.

If You Only Knew Some of What Professors Are Teaching

There are strong social and moral reasons to limit your child’s exposure to four-year colleges and universities. Some of what is increasingly taught on college campuses would shock the average person. That is the topic of Part Three of this series.

Sell US Treasurys Before They 'Crash,' Bank of America Says

Investors should sell U.S Treasurys and buy bank stocks because bonds may be headed for a “crash,” according to Bank of America Corp.
“It’s hard to believe that the greatest bond bull market in history will end without some bloodshed,” Michael Hartnett, the bank’s chief investment strategist, recently wrote in a client note.

“Risks of a bond crash are high.”

Declassified: ‘Financial War’ Could Wipe Out 50% of Your Wealth
Markets are getting nervous about the possibility the Federal Reserve will taper its debt-buying program, according to Hartnett, who is based in New York.

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank could curtail its $85 billion in monthly Treasury and mortgage bond purchases if policy makers are confident that improvements in economic growth are sustainable.
U.S. debt has dropped 1.8 percent in May, the steepest monthly loss since December 2009, according to the bank’s indexes. Benchmark 10-year yields declined from 15.8 percent in September 1981 to a record low of 1.38 percent in July last year. The move resulted in a gain of more than 1,000 percent for the bank’s Treasurys index.
“Major breakouts in equity markets tend to coincide with major inflection points in bond yields,” Hartnett wrote. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index has climbed 16 percent this year, and it set an all-time high of 1,687.18 on May 22.
Bank of America’s bond strategists predict the 10-year yield will rise to 2.25 percent by year-end, according to the report. The company’s economists forecast the Fed will begin paring its bond purchases in April, it said.
The bank is bullish on U.S, European and Japanese banks, along with equities from emerging markets such as Brazil, China, India, Turkey and Russia, according to the report. It is negative on emerging market bonds.

Urgent: Has the US Entered Another Bubble Economy? Will It Burst? Vote Now
© Copyright 2013 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Everything Is Rigged, Continued: European Commission Raids Oil Companies in Price-Fixing Probe

European finance workers
European finance workers
Jason Alden/Bloomberg via Getty Images
We're going to get into this more at a later date, but there was some interesting late-breaking news yesterday.
According to numerous reports, the European Commission regulators yesterday raided the offices of oil companies in London, the Netherlands and Norway as part of an investigation into possible price-rigging in the oil markets. The targeted companies include BP, Shell and the Norweigan company Statoil. The Guardian explains that officials believe that oil companies colluded to manipulate pricing data:
The commission said the alleged price collusion, which may have been going on since 2002, could have had a "huge impact" on the price of petrol at the pumps "potentially harming final consumers".
Lord Oakeshott, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said the alleged rigging of oil prices was "as serious as rigging Libor" – which led to banks being fined hundreds of millions of pounds.
The inquiry also involves Platts, the world's largest oil price reporting agency. The concept here is very similar to both the LIBOR scandal, which involved banks manipulating the benchmark rates for interest rates, and to the possible rigging of interest rate swap prices through the manipulation of ISDAfix, the benchmark rate for those instruments, which is also the subject of a regulatory probe.
We wrote about both of those scandals in last month's Rolling Stone article, "Everything is Rigged." In that piece, finance professionals talked about the potential for manipulation in other markets that involve voluntary price reporting:
What other markets out there carry the same potential for manipulation? The answer to that question is far from reassuring, because the potential is almost everywhere. From gold to gas to swaps to interest rates, prices all over the world are dependent upon little private cabals of cigar-chomping insiders we're forced to trust.
"In all the over-the-counter markets, you don't really have pricing except by a bunch of guys getting together," Masters notes glumly.
That includes the markets for gold (where prices are set by five banks in a Libor-ish teleconferencing process that, ironically, was created in part by N M Rothschild & Sons) and silver (whose price is set by just three banks), as well as benchmark rates in numerous other commodities – jet fuel, diesel, electric power, coal, you name it.
One analyst I spoke to for that piece talked specifically about Platts (and another, similar price assessment company), noting that they "do benchmarks for the entire oil market, the entire refined products market" and "you name it" – any of these benchmarks that rely on voluntary reporting could be manipulated.
Everything Is Rigged: The Biggest Financial Scandal Yet
It's not clear yet exactly what is alleged to have occurred, but Europeans have long complained that retail gas prices have not seemed to match wholesale prices. In fact, complaints that wholesale prices at gas stations were noticeably slow to fall when wholesale prices fell prompted the U.K.-based Office of Fair Trading last year to conduct a cursory inquiry into possible anti-competitive behavior in the fuel markets. Early this year, they announced that they hadn't found enough evidence to warrant a full-blown investigation. But complaints persisted.
The story is obviously hugely significant in its own right, just as the LIBOR story was. But both are even more unpleasant in conjunction with each other, and the other price-fixing scandals that have cropped up in the financial markets in the last year or two. We've had other price-fixing scandals involving gas in the U.K. and here in the U.S., just a few weeks ago, it came out that the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) concluded that JPMorgan Chase used "manipulative schemes" to tinker with energy prices in Michigan and California.
FERC last year also recommended a massive $470 million fine against Barclays for similar activity. (Barclays has vowed to fight the penalty.) Deutsche Bank, meanwhile, settled with FERC for $1.7 million after the commission alleged that the German bank was involved with manipulation in the California energy markets for several months during 2010.
More on all this later . . .

Three firebombs explode near government offices in central Athens leaving one woman injured

  • One woman was wounded as she emerged from her apartment
  • All three devices consisted of camping gas canisters
  • Firebomb attacks against government or wealth symbols common in Greece
Three small gas canister bombs exploded near government offices and an influential economic think-tank in Athens today.
Gas canister attacks are frequent in Greece, and have been on the rise as it struggles through an economic crisis that has fuelled anger against foreign lenders, politicians and a wealthy elite.
One woman was wounded as she emerged from her apartment. 
Damage: A
Damage: A worker checks damage at the entrance of a building that houses an environment ministry service for development of European programs after a makeshift explosive device went off
One exploded at about 8 a.m. in the fifth floor corridor of an apartment building in central Athens, near the political office of the country's Transparency general secretary, wounding a woman who had just emerged from her apartment.
The woman was transferred to a hospital for treatment of slight burns. 
The other devices detonated several hours earlier, one outside a building housing the Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research and one outside a branch of the Environment, Energy and Climate Change Ministry.
There have been numerous makeshift bomb attacks in recent months outside the homes and offices of journalists, politicians and a ship owner, but none has caused injuries
Investigation: Police officers take fingerprints after an explosive device detonated outside the private office of the Justice Ministry's general secretary for transparency, Giorgos Sourlas, on the fifth floor of an apartment block , injuring a woman
'We strongly condemn the `blind' gas canister attack in the building where the transparency general secretary's office is housed ... and we wish a speedy recovery to the victim of the cowardly perpetrators,' government spokesman Simos Kedikoglou said in a statement.
'We are sure that the new attempt to introduce violence into public life will be condemned' by all politicians, he said.
Firebomb attacks against government offices, banks or symbols of wealth are common in Greece, where several small, generally anarchist groups operate.
The bombings are usually carried out late at night.

British Finance MPs To Attend Bilderberg Meeting

Both government and opposition heads of finance to participate in secretive confab

Steve Watson
June 3, 2013
Both the British Chancellor of the Exchequer, and his opposition counterpart are scheduled to attend the secret elite meeting of the Bilderberg group this weekend.
Chancellor George Osbourne and Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls, often painted up as bitter political rivals in the British media, will be buddying it up behind closed doors at The exclusive Grove Hotel in Watford with over 100 of the world’s elite.
Bilderberg’s own attendee list confirms the attendance of Osbourne and Balls. The list has been released on the group’s otherwise sparse website for the past three years, primarily because it was constantly being leaked to researchers anyway, and as a way of feigning transparency.
While Obsourne and Balls have regularly attended the annual gathering for the best part of a decade, critics have continually asked why the British taxpayer should be paying for elected politicians to attend an undisclosed meeting, completely closed off to media scrutiny, and in the company of private bankers and other foreign finance politicians.
Bilderberg delegates attend in an informal, off-the-record basis and are not bound by their public, “pre-agreed” positions, according to the group’s website. Quite how that marries up with Osbourne and Balls’ attendance, as acting financial heads of Britain’s government, is anyone’s guess. British MP Kenneth Clarke, a long time attendee, is also once again reporting to his masters.
If anyone still actually read the London Times, which they don’t, they would see an article today arguing that Bilderberg is merely a talking shop where no policies are set or agreed upon.
Such detractors routinely contend that the annual elite gatherings are nothing more than an outdated irrelevant get together of aging has-beens whose power on the international stage has long since withered.
Take one look at the attendees at this year’s confab in Watford, however, and it immediately becomes clear that this is the absolute polar opposite of the truth.
Debating policy at this year’s meeting will be Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google, Craig J. Mundie, senior advisor to the CEO of Microsoft Corporation, and Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon.com. Another notable attendee is Peter Thiel, the man who provided the financial muscle for online ventures like Facebook and Paypal, as well as LinkedIn and Friendster.
There you have luminaries involved with some of the biggest online and social media companies on the globe, all in attendance together at a secret weekend getaway, due to discuss “How big data is changing almost everything.”
That alone should be enough to focus the attention of the mainstream media. But no.
Then factor in that also in attendance are José Barroso, the President of the European Commission, and Christine Lagarde, the much scrutinized Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund. Still no media coverage?
OK, how about the disgraced former CIA head and retired US General David Petraeus, currently embroiled in the centre of the Obama administration scandal regarding the Benghazi intelligence failures. Nah, that’s not interesting to the mainstream media.
Perhaps representatives from major US think tanks would perk interest? You like to have them on your news output every single day right mainstream media? You know, the guys from the Hudson Institute, the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Enterprise Institute, the Hoover Institution, the Peterson Institute for International Economics, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies – all at Bilderberg.
Bilderberg also has the Vice Chairman and former Chairman of Barclays bank, the Deputy Chairman, Group Chief Executive and Group Chairman of HSBC, the Chairman and Vice Chairman of Goldman Sachs, and the CEO of TD Bank Financial Group.
Bilderberg has other senior figures from major banks, finance houses, and insurance companies all over the globe, including the Deutsche Bank of Germany, the Oesterreichische Kontrollbank AG Bank of Austria, the Swiss National Bank, the Dutch National Bank, the  Zurich Insurance Group, AXA Group, Prudential plc, and Novartis AG.
Not one but TWO Former US Secretaries of the Treasury are attending, as well as several acting European finance ministers and other elected representatives. Both the Dutch Prime Minister and the monarch Princess Beatrix will also be in attendance.
Also present will be executives from major energy companies such as Shell and BP, representatives from huge defense contractors including BAE, officials with bio-medial and pharmaceutical giants including Novartis, and monolithic agriculture producers like Syngenta.
Add a dose of professors, lecturers and researchers from major Universities and colleges all over the globe and you literally have a small gathering of people that oversee everything on the planet.
Yet, according to the mainstream media it’s all just one hell of a round of golf.
Previously leaked documents from meetings, as well as other innumerable examples, have illustrated how the Bilderberg Group, contrary to the media-generated myth that the confab represents a harmless talking shop, actually has a direct influence on world affairs, and sets the consensus for policy decisions sometimes decades in advance.
A clear example is the 1955 Bilderberg meeting held in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, West Germany. Documents read by the BBC and later released by Wikileaks divulge how Bilderberg members were discussing the creation of the euro single currency nearly 40 years before it was officially introduced in the 1992 Maastricht Treaty.
It is clearly asinine to suggest that this group of people hold no power and do not have any sway on the international stage. Their influence is irrefutable.
Ask anyone if they believe banks and corporations have more influence on world affairs than politicians and close to 100% will say yes, so why is it that the G8 summits garner wall to wall media coverage yet Bilderberg does not?
British citizens, as well as citizens of the other countries from around the world, should en mass demand to know why democratically elected Members of Parliament and government, including the heads of national Treasuries, are meeting in secret with private financiers, bankers, defense contractors, oil multinationals, food giants and drug companies.

Thousands blockade European Central Bank in Frankfurt (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

The entrance of the ECB is blocked by over 3,000 'Blockupy' protesters in a march against austerity. 'Blockupy' has announced the coalition has “reached its first goal” of the day.
Anti-capitalist protesters have taken to the streets of the financial heart of Frankfurt a day ahead of Europe-wide gatherings planned for June 1 to protest leaders handling of the three-year euro debt crisis.
"We call up everyone to join our protests."

German riot police scuffle with protestors in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) head quarters during a anti-capitalism "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt, May 31, 2013. (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)
German riot police scuffle with protestors in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) head quarters during a anti-capitalism "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt, May 31, 2013. (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)
The ECB spokesman told The Guardian that the Blockupy protests have not disturbed day to day operations at the bank, but would not specify how many bankers managed to come to work.
Apart from those who amassed outside the ECB, a smaller demonstration took place at the nearby Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) headquarters, where around 50 police vehicles had been deployed. The protesters set off by midday.
The crowd, estimated at 2,500 by local authorities, clutched signs demanding ‘humanity before profit’.
Rain-soaked and dressed in ponchos, the crowd is equipped with a wide array of protest props- vuvuzelas, yellow wigs, pots and pans, and mattresses with the spray-painted slogan 'War Starts Here'. 

Image from twitter user@Migs_Bru
Image from twitter user@Migs_Bru
Blockupy’ has become a top-ten Twitter trend in Frankfurt, and at 10:09am (08:09 GMT), user Enough14 tweeted, “Strong Powerful blockade at Kaiserstr. Not one banker will come through here," in reference to the ECB headquarters. 
Police reported some protesters had thrown stones and there were some clashes at the barricades, but so far the protests are being conducted peacefully. 

Police stand guard during an anti-capitalist "Blockupy" demonstration near the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt, May 31, 2013. (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)
Police stand guard during an anti-capitalist "Blockupy" demonstration near the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters in Frankfurt, May 31, 2013. (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)
The mass of protesters first gathered early Friday morning in the rainy financial center of Frankfurt, in an effort to block roads leading to the ECB and Deutsche Bank headquarters.

The crowd was met by police decked out in riot gear accompanied by large Alsatian dogs. Helicopters hovered above and water cannon trucks were on standby.

Many of Frankfurt’s banks have urged staff to take Friday as a holiday, following a state holiday on Thursday.
Spokesman Martin Sommer said Frankfurt’s financial district could be occupied by as many as 20,000 who believe the Troika – the ECB, the European Commission and the International Monetary Fund – is imposing an “austerity dictate" on financially troubled countries they have bailed out.
Cyprus, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, have received bailout loans and Spain has received loans for its banks.
Blockupy spokeswoman Frauke Distelrath said the protest was not aimed at bank employees, but at its role "as an important participant in the policies that are impoverishing people in Europe, in the cutbacks that are costing people their ability to make a living."

Police try to prevent protestors from breaking through barricades near the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters during an anti-capitalist "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt, May 31, 2013. (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)
Police try to prevent protestors from breaking through barricades near the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters during an anti-capitalist "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt, May 31, 2013. (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)
The protesters have been granted permission to demonstrate at the airport by a court on Thursday, even after the airport operator requested the group be kept outside of the terminal.
Blockupy assembled outside of the airport at 1 p.m. local time local time to protest against German immigration policies and what activists have decried as an “inhumane deportation system.” Fraport, the airport operator, has advised passengers to arrive early for their flights.
The court said if the number of protestors in the terminal exceeds 200, police can break up the gathering. Felix Gottwald, a pilot, tweeted that security had been stepped up at Frankfurt airport in anticipation of the arrival of Blockupy protesters. Passengers at the airport have noted the heavy security presence, saying that only those who show a valid boarding pass can enter the building.
Activists are tweeting that anywhere between 200-800 protesters are currently blocking Frankfurt Airport Terminal 1, although those number remain unconfirmed.
In last year’s protests police shut down Frankfurt’s city center in anticipation of the demonstration.

Riot police stand near the euro sign in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters during an anti-capitalist "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt May 31, 2013. (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)
Riot police stand near the euro sign in front of the European Central Bank (ECB) headquarters during an anti-capitalist "Blockupy" demonstration in Frankfurt May 31, 2013. (Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach)
Eurozone employment hits record high to 12.2 percent in April.
The demonstration is taking place almost exactly a year after police detained hundreds in a four-day march against a temporary ban on protests in Frankfurt last June.
Blockupy protesters are also protesting against other issues, including food price.

Barclays, Goldman, Deutsche, Lazard: banks that always attend Bilderberg

If you’re a conspiracy theorist or a person with pretensions to global importance, the annual Bilderberg meeting will be etched upon your mind in indelible ink. If you’re neither of these, you may be interested to know that Bilderberg is holding its ‘secretive’ annual meeting this week.
Incongruously, this year’s Bilderberg meeting is happening in Watford, an unglamorous outer London suburb. Interestingly, it’s being held in the same hotel as Google’s recent invitation-only ‘Zeitgeist’ event.

Although it’s portrayed in some circles as a covert and slightly sinister gathering to decide world affairs, Bilderberg’s agenda is made public on its website. Among other things, attendees this year will be discussing European politics, medical research, cyber warfare and big data.

Although banking and financial services regulation aren’t on the agenda, it seems that plenty of bankers and banks attend Bilderberg meetings on a regular basis. We’ve combed through attendee lists for the past five years and noted that some names and organisations appear repetitively. They are:
1. Josef Ackermann, former chief executive of Deutsche Bank

Japan Prints Money to Buy Foreign Assets

Source: LTN
Japan, the world’s 3rd largest economy that is trapped by its stagnant economy, is venturing into new overseas market to boost its investments so as to revitalize the sluggish economy and seek more international influence.
The East Asian country, now, holds a large international conference from this Saturday to Monday participated by African leaders to discuss the development of the continent, which now maintains a high speed of economic growth rate.
The Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), under the theme of “hand in hand with a more dynamic Africa,” attracted leaders and delegates from over 40 of 54 African countries.
Compared with 13 firms in last fair, more than 70 Japanese companies, covering water purification, transportation, communication, health care and food industry, attended the African Fair 2013, an affiliated event of the TICAD V, showing their ambitions to pioneer the dynamic African market.
African countries as a whole remain a world’s powerhouse with an average 5.8-percent growth rate in gross domestic product since Y 2000, while overseas direct investment in the continent tripled from US$15-B in Y 2002 to about US$50-B in Y 2012, according to official figures.
Since Japan suspended its nuclear power facilities after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant disaster in Y 2011, the resource- poor country is eager to discover more energy deposits worldwide to meet its tremendous shortage.

The energy crisis made Japan re-recognized Africa’s role in energy support to Japan as several African countries such as Libya, Nigeria and Angola are oil and natural gas giant exporters in the world. Both on investments in and trade with Africa, Japan is way behind countries like the United States, France, India and China.
The continent preserves a great number of minerals, particularly rare earth that Japan needs badly for its high-tech industries. Japan and South Africa last month agreed to accelerate a joint rare earth program in an effort to diversify its import channel.
Besides economic co-operation, Japan also focuses on enhancing political ties with African countries so as to increase the countries global influence.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe hosted a special session under the TICAD V on situation in Somalia Friday and will chair a meeting between leaders of Africa and Japan to address U.N. Security Council reform Monday.
The Japanese government has approved a revision of the SDF law to allow the forces use land vehicles to transport Japanese and other nationals overseas and the government is also planning to revise the country’s constitution to allow the SDF exercise collective self-defense rights.
Not only with the consideration of booming Japan-Africa ties, but also in a more deeply geopolitical thinking, Japan’s “out- going” diplomacy attempts to change its awkward position in neighborhoods as its right-deviation and repeated provocative words, indeed, angered neighboring countries.
Under such circumstances, Japan has to focus on other destinations to blanket its weak performances in Northeast Asia.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh just concluded his 4 day visit to Japan Thursday with about a US$700-M Japanese loan for Mumbai’s subway project and another US$3.48-B for other 8 projects in hand.
New Delhi and Tokyo said they will finish a nuclear co-operation agreement that started in Y 2010 as soon as possible in a move to boost India’s nuclear energy generation, as well as Japan’s economy under Abe’s growth strategy.
“I would like to strengthen relations between Japan and India based on a strategic and global partnership,” Mr. Abe told a joint press conference after met with Singh Wednesday.
Mr. Singh, for his part, said India attaches “particular importance to intensifying political dialogue, strategic consultations and progressively strengthening defense relations including through naval exercises and collaboration on defense technology.”
Following the 2 countries’ 1st joint-naval drills in last June, Messrs Abe and Singh “decided to conduct such exercises on a regular basis with increased frequency,” according to an official statement released after their meeting.
The 2 nations will also discuss ways to cooperate on using Japan’s US-2 amphibious aircraft designed for air-sea rescue operations.
On the back of Abe’s recent trip to Myanmar, the latest talks with Mr. Singh could be interpreted by Japan’s neighbors as “locking down” its maritime security alliances amid a changing environment in the East China Sea, analysts said.
On 26 May, also following his “economic diplomacy,” Abe, who was accompanied by about 40 business leaders, ended his visit to Myanmar, the 1st time for a Japanese prime minister in 36 yrs.
During his meeting with Myanmar President Thein Sein, Abe said Japan will support the Southeast Asian country’s development through both governmental and civil channel by providing official development assistance worth 900 million dollars and further waiving US$1.98-B debt that Myanmar owed to Japan.
Analysts say that although Japan seeks to enhance its economic ties with Myanmar, it is really trying to improve its influence in the country, even in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations ASEAN, out of geopolitical reasons, as political and security thinking is always behind economic co-operation.

Slavery By Consent (Full Version)

Slowly, the world awakens from the nightmare of debt slavery and illegitimate authority imposed on us for nearly 6000 years which has violated the natural, universal laws made to govern us and our interaction with each other and all other species on this planet by the Creator of the universe…
01. 00:00:00 Introduction: Does Slavery Still Exist?
02. 00:07:40 Law: The Purpose of Certificates
03. 00:12:31 All ‘Capital’: We Are Merely Assets
04. 00:22:31 Human Chattel: The Money Sold Abroad Is YOU
05. 00:27:53 The Sin: We Were Captured at Birth
06. 00:36:46 Modern Slavery: History of The Human Farm
07. 00:49:16 Usury: In Whose Interest?
08. 00:56:54 Government & The Corporation: Unholy Alliance of Fascism
09. 01:05:45 Phase 3: War and Media Control
10. 01:15:57 True Freedom: The Philosophy of Liberty
11. 01:23:59 Humanity Held Captive: The Story of Your Enslavement
12. 01:37:10 Perception vs. Reality: Plato’s Allegory of The Cave
13. 01:45:03 Be The Change You Want To See: The Love Police (w/ Subtitles)
14: 01:54:47 Reason vs. Superstition: Statism is Dead
15. 01:58:02 Breaking Free: I Do Not Consent
16: 02:08:23 Globalist Agenda: The Scientific Dictatorship & The Future of Humanity
17: 02:14:32 Non-Conformity: The Peaceful Revolution

Speculators’ Bullishness on Gold Sinks, But Prices Rally as World Equities Dive

London Gold Market Report
from Adrian Ash, BullionVault
Mon 3 June, 07:50 EST

Speculators’ Bullishness on Gold Sinks, But Prices Rally as World Equities Dive

LONDON PRICES to buy gold and silver rose in volatile trade Monday morning, recovering Friday evening’s late losses as Asian and European stock markets fell hard.

Far Eastern premiums over and above international prices continued to ease back, according to wholesale dealers.

“Bids [to buy gold] seemed to vanish into thin air,” says one, “as soon as the price got close to $1420 on Friday.”

With Turkey’s stock market losing 6% after a weekend of anti-government protests were broken up by police last night, the MSCI world index of 9,000 equities in 45 countries today reversed the last of May’s rise to 5-year highs.

Last month’s drop in US Treasury debt prices pulled global bonds to their worst monthly loss in 9 years, down 1.5% overall according to the Bank of America-Merrill Lynch Global Broad Market Index.

US Treasury yields rose Monday as prices fell further, pushing 10-year yields up to a new 1-year high of 2.17%.

“Rising yields – albeit at historically low levels – is not a friendly environment for gold,” says Swiss bank and London bullion market maker UBS in a note.

With UBS’s interest-rate analysts saying that “the rise in rates is too much, too fast,” however, the predicted drop in 10-year yields to 1.7% “would be a gold-positive development,” says the precious metals team.

“It may well act as the tailwind gold needs right now to stay northbound.”

Speculative betting on rising gold prices is now “at its lowest ebb for almost a decade,” say analysts at Deutsche Bank today. So “one could argue that the pace of liquidation is likely to slow.

“The past six months,” says Deutsche, “has seen one of the most dramatic reductions in net speculative length in gold on record.”

Latest data show what Standard Bank today calls a “massive addition to short [bearish] positions” in US gold futures and options.

Analysis of the same data by BullionVault shows that less than 60% of all directional betting on gold prices by hedge funds and other speculators is for rising prices, the lowest “bull ratio” since at least 2005.

“While gold prices may temporarily move higher in the next few years,” reckons economist and Stern School of Business professor Nouriel Roubini, “they will be very volatile and will trend lower over time as the global economy mends itself.

“The gold rush is over,” he says, forecasting $1000 gold by 2015.

Roubini called gold “a bubble” in December 2009, saying almost two years and 60% before its all-time high that the bull market would burst thanks to a rising US Dollar.

Last week saw speculative betting on a rising Dollar near record levels, according to analysts at Nomura bank, while ING bank calls it “the largest ‘long’ USD position on record.”

“The bull market is over” for developing-nation currencies, reckons SocGen strategist Kit Juckes, speaking to Bloomberg, calling the South African Rand “the first of what I suspect will be a series of dominoes to fall,” after its worst 1-month drop in two years.

Data from the Bank for International Settlements meantime show international banking flows shrinking fast at the end of 2012, with cross-border loans in the 17-nation Eurozone shrinking at a 20% annual pace.

Domestic lending by UK banks also continued to shrink in the first 3 months of this year, down by £300 million despite the coalition government’s new funding-for-lending scheme.

“Gold continues to be useful as an insurance policy in people’s portfolios to guard against uncertainty and possibly some economic dislocation,” says Michael Cuggino, manager of some $14 billion in assets at the Permanent Portfolio Family of Funds in San Francisco.

“You have a lot of monetary creation going on,” he tells Bloomberg.

“While inflation is not a current threat, that doesn’t mean it’s not a threat at some point.”

Adrian Ash