Sunday, June 23, 2013

China Slowdown Now a Clear & Present Danger

Concerns about China’s economy intensified Thursday after a private measure of manufacturing came in at its lowest level in nine months. The HSBC/Markit flash China PMI survey also featured a steep drop in new export orders, indicating China is suffering from global weakness, notably in Europe.
Even more troubling is a sharp rise in interbank lending rates, suggesting Chinese banks are becoming wary about lending to each other. If you recall, the crisis of 2008 reached its apex when banks stopped lending to each other and fears of “counterparty risk” were manifest. Chinese interbank lending rates aren’t at extreme levels yet but could get there in a hurry if they continue to rise in such dramatic fashion.
According to Bloomberg, the seven-day repurchase rate rose to 10.77% overnight, its highest level since March 2003 while the one-day rate rose “by an unprecedented 527 basis points to an all-time high of 12.85%,” and intraday rates hit a record 30%.

Earlier this week, Henry and I discussed warnings from Fitch Analyst Charlene Chu who notes, among other things, overall credit in China has risen to $23 trillion from $9 trillion in 2008.
“They have replicated the entire U.S. commercial banking system in five years,” she observes.
According to Chu, “there’s no way [China] can grow out of their assets problems as they did in the past.” Her warnings about the size and uncertainty in China’s shadow banking system seem very prescient given the latest developments there.

To date, China’s central bank has taken no action to address the “cash crunch” in the banking system, either via rate cuts or reverse repos that would add liquidity to the banking system. The PBOC’s failure to act is raising speculation that China’s central government is intentionally engineering real-world stress tests for its banks.
“The central bank probably won’t come out to intervene unless there is a sharp decline in economic growth and large capital outflows,” says Chen Qi, a strategist at UBS Securities, in an interview with Bloomberg.
Fund flow data suggest the “hot money” is already fleeing China, where the main stock proxy is down 14% since its February high. So if the PBOC wants to cool things off, they are certainty getting their wish; the central bank has plenty of room to cut rates and China's huge foreign currency reserves suggest the government has ample firepower to address these issues.
Still, the question now is whether Chinese policy makers will be able to engineer a “soft landing” before stresses in China’s banking system metastasize.

Aaron Task is the host of The Daily Ticker and Editor-in-Chief of Yahoo! Finance. You can follow him on Twitter at @aarontask or email him at

“If The Yield Goes Significantly Higher The Market Is Going To Freak Out”

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
If yields on U.S. Treasury bonds keep rising, things are going to get very messy.  As I write this, the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasures has risen to 2.51 percent.  If that keeps going up, it is going to be like a mile wide lawnmower blade devastating everything in its path.  Ben Bernanke’s super low interest rate policies have systematically pushed investors into stocks and real estate over the past several years because there were few other places where they could get decent returns.  As this trade unwinds (and it will likely not be in an orderly fashion), we are going to see unprecedented carnage.  Stocks, ETFs, home prices and municipal bonds will all be devastated.  And of course that will only be the beginning.  What we are ultimately looking at is a sell off very similar to 2008, only this time we will have to deal with rising interest rates at the same time.  The conditions for a “perfect storm” are rapidly developing, and if something is not done we could eventually have a credit crunch unlike anything that we have ever seen before in modern times.
At the moment, perhaps the most important number in the financial world is the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries.  A lot of investors are really concerned about how rapidly it has been rising.  For example, Patrick Adams, a portfolio manager at PVG Asset Management, was quoted in USA Today as saying the following on Friday…
“I am watching the 10-year U.S. bond,” says Adams. “It has to stabilize. If the yield goes significantly higher the market is going to freak out.”
If interest rates keep rising, it is going to have a dramatic effect throughout the economy.  In an article that he just posted, Charles Hugh Smith explained some of the things that we might soon see…
The wheels fall off the entire financialized debtocracy wagon once yields rise.  There’s nothing mysterious about this:
1. As interest rates/yields rise, all the existing bonds paying next to nothing plummet in market value
2. As mortgage rates rise, there’s nobody left who can afford Housing Bubble 2.0 prices, so home prices fall off a cliff
3. Once you can get 5+% yield on cash again, few people are willing to risk capital in the equities markets in the hopes that they can earn more than 5% yield before the next crash wipes out 40% of their equity
4. As asset classes decline, lenders are wary of loaning money against these assets; if the collateral for the loan (real estate, bonds, stocks, etc.) are in a waterfall decline, no sane lender will risk capital on a bet that the collateral will be sufficient to cover losses should the borrower default.
In addition, rapidly rising interest rates would throw the municipal bond market into absolute chaos.  In fact, according to Reuters, nearly 2 billion dollars worth of municipal bond sales were postponed on Thursday because of rising rates…
The possibility of rising interest rates rocked the U.S. municipal bond market on Thursday, with prices plunging in secondary trade, investors selling off the debt, money pouring out of mutual funds and issuers postponing nearly $2 billion in new sales.
“The market got crushed,” said Daniel Berger, an analyst at Municipal Market Data, a unit of Thomson Reuters, about the widespread sell-off.
We are rapidly moving into unprecedented territory.  Nobody is quite sure what comes next.  One financial professional says that municipal bond investors “are in for the shock of their lives”…
“Muni bond investors are in for the shock of their lives,” said financial advisor Ric Edelman. “For the past 30 years there hasn’t been interest rate risk.”
That risk can be extreme. A one-point rise in the interest rate could cut 10 percent of the value of a municipal bond with a longer duration, he said.
Many retail buyers, though, are not ready for the change and “when it starts, it will be too late for them to react,” he said, adding that he was encouraging investors to look at their portfolio allocation and make changes to protect themselves from interest rate risks now.
Rising interest rates are playing havoc with other financial instruments as well.  For example, it appears that the ETF market may already be broken.  Just check out the chaos that we witnessed on Thursday
The selling also caused disruptions in the plumbing behind several ETFs. Citigroup stopped accepting orders to redeem underlying assets from ETF issuers, after one trading desk reached its allocated risk limits. One Citi trader emailed other market participants to say: “We are unable to take any more redemptions today . . . a very rare occurrence due to capital requirements we are maxed out on the amount of collateral we have out.”
State Street said it would stop accepting cash redemption orders for municipal bond products from dealers. Tim Coyne, global head of ETF capital markets at State Street, said his company had contacted participants “to say we were not going to do any cash redemptions today”. But he added that redemptions “in kind” were still taking place.
These are the kinds of things that you would expect to see at the beginning of a financial panic.
And when there is fear in the marketplace, credit can dry up really quickly.
So are we headed for a major liquidity crisis?  Well, that is what Chris Martenson believes is happening…
The early stage of any liquidity crisis is a mad dash for cash, especially by all of the leveraged speculators. Anything that can be sold is sold. As I scan the various markets, all I can find is selling. Stocks, commodities, and equities are all being shed at a rapid pace, and that’s the first clue that we are not experiencing sector rotation or other artful portfolio-dodging designed to move out of one asset class into another (say, from equities into bonds).
The bursting of the bond bubble has the potential to plunge our financial system into a crisis that would be even worse than we experienced back in 2008.  Unfortunately, as Ambrose Evans-Pritchard recently noted, the bond market is dominated by just a few major players…
The Fed, the ECB, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan, et al, own $10 trillion in bonds. China, the petro-powers, et al, own another $10 trillion. Between them they have locked up $20 trillion, equal to roughly 25pc of global GDP. They are the market. That is why Fed taper talk has become so neuralgic, and why we all watch Chinese regulators for every clue on policy.
This is one of the reasons why I write about China so much.  China has a tremendous amount of leverage over the global financial system.  If China starts selling bonds at about the same time that the Fed stops buying bonds we could see a shift of unprecedented proportions.
Sadly, most Americans have absolutely no idea how vulnerable the financial system is.
Most Americans have absolutely no idea that our system of finance is a house of cards built on a foundation of risk, debt and leverage.
Most Americans have complete and total faith that our leaders know what they are doing and are fully capable of keeping our financial system from collapsing.
In the end, most Americans are going to be bitterly, bitterly disappointed.

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British banks face £27bn shortfall

UK regulator identifies £27.1 billion bank capital deficits.
Britain™s top banks must plug a £27.1 billion hole in their finances, with Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) facing the biggest shortfall, a City regulator has revealed
According to the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), Barclays, Lloyds Banking Group and RBS failed to hold the required capital of at least 7 percent of their risk-weighted assets and, therefore, need to raise £27.1 billion in capital to cover the risk of loans.
According to reports, the three banks account for more than 90 per cent of the shortfall, with RBS being the biggest cause of concern accounting for £13.6 billion of the shortfall.
Lloyds’ and Barclays shortfall amounted to £8.6 and £3 billion respectively.
Responding to the report, Lloyds said the bank had a “strong capital position and that it expect to have a Core Tier 1 ratio of above 9 percent by end of June.
RBS also said it “continues to target” a figure of 9 percent by the end of 2013, while Barclays feels confident it can plug its £3 billion gap through disposals.
This article originally appeared on: Press TV

Fed Crashes Markets to Defend against Dollar Collapse

Let’s face the music people. 
In a corrupt system, which imposes by force, unjust and unconstitutional laws, where a digital account entry creates monopoly-imposed legal tender out of thin air, it’s clear why global markets turn to the US dollar for safety.
Anyone with half a brain realizes the enormity of such insanity, but such is the corrupt reality imposed by our treasonous elite slave owners.
The control and monopoly of money creation is the most powerful weapon in the world.

Those harboring such power will use it as a weapon of mass destruction at worst, or as a tool of total control and enslavement at best.  Such an ultimate monopoly inherently and inevitably engenders absolute corruption with reckless abandon and breakneck speed.

For years we have been monitoring the 80.00 level as a critical line in the sand, which in our view, defines the proverbial fiat cliff.  In short, if the powers-that-be cannot defend the 80.00 level, they risk losing their greatest monopoly on full-spectrum power and control. 
Just prior to the recent FOMC meeting, the dollar was falling sharply from its last pivot high, and was threatening an encounter with testing the 80.00 level, that ever-important line in the sand.

I don’t know, say for the sake of “national security,” which would more aptly be rephrased in most instances as “monopoly control,” just say that the dollar needed emergency rescuing from the existential threat of crashing decisively beneath the 80.00 handle. 
What might those holding the control levers decide it necessary to engineer at any cost?  A deceptive and ill-conceived flight to safety toward the US fiat currency would be my first guess. 
Given the gargantuan monopoly power and concerted control capabilities rendered over the whole of the financial markets, engineering a crash in equities, metals, and bond prices leaves every enslaved participant with nowhere to run for safety but to the dirty hands of the imposed fiat dollar. 
In a world of law, truth, and justice, anyone with the slightest level of survival instinct would turn to gold and silver as the ultimate safe haven. 
Sadly, we do not live in such a world.  We live in a world of fiction where legions of good-hearted people have allowed compartmentalized puppet masters to deceive them to such a degree, that most remain completely oblivious. 

Likely, because of what has gone on behind closed doors in meetings of the all-powerful, above-the-law slave masters, we must realize there is an abundance of shocks waiting in destiny’s queue that will affect everyone’s immediate and longer-term future.  
As such, if you have yet to do so, there is no time like the present to take essential precautions.
10 Things you can do right now to buffer inevitable shocks of all shapes and sizes: 
  • Get out of debt (100% debt free is the ultimate goal)
  • Covet and protect your cash flows
  • Maintain physical cash on hand (6-12 months of living expenses)
  • Maintain physical possession of Gold and Silver  (re-balance annually at 15% of net worth)
  • Hedge all bets using separate brokerages accounts that enable true strategic diversification
  • Use timeframe specific strategies to manage like accounts
  • Maintain prudent unbiased disciplines in executing and managing your strategic plans

Former VP of HSBC “We Were Laundering 100′s of Millions for Drugs”

Listen to this incredible interview:

The global banking giant HSBC is a “criminal” operation, charges a former officer for the company’s southern New York region in this interview with Russell Scott.
John Cruz, a former vice president and relationship manager, has turned over more than 1,000 pages of documents, including customer account ledgers for dozens of companies through which, he charges, the financial institution was laundering money each month.
As a relationship manager, it was his responsibility to look up various accounts in the HSBC computer system and visit the account holders in person to offer additional banking products and services.
“I pulled these documents because I thought they were evidence of suspicious activity taking place. These same documents I brought to bank security and my managers in the bank.”
To his surprise, HSBC management and security did not welcome his reports of suspicious activity.
“My managers told me I was crazy and I didn’t know what I was talking about,” he said. “They told me it was none of my business what goes on in transactions. But that’s my job.”

Hold Physical Gold And Silver – The End Is Near; Just Not In Sight

Whatever expectation[s] you may have, expect the unexpected and unlike what you may expect. So far, that has been playing out quite nicely, and one of our expectations is that it will continue to unfold in the same manner, and to the ongoing surprise of most.
“Gold will be at/above $2,000 by the end of the year.”
“Gold will reach $3,000 [$5,000, $10,000, etc] and silver $100, [$250, $500, etc]”
“The central bankers are [just about] out of gold.” [The cupboards are likely bare.]
What is wrong with this picture?
Not one Precious Metals guru has gotten anything right in the last 18 months. All have been calling for considerably higher prices. Over the past several months none called for sub-$1,300 gold and sub-$20 silver. Many have extensive research staffs and reams of statistics to substantiate any and all claims asserted, [for higher price levels].
Lesson: Crystal balls do not work and never have, plus, when it comes to markets, Anything Can Happen!
We have expressed sentiments, [but not timing], with the eventual higher prices, and have advocated the ongoing purchase of physical gold and silver, and only to be held personally. If you do not hold it, you [most likely] do not own it. You will get back paper, instead. For the most part, we have maintained not to buy the paper futures because the charts say do not be long, plain and simple.
[As an aside, we are on record stating we have been buyers of the physical even at +$1,800 gold and +$40 silver. Would we like to have bought it cheaper? That has never been a consideration, in hindsight, nor is it of concern at current low prices. Keep buying, we say. Our reasons for buying and holding, and also recommending same for silver and gold supersede its price.
Gold and silver are wealth preservers and wealth creators, from out perspective, and that is the sole purpose for accumulating the physical, at any price, as we have been stating. Why recommend buying the physical when its price has been dropping steadily? At some point, you either will not e able to buy it at prices under $1,900 and $50, respectively, or the government may [likely] intervene and make it near impossible to buy without having to submit to close scrutiny/registration, maybe even make it illegal.
The United States becomes more and more financially isolated by the rest of the world. China, Russia, India, and many other countries are waiting for the US to crumble from within, as it has been for decades, by design, [Rothschilds, New World Order, illuminati, Bilderbergers, etc, take your choice. It has happened].
Those still in power will do everything they can to maintain it. In the process, they will destroy the economy [already in process], civil liberties, [just control remains as a major obstacle], the means of earning a living, [yet an other one, food stamp recipients at all time highs, Medicare usage through the roof]. It will get ugly, especially for those less prepared, like those who chose not to buy gold or silver at any price when they could.
Here are a few other considerations:
Government confiscation – Not very likely. A replay of the 1933 Roosevelt Executive Order scam makes little sense. Back in the 1930s, much of the public owned gold and silver as a form of money, which it was, then. Today, how many households actually own and hold gold and/or silver? 1%? 2%? Whatever the number, it is small. People since have been “dumbed down” about owning gold and silver, for it is no longer a part of currency, fiat or otherwise. Even if there were some attempted form of confiscation, those who do own and hold PMs are not [as] susceptible to government-sanctioned theft.
Devaluation – This one could catch a lot of people off guard. Most Americans think it only happens in poor, or debt-ridden countries, [Hello!] Welcome to the Third World America. The illuminati have long had plans to enslave this country, and it is almost a fait accompli. 20%? 50%? Again, no one knows, but odds are heavily in favor of devaluation. A huge reason for accumulating PMs, [at any price].
Government Bail-ins, and/or confiscation of a different kind. Was Cyprus a template? Absolutely, and not by accident. Nothing, absolutely nothing happens in the banking world that has not been sanctioned, not by just the central banks, but by the controller of ALL central banks, the Bank of International Settlement, [BIS]. This is where the head of the illuminati rule, unseen, unaccounted for, but they measure every “dollar” they deem you should be “earning” for your slave labor. The BIS is the Rothschild formula in action. Lend out fiat, demand actual assets in return payment.
M F Global was a form of [uncontested] confiscation. Printing fit-to-infinity is one of the most insidious forms of confiscation, via inflation, [since 1913 when the Federal Reserve Act came into being, and the NWO took power of this country's money supply.
"Give me control over a nation's money supply and I care not who makes the laws." Mayer Amschel Rothschild. Give the man credit, he did warn everyone in advance.
Another potential form of government confiscation will be forcing public pensions, for sure, and eventually all forms of retirement accounts to buy [worthless] government bonds.
Civil war, [government induced], social upheaval, revolution. These are the more extreme forms of what can happen that will impact the [worthless] “value” of fiat.
Whatever the reason[s], it does not matter. What does matter is that you have PMs and that you continue to buy them because the end is near. What no one knows is when or how it all will end. What seems to be truer than not is what we expressed in the opening, whatever your expectations, they will probably fall short.
There is increasing recognition and discussion about PMs decoupling of prices from the [diminishing faith in] COMEX and LBMA, and how paper prices are a joke relative to actual demand for the physical. We noted in a previous commentary that despite that recognition, the paper exchanges are still in “control” [at least for now] of PM pricing. We see nothing in the charts that suggests otherwise, yet, so here they are, just for drill, and reference.
Chart comments show monthly price is in an oversold condition, [oversold can easily become more oversold], and at a 50% of range possible support. One does not use the monthly for timing, but for context.
Important support was broken in the 1535 area. The dashed portion of that horizontal line represents the future, and on a retest, it can offer significant resistance. It depends upon price activity leading up to it, at the time.
gold price chart weekly 21 june 2013 price
Despite the monthly chart showing potential support, neither the weekly nor the daily show anything similar. We see no ending action, suggesting a selling climax or even a cause for a reaction rally. It may happen next week, but all one can judge is what is on the chart in the present tense.
Remember, we are talking about futures showing no reason to be long. There are so many reasons to be long the physical. The two are distinct, although the former still has an influence on the latter, however one chooses to believe about the credibility of COMEX.
gold price chart daily 21 june 2013 price
No matter how many reasons one can give for saying the end is near, the charts are not supportive of the demand everyone recognizes for the physical. The takeaway on this is how influential are the [increasingly desperate] central banking controlling forces. They remain adamantly in control.
silver price chart monthly 21 june 2013 price
Last week’s simple observation of how weak silver looks has not changed.
silver price chart weekly 21 june 2013 price
The same is true for the daily. Thursday was a wide range bar down on sharply higher volume; the market telling us sellers are in control. Friday, last bar, was a weak response.
silver price chart daily 21 june 2013 price

£27bn Hole: Massive discrepancy in UK bank sheets, who's footing the bill?

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Rothschild Controls The Gold Market, Manipulation!


Rothschild Controls The Gold Market, Manipulation!

National Debt. To whom do we owe it? (2/5) Ron Paul 2008
Very Powerful  

The Hidden Secrets of Money Episode 1- Currency Vs Money

What is “Hidden Secrets of Money”? It is a completely free series that reveals the economic reality that has been hidden from you in plain sight. Discover the secrets that will allow you to unlock the greatest wealth transfer in history. We created this new free video series to allow viewers to turn today’s economic crisis into opportunity by simply learning from history. We hope you enjoy it. You can find bonus features here: 

The very ugly truth about RBS

I wanted to talk to you today about a topic that is on everyone’s lips at the moment: the re-privatisation of RBS. Because I think there is a disturbing story here that is not being widely reported in the mainstream press. And it goes right to the heart of the economic problems that Britain will face over the next few years. It certainly affects your investments.
When Stephen Hester took the head job at RBS, he was given the task of shrinking and de-risking the bank. The ultimate goal was to bring about a sufficient recovery so that the government could reprivatise at a higher share price, and make back the €45bn they had invested in 2008-9.
Now that Stephen Hester is being pushed out to make way for a new head of RBS – who will take the bank private again before the end of 2014 – the market is speculating about just how fixed the UK banks now are.
Stock prices have rallied strongly from the lows, though they are still well below where the government bought shares in Lloyds and RBS on our behalf. However, with the political timeline fixed for a sale ahead of the next election in 2015, the story about the banks’ solvency has become political. And that is where this story gets a little dirty

Why these banks can’t lend

The trouble with banks is that the public rarely knows the true health of their balance sheets. The big four British banks – Barclays, Lloyds, RBS and HSBC – all had strong balance sheets (by which I mean they reported strong capital ratios) ahead of the crisis. But it turned out all was not as it seemed when disaster struck. And since then investors have largely been operating in the dark.
Still there’s nothing like a share price rally to make your average broker believe that the banks’ balance sheets are fixed. The problem is that every historical precedent has shown the banks to be hiding bad debts on their balance sheets for several years before they finally get fixed. In the wake of a serious banking crisis, banks can’t show the full extent of losses because these would wipe out too much of their capital, so they parcel out losses against earnings over time.
The way we, the public can see that the banks are hiding losses (though we can only ever guess how large these may be) is by watching their behaviour. No matter how fixed a bank claims it is, no bank has ever been shown to shrink loans when policy was easy unless it was subsequently shown that the bank in question was suffering solvency issues. Therefore if the banks really are fixed, we will see it in the form of rising bank lending. After all, the banks are sitting on record amounts of unused liquidity in the form of excess bank reserves, so there’s absolutely no liquidity constraint.
Well, up until the start of 2012, record liquidity and the lowest base rates for over 300 years had done nothing to encourage the banks to lend. How could they? As we know, they were sitting on further as yet undeclared and capital eroding losses. How big are those losses?
Well, we don’t know exactly. Investor consultancy PIRC reckons that hidden losses at British banks come to a total of £40bn. I wouldn’t be surprised if losses were five times that size. Here’s the rub. The big four British banks sport some £255bn in core tier 1 capital, so if hidden losses of £200bn were to be revealed, so would the fact that the sector is still practically insolvent. Banks have already realised £230bn of losses, but that has taken almost five years of earnings.
The figure below shows how much progress banks have made towards repairing their balance sheets.
Bank Cumulative Loan Write-Offs as a Percentage of Peak Assets
Chart: Bank Cumulative Loan Write-Offs as a Percentage of Peak Assets
Source: Companies data, Westhouse Securities
As you see, in a typical banking crisis, banks end up having to write off about 10% of their loans. In a bad crisis, they write off 15%. If it’s a Japanese scale crisis, they write off 20%. That can take anything between five and 15 years to play out. And the big four have made very little progress so far compared to their US counterparts.
Since 2008, US banks have written-off 12.6% of their loans. And so they may soon be strong enough to start lending again. But the big four UK banks have only written down 6.2%.
Another big problem is that half the sector’s capital resides at just one bank: HSBC. But because HSBC has also done more loan-loss realisation than any other bank, it’s a really good bet that far less than half of the remaining losses will come from HSBC.
That leaves the other three banks, RBS, Barclays and Lloyds, in a tricky position. As hedge fund manager Chris Hohn pointed out in a letter to the Financial Services Authority earlier this year, a £20bn post-tax loss would send Lloyds’ capital ratio below 5%. The same would also be true for the other two banks.
That’s because liquidity is not the real underlying problem here.

Dreaded haze in M'sia expected to linger until August

Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - Based on the pattern in previous years, the haze in Malaysia is expected to last until August, according to the assessment of Indonesia's largest environmental NGO.
Walhi or Wahana Lingkungan Hidup Indonesia (Indonesian Forum for the Environment) noted that the root causes of the haze have remained the same, three decades after it became a trans-boundary problem.
Walhi's national forest and large-scale plantation campaigner Zenzi Suhadi said the annual occurrences showed that monitoring and prevention of open burning in the country was still ¿very weak¿.
He said the Indonesian Government seemed to only take notice of the situation after Singapore reacted strongly to the haze shrouding the island.
¿It is clear that the problems are still the same. It is important for the Indonesian Government to take decisive and quick measures to address the crisis,¿ he said, adding that the haze could affect multilateral relations.
The smog, which first appeared over Malaysian skies in 1982, was worst in 1997 when the Air Pollutant Index reading in Sarawak soared to 839 539 higher that the ¿Hazardous¿ level of 300 prompting the Government to issue a 10-day Haze Emergency.
It has been an annual problem ever since, with Port Klang and Kuala Selangor in the peninsula recording the highest readings of over 500 in 2005.
The haze, which is now an acute problem in South-East Asia, is mainly caused by open burning in Indonesia for land clearing, in addition to other factors like hot and dry weather.
Zenzi said forest fires that had occurred in the last decade were not just due to ecological changes but also intentional land clearing by large-scale plantations and the lack of environmental governance by the pulp and paper industry.
Walhi's southern Sumatra acting executive director Hadi Jadmiko said efforts to stop open burning should begin from the Indonesian Government.
He said the haze could have been prevented if the Government had been serious in tackling the issue by coming down hard on open burning over the years.
¿We have found that no action has been taken against two companies here which continue to practise open burning,¿ he said in a press statement.
He said drainage canals in peat soil areas also led to these places being dried out, causing fires to spread more easily.
Rico Kurniawan, Walhi's executive director for Riau, said the number of hotspots showed that the issuance of permits for plantations was not done with proper assessment.
He said the application of environmental rules in the timber and plantation industries was still far from being responsible.
Walhi is the umbrella body uniting more than 450 NGOs throughout Indonesia's vast archipelago.
It has independent offices and grassroots constituencies located in 24 of the country's 31 provinces.

Corporate interests line up behind immigration bill

During a Friday floor speech, Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) said the Corker-Hoeven border security amendment would be a boon to the corporate interests who are quietly backing the immigration reform bill.

Leahy, who says he will begrudgingly support the Corker-Hoeven immigration amendment offered by the so-called “Gang of Two”—Sens. Bob Corker (R-TN) and John Hoeven (R-ND)—says it “reads like a Christmas wish list for Halliburton.”

Just as public anxiety about the weak border security provisions in the Senate immigration bill was building, GOP Sen. Bob Corker stepped forward with an amendment to “fix” the problem. The result of his efforts, however, has been a “Christmas tree” measure, covering items far beyond border security. Breitbart News has learned exclusively that one provision of Corker’s amendment will allow workers who stay in the country past their visa will remain on the “path to citizenship.”
Even in the future, breaking the law won’t stop progress on what VP Joe Biden calls the “unfettered path” to citizenship.

World’s largest Bitcoin exchange suspends US withdrawals

AFP PhotoRT News
For the next two weeks Bitcoin users in the US will be unable to withdraw the virtual currency in dollars. Major exchange Mt. Gox cited an unusually high demand as the reason for the suspension, while customers worried the company has run out of cash.
Mt. Gox, based in Tokyo, Japan, handles approximately 80 per cent of Bitcoin transactions in the US and 70 per cent internationally. The popularity of the service, which allows customers to buy and sell items with relative anonymity, has led, indirectly, to the current transaction freeze.   
Over the past week Mt. Gox has experienced rising volumes of deposits and withdrawals from established and upcoming markets interested in Bitcoin,” a company statement explained. “This increased volume has made it difficult for our bank to process the transactions smoothly and within a timely manner, which has created unnecessary delays for our global customers. This is especially so for those in the United States who are requesting wire transfer withdrawals from their accounts.”
Users are still able to deposit into Mt. Gox and continue trading on other Bitcoin services, but the update has fueled speculation that the largest Bitcoin provider has grown too quickly and simply run out of cash, an allegation the company has not addressed publicly.
We are currently making improvement to process withdrawals of the United States Dollar denominations, and as a result are temporarily suspending cash withdrawals of USD for the next two weeks,” the statement continued. “Please be reassured that USD deposits and transfers to Mt. Gox will remain unaffected, as will deposits and withdrawals in other currencies, and we will be resuming USD withdrawals once the process is completed.”
Recent estimates indicate the number of Bitcoins in circulation is at approximately 11 million, with the collective market value nearing $1.4 billion. The price of one Bitcoin was 107 Friday, after fluctuating wildly in recent months, according to
While economists admit Bitcoin could have a bright financial future, its instability has been a point of reluctance for would-be investors. The temporary withdrawal restriction will almost certainly be another reason for hesitancy.
Without a safe infrastructure, a digital currency will never achieve widespread adoption by a mainstream audience,” wrote Mark Courtney, a product and services director at GBGroup, an identity intelligence company, for Wired. “The initial success of Bitcoin proves that there is appetite for a type of digital currency, but without making the service trustworthy, more trading floors will close.”

FBI Calls Destruction of GMO Sugar Beets in Oregon 'Economic Sabotage'

In a breaking development, the FBI confirms that 1,500 GM Sugar Beet plants were destroyed this month in Oregon, in what they are calling an act of "Economic Sabotage."

Sayer Ji
Activist Post

When GM pollen blows into a non-GM farmer's fields and irreversibly contaminates his crop with 'biopollution,' who does the law side with? Historically, Monsanto. Also, it's not called 'economic sabotage' but rather 'copyright infringement,' and the victim not the aggressor is threatened with economic ruin.

When Monsanto's unapproved and therefore illegal GM wheat is found years after open field trials growing freely in an Oregon wheat field, the entire state crop's export fate is held in limbo, jeopardizing the present and future living of thousands of farmers and their dependents, with Monsanto receiving little more than a reprimand, followed by rapid USDA assurance that despite a lack of approval their GM wheat is "safe."

Given the unfair rules of the game, no wonder some folks in Oregon, having been treated much like feudal peasants, are taking things into their own pitchfork-bearing hands.

So, when the FBI investigates the destruction of genetically modified sugar beets from two fields in Southern Oregon's Jackson County this month, the act is immediately labeled "economic sabotage," presumably against the multinational corporation who owned the plants.

How fitting an FBI description, considering that Monsanto already planted these 'evil seeds' of doubt by suggesting their unapproved GM wheat in Oregon was a result of sabotage, and not negligence on their part

According to the Spokesman Review, "The agency [FBI] said in a statement Thursday that about 1,000 sugar beet plants were destroyed on June 8, and more than 5,000 plants were destroyed on a different plot three nights later."

The article went on to explain that the plants were owned by the Swiss-based biotech company Sygenta, and that the FBI spokewoman, Beth Anne Steele, would not comment on the manner in which the crops were destroyed "...because we don't want to encourage copycats."

When multinational corporations like Monsanto have already succeeded in genetically modifying the political system, splicing in their ex-executives and lawyers into positions of great power within the government [see image above], how can folks rely on these Monsanto, Dow and Sygenta-influenced regulatory agencies, and the enforcement arms within their control, to make decisions in the interest of their health or basic civil rights?

Some resort to pulling up, burning and otherwise destroying the plants themselves. Are they terrorists or freedom fighters? And if you answer affirmatively to the latter definition, will you yourself be defined as an "economic saboteur," or terrorist?

This article first appeared at GreenMedInfo.  Please visit to access their vast database of articles and the latest information in natural health.