Monday, December 2, 2013

Experts probe cause of deadly New York train crash

US experts on Monday began to probe how and why a New York City commuter train derailed over the holiday weekend, killing four, injuring more than 60, and nearly plunging into a freezing river.
The train may have been speeding when it veered off the rails in the Bronx borough at around 7:20 am (1220 GMT) Sunday as it headed south to Grand Central Station in Manhattan.
The New York Fire Department said four people were killed, 11 others seriously injured, and another 56 suffered minor wounds.
Some passengers were "impaled" by debris as train cars flew into the air, officials said, while others had to be cut free from tangled metal.
"People were screaming," Joel Zaritsky told The New York Times. "I found myself thrown to the other side of the train."
Many survivors had broken limbs or injuries to their heads or necks. Some were led away with bloodied faces.
Investigators combed the scene and announced that a "multi-disciplinary team" would probe everything from the condition of the tracks to the signaling systems and the brakes.
"Our mission is to understand not just what happened, but why it happened, with the intent of preventing it from happening again," Earl Weener, a National Transportation Safety Board official, told reporters.
Weener said the train's event recorder -- similar to an airplane’s "black box" -- had been recovered.
The data "will say how fast the train was traveling and whether or not the brakes were applied," New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said in earlier remarks to broadcaster MSNBC.
Speaking alongside Weener, Cuomo said a crane was on its way to the scene to right the derailed train cars.
That, according to Weener, was to check for any more victims and stop fuel from leaking from the locomotive.
Investigators will interview the train crew and conductor in the next days, Weener said. He expected investigators to remain on site for up to 10 days.
The Times, citing a senior city official who spoke on the condition of anonymity, reported that the train operator told first responders the brakes had failed. The account however had not been confirmed.
At least one passenger said the train was speeding as it took a curve on a downward slope leading into Spuyten Duyvil station, just north of Manhattan.
Before reaching the station, the train's seven cars derailed and flew across a grassy bank separating the railroad from the Hudson and Harlem rivers, which meet at that point.
The front car came to rest only a few feet from the water, and two cars toppled on their side.
Three of the dead were thrown from the train, police said, and divers searched the rivers in case other passengers were hurled into the frigid water.
Officials said there were some 120 passengers aboard the train when it flew off the tracks.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority identified the four victims, who ranged in age from 35 to 59. Two were men, two were women, and all were New York-area US citizens.
Passenger Frank Tatulli, who escaped with injuries to his head and neck, told WABC TV that the commuter train was going "a lot faster" than normal as it went into the bend.
Other travelers gave similar accounts.
The curved section of track leading into Spuyten Duyvil is a slow speed area.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pledged to learn from any "lessons" the investigation reveals.
The White House said President Barack Obama was briefed on the accident.
Train services were suspended because of the derailment, which occurred at the end of America's travel-heavy Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
A freight train derailed on a nearby stretch of track earlier this year. Weener said there was no indication that this was a factor in Sunday's incident, but said it would be considered in the probe.

An Absolutely Massive Stock Market Bubble

By Michael Snyder
Bubble - Photo by Jeff Kubina
One of the men that won the Nobel Prize for economics this year says that “bubbles look like this” and that he is “most worried about the boom in the U.S. stock market.”  But you don’t have to be a Nobel Prize winner to see what is happening.  It should be glaringly apparent to anyone with half a brain.  The financial markets have been soaring while the overall economy has been stagnating.  Reckless injections of liquidity into the financial system by the Federal Reserve have pumped up stock prices to ridiculous extremes, and people are becoming concerned.  In fact, Google searches for the term “stock bubble” are now at the highest level that we have seen since November 2007.  Despite assurances from the mainstream media and the Federal Reserve that everything is just fine, many Americans are beginning to realize that we have seen this movie before.  We saw it during the dotcom bubble, and we saw it during the lead up to the horrible financial crisis of 2008.  So precisely when will the bubble burst this time?  Nobody knows for sure, but without a doubt this irrational financial bubble will burst at some point.  Remember, a bubble is always the biggest right before it bursts, and the following are 15 signs that we are near the peak of an absolutely massive stock market bubble…
#1 Bob Shiller, one of the winners of this year’s Nobel Prize for economics, says that “bubbles look like this” and that he is “most worried about the boom in the U.S. stock market.”
#2 The total amount of margin debt has risen by 50 percent since January 2012 and it is now at the highest level ever recorded.  The last two times that margin debt skyrocketed like this were just before the bursting of the dotcom bubble in 2000 and just before the financial crisis of 2008.  When this house of cards comes crashing down, things are going to get very messy
“When the tablecloth gets pulled out from under the place settings, you’re going to have a lot of them crash and smash on the floor,” said Uri Landesman, president of Platinum Partners hedge fund. “That margin’s going to get pulled and everyone’s going to have to cover. That’s when you get really serious corrections.”
#3 Since the bottom of the market in 2009, the Dow has jumped 143 percent, the S&P 500 is up 165 percent and the Nasdaq has risen an astounding 213 percent.  This does not reflect economic reality in any way, shape or form.
#4 Market research firm TrimTabs says that the S&P 500 is “very overpriced” right now.
#5 Marc Faber recently told CNBC that “we are in a gigantic speculative bubble”.
#6 In the United States, Google searches for the term “stock bubble” are at the highest level that we have seen since November 2007 - just before the last stock market crash.
#7 Price to earnings ratios are very high right now…
The Dow was trading at 17.8 times the past four quarters of earnings of its 30 components, according to The Wall Street Journal on Friday. That was up from 13.7 times its earnings a year ago. The S&P 500 is trading at 18.7 times earnings. The Nasdaq-100 Index is trading at 21.5 times earnings. At the very least, the ratios are signaling that stock prices are rich.
#8 According to CNBC, Pinterest is currently valued at more than 3 billion dollars even though it has never earned a profit.
#9 Twitter is a seven-year-old company that has never made a profit.  It actually lost 64.6 million dollars last quarter.  But according to the financial markets it is currently worth about 22 billion dollars.
#10 Right now, Facebook is trading at a valuation that is equivalent to approximately 100 years of earnings, and it is currently supposedly worth about 115 billion dollars.
#11 Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital recently stated that he believes that “markets are riskier than at any time since the depths of the 2008/9 crisis”.
#12 As Graham Summers recently noted, retail investors are buying stocks at a level not seen since the peak of the dotcom bubble back in 2000.
#13 David Stockman, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan, believes that this financial bubble is going to end very badly
“We have a massive bubble everywhere, from Japan, to China, Europe, to the UK.  As a result of this, I think world financial markets are extremely dangerous, unstable, and subject to serious trouble and dislocation in the future.”
#14 Bob Janjuah of Nomura Securities believes that there “could be a 25% to 50% sell off in global stock markets” over the next couple of years.
#15 According to Tyler Durden of Zero Hedge, the U.S. stock market is repeating a pattern that we have seen many times before.  According to him, we are experiencing “a well-defined syndrome of ‘overvalued, overbought, overbullish, rising-yield’ conditions that has appeared exclusively at speculative market peaks – including (exhaustively) 1929, 1972, 1987, 2000, 2007, 2011 (before a market loss of nearly 20% that was truncated by investor faith in a new round of monetary easing), and at three points in 2013: February, May, and today.”
As I mentioned at the top of this article, this stock market bubble has been fueled by quantitative easing.  Easy money from the Fed has been artificially inflating stock prices, and this has greatly benefited a very small percentage of the U.S. population.  In fact, 82 percent of all individually held stocks are owned by the wealthiest 5 percent of all Americans.
When this stock market bubble does burst, those wealthy Americans are going to be in for a tremendous amount of pain.
But there are some people out there that argue that what we are witnessing is not a stock market bubble at all.  That includes Janet Yellen, the new head of the Federal Reserve.  Recently, she insistedthat there is absolutely nothing to be worried about…
“Stock prices have risen pretty robustly,” Yellen said. “But I think that if you look at traditional valuation measures, you would not see stock prices in territory that suggests bubble-like conditions.”
We shall see who was right and who was wrong.  Let’s all file that one away and come back to it in a few years.
So where are stocks going next?
If you had the answer to that question, you could probably make a lot of money.
Yes, the current bubble could burst at any moment, or stocks could continue going up for a little while longer.
After all, the S&P 500 has risen in December about 80 percent of the time over the past thirty years.
Perhaps that will be the case this December as well.
Perhaps not.
Do you feel lucky?

China And Japan Tensions Are Hot And There Is A Potential For A False Flag Event

Just like the US recovery propaganda the Euro zone is convincing the world that they are on a path to recovery. They to are manipulating the unemployment numbers to make it seem like that the recovery is here. But we all know that the recovery is an illusion and the dollar is collapsing. China and Japan tensions are hot and there is a potential for a false flag event.

State-backed RBS to hand out £500m in bonuses despite being embroiled in string of humiliating scandals

  • Royal Bank of Scotland expected to post huge losses this year
  • Due in part to huge fines for Libor rate fixing and mis-selling of PPI
  • Recently accused of crippling small businesses to buy up property
  • Despite this staff are in line for £500milllion in bonuses

RBS is set to reward its bankers with bonuses of £500million this year, despite plunging losses at the taxpayer-backed lender.
The bank has been embroiled in a string of humiliating scandals, from rigging market rates and mis-selling to accusations it crippled small businesses.
But the group is poised to award a vast bonus pool to its staff yet again.
The Royal Bank of Scotland is due to hand out £500million in bonuses to staff despite losses, fines for involvement in the Libor rate fixing scandal and mis-selling of PPI and fresh allegations of crippling small businesses
The Royal Bank of Scotland is due to hand out £500million in bonuses to staff despite losses, fines for involvement in the Libor rate fixing scandal and mis-selling of PPI and fresh allegations of crippling small businesses

The shocking revelation comes just days after extraordinary figures showed that City bankers saw their pay rise by more than a third last year.
The top 2,700 enjoyed an average pay packet of £1.6million - in stark contrast to millions of families struggling to make ends meet.
Despite claims that the bonus culture has been cooled in the wake of the financial crash, British bankers are now the highest paid in Europe.
Critics said this showed a return of ‘Gordon Gekko’-style greed.

RBS, which had a bonus pool of £900million last year, has been forced to shell out hundreds of millions of pounds in fines over a number of misdemeanours.
The group was fined £390million in the wake of the market manipulation scandal, where traders rigged the £180 trillion Libor rate.
It has also set aside £2.6billion to compensate millions who were mis-sold PPI insurance.
This year it is expected to report deep financial losses.
Deborah Hargreaves, from the High Pay Centre, said: ‘Because it is a state owned bank you would like to see it setting an example.
‘RBS says that if it didn’t pay bonuses its top traders would leave. We should call their bluff. Are the type of people we want those who are motivated purely by money?’
She added: ‘Most people would struggle to understand when you are being paid a very sizable salary why you need that bonus anyway.’
The bank was bailed out by £45million during the collapse and is still 82 per cent owned by the taxpayer
The bank was bailed out by £45million during the collapse and is still 82 per cent owned by the taxpayer

The bank has been forced to call in lawyers Clifford Chance after admitting some of its lending practices had driven small firms to the wall.
The group was accused of putting companies into bankruptcy before buying up their property.
Fresh accusations yesterday said that the bank pushed companies into administration by demanding repayments of loans at difficult times.
In several instances, the bank was said to have demanded money back earmarked for tax payments.
RBS was bailed out by the taxpayer in 2008 for £45billion, and is still 82per cent owned by the government.
Chief executive Stephen Hester was parachuted in to run the bank, but quit earlier this year after a tenure that saw him forced to give up his bonus several times.
Government plans to sell shares back to the markets, thus reimbursing the taxpayer, have hit a snag.
Plans were delayed by a debate over whether the group should be split into a ‘good bank’ and a ‘bad bank’, holding toxic assets.
A spokesman for the bank said: ‘No decisions have been taken on 2013 pay and any speculation is premature.
‘Variable pay has been reformed dramatically at RBS and is now a fraction of what it was before the crisis.’

The Money Changers Serenade: A New Plot Hatches

The Money Changers Serenade: A New Plot Hatches

by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts,
Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, a protege of Treasury Secretaries Rubin and Summers, has received his reward for continuing the Rubin-Summers-Paulson policy of supporting the “banks too big to fail” at the expense of the economy and American people. For his service to the handful of gigantic banks, whose existence attests to the fact that the Anti-Trust Act is a dead-letter law, Geithner has been appointed president and managing director of the private equity firm, Warburg Pincus and is on his way to his fortune.
A Warburg in-law financed Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign. Part of the reward was Wilson’s appointment of Paul Warburg to the first Federal Reserve Board. The symbiotic relationship between presidents and bankers has continued ever since. The same small clique continues to wield financial power.

Nobel Prize economist warns of U.S. stock market bubble

An American who won this year’s Nobel Prize for economics believes sharp rises in equity and property prices could lead to a dangerous financial bubble and may end badly, he told a German magazine.
Robert Shiller, who won the esteemed award with two other Americans for research into market prices and asset bubbles, pinpointed the U.S. stock market and Brazilian property market as areas of concern.
“I am not yet sounding the alarm. But in many countries stock exchanges are at a high level and prices have risen sharply in some property markets,” Shiller told Sunday’s Der Spiegel magazine. “That could end badly,” he said.
Read more

Distributed by RINF Alternative News

Improbable Collapse – The Demolition of Our Republic (Full Version)

On September 11, 2001 the World Trade Center Twin Towers disintegrated in a manner that scientists say resembled deliberately calculated implosions. The facts open for discussion include: at 5:20 p.m. that same day another building, the 47 story WTC 7, completely collapsed within 70 feet of its footprint in 6.6 seconds. These three buildings became the first such structures to ever suffer complete collapse due to fire and damage.
The film examines one of the world’s worst civil engineering catastrophes, using photographs, video footage as well as expert scientific testimony. The film thoroughly examines the official reports, offering varied criticisms of the official findings, while raising a more plausible hypothesis. The findings from these scientific experts have been quietly ignored by both government investigations and the mainstream media.

Have Your Say! Rate This Film!
Rating: 4.6/5 (10 votes cast)
Monopoly Men: Federal Reserve Fraud (Full Version), 4.4 out of 5 based on 14 ratings < || > 1 2 3 4 5

New low for Congress: Just 6 percent approve, finally lower than car salespeople

Source: Washington Examiner

The public’s approval rating for Congress has finally hit rock bottom: For the first time, America has a higher opinion of car salespeople.
A new Economist/ poll put the approval rating of Congress at a historic low of 6 percent. A December 2012 Gallup poll comparing Congress' approval ratings to other occupations had car salespeople at the bottom at 8 percent and Congress at 10 percent. Now Congress is the cellar dweller.
The nation’s bad opinion of Congress, impacted by inaction, budget fights and the battle over the filibuster, has also spread to Senate leaders. Just 19 percent approve of Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell while 54 percent disapprove. Democratic leader Sen. Harry Reid’s ratings are 52 percent unfavorable, 25 percent favorable.


Warning of US stock market bubble

An American Nobel Prize-winning economist says he is worried about sharp rises in equity and property prices especially the boom in the US stock market.
“I am most worried about the boom in the US stock market. Also because our economy is still weak and vulnerable,” Robert Shiller has said.
Shiller, who won the 2013 Nobel Prize with two other Americans for research into market prices and asset bubbles, has described the financial and technology sectors as overvalued.
According to Reuters, Shiller told Sunday’s Der Spiegel magazine that “I am not yet sounding the alarm. But in many countries stock exchanges are at a high level and prices have risen sharply in some property markets… that could end badly.”
Shiller who is the co-founder of Case-Shiller Index, had earlier said that the momentum in the housing market this fall could not be trusted anymore. He believes that surge in home prices did not mean that the US economic recovery was on solid ground. “We can’t trust momentum in the housing market anymore,” he said on CNBC’s “Squawk Box.”
In the past several weeks, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, which is a leading indicator of the US stock market, has been shooting up to record highs.
A growing number of experts are warning that there are signs of a potential bubble in the US stock market ahead.
According to USA Today “Wall Street pros say a bubble is forming in the U.S. stock market. They blame the Fed’s unprecedented stimulus, including its $85 billion in monthly bond purchases, for artificially inflating stock prices. There is concern that if the Fed does not dial back its asset purchases soon, stocks could shoot higher and become even more delinked from business fundamentals.”
An American economist, Paul Robin Krugman, has said in a recent article that the US economy is not recovering from the financial crisis of 2007-2008 but that it has entered a “permanent slump”.
“Again, the evidence suggests that we have become an economy whose normal state is one of mild depression, whose brief episodes of prosperity occur only thanks to bubbles and unsustainable borrowing,” Krugman says.
With permission
Source: Press TV

Distributed by RINF Alternative News

China Literally Buying Gold By The Ton

Fed Creates INFINITE Rise in Stock Market! Ignores Collapse

Faber: ‘We are in a massive speculative bubble’
Faber said the markets, which have reached record highs, could still rise before the bubble bursts, if stimulus programs such as the Federal Reserve’s massive monthly bond purchases and super-low interest rates continue.
“Now can the market go up another 20 percent before it tumbles?” Faber said on “Squawk Box”. “Yeah, it can go up even more, if you print money.”

The Money Changers Serenade: A New Plot Hatches

Source: Paul Craig Roberts

Former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, a protege of Treasury Secretaries Rubin and Summers, has received his reward for continuing the Rubin-Summers-Paulson policy of supporting the “banks too big to fail” at the expense of the economy and American people. For his service to the handful of gigantic banks, whose existence attests to the fact that the Anti-Trust Act is a dead-letter law, Geithner has been appointed president and managing director of the private equity firm, Warburg Pincus and is on his way to his fortune. A Warburg in-law financed Woodrow Wilson’s presidential campaign. Part of the reward was Wilson’s appointment of Paul Warburg to the first Federal Reserve Board. The symbiotic relationship between presidents and bankers has continued ever since. The same small clique continues to wield financial power.
Geithner’s career is illustrative. In the 1980s, Geithner worked for Kissinger Associates. In the mid to late 1990s, Geithner served as a deputy assistant Treasury secretary. Under Rubin and Summers he moved up to undersecretary of the Treasury.
From the Treasury he went to the Council on Foreign Relations and from there to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). From there he was appointed president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, where he worked to make banks more profitable by allowing higher ratios of debt to capital, thus contributing to the financial crisis.
Geithner arranged the sale of the failed Wall Street firm of Bear Stearns, helped with the taxpayer bailout of AIG, and rejected saving Lehman Brothers from bankruptcy in order to create the crisis atmosphere needed to more fully subordinate US economic policy to the needs of the few large banks.
Rubin, a 26-year veteran of Goldman Sachs, was rewarded by Citibank for his service to the banks while Treasury Secretary with a $50 million compensation package in 2008 and $126,000,000 between 1999 and 2009.
When a person becomes a Treasury official it is made clear that the choice is between serving the banks and becoming rich or trying to serve the public and becoming poor. Few make the latter choice.
As MIchael Hudson has informed us, the goal of the financial sector has always been to convert all income, from corporate profits to government tax revenues, to the service of debt. From the bankers standpoint, the more debt the richer the bankers. Rubin, Summers, Paulson, Geithner, and now banker Treasury Secretary Jack Lew faithfully serve this goal.
The Federal Reserve describes its policy of Quantitative Easing — the creation of new money with which the Fed purchases Treasury debt and mortgage backed securities — as a low interest rate policy in order to stimulate employment and economic growth. Economists and the financial media have parroted this cover story.
In contrast, I have exposed QE as a scheme for pumping profits into the banks and boosting their balance sheets. The real purpose of QE is to drive up the prices of the debt-related derivatives on the banks’ books, thus keeping the banks with solvent balance sheets.
Writing in the Wall Street Journal (“Confessions of a Quantitative Easer,” November 11, 2013), Andrew Huszar confirms my explanation to be the correct one. Huszar is the Federal Reserve official who implemented the policy of QE. He resigned when he realized that the real purposes of QE was to drive up the prices of the banks’ holdings of debt instruments, to provide the banks with trillions of dollars at zero cost with which to lend and speculate, and to provide the banks with “fat commissions from brokering most of the Fed’s QE transactions.” (See: )
This vast con game remains unrecognized by Congress and the public. At the IMF Research Conference on November 8, 2013, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers presented a plan to expand the con game.
Summers says that it is not enough merely to give the banks interest free money. More should be done for the banks. Instead of being paid interest on their bank deposits, people should be penalized for keeping their money in banks instead of spending it.
To sell this new rip-off scheme, Summers has conjured up an explanation based on the crude and discredited Keynesianism of the 1940s that explained the Great Depression as a problem caused by too much savings. Instead of spending their money, people hoarded it, thus causing aggregate demand and employment to fall.
Summers says that today the problem of too much saving has reappeared. The centerpiece of his argument is “the natural interest rate,” defined as the interest rate at which full employment is established by the equality of saving with investment. If people save more than investors invest, the saved money will not find its way back into the economy, and output and employment will fall.
Summers notes that despite a zero real rate of interest, there is still substantial unemployment. In other words, not even a zero rate of interest can reduce saving to the level of investment, thus frustrating a full employment recovery. Summers concludes that the natural rate of interest has become negative and is stuck below zero.
How to fix this? The way to fix it, Summers says, is to charge people for saving money. To avoid the charges, people would spend the money, thus reducing savings to the level of investment and restoring full employment.
Summers acknowledges that the problem with his solution is that people would take their money out of banks and hoard it in cash holdings. In other words, the cash form of money provides consumers with a freedom to save that holds down consumption and prevents full employment.
Summers has a fix for this: eliminate the freedom by imposing a cashless society where the only money is electronic. As electronic money cannot be hoarded except in bank deposits, penalties can be imposed that force unproductive savings into consumption.
Summers’ scheme, of course, is a harebrained one. With governments running huge deficits, who would purchase bonds at negative interest rates? How would pension and retirement funds operate? Would they also be subject to an annual percentage confiscation?
We know that the response of consumers to the long term decline in real median family income, to the loss of jobs from labor arbitrage across national borders (jobs offshoring), to rising homelessness, to cuts in the social safety net, to the transformation of their full time jobs to part time jobs (employers’ response to Obamacare), has been to reduce their savings rate. Indeed, few have any savings at all. The US personal saving rate is currently 2 percentage points, about 30%, below the long term average. Retired people, unable to earn any interest on their savings from the Fed’s zero interest rate policy, are being forced to draw down their savings in order to pay their bills.
Moreover, it is unclear whether the savings rate is an accurate measure or merely a residual of other calculations. With so many people having to draw down their savings, I wouldn’t be surprised if an accurate measure showed the personal savings rate to be negative.
But for Summers the plight of the consumer is not the problem. The problem is the profits of the banks. Summers has the solution, and the establishment, including Paul Krugman, is applauding it. Once the economy officially turns down again, watch out.
This column first appeared as a Trend Alert, Trends Research Institute
Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. His latest book, The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West is now available.

Reviving the Palestine pound to strengthen Palestinian independence

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- In markets across historic Palestine, tourists can buy coins and bills emblazoned with the phrase "Palestine pound."

The bills and coins often catch visitors off guard, a stark reminder of a world that existed prior to the partitioning of the Palestinian homeland in 1948.

Indeed, the Palestine pound gives lie to the oft-repeated Zionist mantra that Palestine was a "land without a people for a people without a land" as it demonstrates the existence of a shared currency used throughout the British Mandate of Palestine for nearly 30 years by Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike.

The Palestine pound is an inconvenient reminder for many Israelis that a cosmopolitan and tolerant society thrived in Palestine before its dismemberment and exile by the emerging Israeli state.

But the creation of the State of Israel on the majority of mandate Palestine and the forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, alongside the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza by Jordan and Egypt respectively in response, put an end to the currency's usage.

After Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in 1967, all of historic Palestine came under the rule of the Israeli lira (and later the shekel), while the Jordanian dinar and eventually the US dollar circulated alongside.

The Palestine pound, it seemed, was fated to circulate primarily in tourist markets, a potent symbol of a national sovereignty whose realization was abruptly halted by Zionist militias in 1948.

Bringing back the Palestine pound

One Palestinian researcher, however, is determined to bring the Palestine pound back, this time as the currency of the newly emerging State of Palestine.

"Since I was in high school, I was wondering why we do not have a national currency," Jacoub Sleibi explained in an interview with Ma'an.

"At that time, the fees of my high school were paid in US dollars, my pocket money was in shekels, and my father was getting paid in (Jordanian) dinars."

"This situation was extremely confusing," he explained.

Not only is it confusing, the circulation of three different currencies undermines the Palestinian economy as well as individual Palestinians' purchasing power.

"Palestinians have to have three accounts in three different currencies in the bank," because many are paid in dinars or dollars but have to pay for their daily expenses in shekels. Others are paid in shekels, but have to pay university tuition or other institutional costs in dinars, he explained.

"Households and even investors will have to exchange one currency to another at a certain point, and because there is a difference between the bid and ask prices of each currency, people are forced to lose money in every transaction they make."

As a result, Palestinians are constantly subject to multiple exchange rate volatilities, as fluctuations in the rate of exchange between any currency can dramatically affect their financial stability.

Sleibi's research while a master's student in global finance and banking at Bradford University in the UK examined how the situation negatively affects Palestinians' livelihoods, and revealed the benefits of a transition to a single currency, the Palestine pound.

In the current situation, when the Jordanian dinar gains strength compared to the Israeli new shekel, the attractiveness of exports increase as well as Palestinian purchasing power. However, an increase in the strength of the US dollar compared to the Israeli new shekel has the opposite effect, increasing the attractiveness of imports and hurting local industry.

The Palestinian economy is thus vulnerable to shifts in multiple exchange rates, leading to a volatile economic situation for Palestinians.

Reducing dependency on Israel

The Paris Protocol of the Oslo Accords governs the issues of a potential Palestinian currency. Signed in 1994, they retain the possibility of an independent Palestinian currency, but insist that this be "mutually agreed upon."

The current situation perpetuates Palestinian dependency on the Israeli economy, and the circulation of Israeli currency is an economic boon for the State of Israel.

The result, Sleibi argues, is bad for Palestinians on all levels.

Exchange rates are set by the Bank of Israel, leaving Palestinians subject to outside control and manipulation. This was particularly striking in the 1970s and 1980s, when Palestinians were held hostage to the hyperinflation of the Israeli currency.

Under the Oslo Accords, Israeli products are provided near unimpeded access to the Palestinian market, while Palestinian goods fail to receive the same access to the Israeli market.

Currently, around 70 percent of imports come from Israel, and fluctuations in currency often favor Israeli products at the expense of Palestinian industry.

The system of Israeli restrictions on movement within the West Bank, meanwhile, slows down trade and inhibits the ability of outside products to enter. Palestinian trucks are repeatedly inspected, unloaded, and re-loaded, a time consuming process. Israeli trucks, however, do not face similar restrictions when passing through the West Bank.

A United Nations Conference on Trade and Development report from 2011 highlighted how Israeli control over the Palestinian economy forces the Palestinians into a situation of dependency on Israel by limiting their ability to conduct trade with other countries.

"The restrictions imposed on the movement of goods to/from/within the West Bank and Gaza have stifled the emergence of an export sector capable of contributing to economic development."

"Steady access to global markets at normal cost is not only of critical importance to Palestinian economic development, it is actually a precondition for such development to take place," the report argued.

"The Palestinian private sector continues to be constrained by years of restrictions on movement and access, blockade, extremely limited access to external markets to export goods and import production inputs, and shrinking capital and natural resource bases," a direct result of Israeli restrictions of Palestinian exploitation of their own natural resources and freedom of trade and movement.

'We have a right to do it. And we can do it'

Even if these restrictions persist, Sleibi says that his research shows that the re-introduction of the Palestine pound would lead to a major strengthening of the Palestinian economy and of local industry.

"Every state should have its own currency, and I believe that we in Palestine should have a Palestinian pound."

Sleibi envisions the Palestine pound being pegged to the Jordanian dinar. Its very existence, however, would mean that Palestinians would not be forced to constantly convert their money between different currencies, losing all the while.

Israeli products would also be forced to compete on a more level playing field with Palestinian or international products, and would not have an unfair advantage in the Palestinian market as they currently do.

"The Palestine pound will give more respect to Palestinian products" and will increase the impetus to buy local products, Sleibi argued.

Sleibi envisions the transition taking place gradually.

"We could adopt one of the currencies before moving to the Palestine pound, because its better to transition to one currency first before creating a fourth one," he said. He suggested that moving to the sole use of the dollar could be a first step towards transitioning to exclusive use of the Palestine pound.

"People are already confused (with the current situation)," he argued. "This way the transition will be smoother."

Sleibi has already been in contact with officials at the Palestinian Monetary Authority, and is optimistic about their commitment to the idea.

"They're interested, there's no doubt about that."

Given that the current situation strongly favors the Israeli economy and creates a situation of forced dependency on Israel, however, it is hard to imagine Israel readily accepting the currency proposal.

"I don't know if Israel will allow it," Sleibi said.

But if they prevent the Palestinians from establishing their own currency, Sleibi continued, "they will lose the battle globally."

"It is a Palestinian issue. We have the right to do it. And we can do it."

A Zombie Apocalypse on the Streets of the Great Satan.

Dog Poet Transmitting.......

May your noses always be cold sand wet.

Like I've said any number of times. I love irony. It's everywhere these days. I believe I also said that the definition of stupid is being unable to register irony, unable to know what it is or where it is. It's sort of like not being able to see who you are and what you are. Zombie themes have proliferated in recent times, on the big screen, in video games and now on the streets of The Great Satan. You can get into the melee while police stand by, exactly the way the IDF stands by, when settlers abuse Palestinians but you can't film anything.

You can't tell any difference between governments and corporations these days. Government spy agencies and corporate spy agencies- macht nichts, except that the corporates are probably more comprehensive. On the heels of finding Zuckerberg is related to the Rockefellers and world class scumbag Greenberg of AIG, it should come as no surprise what Schmuckerberg is up to in his fiefdom.

It's amazing, the things that are going on. It's amazing, the things that are permitted to go on. So, it's not surprising that a corporation that used to employ hit squads in South America (and probably still do), would also be engaged in pernicious mass murder, via theater concession stands and whatever homes the resident zombies take them into. 44 teaspoons of sugar in one theater drink!!! Is that crazy or what? Imagine putting 44 spoonfuls of sugar into your mouth, one after the other. Meanwhile, celebrity junkies of another sort, with their own idea of sugar, let us know what a man who can afford anything really wants. Yack! There's not much irony more ironic than celebrity irony. No mention was made about how much the donation was from this ambulatory clothes hanger, best known for her charming and personable way with others. We are drowning in irony and hypocrisy. It surrounds us. It sucks all the oxygen out of the room.

How do you manage to hold on to integrity in a world where it is held in contempt and punishable by law, along with generosity and compassion? What a world. What a world! There seems to be no evil that goes unperformed, or under performed. 40,000 criminal cases! Zounds! Now we learn that Barracuda Sotero is, in fact, Joseph from ancient Egypt. He's gwine take you to the promised land which is, in fact, a personalized six foot hole in the ground, unless you wind up part of a crowd and the hole, of necessity much be made larger.

I have my blogs on Google and obviously, Google is a monster. I've been using G-Mail and they've been messing with my emails. They've been cutting off access to my sites. My sites have been labeled as dangerous, which, I suppose they are and I wouldn't have it any other way. They make it impossible for many people to comment. Probably I should migrate my blogs to some neutral location, or to my website. I'm using another email. It stands to reason I shouldn't be associated with this Israeli-CIA owned operation. I generally don't pay much attention to most of this because I know these instruments of the infernal have their hooks into everything these days. It's hard to know what to do.

The internet came along and made it possible for people like me to be heard. They weren't expecting that on their way to world domination. Now they're all dependent on it and can't figure out how to limit or control it. All the corporations are relying on it. It's a sticky wicket and there's yet more irony. Irony is waiting around every corner. As you anticipate running into it the moment you turn the corner, irony also is sneaking up behind you. These days it is probably in your underwear when you wake up in the morning, if you wear underwear, I don't, I prefer to use toilet paper instead. Irony is stacked up over every airport, is backed up on every freeway and lined up around the block at every department store in a permanent Black Friday state of possible chaos breakout at any moment. People can't see it because when you hide the truth from yourself, irony is also simultaneously concealed.

That brings me by mere accident (I think) to the subject of coincidence, which you often see in the company of irony. Many things are most clearly defined by their association with something else. Many things lead from one circumstance to another. We are a composite, not so much of the things we've said and done and the places we've been, as we are of how we feel about them, how we remember them. Few people remember the past as it happened. We color our memories according to our ongoing motives and intentions. It's called justification. There is little hope for a positive future, according to my value system, if one is opposed to a frank analysis of the past. Life is a continuum of error repetition and error correction. The wheel of fire accompanies the first part and the spiral into the light accompanies the second, or the former and the latter if you prefer. Yes, there are purgatories, holding tanks and limbo zones aplenty; astral slums to rival the largest favelas here or elsewhere but there are only two general directions and you're going in one or the other, one or the other. You're going consciously or unconsciously and there are examples of both in both directions; consciously good and unconsciously and consciously evil.

Yes, my friends, there are those who do evil for the sheer joy of it; Rumsfeld, Cheney, Rice (both Rices), Schumer, Cantor, Bloomfield, Silverstein. I could go on and on and there's still Israel, England, Canada and Australia, France and what not. These are your Satanists. Some are born into it and others gravitate toward it because it is their life course, as determined by prior actions and intentions. My apologies for leaving out so many of the other dedicated shitbags like Bandar, Daddy Bush, Shitwityahoo and so many more, not to mention epically evil corporations. They come to their zenith in Kali Yuga and are destined 'to fall like Lucifer'.

It is a freakish vision to behold, these driven agents of the darkside, with their appearance of power, their fortunes and command of police forces and armies, coupled with the state of the art technologies, they seem unbeatable. (It was having their technological evolution outstrip their level of moral evolution that led to the downfall of Atlantis.) From an external perspective it might seem so but... from an internal perspective, attended by the inescapable truth that there is only one source of power in the universe, the vision is quite different; “greater is that which is within you than that which is in the world.”. Even in my darkest moments and... I've had a generous share of them, beneath the chaos and confusion, the depression and despair, there percolates an irresistible optimism and an unquenchable joy that no shadow or specter can diminish. I catch myself sometimes, infuriated at my impotence to affect existence on behalf of my beloved Poncho, or to alter the course of my pending migration, not to mention the horrorshows I encounter in my virtual journeys every day; the woman who deliberately gave false evidence in so many criminal cases, which is linked in this article, is an example of breathtaking evil. Every day they seem to lower the bar. Every day they give more and more examples of their utter depravity and... what is that, my friend? What is the point and purpose of those examples? It's evidence, evidence.

You can see life as a random happenstance of events, or you can see it as a vast panoramic film, scripted by mysterious force. There are arguments for both positions, although the former position is generally one that suits the pursuit of self interest as well as the preeminence of ego over all competition. There are several questions that are difficult to answer in support of the first position. If there is no ineffable, how come there is a Devil, worshiped and served by some very hard pragmatists? Isn't this phenomenological universe a balance of opposites? Isn't it a balance of opposites going out of balance and coming back into balance, sometimes in a very harsh manner? Also, what are we to make of Karma? How does there come to be Karma without some kind of over mind? How do we interpret, “as above, so below'? If there is only evil with an operative overseer, why does evil always fail in the end? If the deck is stacked in that manner it goes against common sense to simply go by appearances. Also, consider that physicists have scientifically proven that existence is 'thought-born' and that everything is made out of the same mindstuff vibrating at a different frequency... doesn't that tell us something? Doesn't that infer something? For myself I have no argument going. I have conclusively proven what I believe/know to be truth. In any case, the only person I have to convince is myself. Everyone else can make up their own mind- ♫most likely you go your way and I'll go mine♫

I've also convinced myself of why people believe other than I do. The primary reason is religion. For some reason people confuse religion with the nature of the ineffable. They are two separate and distinct things. The other reason is the condition of the world. The usual argument is that there is no way God can exist and permit the things that are permitted. That, of course, is all Karma and this is Kali Yuga where Karma gets sorted and where things are sordid. Things get settled in this time zone that have been back-burnered for many years. This particular segment is The Apocalypse, where all of these considerations get revealed to us, in an ever more insistent fashion, because the greater portion of us do not want to see or hear and that's where the Black Kali Friday comes from and Miley Cyrus, along with all of the other two dimensional cutouts of entertainers, politicians and twisted rich, in unholy love of lucre, that runaway Shekel Flu for which there is no vaccine.

End Transmission.......

Ireland - Threat of second bailout still has not gone away

We have lived in extraordinarily uncertain times over the past half decade. Despite this, many people, including some very clever people both at home and abroad, proclaimed with great certainty last year that Ireland would not exit its bailout this month. They had many good reasons to believe that a second bailout would be needed before the first one had formally ended. But they had no reason to be so certain in that view. It is good for everyone that they have been proved wrong.
That Ireland is the first euro area country to have successfully weaned itself off rescue funding is unambiguously good. Having to resort to a second bailout would be unambiguously bad.
But resorting to a second bailout is a real possibility. Most of the reasons that gave rise to the belief that an on-schedule exit was impossible have not gone away. There are three major foreseeable risk factors over the next two years.
One is domestic. If the economy does not grow at a decent clip, the State's already-huge debt mountain will get bigger, not smaller, as per government and troika projections. If it grows much bigger, those who lend to governments will conclude – sooner or later – that it is unrepayable and will stop adding to it. It would then be back to bailout.
Source and full piece: Irish Independent, 1 December 2013

Iceland thumbs nose at international opposition to advance $1.2bn debt relief plan

A general view of houses in the town of Vik in southern Iceland.(Reuters/ Ingolfur Juliusson)
A general view of houses in the town of Vik in southern Iceland.(Reuters/ Ingolfur Juliusson)

Iceland’s government has announced that it will be writing off up to 24,000 euros ($32,600) of every household’s mortgage, fulfilling its election promise, despite overwhelming criticism from international financial institutions.
The measure was introduced by the country’s prime minister, Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson, the leader of the Progressive Party which won the late-April elections on a promise of household debt relief.
According to the government’s website the household debt will be reduced by 13 percent on average. 
Citizens of Iceland have been suffering from debt since the 2008 financial crisis, which led to high borrowing costs after the collapse of the krona against other currencies.  
“Currently, household debt is equivalent to 108 percent of GDP, which is high by international comparison,” highlighted a government statement, according to AFP. "The action will boost household disposable income and encourage savings.”
The government said that the debt relief will begin by mid-2014 and according to estimates the measure is set to cost $1.2 billion in total. It will be spread out over four years. 
The financing plan for the program has not yet been laid out. However, Gunnlaugsson has promised that public finances will not be put at risk. It was initially proposed that the foreign creditors of Icelandic banks would pay for the measure.
International organizations have confronted the idea with criticism. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) have advised against it, citing economic concerns.
Iceland has “little fiscal space for additional household debt relief” according to the IMF, while the OECD stated that Iceland should limit its mortgage relief to low-income households.
In the meantime, ratings service, Standard & Poor's, cut back on its outlook for Iceland's long-term credit rating to negative from stable, stating that the economic measure could affect the confidence of foreign investors if it ends up being paid for by the existing creditors of Icelandic banks.

In Our Lifetime: “It Will Implode… We Will See The Demise of the Dollar”

Few economic analysts truly understand the underlying fundamentals of the global economy and their impact on the workings of the world. Fewer still are willing to share that knowledge with the general public and advise others on how to shield themselves against a destabilization of the system as we have come to know it.
Bud Conrad of Casey Research is one of those who does, and in the interview below with Future Money Trends he discusses the end result of the manipulations currently being executed by our government, central banks, and financial institutions.
Despite what we’ve be told is the case, they have fixed absolutely nothing. Our national debt has grown, millions have already been impoverished and millions more will be soon. The next crisis is imminent.
The complex of potential future problems will be based on the same problems that caused the 2008 downturn… too much government debt, too much private debt and a collapse of that debt when it can’t be paid, creating a new economic crisis. 
Look at the big long-term future of our economic situation… I have predicted, that in my lifetime, the US government issue of currency can’t be trusted.
It will implode and will issue a new currency to replace the dollar. That will destroy an awful lot of debts.
It will give the government a new leg, and if they can base it on something like gold it will, both, be very bullish for gold and create new confidence. If they create a new paper system like the old paper system it’ll die just like a Banana republic [like] Argentina about every ten years later.
With that… I am saying in my lifetime we’ll see the demise of the dollar and certainly before that we’ll see gold at $10,000 an ounce. 
This critical information for those who want to understand what’s happening behind the scenes and how those schemes will affect the future of our economic and monetary systems:

(Watch at Youtube)
What’s important to understand is that the manipulation is rampant, as Bud explains in the interview above, and it will soon be revealed in the form of widespread collapse of our economic and financial systems.
Consider the monetary calamity that must occur in order for gold to rise to $10,000 an ounce, and understand that whatever causes such a price spike will be an unprecedented event in human history. It won’t just be gold that’s rising, but any tangible asset essential to survival or the flow of commerce.
Acquire those assets now at a fair price – while you still can.
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