Thursday, May 22, 2014

Which are the Most Miserable Countries in the World?

by: Caitlyn Ng
"Money can't buy happiness."
This has been repeated many times, and jokes have even been made about it, such as how much better it is to cry in a Ferrari than on a motorcycle! As discovered by the late Arthur Okun, a distinguished American economist, 'misery', as it were, could actually be measured with direct links to inflation and unemployment. He developed the original misery index for the United States only, taking the sum of the inflation and unemployment rates to create it. This, he felt, could adequately tell us how miserable the people in a country were.
Fast forward to the late 2000s and you see Steve Hanke, a Johns Hopkins University economist, expand upon the original index in order to include other countries outside USA. For the updated version, he took the data for each country exclusively from the Economist Intelligence Unit and thus, it became the economic indicator which assumed that both a higher rate of unemployment and a worsening of inflation will create economic and social costs for any country.
Taking a look at the global index, it's easy to see that for most people, their quality of life is important. Constituents prefer lower inflation rates, lower unemployment rates, lower lending rates, and higher GDP per capita. That sounds like a perfect country but in reality is near impossible to satisfy all qualities. Which is why on "The Best" list, you will still see the major contributing factors as to what makes the citizens a little upset (not as much misery as those on "The Worst" list of course!) along with the current rates.
Note: The misery index score is the sum of the unemployment rate, the lending rate, and the inflation rate (consumer prices; end-of-period) minus the percent change in real GDP per capita. Only countries where all four data series were available from the Economist Intelligence Unit were included in this index.

The Most Miserable Countries

Ranking (The Worst) Country Misery Index Major Contributing Factor Current Figures
1 Venezuela 79.4 Consumer Prices 56. 2%
2 Iran 61.6 Consumer Prices 39.3%
3 Serbia 44.8 Unemployment 20.8%
4 Argentina 43.1 Consumer Prices 44.0%
5 Jamaica 42.3 Interest Rate 10.6%
6 Egypt 38.1 Unemployment 11.9%
7 Spain 37.6 Unemployment 25.2%
8 South Africa 37.4 Unemployment 25.0%
9 Brazil 37.3 Interest Rate 29.7%
10 Greece 36.4 Unemployment 24.2%

The Least Miserable Countries

Ranking (The Best) Country Misery Index Major Contributing Factor Current Figures
1 Japan 5.41 Unemployment 3.6%
2 Taiwan 6.13 Unemployment 4.03%
3 Singapore 6.38 Interest Rate 3.2%
4 Republic of Korea 6.77 Interest Rate 4.4%
5 Thailand 6.83 Interest Rate 5.7%
6 Qatar 7.39 Interest Rate 0.9%
7 Malaysia 7.88 Interest Rate 4.0%
8 China 7.90 Real GDP Growth 7.8%
9 Panama 8.24 Interest Rate 2.2%
10 Norway 8.75 Unemployment 3.5%
Still think money doesn't buy happiness? How happy are you in Malaysia (since we're in the top ten for happy)?
* Caitlyn Ng is an Investigative Journalist of, an online consumer advice portal which aims to help Malaysians save money through smart (and most of the time painless) savings in their daily banking, technology, and lifestyle spending habits.

Lindsey Williams: Catastrophic Events Expected In Monetary World – The World As We Know It Will Never Be The Same Again

According to Pastor Lindsey Williams in the videos below: “The ‘elite’ are instituting drastic measures which will be implemented IMMEDIATELY. The world as we know it will never be the same again. Expect catastrophic events in the monetary world, nature and the Elite EXPECT DIVINE REPERCUSSIONS.”
The story on is called ‘Elite Instituting Drastic Measures Immediately’ and the warning given by Lindsey via our videographers below should be seen as another sign of the impending loss of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. The elite are prepared; are you?

The Decline of Small Business = Decline of Basic Skills

An economy where most people work for the state or a global corporation is an economy that has lost its knowledge of the key entrepreneurial building blocks.
The decline of small business has numerous long-term consequences. One is the decline of the middle class, as entrepreneurial enterprise is a key pathway to generational wealth-building and prosperity.
Another is the loss of employment opportunities. As U.S. businesses are being destroyed faster than they’re being created, there are fewer sources of employment.
Since many people get their first job at small businesses, the decline of small business has an outsized effect on entry-level employment opportunities.
Correspondent Kevin K. identified a third long-term consequence: the erosion of opportunities to learn basic skills with economic value. As low-skill work is increasingly replaced by software and robotics, work with a future requires not just higher-level skills but a spectrum of building-block skills and values–what I call the eight essential skills of professionalism in my book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.
Many of these skills are fundamental life-skills that are not taught in classrooms; they are learned on the job. If the kind of jobs that enable the learning of these basic building blocks of economic value go away, so do the opportunities to gain these skills.
Here is Kevin’s commentary: 

It is not coincidental that the middle class and small business are both in decline. Entrepreneurial enterprise and small business have long been stepping stones to middle class incomes and generational wealth, i.e. wealth that is passed down to future generations rather than consumed.
For me the big take-away is that as fewer people in America work for small business owners who often share with employees what they did to create “middle class incomes and generational wealth”, we will have fewer people who know how to do this (or even imagine it is possible).
My first “real” (as defined by a job paid for by a non-family member) was pulling weeds for a neighbor (at $0.60/hour a.k.a. “a penny a minute”). I later made $1/hour when I started mowing his lawn then $2/hour until I had to stop at 14 when I started working all day every Saturday at the grocery store making $3/hour.
Unlike today where most gardening jobs have a guy that does not speak English working for a guy that speaks a little English, I was working for a contractor that owned his own business and a home and was into cars (my Dad knew nothing about cars).
He came over and gave us some pointers on turning a corner of our basement into a new room for me (and let us his hammer drill to make holes for the Red Heads to hold the wood to the floor). When I turned 16 he accompanied me a couple times to look at used cars (and saved me from buying a car with major rust/rot).
Working in the little grocery store (owned by two butchers born in Italy), I not only learned about the retail grocery and meat business but how to patch a leaking flat roof with Henry wet patch and how to maintain HVAC systems and commercial refrigeration systems. Today in a WalMart grocery store you typically have a kid working for minimum wage doing what his “manager” (that was probably making minimum wage a year ago) doing what the latest corporate memo told them to do.
When I spent a winter in Lake Tahoe getting vacation homes ready for renters, I not only learned a lot about the rental market and the real estate market, I also learned how to do low-cost home maintenance from owners that have been doing it for years and got to work side by side with them. Kids today working for a giant corporation don’t have that opportunity and as a result don’t learn nearly as much. 

Thank you, Kevin, for describing the process of learning entrepreneurial life-skills.In a neofeudal economy dominated by the government-corporate partnership, the erosion of small business goes hand in hand with an erosion of building-block skills, opportunities to learn these essential life-skills, and the cultural knowledge of how to start and operate an independent enterprise.
An economy where most people work for the state or a global corporation is an economy that has lost its knowledge of the key entrepreneurial building blocks and its opportunities for independence from the neocolonial Company Store: Is Small Business a Threat to the Status Quo?

Want to give an enduringly practical graduation gift? Then give my new book Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy, a mere $9.95 for the Kindle ebook edition and $17.76 for the print edition. 

Airbus CEO Calls For Currency War, Shoots Himself In Foot

Boeing has squirrelled away more orders in the first quarter than archrival Airbus, which has been plagued by delays of its A350 and by lousy sales of its super-jumbo A380, and by a million other problems. So on the eve of the ILA Berlin Air Show, Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier spoke up against this ridiculous injustice. And true to his Frenchness, he exhorted the ECB to get busy and do what central banks are supposed to do and devalue the euro. It would help exports, and particularly Airbus’ exports.
Devaluing the currency was France’s standard go-to solution back when the franc still existed. So, for example, after a series of devaluations since 1945, France “revalued” the franc in 1960 at 100 old francs to 1 new franc. Three zeroes were chopped off, new notes and coins with confidence-inspiring designs were put into circulation, and then the dance started all over again. Over the next 40 years, until it was replaced by the euro, the “revalued” franc lost another 88% of its value. In the process, France continued to lag behind Germany as an industrial power, and Germany had a hard currency. That’s French monetary policy if left to its own devices.
The ECB “has to gain credibility” on how it manages the currency, Brégier said, according to the Wall Street Journal, perhaps reminiscing fondly about the good old days of the franc and its serial destructor, the Bank of France. He fingered the US and Japan whose central banks have been printing money hand over fist. Neither central bank has put currency devaluation on its public list of things to accomplish. But that has been the result, with the dollar and the yen chasing each other to the bottom. Regular Americans and Japanese have been paying the price for the devaluation of their currencies, but that didn’t come up in Brégier’s speech. It doesn’t matter. It never comes up. It’s a taboo topic. Currency devaluation and inflation are laudable goals to be accomplished quietly and without ruffling the feathers of their victims.
He considered the strong euro in relationship to the dollar one of the principal threats to Airbus and lamented that the ECB’s suggestions of negative deposit rates haven’t produced any results yet. “Europe politically has to do what it costs to make it happen,” he said because his bonus might be at stake.
But a couple of days before he opened his mouth in Berlin, Natixis, the asset management and investment banking division of France’s second largest megabank, Groupe BPCE, preemptively issued a new report in his native tongue to prove him wrong.
In fact, since the beginning of the debt crisis, the Eurozone has had a growing current account surplus. And ironically, despite Brégier’s protestations, the stronger the euro, the greater the surplus:
Natixis found that these current account surpluses have contributed to the strong euro, along with foreign investors who have been plowing the Fed’s and the Bank of Japan’s freshly printed money into European financial assets, thus inflating their values. And the study concluded what everybody can see by just looking at the numbers: the appreciation of the euro has not reduced the current account surpluses.
But there were differences between countries. Natixis found that exports by Germany (and countries like it) are not sensitive to the euro’s exchange rate due to their level of differentiation and sophistication.
Exports by other countries, however, are sensitive to the euro’s exchange rate, but some of them, like Spain and Portugal, are benefitting from their growing cost-competitiveness – low salaries, in normal English – and have seen strong export growth. Other countries, such as Italy, are at the limit of their external debt, and current account deficits cannot increase. So if the strong euro hurts their exports, domestic demand for imports must contract to prevent external deficits from reappearing.
France, the report points out, has a competitiveness problem (cost of labor has continued to rise in relationship to the lagging sophistication of production) and a profitability problem, which cause not only the weakness in exports but also the weakness in investments. And that’s not the fault of the euro or of the half-heartedness with which the ECB has been fighting the currency war, Mr. Brégier, but of the policies in France, the report almost added.
So when Brégier claims that devaluing the euro “is the condition of additional industrial development in the Eurozone and so additional exports,” he is firing a gratuitous shot in the currency war to push the ECB in that direction. Devaluing the euro would boost the paper profitability of Airbus as its dollar sales are translated into weakened euros, and therefore more euros. It would alleviate some corporate problems and raise his bonus payable in these devalued euros. But there are people who will pay the price, and as Natixis pointed out, it’s not a “condition of additional industrial development.” That shot went into his own foot.
Devaluation would allow France to paper over its economic and tax policy issues. But in the end, it would have to lumber, as in the past, from one devaluation to the next and destroy savings and wages in an insidiously sly manner, in the same sly manner actually in which the Fed has been destroying savings and wages of Americans for years. But Brégier should keep in mind that the one thing the dollar devaluation was supposed to accomplish – eliminate the huge trade deficit – is precisely what it has failed to accomplish.
A different battle between the US and France has been brewing for months, but now it came to a head: the French government decided to spite the US and move forward with the contract to deliver two warships to Russia. To heck with those silly sanctions. Read….France Thumbs Nose at Obama Over Sanctions: Will Deliver Two Warships to Russia

Latest CrossTalk : Multipolar World = Dollar Carsh / WW3

Watched this last night……

First time I’ve seen NO ARGUING….

All 4 people on the show agree US and Dollar are on their way out….and soon.

Conversations about US overreaches in over a hundred countries…and how our curent policy of simultaneously backing S Korea, Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Taunting Russia, ….etc, etc…….will be our downfall from being spread thin.

Last couple of minutes…dude predicts 18 month timetable for dollar carsh and WW3.
Last couple of minutes…dude predicts 18 month timetable for dollar carsh and WW3.
First time I’ve seen NO ARGUING….

All 4 people on the show agree US and Dollar are on their way out….and soon.

Conversations about US overreaches in over a hundred countries…and how our curent policy of simultaneously backing S Korea, Japan, Syria, Afghanistan, Taunting Russia, ….etc, etc…….will be our downfall from being spread thin.

Last couple of minutes…dude predicts 18 month timetable for dollar carsh and WW3.

Food Inflation Update: Prices Set To Rise Again

Lies, Inflation, and the Minimum WageRegular readers are familiar with the Great Inflation Lie. Lying about inflation is a device of deceit which governments use to pad numerous economic statistics, since most of these statistics only have relevance/legitimacy if fully “deflated” by the (real) prevailing rate of inflation.The example with which readers are most familiar is that understating inflation can be used toexaggerate GDP, on a point-for-point basis. Understate the rate of inflation by 5%, and you overstate GDP by an equal 5%. It is thus through this Lie (which is getting larger every year) that the U.S. government has been able to pretend that it’s Greater Depression is actually an “economic recovery”.However, readers have also previously seen another manifestation of the Great Inflation Lie: to hide the collapse in Western wages, which (in real dollars) have fallen by more than 50% over the past 40 years. The chart illustrates this Lie perfectly. 
Food Prices Set To Rise Again: Weather Experts Predict El Niño Comparable to the Destructive 1997-1998 El NiñoThe 1997-1998 El Niño is estimated to have caused over 23,000 deaths worldwide (source). With forecasters saying that the signs point to an 80% chance of a strong El Niño forming towards the end of this year, what impacts can be expected?While some areas such as the West Coast of the United States could get a massive amount of rain (very welcome after record breaking droughts), other areas that rely on rain for agriculture will be left bone dry. A strong El Niño also increases fears that production of many key agricultural commodities in Asia and Australia will suffer.Extreme El Niño events develop differently from standard El Niños, which first appear in the western pacific. The extreme events occur when sea surface temperatures exceeding 82°F develop in the normally cold and dry eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean. This different location for the origin of the temperature increase causes massive changes in global rainfall patterns which result in floods and torrential rain in some places and devastating droughts and wildfires in others.Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado, says the coming event could rival the one from 1997. He has been monitoring sea levels with satellite altimetry data and has noticed about a 20-centimeter difference between the western and eastern tropical Pacific.

JPMorgan, HSBC and Credit Agricole accused of euro rate-fixes

JPMorgan, HSBC and Credit Agricole accused of euro rate-fixes

Competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia Should the banks be fined, they will not receive any reduction in penalties, competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia said
The European Commission has accused JPMorgan, HSBC and Credit Agricole of colluding to fix a key euro benchmark borrowing rate - Euribor.
JP Morgan and HSBC will fight the charges. Credit Agricole will study the European Commission's findings.
Penalties for the guilty are up to 10% of annual revenue.
Euribor is a cousin to Libor, which is used to set trillions of dollars of financial contracts from complex financial transactions to car loans.
In December, the Commission imposed fines totalling 1.04bn on Barclays, Deutsche Bank, RBS and Societe Generale as part of the same investigation.
Barclays escaped a fine as it had notified the Commission of the existence of the cartel, and the others were granted a 10% reduction in their fine for agreeing to a settlement.

Paul Craig Roberts On Elite Domination And Chris Martenson On Risk & Asset Allocation

Published on May 20, 2014 
Our lead story: US telecom giant AT&T plans to buy satellite TV operator DirecTV for $48.5 billion, gaining more than 38 million subscribers and increasing the merger mania sweeping the telecom media and technology industries. Edward tells you why this is a bad deal.
Then Erin sits down with economist Paul Craig Roberts to talk about elite domination in the US economy and politics. Roberts talks about imbalance of influence of interest groups in American economy, and he gives his take on Tim Geithner’s new book “Stress Test.” Check it out.
Erin then speaks with Peak Prosperity’s Chris Martenson on how to allocate assets in a world of risk. He argues that the world is even more unstable now than before the crisis, and he looks at how an investor might react to such changes.Finally, in today’s Big Deal, Edward Harrison talks to Political Commentator Sam Sacks about FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s House testimony on Net Neutrality. Check it out.

Gold Price Manipulation Goes Mainstream On German TV – Koos Jansen

Published on May 20, 2014 
Short documentary about Gold Price Manipulation on public TV channel 3sat, a cooperation between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Broadcasted May 9, 2014. 
Click the CC button in the Youtube video player for English subtitles

Is Soros Engineering Another Black Wednesday?

September 16th 1992 became known as Black Wednesday after George Soros, the Hungarian born banker, short sold sterling, which forced the UK government to withdraw the pound from the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. He became known as ‘the man who broke the bank of England’. It is said he made more than a billion dollars overnight. You can read more about that here.
Soros is not beyond positioning himself where he will profit by stock market crashes. A short time ago he was in the news because he made a billion dollar bet against the S&P 500, a move that some claimed signalled trouble ahead for the stock markets. This week his name is once again being bandied about in financial circles.
Tom Bernis of Market Watch reports:
George Soros dumped his stakes in banks and went for tech and gold miners in the first quarter, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange CommissionThursday. Soros sold his holdings in Citigroup, J.P. Morgan and Bank of America. He took new stakes in RF Micro Devices, Nuance Communications, Marvel Technology Group, Nokia Corp, and Cypress Semiconductor. Soros also boosted his stake in Herbalifeand took a new position in Yamana Gold, AuRico Gold, and New Gold Inc. Cda.
When Soros dumps bank stock and invests in other areas he is sending a message that there is no money to be made, that the system is shot.
He said in 2009:
“We witnessed the collapse of the financial system … It was placed on life support, and it’s still on life support. There’s no sign that we are anywhere near a bottom.”
Could this signal that he now feels we have reached the bottom and the system is about to implode? Soros is not the only billionaire who is dumping stock. Warren Buffet and John Paulson are also quietly changing their positions as Newsmax reports:
Warren Buffett, who has been a cheerleader for U.S. stocks for quite some time, is dumping shares at an alarming rate. He recently complained of “disappointing performance” in dyed-in-the-wool American companies like Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft Foods.
Buffett’s holding company, Berkshire Hathaway, has been drastically reducing its exposure to stocks that depend on consumer purchasing habits. Berkshire sold roughly 19 million shares of Johnson & Johnson, and reduced its overall stake in “consumer product stocks” by 21%. Berkshire Hathaway also sold its entire stake in California-based computer parts supplier Intel.
With 70% of the U.S. economy dependent on consumer spending, Buffett’s apparent lack of faith in these companies’ future prospects is worrisome.
Unfortunately, Buffett isn’t alone.
Fellow billionaire John Paulson, who made a fortune betting on the subprime mortgage meltdown, is clearing out of U.S. stocks too. Paulson’s hedge fund, Paulson & Co., dumped 14 million shares of JPMorgan Chase according to a recent filing. The fund also dumped its entire position in discount retailer Family Dollar and consumer-goods maker Sara Lee.
Finally, billionaire George Soros has sold nearly all of his bank stocks, including shares of JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, and Goldman Sachs. Between the three banks, Soros sold more than a million shares.
So why are these billionaires dumping their shares of U.S. companies?
After all, the stock market is still in the midst of its historic rally. Real estate prices have finally leveled off, and for the first time in years are actually rising in many locations. And the unemployment rate seems to have stabilized.
It’s very likely that these professional investors are aware of specific research that points toward a massive market correction, as much as 90%.
We all know that the financial system is a train wreck and that ultimately there will be another financial crash, one that will make 2008 seem like a minor hiccough. The question has to be then, if all those ‘in the know’ are dumping stock, is it a good deal closer than we think?
Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

Who Is The New Secret Buyer Of U.S. Debt?

This informative analysis has been contributed by Brandon Smith of Alt Market.
dollar-burnsOn the surface, the economic atmosphere of the U.S. has appeared rather calm and uneventful. Stocks are up, employment isn’t great but jobs aren’t collapsing into the void (at least not openly), and the U.S. dollar seems to be going strong. Peel away the thin veneer, however, and a different financial horror show is revealed.
U.S. stocks have enjoyed unprecedented crash protection due to a steady infusion of fiat money from the Federal Reserve known as quantitative easing. With the advent of the “taper”, QE is now swiftly coming to a close (as is evident in the overall reduction in treasury market purchases), and is slated to end by this fall, if not sooner.
Employment has been boosted only in statistical presentation, and not in reality. The Labor Department’s creative accounting of job numbers omits numerous factors, the most important being the issue of long term unemployed. Millions of people who have been jobless for so long they no longer qualify for benefits are being removed from the rolls. This quiet catastrophe has the side bonus of making it appear as though unemployment is going down.
U.S. Treasury bonds, and by extension the dollar, have also stayed afloat due to the river of stimulus being introduced by the Federal Reserve. That same river, through QE, is now drying up.
In my article The Final Swindle Of Private American Wealth Has BegunI outline the data which leads me to believe that the Fed taper is a deliberate action in preparation for an impending market collapse. The effectiveness of QE stimulus has a shelf-life, and that shelf life has come to an end. With debt monetization no longer a useful tool in propping up the ailing U.S. economy, central bankers are publicly stepping back. Why? If a collapse occurs while stimulus is in full swing, the Fed immediately takes full blame for the calamity, while being forced to admit that central banking as a concept serves absolutely no meaningful purpose.
My research over many years has led me to conclude that a collapse of the American system is not only expected by international financiers, but is in fact being engineered by them. The Fed is an entity created by globalists for globalists. These people have no loyalties to any one country or culture. Their only loyalties are to themselves and their private organizations.
While many people assume that the stimulus measures of the Fed are driven by a desire to save our economy and currency, I see instead a concerted program of destabilization which ismeant to bring about the eventual demise of our nation’s fiscal infrastructure. What some might call “kicking the can down the road,” I call deliberately stretching the country thin over time, so that any indirect crisis can be used as a trigger event to bring the ceiling crashing down.
In the past several months, the Fed taper of QE and subsequently U.S. bond buying has coincided with steep declines in purchases by China, a dump of one-fifth of holdings by Russia, and an overall decline in new purchases of U.S. dollars for FOREX reserves.
With the Ukraine crisis now escalating to fever pitch, BRIC nations are openly discussing the probability of “de-dollarization” in international summits, and the ultimate dumping of the dollaras the world reserve currency.
The U.S. is in desperate need of a benefactor to purchase its ever rising debt and keep the system running. Strangely, a buyer with apparently bottomless pockets has arrived to pick up the slack that the Fed and the BRICS are leaving behind. But, who is this buyer?
At first glance, it appears to be the tiny nation of Belgium.
While foreign investment in the U.S. has sharply declined since March, Belgium has quickly become the third largest buyer of Treasury bonds, just behind China and Japan, purchasing more than $200 billion in securities in the past five months, adding to a total stash of around $340 billion. This development is rather bewildering, primarily because Belgium’s GDP as of 2012 was a miniscule $483 billion, meaning, Belgium has spent nearly the entirety of its yearly GDP on our debt.
Clearly, this is impossible, and someone, somewhere, is using Belgium as a proxy in order to prop up the U.S. But who?
Recently, a company based in Belgium called Euroclear has come forward claiming to be the culprit behind the massive purchases of American debt. Euroclear, though, is not a direct buyer. Instead, the bank is a facilitator, using what it calls a “collateral highway” to allow central banks and international banks to move vast amounts of securities around the world faster than ever before.
Euroclear claims to be an administrator for more than $24 trillion in worldwide assets and transactions, but these transactions are not initiated by the company itself. Euroclear is a middleman used by our secret buyer to quickly move U.S. Treasuries into various accounts without ever being identified. So the question remains, who is the true buyer?
My investigation into Euroclear found some interesting facts. Euroclear has financial relationships with more than 90 percent of the world’s central banks and was once partly owned and run by 120 of the largest financial institutions back when it was called the “Euroclear System”. The organization was consolidated and operated by none other than JP Morgan Bank in 1972. In 2000, Euroclear was officially incorporated and became its own entity. However, one must remember, once a JP Morgan bank, always a JP Morgan bank.
Another interesting fact – Euroclear also has a strong relationship with the Russian government and is a primary broker for Russian debt to foreign investors. This once again proves my ongoing point that Russia is tied to the global banking cabal as much as the United States. The East vs. West paradigm is a sham of the highest order.
Euroclear’s ties to the banking elite are obvious; however, we are still no closer to discovering the specific groups or institution responsible for buying up U.S. debt. I think that the use of Euroclear and Belgium may be a key in understanding this mystery.
Belgium is the political center of the EU, with more politicians, diplomats and lobbyists than Washington D.C. It is also, despite its size and economic weakness, a member of an exclusive economic club called the “Group Of Ten” (G10).
The G10 nations have all agreed to participate in a “General Arrangement to Borrow” (GAB) launched in 1962 by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The GAB is designed as an ever cycling fund which members pay into. In times of emergency, members can ask the IMF’s permission for a release of funds. If the IMF agrees, it then injects capital through Treasury purchases and SDR allocations. Essentially, the IMF takes our money, then gives it back to us in times of desperation (with strings attached).  A similar program called ‘New Arrangements To Borrow’ (NAB) involves 38 member countries.  This fund was boosted to approximately 370 billion SDR (or $575 billion dollars U.S.) as the derivatives crisis struck markets in 2008-2009.  Without a full and independent audit of the IMF, however, it is impossible to know the exact funds it has at its disposal, or how many SDR’s it has created.
It should be noted the Bank of International Settlements is also an overseer of the G10. If you want to learn more about the darker nature of globalist groups like the IMF and the BIS, read my articles, Russia Is Dominated By Global Banks, Too, and False East/West Paradigm Hides The Rise Of Global Currency.
The following article from Harpers titled Ruling The World Of Money,” was published in 1983 and boasts about the secrecy and “ingenuity” of the Bank Of International Settlements, an unaccountable body of financiers that dominates the very course of economic life around the world.
It is my belief that Belgium, as a member of the G10 and the GAB/NAB agreements, is being used as a proxy by the BIS and the IMF to purchase U.S. debt, but at a high price. I believe that the banking elite are hiding behind their middleman, Euroclear, because they do not want their purchases of Treasuries revealed too soon. I believe that the IMF in particular is accumulating U.S. debt to be used later as leverage to absorb the dollar and finalize the rise of their SDR currency basket as the world reserve standard.
Imagine what would happen if all foreign creditors abandoned U.S. debt purchases because the dollar was no longer seen as viable as a world reserve currency.  Imagine that the Fed’s efforts to stimulate through fiat printing became useless in propping up Treasuries, serving only to devalue the domestic buying power of our currency.  Imagine that the IMF swoops in as the lender of last resort; the only entity willing to service our debt and keep the system running.  Imagine what kind of concessions America would have to make to a global loan shark like the IMF.
Keep in mind, the plan to replace the dollar is not mere “theory”.  In fact, IMF head Christine Lagarde has openly called for a “global financial system” to take over in the place of the current dollar based system.
The Bretton Woods System, established in 1944, was used by the United Nations and participating governments to form international rules of economic conduct, including fixed rates for currencies and establishing the dollar as the monetary backbone. The IMF was created during this shift towards globalization as the BIS slithered into the background after its business dealings with the Nazis were exposed. It was the G10, backed by the IMF, that then signed the Smithsonian Agreement in 1971 which ended the Bretton Woods system of fixed currencies, as well as any remnants of the gold standard. This led to the floated currency system we have today, as well as the slow poison of monetary inflation which has now destroyed more than 98 percent of the dollar’s purchasing power.
I believe the next and final step in the banker program is to reestablish a new Bretton Woods style system in the wake of an engineered catastrophe. That is to say, we are about to go full circle. Perhaps Ukraine will be the cover event, or tensions in the South China Sea. Just as Bretton Woods was unveiled during World War II, Bretton Woods redux may be unveiled during World War III. In either case, the false East/West paradigm is the most useful ploy the elites have to bring about a controlled decline of the dollar.
The new system will reintroduce the concept of fixed currencies, but this time, all currencies will be fixed or “pegged” to the value of the SDR global basket. The IMF holds a global SDR summit every five years, and the next meeting is set for the beginning of 2015.
If the Chinese yuan is brought into the SDR basket next year, if the BRICS enter into a conjured economic war with the West, and if the dollar is toppled as the world reserve, there will be nothing left in terms of fiscal structure in the way of a global currency system. If the public does not remove the globalist edifice by force, the IMF and the BIS will then achieve their dream – the complete dissolution of economic sovereignty, and the acceptance by the masses of global financial governance. The elites don’t want to hide behind the curtain anymore. They want recognition. They want to be worshiped. And, it all begins with the secret buyout of America, the implosion of our debt markets, and the annihilation of our way of life.
You can contact Brandon Smith at:
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Mike Maloney: How Your Economic Energy Has Been Stolen

More: Every now and then, a glitch appears in the Matrix that reminds us that we are are all playing our part in the biggest hoax, the bad joke that is called currency, which unfortunately most folks still confuse with money.
Mike recently picked up some cash from the bank – check the video to see what he found.
If you’d like to help change the perception of what money really is, please share the following videos:

Karen Hudes: Japan is now demanding access to its gold from the World Bank.

Karen Hudes is in Japan which is the first country to demand access to it's gold collateral account.

Her twitter excerpts from yesterday May 20, 2014 include:

The BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) are in a coalition and they are now using offsets to finance the 25% of world trade among themselves, settling the difference in gold. At the spring meetings of the World Bank/IMF, it was agreed that the world's gold that is held in a trust account for the benefit of humanity (called the Global Debt Facility) would be minted into the world's currencies.

I am in Tokyo because Japan will be the first country to access its gold from the Global Debt Facility. The world’s citizens and taxpayers are all watching us tell the Banking Cartel where to get off. Wolfgang Struck, the Authorized Signatory on the Global Debt Facility, has included documentation showing the authenticity of this matter, which I have uploaded to these links as well:

Media Reports Rising Food Prices as Positive News

As Russia Dumps A Record Amount Of US Treasurys, Here Is What It Is Buying

Last week we commented that based on TIC data, while "Belgium's" unprecedented Treasury buying spree continues, one country has been dumping US bonds at an unprecedented rate, and in March alone Russia sold a record $26 billion, or 20% of its holdings.

So as Russia is selling record amount of US paper, what is it buying? For the answer we go to Goldcore which tells us that...
Russia Buys 900,000 Ounces Of Gold Worth $1.17 Billion In April

The Russian central bank has again increased its gold reserves by another 900,000 ounces worth $1.17 billion in April.
Russia's gold reserves rose to 34.4 million troy ounces in April, from 33.5 million troy ounces in March, the Russian central bank announced on its website yesterday. The value of its gold holdings rose to $44.30 billion as of May 1, compared with $43.36 billion a month earlier, it added.
The following is a summary from Bloomberg of the April data template on international reserves and foreign currency liquidity from the Central Bank of Russia in Moscow:

Russia's gold & foreign exchange reserves remained virtually unchanged at USD 471.1billion in the week ending May 9. Russia’s reserves have fallen since the crisis began but remain very sizeable. The reserves include monetary gold, special drawing rights, reserve position at the IMF and foreign exchange.
The 900,000 ounce purchase is a lot of physical gold in ounce or tonnage terms but as a percentage of Russian foreign exchange reserves it is a very small 0.24%.
Gold as a percentage of the overall Russian reserves is now nearly 10%. This remains well below the average gold holding as a percentage of foreign exchange reserves of major central banks such as the Bundesbank, Bank of France and the Federal Reserve which is over 65%.
The Russian central bank has been gradually increasing the Russian reserves since 2006 (see chart above). On average they have been accumulating 0.5 million troy ounces every month. Therefore, the near 1 million ounce purchase in April is a definite increase in demand.
This was to be expected given the very pronounced geopolitical tension with the U.S. and west over Ukraine. Indeed the TIC data shows that Russia has been aggressively divesting themselves of U.S. Treasuries.
Russian holdings of U.S. Treasuries fell very sharp, by nearly $50 billion, between October and March 2014 or nearly a third of Russia’s total holdings. Over half of the plunge came in March, when $26 billion was liquidated as western sanctions were imposed. TIC Data for April won’t be available until June and will make for very interesting reading.
Especially given the mysterious huge U.S. Treasury buying that is being done by little Belgium. This has analysts scratching their heads and has aroused suspicions that the Fed and or the ECB may be behind the huge Belgian purchases.

Russian Gold Reserves in Million Fine Troy Ounces - 1995-2014 - Monthly Chart (Bloomberg)
Russia has already made their intentions regarding gold very clear. Numerous high ranking officials have affirmed how they view gold as an important monetary asset and Putin himself has had many publicised photos in which he very enthusiastically holds large gold bars.
On May 25th 2012, the deputy chairman of Russia's central bank, Sergey Shvetsov, said that the Bank of Russia plans to keep buying gold in order to diversify their foreign exchange reserves.
"Last year we bought about 100 tonnes. This year it will be less but still a considerable figure," Shvetsov told Reuters at the time.
The World Gold Council reported yesterday that central bank purchases were 70% above their 5-year quarterly average, led by Iraq and Russia. The Eurozone actually became a net buyer thanks to Latvia joining the single currency union, adding its gold to the Eurozone reserves as part of the Euro treaty.
Russia may be planning to give the ruble some form of gold backing in order to protect the ruble from devaluations and protect Russia from an international monetary crisis and the soon to return currency wars.
Russian central bank demand and indeed global central banks demand is set to continue as macroeconomic, monetary and geopolitical uncertainty is unlikely to abate any time soon. Indeed, it may escalate substantially in the coming months as we move into the next phase of the global debt crisis.

Families priced out of cinemas after ticket prices soar by 26% since 2007

  • Average cinema ticket in the UK is £6.53, London prices more than £13
  • Family of four set back £36.40 - more than £50 with popcorn and travel
  • As fewer people go to the cinema, industry struggles to build new ones

Cinema tickets prices are soaring meaning fewer people can go out to watch films
Cinema tickets prices are soaring meaning fewer people can go out to watch films

Families are cutting back on visits to the cinema amid spiralling prices both for tickets and snacks.
The average ticket price has increased by more than 26 per cent since 2007 at the same time as incomes in working households have fallen by 6.4 per cent.
At one time thousands of children would spend every Saturday morning at the cinema enjoying homemade dramas from the Children’s Film Foundation or serials from the USA.
However, today a trip to see the latest blockbuster, whether that is X-Men Days of Future Past or Disney’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, is so expensive that it can only be an occasional treat.
The latest figures from the Cinema Exhibitors’ Association put the average cinema ticket in the UK at £6.53, however families in London and the south face much higher prices.
For example, tickets at the Odeon in Kingston, Surrey, work out at £12.70 for an adult or £36.40 for a family of four. Once you add in the cost of transport, popcorn and drinks, the cost could quite easily top £50.
Researchers at the accountants Deloitte found even families with a household income of more than £55,000 are rationing their trips to the cinema.
Deloitte said: ‘In a year in which British films and talent were recognised at many award ceremonies, 27 out of 73 constituencies in London had no cinema. This finding has led to suggestions that poorer people are less well served by the cinema industry.
‘A combination of price rises and falling incomes makes the cinema relatively less accessible, a trend reflected in the survey data, which shows that higher income groups are significantly more likely to visit the cinema than low-income groups.

‘Some 28per cent of those earning more than £58,000 per annum visited the cinema at least monthly, compared to 18per cent of those who earn less than £20,000.’
Similarly, 70per cent of households in the higher income bracket go at least twice a year, however this falls to 39per cent for those earning less than £20,000.
As fewer people go to the cinema, it becomes increasingly difficult for the industry to build new ones and maintain those that exist, particularly in poorer areas. There have also been costs associated with providing new digital projection systems and sound systems.
A family of four in Kingston, Surrey, will be set back more than £50 for travel, popcorn and tickets
A family of four in Kingston, Surrey, will be set back more than £50 for travel, popcorn and tickets

Deloitte said: ‘A relatively small, two screen, 400-seat cinema costs around £3million to build, and the industry has had to absorb the capital costs of digitisation over the past decade, reducing the capital available to build new infrastructure.
‘It is therefore little surprise that large cinemas are being placed close to the richer audiences that guarantee returns.’
The report says the gradual decline in numbers going to the cinema was first noticed in 2009 and it could well mean that children deprived of the chance to go to the cinema as youngsters will stay away as grow older.
‘In the short term, the creative side of the cinema industry in the UK is unlikely to be affected by relative lack of supply.
‘The majority of funding for UK titles comes from overseas and the UK is a significant net exporter in film.
‘It would, however, be remiss not to

Firsthand Account: Investment Grade Silver Shortage Developing in China

china bank runWe have well documented over the past few months the unprecedented flows of physical gold and silver being drained out of Western vaults and shipped East.
SD reader Ji Hai Shan, an American currently residing in China, has provided a boots-on-the-ground first-hand account which substantiates our recent claims that spiking silver premiums on the Shanghai Gold Exchange indicate a shortage of the physical metal in China.

“3 months ago, when I inquired about buying some more bars, they said that I would have to wait a month.
So, yesterday, I stopped by the shop and was told again that I would have to wait a month. 
The affordable investment grade bars are in shortage.”
Ji Hai Shan’s first-hand account of the developing shortage of investment grade silver in China is below:

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10,000 Brilliant Uncirculated 1 oz Coins- in honor of the 10,000 Allied casualties suffered on D-Day
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Each of the individually numbered COA’s will specifically honor one of the 1,557 American Heroes MIA on D-Day, including their Rank, Name, Unit, Home State, & Decorations.

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I am an American living and working in Hubei Province China. I have been buying silver here in China and have been watching the physical market for investment bars (LBMA stamped on the bars). When I started buying bars here, there were still bars available and more could be obtained within 2 days. Then, about 3 months ago, when I inquired about buying some more bars, they said that I would have to wait a month.
So, yesterday, I stopped by the shop and was told again that I would have to wait a month. Where is all of the investment grade silver going? The reports are saying that so much silver and gold are coming over here to China.
The affordable investment grade bars are in shortage. However, there are supplies of ornately minted coins and bars with various artistic designs on them. However, there are very high premiums on these products. So, due to the long wait, high premiums as well as administrative hurdles involved in getting my Chinese bullion out of here, I’ve just been sending my money home and have been buying silver in the US. What I see is that there are available supplies in the US, I don’t have to wait long to take delivery and on the whole, it seems like I am getting a lot more bang for my buck, buying silver back in the US, (Maple Leafs, Silver Eagles and rounds).
In summary, I’d really like to know where are of the silver is going? What is the physical shortage being caused by? Are the Asians shorting physical back somewhere else? 
I just want to let you know these details based on my boots on the ground findings.
Keep up the good work.
AS Chichura

UK: The Wealth of the Super-Rich has Doubled Since the 2008 Economic Crisis

Sunday Times rich list: “Astonishing year” for Britain’s most wealthy

Jordan Shilton
The annual rich list published by the Sunday Times has revealed a staggering rise in wealth for Britain’s super-rich.
The headline story, made public a week prior to the release of the list on May 18, was that the number of billionaires in Britain had surpassed 100 for the first time. With a total of 104 billionaires, Britain has witnessed the emergence of more than 20 new billionaires over the past year and has the highest concentration of billionaires of any country.
In its entirety, the list reveals that the richest 1,000 people in Britain possess combined wealth of £519 billion, equivalent to a staggering one third of the country’s GDP. This is a rise of 15.4 percent from the 2013 list, when the super-rich held total wealth of £449 billion. Since 2008, the year of the global financial crisis and the implementation of a multi-billion-pound bailout of the banks, the wealth of the super-rich in the UK has doubled.
As well as being the product of speculation and outright criminality, the rapid rise of such obscene levels of wealth over the past five years confirms the true purpose of the austerity policies of successive governments since the financial crisis. While for the vast majority the near collapse of the financial system has meant the deepest assault on living standards, jobs and public services since the Second World War, an oligarchy has gorged itself on state sponsored bailouts to enrich themselves to a degree without precedent.
The wealth required to be even considered for the list, £85 million, was more than that at the peak of the pre-crisis boom in 2008, when the figure was £80 million. A place in the top 500 could only be secured with total wealth of £190 million, more than double the £80 million in 2004 and almost 20 percent more than the £160 million in 2013.
London, one of the world’s leading centres of financial swindling, has established itself as a global destination of choice for the oligarchy, with 72 billionaires residing there. This is more than double the total of British-based billionaires from just 10 years ago. But the explosion in wealth is not confined to the capital. In Scotland, the richest 100 people saw their combined riches rise by 19 percent in the past year to top £25 billion.
The vast accumulation of wealth at the pinnacle of society was further illustrated by government figures released just days before the rich list.
According to the Office of National Statistics, the top 1 percent of Britain’s population now controls more wealth than the bottom 55 percent, i.e., the richest 600,000 individuals possess more wealth than the poorest 33 million. Another report from the charity Oxfam revealed that just five billionaire families controlled more wealth than the bottom 20 percent of the population.
The concentration of wealth in a few hands contrasts ever more horrifically with worsening impoverishment for a growing proportion of the population. A report released by the European Union statistics agency Eurostat earlier this month revealed four poverty black spots in Britain where the standard of living was comparable or worse than that in areas of the eastern European countries Lithuania, Poland and Hungary. According to the report, poverty-stricken areas such as Cornwall and the Welsh valleys have average annual incomes of just £14,300.
A letter signed by 170 medical professionals in the Lancet compared the living conditions and diets of many with the Victorian era. “The spectre of Oliver Twist is back. Children are going hungry in the UK: they may not be eating gruel but their parents are having to choose cheap food that is filling but not nutritious,” the letter stated. One of the letter’s authors, Professor John Ashton, described the situation as “a public health emergency.”
Even Phillip Beresford, who has worked to compile the rich list since its inception in 1989, was somewhat taken aback by the rapidity with which the wealth of the super-rich had expanded over the past year. He commented, “I’ve never seen such a phenomenal rise in personal wealth as the growth in the fortunes of Britain’s richest 1,000 people over the past year.” He added, “The richest people in Britain have had an astonishing year. While some may criticise them, many of these people are at the heart of the economy and their success brings more jobs and more wealth for the country.”
It is a measure of the control enjoyed by such fabulously wealthy layers, and the utter subservience of the press to them, that Beresford’s outrageous remarks were reported in the media with virtually no comment. The classic Thatcherite “trickle down” theory is still treated as if it were a self-evident truth by a ruling elite desperate to find justifications for its crumbling social order, even after it has been wholly refuted by actual events.
Typical was the reaction of the Times, which remarked in an editorial that tens of thousands should seek to emulate the rich list 1,000. “Britain needs to be seen as a place where success is applauded,” the paper intoned.
The reality is that the vast wealth of the oligarchy is accumulated at the direct expense of the rest of society in the form of savage wage cuts, the decimation of public services, shifting the tax burden onto working people and handing over billions to the banks.
The vast quantities of wealth hoarded by the super-rich have been invested in the financial sector and property. On the same day the rich list was released, an interview with the Bank of England governor, Mark Carney, was cited by a number of newspapers. In it, he warned about the danger of exploding property prices, particularly in London where they have risen by 25 percent since 2008 due to speculative investment.
Labour made some timid criticism of the list, with shadow treasury secretary Chris Leslie commenting, “No wonder the super-rich have got much richer over the last year when David Cameron has given millionaires a huge tax cut.” He claimed that “Labour is determined to ensure all working people feel the benefit of economic growth, not just a few at the top.”
While the Conservative-Liberal Democrat decision to cut the top income tax rate was undoubtedly a handout to the wealthy, to claim that a reduction in the top rate of tax from 50 to 45 percent can account for such astronomical increases in wealth is a fraud. The reality is that the multi-billion bailout of the banks, initiated by Labour in 2008, and the policies which have followed—including the Bank of England’s quantitative easing and the cuts to public services—have resulted in billions of pounds flowing into the coffers of Britain’s super-rich. Labour intends to continue with these austerity measures if it takes power after next year’s election, as it seeks to defend the interests of Britain’s modern-day aristocracy.

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