Thursday, November 26, 2015

Turkey Is Lying

(RINF) – Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge has posted the flight paths of the Russian aircraft according to Turkey and to Russia.


We know that Turkey is lying for three reasons.
One reason is that NATO governments lie every time that they open their mouths.
A second reason is that Turkey’s claim that the SU-24 was in Turkey’s airspace for 17 seconds but only traveled 1.15 miles means that the SU-24 was flying at stall speed! The entire Western media was too incompetent to do the basic math!
A third reason is that, assuming Turkey’s claim of a 17 second airspace violation is true, 17 seconds is not long enough for a Turkish pilot to get clearance for such a serious and reckless act as shooting down a Russian military aircraft. If the SU-24 was flying at a normal speed rather than one that would be unable to keep the aircraft aloft, the alleged airspace vioation would not have been long enough to be noticed. A shootdown had to have been pre-arranged. The Turks, knowing that the Russians were foolishly trusting to the agreement that there be no air to air encounters, told pilots to look for an opportunity. In my recent article, I gave a reason for this reckless act:
Turkey’s explanation to the UN Security Council gives itself away as a lie. The letter states: “This morning (24 November) 2 SU-24 planes, the nationality of which are unknown have approached Turkish national airspace. The Planes in quesion have been warned 10 times during a period of 5 minutes via ‘Emergency’ channel and asked to change their headings south immediately.”
As SU-24 are Russian aircraft, as Turkey is able to identify that the aircraft are SU-24s, how then can the nationality of the aircraft be unknown? Would Turkey risk shooting down a US or Israeli aircraft by firing at an unknown aircraft? If the SU-24 takes 17 seconds to fly 1.15 miles, the SU-24s would have only traveled 20.29 miles in five minutes. Does anyone believe that a supersonic aircraft can fly at stall speed for 17 seconds, much less for five minutes?
Do not expect any truth from any Western government or from any Western media. Governments and media know that the Western populations are uneducated, unaware, and can be relied upon to accept any preposterous story. In the West the Matrix has a firm grip. The Russians need to wake up to this fact.
NPR this morning confirmed that the media is a government propaganda organ. The Diane Rehm show on NPR presented us with a group of talking heads. Only one was informed, a professor at the Middle East Institute of the London School of Economics. The rest of the “experts” were the typical dumbshit Americans. They repeated all of the lies. “Russia is attacking everyone except ISIS.” How can there be anyone but ISIS to attack when the US general overseeing the area recently told Congress that “only 5” of our trained “rebels” remained? Yet the myth of “moderate rebels” is kept alive by these liars.
“The refugees are fleeing the brutal Assad.” Notice that it is always Assad who is brutal, not ISIS which has cut out opponents hearts and eaten them and routinely cuts off peoples heads and commits the most atrocious atrocities. Here we have “experts” blaming Assad. The “experts” said that the refugees are fleeing from Assad not from ISIS. The refugee problem is Assad’s fault, not the faut of ISIS. It is all Assad’s fault because he doesn’t give up and turn Syria over to Washington’s ISIS henchmen.
There was no acknowledgement from the “experts” that ISIS is a Washington creation or that until the Paris attack Washington was strongly backing ISIS with both words and weapons against the Russian air attacks that caught both Washington and ISIS off guard. This is extraordinary considering the fact that US responsibility for ISIS was acknowledged on TV by the former head of the Pentagon’s Defense Intelligence Agency.
Gullible Americans who give money to NPR are supporting lies and propaganda that have resulted in the deaths and dislocation of millions of peoples and that are leading to WWIII. The Western media whores are complicit in the crimes, because they fail their responsibility to hold government accountable and make it impossible for valid information to reach people. The Western media serves as cheerleaders for death and destruction.
Dr. 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. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost.



Oil leak may have contaminated Bay Area drinking water supplies

A chemical leak at a San Francisco Bay Area oil field is suspected of contaminating groundwater supplies of drinking water in a California county. Hazardous chemicals that were absorbed into the soil contained dangerously high levels of lead and chromium.
The leak occurred at a Livermore, California oil field, operated by E&B Natural Resources. Despite being legally obligated to do so, the company failed to quickly report the spill and instead inappropriately tried to clean it up on its own, according to an investigative report by KNTV.
“It was not reported,” Susan Hugo, the head of the Hazardous Materials Division at Alameda County’s Department of Environmental Health, told KNTV. “The leak was not reported to us.”
According to records obtained by the NBC affiliate’s investigative team in San Jose, E&B discovered the leak on March 30 during the removal of an unused oil tank. Seven months later, health authorities are still waiting on test results to determine whether water supplies might be contaminated, potentially putting people at risk.
But this doesn’t mean people in Alameda County have to panic – at least not yet. Hugo said that officials do not have the information yet to determine whether people are in danger of drinking contaminated water. Inspectors only check above-ground oil tanks once every three years, so it wasn’t until a neighboring business filed a complaint that officials knew of the problem, she told KNTV.
The Alameda County Environmental Health Department inspected the site in May and issued a report on June, citing the company “for more than a dozen violations, including improperly disposing of hazardous waste and failing to immediately notify state and local agencies about the release of hazardous material,” according to KNTV.
State records show that E&B has reported 13 spills in four different counties across California since 2010. In the past three months alone, two of the 18 oil spills reported by any company in the state to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services occurred at E&B oil fields.
The official cleanup effort overseen by Alameda County employees is now underway, after the violations were documented. Before the underground aquifers can be safely tested to determine if drinking water is affected, the contaminated soil must be cleaned up so there is no risk of further contamination when crews go deep enough to perform testing, Dilan Roe, the program manager for the Local Oversight Program, told KNTV.
“The major piece is to remove the source and then define the impact and the extent,” Roe said, adding that the months-long delay in determining hazards is a concern. “The regulatory process doesn’t work as fast as we would all like it to work.”
In a written statement, E&B said that it believes that the Livermore leak happened years before it acquired the oil field.
“In late March 2015, when E&B Natural Resources removed an unused storage tank, we discovered oil-stained soil underneath the unused tank. E&B has never used the tank,” the statement said. “Any leak occurred prior to E&B’s acquisition of the facility in 2006. The company takes full responsibility for cleaning-up the affected soil in a voluntary remediation agreement with the County.”
Via RT. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.

Lies, Damned Lies, and Global Warming Statistics

Paul Craig Roberts: Turkey And U.S. Are Provoking War With Russia

by Sean Adl-Tabatabai
Paul Craig Roberts says that Turkey and the U.S. have done irreversible damage in diplomacy with Russia and are provoking a war
Economist Paul Craig Roberts has said that the unprovoked shooting down of a Russian military aircraft by the Turkish military is an act of war, planned by Washington, than can only lead to a deliberate war between Russia and the West. 
The Russian government relied on the agreement made with NATO allies to avoid engaging in conflict in the air. Now that Turkey has violated this agreement, its unlikely that Russia will have any trust in the West in the future. reports:
If the attack was cleared with Washington, was Obama bypassed by the neocons who control his government, or is Obama himself complicit? Clearly the neoconservatives are disturbed by the French president’s call for unity with Russia against ISIL and easily could have used their connections to Turkey to stage an event that Washington can use to prevent cooperation with Russia.
Washington’s complicity is certainly indicated, but it is not completely out of the question that the well-placed Turks who are purchasing oil from ISIL took revenge against Russia for destroying their oil tanker investments and profitable business. But if the attack has a private or semi-private origin in connections between gangsters and military, would Turkey’s president have defended the shoot-down on such spurious grounds as “national defense”? No one can believe that one Russian jet is a threat to Turkey’s security.
Don’t expect the presstitutes to look into any such questions. The presstitutes, such as the BBC’s Moscow correspondent Sarah Rainsford, are spinning the story that the loss of the Russian aircraft, and earlier the airliner, proves that Putin’s policy of air strikes against iSIL has backfired as Russians are not safer.
The responses to the shoot-down are also interesting. From what I heard of Obama’s press conference, Obama’s definition of “moderate Syrian rebels” includes all the extremist jihadish groups, such as al Nursa and ISIL, that are the focus of the Russian attacks. Only Assad is an extremist. Obama, following the neocon line, says that Assad has too much blood on his hands to be allowed to remain president of Syria.
Obama is not specific about the “blood on Assad’s hands,” but we can be. The blood is the blood of ISIL forces fighting the Syrian army. Obama doesn’t refer to the blood on ISIL’s hands, but even the presstitutes have told us the horror stories associated with the blood on ISIL’s hands, with whom Obama has allied us.
And what about the blood on Obama’s hands? Here we are talking about a very large quantity of blood: the blood of entire countries—Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria, and the blood that Obama’s puppet government in Kiev has spilled of the ethnic Russian inhabitants of Ukraine, not to forget the Palestinian blood spilled by Israel using US supplied weapons.
If the blood on Assad’s hands disqualifies Assad from office, the much greater quantity on Obama’s hands disqualifies Obama. And Cameron. And Hollande. And Merkel. And Netanyahu.
Throughout the entire Washington orchestrated conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, and Ukraine, the Russian government has spoken reasonably and responded in a diplomatic manner to the many provocations. The Russian government relied on European governments realizing that Europe does not benefit from conflicts generated by Washington and separating themselves from a policy that is against their interests. But Europe proved to be a collection of American vassals, not independent countries capable of independent foreign policies.
In its campaign against ISIL in Syria, the Russian government relied on the agreement made with NATO countries to avoid engaging in the air. Now Turkey has violated this agreement.
I will be surprised if the Russian government any longer places any trust in the words of the West and any hope in diplomacy with the West. By now the Russian government and the Russian people will have learned that the Wolfowitz doctrine means what it says and is in force against Russia.
From the Ukrainian attack on Crimea’s power supply and the blackout that is affecting Crimea, the Russian government has also learned that Washington’s puppet government in Kiev intends further conflict with Russia.
Washington has made it clear from the beginning that Washington’s focus is on overthrowing Assad, not ISIL. Despite the alleged attack on France by ISIL, the US State Department press spokesperson, Admiral John Kirby, said that Russia cannot be a member of the coalition against ISIL until Russia stops propping up Assad.
To the extent that the shoot-down of the Russian military aircraft has a silver lining, the incident has likely saved the Russian government from a coalition in which Russia would have lost control of its war against ISIL and would have had to accept the defeat of Assad’s removal.
Each step along the way the Russian government has held strong cards that it did not play, trusting instead to diplomacy. Diplomacy has now proven to be a deadend. If Russia does not join the real game and begin to play its strong cards, Russia will be defeated.

Swiss Bank Puts NEGATIVE Interest Rates on Bank Accounts! Take Your Money OUT!

Central bank interest rate fed federal reserve Janet yellen Ben Bernanke

Amazon now plastering Nazi symbolism across NYC while banning books that question the government

(NaturalNews) In recent days, Natural News readers have learned that the world's biggest online retailer, Amazon, is also one giant hypocrite.

As our editor, Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, reported in a Nov. 23 column, Amazon's executives decided it was appropriate to drop sales of a book they had previously approved because they didn't like it's politically incorrect conclusions.

The book, Nobody Died at Sandy Hook, written by several contributors and edited by Jim Fetzer, Ph.D., provides analysis and data suggesting that what happened there was not a mass murder, but a FEMA false-flag event staged to push an Obama Administration agenda of nationwide gun control.

"Whether the authors' conclusions are well-founded or complete lunacy isn't the point here. has selectively targeted this book for censorship due to the political incorrectness of the author's conclusions," Adams wrote. "Remember, went out of its way to ban Confederate flags in the aftermath of another shooting, enforcing a grotesque, almost Stalinist political correctness in its decision to pull Confederate flag merchandise from its online store (including children's toys like the General Lee car from Dukes of Hazzard)."

Adams noted that Amazon's actions essentially amounted to electronic book-burning, a theme I elaborated on here.

But when Amazon has a financial interest in supporting hate and intolerance, then that, of course, is a different story.

In case you were unaware, Amazon is also in the entertainment business, and recently the company rolled out its newest series, The Man in the High Castle – and its story line is ironic, to say the least.

"The SS train"

As described by Decider:

For the unfamiliar, the plot of Amazon's latest drama revolves around an alternate history version of world events, one in which the Axis powers triumphed over the Allied Forces in WWII. Set in the early 1950s, TMITHC—based on a famed novel by renowned sci-fi author Philip K. Dick— imagines a world in which America's East Coast has been commandeered by German forces, and the West Coast has been taken over by Imperial Japan.

It's bad enough that the Jeff Bezos-founded company is banning books it doesn't agree with, but it's over the top to produce a series which imagines an American loss in World War II (these Obama-era libs really do hate their country, don't they?).

To build on the success of the pilot episode, which admittedly was Amazon's top-rated pilot thus far, the company launched a multimillion-dollar ad campaign that included, among other things, Nazi-like paraphernalia and imagery.

In New York City, for instance, seating in entire sections of subway cars now bears that imagery, along with some depicting Imperial Japan's "half" of the country. And it's being noticed – and Amazon outed – on social media.

"42nd St shuttle to #TimesSquare covered in Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan symbols for @amazon ad. Is this ok?" one person tweeted.

"period underwear: too edgy for @MTA," tweeted another, Marisa Kabas, in reference to the Metropolitan Transit Authority's pulling of an ad featuring a female model in non-risque panties (here).

"an entire train of nazi imagery: totally chill with @MTA," Kabas added.

Others used humor to make their point about the offensive imagery.

"Is the subway really the fascist way to get around in New York City, anyway?" tweeted a user named Mike Byhoff.

Tone deaf had its own clever twist to the ad campaign, with this opening sentence to a story about it: "Amazon turned the S Train into the SS Train..."

Jewish leaders in NYC, which has the largest Jewish population in the world among cities outside Israel, are also upset with the inclusion of Nazi imagery, as you might imagine.

"Evan Bernstein, the Anti-Defamation League's New York regional director, told Gothamist that having the Nazi Reichsadler eagle in subway cars is 'viscerally offensive, because there is no context as to what it means ... This ad campaign has a feel of exploiting things that are so sensitive to so many people,'" Decider reported.

MTA officials said the ads do not violate the transportation service's requirement that materials be "content-neutral," but then they would say that, wouldn't they?

As for Amazon, the company's actions speak volumes about the CEO's lack of integrity and tone-deafness when it comes to certain sensibilities.


Corporate Parasites And Economic Plunder: We Need A Genuine Green Revolution

Over the past few centuries, Western countries embarked on a road to material affluence at the expense of the environment and other peoples across the globe who were subjugated, killed or left to live in poverty. And while offering more of the same and selling unfettered capitalism to the rest of the world, Washington as the now dominant imperial power is doing all it can to destroy any rivals, not least Russia and China. It alone thinks it should be the sole beneficiary in a resource-depleting race towards a barren-wasteland finish.
Europe and North Africa on Green Globe
Imagine every nation attempting to emulate US levels of material consumption. Consider that US citizens constitute 5 percent of the world’s population but consume 24 percent of global energy. Now consider the consequences of a US-style model of ‘development’ rolled out across the world. It would be unsustainable for the planet to have a dozen ‘Americas’. Indeed, one alone is too much. The model of ‘development’ based on endless GDP growth being sold to the world via the neoliberal globalisation agenda is a cynical, unattainable con-trick and is leading to environmental devastation, conflict, war and poverty.
Treasury bond imperialism and the petrodollar
The US is able to consume at such a level because the dollar serves as the world reserve currency, which means high demand for it is guaranteed as most international trade (especially oil) is carried out using the dollar. US global hegemony depends on it maintaining the dollar’s leading role.
The international monetary system that emerged near the end of the Second World War was based on the US being the dominant economic power – after it watched and let its rivals destroy one another – and the main creditor nation, with institutions like the World Bank and International Monetary Fund eventually being created to serve its interests.
Since coming off the gold standard in the early seventies, Washington has been able to run up a huge balance of payments deficit by using the paper dollar as security in itself and engaging in petro-dollar recycling and treasury-bond super-imperialism. Washington has developed a system to hitch a free ride courtesy of the rest of the world.
With its control and manipulation of the World Bank, IMF and WTO, the US has been able to lever the trade and the financial system to its advantage by various means (for example, see this analysis of Saudi Arabia’s oil money in relation to African debt). Washington will not allow its global hegemony and the role of the dollar to be challenged. Given Russia’s reemergence on the global stage and China’s rise, we are witnessing a sense of urgency to destabilise and undermine both countries, especially as they are now increasingly bypassing the dollar when doing business.
US Strategic Objectives and Agribusiness
The only real alternative to avoid ecological meltdown due to the massive consumption of the planet’s finite resources and ultimately what appears to be an increasingly likely nuclear conflict with Russia (or China) is to move away from militarism and resource-gabbing conflicts by reorganising economies so that nations live within their environmental means.
Key to this involves a major shift away from the petro-chemical industrial model of agriculture and food production, not only because it leads to bad foodpoor health and environmental degradation and is ultimately unsustainable but also because this model has underpinned a US resource-grabbing, food-deficit producing foreign policy agenda for many decades.
​It is essential we get off the parasitical and poisonous chemical treadmill.
Professor Michel Chossudovsky illustrates the point with reference to Ethiopia:
“The “economic therapy” imposed under IMF-World Bank jurisdiction is in large part responsible for triggering famine and social devastation in Ethiopia and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, wreaking the peasant economy and impoverishing millions of people. With the complicity of branches of the US government, it has also opened the door for the appropriation of traditional seeds and landraces by US biotech corporations, which behind the scenes have been peddling the adoption of their own genetically modified seeds under the disguise of emergency aid and famine relief. Moreover, under WTO rules, the agri-biotech conglomerates can manipulate market forces to their advantage as well as exact royalties from farmers. The WTO provides legitimacy to the food giants to dismantle State programmes including emergency grain stocks, seed banks, extension services and agricultural credit, etc.), plunder peasant economies and trigger the outbreak of periodic famines.” See here.
US agribusiness must be regarded as being part of the US financial-military-industrial complex (see this and this). Agriculture and agribusiness remain integral tools for US geopolitical objectives, and agribusiness is essential for colonising indigenous agriculture, whether on the back of trade deals, ‘aid’ programmes, war or indeed Washington-backed coups, as in Ukraine:
“… within two to three years, as the relevant provisions of the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU go into effect, Monsanto’s lobbying efforts will transform the Ukrainian market into an oligopoly consisting of American corporations.” – Oriental Review
The ‘green revolution’ was exported courtesy of the oil-rich Rockefeller family, and poorer nations adopted agribusiness’s petrochemical-dependent agriculture that required loans for inputs and infrastructure development. This was underpinned by the propaganda that these countries would earn dollars to prosper (and repay the loans) by adopting mono-crop, export-oriented policies. It entailed uprooting traditional agriculture and trapping nations into a globalised system of debt bondage, rigged trade relations and the hollowing out and destruction of national and local economies. GMOs, the control of seeds and further corporate-controlled inputs represent the second coming of the green revolution.
From Mexico to India, we can see how traditional food production and retail sectors are being hijacked by mainly US corporate interests and can witness the subsequent impacts on health, food security, environments and farmers’ livelihoods. NAFTA set the framework for plunder in Mexico, the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture is playing a similar role in India and various bilateral trade agreements will do it elsewhere.
In India, Monsanto and Walmart had a major role in drawing up the Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture. Monsanto now funds research in public institutions and its presence and influence compromises what should in fact be independent decision and policy making bodies​. Its has effectively been called the modern day East India Company.
Monsanto is a driving force behind what could eventually lead to the restructuring and subjugation of India by the US.
​As alluded to earlier, the IMF and Monsanto are also working to ensure Ukraine’s subservience to US geopolitical aims via the capture of land and agriculture. The capture of agriculture (and societies) by rich interests is a global phenomenon.
Only the completely naive would believe that big agribusiness and its backers in the US State Department have humanity’s interests at heart. At the very least, their collective aim is profit. Beyond that and to facilitate it, the need to secure US global hegemony is paramount.
Although the globalized hijack of food and agriculture by powerful corporations results in poverty, dependency and food insecurity, we are deceitfully informed that we must have more of the same if we are to feed an increasing global population and eradicate poverty. We are told that the solutions for feeding a projected world population of nine billion are more technical fixes: more petrochemical-dependent agriculture, more GMOs and more unnecessary shifting of food across the planet. Such a ‘solution’ is bogus.
The current economic system and model of globalisation and development serves the interests of Western oil companies and financial institutions (including land and commodity  speculators), global agribusiness and the major arms companies. These interlocking, self-serving interests  have managed to institute a globalized system of war, poverty and food insecurity and have acted to devastate economies.
The solution
The Oakland Institute has just released research showing the tremendous success of agroecology across Africa. Instead of prioritising an inappropriate Gates-Monsanto corporate-led petro-chemical industrial model of agriculture, priority should be given to agroecology, as stated in numerous official reports in the last few years, not least the IAASTD report.
This would entail supporting and investing in highly productive (see this data on output per country) smallholder/peasant agriculture, which is the backbone of global food production but is being marginalised, criminalised and squeezed onto lessand less land.
People want solutions for hunger, poverty and conflict but are too often told there is no alternative to what exists. The solution ultimately lies in taking manipulated markets and rigged trade rules out of farming and investing in and supporting indigenous knowledge, agroecology, education and infrastructure, instead of inappropriately diverting funds to underperforming sectors. This involves rejecting big agritech’s current agenda and resisting the US strategy of using agriculture as a geopolitical tool. It involves challenging the corporate takeover of agriculture, supporting food sovereignty movements and embracing sustainable agriculture that is locally owned and rooted in the needs of communities.
On a more general level, we should also embrace what environmentalist Barry Commoner advocated: substituting green energy for fossil and nuclear fuels, substituting electric motors for the internal combustion engine, substituting organic farming for the chemical variety and using more metal, glass, wood and paper – recyclables, renewables and durables – instead of petrochemical products.
Crucially important is moving towards a system centred on the common ownership of land and capital to serve the public good, rather than elite interests.
If there is to be an alternative to capitalism, endless war and poverty, this is where it is to be found. But as A.L. Morton’s classic text ‘A People’s History of England’ indicates, at no point whatsoever will it be handed on a plate courtesy of the bloodsuckers that are bleeding us all dry. We will have to struggle for it.
Colin Todhunter is an independent writer: His website is here



qb The world of buy-back mezzanine shadow financial megadebt intratrading was rocked to its papier maché derivative foundations last night after Janet Yellen sidelined both QE tapering and the widely expected rate rise in favour of a new recovery tool, QB.

“We’ve given the economy a thorough stress-test,” she announced, “and come to the conclusion that one or two apparent problems should be our sole focus from here on going forward to the next paradigm”.
Outlining the remaining problems as low wages, rising debt, nervous investors, a growing deficit, oil prices and China, Ms Yellen said the key needs were for the US to become more competitive and stimulate manufacturing, whose “imbalance when set against high net worth client fund management in the deep-liquidity onanism space is giving slight cause for concern”.
“Our new approach,” the Fed Chair concluded, “will, we’re fairly sure, kill two doubting doves with one predatory hawk. Accordingly, I have as of today asked my colleagues in the White House, at the State Department and among the Pentagon top brass to join me in concerted support for our new cutting-edge stimulus, Quantitative  Bombing”.
Wall Street and London City opinion leaders were quick to endorse Ms Yellen’s more creative approach to American recovery. “The new French and Russian upweights of bomb payloads over Syria have already reversed the negative munition puts trend,” commented Cy Bormann, Head of Casualty Futures at New York banking firm Freundlich, Schock & Orr, “so we think this is a good call by the Fed”.
Echoing that sentiment, Diggoupe & Frack senior partner Wills Woodebyne told The Slog, “We simply must get the oil price up if hard-working Texan billionaires are not to be wiped out, and total destruction of the Middle Eastern production capacity is the fastest way to do this.”
“This market is wide open for expansion,” said London Mayor Maurice Jobsgun, “and I wholeheartedly support the Prime Minister’s call to put Britain’s export drive before a few bleeding-heart poppinjay dead-baby promoters. It’s time we leveraged the reputation we made for ourselves in Dresden, and actively sought out new raid destinations such as Bucharest, Budapest, Warsaw, Brussels and Moscow”.
“Most reasonable Americans,” Presidential candidate Ronald Slump told his Tennessee audience of tree-dwelling banjo players last night,”are more than happy to accept sacrifices in order to keep America on track….especially if the sacrifices are Syrian, Iranian, Macedonian, Hungarian, Romanian and Russian”.

Europe CANNOT take any more migrants, says French PM... who has a veiled shot at Merkel by saying 'It was not France that said to come'

  • French PM Manuel Valls says Europe cannot take in any more refugees
  • He called for tighter external border controls to determine fate of the EU 
  • Took veiled shot at Angela Merkel saying 'It wasn't France that said come' 
  • But the German leader says she is sticking by her open doors migration policy 
  • See more news on the migrant crisis at

Europe is stretched to it limits and cannot take in any more migrants, according to the French Prime Minister.
And in a veiled shot at German leader Angela Merkel, who said refugees were welcome in Europe, Manuel Valls said that it wasn't France that 'told them to come'.
Europe is grappling with its worst refugee crisis since the Second World War with almost one million refugees expected to arrive by the end of the year.
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who gave an interview with a German newspaper saying Europe cannot take in any more migrants 
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who gave an interview with a German newspaper saying Europe cannot take in any more migrants 
Tribute: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left), French President Francois Hollande (centre), and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (right) pay their respects to the victims of the attacks of the 13 November today
Tribute: German Chancellor Angela Merkel (left), French President Francois Hollande (centre), and Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo (right) pay their respects to the victims of the attacks of the 13 November today
Iranian migrants, who are stranded on railway tracks at the border between Greece and Macedonia today 
Iranian migrants, who are stranded on railway tracks at the border between Greece and Macedonia today 
But in an interview with German newspaper Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Mr Valls said: 'We cannot accomodate any more refugees in Europe, that's not possible', adding that tighter external border controls would determine the fate of the EU.
'If we don't do that, the people will say "enough is enough", Valls warned.

The comments were published only hours before German Chancellor Angela Merkel was scheduled to meet French President Francois Hollande in Paris.
Merkel was initially celebrated at home and abroad for her welcoming approach to the refugees, many of whom are fleeing conflict in the Middle East.
But as the flow has continued the chancellor has come under increasing criticism.
Flowers: The three leaders stand at  the Place de la Republic, where they each left a white rose today
Flowers: The three leaders stand at the Place de la Republic, where they each left a white rose today
Solemn: Mrs Merkel's visit to Paris is part of President Hollande's diplomatic offensive to get the international community to bolster the campaign against Islamic State militants
Solemn: Mrs Merkel's visit to Paris is part of President Hollande's diplomatic offensive to get the international community to bolster the campaign against Islamic State militants
Leaving a white rose: Mrs Merkel and Mr Hollande pay their respects to the victims of the attacks in Paris
Leaving a white rose: Mrs Merkel and Mr Hollande pay their respects to the victims of the attacks in Paris
Some conservatives say Merkel's decision to open up Germany's borders to Syrian refugees in September has spurred more migrants to come.
The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears ISIS militants could exploit the migrant crisis to send extremists to Europe.
Mr Valls avoided criticising Merkel directly for having suspended European asylum rules to allow in Syrian refugees stranded in Hungary but said France was taken by surprise by the German leader's decision.
He added: 'Germany has made an honourable choice there.
'But it was not France that said: Come!'
But despite the criticism, Mrs Merkel told Germany's lower house today that she would be standing by her open doors policy. 
In a nod to critics in her conservative party, especially in Bavaria, where most of the migrants enter Germany, she said that migrants who do not need protection must be sent home.
'But simply sealing ourselves off will not solve the problem,' she said. 

A migrant baby cries as she is surrounded by migrants in Greece. Almost one million migrants will have come to Europe by the end of the year 
A migrant baby cries as she is surrounded by migrants in Greece. Almost one million migrants will have come to Europe by the end of the year 
The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears ISIS militants could exploit the migrant crisis
The refugee debate has become more politically charged after the deadly attacks in Paris that stoked fears ISIS militants could exploit the migrant crisis
Merkel repeated her 'we will cope' mantra and reiterated her argument that Europe must tackle the causes of the crisis by working for peace in Syria and engaging Turkey as a partner in the refugee crisis.
She countered politicians in some countries who have warned that the refugee crisis has exposed problems in Europe's Schengen passport-free area, saying that states must develop it further by agreeing on migrant quotas.
'A distribution of refugees according to economic strength and other conditions ... and the readiness for a permanent distribution mechanism ... will determine whether the Schengen area will hold in the long term,' she said.

New Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, who said her government was not prepared to accept 4,500 refugees in the wake of the Paris terror attacks 
New Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo, who said her government was not prepared to accept 4,500 refugees in the wake of the Paris terror attacks 
Meanwhile new Polish Prime Minister Beata Szydlo said her government was not prepared to accept 4,500 new refugees, saying the Paris terror attacks had 'changed the situation.'
Mrs Szydlo said: 'After Paris, the situation has changed.
'We will be proposing to sit down at a table and think over, whether the solutions which have been proposed are good.
'In our view, we are not prepared to accept those quotas of refugees.'

Gregory Mannarino: “If The Federal Reserve Does Not Raise Rates Next Month, Then That Is The Biggest ‘No Confidence’ Vote For The U.s. Economy, And That Is Going To Melt Down This Market.”

On the Fed raising interest rates soon, financial analyst and trader Gregory Mannarino thinks, “The Fed is, frankly, screwed. They are going to have to do something here to remain credible. Confidence is the only thing keeping this farce going. If the Federal Reserve does not raise rates next month, then that is the biggest ‘no confidence’ vote for the U.S. economy, and that is going to melt down this market. Some think if the Federal Reserve does not raise rates, the market is going higher. I can’t imagine why it would do that. This secret meet they just had, this is what they were talking about. . . . I think the Fed was discussing the lessor of two evils here. The lessor of two evils is they are going to nudge rates higher.”
On the possibility of World War coming soon, Mannarino explains, “War is the goal. People need to understand here the goal of the world central banks is to bring us to war. So, they have a big, big reason to borrow cash into existence. This is it. The debt based economic model has got to be the most corrupt, evil and dastardly mechanism to be pushed down the throats of the entire world.”
Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Gregory Mannarino of
All links can be found here on :

The European economic crisis just keeps getting worse. The European Commission is now planning to pool all money for bank bailouts among nations.

by Martin Armstrong
The European economic crisis just keeps getting worse. The European Commission is now planning to pool all money for bank bailouts among nations. That means the funds set aside in Germany to weather German bank failures can be used in France. Meanwhile, the EU is preparing to relax the stability policy (austerity) because of refugees and terror. This emergency position will allow countries to now increase their debt under the exception of “Acts of God”. This clause can pretty much justify anything.
Furthermore, now tens of thousands of pensioners in Germany have to pay taxes on their pensions for the first time in 2016. A pension increase of 2.5% will result in a lower net take-home for the first time and this will exceed the basic allowance in the coming year. The Ministry of Finance expects to be characterized with 310 million euros in additional tax revenue.

“We’re Now Just One Big Shock Away from a Global Downturn…”
With corporate debt levels now more than double their pre-crisis levels, this all could have a big impact on corporate bond default rates…

Russian Jet Shoot Down: What They're Not Telling You

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Breaking Point? Household Costs Skyrocket, Incomes Crashing

(Bankster Bubble)  Even if nothing else doomed the status quo, the widening gap between household incomes and costs will push the corrupt contraption over the cliff by itself. The status quo (whatever you wish to call it) requires “growth” to sustain itself–growth in consumption, spending, sales, debt, asset valuations, profits and of course taxes, and ultimately all of those “growths” depend on household incomes.
Incomes even for the most highly educated workers are stagnating:

Adjusted for inflation, median household income is down significantly in the ‘recovery”:

Some observers quibble that since this doesn’t include food stamps and other transfer payments, it isn’t accurate: in other words, it’s not so bad if we include social welfare.
If the status quo now depends on government payments to households to sustain “growth,” then the system is nearing the cliff edge.
Another trend that pushes the contraption closer to oblivion is income disparity:virtually all the non-welfare gains in income have gone to the top 5%, with most of those gains concentrated in the top 1%:

We all know what’s happened to major household expenses such as higher education, healthcare, rent/housing: they’re soaring to the moon. Here’s higher education:

Video: “UK journalism … is dead” Ex MEP Richard Cottrell On Questioning The 7/7 London Bombings

Journalism as an honourable, truth seeking profession in Britain, is dead. In this groundbreaking work of investigative journalism, Richard Cottrell lays bare a …

Why banks want you to drop Mint, other ‘aggregators’

More scare tactics by the big banks, consumers are slowly waking up…
The days of the big banking are slowly dying, read more from this Reuters report:
Millions of people share their bank account passwords with third-party sites and apps that help them track their spending, but some of the biggest financial institutions, wary of hacking risks, are trying to scare people into not using them.
JPMorgan Chase & Co and Capital One Financial Corp, for example, warn on their websites that customers could be liable for any fraud in their accounts – even though federal regulations say otherwise.
Capital One’s site (here) tells users: “If you choose to share account access information with a third-party, Capital One is not liable for any resulting damages or losses.”
Chase (here) admonishes, “If you give out your user ID and password, you are putting your money at risk.”
The warnings were enough to cause Morris Armstrong, a registered investment adviser and enrolled agent in Danbury, Connecticut, to recently close his account with, a so-called aggregator website and a division of Intuit Inc.
“People are hacking left and right. You don’t want to make it easier,” Armstrong said.
However, the same warnings infuriated heavy Mint user Mark Ranta, head of digital payments at ACI Worldwide Inc, who says the banks are far more worried about competition from these aggregation sites than about electronic safety.
“Mint makes it so I don’t have to go to the individual bank sites,” said Ranta. “They [banks] don’t have the opportunity to cross-sell me.”
The banks’ warnings, however, are off base.
Federal banking rules known as Regulation E (here) sharply limit customers’ liability for unauthorized electronic transactions from their accounts, provided they report the fraud promptly.
The rules say that customers’ negligence – such as writing a PIN on a debit card – does not increase their liability.
A customer would be on the hook for unauthorized transactions if she gives her card or credentials “and grants authority to make transfers to a person (such as a family member or co-worker) who exceeds the authority given,” the rules say. Customers are fully liable for the transfers until they notify the financial institution that the person is no longer authorized to use the account.
That is the passage that Chase and other banks point to when warning people they may be liable if they share credentials with a third party.
But Lauren Saunders, associate director and managing attorney of the National Consumer Law Center, calls the banks’ position “ridiculous.” Sites such as Mint collect data about transactions but typically are not authorized to make transactions, said Saunders.
“When you give Mint your bank password, you don’t give them permission to make transfers,” Saunders said. “You don’t need to be a lawyer to understand that you are not a consumer who ‘grants authority to make transfers.'”
Even when people use a bill-pay app that does move money, they are granting access to the app – not to hackers who steal their credentials.
“You are still outside the provision about giving someone an access device because you didn’t give the hacker permission,” Saunders said.
Who would be liable, though, is an unsettled question of great concern to banks. The Wall Street Journal reported last week that JPMorgan Chief Executive Jamie Dimon discussed with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau chief Richard Cordray the security risks posed by aggregators.
Chase and the CFPB declined comment. Intuit declined comment on the banks’ warnings, saying in a prepared statement: “Delivering secure and seamless connectivity is a shared priority across Mint and thousands of our financial institution partners.”
It is worth pointing out that Mint has never had to announce a security breach – unlike Chase, which last year reported a cyber attack had compromised 83 million of its accounts.
Making people reluctant to use account aggregators could just make them more vulnerable to fraud. Mint and other account aggregators can help people spot unauthorized transactions that might otherwise go unnoticed, said independent journalist and technology expert Bob Sullivan, author of “Stop Getting Ripped Off.”
Rather than scaring people, the financial sites and banks should work together to create a common secure standard for sharing information – one that might involve app-specific passwords, Sullivan said.

The Federal Reserve is buying stocks via their primary dealer banks. The Fed is unaudited, so what’s to stop them?

I am 100% convinced the Federal Reserve is buying stocks via their primary dealer banks. The Fed is unaudited, so what’s to stop them? They are desperate to keep the confidence game going. Don’t believe me, ok.. You tube: “Alan Grayson Federal Reserve”.. your jaw will drop!

Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi claims that Europe's anti-Russia policy will lead the region nowhere.

ROME (Sputnik) — Europe's anti-Russia policy will lead the region nowhere, Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi said Wednesday.
"Only the ones who did not experience the Cold War can like it. The anti-Russia approach in Europe will lead nowhere," Renzi told the Italian Sky TG24 TV channel in an interview.
Italy has been long asking Russia to return to cooperation with the Western countries, the prime minister added.
Renzi has been repeatedly voicing support for Russia and maintaining dialogue with Moscow, even amid deteriorating Russia's relations with the EU members states and the United States.
On Tuesday, Renzi said the Italian people could trust Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the issues of international stability.

Video: ‘More money, more fighter jets’: Cameron to increase UK military budget to counter ISIS

UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the country’s military budget will be increased to fight Islamic State. The UK may also unite its efforts with …

Video: ‘No talk of anti-terror coalition if political parties use terror for their own agenda’

Extremists who planned and carried out the terror act on Sinai plane are not committed to ideology but to money, Catherine Shakdam, director of programs in …

BREAKING: New Footage Shows French Police in Shootout with Suspect in St.Denis (Raw)

The 1% Is Rolling Over – When The Only Healthy Part Of An Already-impaired System Turns Negative, Everyone Will Feel The Resulting Pain

by John Rubino
Today’s financial world is a tough place for the average person, but paradise for rich guys. As easy money raises asset prices, the owners of those assets make effortless profits. Then they buy expensive toys and trophy properties. Hence the recent boom in fine art, high-end real estate, yachts and private jets.
But this, like all financial trends, has a limit, and that limit is now in sight. The 1%, it seems, is rolling over:

Sotheby’s Offers Employees Voluntary Buyouts to Cut Costs

(Bloomberg) – Sotheby’s is offering employees voluntary buyouts to cut costs after a drop in third-quarter revenue grabbed more attention from the company’s investors than its largest ever semiannual auction season.
The auction house told employees in an e-mail Friday that if not enough employees make use of the buyouts, it may have to resort to layoffs. Sotheby’s didn’t say how many jobs it plans to cut.
Shares of Sotheby slumped as much as 16 percent this week after the firm reported a 9 percent decline in third-quarter revenue.
“Sotheby’s costs of doing business – increased staff, more expensive catalogue production, huge marketing and promotional costs, etc. – have to be balanced against the declining revenue from commissions,” said David Nash, co-owner of Mitchell-Innes & Nash gallery in New York and former head of Impressionist and modern art at Sotheby’s.

San Francisco in housing ‘correction’

(CNBC) – San Francisco homes are still some of the priciest in the nation, but sales of those houses are showing significant weakness. September sales were down 19.5 percent in the city from a year ago, according to the California Association of Realtors.“We’re going through a kind of correction, as we have a lot of new developments being built right now. The supply is definitely on the rise,” said Justin Fichelson, an agent at Climb Real Estate Group in San Francisco. “The market is not going to continue going up like we’ve seen in the past two years, because prices are already high.”

London Mansion Prices Fall 11.5% as Home `Bubble’ May Have Burst

(Bloomberg) – Prices of homes valued at 5 million pounds ($7.6 million) or more fell 11.5 percent on a per square foot basis in the third quarter from a year earlier, according to Richard Barber, a director at broker W.A. Ellis LLP, a unit of Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. Sales volumes across all homes in the best parts of central London dropped 14 percent in the period, the realtor said on Thursday.“The bubble may already have burst” for the most expensive homes, Barber said. Now, “36 percent of all properties currently on the market across prime central London are being marketed at a lower price than they were originally listed at, with the average reduction in price being 8.5 percent.”

Luxury-Jet Market Value Seen Slipping for First Time Since 2009

(Bloomberg) – Global long-term spending on private jets is starting to slow for the first time since 2009 as slumping commodity prices sap demand in emerging markets, according to an industry forecast.Deliveries for the 11 years ending in 2025 will be valued at $270 billion, Honeywell International Inc. said Sunday in its annual survey of the luxury-aircraft market. That’s down 3.6 percent from last year’s comparable projection, and snapped a streak of gains since the last U.S. recession ended.
The decline reflects weakness in Brazil, Russia, India and China, the group known as the BRIC countries, and the impact of political conflicts in the Middle East and Africa, according to Brian Sill, chief of Honeywell’s business and general aviation unit. Delays in some new plane models are also pushing back demand, he said.
Jet shipments will drop 2.6 percent to 9,200 planes, according to Honeywell, whose forecast had predicted fluctuations in deliveries but no drop in the planes’ list value in the post-recession years. Large planes that had spearheaded the recovery are now seeing slower growth.
“We’re just slogging along,” said Janine Iannarelli, president of Par Avion Ltd., a Houston based plane brokerage. “There is a shortage of buyers, there’s limited activity and prices keep correcting.”
So the rich are becoming less rich? To an extent, yes. Recent declines in commodity prices and emerging market debt have no doubt taken a bite out of some big portfolios. Meanwhile, hedge funds, the preferred investment management vehicle of the uber-wealthy, have done badly for the past couple of years, with some high-profile implosionsgenerating headlines.
These disappointments have lowered the net worth of some big players and made others more cautious. Hence the lessened demand for the most pretentious assets.
The impact on the global economy? Almost certainly bad, since the 1% are the marginal buyers of so many reference assets like blue-chip stocks and government bonds. To the extent that they grow cautious, the bid for a lot of things will be lower, cutting corporate profits, equity valuations and high-end asset prices.
Put another way, when the only healthy part of an already-impaired system turns negative, everyone will feel the resulting pain.

War Is Good? Weapons Manufacturers Stocks Soar After Paris Attacks

Submitted by John Vibes via,
A recent report by journalist Glenn Greenwald pointed out stock prices for weapons manufacturers sharply increased just after the terrorist attacks in Paris last week. Greenwald was following the tip of Brooklyn journalist Aaron Cantú, who posted screenshots for the  recent stock performances of major weapons contractors on his Twitter page early Monday morning:
On Monday, nearly as soon as the markets opened, stocks for weapons manufacturers began to soar — Raytheon, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics and Thales saw increases in a day that was rather calm for the rest of the market.

As Greenwald pointed out in his report, “The markets could barely wait to start buying. The Dow overall is up today only .12 percent, making these leaps quite pronounced.”
It seemed that the whole world knew immediately after the attacks that more war was on its way, and these rising stock values appear to substantiate the case. This week, various European countries, along with the United States, have promised more military action in the Middle East, despite the fact Western military intervention over the past decade created this mess to begin with.
Billions of dollars in tax money is spent every year so militaries can wage wars across the planet and there is an unspeakable amount of money to be made by the people who sell weapons and ammunition to countries at war. Arms dealers and weapons manufacturers never take sides, but are always happy to take billions of dollars from opposing nations in every war so they can destroy each other.
In fact, it could be argued that the financial incentive created by both the weapons industry and the plunder of foreign resources, is what drives governments to war to begin with. In fact, a recent study proved that resource-rich nations are 100 times more likely to have a foreign power intervene in their internal conflicts. There is a ton of money made in this industry, which is perhaps why people spread the popular myth that “war is good for the economy.” However, it should be obvious this industry isn’t good for anyone economically, aside from perhaps politicians and weapons manufacturers, as countless people are killed and untold damage is done to property — creating a situation where the economy will end up less profitable because less people are working, creating, and becoming entrepreneurs.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Macy’s Announces More Closings As Sales Continue To Free Fall


()  Macy’s M -13.99% cold streak just keeps getting colder.
The department store reported Wednesday that comparable sales fell 3.9% last quarter for their third consecutive drop. Overall revenue totaled $5.87 billion for the period ended Oct. 31, well below Wall Street forecasts. Investors punished the stock, sending it down 5% in premarket trading. The company also said it would extend an already announced schedule of store closings.
Macy’s, the largest U.S. department store company by sales, has been trying to navigate a consumer shift away from apparel—a category that makes up the bulk of its sales—to items like cars, electronics, and home repairs, which are areas where Macy’s is virtually absent. Meanwhile U.S. malls, many of which are anchored by Macy’s stores, continue to be hit by falling shopper traffic.
Compounding the retailer’s challenges even further: Tourism in the U.S. is way down, hurting its stores in Manhattan, San Francisco, and Miami, its highest grossing locations. Macy’s gets 5% of sales from international tourists. The company also owns the Bloomingdale’s chain.
“We are disappointed that the pace of sales did not improve in the third quarter,” Macy’s CEO Terry Lundgren said in a statement. “Spending by domestic customers remained tepid, especially in key apparel and accessory categories. Simultaneously, the slowdown in buying by international visitors continued to significantly impact Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s.”
Earlier this year, shortly after reporting poor results, Macy’s announced it would close up to 40 stores. On Wednesday, the retailer said it expected more closings beyond the current round, which are slated to happen by the end of January. About 800 Macy’s and Bloomingdales stores are currently open in the U.S.
The company also announced it would not spin off its stores into a real estate investment trust, something activists investors were pushing it to do to unlock the value of its real estate, which notably includes Macy’s Manhattan flagship, a store that could be worth $5 billion on its own. Lundgren said a REIT did not have an upside, but he did leave the option on the table. (This week, McDonald’s alsosaid it had opted not to create a REIT.)
Macy’s has been trying to diversify its business. It is opening a store in the United Arab Emirates in a few years and has launched T.J. Maxx-like rival chain called Backstage.
But within its own department stores, Macy’s is looking to branch out of apparel a bit more and is focusing on its 150 best stores to improve merchandise presentation. Those stores will see more assortments in key destination departments such as jewelry and watches.
For now though, the results are worrisome coming just ahead of the key holiday shopping season.

Christopher Markowski – Obamacare Taking a Major Toll on Economy

from Financial Survival Network
We sat down with Wall Street’s Watchdog,Chris Markowski
Chris is skeptical of Any Fed rate hike. Can the economy and Wall Street survive it? He believes that the time has come for tax reform in the form of a flat tax. And repeal of Obamacare is a major priority as it is an unmitigated disaster that is starting to cause real harm to real people.
We can only hope our future leader is listening.

Wal-Mart Workers Demand Discount on Food


()   After successfully lobbying Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to raise wages, labor activists have a new demand: Give employees a discount on food. For the world’s largest retailer, that could cost more than $400 million.
Wal-Mart currently offers workers a 10 percent discount on all merchandise except the vast majority of food. Fruits, vegetables and some snacks are the only food items included in the promotion, unless they’re on sale. Some employees want more groceries to be included in the discount, noting that competitors such as Target Corp. and Whole Foods Market Inc. already offer that perk.
“It is ridiculous,” said Janet Sparks, a Wal-Mart employee in Baker, Louisiana, who’s been active in labor groups pushing for higher wages. “You can get a 10 percent discount on cat food, but if I buy tuna or chicken, I get no discount.”
A group of Wal-Mart workers started an online petition last week calling on the company to expand the discount, and it’s received almost 13,000 signatures from employees. The group, which isn’t affiliated with a separate organization financially backed by the United Food and Commercial Workers International union, plans to take the petition to store managers and executives this month.

Company Surveys

Wal-Mart already offers the food discount during the holidays — the period between Thanksgiving and the end of the year — but the employees are seeking to extend it year-round. In response, Wal-Mart said it has surveyed employees on what they would like the company to offer and the potential perk doesn’t rank as high as other benefits.
While a food discount has been mentioned by workers, higher wages, better scheduling and more regular hours were a bigger priority, said Kory Lundberg, a spokesman for the Bentonville, Arkansas-based company.
“Wal-Mart is investing $2.7 billion dollars in its associates this year and next in higher wages, better training and more scheduling control,” he said. “In addition to offering quarterly cash bonuses to hourly associates, Wal-Mart also offers a 401(k) program with a 6 percent company match. We think these benefits, along with some of the highest starting wages in the industry makes Wal-Mart a very competitive employer for top talent in the retail industry.”

Potential Costs

For a company of Wal-Mart’s size, a seemingly small benefit can add up quickly. The 10 percent discount would be spread out over 1.4 million U.S. employees, more than the population of San Diego.
The average U.S. household with an annual income above $20,000 spends more than $3,000 a year on food at home, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If all Wal-Mart employees took advantage of the proposed benefit and purchased their groceries at work, it could cost the retailer more than $420 million a year in discounts. And that’s in a category with already-thin margins. The supermarket industry has a profit margin of 1.7 percent, according to research firm IBISWorld.
Wal-Mart, which had more than $16 billion in profit last year, declined to say how much the additional discount would cost or whether it’s considering such a move. Lundberg said the retail giant is always reviewing employee benefits, noting that it offered $500 million in discounts last year on general merchandise, fruits and vegetables.

‘Feel Some Heat’

The added benefit could become a necessary expense for Wal-Mart as the labor market becomes more competitive and the company tries to improve worker morale. Wal-Mart began increasing its minimum wage this year in hopes that happier employees will be more productive and provide better customer service, an area the company has identified as needing improvement.
“It is probably going to be hard for Wal-Mart to say, ‘We can’t do that,’” said Brian Yarbrough, an analyst with Edward Jones & Co. “They are probably going to feel some heat” from employees, he said.
Adding the discount also might some upside if it coaxes more workers into doing their grocery shopping at Wal-Mart. Sparks said she and many of her colleagues get their food at stores such as Dollar General, Aldi and Winn-Dixie, where the prices are lower.
“A lot of employee are buying groceries outside of Wal-Mart because they have to stretch their dollars and are chasing sales,” Sparks said. “What better way to guarantee 1.4 million shoppers?”

Stock Decline

Investors, though, are concerned about Wal-Mart’s already-escalating costs. They see the previous investments in its workforce as a drag on profits, and that’s reflected in the company’s share price. It suffered the worst one-day stock decline in more than 27 years in October after predicting a drop in annual profit, driven by an additional $1.5 billion it will spend next year on higher wages. The shares fell 1.9 percent to $57.58 on Wednesday.
A food discount could further cut profits and upset investors, Yarbrough said.
“The question is, if a person spends less on grocery, do they put that money into other items in the store that have higher margins?” he said. “It is going to impact the bottom line some, but it is hard to know if it is offset.”

Shopping Elsewhere

Bobby Womack, a cashier at the Wal-Mart in Baker, said the discount would allow her to buy food that would help her diabetes, such as whole grains or products without added sugar. She said she buys a lot of her food at Family Dollar and Dollar General, which have some of the same brands as Wal-Mart for a fraction of the price. A can of cream of chicken soup, one of her staples, costs 66 cents at Family Dollar, compared with $1 at Wal-Mart, she said.
Workers also point to the fact that Wal-Mart provides the discount over the holidays. If the company can afford it then, it should be able to offer the benefit every day, they say.
“We are hungry all year,” said Nancy Reynolds, a Wal-Mart worker in Merritt Island, Florida, who works with the labor group pushing for the change. “We need the help all year, not just one month.”

Dollar rally is amazing, though 71% of that move is against the sickly Euro, & a BOJ actively trying to hyperinflate

Dollar rally is amazing, though 71% of that move is against the sickly Euro, & a BOJ actively trying to hyperinflate