Saturday, June 13, 2015

Wayne Allyn Root – Latest Employment Numbers Show Murder Of Middle Class Continues

from Financial Survival Network
Wayne Allyn Root joined us today, blasting the latest economic numbers issued by DC. Wayne says they show that all the new jobs are going to illegal aliens and that the economic is still in the dumps. 1st Quarter GDP has been down for all 7 years of the Obama Admin and there’s no hope of things getting better. Obamacare has been a total damper on the economy, which is the way he wants it. He also says that Hillary will not be the nominee which is what he has been saying for a long time. Things are starting to get interesting.
Click Here to Listen to the Audio

Time to Settle the Bill: PM Yatsenyuk Hesitates, Asks for Debt Restructure

Ukraine’s foreign debt should be restructured on reasonable terms for Kiev, otherwise the government will not repay loans, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said.
Ukraine owes $42 billion to its foreign creditors. The government offered its private lenders a reconstruction plan to try to repay its debt, the prime minister said.
"We didn't borrow this money, but we'll restructure it [foreign debt], we'll remove the burden from our future generations," Yatsenyuk said, adding that the debt has to be restructured on favorable terms for Kiev, otherwise Ukraine will crumble.
Yatsenyuk also blamed the previous government of Viktor Yanukovych, stating that it was the former president who borrowed all this money. Thus, creditors, in his mind, should cut some slack for the new government now.
A few weeks ago, Oleksandr Klymenko, the former Ukrainian Minister of Revenue and Duties, said Ukraine won't be able to repay its debts. Klymenko said that at the current rate of the country's debt, every single Ukrainian, including the elderly and children, must pay almost $1,000 to foreign creditors.
Ukraine owes the lion's share of its debts (about 80 percent) to US banks, some 6 percent to Russia and 4 percent to the EU and China. The largest private lender to Ukraine is US Investment Company Franklin Resources to which the country owes $6.5 billion, Klymenko said.
To pay off foreign creditors, a country should normally allocate no more than 20 percent of its export revenues. Last year, the export of goods and services from Ukraine was around $62.2 billion. That means the maximum amount Ukraine could pay off shouldn't exceed $13 billion per year. Considering that the country is going through a civil war, Ukraine simply doesn't have that amount of money in its budget, Klymenko said.    

The revealing remarks of a central banker

Nick Beams 11 June 2015
Remarks last week by the governor of the Bank of Japan, Haruhiko Kuroda, likening the efforts of central bankers to keep the global financial system afloat to the ability of J. M. Barrie’s fictional character Peter Pan to fly are both extraordinary and revealing.
Kuroda recalled that Peter Pan was able to fly only because he continued to believe he could. Once doubt set in, he would lose that capacity. Likewise, central bankers had to believe that whatever problems emerged in the financial system, they would be able to solve them, but only to the extent that, like Peter Pan, they remained confident.
The fact that one of the world’s three major central bankers—the others are US Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi—likens his actions, and presumably those of his counterparts, to the spreading of “fairy dust” says something profound about the state of bewilderment in the headquarters of the financial authorities supposedly in charge of the world economy.
This has decisive political significance. It instantly exposes the assertions of the bourgeoisie and its caste of high priests—central bankers, financial authorities, advisors from academia—that they rule over the economy by virtue of some special knowledge. To draw a parallel with another fairy story, the emperor has no clothes.
The power of the various economic and financial authorities derives not from their knowledge, but from the way they serve the class interests of the owners of wealth, the corporate and financial elites, ruthlessly imposing the dictates of this tiny stratum against the working class and the mass of the people.
Their actions make this clear. Having bailed out the banks and finance houses, whose rampant speculation set off the 2008 financial crisis, they have poured more fuel on the fire by providing trillions of dollars of ultra-cheap money, creating the conditions for another crash to which they will respond with intensified attacks on social conditions—mass unemployment and impoverishment—coupled with ever more authoritarian and dictatorial forms of rule.
The ongoing economic catastrophe poses the immediate necessity for the struggle for international socialism. The working class, quite literally as a matter of life and death, must seize political power and take the global economy under its control so that the wealth and resources it has created through its labour can be utilised for social advancement rather than the depredations of the profit system.
But in order to do so, it must confront and overcome the mystifications that play an important role in sustaining the power of the corporate and financial ruling classes.
One of the chief means through which the ruling class maintains its ideological grip is the promotion of the idea that the modern capitalist economy is so complex that social ownership, conscious planning and democratic control are out of the question. Hence, the “magic of the market,” overseen by the Kurodas of the world, must prevail.
The ruling classes deploy untold financial and other resources—through the schools, colleges and universities, mass media and pulpit—to argue that socialism is inherently impossible. But more is involved than simply a vast propaganda exercise, significant as that is.
The very illusions promoted so assiduously by the ruling elites and their ideological servants have their objective basis in the very structure of the social relations of capitalist society and the operation of those economic laws, peculiar to it, that generate its mystifications.
Marx laid bare these roots in the opening chapter of Capital. here, he analysed what he called the “fetishism of commodities,” that is, the ability of a thing—the commodity, a product of human labour—to acquire a social power over its producers.
This power, he showed, derived from the commodity form itself. Every human society must allocate human labour in order to function. Without human labour and its social allocation, society would collapse overnight.
But in a system of commodity production, the basis of capitalism, this allocation is not carried out according to custom or tradition, or through some kind of caste system. It is determined, in the final analysis, by the relations between different commodities, i.e., things.
Every expenditure of human labour power in the production of a commodity is part of the labour of society as a whole. But in the absence of any overall social plan, and where production is carried out privately and separately, the social character of labour can be established only by the relations between the products of labour—that is, commodities—in exchange. In that way, these things acquire a social power.
As Marx put it: “[T]he relation of the producers to the sum total of their own labour [that is, to the labour of society as a whole, N.B.] is presented to them as a social relation existing not between themselves, but between the products of their labour.”
This means that a “definite social relation between men… assume(s) in their eyes the fantastic form of a relation between things.”
Drawing a parallel with religion, he remarks that in that sphere, man is ruled by the products of his own brain, whereas under commodity production, he is ruled by the product of his own hand.
The commodity producer who takes the product of his labour to the market discovers only there whether his labour has been socially necessary, depending on the amount of commodities he receives in exchange for those he has produced.
Marx began his analysis of fetishism by examining the relations of simple commodity exchange—the basis of capitalist economy. He then demonstrated how, with the full development of capitalism, fetishism, contained in the cell-form of that society, the commodity, takes ever more fantastic forms.
Profit appears to arise not from the exploitation of human labour power, but from a thing—machinery. Land, by its very nature as land, supposedly begets wealth in the form of rent, and money seemingly creates more money out of itself in the financial system, whose operations determine the fate of whole societies and billions of people. And the worker is sacked, or receives lower or higher wages, on the basis the relationship of the things he has produced to other things in the market as established through money and the rate of its accumulation, in the form of profit.
Marx’s analysis of commodity fetishism discloses the origins of one of the most important mystifications of capitalism. Social relations established through the relations between things necessarily appear to have a natural, and therefore eternal, character. This is the basis of the ideological campaign waged day in and day out by the bourgeoisie and its ideological representatives that socialism–the form of society in which the vast wealth created by the labour of the working class, the world’s producers, is under their conscious control–is inherently impossible because it violates so-called natural laws.
But Marx, in laying bare the objective foundations of fetishism, also showed how, historically, it would be overcome.
“The life-process of society,” he wrote, “which is based on the process of material production, does not strip off its mystical veil until it is treated as production by freely associated men, and is consciously regulated by them in accordance with a settled plan. This, however, demands for society a certain material ground-work or set of conditions of existence which in their turn are the spontaneous product of a long and painful process of development.”
In other words, the advance of the productive forces under capitalism would make it possible to dispel the illusions it generated. Furthermore, that development would itself create an economic and social crisis that would make socialism, and the conscious control of mankind’s productive forces, not only a possibility, but a necessity.
That point arrived long ago. One hundred years ago, in his book Imperialism, written in the midst of the carnage unleashed by World War I, Lenin established the necessity for international socialism. He noted that the emergence of gigantic enterprises, arising from the competitive struggle on the market, involved a profound socialisation of labour in which the activities of these corporations were decided by conscious planning amid the overall anarchy of capitalist production.
The tendencies he analysed at that time have since developed on an enormous scale. The giant transnational corporations dominating the global economy consciously plan and regulate their operations. At the same time, the financial system functions as a vast global information system, delivering results within nanoseconds.
These mechanisms are utilised for the appropriation of profit at the expense of the world working class, which has produced the wealth upon which they rest. But their creation points to the fact that the “long and painful process of development,” which Marx insisted was the objective prerequisite for mankind assuming conscious control of the wealth it had created and using it for human needs and advancement, has well and truly been completed.
Moreover, the inherent contradictions of capitalism, arising from the intensifying conflict between the growth of the productive forces on a global scale and the social relations based on private property and the nation-state system, have created an historic crisis.
It takes the form of the drive to war, as each of the capitalist powers, with the US in the lead, seeks to assert its dominance over the world economy. This develops alongside the breakdown of the profit system manifested in deepening economic and financial crises. These two tendencies interact and propel one another forward.
The deepening breakdown of the capitalist system and its historically doomed character find expression in Kuroda’s remarks. It is said that those whom the gods would destroy they must first make mad. It could be added that with the invocation of Peter Pan economics, they must make them appear ridiculous as well.
The very foundations of the profit system and the entire ideological edifice on which capitalist rule has rested, together with the mystifications sustaining it, are in an advanced state of decay and disintegration.
But even as its historical bankruptcy is revealed ever more clearly, the bourgeoisie has no intention of departing the scene. On the contrary, its destructive political economy will intensify.
The working class as the only social force that can secure historical progress must advance its own political economy by prosecuting an offensive for international socialism. The spearhead of this fight is the building of the International Committee of the Fourth International as the world party of socialist revolution.

Has Rahm Emanuel lost his financial nerve?

Rahm Emanuel Finance Government and Politics Pensions Opinion & Columnists More +
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's latest financial proposals raise questions.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel's latest financial proposals raise questions.
He's just won re-election, with his clout presumably now as great as it ever will be.
He has a first-class financial crisis to take advantage of—and constituents, especially in the business community, who know the time really has come to make tough decisions.
So why is Mayor Rahm Emanuel suddenly acting like a fiscal wimp, engaging in the kind of can-kicking that got Chicago into trouble? I hope it's a passing phase, because this longtime Emanuel defender is beginning to wonder.
For the four years of his first term, I thought Emanuel generally did a decent job playing a bad hand. He cut deals with two of the city's four employee pension funds, started talks with the funds that cover police and firefighters, avoided raising property taxes and cut borrowing to about half the rate of his predecessor, Richard M. Daley.
Then the Illinois Supreme Court this spring unanimously and unambiguously tossed out state pension reform. That raised huge doubts about whether Emanuel's pension deals will stand and prompted one of the major bond rating firms, Moody's Investors Service, to downgrade city debt to junk.
Emanuel's core response has been solid. Specifically, he and his team have moved to refinance nearly $1 billion in variable rate debt, exchanging it for more expensive but non-callable paper. Even Moody's was impressed, issuing a report this morning that termed the actions "credit positive."
But the mayor has done a couple of other things that raise questions.
The first was to agree on a pension deal with the police and firefighter unions that requires not one penny of concessions from either—not one penny, despite four years of speeches from Emanuel about shared sacrifice. The only concession is that the city will take an additional 15 years to substantially fund the system, meaning that it will have to contribute "only" an additional $319 million or so next year, rather than the previous $500 million-plus.
Why abandon the notion of concessions on all sides? Team Emanuel responds that it didn't have a choice. Any changes had to clear the General Assembly, and there was no low-hanging fruit as in the generous cost-of-living hikes that were targeted in the state's unsuccessful pension fix. If the city was to avoid that half-billion-dollar cliff—or, more accurately, cushion the fall—this was it.
Perhaps. Equally troubling is the $1.1 billion in new general obligation borrowing that Emanuel floated with aldermen in a series of briefings late yesterday.
Some of the borrowing is understandable and unavoidable. Like the rest of that exchange of floating-rate for fixed-rate I referred to above, or financing the city's closeout of losing swap derivative positions. That's $343 million combined. In the same category is $181 million to refinance a lease deal on the Chicago Transit Authority's Orange Line that, given the Moody's downgrade, could have forced the city to post collateral.
But $35 million to pay for a loan taken out when the city purchased the old Michael Reese Hospital site for the 2016 Olympics? Or $85 million in legal settlements, $75 million in back pay for police and $170 million to refinance old debt that's now due, a process known as scoop and toss?
Then there's my favorite: "Two years of capitalized interest, $170 million." In other words, not only is the city going to borrow money, but it's going to borrow money to avoid having to pay interest on what was borrowed until, um, later. When someone else is mayor.
City officials have not been available to discuss this in detail. But even if such tactics have been used in the past, they sure look like more of what got Chicago up a creek in the first place. Most municipalities pay for legal settlements and pay raises out of their operating budget with tax revenue. They don't ship the bill to the grandkids.
"All of these are things that Mayor Emanuel said he would stay away from when he spoke to the Civic Federation this spring," says federation President Laurence Msall, referring to a speech in which the mayor promised to cut back and eventually eliminate things like scoop and toss.
The mayor could have rolled out dramatic spending cuts and reorganizations, pointing to Chicago's moment of crisis. Instead, he took the easier road. "Is it really that hard to borrow?" Msall asks.
Perhaps the mayor is just clearing the decks for one big moment of pain later this year, when he rolls out a new budget that will have to include nearly $400 million in additional spending just for pensions. Perhaps, but I'm beginning to wonder.
If Emanuel was just going to sprinkle fairy dust on the city's financial problems, perhaps Chicago should have elected the other guy in April.
1:15 p.m. update – City Budget Director Alex Holt says the mayor's critics, including me, are being a little hard on him. The borrowing and other moves may not be “pristine” but they are “reality” in the current world, she said.
Holt said the legal settlements are for things “inherited” by Emanuel and generally “not routine.” She repeated Emanuel's promise to end scoop and toss within four years, and said borrowing to pay interest costs now was needed. She did clarify that the police borrowing will only be for two years, but most of the rest will be for 30 years.
Detailed amortization tables–how much the city is now planning to pay in coming years, compared to the recent past–were not immediately available. But Holt insisted the city is on the right track. “I don't think it's fair to blame us for not solving 100 percent of the problem because we've only solved 80 percent,” she said.

RPT-Razor-edge U.S. Congress vote to decide fate of Obama Pacific trade pact

(Repeats with no changes)
* Twin 'nailbiter' votes likely
* Lawmakers to debate worker aid, fast track
By Krista Hughes and Richard Cowan
WASHINGTON, June 12 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's goal of strengthening U.S. economic ties with Asia will hang in the balance in Congress on Friday when divided lawmakers vote on legislation central to his hallmark Pacific Rim trade deal.
The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Obama's 12-nation pact, encompasses 40 percent of the global economy and is close to completion. It would be greatly advanced if Congress gives him "fast track" authority for it.
That question is expected to culminate in a very close vote in the House of Representatives, which has been wrestling with fast-track for weeks. The Senate has already backed it.
Fast-track authority would let lawmakers set negotiating objectives for trade deals, such as the TPP, but restrict them to only a yes-or-no vote on the finished agreement.
With a legacy-defining achievement on the line for Obama, House approval of fast-track would boost his hopes for a swift completion of the TPP, which would harmonize trading standards and lower trade barriers among the signatory countries.
Rejection by the House of fast-track, or of a companion measure meant to aid workers hurt by trade, would be a massive blow to Obama. He has lobbied hard to win over skeptical Democrats and forged an unusual alliance with the Republicans who control Congress.
"We're expecting two close votes, probably two nailbiters," said Gabe Horwitz, economics director at the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way, who expects both measures to pass.
House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, declined to guarantee victory but said he had worked to address concerns raised by both sides.
"I'm encouraged. We've had good discussions this week on a bipartisan basis," he told reporters.
Although some Republicans are likely to oppose fast-track, the party has 246 House seats, meaning it could lose 28 votes and still cross the 218-vote threshold needed for passage.
A Democratic aide said 26 Democrats were ready to vote "yes," with another four leaning that way. Vote counters are betting that level of Democratic support will be enough to compensate for any weakness on the Republican side.
The trade debate has pitted business groups and iconic U.S. brands such as Nike Inc against environmental and consumer groups and unions. In an unusual move and a sign of the severity of the opposition, the unions are also lobbying against the worker aid program, an issue dear to many Democrats.
Democrat Jan Schakowsky, who hails from Obama's hometown of Chicago and was an early supporter of his 2008 run for the White House, said some Democrats were willing to see the worker aid program die if it means stopping fast-track and the TPP.
"There are plenty of those who feel that's not such a bad price to pay for saving American jobs," said Schakowsky, a trade skeptic. (Additional reporting by David Lawder and Susan Cornwell; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Richard Chang)

A young Farmer approached Rich Vs Poor for Help - Got shocking response

Buh-Bye, $$$! Russia considers issuing state debt in Yuan

Hold on to your cowboy hats; things are about to get real…
Russia is about to take another major step towards liberating the Ruble from the Dollar System. Its Finance Ministry just revealed it is considering issuing Russian state debt in Chinese Yuan. That would be an elegant way to decouple from the dependence and blackmail pressures from the US Treasury financial terrorism operations while at the same time strengthening the bonds between China and Russia–Washington’s worst geopolitical nightmare.
Russian Deputy Minister of Finance, Sergei Storchak, announced that his ministry is making a careful study of what would be required to issue Russian bonds denominated in Chinese Yuan. The latest news is part of a long-term strategy between Russia and China that goes at the heart of American hegemony—the role of the dollar as the leading world central bank reserve currency.
The dollar is used in some 60% of central bank reserves today. The second largest is the Euro. Now clearly China is carefully moving, as the world’s largest trading nation, to create its Renminbi or Chinese Yuan as another major reserve currency. That has huge geopolitical implications. So long as the US dollar is leading reserve currency, the world must de facto buy US dollar Treasury bonds for its reserves. That has allowed Washington to have budget deficits since 1971 when the dollar left the gold exchange standard. In effect, China, Japan, Russia, Germany—all trade surplus countries, finance Washington’s deficits that allow her to make wars around the world. It is a paradox that Russia and China at least, are determined to end as soon as possible.
It’s a shame that in this day and age, Americans still don’t understand that money is not what makes the world go round. Cooperation does.

Fund Managers Dump Government Bonds, Rout Continues

Investors have had to quickly get used to the recent spurt of market volatility and, with few assets offering safe haven from the rout, investors are eyeing the vulnerable bond sector for direction.
The Pimco Total Return Fund, one of the world’s largest bond funds, slashed its holdings in U.S. government debt last month, according to data published on Tuesday.

There’s Bipartisan Hatred Towards TPP … But Corrupt Congress Trying to Pass It, Anyway

Source: Washingtons Blog

The hatred of the Trans Pacific Partnership is widespread and bipartisan.
Here’s the front page of conservative Drudge:
DrudgeAnd the front page of liberal Huff Post:
Unfortunately, neither Democratic or Republican Congress people represent the interests of the American people.  Indeed, America is no longer a democracy or republic … it’s officially an oligarchy. And the allowance of unlimited campaign spending allows the oligarchs – even foreign ones – to purchase politicians more directly than ever.
So TPP will pass unless we raise hell.

TOILET DOOM!! Flushable, Disposable Wipes Are Not Biodegradable; Millions Of Dollars In Damage To Sewer Pipes Around the U.S.A.

TOILET DOOM: Flushable, Disposable Wipes Are Not Biodegradable; Millions Of Dollars In Damage To Sewer Pipes Around the U.S.A.
Here is your “When the Shit Hits the Fan” (WTSHTF) Scenario:
Metropolitan cities around the United States are being forced to deal with clogged sewer pipes brought about by “flushable” wipes that have turned out to not be very biodegradable.
“The city of Wyoming, Minn., is suing six makers of wet wipes, arguing that so-called “flushable” wipes are clogging plumbing networks and costing the city big money.
“The lawsuit, filed Thursday in federal court, might be the first seeking class-action status on behalf of cities grappling with the disposable cloths that wastewater officials say are plugging pipes and pumps.
“These flushable wipes do not degrade after flushing,” the city of Wyoming’s suit says. “Rather, the flushable wipes remain intact long enough to pass through private wastewater drain pipes into the municipal sewer line, causing clogs and other issues for municipal and county sewer systems and wastewater treatment plants, resulting in thousands, if not millions, of dollars of damages.”
As for New York’s City Sewer System:
“The city has spent more than $18 million in the past five years on wipe-related equipment problems, officials said. The volume of materials extracted from screening machines at the city’s wastewater treatment plants has more than doubled since 2008, an increase attributed largely to the wipes.
“Removal is an unpleasant task. The dank clusters, graying and impenetrable, gain mass like demon snowballs as they travel. Pumps clog. Gears falter. Then, there is the final blow, wrought by an intake of sewage that overwhelmed a portion of a north Brooklyn treatment plant.
“Odor control,” a sign there reads. But on a recent afternoon, the second word had disappeared behind a wayward splotch: It was a used wipe, etched with a heavenly cloud design.
“The city is not alone. Wet wipes, which do not disintegrate the way traditional toilet paper does, have plagued Hawaii and Alaska, Wisconsin and California. Sewer systems have been stuffed in Portland, Ore., and Portland, Me. Semantic debates have visited Charleston, W.Va., challenging the latitude of “flushability.” “I agree that they’re flushable,” said Tim Haapala, operations manager for the Charleston Sanitary Board. “A golf ball is flushable, but it’s not a good idea.”
“The consummate cautionary tale is that of London, where in 2013 a collection of wipes, congealed cooking oil and other materials totaled 15 tons, according to Thames Water, the utility company that removed it. It was known, like some previous occurrences, as the fatberg. “We reckon it has to be the biggest such berg in British history,” Gordon Hailwood, an official with Thames Water, said at the time.”


Wells Fargo – something isn’t right

With all of the talk of the banks and a cyber attack, thought I would report this.
Last 2 days in a row when logging on online, before I could gain access to my account I had to change not just the password, but also the username.
Since I have had WF, 15+ years, I have never been asked to change either. Now within 48 hours I have had 3 different usernames and 3 different passwords. Something just isn’t right…
What was most shocking was after updating it yesterday, I had to change both again today. It appears to be related to “security software upgrades.” Which is what I thought was interesting after the thread about JH using hackers to go after banks
A contact with urgent information on April 8, 2015.
Firsthand knowledge related to members of Jade Helm 15 (i.e. U.S. Special Forces) who are recruiting young adults to “hack into banks”.
There is a similar report coming out of Central Arizona (Casa Grande) in which I received an email message that stated that “our son who is a computer genius was recruited to do some computer work for various banks”. After signing nondisclosure agreements, it turned out that “the computer work for the banks actually involved hacking into the banks” and that “our son backed away but was threatened with being charged as an accomplice in the aftermath” if the person did not do what they were told.
On the evening of April 8, 2015, Paul Martin also stated that similar reports are coming out of Baily, CO., Goliad, TX., and Bastrop, TX!
Jade Helm 15 is being run by Joint Special Operation Forces. The stories of Special Forces recruiting hackers to perpetrate cyber attacks upon the banks speaks to the fact that JH 15 is, in part, designed to collapse the banks, create an economic crisis from which martial law could be justified.
My sources tell me that only 1-2% of the banks have to fail in this country in order to set off a domino effect of catastrophic economic effects. Therefore, the number needed hackers needed to collapse the system is not a staggering number.
Among the first effects that would be experienced would be the transporting of our food supply which operates on a razor thin margin supported by “Just in Time” deliveries to grocery stores. Any disruption the ability to monetize the process of food transport could be prove catastrophic. If this scenario resulted in food shortages and ensuing food riots, then surely, Jade Helm 15 would go live along with the martial law aspect of its mandate.
From another user:
“They did, however, inform me that this impacted quite a few users with “old” usernames and was caused by a system security update and not activity pertaining to me directly…I pointed out that the flag they had on my account username prevented me from logging in using a browser, but I was still able to use the WF app with my existing credentials to access the system perfectly well.”
Basel III Just Pulled The Rug Out From Under Your Community Bank…
It’s been assurance after assurance ever since Basel III began to be bantered about that it wouldn’t adversely effect a Community Banks ability to compete with the “Too Big To Fail” Multi-National Banks in the big cities…
Well as usual, it was all bullshit…
More than a year ago, the American Bankers Association filed a lawsuit to provide relief for community banks from the Volcker Rule. The initial Volcker final rule required banks to divest their trust-preferred securities holdings, forcing thousands of otherwise healthy community banks to sell these assets at depressed prices. About a month later, the banking agencies issued an interim final rule providing relief to community banks that had invested in Trups.
While celebrated, the relief provided to some banks has proven to be short-lived as Basel III starts coming into effect.
Under Basel III, any amount above 10% of a bank’s common equity is treated as a loss and deducted from regulatory capital. The Basel III capital deduction strongly encourages the very divestiture of Trups collateralized debt obligations that was overturned in the 2014 interim final Volcker rule. As such, it is unclear how the Basel III treatment is consistent with congressional intent of retaining the “status quo” for the Trups market, as described by all three banking agencies. Is this deduction a means of reinstating the original Volcker Rule’s divestiture requirement? Does the Basel Committee carry more weight than Congress?
The answer to the highlighted question is of course…YES!
Wonder if it is related to this:

Obama Trade Agenda Suffers Setback in House

President Barack Obama's ambitious Asia-Pacific free-trade agenda was dealt a serious blow Friday when the House of Representatives voted against part of a trade package.
A solid majority of Obama’s fellow Democrats joined most Republicans in easily defeating a measure that would have given aid to workers who lost their jobs as a result of U.S. trade deals.
The workers' aid piece of the overall legislation was required to make the rest of it go. Obama said the House's failure to approve it would “directly hurt about 100,000 workers and their communities.”
Even though lawmakers went on to approve so-called fast-track authority for Obama to negotiate the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal, the overall vote was far from a victory for the president.
Republican lawmakers said they would bring the workers' aid portion up for a new vote by Tuesday.
The White House called Friday's vote “a procedural snafu,” and said it was confident that more Democrats could be persuaded to support the workers' aid part.
Many Democrats are concerned that the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will send more American jobs overseas and hurt the environment. The workers' aid piece was initially included to appease Democrats.
Obama had gone to Capitol Hill on Friday morning to make a last-minute personal appeal to fellow Democrats.
Even so, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she would oppose the legislation.
Following the vote, she said in a statement that it was time for both parties to negotiate "a better deal for the American people" that provides "stronger protections for congressional priorities — especially labor rights and the environment."
Watch related video of the president on Capitol Hill

On the Republican side, House Speaker John Boehner, who supported the measure, said he was disappointed.
"Republicans did our part, and we remain committed to free trade because it is critical to creating jobs and growing our economy. ... This is an opportunity for the Democratic Party to take stock and move forward in a constructive fashion on behalf of the American people," he said.
White House press secretary John Earnest said the president would continue to aggressively lobby House members to win support for his free-trade agenda.
'Fast Track'
Washington is in the midst of an intense political squabble over proposed trade deals with Europe and a number of Pacific nations.  The debate has sometimes been hard to follow because of a blizzard of terms like TTIP, TAA and other unfamiliar acronyms like these.
So here is a brief guide to what all this means:
Trade Promotion Authority, or TPA, was blocked Tuesday on a procedural vote in the U.S. Senate.  TPA is supposed to give Congress a chance to give instructions to U.S. negotiators, who then work, often for years, to hammer out the best possible deal with other nations that trade with the United States.  Under TPA, Congress retains the responsibility to approve or reject a signed deal, but cannot amend the agreement.  Supporters say U.S. trading partners are not going to make their best offer if they think Congress will pick the deal apart.  Supporters expect to amend TPA and resubmit it for approval.
Trans Pacific Partnership, or TPP, is a proposed deal among 12 Pacific nations, including the United States.  Trade officials say this agreement is nearing completion, but some difficult issues remain.  Trade deal supporters say having TPA in place would make it easier to get a deal done between the United States and hard-bargaining trading partners.
Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, is a proposed deal between the United States and the European Union.  These talks are said to be at a relatively early stage.
Trade Adjustment Assistance, or TAA, is a program intended to help workers displaced by foreign trade get the training they need to find new jobs.
The "fast-track" legislation, known as Trade Promotional Authority, or TPA, allows the White House to negotiate trade deals without letting Congress make any changes in them when they come up for approval or rejection.
Refusal to grant the negotiating authority would have made it much more difficult for the administration to secure the TPP deal, which is already years behind schedule. As a result, Obama spent significant political capital on the TPA issue.
At a closed-door meeting Thursday at the Capitol, senior White House officials urged House Democrats to support the fast-track bill. Later, Obama made a surprise visit to an annual congressional baseball game in Washington, where he further lobbied lawmakers.
Democrats oppose bill

Democratic efforts to scuttle the trade deal were focused on the Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) safety net program that would offer to retrain workers who lose their jobs as a result of trade deals.
Such programs are usually supported more by Democrats than Republicans, but many Democrats said rejecting the initiative was the best way to kill the entire trade deal.
The countries negotiating the TPP are the U.S., Vietnam, Singapore, Peru, New Zealand, Mexico, Malaysia, Japan, Chile, Canada, Brunei and Australia. The U.S.-led pact aims to cover nearly 40 percent of global economic output when completed.
The White House has said the TPP would help further break down global trade barriers, open untapped markets and grow the economy, while providing an important counterbalance to the growing economic strength of China.

Gold was valuable when the first paper currency was created and when it died. Gold is still valuable today, 600 dead currencies later.

A history of fiat currencies showed that nearly 600 paper currencies no longer exist. The usual reason was that those currencies were printed to excess by governments or banking authorities. If you live in the United States, Europe, Japan or the UK this might sound familiar.
As a side note, gold was valuable when the first paper currency was created and when it died. Gold is still valuable today, 600 dead currencies later.
If the financial and political elite could increase their wealth and power more effectively with a gold standard, then the gold standard would still be in use, paper currencies would not be printed to excess, and money would remain controlled and honest. Obviously the powers-that-be prefer the current financial system.
The financial system is unlikely to materially change without trauma. Catastrophic failure is possible. Don’t expect gold to crash in price or disappear. About 3 Billion Asians and their governments will disagree if you think gold is no longer important. Note the following graph which shows gold demand in China and India.
Gold: The US sets the price but Asia does the buying
It seems illogical that gold price movement seems to be dominated by US internal factors while most gold trade is elsewhere.
LONDON – What’s driving the gold price? At the moment it seems to be a succession of knee-jerk reactions to U.S financial data which push the gold price up or down, depending on the perception as to whether the data will likely bring the US Fed’s proposed interest rate rise programme forward or move it backwards. It really isn’t a logical situation – but where’s the logic in the precious metals markets anyway? To many, gold is a relatively underutilised metal which works well as jewellery, but nowadays has little else going for it apart from a long history of monetary usage which nowadays may have had its time. Bankers and economists discount its usefulness as such.
But much of the world still sees gold as the ultimate money and wealth protector and curiously, given the amount of bad press and supposed economic downgrading suggested by much of the financial establishment, the world’s top economic institutions – namely the world’s central banks – are still loath to part with it. The central banks of the US, Germany, France, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands – even Greece, Venezuela and Cyprus– hold over 50% of their foreign exchange reserves in gold according to IMF official statistical data. Indeed the US holds some 73.7% of its reserves in gold. Meanwhile some central banks which now see themselves deficient in the amount of gold they hold – of which perhaps the most significant is Russia – are buying gold to add to their reserves. Not bad for a metal apparently with no monetary purpose nowadays.
Time to buy gold and silver as central bank data finally shows inflation is coming
Breaking from the Gold Standard Had Disastrous Consequences

MERS Outbreak Affects South Korean Economy

Economy Watch Reports:

South Korea is plagued with a rising death toll in its third week as the MERS virus spreads throughout the country. Analysts believe the outbreak will worsen the economy, as tourists stay away and locals remain at home. South Korea's economy underwent turmoil before the outbreak, due to low exports and consumption. The situation in South Korean is dire to the point where President Park Geun-hye canceled a trip to the United States to tackle the crisis. More deaths have been reported this week, bringing the official death toll to 10. Over 100 cases have been identified in South Korea, and the nation now has the second most MERS cases behind Saudi Arabia. MERS, otherwise known as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, is a coronavirus virus that was first reported in humans in 2012, but most cases have been seen in Saudi Arabia. The virus comes from the same family as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), but it is not as contagious. Symptoms associated with MERS include coughing and a fever. So far, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not called for a ban on travel or trade with South Korea, but Hong Kong cautioned against non-essential travel to the nation. Many travelers have already canceled trips to South Korea.

Varoufakis: Greece’s creditors have turned negotiations into a war

Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis has criticised Greece’s creditors for making “no concessions” and turning the negotiations “into a war”. In an interview with Germany’s Tagesspiegel he explains why a plan for debt restructuring is a Greek prerequisite for an agreement.
Yanis Varoufakis is finance minister of Greece, economics professor and a member of the Left Party Syriza. He spoke to Harald Schumann and Elisa Simantke for the Tagesspiegel.
Mr Varoufakis, the negotiations seem to have reached an impasse. The creditors and in particular the German government are not ready to grant further concessions and the same is true for your government. So what is there still left to talk about with Mr Schäuble?
We need to clarify something: We have not been negotiating with Germany and the European partners. This is the frustrating part of these negotiations. We negotiated with the troika, the representative of the IMF, the ECB and the EU Commission. It is not true that they made concessions and we made concessions and that there is a deadlock. They made no concessions. When we met the first time in February they came up with pretty much what they have now offered. Then we had months of negotiations in the so-called Brussels group. And there was a lot more convergence there.
So why did it not work out?
We sat down and made a record of those areas where there was agreement and of those areas where there was disagreement. We wrote down our position but also further concessions in order to get closer to the other side. This was what we presented as a proposal last week. What was presented by Jean-Claude Juncker to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras with the support of Angela Merkel and François Hollande, was a return to the starting position as if the negotiations had never happened. This is a proposal you make when you don’t want an agreement. Though we were called not constructive, we have gone against a lot of our promises and we have crossed a lot of our red lines.
Can you give us some examples?
The primary surpluses. We offer them primary surpluses I don’t believe in. Just to come closer to their positions. We offered them an increase of the VAT, which will be problematic for us. They were gestures of good will, that we are genuinely interested in reaching an agreement. I will try to remain optimistic until the last moment, but it is clear that the other side has to come to the party now.
If you compare the figures of both proposals, the creditors demand fiscal measures of about €3 billion and Greece offers €1.87 billion. This does not seem unbridgeable, does it?
But it could be the difference between killing off what is left of the Greek economy and not killing it off. We are in a situation of seven years of continuous shrinkage. If we try to extract through tax and pension cuts more than €3 billion out of this economy there will be a greater deficit next year. It will be like beating a sick cow in order to force it to produce more milk, it will kill it. Even our own proposal of €1.8 billion surplus is excessive. What Greece needs now is a balanced budget.
But this would not be enough to stop the recession.
This is why all these fiscal measures and reforms are only one third of the package we are negotiating. We are very clear: We need a debt restructure to make our debt repayments viable. And we need an investment package. We are proposing it should come from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
Were there any positive signs from the creditors’ side concerning these ideas?
Not more than some positive noises. But what the other side needs to understand is that even the reforms we are proposing have to be part of a bigger plan to end the Greek crisis. This is not just a matter of ending the Greek program, because that is what the bureaucrats want.
But even if the current program is finished and the outstanding €7.2 billion is disbursed, Greece has to pay €30 billion until 2020 to IMF and ECB. So isn’t a third bailout package unavoidable?
We understand the difficulty of this question for the German government. So what we propose is that the conditions which have been negotiated since February become a common conditionality for a successful agreement now and for the next arrangement.
What should this next arrangement look like?
To be very clear: We are not asking for one new euro for the Greek state. What we are proposing is an intra-troika debt swap. We have €27 billion that we owe to the ECB, bonds from 2010 and 2011. They are maturing now very quickly, €6.9 billion alone this summer. These debts are a major problem because they prevent Greece from participating in Draghi’s “Quantitative Easing”…
….the ECB program to buy bonds off the member states.
It is like a rock, preventing Greece from returning to the markets. We should get a new loan from the ESM, the EU rescue fund, which can go directly to the ECB – so it is neutral to the Greek debt. But this would push the €27 billion further to the future and it allows Greece to return to the markets. It is a question of political will.
But additional liabilities for the German taxpayers because we are liable for what the ESM gives.
But you are also liable to the ECB. That is at least what Jens Weidmann thinks, the head of the German Bundesbank – so I will not dare to disagree. And then we should have a look at what will happen in 2022. The debt of more than €200 billion from the first and second program will be mature from 2021 onwards in high sums, from about €20 billion a year. Why? Because they have pushed back the interest payments that far. There is a cliff there. You could say: Why should we care about what happens in six or seven years? But this is wrong because what happens in 2022 changes today. If creditors think that a Grexit is not off the table but just postponed to 2022, they will not invest. This is why I we have to allocate the interest rates and I would like to link them to the growth of our gross domestic product. If we grow faster we will pay more interest, if we grow slower – less so.
All these points are not even mentioned in the creditors’ proposal right now. How should they become part of an agreement?
But they should know: Until we discuss these two options, the debt restructure and the investment programme, all bets are off from us, we will not agree on anything. If we want a comprehensive agreement it can’t leave out the debt situation.
In case a solution is not found, what is going to happen?
You should ask the troika, ask the institutions. We want a solution. What they propose is not a solution. It is a perpetuating of the crisis. We don’t have a mandate to perpetuate the crisis. They just want us to cut pensions and allow mass firings for the last few remaining large businesses we have in Greece.
Did you expect that your job would be so difficult?
I expected it to be hellish, yes. I am not disappointed.
So how did the debate became so personalised about you?
My prime minister said to me after the Eurogroup meeting in Riga: they are trying to get at you, because then the whole government unravels and then they get at me. But the degree of evident lies that have been treated as facts is astonishing. These rumours about what was going on in Riga, that I was forced out of the government, that I will resign… and when none of that happened: That I am not any longer a part of the negotiation team. This all was completely untrue, but it was written everywhere from Brazil to Brussels.
But do you really think this has been deliberately engineered?
It has been a character assassination endeavour, there is no other explanation. There is a saying, when war begins truth dies first. Unfortunately the institutions and our European partners have missed the opportunity that we offered: to look at these negotiations as a deliberation between partners. They turned it into a war against us.
We are talking a lot about your struggle with the creditors. This struggle seems to take up so much of your attention and time, so that the government doesn’t seem to have energy left for domestic affairs– to change some things in the structure of the Greek state you criticised yourself before the elections.
The most frustrating part is that these negotiations are taking up all our energy and time. And moreover: the institutions are telling us, if we legislate before we reached a comprehensive agreement this will be seen as a unilateral action and it will blow up the negotiations. One of the very first things I said to my Eurogroup colleagues was, why don’t we push some of the legislation we agree on – the taxation system, the anti-corruption rules – through parliament and meanwhile continue the negotiations? And I was actually told a number of times if I dare to suggest this again this would constitute reason to settle the negotiations.
This means you haven’t yet pushed through anything you planned?
We introduced a humanitarian bill which provides access to food, shelter and energy for the poorest. We also introduced a tax arrears instalment scheme. We have six million tax file numbers. Of those 3.5 million are in arrears to the state for less than €3,000. Not because they are tax cheaters but because they simply cannot pay. This is a tragedy for them because they can’t get a loan, they can’t start a business without a clearance from the tax office. Now they can pay back little by little. We have been harshly criticised for this law by the institutions.
But wasn’t this also because you did it without a threshold? So now also rich tax avoiders benefit from your generous amnesty…
That is a good point. But this is an emergency. In a normal country we would not have to introduce this instalment scheme. In a normal country we would prosecute the tax cheats. But we also have a broken down judicial system. With the big tax cheaters, if you take them to court they get a court case that will be heard in 2023. And by that time you won’t gain one penny from them. We don’t even have tax officers. The salaries for the tax officers were reduced a lot, so a lot of them went into private practice. The first day I was in office I asked: how many tax inspectors do I have access to? You know what the answer was? 100. 100 for the whole of Greece.
A frequently cited example is the so-called Lagarde list, with more than 2,000 names of potential tax avoiders and tax cheaters. Up to now only 49 have been investigated.
We don’t have the personnel and we are struggling with the banking system to allow us access to the bank accounts. But concerning the Lagarde list, the previous government didn’t do anything for years. So a lot of these cases are too old now. But we have new lists now and we are working very hard towards an algorithmic system of automatic checks of all the movements between bank accounts in Greece and abroad. We are making a lot of progress and we expect good results until September.
You have proposed that Chancellor Merkel should hold a “speech of hope” in Greece. This sounds very naive.
But why? This is what a hegemon needs to do. In 1946 the United States understood the difference between hegemonies and authoritarianism. Germany got a chance so Europe got a chance.
But we Germans don’t see ourselves as a hegemon.
I consider it to be my job to say to German leaders: you have to lead. I have been portrayed as anti-German or very sceptical towards Germany. But this is all false. What I want from Germany is leadership.
You talk about leadership and the Germans understand ‘Varoufakis wants our money’.
My answer is: You have given me your money, you have given me too much of your money. But it was wasted. It vanished into a black hole of unsustainable debt, it never really went to Greece, it went to the banks. The bank bailout was presented as a bailout for Greece. That turned the Germans against the Greeks and the Greeks against the Germans. And Europe could get lost to the hands of the enemies of Europe. Someone has to lead Europe out of that crisis. I can’t, Greece can’t. Germany can do it, but it has to be a hegemon. It has to create a rational solution and this is not to ask Greece to take more of the same medicine that is part of the problem but not of the solution.
Source: Elisa Simantke/Harald Schumann, Euractiv/Der Tagesspiegel, 10 June 2015

Silver is Likely to Fall Even More – David Trungale

Are they truly delivering ‘tonnes’ of gold into markets where people actually take delivery of the bullion and withdraw it from the warehouse? Stop the presses. Man bites dog.

by Jesse’s Café Américain
What, The Bucket Shop?
Are they truly delivering ‘tonnes’ of gold into markets where people actually take delivery of the bullion and withdraw it from the warehouse?
Stop the presses. Man bites dog.
Yes they seem to be. Just not in the United States.
The CME has opened a futures market in Hong Kong and from reading the documents and looking at the warehouse reports it appears to be a market of ‘physical delivery.’
And are they ever delivering as you can see below. Since March they seem to have delivered 257 tonnes of gold bullion into Hong Kong.
I went over this a bit last night with Nick Laird, the Aussie data wrangler from near the Great Barrier Reef, who tends to ride herd on all things precious metals at
Now there may be a hook in this somewhere. We would have to determine how easy it is to roundtrip the metal in and out, even if that does not seem to be the way they do their gold business in Asia. We do not know who is really playing on that exchange. It could be the usual suspects. Or it might be a new source of additional demand we must track into China.
But it certainly bears watching.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett’s Warningimage:

Warren Buffett is perhaps the greatest investor of all time, so when the billionaire issues a warning, it pays to listen.