Monday, June 29, 2015

The financial enigma resolved — A debt-money system

“The Money Myth Exploded” was one of the first articles of Louis Even, and remains one of the most popular to explain how money is created as a debt by private banks. It is available in the form of an 8-page leaflet (tabloid format) that you can order from the “Michael” office, in several languages: English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Polish, Portuguese.
1. Shipwreck survivors
An explosion had blown their ship apart. Each one grasped the first bit of wreckage that came to hand. And when it was over, there were five left, five huddled on a raft which the waves carried along at their will. As for the other victims of the disaster, there was no sign of them.
Hour after long hour their eyes searched the horizon. Would some passing ship sight them? Would their make-shift raft finds its way to some friendly shore?
Suddenly a cry rang out:  “Land! Look! Over there, in the direction the waves are carrying us!”
And as the vague silhouette proved itself to be, in fact, the outline of a shore, the figures on the raft danced with joy.
They were five. There was Frank, the carpenter, big and energetic. It was he who had first cried, “Land!”.
Then Paul, a farmer. You can see him, front and left in the picture, on his knees, one hand against the floor, the other gripping the mast of the raft.
Next is Jim, an animal breeder; he's the one in the striped pants, kneeling and gazing in the direction of land.
Then there is Harry, an agriculturist, a little on the stout side, seated on a trunk salvaged from the wreck.
And finally Tom, a prospector and a mineralogist; he is the merry fellow standing in the rear of the picture with his hand on the carpenter's shoulder.
2. A providential island
To our five men, setting foot on land was like returning to life from the grave.
When they had dried and warmed themselves their first impulse was to explore this little island on to which they had been cast, far from civilization.
A quick survey was sufficient to raise their spirit. The island was not a barren rock. True enough, they were the only men on it at the moment. But judging from the herds of semi-domesticated animals they encountered, there must have been men here at some time before them. Jim, the animal breeder, was sure he could completely domesticate them and put them to good service.
Paul found the island's soil, for the most part, to be quite suitable for cultivation.
Harry discovered some fruit trees which, if properly tended, would give good harvests.
Most important were the large stands of timber embracing many types of wood. Frank, without too much difficulty, would be able to build houses for the little community.
As for Tom, the prospector, well, the rock formations of the island showed signs of rich mineral deposits. Lacking the tools, Tom still felt his ingenuity and initiative could produce metals from the ores.
So each could serve the common good with his special talent. All agreed to call the place Salvation Island. All gave thanks to Providence for the reasonably happy ending to what could have been stark tragedy.
3. True wealth
Here are the men at work.
The carpenter builds houses and makes furniture. At first they find their food where they can. But soon the fields are tilled and seeded, and the farmer has his crops.
As season followed season this island, this heritage of the five men, Salvation Island, became richer and richer.
Its wealth was not that of gold or of paper bank notes, but one of true value; a wealth of food and clothing and shelter, of all the things to meet human needs.
Each man worked at his own trade. Whatever surpluses he might have of his own produce, he exchanged for the surplus products of the others.
Life wasn't always as smooth and complete as they could have wished it to be. They lacked many of the things to which they had been accustomed in civilization. But their lot could have been a great deal worse.
Besides, all had experienced the depression in Canada. They still remembered the empty bellies side by side with stores crammed with food.
At least, on Salvation Island, they weren't forced to see the things they needed rot before their eyes. Taxes were unknown here. Nor did they go in constant fear of seizure by the bailiff. They worked hard but at least they could enjoy the fruits of their toil.
So they developed the island, thanking God and hoping for the day of reunion with their families, still in possession of life and health, those two greatest of blessings.
4. A serious inconvenience
Our men often got together to talk over their affairs.
Under the simple economic system which had developed, one thing was beginning to bother then more and more; they had no form of money. Barter, the direct exchange of goods for goods, had its drawbacks. The products to be exchanged were not always at hand when a trade was discussed. For example, wood delivered to the farmer in winter could not be paid for in potatoes until six months later.
Sometimes one man might have an article of considerable size which he wished to exchange for a number of smaller articles produced by different men at different times.
All this complicated business and laid a heavy burden on the memory. With a monetary system, however, each one could sell his products to the others for money. With this money he could buy from the others the things he wanted, when he wished and when they were available.
It was agreed that a system of money would indeed be very convenient. But none of them knew how to set up such a system. They knew how to produce true wealth - goods. But how to produce money, the symbol of this wealth, was something quite beyond them. They were ignorant of the origin of money, and needing it they didn't know how to produce it. Certainly, many men of education would have been in the same boat; all our governments were in that predicament during the ten years prior to the war. The only thing the country lacked at that time was money, and the governments apparently didn't know what to do to get it.
5. Arrival of a refugee
One evening, when our boys were sitting on the beach going over their problem for the hundredth time, they suddenly saw approaching a small boat with a solitary man at the oars.
They learned that he was the only survivor of a wreck. His name: Oliver.
Delighted to have a new companion, they provided him with the best that they had, and they took him on an inspection tour of the colony.
“Even though we're lost and cut off from the rest of the world,” they told him, “we haven't too much to complain about. The earth and the forest are good to us. We lack only one thing — money. That would make it easier for us to exchange our products.”
“Well, you can thank Providence,” replied Oliver, “because I am a banker, and in no time at all, I'll set up a system of money guaranteed to satisfy you. Then you'll have everything that people in civilization have.”
A banker!... A BANKER!... An angel coming down out of the clouds couldn't have inspired more reverence and respect in our men. For, after all, are we not accustomed, we people in civilization, to genuflect before bankers, those men who control the lifeblood of finance?
6. Civilization's god
“Mr. Oliver, as our banker, your only occupation on this island will be to look after our money; no manual labour.”
“I shall, like every other banker, carry out to complete satisfaction my task of forging the community's prosperity.”
“Mr. Oliver, we're going to build you a house that will be in keeping with your dignity as a banker. But in the meantime, do you mind if we lodge you in the building that we use for our get-togethers?”
“That will suit me, my friends. But first of all, unload the boat. There's paper and a printing press, complete with ink and type, and there's a little barrel which I exhort you to treat with the greatest care.”
They unloaded everything. The small barrel aroused intense curiosity in our good fellows.
“This barrel,” Oliver announced, “contains a treasure beyond dreams. It is full of... gold!”
Full of gold! The five all but swooned. The god of civilization here on Salvation Island! The yellow god, always hidden, yet terrible in its power, whose presence or absence or slightest caprice could decide the very fate of all the civilized nations!
“Gold! Mr. Oliver, you are indeed a great banker!”
“Oh august majesty! Oh honorable Oliver! Great high priest of the god, gold! Accept our humble homage, and receive our oaths of fidelity!”
“Yes, my friends, gold enough for a continent. But gold is not for circulation. Gold must be hidden. Gold is the soul of healthy money, and the soul is always invisible. But I'll explain all that when you receive your first supply of money.”
7. The secret burial
Before they went their separate ways for the night, Oliver asked them one last question.
“How much money will you need to begin with in order to facilitate trading?”
They looked at one another, then deferentially towards the banker. After a bit of calculation, and with the advice of the kindly financier, they decided that $200 each would do.
The men parted, exchanging enthusiastic comments. And in spite of the late hour, they spent most of the night lying awake, their imaginations excited by the picture of gold. It was morning before they slept.
As for Oliver, he wasted not a moment. Fatigue was forgotten in the interests of his future as a banker. By dawn's first light, he dug a pit into which he rolled the barrel. He then filled it in, transplanting a small shrub to the spot about which he carefully arranged sod. It was well hidden.
Then he went to work with his little press to turn out a thousand $1 bills. Watching the clean new banknotes come from his press, the refugee turned banker thought to himself:
“My! How simple it is to make money. All its value comes from the products it will buy. Without produce, these bills are worthless. My five naive customers don't realize that. They actually think that this new money derives its value from gold! Their very ignorance makes me their master.”
And as evening drew on, the five came to Oliver — on the run.
8. Who owns the new money?
Five bundles of new banknotes were sitting on the table.
“Before distributing the money,” said the banker, “I would like your attention.
“Now, the basis of all money is gold. And the gold stored away in the vault of my bank is my gold. Consequently, the money is my money. Oh! Don't look so discouraged. I'm going to lend you this money, and you're going to use it as you see fit. However, you'll have to pay interest. Considering that money is scarce here, I don't think 8% is unreasonable.”
“Oh, that's quite reasonable, Mr. Oliver.”
“One last point, my friends. Business is business, even between pals. Before you get the money, each of you is going to sign a paper. By it you will bind yourselves to pay both interest and capital under penalty of confiscation of property by me. Oh! This is a mere formality. Your property is of no interest to me. I'm satisfied with money. And I feel sure that I'll get my money, and that you'll keep your property.”
“That makes sense, Mr. Oliver. We're going to work harder than ever in order to pay you back.”
“That's the spirit. And any time you have a problem, you come and see me. Your banker is your best friend. Now here's two hundred dollars for each one of you.”
And our five brave fellows went away, their hands full of dollar bills, their heads swimming with the ecstasy of having money.
9. A problem in arithmetic
And so Oliver's money went into circulation on the island. Trade, simplified by money, doubled. Everybody was happy.
And the banker was always greeted with unfailing respect and gratitude.
But now, let's see... Why does Tom, the prospector, look so grave as he sits busily figuring with a pencil and paper? It is because Tom, like the others, has signed an agreement to repay Oliver, in one year's time, the $200 plus $16 interest. But Tom has only a few dollars in his pocket, and the date of payment is near.
For a long time he had wrestled with this problem from his own personal point of view, without success. Finally, he looked at it from the angle of the little community as a whole.
“Taking into consideration everyone on the island as a whole,” he mused, “are we capable of meeting our obligations? Oliver turned out a total of $1000. He's asking in return $1080. But even if we bring him every dollar bill on the island, we'll still be $80 short. Nobody made the extra $80. We turn out produce, not dollar bills. So Oliver can take over the entire island, since all the inhabitants together can't pay him back the total amount of the capital and the interest.
“Even if a few, without any thought for the others, were able to do so, those others would fall. And the turn of the first spared would come eventually. The banker will have everything. We'd better hold a meeting right away and decide what to do about it.”
Tom, with his figures in his hand, had no difficulty in proving the situation. All agreed that they had been duped by the kindly banker. They decided upon a meeting at Oliver's.

Varoufakis: If Europe Wants to Humiliate Greece, Do We Need Such Europe?

If Europe is going to stop its bailout program for Greece in order to humiliate the country’s government, a question remains open whether Athens needs such a Europe, Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis said in an interview with the German newspaper Bild.
Varoufakis made the statement answering a question about Greece’s future in case if creditors would deny the extension of financing. Among possible scenarios suggested by the newspaper were the introduction of capital controls and Greece’s withdrawal from the Eurozone.
“If Europe allows this terrible turn of events, just to humiliate our government, Europeans will have to ask themselves […]: Do we need such a Europe?” the Greek finance minister said.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis recalled that Greece has made its proposals to creditors, and currently is waiting for the EU to show its “goodwill”.
“The EU leaders must act. German Chancellor Angela Merkel, representing the most important country, is holding the key in her hand. I hope she uses it,” Varoufakis stated.
He noted that Greece is open to new proposals from creditors and that it is ready to support them if they are “significantly better” than previous. At the same, he stressed that the Greek side has already placed all its ideas on the negotiating table and that it is not planning to submit any new offers.The agreement with creditors was expected to be reached on Saturday, but the attempt failed when Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced a referendum, which is set to take place on July 5, to decide whether or not to accept the creditors’ conditions and continue the policy of austerity. Source: Sputnik, 28 June 2015

What are the economic consequences of the UK leaving the European Union?

by Shaun Richards
A feature of these times is that the news flow is dominated by discussions about the Greek crisis. In spite of a deal being “close” and then “closer than close” we find a situation where there is still dissent and plenty of name calling. However there is another issue on the horizon for Europe which is the planned referendum in the UK on the subject of continued (or not) membership of the European Union. Accordingly some 40 years or so after they voted to join what was then a free trade area called the European Economic Community or Common Market UK electors seem set to get the opportunity to vote on what has now become a federal project called the European Union unrecognisable from those days. The vote has acquired its own acronym of Brexit which seems a little unfair on Northern Ireland which is in the UK but not Great Britain. Let us take a look at the economics.
The UK establishment
This has continued to run various unsubstantiated lines of which the most prominent has been “3 million jobs depend on Europe”. As Europe is our largest trading partner of course plenty of jobs depend on business there just like they did before we joined the EEC back in 1973. As we traded with Europe before 1973 presumably we could post 2017 and any Brexit. It is of course possible that some jobs will be lost but let me give you an area where it is certain.That is of UK politicians and officials who work in the European parliament and institutions who will lose well paid jobs sometimes which are tax-free and which frequently come with substantial expense accounts. This ,makes me wonder if the UK establishment has confused its well-being and circumstances with ours.
The other side of the argument is that the UK would have changed European policy if it had “engaged” more with the project. This has been expressed by Martin Sandbu in the Financial Times and this is the argument.
The important question, therefore, is how the UK would have changed the eurozone’s policies from the inside.
You may note that the sands have shifted here as the FT’s economics leader writer looks to justify its long-standing support for the Euro project. Apparently everything would have been better.
The BoE understood the need for extraordinarily aggressive policy much better than its counterpart in Frankfurt.
So in the fiscal sphere, too, British euro membership would have tilted policy in the direction of growth. And the influence could have been substantial.
There you have it as we are so clever in the UK we could have fixed both monetary and fiscal policy! Rather against the reality of the policy errors of the Bank of England which gets a lot of rose-tinting here.
There are quite a lot of issues with this. Firstly had we been in the Euro and the lower interest-rates there had been applied to our housing market then it would have had a boom and bust which would have made the ones in Ireland and Spain look like an afternoon tea party. As an example post 9/11 UK Base Rates fell to a low of 3.5% whereas the ECB cut to 2%. Never mind Greece how about paying for a UK bailout? That may well have broken the Euro. Also as an implicit part of our policy response under Bank of England Governor Mervyn King was for the UK Pound £ to fall and this fall was if we use our rule of thumb a larger monetary stimulus than the Base Rate cuts we have a problem if we are in the Euro do we not?
Life is rather different if you look at the facts rather than cherry-picking from a wish list. But of course the Financial Times is writing to itself with this bit.
If you were so misguided as to have supported the euro then, they argue, surely we cannot take seriously your argument for continued EU membership today.
The economics leader writer of the FT seems to be a little short of knowledge of economics and economic history. Perhaps he might take a look at 1992 when we left the forerunner of the Euro called the ERM in a rather undignified fashion.
What about trade?
The simple fact is that the UK trades on a large-scale with Europe and both not just one side benefits from that. This is reinforced by the fact that we have a balance of payments deficit with Europe and in particular a large goods or balance of trade deficit. Here is the data from UK Customs and remember this is just one month.
EU Exports for April 2015 are £11.0 billion….. EU Imports for April 2015 are £17.6 billion……..EU trade is a net importer this month, with imports exceeding exports by £6.6 billion.
I do like the way they put “this month” as I cannot remember when we last had a trade surplus with the European Union. But if we look at individual countries we bought some £2.6 billion more goods from Germany than we exported in April alone. Thus any closure of trade with Germany would have Audi.BMW,Bosch,Porsche and Volkswagen knocking on Chancellor Merkel’s door in very short order. Or let me be more realistic ringing her mobile phone as I am sure they will have the number.
In the unlikely event that such numbers do not influence Germany there is always the £1 billion goods deficit with the Netherlands, the £600 million deficit with Belgium and Luxembourg, the £570 million deficit with Italy or the £400 million goods deficit with France in April to consider.
If you want a longer-term perspective here is the latest quarterly data is below.
By area, the UK’s deficit with the EU widened by £0.2 billion to £21.3 billion in the three months to April 2015,
They are not going to end that are they? At a time of economic difficulty the UK has been a substantial buyer of European and Euro area goods something which we seem to get very little credit for.
Just to be clear these are numbers for goods. We do have a services surplus but we are very vague about from where (although we have monthly numbers the actual data is quarterly and annual). I regularly discuss the fact that this is an embarrassment in an era of information technology but overall we remain solidly in deficit.
Also to sweep up the whole subject if trade is a benefit for all as argued why would anybody want to stop it?
Looking further afield
On the upside there would be clear gains from the UK moving its emphasis to the rest of the world. If we just look at the subcontinent there is the fast growing India with which we have traditional and indeed cultural links (tea,cricket and increasingly I gather football). Or if we consider China I note that it is playing a long-term game based on resources whereas we have de-emphasised links with Canada and Australia which of course are stacked with them. In a world where Australia sees threats merging we could do a lot worse than actually putting some planes on one of our upcoming aircraft carriers and sending it on a tour to Australia. After all the US defence umbrella is not what it was.
Some numbers from Open Europe
They did an analysis of the situation and it is the scale of the numbers I think which are important here.
In a worst case scenario, where the UK fails to strike a trade deal with the rest of the EU and does not pursue a free trade agenda, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would be 2.2% lower than if the UK had remained inside the EU.+
In a best case scenario, where the UK strikes a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the EU, pursues very ambitious deregulation of its economy and opens up almost fully to trade with the rest of the world, UK GDP would be 1.6% higher than if it had stayed within the EU.
Some care is needed as these numbers represent the impact a fair way down the road as they are for 2030 but they are quite low considering all the hue and cry and they center on zero pretty much! So it does not matter? I think that overstates things but we are obsessing one more time about a narrow geographical issue.
One thing I would like to make clear is that many of the countries in Europe have long been our friends. Portugal is the oldest ally of England and Wales and I am putting it like that because the alliance even predates the union with Scotland. Also I recall messages to this blog from Greeks back in the early days of their crisis pointing out that British troops had fought for them back in World War Two. Thus I am bemused by the idea that somehow the day after Brexit we would have moved our island into the middle of the Atlantic rather than being next to Europe. Why could we not be friends and do a deal? After all we are always likely to be a disruptive influence to a federal Europe with our economy tilted towards housing and banking.
The other side of the argument that we can start to “really engage” with Europe and help to reform it has as a problem the evidence of the last 40 years. It is silly to argue that everything that has come from there has been bad but exactly where have we made our voice heard? Indeed when this came up some 30 years ago on Yes Minister the apocryphal civil servant Sir Humphrey Appleby put it very differently.
Sir Humphrey: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish,with the Germans against the French,with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it’s worked so well?
Later he went on..
Hacker: But surely we’re all committed to the European ideal?
Sir Humphrey: [chuckles] Really, Minister.
Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?
Sir Humphrey: Well, for the same reason. It’s just like the  United Nations, in fact; the more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up, the more futile and impotent it becomes.
Hacker: What appalling cynicism.
Sir Humphrey: Yes… We call it diplomacy, Minister.
Was he right?

Beyond sad: The real unemployment rate was 42.9%, not 5.5%!

David Stockman looks at 5.5% unemployment:
At the present time, there are 210 million adult Americans between the ages of 16 and 68—to take a plausible measure of the potential work force. That amounts to 420 billion potential labor hours, if we accept the convention that all adults are at least theoretically capable of holding a full-time job (2,000 hours/year) and pulling their share of society’s need for production and work effort.
By contrast, during 2014 only 240 billion hours were actually supplied to the US economy, according to the BLS estimates. Technically, therefore, there were 180 billion unemployed labor hours, meaning that the real unemployment rate was 42.9%, not 5.5%!…
The War On The Poor
The war on the poor is a multi-faceted front with lies coming from every government mouthpiece you can find littered everywhere on the internet, in the MSM (Main Stream Media), and even on many so called “Alternative News Sites”, but before I delve into this article, let me explain something very clearly to you.  Money is not what you think it is, it’s a slave collar, and it is the greatest illusion the wealthy use to keep everyone working hard for something they utterly control, it is debt, and the wealthy never intend to pay for those debts, if you don’t believe me just wait till the markets & banks collapse.

How accurate have the IMF’s forecasts been on Greece? Judge for yourself

How accurate have the IMF's forecasts been on Greece? Judge for yourself

Global Economy Slipping into Great Depression Problems, Warns RBI Governor

(LONDON)  RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan has asked central banks from across the world to define “new rules of the game” as he warned that the global economy may be slipping into problems similar to the Great Depression of the 1930s.
Dr Rajan, who has been warning against competitive monetary policy easing by central banks, however, said the situation is different in India where RBI still needs to bring down lending rates to spur investments.
He expressed concern that the world may be slipping into the kind of problems of the depression of the 1930s and an international consensus was needed to be built over time.
“We need rules of the game in order to affect a better solution. I think it is time to start debating what should the global rules of the game be on what is allowed in terms of central bank action,” he said at a London Business School (LBS) conference last evening.
“I am not going to venture a guess as to how we establish new rules of the game. It has to be international discussion, international consensus built over time after much research and action,” Dr Rajan said.
“But I do worry that we are slowly slipping into the kind of problems that we had in the thirties in attempts to activate growth. And, I think it’s a problem for the world. It’s not just a problem for the industrial countries or emerging markets, now it’s a broader game,” he noted.
Asked specifically about interest rate cuts from an Indian perspective, he said, “I try to shut out market reactions as far as I can. We (India) are still in a situation where we have to spur investment and I am worried more about that.”
“So I shut out the asset price (hike) reaction and think more about, is this going to bring bank lending rates down and therefore channel cheaper credit into firms and then they will invest. However, the issue gets much more complicated for other markets,” he said.
The RBI governor was addressing the ‘Perspectives’ conference organised by AQR Asset Management Institute at the LBS campus on the subject of ‘The Central Banker Perspective’.
He highlighted the tremendous pressure for growth which in turn creates enormous pressure on central banks to take action.
Dr Rajan stressed that seven years on from the economic crisis, the central banks have done a lot during as well as post-crisis.
“The question is are we now moving into the territory in trying to produce growth out of nowhere we are in fact shifting growth from each other, rather than creating growth. Of course, there is past history of this during the Great Depression when we got into competitive devaluation,” he warned.
Dr Rajan also highlighted the need for countries to work together on capital flows.
“We have to become more aware of the spill-over effects of our actions and the rules of the game that we have – of what is allowed and what is not allowed – needs to be revisited,” he said.

FX Brokerages Move To "Close Only" Ahead Of Monday Open

First at Mayzus:
Upcoming risk - Instruments moving to 'Close Only' mode

Due to the uncertainty surrounding the ongoing Greek debt negotiations, and ahead of a potential announcement over the weekend that could lead to high volatility on the market, please be informed that we have decided to decrease your risks by temporarily moving all Instruments to 'Close Only' mode, from 22:30 GMT+3 on Friday the 26th of June 2015, until 00:30 GMT+3 on Monday the 29th of June 2015, trading terminal time.

Please take this information into consideration whilst making your trading decisions.

If you have any further questions regarding this issue, then please feel free to contact your Personal Account Manager or our support department on
... next FxPro:
With Greece’s uncertain future in the Eurozone continuing to dominate the headlines, we would like to inform you that we are doing everything in our power to reduce the risk of trading EUR pairs.

In order to provide a safeguard against a highly volatile market open, trading on EUR pairs may be subject to increased margin requirements.

This depends on the outcome of today’s decisive Eurogroup meeting, and how the situation in Greece unfolds over the rest of the weekend.

Please be advised that, depending on the severity of market conditions come Sunday night/Monday morning, we reserve the right to limit EUR trading to the closing of existing positions only.

We will, of course, inform you of the trading conditions that will apply to EUR pairs before market open.
... shortly, everywhere else.
h/t misinfo

Греческие банки не откроются в понедельник

Греческие банки не откроются в понедельник, 29 июня. Такое решение было принято, чтобы избежать финансового кризиса.

Об этом в воскресенье, 28 июня, рассказал главный исполнительный директор Piraeus Bank после заседания совета по финансовой стабильности правительства Греции.
Министр финансов страны Яннис Варуфакис после этой же встречи сказал, что заявление будет сделано позже после заседания кабинета министров, сообщает агентство Bloomberg. Банки не откроются как минимум до 5 июля — дня референдума, на котором граждане Греции должны высказаться о предложениях кредиторов, сообщает газета Kathemerini, со ссылкой на свои источники.

McDonald’s Is Losing So Much Money They’re Making Their Burgers Bigger

(ANTHONY GUCCIARDI)  McDonald’s is losing so much money each month that it has stopped reporting the numbers to the public. Millions of individuals around the world have decided that they will no longer fund the fast food giant’s fake food empire, and are instead adopting real food alternatives into their diet.
But don’t worry, McDonald’s has a new plan. What is it, you may ask? Make the additive-loaded burgers even bigger!
That’s the real announcement from McDonald’s this week that is supposed to help raise up struggling profits and bring back lost customers. But don’t get too excited about the extra bite of frankenfood you may soon be enjoying at your local McDonald’s, because the change isn’t too drastic. According to the announcement, the quarter-pounder patty is only getting an increase of .25 ounces.
Forbes has even asked, “Will Bigger Burgers Solve McDonald’s Problem?”
I’ve been telling you about the truth behind the decline of McDonald’s for years: now we are seeing a complete shift in the world of nutrition into an age of real food and independent research. No longer can companies like McDonald’s continue to deliver low quality meals doused in pesticides and loaded with hormones without expecting extreme backlash. It’s really in the same vein as the issues we’re seeing with Monsanto. No longer can Monsanto pump out cancer-causing chemicals and think that everything is going to be okay.
Again, there’s a reason that both McDonald’s and Monsanto are bleeding profits right now. The public has made their decision. It has nothing to do with the lack of .25 ounce on their burger patties, and everything to do with the source and quality of the food that’s intended for individuals and their families.
If McDonald’s wants to survive the next decade, it should focus on radically transforming its food at the most basic levels, not slightly increasing the size of their burger patties.

Coulter: “You have low-wage immigrants coming in, taking more from the government than they’re paying in… Amnesty will finish the country in 5 years.”

Coulter: "You have low-wage immigrants coming in, taking more from the government than they're paying in."

ATTENTION: Americans Households Have The Highest Credit Card Debt Since Recession Meanwhile More People Are Delaying Major Life Events Like Getting Married Because They’re Worried About Their Finances.

Americans households have the highest credit card debt since recession
On average, American households are $7,177 in debt, according to a CardHub study. That’s a lot of debt, but not necessarily an unconquerable amount. Now’s a good time to start digging your way out of it.
American consumers are accumulating credit card debt at the same rate as before the recession, despite paying down a huge chunk of that borrowing during the first quarter of this year, according to CardHub’s 2015 Credit Card Debt Study released this week.
During the first three months of 2015, consumers paid down $34.7 billion in debt owed to credit card companies. That’s about 7 percent above the average of the past two years.
But American consumers still ended 2014 with $57 billion in debt, a historic high.
“Simply put, it seems that we have a societal addiction to debt. The only cure will be to redefine what we consider luxuries and necessities as well as to improve our overall financial literacy,” an earlier CardHub report declared.
The Federal Reserve’s April consumer credit report confirmed CardHub’s findings, showing an escalation of the country’s overall borrowing levels. Revolving credit, which includes all types of credit, including credit card balances, increased $8.6 billion in April, nearly double March’s increase.
The average household has $7,177 in debt, according to the CardHub report. That amount is the largest it has been in six years, and is indicative of a national spending problem, according to expert observers.

Twice as many Americans now forced to delay marriage, college, kids
Thanks to crushing financial concerns, more Americans are now being forced to put off major life events like going to college, getting married and having kids.
According to a survey released Thursday of 1,010 adults by the American Institute of CPAs, more than half of American adults (51%) say they delayed at least one important life decision — like having kids or retiring — because of financial reasons. This is up from just one in three (31%) who did that in 2007. Despite an improving economy and job market, “the specific life events Americans are delaying for financial reasons have more than doubled from the 2007 survey,” the institute reveals.
This may be thanks to the fact that we’ve learned some hard lessons since the recession, says Ernie Almonte, the chair of the AICPA’s National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, an organization devoted to helping Americans with financial literacy. “When you peel the onion back, you start to see that what they have experienced — their parents, friends losing their homes or jobs or people in so much debt they file for bankruptcy — stuck with them,” he says. “They have learned from those lessons…people are looking at things now and saying ‘I don’t have enough savings for that’ or ‘I will put it off for a year or two until I’m financially stable.’”
6 key life events Americans felt they had to delay due to financial concerns

2007 2015
Higher education 11% 24%
Buying a home 14% 22%
Medical procedure 9% 19%
Retirement 9% 18%
Having children 5% 13%
Marriage 6% 12%
Source: AICPA
70 million Americans teetering on edge of financial ruin
According to a survey of 1,000 adults released by on Tuesday, nearly one in three (29%) American adults (that’s roughly 70 million) have no emergency savings at all — the highest percentage since Bankrate began doing this survey five years ago.

Armenian president suspends increase in electricity prices

Protesters gather during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, on June 27, 2015.
Protesters gather during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, on June 27, 2015.

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has suspended an increase in household electricity prices in a bid to end protests in the capital Yerevan. 
Sargsyan said on Saturday that the government would bear the burden of growing electricity costs until the end of a price review by the power company.
Some protest organizers, however, did not disperse and urged demonstrators to remain on the capital’s main street until the hikes are entirely reversed, saying they would decide on Sunday evening whether or not to continue the protests.
The demonstrations began last Monday, when 4,000 protesters marched towards the presidential palace in protest against a government decision on June 17 to increase power prices for households by 16 percent from August 1.
Activists have urged Armenians to "join the struggle from home" and turn off their lights and electrical devices for an hour each day.
Last Tuesday, over 6,000 people gathered near the presidential palace and hundreds of others took part in an overnight sit-in.
The protests turned violent after police launched an attack on reporters and arrested 240 demonstrators.
Protesters carry a huge national flag during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, on June 26, 2015. 
Activists have taken to social media networks to bolster their campaign.
Armenia depends on its neighboring countries to supply energy and most of the raw material it needs.
With a population of over three million, the country is the second most densely populated of the former Soviet republics. Armenia’s economy relies heavily on money invested and sent in by the expatriate Armenians working abroad.

Top U.S. CEOs make 300 times more than the typical American worker:

The rapid rise in pay for corporate executive officers, which stands in contrast to the stagnant wages of many Americans, is a key driver of inequality that’s not clearly tied to talent or performance, a new report from a liberal think tank finds.
The Economic Policy Institute report says this means CEO pay could be reduced without hurting economic growth or productivity.  EPI says top U.S. CEOs make 300 times more than typical American workers, down from a peak of 376 times in 2000 but well above levels seen in the preceding four decades.
“The growth of CEO and executive compensation overall was a major factor driving the doubling of the income shares of the top 1% and top 0.1% of U.S. households from 1979 to 2007,” write EPI researchers Lawrence Mishel and Alyssa Davis.

“Assholes ruin everything”

This is incredibly true and is exactly what’s happening in America today.
Most people just want to improve their lives, but some aren’t happy unless everyone else is miserable.
The middle class in America was finally beginning to see their dreams come true until a handful of assholes (1%’ers) decided that they could not tolerate this kind of happiness. So they used their enormous “wealth” to destroy this prosperity by buying up (increasing the price) of just about everything that made middle class life possible (affordable housing, education, basic necessities, and employment).
They were able to pull it off because the average person DOES NOT UNDERSTAND how law and money work together synergistically to create leverage that is unstoppable and unbreakable.
What we the people don’t understand can and is being used, without mercy, against us.

'Plan B' looms after Greece and Europe fall out

    Brussels (AFP) - With Greece's creditors refusing to extend its bailout, attention has turned swiftly to preventing massive capital flight as worried Greek citizens pull cash from ATMs.
    Fears that the banks may not open Monday have prompted the European Central Bank to meet but officials say it will be up to Greece to stem an outflow that has already reached dangerous levels.
    "If there isn't capital controls by Tuesday at the latest, it's over," said a European source close to the negotiations.
    "Greek banks are near liquidation and can no longer remain solvent. Once the banks fail, 'Grexit' will become irreversible," the source said.
    Talks on Saturday collapsed with the Greek contingent leaving the remaining 18 eurozone ministers to consider the consequences of a default.
    In a statement, the ministers appeared to urge Greece towards capital controls, saying that the expiry of the bailout "will require measures by the Greek authorities, with the technical assistance of the institutions, to safeguard the stability of the Greek financial system."
    The withdrawals today were "exceptionally high," warned the influential German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble at the talks on Saturday.
    Faced with this calamity, Natixis analysts Jesus Castillo and Alan Lemagnen said the Greek government could decide a bank holiday, an order that the nation's banks remain closed to avoid a run by customers.
    Similar moves were made in 2013, when Cyprus imposed drastic limitations on cash withdrawals and money transfers abroad when its banks faced crisis -- in large part due to contagion from the crisis in Greece.
    - 'Fight contagion' -
    "We will do everything to fight against any possible danger of contagion," Schaeuble added.
    If the scenario were repeated in Greece now, European leaders would act to prevent the same contagion that flowed from Greece in 2012 to other troubled eurozone members like Spain, Portugal and Ireland.
    That disruption was caused by spooked investors shunning the bonds of vulnerable countries, sending their borrowing rates unsustainably high. At the same time, banks in healthier eurozone countries holding debt of weak eurozone nations were suddenly seen as a risk.
    But risk of renewed contagion has been greatly reduced by firewalls built since 2010 by eurozone authorities, and the creation of a European banking union to police lenders and oversee a collective response to the crisis.
    And in the meantime, most European banks have significantly wound down their exposure to Greece and other troubled eurozone members.
    The ECB also now has tools unavailable to it in 2010. It is in the midst of successful quantitive easing programme injecting liquidity into the eurozone economy, and could easily step up its purchases of sovereign bonds if investors dump debt.
    It could also deploy the thus far unused "outright monetary transactions" to purchase sovereign debt -- a plan it unveiled in 2012 to calm panicked markets, and which has recently cleared legal challenges from opponents.
    Until Saturday's debacle in Brussels, the ECB bought time to allow discussions to continue, pumping cash into the teetering Greek financial system.
    To achieve that, the Frankfurt-based central bank maintained its emergency liquidity funding to Greek banks to prevent their collapse -- and in doing so withstood heated opposition from Germany.
    So far ECB chief Mario Draghi has refused to cut emergency funding for Greek banks, but that decision is expected to be soon reversed.
    The central bank's governing council is set to hold an emergency meeting on Sunday, and a decision to end the lifeline is increasingly expected.
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