The Regulatory Attack on US Business Is Not the Real Problem

The criminalisation of American business … Corporate settlements in the United States The criminalisation of American business Companies must be punished when they do wrong, but the legal system has become an extortion racket … Who runs the world’s most lucrative shakedown operation? The Sicilian mafia? The People’s Liberation Army in China? The kleptocracy in the Kremlin? If you are a big business, all these are less grasping than America’s regulatory system. The formula is simple: find a large company that may (or may not) have done something wrong; threaten its managers with commercial ruin, preferably with criminal charges; force them to use their shareholders’ money to pay an enormous fine to drop the charges in a secret settlement (so nobody can check the details). Then repeat with another large company. The amounts are mind-boggling. – Economist magazine
Dominant Social Theme: Let these multinationals breathe. Give them air and freedom and keep the lawyers away from them.
Free-Market Analysis: The Economist magazine has decided a major problem with the US economy is that its largest multinational corporations and banks are being held for ransom by avaricious lawyers.

This post was published at The Daily Bell on August 29, 2014.

Has Ukraine Shot Itself In The Foot With Gas Pipeline Deal?

Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk pushed a bill through the Verkhovna Rada that would see his country’s gas transportation system sold off to a group of international investors. The provisions of the law would permit the transit of natural gas to be blocked. This decision may hurt the fragile industrial recovery in Germany and finish off Ukraine’s potential as a gas transit route to Europe.
Germany, which is the industrial heart of the European Union and a major creditor for its debtor nations, is facing the challenge of the double-edged consequences of its inverted Ostpolitik as it pertains to the trade in natural gas. Even the temporary transit risks ensuing from Kiev’s decision to block the pipeline may cause a business slump.
The Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz offered an unnerving forecast for the German economy. The Columbia University professor, speaking at the conference in the southern German city of Lindau, described economic growth in the Eurozone as ‘sluggish.’ The German economy in particular failed to grow during the second quarter, threatening the EU’s fragile industrial recovery.
In the years to come, coping with Kiev’s attempts to jeopardize the gas-transit system and cut off Europe from its quintessential energy source in the east could become a real headache for Germany’s foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The most vivid example of Ukraine’s self-destructive policy that has the potential to affect European taxpayers is the recent sale of its gas transportation system.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/29/2014.

CBO: Obamacare Discourages Work

Remember all those allegations that Obamacare would be an unmitigated disaster for businesses, especially smaller companies? Well, now we have some facts. A week ago we noted that the Philly Fed found that Obamacare was a disaster for business, and now no lessor entity than the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) is out with its latest forecasts, concluding “certain aspects of the Affordable Care Act will tend to reduce labor force participation.”

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/29/2014.

Germany Unemployment Jumps

Merkel is under serious pressure from two fronts. The sanctions against Russia are having a major impact upon the European economy as a whole. This has caused Merkel to bluntly state that the US cannot solve all the problems of the world. Indeed, what she is not saying is that these US policies may be causing more problems than she can handle. Europe is caught between two warring powers, US and Russia, who are still stuck in the old empire way of thinking. Putin sees the power of a nation as its size and I cannot say that the US is that much different. OK, the US does not want to own the world, just occupy it militarily for power. just said ‘The United States is and will remain the one indispensable nation in the world…’. That statement is impossible for no nation can remain on top and that is the same thinking that existed in every empire from Babylon to Britain going into World War I. The US squanders its wealth on military and Putin wrongly thinks he needs territory to gain respect and power. Europe cannot impose economic sanctions on Russia without killing it’s already weak economy and Obama is too dense to understand that.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on August 29, 2014.

U.S./Ukraine Pushing Russian Invasion Propaganda – Episode 453

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 28, 2014
The recovery illusion in the US is continuing. Q2 GDP has been revised hire to 4.2%. Pending home sales decreased YoY. The housing bubble mimics the housing bubble of 2008. US and Ukraine are losing the war against the people of Ukraine. Ukraine and the US are using the Russian invasion propaganda once again. Ukraine had purchased the same T-72 tanks from Hungary on Aug 2 that are now being reported in the Ukraine. President Obama wants to strike into Syria but needs a major event. The central bankers are prepared to carry out a false flag event on the people of the US
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As If Millions Of European Voices Suddenly Cried Out In Terror: US Threatens More Russian Sanctions

After two rounds of escalating sanctions, which have pushed if not Russia then certainly Europe to the brink of a triple-dip recession, the US has a modest proposal for Russia: to cripple Europe’s economy even more, or said otherwise, even more sanctions for Russia!
#BREAKING US warns of possible new sanctions against Russia over Ukraine
— Agence France-Presse (@AFP) August 28, 2014

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/28/2014.

Futures Slide As Ukraine Fighting “Re-Escalates” Again

If you like your de-escalation, you can keep your de-escalation. To think that heading into, and following the Russia-Ukraine “summit” earlier this week there was so much hope that the tense Ukraine civil war “situation” would somehow fix itself. Oh how wrong that thinking was considering overnight, following rebel separatists gains in the southeast of Ukraine which included the strategic port of Novoazvosk and which is “threatening to open up a new front in the war” including setting up a land corridor to Russia controlled-Crimea, Ukraine’s president Poroshenko for the first time came out and directly accused Russia of an “Invasion”, or at least a first time in recent weeks, saying he has convened the security council on the recent Russian actions.
And while none of this is particularly new or unexpected, that it happens on a day in which Europe reported yet another batch of very adverse data, including a big drop in European confidence as well as Spain sliding again into outright deflation, is hardly supportive of risk especially following yesterday’s Reuters comment that no ECB action is to be expected absent a dramatic slide in inflation. As a result bond yields have fallen to fresh record lows across the board, pushing US TSYs higher as well, while for the first time equities can’t find solace in the hope that bad news out of Europe is really great news out of the ECB, and as a result have tumbled.
In the Asian session overnight, major bourses are mostly trading softer following the lackluster performance in US and European equities yesterday. The Nikkei and the Shanghai Composite are down -0.5% and -0.6%, respectively. Away from equities, Treasuries have firmed further following on from yesterday’s rally. As we go to print the 10yr and 30yr UST yield is around 2.35% and 3.10%, respectively. Indeed following the 4bp and 6bp decline in the 10yr and 30yr UST yield yesterday, the 10s30s curve is now around 75bps and the flattest as it has ever been since 30 Sept 2009. The 10s/30s was nearly as wide as 100bps in February but in reality it has been on a flattening trend throughout the course of this year. The flatter US rates curve is also providing support to longer dated USD sovereigns in Asia.* Asian stocks fall with the Sensex outperforming and the Hang Seng underperforming. MSCI Asia Pacific down 0.3% to 148.3, Nikkei 225 down 0.5%, Hang Seng down 0.7%, Kospi up 0%, Shanghai Composite down 0.6%, ASX down 0.5%, Sensex up 0.3%. 2 out of 10 sectors rise with telcos, health care outperforming and energy, utilities underperforming

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/28/2014.

The Time Is Ripe For A False-Flag Attack On American Soil

Government engineered false-flag terrorism is a historically established fact. For centuries, political and financial elites have been sinking ships, setting buildings on fire, assassinating diplomats, overthrowing elected leaders, and blowing people up, then blaming these disasters on convenient scapegoats so that they can induce fear in the public and transfer more power to themselves. Skeptics might argue whether certain calamities have been proven beyond a reasonable doubt to be false-flag events, but no one can argue that such tactics have not been used by the establishment in the past. Governments have openly admitted to creating bloody and catalyzing tragedies under false pretenses, like Operation Gladio, a false-flag program in Europe supported by European and American covert agencies which lasted decades, from the 1950′s to the 1990′s.
Gladio utilized well-paid and trained rogue groups and agents as well as patsies, compartmentalized and controlled, who would commit atrocities against the European public. These atrocities would then be blamed on ‘left wing extremists’, galvanizing the citizenry and political representatives towards the false East/West paradigm. The superficial motivation given by whistleblowers was that Gladio was to be used to keep the right wing in power. However, the broader and deeper goal was clearly to manipulate Europeans into accepting a unification mindset, paving the way for the eventual centralization of Europe into the EU supranational block. Gladio, is only one well documented example of false-flag terrorism being exploited by governments to mold mass psychology towards greater collectivism.
It is therefore vital that the public question the legitimacy of EVERY so-called ‘terrorist attack’ or geopolitical incident, otherwise, we may find ourselves duped into supporting wars and unconstitutional actions that only end up poisoning our society and elevating tyrants.
Why do I believe a new false-flag event is imminent? America has not suffered a large scale terrorist attack for over 13 years, after all. I can only say that current trends and international developments seem to be spiraling towards a breaking point; a kind of singularity, and if you understand that the majority of these events are deliberately engineered, then you also understand that the inevitable singularity (or primary disaster) is engineered as well.


This post was published at Alt-Market on 28 August 2014.

Russia Sanctions Hit German Consumers, ‘Economic Expectations Completely Collapse’

It starts out un-alarmingly. The optimism of German consumers weakens somewhat, according to the forward-looking Gfk survey, conducted on a monthly basis for the European Commission. So the overall index fell to 8.6 for September, from 8.9 in August. It was the first decline since January 2013.
The index bottomed in late 2008 below 2, after a breathtaking crash during the financial crisis. In late 2007, it had hovered above 9. Early 2014 was the first time since the prior bubble that the index broke above 8. And August’s level of 8.9 represented an ‘extremely optimistic economic outlook,’ as Gfk calls it. German consumers have been feeling good, and according to the headline index, they’re stillfeeling good up there somewhere in the rarefied air above 8.
But beneath the surface, there is serious trouble. Gfk reports that the sub-index of economic expectations, ‘in light of the intensified state of international affairs, completely collapses.’
It plunged 35.5 points to 10.4. The worst monthly plunge since the beginning of the survey in 1980. In a single month, it nearly wiped out all the gains of the boom of the last 12 months. Gfk cites the escalation of the situation in Iraq, Israel, the Eastern Ukraine, and particularly ‘the faster rotating sanctions spiral with Russia.’

This post was published at Wolf Street on August 27, 2014.

Central Bankers Will Attack ISIS and The Assad Regime – Episode 452

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 27, 2014
France’s President replaces the economy minister with a central banker. France is collapsing, unemployment hits an all time high. China and Russia start using rubles and yuan for oil trade bypassing the dollar. NATO planning for more bases, military assets in Eastern Europe. US preparing to bomb the Islamic State which is a cover to bomb Syria and to remove Assad. The UN came out with a report which implicates the Islamic State and Assad in war crimes. The report also mentions the false flag chlorine chemical attacks which occurred in April. Russia is now being targeted as carrying out cyber attacks on the financial system. Be prepared the false flag event is coming.

Central Bankers Sending In Drones To Map Out Targets In Syria – Episode 451

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 26, 2014
Argentina is collapsing and they just stopped Bank Of New York Mellon from operating. Government confidence hits all time high, completely opposite from U Mich confidence. Case Shiller reports housing prices are slowing and falling. The Government is creating a “truthy” database system to monitor twitter to find anti-government speech. British special forces arrive in Iraq. Central bankers/US government sending in drones and surveillance equipment to Syria to map out targets to be used in bombing runs. Obama administration says he doesn’t need congress approval. Be prepared for a false flag event.

Ukraine Releases Video Of Captured Russian Troops; They “Entered Accidentally” Russia Claims As Putin-Poroshenko Meeting Begins

Moments ago, Russian president Vladimir Putin arrived in Minsk, Belarus where upon the initiative of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko a summit between the Customs Union (Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan) and Ukraine will be held on Tuesday. As Interfax adds, the meeting will also be attended by three European commissioners – EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and European Commission Vice President, Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
Amusingly, Putin’s arrival did not proceed without incident…
This will be second meeting in the past three months between Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko organized with the mediation of a president a third country. However, official confirmation that a separate meeting between Putin and Poroshenko will take place does not yet exist.
As noted earlier, the main reason for the recent ramp in futures is because someone activated the de-escalation algo sending futs promptly from overnight lows to highs, on hopes there will be some resolution of Ukraine’s proxy civil war, and maybe a detente between Russia and Europe, where the latter is now on the verge of a triple-dip recession due to “costs” against Russia.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/26/2014.

Burger King Flips Obama the Bird; BK, Warren Buffet, Greg Mankiw, Barry Ritholtz, Mish on Corporate Tax Inversion “Fairness”

Obama Condemns CEOs
President Obama is fed up with corporations no paying their “fair tax”.
On August 24, Bloomberg reported Inversion Express Slows to Crawl as Obama Condemns CEOs
On July 24 Obama referred to companies looking to shift their domicile as ‘corporate deserters’ and aides pledged to curtail the practice with or without Congressional approval.
Since then, no companies have announced any of these deals — known as inversions — and it’s no coincidence, according to lawyers and investment bankers. The presidential rhetoric has caused several companies exploring inversions to put on the brakes to see what emerges from the political debate, people familiar with the preparations said.
Between mid-June and late-July, when Obama ramped up his criticism of the deals by calling companies that strike them ‘corporate deserters,’ at least five large American companies announced plans for inversions, including AbbVie Inc. and Medtronic Inc. (MDT) Since the start of 2012, 21 U. S. companies have announced or completed such deals, or almost half the total of 51 such transactions in the last three decades.
After Obama called for ‘economic patriotism’ from business leaders in July, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said the agency was examining options for new rules that wouldn’t require Congressional sign-off.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Monday, August 25, 2014.

The ISIS’ Top Line: $2 Million In Daily Revenue From “Oil Sales, Extortion, Taxes And Smuggling”

A few days ago when we commented, somewhat in jest, on the seemingly impressive strategic planning behind the Islamic State jihadists becoming a “commodities trading powerhouse” (when it was revealed that ISIS had sold the grain it had stolen from the Itaqi government back to the government), we described just how well-versed in the ways of the modern world ISIS was: “from quickly taking control of (i.e., robbing) a central bank, to capturing the latest and greatest in US military equipment, to staging an amazing blitz-campaign that has resulted in the creation of a caliphate and captured the bulk of northern Iraq and a third of Syria including all of the former country’s oil fields, to even having glossy year end annual reports, one would almost be forgiven in assuming that some vastly more strategic minds are behind what on paper at least would be a far more disorganized force.”
Now, thanks to Bloomberg we can quantify this particular strategy, and put top-line numbers with the ISIS faces, so to speak: “The Islamic State, which now controls an area of Iraq and Syria larger than the U. K., may be raising more than $2 million dollars a day in revenue from oil sales, extortion, taxes and smuggling, according to U. S. intelligence officials and anti-terrorism finance experts.“
In other words, a well-greased government machine, and not only that but one which has an infinitely greater net worth than the US, because with a net worth of some $2 billion (and rising by $2 million daily), the Islamic State has a “worth” of some $17 trillion more than the United States, which instead of equity is funded entirely through debt, and ever more debt, thanks to the ongoing devaluation of the world’s reserve currency.
Some more on how ISIS became the world’s first self-contained, and funded, jihadist entity:

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/25/2014

Creepy Mission: Obama “Lays Groundwork For Air Strikes” In Syria Next

What’s the opposite of ‘limited’ air-strikes? As The WSJ reports, The Pentagon is preparing to send surveillance aircraft, including drones, into Syrian airspace to gather intelligence on Islamist targets, laying the groundwork for a possible expansion of the limited U. S. military air campaign beyond Iraq, senior U. S. officials said. The ‘Nobel-Peace-Prize-Winner-In-Chief’ appears to have suddenly gone full hawk-tard – one wonders which little birdy whispered in his ear that, with the Fed pulling out, the whole ponzi is up unless the US undertakes a populist deficit-bursting war…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/25/2014

Libyan Government Overrun, Central Bankers Prepping Invasion Of Libya – Episode 450

The following video was published by X22Report on Aug 25, 2014
France is collapsing and the President dissolves government. One of every two Cyprus loans are in default. Real Estate is now imploding in the month of July, the bump in sales is over, the hard slide down is accelerating. China is designing their own OS and Russia is looking to replace the SWIFT system. Federal Reserve takes a survey and it reports Obamacare is destroying business. Dempsey heading to Afghanistan to keep US soldiers stationed there. Poroshenko dissolves parliament using social media. Libya is now overrun, government is out. US and other nations preparing to invade and recapture Libya. US Government officials pushing the agenda of terror.

40% of U.S. on Welfare; Obamacare Expands Welfare by 23 Million; More on Welfare Than Full-Time-Employed

As a result of Obamacare Medicaid expansion coupled with means-tested Obamacare assistance, I estimate welfare rolls expanded from 35.4% of the population in 2012 to about 40% in 2014.
Let’s go through the math to see how I make that estimate.
The latest welfare statistics are from year-end 2012. Those figures show 35.4 Percent: 109,631,000 on Welfare.
109,631,000 living in households taking federal welfare benefits as of the end of 2012, according to the Census Bureau, equaled 35.4 percent of all 309,467,000 people living in the United States at that time.
When those receiving benefits from non-means-tested federal programs – such as Social Security, Medicare, unemployment and veterans benefits – were added to those taking welfare benefits, it turned out that 153,323,000 people were getting federal benefits of some type at the end of 2012.
Subtract the 3,297,000 who were receiving veterans’ benefits from the total, and that leaves 150,026,000 people receiving non-veterans’ benefits.

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Saturday, August 23, 2014

Putin’s Chief ‘Integration’ Advisor Warns “Transition Has Always Come About Through War”

When we last met Sergei Glazyev, Vladimir Putin’s chief ‘integration’ adviser (who has been regularly featured on these pages in the past (see Putin Adviser Threatens With Dumping US Treasurys, Abandoning Dollar If US Proceeds With Sanctions and Putin Adviser Proposes “Anti-Dollar Alliance” To Halt US Aggression Abroad for two examples) he explained “how the U. S. military and oligarchs are trying to maintain leadership in the global competition with China.“
Arguably the best informed man in Russia, his perspective seems important to grasp as he considers:
“The world today is going through a year of overlapping cyclical crises. This is a period when the global economy is changing as the structure that has driven economic growth for 30 years has exhausted itself. The world needs to transition to a new system and transition has always come about through war…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 08/23/2014

Federal Reserve Branch Bank Concludes Obamacare a Disaster for Businesses

Each month, branch banks for the Federal Reserve send out questionnaires and surveys to businesses as a way to test the climate of the economy. In the month of August, the Philadelphia branch asked businesses what the full extend and effect so far from the new Affordable Healthcare Act (Obamacare) was, and the responses they received were a disaster. In the majority of responses, businesses either let go of employees to adjust to the higher costs imposed upon them by the Federal government, moved full time employees to part time status, or, changed benefit plans so that employees would be forced to pay more towards their premiums.
What the survey found was very disturbing: not only did businesses report that as a result of Obamacare the number of workers they employ is lower than higher (18.2% vs 3.0%), that there has been an increase in part time jobs (18.2% higher vs 1.5% lower), leading to a big increase in outsourcing and most importantly, Obamacare costs are being largely passed on to customers (28.8% reporting higher vs 0.0% lower), the punchline was that while there is basically no change in the number of employees covered (17.6% higher vs 14.7% lower and 67.6% unchanged), there has been a big jump in Premiums, Deductibles, Out-of-pocket maximums, and Copays, which has been ‘matched’ by a far greater reduction in the range of medical coverage and the size of the network.
In short a disaster. – Zerohedge

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on August 24th, 2014