After reviewing the following charts I’ve concluded it is better to be rich than poor. There is no question the gap between the richest and poorest is widening. The facts show the rich getting richer, the poor staying poor, and the middle class becoming poorer. You’ll be happy to know pleasure aircraft was the fastest-growing category of all consumer spending in 2013. I guess those food stamp users are living it up.
The facts don’t lie. The lies happen when you ask people why. Why is this happening?

This post was published at The Burning Platform on Sept 22, 2014.

Ukraine Introduces Capital Controls

A few days ago we showed how when Obama said there would be “costs” for Moscow in the Ukraine-Russian conflict, he got the recipient country of said costs woefully wrong, as confirmed by the economic data released by Ukraine which showed its Industrial Production crater at a pace on par with the Lehman collapse, confirming the Ukraine economy was on the verge of a spectacular implosion just in time for the harsh, Gazprom-free winter to finish off what little economic activity is left.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/22/2014.

They Do Ring A Bell At The Top: Alibaba Proves Wall Street Is Off Its Rocker

On Friday Alibaba gained $65 billion of market cap in 5 minutes! And that was on top of the $170 billion IPO price – -a valuation that was not all that shabby to begin with. In fact, BABA weighed in for the opening bell at 20X its $8.6 billion in sales.
My Alibaba
US $2.5-10 / Piece ( FOB Price) 800 Pieces (Min. Order) 30000 Piece/Pieces per Month (Supply capacity)
Well, the above red hot multiple was not actually with reference to the company’s results, but to its drop-box financials. That is, before the day was over it was trading at 27X the LTM sales posted for a shell in the Cayman Islands – -an entity on the word processor of a law office located there which may or may not receive actual cash dividends and honest accounting statements from a myriad of entities that do countless things in China.
Ah, yes, in China – -the most stupendous bubble of unsustainable construction, borrowing, speculation and corruption known to the pages of history.
So with regards to BABA’s $230 billion market cap at week’s end, you can say this: None dare call it price discovery!
What it shows is that Wall Street is well and truly off it rocker. The Chinese swindlers behind BABA didn’t even have to tap their home market. These preposterously over-valued shares were sold overwhelmingly to Wall Street – -to the gamblers, speculators and robo-traders that have occupied what was once a reasonably honest capital market.

This post was published at David Stockmans Contra Corner on September 22, 2014.

Is Your Investment Portfolio Exposed to Crumbling Elite Narratives?

Suspicions Run Deep in Iraq That C. I. A. and the Islamic State Are United … The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C. I. A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking. – The New York Times
Dominant Social Theme: The Islamic State is a threat to everybody.
Free-Market Analysis: The New York Times is scrambling to keep up with 21st century realities. It’s very doubtful that the Times would have run similar stories to this one, excerpted above, in the 20th century. But that was then and this is now. The Times‘s readership is doubtless demanding more truth and less spin.
Not that the Times‘s reaction, such as it is, is helping much. In fact, the paper of record is about to undergo yet another round of layoffs, according to recent reports. The Times has ripped through numerous editors and subeditors and laid off a slew of writers in the past few years; it has even solicited outside funding to stay afloat.
Management is obviously struggling to find an editorial path that allows the Times, like other prestigious mainstream media, to continue to serve the interests of elite insiders that use the major media to create dominant social themes while offering just enough real news and information to retain credibility.

This post was published at The Daily Bell on September 22, 2014.

Liberia warns of total collapse of its government due to Ebola outbreak

The death toll from Ebola is surging in West Africa, and officials in Liberia are warning that the entire country could collapse from the devastation. Speaking at a recent meeting of the United Nations Security Council, Liberia’s Minister of National Defense, Brownie Samukai, warned that his country’s very existence is on the line as a result of the outbreak, which shows no immediate signs of waning. Samukai emphasized that Ebola is “spreading like wildfire, devouring everything in its path,” a forewarning of much worse things to come. Liberia’s finance minister, Amara Konneh, expressed similar sentiments at a recent press conference, announcing that his country has been dragged into a “war with an enemy we don’t see.”“Liberia is facing a serious threat to its national existence,” Samukai told the U. N. Security Council. “The deadly Ebola virus has caused a disruption of the normal functioning of our state.”
Ebola killing national economy, says Konneh Economically speaking, Liberia is seeing major declines in food production, mining, services and other sectors as a result of the Ebola outbreak. Konneh says productivity is also plummeting in many critical sectors, resulting in decreased revenue performance and increased expenditure demand.

This post was published at Natural News on Monday, September 22, 2014.

How Third-Party Payers Drive Up Medical Costs

These days, a lot of people are worried about their rising healthcare costs. In the Netherlands, this had been one of the most important factors in introducing a collectivist and obligatory basic insurance policy in 2006. Only a few years later, in the United States, the federal government implemented a similar scheme. At least, that was the original plan. The scheme, which Americans know as ‘Obamacare’ caused an uproar, both politically and economically, over rising costs, and whatever the case may be, people are in agreement that something is very wrong with healthcare markets, and especially that something must be done to lower prices.
One of the problems with health care costs and prices is that they are not at all transparent. In other words, if we go to a doctor, we are unable to see the total costs of the treatment that we receive, or the full prices charged to the insurance company. We often pay a little bit up front, but the insurance company pays the rest. Meanwhile, recent research from the Center for Impoving Health Care in Colorado (CIVHC) has shown that there are vastly different prices for the same simple treatments at different hospitals. For instance, the simple procedure of a colonoscopy can range in price from $400 to $2,800, depending on where it is conducted. (Similar differences in prices can be observed in the Netherlands as well.)
When purchasing most goods or services, such as food in a restaurant, a new car, or a vacation, people are able to search online and elsewhere for customer reviews and prices. It is a way in which we can conduct our own survey to determine what is worth the cost. When it comes to medical treatments, however, it is generally not possible to find out how much a treatment really costs, and the consumer is left without valuable information as to which treatments are most cost effective.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on Monday, September 22, 2014.

Reform in France: Mission Impossible?

The Man with Nothing to Lose France’s president Francois Hollande these days finds himself at a similar crossroads as another French socialist president once upon a time: Francois Mitterand. After nationalizing vast swathes of industry and introducing all sort of policies favored by the Left, Mitterand was eventually forced to do an 180 degree turn to avoid inflation spiraling out of control and in order not to suffer the embarrassment of the French franc falling out of the ERM (European Exchange Rate Mechanism). Mitterand later was forced into cohabitation with a conservative parliamentary majority, and concentrated on foreign policy and defense, leaving economic policy to Jacques Chirac.
Mr. Hollande these days enjoys the relative freedom that comes from being the most despised French president in all of history. The ‘welfare state incarnate’ as Gaspard Koenig once called him, has seen his approval rating plunge to 13% in September. Ironically, if one adds up the approval ratings of Hollande and the reportedly evil Vladimir Putin, one gets 100%. And yet, it is Hollande who is now the relatively more unconstrained of the two, after all, no matter what he does from here on out, things simply cannot get much worse.
A first sign that Hollande realizes that different economic policies are required was his appointment of the centrist Manuel Valls as prime minister about six months ago. The recent ‘purge’, that saw former economy minister Arnaud Montebourg, minister of culture Aurelie Filipetti and education minister Benoit Hamon replaced by people more in line with Valls’ new course was an even stronger sign. Montebourg specifically was highly influential early in Hollande’s term and as might be expected, pursued policies extremely hostile to business. All three of the ministers that were replaced were considered ‘Socialist rebels’ – i.e., far to the left of Mr. Valls. Montebourg was replaced by his polar opposite, someone on the very right of the Socialist Party, former investment banker Emmanuel Macron. How did Valls survive the confidence vote the purge necessitated? In spite of the rebellion of the left, French socialist parliamentarians are well aware that a new election would sweep most of them out of the halls of power. It is this fear Hollande and Valls gambled on, and they were proved right.

This post was published at Acting-Man on September 22, 2014.

G20 Officials Affirm Worldwide Equity Celebration

Global deal on growth as G20 agrees to add 1.8pc to economic output … A GLOBAL deal on growth appears on track to create millions of jobs after the world’s most powerful finance ministers announced plans to add at least 1.8 per cent to their combined economic output. The G20 finance summit has ended in Cairns with a renewed commitment to a growth target that is meant to add $2 trillion to the world economy, in a positive sign for Australia’s leadership of the group this year. – The Australian
Dominant Social Theme: We can all relax now. The politicians at the G20 decided that their economies should grow.
Free-Market Analysis: Every time we believe the heights of economic ridiculousness have been reached, we find there is yet a further peak proffered.
In this case, as you can see from the excerpt above, we are being solemnly assured that the world’s “most powerful finance ministers” have decided in their wisdom that they will soon add US$2 trillion to the “world economy.”
How are they going to produce this feat? Well … the article doesn’t exactly say. But when the world’s most powerful ministers decide on something, surely they’ll follow through. Won’t they?
Here’s more:
“It is critical that we take concrete steps to boost growth and create jobs.” While observers warn the global forum is not acting fast enough to deliver on its rhetoric, the meeting of finance ministers and central bank governors issued a formal communiqu that commits to actions to lift growth.
Central to the agenda is a growth ambition agreed in February to add 2 per cent over the next five years to collective growth when compared to a “business as usual” scenario without new action. G20 members have submitted about 900 plans to reach the target, ranging from workplace participation programs to infrastructure investments and competition reforms, but the Cairns summit concluded these were not enough to meet the target.

This post was published at The Daily Bell on September 22, 2014.

Pension Funds Being Taken TO Fund Infrastructure

The G20 Central Bankers and Finance Ministers met in CAIRNS, Australia, Sept 21st, 2014. This Summit reflects the attitudes about manipulating the economy where they just do not get it. Christine Largarde, head of the IMF, announced ‘I congratulate the G20 for significant progress in strategies for medium-term growth.’ However, Lagarde is a lawyer – not a trader, economist, money manager or anything that has any experience whatsoever to do with the economy. It amounts to me trying to be a obstetrician, gynecologist, or a divorce lawyer no less a brain surgeon. Yet she would be the first to say anyone without a law degree cannot understand the law. I dare say the same to her – you are not qualified. Such positions should be reserved for ONLY people with experience – not even university professors.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 22, 2014.

Like An Alcoholic, America Must and Will Hit Bottom

Is America on her last legs? Is the end of the Republic, as we have known it, near? A snapshot view of the emotional, physical and financial health of our nation makes it appear that we are on the edge of collapse. This article takes a snapshot view on how we are doing and the final conclusion is that America, like an alcoholic must and will hit bottom.
Meaningful Political Reform is Impossible In this, a mid-term election year, we hear a lot of talk of how the people must rise up and vote as one. Unfortunately, the gross, collective ignorance of this country is so great that elections, as an exercise as the collective and intelligent expression of the public will, are non-existent. And even if a community could spur a collective action on an issue, the electronic voting machines would cast doubt on the true outcome anyway.
Before a nation can peacefully change course, the people must understand how political change happens. Further, they must have an understanding of the key political players and what they stand for. Unfortunately, and according to an Annenburg survey that was just conducted, only 36% of all Americans can identify the three branches of government. How can one possibly rid a system of abuse when one does not understand how the system works? A full 25% of all Americans know how that Senators serve for six years. Tragically and only 20%of all Americans know how many U. S. senators there are. Additionally, only 40% of high school seniors know that Joe Biden is the Vice-President. The faces of Pelosi, Reed and McCain should be on every billboard and dartboard for what they have done to the country (e.g. NDAA, Obamacare). Instead, most Americans have scarcely heard of them.

This post was published at The Common Sense Show on September 22, 2014.

ISIS Slams “Mule Of The Jews” Obama, Demands Killing Of “Disbelievers” Especially “Filthy French”

Having released some 46 Turkish hostages, because “Turkey refused to agree to the US demand for ‘active support of the coalition‘,” ISIS has come out swinging in its first ‘official’ statement since President Obama unveiled his ‘strategy’ for “degrading and destroying” them, with a call for all followers of Allah to make the coalition campaign the “last crusader campaign,” and calls Obama “vile”, more foolish than Bush, and a “mule of the Jews.” Warning Americans and Europeans that “you will pay a great price, when your economies collapse,” ISIS blasts Kerry, “the uncircumcised old geezer,” for his “false arguments.” The statement concludes by telling ISIS followers, “if you can kill a disbelieving American or European – especially the spiteful and filthy French – or an Australian, or a Canadian, or any other disbeliever from the disbelievers waging war, including the citizens of the countries that entered into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him in any manner or way however it may be.”
As Al-Monitor reports, Forty-nine staff members of the Turkish Consulate in Mosul (three of whom are Iraqi nationals) who were taken hostage June 11 by the Islamic State (IS) were freed at 6:30 a.m. Sept. 20. Details of the operation are slowly emerging.
Interesting reports surfaced on the Takvahaber news website, which is identified as the IS mouthpiece in Turkey. According to one Takvahaber report, which was based on the Twitter account of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the IS caliph, the decision to release the hostages was personally approved by Baghdadi after Turkey refused to agree to the US demand for ‘active support of the coalition.’ …
In addition to the key question of whether the hostages were rescued through an operation or handed over by IS to Turkish officials, another question that gained prominence is, ‘Why now?’ Why did IS give up the strategic ace it was holding against Turkey just now that the United States is setting up a coalition and is about to launch a military offensive?
And then ISIS issues its first post-Obama Strategy statement…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 09/21/2014.

French Farmers Set Tax Office On Fire – Demise of Europe

French vegetable farmer have set a tax office and a building on fire destroying the government facility which was the symbol of the increasing administrative burden and sanctions that is killing farming. Hundreds of tractors and trailers of the farmers converged on Friday evening before the building of the Agricultural Social Insurance (MSA) in the town of Morlaix (Brittany). There they dumped unsold potatoes and artichokes before the MSA-building and added pallets and tires setting the entire lot on fire. Thereafter, the farmers moved on to the tax office set that on fire as well. The protests also took place in numerous other places as well, however, only these two government buildings were totally destroyed.
The association of vegetable farmers had announced the protest action on Friday. The background is that for years the bureaucracy for farmers have magnified the economic decline and their plight with constant new regulation of everything. The economic situation of farming in Europe has been seriously pushed too far with the US sanctions against Russia. The agricultural crisis caused by Obama is increasingly deteriorating with far too many farmers throughout Europe losing everything.
The economic numbers in France are simply devastating. We only see more regulation and raising taxes to support bloated government especially in France. It is quite possible that any reform is simply too late for the French government is bankrupt, which was admitted by the finance minister Michel Sapin himself.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on September 21, 2014.

Over 46 million Americans now on food stamps as nation descends into poverty

Backers of the current administration hate to acknowledge something that they willingly believed about the previous administration: That he who sits in the White House owns the economy. When Sen. Barack Obama was running for his first presidential term in 2007-2008, he and fellow Democrats incessantly blamed then-President George W. Bush for the then-budding economic crisis, an accusation that, nearly six years later, is finally fading but still believed by millions of Americans. In order to deflect blame for any economic bad news in the years since Obama has been in the White House, his team devised a strategy that went something like this: “You know, the president (Obama) inherited the worst economy since the Great Depression, so how can he be expected to turn it around so quickly?”Okay, well, Obama ran for the presidency because he wanted to be president; no one forced him to do so. Secondly, how many years does the man get to “turn around” the economy? Bush was blamed for the near-collapse of the economy during his last year in office, and for policies that were enacted by the previous Democratic president, Bill Clinton.

This post was published at Natural News on Sunday, September 21, 2014.

EU Caves to Powerful, Scandal-Infested Finance Paradise, the City Of London

y Don Quijones, freelance writer, translator in Barcelona, Spain. Raging Bull-Shit is his modest attempt to challenge the wishful thinking and scrub away the lathers of soft soap peddled by political and business leaders and their loyal mainstream media. This article is a Wolf Street exclusive.
There’s been a common misconception doing the rounds in Europe – namely that whatever is good for Brussels and Frankfurt must by extension be bad for the City of London, that small incorporated area of London known as the Square Mile that isuniquely powerful and at once unaccountable. The basic premise behind this flawed assumption is that with the creation of a single supervisory mechanism for all of Europe’s disparate banking sectors, including the UK – set to occur at the end of October – the City’s see-no-banker-evil, hear-no-banker-evil regulatory environment will lose much of its appeal.
However, as I reported previously (here and here), the stone-cold reality is that the EU’s new banking regulation is primarily aimed at increasing the concentration and consolidation of Europe’s financial sector, to the obvious and exclusive benefit of Europe’s biggest banks, including British banking behemoths such as HSBC and Barclays. In its ongoing negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the European Commission is doing everything it can to water down banking regulations on both sides of the Atlantic, in the process even outdoing its U. S. counterparts.
All of which will naturally benefit the City of London. After all, when it comes to the art of passing voluminous folios of toothless financial regulation riddled with gaping loopholes, no one – not even Washington – can hold a candle to the City’s servile watchdog, Westminster Palace.

This post was published at Wolf Street on September 21, 2014.

Economies in Ebola-affected countries are stalling

In what may be an ominous warning for taxpayers in the U. S. and around the world, officials with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have said that, as the economies of more Ebola-affected countries continue to sputter, they could require hundreds of billions of dollars in financial aid that will only worsen debt in those nations. As reported by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the IMF, in recent days, has issued a warning to the developed world that the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa — the worst outbreak of the disease in history — will require “large scale” global economic intervention in order to shore up economies that are being ravaged as they deal with the widening crisis. WSJ continued:The IMF, the world’s emergency lender, said it is in talks to boost bailouts for Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia as the disaster slams economic output and overwhelms government financing. Each of the three countries faces a financing gap of between $100 million and $130 million due to the havoc hitting agriculture, trade and other commerce, the fund said.

This post was published at Natural News on Saturday, September 20, 2014.

G20 states are for Russia’s participation in G20 November summit – official

The Group of Twenty (G20) members have supported Russia’s participation in the G20, Australian chief treasurer Joe Hockey told reporters on Friday. He will preside over the G20 meeting of foreign ministers and heads of Central Banks that will be held on September 20 -21.
Asked whether Australia would try to block Russia’s participation in the G20 summit in Brisbane due in November, Hockey said not Australia, but G20 members take decisions on anybody’s participation in G20 work.
The G20 member countries say the door should not be closed, and Russia should take part in the forum. The dialogue should be continued, according to all the G20 member countries. He said G20 is an economic, not a political forum.

This post was published at ITAR-TASS

Preparing For War On Lies To Cover Up The Economic Collapse – Episode 471

The following video was published by X22Report on Sep 19, 2014
Ford demand falls and begins to cut production in Germany. Microsoft will be laying off another 2,100 employees. Caterpillar now has 21 consecutive months of decline, worse than the 2009 recession. A glitch in Obamacare will leave 1.6 million with no insurance. Confusion on who is calling the shots when the US bombs Syria, is it Obama or the military. The Islamic State is not hiding because of US bombing, the were killed by Syrian air force. US intelligence does not know much about ISIS. Syria still has chemical weapons but they are not in area they control. They are in the hands of the Free Syrian Army.

Congress brings Atlas Shrugged to America with this new bill

September 15, 2014 Santiago, Chile
It was known as Directive 10-289, and it was the government’s last-ditch, desperate effort to control the collapsing economy.
The President, along with some of his senior advisors at the Bureau of Economic Planning and National Resources, all widely agreed that the only way out of the crisis was expand government power.
The directive was passed quickly, and among its key provisions:
‘Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall henceforth be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor be dismissed nor change employment. . .’
‘Point Two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature whatsoever shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishments shall not quit nor leave nor retire, nor close, sell or transfer their business. . .’

This post was published at Sovereign Man on September 19, 2014.

Lesson of the Day: The Political Class Always Wins

With a ramp up in fearmongering led by financial institutions and every UK political party, the preliminary votes indicate Scottish Anti-Independence Campaign Poised for Victory in Vote.
With 26 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities declared, the Better Together camp backed by Prime Minister David Cameron and the main U. K. parties had garnered 54 percent of the vote, while the ‘yes’ campaign led by Scottish National Party leader Alex Salmond had 46 percent.
‘It does look like we have secured a ‘no’ vote,’ Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander, a Liberal Democrat and the most senior Scot in the U. K. government, told Sky News as the first results trickled in. ‘But a ‘no’ vote is also for change, it’s our responsibility to get on with that.’

This post was published at Global Economic Analysis on Thursday, September 18, 2014.

ISIS Update, Ukraine Wants Weapons and Money, the Feds Zero Interest Rate Policy Continues

The following video was published by Greg Hunter on Sep 18, 2014
ISIS update, Ukraine wants weapons and money. Plus the Feds zero interest rate policy continues indefinitely. I truly don’t think a single general and many in Congress think President Obama’s plan to arm rebels and bomb in Iraq and Syria will work. Everybody says we will have to use ground troops if we are serious. We could have bombed ISIS months ago and didn’t, even though the Iraqi government was begging Obama to do so. It probably would have been much more effective back then. Why the delay? Why do we continue to let ISIS sell oil and make millions every day? Why don’t we sanction or bomb that? Both the House and the Senate agreed to arm the moderate rebels in Syria. Haven’t we already tried this?
The President of Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko, is in Washington asking for money, and he’s getting it. The U. S. is chipping in more than $1 billion in various aid packages. The IMF is approving billions in future loans. Poroshenko also wants weapons and, so far, he’s not getting them, at least, that is the story coming out of the White House.
Finally, the Fed made a decision to continue the zero interest rate and easy money policies with no expiration date. If things were really recovering, wouldn’t the Fed be jacking up interest rates and trying to normalize? Of course, and that means the easy money policies are your tip-off that there is no real recovery.