Name That Collapsing Nation

These 3 charts show 3 different nations. According to the mainstream media memes:
one of these is an oil-rich socialist utopia on the verge of bankruptcy; one is a nation nearing an economic renaissance thanks to devaluing its currency, money-printing, and fiscal irresponsibility; and
one is a nation that is isolated, sanctioned, economically-ravaged, resource-rich, that has hoarded gold…
So which is which?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/03/2014.

No Indictment in Eric Garner Grand Jury, DOJ to open ‘civil rights’ investigation

21st Century Wire says…
Only a week has passed since rioting, looting and arson broke in Ferguson, Missouri, and another police incident and Grand Jury verdict involving a black victim in New York City – is threatening to push American streets over the edge again tonight…
According to the 23 member Grand Jury that convened in New York, the arrest and subsequent ‘choke-hold’ or carotid restraint administered by officer Daniel Pantaleo of the New York City Police Dept. – did not rise to the level of criminality, so therefore the prosecutor announced there will be no indictment of the officers involved in this case.
This does not however, rule out charges of police misconduct and excessive force which would result in a suspension or dismissal, or a ‘wrongful death’ civil law suit (the use of the choke-hold was already prohibited by policy guidelines issued to NYPD officers) which is likely to be brought against both the officer and the municipality for an estimated $75 million.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 4, 2014.

Reality is not a Video Game: Norweigen F-16 Near Miss with Russian Mig-31 (Video)

The encounter was approximately 20 meters. Let that sink in as the high speed pass to intimidate the pilots from Norway occurs in this video via the Wall Street Journal:

I’m almost positive that former Vietnam war veteran and medal recipient along champion windsurfer, sailor, wealthy MILF marrying Secretary of State John Kerry will issue a stern email any moment now.
Too bad and too funny that Putin and Lavrov have him on the ‘spam’ list.

This post was published at John Galt Fla on December 2, 2014.

When Deceptions Go Unchallenged by Our Free Press

A willing ‘suspension of disbelief’ is essential to enjoy a good play or other fiction but it’s a disaster when the media adopts it in place of skepticism – especially toward those in government.
And yet, that is exactly what happened with the Affordable Care Act. It’s hard to not to conclude that the media willingly suspended disbelief when it came to the many claims made by President Obama, legislators and supporters of the Affordable Care Act. The now obvious 2013 ‘Lie of the Year’, for example, was anything but obvious to most Americans before millions lost the insurance coverage they liked. Why?
Taken together with MIT economist Jonathan Gruber’s recently revealed admissions that deception was part of the plan all along, it’s fair to ask, ‘What happened to our watchdog press?’ There has been much gnashing of teeth over Professor Gruber’s candor but virtually no self-examination by the media of its role in helping to perpetrate a fraudulent sales job on the American people.
Indeed, in retrospect it appears as if the Administration counted on a compliant media not asking the hard questions. This disinterest in the truth, as much as the lies themselves, has contributed to the mistrust and anger that divides the nation. So far the media has refused to take any responsibility.
When the CIA failed to predict the fall of Iran there was acid and deserved criticism of its failure to fulfill its fundamental mission. That same kind of criticism should be a part of the public conversation now about the role of the media in missing deliberate efforts by this Administration to employ outright falsehoods to pervert ‘consent of the governed’. Only with deception, said Dr. Gruber, could the law win enactment. He embraced government deception ‘for the greater good’ but the media should not have. It was a failure of the media’s most fundamental duty in a free society.

This post was published at The Daily Sheeple on December 3rd, 2014.

Goon Thug Cops Murder At Will – Paul Craig Roberts

Another gang of goon thug gratuitous murderers has been let off by a racist grand jury and a racist non-prosecutor. Read the verbiage spewed by NY mayor Bill de Blasio and the Obama Puppet:They are so sorry about the collateral damage of protecting the public from criminals and terrorists. Without the death of innocents, none of us would be safe. Our safety depended on the NYPD murder of Eric Garner, a father of six who was a threat to no one.
Another police murder of a US citizen who was no threat to anyone – just more collateral damage – as the US military calls it when US forces blow up kids’ soccer games, weddings, funerals, and birthday parties. Any concentration of people, regardless of what they are doing, is considered to be an enemy force and legitimate target. This includes people picking their crops in fields.
Unfortunate perhaps, on occasion, but soldiers and police and US presidents have the right to make mistakes. Only a dangerous ‘domestic extremist’ would think that a goon thug should be held accountable for a mistake. I mean, after all, the 21st century American courts have established that those in the executive branch are above the law.

This post was published at Paul Craig Roberts on December 3, 2014.

17 States Sue Obama Over “Unconstitutional” Executive Action On Immigration

A year ago, following the whole Supreme Court farce, a bevy of states proved there are more than just “idiot voters” left in the US, when they decided to sue Obamacare outright over one or more of its provisions. They were promptly shut down by a judicial system that is as corrupt as the government itself (needless to say, both working at the behest of their true financial puppetmaster: Wall Street). And yet, in the aftermath of the now epic fiasco that is Obamacare, and not to mention the violent reaction to the administration as demonstrated in the midterm elections, the president may have a tougher time to brush away the next round of adverse reactions against his latest hugely unpopular executive order, one involving the amnesty of over 5 million illegal immigrants.
According to AP, Texas is leading a 17-state coalition in suing over the Obama administration’s recently announced executive actions on immigration.
While many top Republicans have denounced Obama’s unilateral illegal immigration clemency move designed to spare as many as 5 million people living illegally in the United States from deportation, or, as some put it, win the democrats 5 million heretofore non-existing voters, earlier today Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott took it a step further Wednesday, filing a lawsuit in federal court in the Southern District of Texas. And once he did, the seal broke and everyone wanted in on the action, and Texas was quickly joined by 16 other, mostly southern and Midwestern states, including Alabama, Georgia, Idaho and Indiana.
Abbott argued Wednesday that Obama’s action “tramples” portions of the U. S. Constitution. Which, let’s be honest here, never stopped the “constitutional scholar” before.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/03/2014.

Another Government Scam – Small Business Administration (SBA) is Exposed as Corporate Welfare to Big Businesses

Many people have noted that the more insidious or corrupt a law or agency, the more positive sounding its name. The most egregious example during my lifetime, was naming legislation that stripped Americans of most of their civil liberties the ‘Patriot’ Act.
In a similar vein, which red-blooded American could ever be opposed to something called the Small Business Administration (SBA). We all love small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit, and even those who abhor big government have a hard time siding against an agency that supports the little guy. As such, the SBA is the perfect vehicle for cronyism, corruption and corporate welfare, which indeed appears to be its primary reason for existence.
My friends at Open the Books have published a key study on the SBA, and the results are ugly. The full report can be found here, but what follows is some analysis of the report by Stephen Moore at Investors Business Daily:
The Small Business Administration is under fire for lending billions of taxpayer dollars a year to exclusive country clubs, golf resorts, yacht clubs, pet resorts, upscale plastic surgeons, wineries and other businesses catering to the lifestyles of the very wealthy.
A new report by the federal spending watchdog has uncovered these and other questionable loan activities by the SBA and its roughly $106 billion loan portfolio.

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Dec 3, 2014.

James Montier: “Stocks Are Hideously Expensive” In “The First Central Bank Sponsored Bubble”

James Montier, the outspoken value investor and member of the asset allocation team of Boston-based GMO, talks about dangerously high valuations and the virtues of holding dry powder.
Four words seem to define the current mood in financial markets: There Is No Alternative. Yes, equity markets might be somewhat expensive, but considering the alternatives – bonds and cash -, they are still the best investment. The correction in October turned out to be a mere hickup in a solid bull market. But James Montier remains skeptical. The value investor and member of the asset allocation team at Boston-based asset manager GMO sees the stock market in a near-bubble and warns investors from being complacent. “To think that central banks will always be there to bail out equity investors is incredibly dangerous”, says the outspoken Brit. His source of wisdom in current markets comes from none other than Winnie the Pooh: “Never underestimate the value of doing nothing.”
James, when you screen global equity markets today: Do you still find any value?
It’s getting really tough now. It’s getting harder and harder to find really good sources of value these days. There are maybe one or two pockets out there, in Europe and in some emerging markets. Where exactly?

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/03/2014.

Ukraine appoints three non-native ministers

Ukrainian parliament has approved the formation of a new government that includes three foreigners who had received Ukrainian nationality on the same day specially for the job.
Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine's president, granted citizenship to Georgia-born Aleksandr Kvitashvili, US-national Natalie Jaresko and Lithuanian Aivaras Abromavicius on Tuesday, just hours before the vote.
"There are absolutely extraordinary challenges facing Ukraine – an extremely difficult economic situation, Russian aggression, the need for radical reform and the fight against corruption. All this requires innovative solutions in the government," Poroshenko said in statement.
"These decisions mean searching for candidates for the new government not only in Ukraine but also abroad," he said.

This post was published at Aljazeera

Top Spanish official says primary task is to end E.U.-Russia sanctions war

Madrid is calling for immediate steps to end the war of sanctions between the EU and Russia, the high commissioner for the 'Spain' brand, Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros said in an interview with the Kommersant newspaper published on Tuesday.
“Our primary task is to stop the race of sanctions and counter-sanctions and prevent the new ones. The second goal is to try to find compromise decisions that would allow leaving the sanctions in the past,” said the high-ranking Spanish official, who is in charge of improving the country’s image abroad in the economic, social, cultural, scientific and technological spheres.

This post was published at Itar-tass

Made in the USA – How the Ukrainian Government is Giving Away Citizenships so Foreigners Can Run the Country

I hadn’t written a single piece on the U. S.-Ukraine-Russia quagmire for the entirety of 2014, until Monday when I published: Tensions Between the U. S. and Russia Are Worse Than You Realize – Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Now I can hardly think of anything else.
The reason the geopolitical hot zone has so captured my attention is because I think we are much closer to a serious escalation than most people want to admit. I hope I’m wrong, but when I take a step back and look at what is being said and done under the surface, an incredibly dangerous tinderbox is now firmly in place and ready to be lit. We know from history that relatively minor catalysts can lead to unimaginable horrors. I fear the stage is set for some real nastiness, and hope cooler heads can prevail on both sides.
Claims that the new government in Ukraine is nothing more than a Western puppet Parliament have been swirling around consistently since February. Nevertheless, I think it’s very significant that the takeover is now overt, undeniable and completely out in the open. Nothing proves this fact more clearly than the recent and sudden granting of citizenship to three foreigners so that they can take top posts in the government.
At the top of the list is American, Natalie Jaresko, who runs private equity fund Horizon Capital. She will now be Ukraine’s Finance Minister, and I highly doubt she will be forced to pay the IRS Expatriation Tax (one set of laws for the rich and powerful, another set of laws for the peasants). For Economy Minister, a Lithuanian investment banker, Aivaras Abromavicius, will take the reigns. Health Minister will be Alexander Kvitashvili of Georgia.
The Wall Street Journal reports:

This post was published at Liberty Blitzkrieg on Dec 3, 2014.

Beige Book: “Lower Oil Prices A Concern For The Oil Industry”

While superficially the November Beige Book, which is chronically bad at spotting actual trends as was the case in the 2005-2007 period when it came to the housing bubble and the BB had absolutely no warnings about what only in retrospect would be a glaringly obvious bubble, was among the more optimistic ones seen in recent months (there were only 13 instances of “weather” in the document), here is what the Fed’s assessment had to say about the only thing that matters currently for the US economy (in addition to the soaring US Dollar of course): oil.
Energy and mining activity was higher on net, though lower oil prices were a concern for the oil industry in the Atlanta and Dallas Districts. Chemical manufacturers in the Boston District indicated that the falling price of oil relative to natural gas had made U. S. producers less competitive, because foreign chemical producers rely more heavily on oil for feedstock and production. Atlanta reported that the recent drop in oil prices led firms to reevaluate their operations, though steady production is anticipated for both deepwater and onshore drilling; in the Dallas District, lower oil prices weighed on the outlook for drilling activity. Several Districts cited the decline in the price of oil over the reporting period and its effects on gasoline and diesel fuel prices.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/03/2014.

Jobs: Shale States vs Non-Shale States

Consider: lower oil prices unequivocally “make everyone better off”, Right? Wrong.
First: new oil well permits collapse 40% in November; why is this an issue? Because since December 2007, or roughly the start of the global depression, shale oil states have added 1.36 million jobs while non-shale states have lost 424,000 jobs.

This should help clear things up…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/03/2014.

Ferguson 2.0? Grand Jury Fails To Indict White NYPD Cop In Chokehold-Death Case

A Staten Island grand jury has decided not to indict white NYPD officer Daniel Panateleo, according to NY1, who allegedly used a banned chokehold and killed Eric Garner, a 400lb black man, who was stopped on suspicion of selling loose cigarettes. Eric Garner’s son has called for peace and hopes there is no Ferguson-like response…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/03/2014.

Pizza Hut wants to read your mind

It starts with Pizzas and burgers, and it will end with voting via tablet, which technocrats will hail as a breakthrough in ‘direct democracy’.
Let’s see how this trend develops…
Ordering pizza by thinking and speaking words is so last century. Pizza Hut is now testing technology that allows diners to order within seconds, using only their eyes. The future!
Calling it ‘the world’s first subconscious menu,’ the pizza giant has since October been testing a special eye-tracking tablet with some of the diners of its 300 locations across the U. K. The digital menu shows diners a canvas of 20 toppings and builds their pizza, from one of 4,896 combinations, based on which toppings they looked at longest. To try again, a diner can glance at a ‘restart’ button.
‘Finally the indecisive orderer and the prolonged menu peruser can cut time and always get it right,’ a Pizza Hut spokesperson said in a statement, ‘so that the focus of dining can be on the most important part – the enjoyment of eating!’
The menu, built by Swedish eye-tracking firm Tobii Technology, is the product of six months of retina-scanning development and ‘psychological research,’ according to Pizza Hut, which is testing it for now only in the U. K. A potential expansion into the United States could be in the cards, based on how well the pilot system works.

This post was published at 21st Century Wire on DECEMBER 3, 2014.

Watch: CNN Abruptly Cuts Off Interview: ‘Jesus Christ Died for Our Sins’

In recent months we’ve seen several instances of the Christian belief system being disparaged by State or quasi-State organizations.
In Colorado Springs students at Pine Creek Highschool were told that they could no longer use their free time to pray, discuss religious issues or sing religious songs. The school told the kids that their activities violated the U. S. Constitution and Separation of Church and State.
So much for ‘free’ time.
A couple of weeks later a Muslim prayer worship was held at the Episcopal Washington National Cathedral. In a show of tolerance, those attending covered their eyes so as to avoid the Christian cross. At one point in the service a Christian woman stood up, pointed at the cross and said, ‘Jesus Christ died on that cross. He is the reason we are to worship only Him.’ The woman was promptly escorted from the building by two unidentified individuals.
These are but a couple of the many incidents showing how Christianity in America is under attack.

This post was published at shtfplan on December 3rd, 2014.

JPMorgan Rushed to Hire Trader Who Suggested on His Resume That He Knew How to Game Electric Markets

On April 29, 2010 at 7:47 in the evening, Francis Dunleavy, the head of Principal Investing within the JPMorgan Commodities Group fired off a terse email to a colleague, Rob Cauthen. The email read: ‘Please get him in ASAP.’
The man that Dunleavy wanted to be interviewed ‘ASAP’ was John Howard Bartholomew, a young man who had just obtained his law degree from George Washington University two years prior. But it wasn’t his law degree that Bartholomew decided to feature at the very top of the resume he sent to JPMorgan; it was the fact that while working at Southern California Edison in Power Procurement, he had ‘identified a flaw in the market mechanism Bid Cost Recovery that is causing the CAISO [the California grid operator] to misallocate millions of dollars.’ Bartholomew goes on to brag in his resume that he had ‘showed how units in reliability areas can increase profits by 400%.’
The internal emails at JPMorgan and Bartholomew’s resume are now marked as Exhibit 76 in a two-year investigation conducted by the U. S. Senate’s Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations into Wall Street’s vast ownership of physical commodities and rigging of commodity markets. Senator Carl Levin, the Chair of the Subcommittee, had this to say about the resume at a hearing conducted on November 21:
‘There’s two things that I find incredible about this. First, that anyone would advertise in a resume that they know about a flaw in the system – signaling that they’re ready and willing to exploit that flaw. And, second, that somebody would hire the person sending that signal.’
JPMorgan not only hired Bartholomew, according to the Senate’s findings, but within three months from the date of the email to Dunleavy, ‘Bartholomew began to develop manipulative bidding strategies focused on CAISO’s make-whole mechanism, called Bid Cost Recovery or BCR payments.’ By early September, the strategy to game the system was put into play. By October, the JPMorgan unit was estimating that the strategy ‘could produce profits of between $1.5 and $2 billion through 2018.’

This post was published at Wall Street On Parade By Pam Marte.

Mexico on the Verge of a New Tequila Crisis?

Plunging price of oil, soaring debt, itchy hot money, public rage
By Don Quijones, freelance writer, translator in Barcelona, Spain, and editor at WOLF STREET. Mexico is his country-in-law. Raging Bull-Shit is his modest attempt to scrub away the lathers of soft soap peddled by political and business leaders and their loyal mainstream media.
As the old adage goes, things have an annoying habit of occurring in threes. It’s particularly true in the case of crises, which tend to fuel each other in a potentially lethal feedback loop. And Mexico is already experiencing blowback from two separate but strongly interlinked crises.
One is primarily social in nature, resulting from the rise of public rage and resistance following the disappearance of 43 students from the narco-controlled town of Iguala. The other is essentially political: support for the current government is in freefall after a string of funding scandals involving the country’s President, Enrique Pea Nieto.
Public anger is blossoming as the full scale of collusion between the local government and organised crime finally comes to light. As John Gibler, an author and independent journalist told Democracy Now, it’s no longer possible to talk about corruption in Mexico; what we essentially have are two sectors in an industry that have fully merged: the police and drug traffickers. Stuck in the middle are millions of law-abiding Mexicans who just want to go about their lives without the constant fear of disaster hanging over their heads.
But what if there were to emerge a third crisis – an economic one? On the surface Mexico’s economy is in a stable enough condition. Growth continues to splutter at around 2% this year (far less than the 3.5% originally forecast by the IMF). The country continues to serve as a vital global manufacturing hub, in particular for its largest trading partner, the U. S. And the historic bugbear of inflation seems to be under control, hovering around 3%.

This post was published at Wolf Street on December 3, 2014.

Crude Slides After Saudis Suggest Oil Stabilizes Around $60

Just when industry experts were eying zee stabilittee in oil prices in the last 12 hours, this happens…
And crude oil prices begin to dip once again.
As The Wall Street Journal reports,
Oil may stabilize around $60/barrel, WSJ reports, citing unidentified people familiar.
Suggests Saudis won’t push for supply cuts in near-term, even if oil prices fall further
* * *
And the reaction…

This post was published at Zero Hedge on 12/03/2014.