5 Nov 2012

The Consequences of Borrowing Stability from the Future to Forestall Volatility Today!! - Grant Williams

Bond speculators doubled their long exposure to US ten-year Treasuries last week, according to CFTC data reported by Reuters. Bloggers at ZeroHedge noted that this was "the highest position since March 2008." We talk to hedge fund portfolio advisor Grant Williams about what might be driving this speculative move. Plus, since Mr. Williams is based in Singapore, we decided to ask him what the US elections, ZIRP, and the fiscal cliff look like from Asia.

Facial recognition-based border control system in Netherlands to process millionth passenger by end of year

By Madison Ruppert: Readers of End the Lie are likely well aware of the rapid growth of the use of biometrics. Everything from facial recognition (with increasingly fast recognition systems) to pedo-biometrics to remote biometrics to soft biometrics to voice recognition and centralized government databases are on the rise.
While this can easily be seen in the United States, where the FBI is sharing facial recognition software with police across the country, it is in fact a global phenomenon.
This is evidenced by the E-Gate system, developed by Accenture and Vision-Box, being used by the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Netherlands.
It’s interesting to note that Accenture has a relatively close relationship with the U.S. government. They were awarded a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract worth over $25 million (with a ptotential value of over $43 million) by the Navy earlier this year. Accenture is also involved with RFID technology.
E-Gate is an automated border control system relying on facial recognition and is slated to process its one millionth passenger at the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, according to an announcement made at the recently held Biometrics Exhibition and Conference 2012 in London.

Syria's Russian Bear Striking or Sleeping?

Morris: Russia will not help Syria too much overtly because it is afraid of the USA and the EU. Yet it is strengthening its ties with China. And for Iran, Russia will do everything except join a war. This Young man speaking (aka Russian Bear) does not think the 1,000,000 Russian immigrants to Israel have much influence in Russia. This is part 1 of a multi part interview. Source

Meet The French Major Whose Spanish "A" Rating Keeps The ECB €17 Billion Margin Call Away

Tyler Durden's picture Egan Jones may be a registered NRSRO, but that doesn't matter to the global status quo perpetuation syndicate ("SQPS" or "the syndicate"). Why? Because the small rating agency misplaced a comma when it was filing its NRSRO application with the SEC and has infuriated the same clueless and corrupt SEC, which 2 years after the flash crash still allows the high freqs to make a total mockery of the market (as seen here). Another reason: it recently downgraded Spain to a CC rating, the lowest and thus most accurate of all rating agencies, with a C rating projected, which means if its rating were to be taken into account by the ECB, the result would be massive margin calls amount to 10% or higher of all the Spanish bonds repoed at the ECB. Instead, the SQPS is delighted to have Canadian-based DBRS on its side. Why? Because the tiny firm's A-rating obviates all others' sub-A ratings, this includes Moodys, S&P and Fitch, at least in the eyes of the ECB and thus Mario Draghi has an alibi to not demand an additional €17 billion collateral call from Spain, which would send its banking system on full tilt (this is money neither Spain, nor its banks has to spare). Which is why we wish to present to our readers the man behind the Spanish A-rated myth: Fergus McCormick (Reed College; BA, with honors, French), formerly of Spanish bank BBVA (surely BBVA is not calling in any favors from its former employee currently head of sovereign ratings at DBRS; none at all).
Because if there is one person the SPQS, not to mention Spain's insolvent banks, should erect a monument to post-haste, it is Fergus, and his A (low) rating which is the only thing keeping the ECB from extracting its €17 billion pound of flesh from Spain (something the ECB most certainly does not want to do for numerous quite obvious just as insolvent reasons).

The Most Lied About Election in American History - Gordon Duff

"Please copy this story; I really don’t think they want it out and might shut it down here. ~J" Via Rob
It began when the Republican nomination was stolen. Ron Paul won in a landslide. Thus far, 25 grand juries have been seated to deal with felony charges tied to crimes in rigging both the GOP primaries and convention.
Legal groups across the US are, finally, challenging the overt corruption of America’s “two party dictatorship.”
Even with a flawed constitution, there is nothing that supports this system, nothing that supports how congress is run and certainly, what constitution we have should have protected us from rule by foreign corporations, more specifically, organized crime packaged as “foreign corporations” that the Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” blasphemy has saddled us with.
Over the past few days, with my delightfully tapped phone (all calls say “US Government” on them), those still working for what is legitimate of that government have been calling. I am told I am the only journalist that isn’t either “brain dead” or “bought” or “scared to death.”
The volume of information held, the types of information, the mass of it, is mind boggling, even for me.
We’re going to touch on a few “pre-publishing” issues simply because time is running out with the election.
“They love me – They love me not.”
What I can say, early on, is that I get sick of finding fault with America. Unlike many, I am not bitter, don’t hate my own country, but I also no longer believe in the American people.
I find that “patriotic Americans” are a brave few, embattled, many inside the government and military still, many were eliminated during the Bush era, some returning under Obama but not enough.

Israeli Regime's Analysis: German-Iranian trade booming

By BENJAMIN WEINTHAL: BERLIN – Germany’s exports to Iran have totaled over 25 billion euros since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad took office in 2005.
Last week’s visit by three German deputies to Iran, which included a meeting with the German-Iranian chamber of commerce, cast an unfavorable light on Germany’s unbreakable trade relationship with Tehran.
Flourishing bilateral trade relations between Germany and the Islamic Republic have been a source of frustration and anger at times for Israeli, British, French, and US (Bankster) efforts to impose tough EU economic sanctions.
While Berlin has codified legislation to protect the religious freedom of Jews and Muslims regarding circumcision within a rapid fire period of time in 2012 – Bundestag lawmakers refuse to pass unilateral economic sanctions modeled on (Bankster shill lobbyist paid) US legislation to ratchet up the pressure on Iran.
Dr. Wahdat-Hagh, a leading German-Iranian expert on Iran’s economy and regime, told The Jerusalem Post on Friday that Germany’s volume of exports “stabilize the power of the totalitarian dictator in Iran.”
A comprehensive statistical account of German-Iranian trade from the Federal Republic’s office of statistics in Wiesbaden viewed by the Post on Friday, covering 1950 to 2011, depicts a booming trade relationship with Ahmadinejad’s government.

Gold and Silver Worth $1.4 Billion Carried In Baggage From Turkey To Iran, UAE and Middle East in September

GoldCore: Gold edged up a bit on Monday, limiting the fall after the better than expected US jobs number sent the yellow metal downward to a two month low.
If the US Fed doesn’t need to embark on more stimulus measures this may limit the yellow metal’s appeal with investors who see continuous money printing by central banks as increasing inflation and debasing currencies.
The US dollar limited gold’s rebound as it hit its highest in 2 months as investors parked money there before the US election.
This week there is an ECB policy meeting on November 8th and also a key gathering of the Chinese Communist Party.  
US Economic highlights include ISM Services at 1500 GMT today.  Wednesday’s data is Consumer Credit, Thursday Initial Jobless Claims and the Trade Balance and Friday Export & Import Prices, Michigan Sentiment, and Wholesale Inventories are published. 
Turkey’s trade deficit has been shrinking and the country has enjoyed the best bond rally in the emerging markets this year due in part to the contributions of airline passengers transporting gold in their baggage.
Statistics from Istanbul’s 2 main airports show $1.4 billion of precious metals were registered for export in September.

Israeli War Game Does Not See Attack Of Iran Starting World War III

Tyler Durden's picture It would appear, based on the latest war games from Israel's Institute of National Security Studies, that we should all go back to sleep and not worry about the impact of an Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear infrastructure. The reason not to worry is simple - either it ignites World War III (which we presume means it will be all over very rapidly and we will be blissfully unaware until its too late to be capable of achieving anything) or - as they suspect (and gamed out) - there will be a focus on 'containment and restraint' with Iran unable to ignite the Middle East. The result is predicated on 'actors' motivated by rational considerations; which seems entirely irrational. All the gory details below...
War Game: The Hours following an Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Infrastructures
The Policies of the Actors and Principal Insights
The Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) held a war game (simulation) focusing on the first 48 hours after an Israeli aerial attack on Iran’s nuclear infrastructures.
The Scenario
After midnight on November 9, al-Jazeera reports that Israeli airplanes have attacked Iran’s nuclear facilities in three waves of attack. As reports multiply, Israel officially announces it has attacked Iran’s nuclear sites because it had no other choice. According to the scenario, Israel did not coordinate the attack with the United States in advance, and only informed the US once the planes were already en route to the Iranian targets.

People Power vs Big Oil

In days, Nigeria's Parliament could approve a $5 billion fine against giant oil polluter Shell and set in motion a law that would hold oil companies to account for the first time ever. The President endorses the penalty, but Big Oil are lobbying MPs like crazy to vote against reform. Our voices can drown them out to win justice for Nigeria's people. Join the urgent call now!

Dear friends, In days, Nigeria's Parliament could approve a $5 billion fine against giant oil polluter Shell for a spill that devastated the lives of millions of people, and pass a law to hold all oil companies to account for polluting and plundering. This is a watershed moment, but unless we all speak out, oil giants will crush it.

Finally, Big Oil is having to pay for the wasteland and violence
that they’ve created. President Jonathan supports the Shell fine, and progressive Senators are pushing for strong regulations, but oil companies are slick, and without huge international support MPs could buckle under the pressure.

Politicians are deciding their positions right now -- sign the urgent petition for the Nigerian Parliament to fine Shell and support the bill, and then forward this to everyone -- when we hit a million signers we'll bring our unprecedented global call to the steps of Nigeria's Parliament:


Experts say that every year Big Oil spills as much crude into the Niger Delta as an Exxon Valdez, but as it is Africa, it gets little media play. After a leak occurred at Shell's Bonga oil facility last December, millions of gallons poured into the ocean and washed up on the densely populated coast -- resulting in one of the largest African oil spills ever. The fine and bill on the table are a once in a lifetime chance to stand up to Big Oil.

The Bailout Of Russian “Black Money” In Cyprus

By Wolf Richter: Timing couldn’t have been worse. Or more opportune. A “secret” report by the German version of the CIA, the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND), bubbled to the surface, asserting that the pending bailout of Cyprus would use the money of taxpayers in other countries, particularly in Germany, to bail out mostly rich Russians who have over the years deposited their “black money” in Cypriot banks that are now collapsing.
Not that the bailout of this tiny speck of land with 840,000 people isn’t in enough trouble. Admitted into the Eurozone in 2008, Cyprus veered towards bankruptcy in 2011 but was temporarily bailed out last November by a €2.5 billion loan from Russia. That money didn’t last long. In June, it asked the Troika, the austerity gang from the EU, the ECB, and the IMF, for a full-fledged bailout. So Troika inspectors have been combing through the financial rubble to determine a bailout amount and needed structural reforms.
On Thursday, Finance Minister Vassos Shiarly was still optimistic. He hoped that negotiations with the Troika would conclude before the November 12 meeting of Eurozone finance ministers. On Friday, he admitted that a number of issues were still unresolved, including privatization of state-owned enterprises and elimination of Cost of Living Adjustments for wages, both of which have hit a wall of resistance. But then, a Troika report that Reuters “obtained in Berlin” considered Cyprus’ latest proposal for structural reforms “insufficient” and urged the government “to cooperate with the Troika.”

Report reveals Japanese nuclear safety experts received large sums of money from nuclear industry

By Madison Ruppert: While the “profoundly man-made disaster” at the Fukushima nuclear power plant continues unabated with independent experts continually blocked from gaining access, it has now been revealed that the six members of a Japanese government team drafting the new nuclear reactor safety standards have received tens of thousands of dollars from the nuclear industry.
According to a report put out by Japan’s Kyodo News a whopping four out of six experts on the panel drafting new safety standards have received funds from companies directly involved in the nuclear industry.
The grants, donations and compensation range from 3 million yen (around $37,290) to over 27 million yen (around $335,600) each, according to data released by the Nuclear Regulation Authority (NRA).
While the NRA claimed that the members of the panel “have been selected in line with rules, and there should be no problem,” Kyodo News rightly points out that critics “say the members’ judgments might be swayed by the wishes of donors, exposing safety regulations to the risk of being watered down.”
Indeed it seems so painfully obvious that it is somewhat laughable to even qualify such a statement with the word “might.”

Kurdish Spring Unfolding - From A Kurd

By : In the midst of a 40 year war, suddenly the Arab spring offers an opportunity for Kurdish ambitions ...A Young Kurdish Man Explains Source