12 Dec 2012

Syria: For Russia The Time To Act Is Now + Most Russians Think Homosexuality Is Perversion - Soviet Bear

Morris: Russia can leave Syria - or reinforce its military presence but it cannot sit on the fence while the West bolsters its military muscle and tears up previous agreements with Russia regarding Syria.

Fed Officials Forecast Main Rate to Stay Near Zero Until 2015/16

Bloomberg: A majority of Federal Reserve officials don’t expect to raise the main interest rate until 2015, when they forecast the jobless rate will fall to between 6 percent and 6.6 percent.

Federal Open Market Committee participants forecast today that gross domestic product will expand 2.3 percent to 3 percent next year, compared with 2.5 percent to 3 percent in September. Estimates for 2014 are from 3 percent to 3.5 percent, versus 3 percent to 3.8 percent in the previous projection, according to the central tendency forecasts, which exclude the three highest and three lowest of 19 projections.
The FOMC earlier today voted to supplement their $40 billion a month of mortgage-bond purchases with $45 billion in monthly Treasury purchases once their Operation Twist program expires at the end of the month. The Fed said interest rates will stay low “at least as long” as the unemployment rate remains above 6.5 percent and if inflation “between one and two years ahead” is projected to be no more than 2.5 percent.
The jobless rate probably will average 7.4 percent to 7.7 percent in the final three months of next year, officials said, versus 7.6 percent to 7.9 percent in September.

Five of 19 officials said the first interest-rate increase since 2006 would be warranted in 2014 or sooner, while 13 said it would occur in 2015. One called for an increase in 2016.

"What's wrong with this picture?" High Ranking US Major General Exposes September 11

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts: "America is Going to Crash Big Time"

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts thinks there is "an impending collapse of the exchange value," and the U.S. dollar could unexpectedly plunge in buying power. Dr. Roberts contends, "All of a sudden, people walk into Walmart, as usual, and they think they've walked into Neiman Marcus." Dr. Roberts says there are no quick fixes to the bulging debt because "there's no way to close this deficit when corporations are moving the tax base off-shore." Join Greg Hunter as he goes One-on-One with Dr. Paul Craig Roberts. Source

Mozilla rallies for opposition against secret Internet treaty

Add another name to the list of critics concerned with attempts to rewrite the International Telecommunication Union to give governments control of the Internet: Silicon Valley’s Mozilla now officially opposes the ITU.
AFP Photo / Eric Piermont
RT: Mozilla, the makers of the highly successful Firefox Web browser for Macs, PCs and smart phones, have come out to condemn a top-secret meeting in Dubai this week that could lead to changes with how the world is wired to the Internet.
The details of the closed-door discussions being held between members of the United Nation’s World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) this week in the United Arab Emirates remains a secret, and that’s exactly why Mozilla is speaking up. In a plea posted on Mozilla.org, the developers write, The issue isn't whether our governments, the UN or even the ITU should play a role in shaping the Web. The problem is that they are trying to do it behind closed doors, in secret, without us.”
The Web lets us speak out, share and connect around the things that matter. It creates new opportunities, holds governments to account, breaks through barriers and makes cats famous. This isn't a coincidence. It's because the Web belongs to all of us,” insists Mozilla. We all get a say in how it's built.”

Small Business Apocalypse Or Political Vendetta?

By Wolf Richter: The National Federation of Independent Business tried to shock the world with its report that small-business owner optimism plunged 5.6 points to 87.5%—below the 87.8% of the apocalyptic post-Lehman November 2008. A huge setback; small businesses are the job creating machine of the economy. “Something bad happened, and it wasn’t Sandy,” said NFIB chief economist Bill Dunkelberg. “It was the election.”
Small-business Optimism took a nasty hit during the financial crisis—and hasn’t recovered yet. When NFIB started the monthly surveys in 1986, it set the level at 100. Optimism would drop into the 90s then bounce back above 100. From late 2003 through 2004, peaks approached 110. But in 2005, Optimism faded. It dipped below 90 for the first time in March, 2008, as Bear Stearns blew up. By September, it was back at 92.9, the high for the year. Despite Lehman’s collapse.
Small-business owners apparently liked that Wall Street got clobbered. As markets nosedived, however, optimism followed. In October 2008, it dropped 5.4 points to 87.8, rose a smidgen in November, then descended to its low of 81.0 in March, 2009.
Recovery of small-business Optimism was only slight, unlike the markets that were goosed by the trillions that the Fed handed to its cronies. Small businesses got no more than crumbs. By April 2010, Optimism ventured above 90, then dropped again. In February, 2011, it reached a post-crisis high of 94.5, dropped again, hit that high once more in April, 2012, then dropped and finally hit 87.5% in November. A tough slog.
The most significant factor in November’s plunge?  The expectation that future business conditions will be worse than current ones,”

Superhumans, supercities and supercomputers: US intelligence's vision of 2030

RT: Things are about to get a little weird. This according to the National Intelligence Council, at least, a US-based coalition of spy agencies that has just released its predictions for what’s in store for the Earth in 2030.
The NIC released on Monday “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds,” an 140-page report that brings together the best brains within the intelligence sector to find out what we might expect a few decades down the road. Given the current rate of growth in technology and medicine, the marvels considered in the NIC report shouldn’t come as all too surprising. Only 18 years down the road, however, the ideas being pitched by the people behind the report might not be as much science fiction as soon-to-be-reality. It also might very well be predictive policy making.
“We are at a critical juncture in human history, which could lead to widely contrasting futures,” Council Chairman Christopher Kojm writes in the report.
With the next few years ripe for experiment, the future is malleable,” Kojm suggests, making no time like the present to start perfecting space-age advances once thought to be out of this world. On the contrary, though, the NIC seems to think cyborg civilians and instant super-cities are thing of the not-so-distant future.
“Our effort is to encourage decision-makers, whether in government or outside, to think and plan for the long term so that negative futures do not occur and positive ones have a better chance of unfolding,”

The world's low-growth, economic disaster zone - Nigel Farage

• European Parliament, Strasbourg, 11 December 2012
• Speaker: Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), Co-President of the 'Europe of Freedom and Democracy' (EFD) Group in the European Parliament Source

Obey Christmas + Propegangnam Style


Gold bars in the crackers at hedge fund Christmas bash

CALLY SQUIRES: TIS the season for the annual office Christmas party. Never an event to miss, and especially so for the employees of one particular City hedge fund, who will be pleasantly surprised when they sit down to their Christmas lunch this year.
The founder of online bullion delivery company Bullion By Post, Rob Halliday Stein, tells The Capitalist that he recently received a very unusual gift request: “A manager of a well known hedge fund requested ‘something special’ to put in the crackers for his bank’s annual Christmas bash this week”.
The answer? “I suggested 1g gold bars as they are about the size of a thumbnail,” said Halliday Stein.
Our generous hedge fund manager agreed to the golden gift suggestion, and promptly ordered 50 gold bars, at a cost of £50 per bar.
The Capitalist wonders what the rest of the lunch will be like if they are handing out gold bars in the crackers. Turkey covered in gold leaf? Twenty-four carat cake?
Let’s just hope there is no scrambling under the table when those bars go flying. Source