12 Apr 2013

Fed Orchestrated Smash In Gold! - Former US Treasury Official

Then, a couple of days ago, Goldman Sachs announced there would be further departures from gold.  So what they are trying to do is scare the individual investor out of bullion.  Clearly there is something desperate going on....

Dutch Delusion: Europe's Core, She Rots Some More

By Raül Ilargi Meijer: A report published Thursday by the real estate industry in the Netherlands states that the average home price is now 18% lower than it was at the peak in 2008, while detached homes lost 20%-25% (March 2013 YoY prices fell 6.8%, says Eurostat). A separate, earlier, report estimated that 20% of homes, or over 1 million, are now underwater.
Today's report comes hot on the heels of a study issued Wednesday by a government commission, which took a full year to prepare and 121 pages to explain what went wrong in the Dutch housing bubble, and what should be done now to correct it.
The core problem is simple: from 1995 to 2008 home prices more than tripled (rose 200%+). Hence, if we round off to a 20% drop from peak levels, or 60% from 1995 levels when prices were a third of what they were in 2008, there's still an increase of about 150% from the starting levels that needs to be dealt with. We can discount for, and let's be generous, perhaps 50% for overall price inflation, but that still leaves us with a 100% increase, which is quite a bit more than the 60% absorbed so far.
This means that, seen from the 2008 peak perspective, a 20% price fall has been completed, and another 33% drop is needed to get back to where it came from. Some may cite reasons why prices should remain elevated, but that smacks too much of the "this time is different" argument; one might as well argue the opposite. A main point raised is that demand outstrips supply, but demand is not what people want; it's what they will be able to afford. And the Dutch economy is shrinking.

RAID! Gold & Silver Smashed to $1400 & $26 Handle! + IMF sells gold, China is buying

silverThe Doc: Gold and silver were greeted with a classic COMEX open waterfall smash this morning, with gold smashed through support at $1550 and down a massive $35 to $1525, and silver down a full dollar to $26.64!
The smash has gold trading back at July 2011 levels, prior to the US downgrade, QE2, QE3, and QE4!

*Update: free-fall 2nd leg of smash in progress,  silver breaks $26.50 to $26.14, gold breaks $1500 with a 14 handle at $1495!
Silver smashed to a $26 handle:

Orwellian 'West imposes media blackout on Mali'

Press TV: Getting information out of Mali has been made very difficult because the French army has kept the media out and there is a media blackout there as well as in the American media.

Cyprus gold sale profits must be used to pay back ECB, orders eurozone

Mario Draghi, the ECB president, told the Cypriot government that the money from the gold sale cannot be used to pay public debt but must be used to pay back the central bank.

By : Cyprus must sell off the gold, amounting to three quarters of the country's reserves, to try to meet the soaring costs of its bail-out without any additional help from the European Union and IMF.
The extra financing burden, equivalent to a third of the island's annual GDP, is expected to push Cyprus into an economic meltdown and takes the cost of the Cypriot bail-out to over 135pc of the country's economic wealth.
Mario Draghi, the president of the ECB, has told Cypriot government that money from the gold sale cannot be used to reduce public debt but must be used to help pay back €9.1bn in emergency liquidity assistance (ELA) given to the central bank of Cyprus.
"The decision is going to be taken by the central bank. What is important, however, is that what is being transferred to the government budget out of the profits made out of the sales of gold should cover first and foremost any potential loss that the central bank might have from its ELA," he said.
Increasing the humiliation for Cyprus, Mr Draghi has written to Nicos Anastasiades, the Cypriot President, ordering him to stop angry MPs from criticising or investigating the central bank and threatening him with sanctions in the EU courts.

If the conflicting data feel like a stream of dissonance, ask yourself why. - TROLLING ALONG

trollfinnPortrait of a troll 
(left)….the Finnished article
Ever since Moses came back down with Ten Commandments and claimed they were from God, it’s been difficult to get at the Truth. But the complexity and subtlety of contemporary disinformation make it well-nigh impossible to get anywhere near it.  
The Slog: Explains why this is happening, who’s doing it, and what they’re trying to achieve.
‘Eurozone output rose greater than expected in the month of February,” wrote Reuters this morning. By gum, one thinks, things might be looking up. And Reuters suggests such a thought might indeed be appropriate: the data, it reports, are ‘giving hope the currency bloc will return to growth this year’.
Except, of course, it’s complete bollocks. Almost all of it is energy production – because Europe just had one of the coldest winter/spring spells on record. What’s more, whereas German production is up 95, ClubMed’s is down….especially in Italy at -8%. Which, of course, simply exacerbates the problem the eurozone already has. Overall, real factory production continued to fall compared to data from a year ago.
Meanwhile, Bloomberg reports that ‘Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem said “everything is in place” for euro-area officials to sign off on a 10 billion-euro rescue for Cyprus’……the only snag being that Nicosia doesn’t agree: it thinks it needs more. Or does it? Lest we forget here, Cyprus’s contribution to its own rescue has risen from €7bn to €13bn. Cyprus isn’t as yet asking for anything from anyone, because it is rescuing itself, remember? In fact, didn’t Cyprus decide to use its own gold to raise the new larger amount? No actually, it didn’t:

Glenda Jackson launches tirade against Thatcher in tribute debate

barnetbugle: Causing howls of outrage, and grimaces on fellow Labour MPs faces, Glenda Jackson MP defies the respectful mood of the chamber by launching a ferocious assault on 'Thatcherism' - earrings bouncing around - in a debate marked by calm tribute to the late great Lady Thatcher. Tony Baldry intervenes to ask the Speaker if her comments were in order. Source

Are Individuals The Property Of The Collective?

Brandon Smith: Mankind has faced a bewildering multitude of self-made catastrophes and self-made terrors over the past few millennium, most of which stem from a single solitary conflict between two opposing social qualities:  individualism vs. collectivism.  These two forces of organizational mechanics have gone through evolution after evolution over the years, and I believe the long battle is nearing an apex moment; a moment in which one ideology or the other will become dominant around the world for well beyond the foreseeable future. 

The assumption often made amongst academia is that the philosophy that appeals most to our “natural survival imperative” and caters to our desire for innovation will eventually win the day.  That there is no “right or wrong” side; only the effective, and the less effective.  The advanced and the outmoded.  The transcendent, and the archaic. 

It should come as no surprise then that most academics and prominent mainstream talking heads often sing the praises of collectivism as the inevitable champion in the war between cultural engines.  Collectivism always presents itself with the flair and sexiness of the “new”, or the progressive, while individualism tends to wear the unpleasant battle scars of hard earned principles and heritage.  Collectivism is the hot looking but mentally unstable bombshell blonde making promises of excitement and long term comfort she has no intention of keeping.  She is so seductive not because she has any profound inner qualities, but because she has a knack for letting you believe she is exactly what you fantasize her to be.  Only when it’s too late do you realize she’s a psychopathic pill popping man-eater…

Jim Rickards - Why He Likes Gold Better than BitCoin - Gold is Money

James Rickards, Axel Merk - Talk about Gold, BitCoin, China, Japan & More

Cyprus "Served Poison" forced to find extra €6bn for bailout, leaked analysis shows

and Cypriot politicians have reacted with fury to news that the crisis-hit country will be forced to find an extra €6bn (£5bn) to contribute to its own bailout, much of which is expected to come from savers at its struggling banks.
A leaked draft of the updated rescue plan, which emerged late on Wednesday night, revealed that the total bill for the bailout has risen to €23bn, from an original estimate of €17bn, less than a month after the deal was agreed – and the entire extra cost will be imposed on Nicosia.
Visiting Athens, the Cypriot parliament's president, Yannakis Omirou, said the tiny island nation had been "served poison" by its EU partners.
Cyprus's politicians had already faced intense domestic political pressure for agreeing to impose hefty losses on savers at two struggling banks to fulfil its eurozone partners' original demand that they contribute €7bn.
But after a more detailed "debt sustainability analysis" showed that the black hole in the island nation's finances is far deeper than first thought, the total cost for Cypriot taxpayers and depositors has now been set at €13bn, with €10bn to come from its eurozone partners and the International Monetary Fund. The €23bn overall bill is larger than an entire year's output from the Cypriot economy.

"No Doubt. Our Pensions Are Screwed." - Carmen Reinhart

Tyler Durden's picture "The crisis isn't over yet," warns Carmen Reinhart, "not in the US and not in Europe." Known for her deep understanding that 'it's never different this time', the Harvard economist drops the truth grenade a number of times in this excellent Der Spiegel interview. Sweeping away the sound and fury of a self-serving Federal Reserve or BoJ, she chides, "no central bank will admit it is keeping rates low to help governments out of their debt crises. But in fact they are bending over backwards to help governments to finance their deficits," and guess what, "this is nothing new in history."
After World War II, all countries that had a big debt overhang relied on financial repression to avoid an explicit default. After the war, governments imposed interest rate ceilings for government bonds; but, nowadays, she explains, "monetary policy is doing the job. And with high unemployment and low inflation that doesn't even look suspicious. Only when inflation picks up, which is ultimately going to happen, will it become obvious that central banks have become subservient to governments."
Nations "seldom just grow themselves out of debt," as so many believe is possible, "you need a combination of austerity, so that you don't add further to the pile of debt, and higher inflation, which is effectively a subtle form of taxation," with the consequence that people are going to lose their savings. Reinhart succinctly summarizes, "no doubt, our pensions are screwed."

Never Mind Facebook; Winklevoss Twins Rule in Digital Money

By NATHANIEL POPPER and PETER LATTMAN: The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler — Olympic rowers, nemeses of Mark Zuckerberg — are laying claim to a new title: bitcoin moguls.
The Winklevii, as they are known, have amassed since last summer what appears to be one of the single largest portfolios of the digital money, whose wild gyrations have Silicon Valley and Wall Street talking. The twins, the first prominent figures in the largely anonymous bitcoin world to publicly disclose a big stake, say they own nearly $11 million worth.
Or at least $11 million as of Thursday morning — when trading was temporarily suspended after the latest and largest flash crash left a single bitcoin worth about $120 and the whole market worth $1.3 billion. At one point, the price had plummeted 60 percent.

To skeptics, the frenzy over the bitcoin network created by anonymous programmers in 2009 looks more like the mania for Dutch tulip bulbs in the 1600s than the beginnings of an actual currency.
“To say highly speculative would be the understatement of the century,” said Steve Hanke, a professor specializing in alternative currencies at Johns Hopkins University.
Whatever else it is, bitcoin has become the financial phenomenon of the moment.