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Saturday Humor: iPhone 6 Plus vs Samsung Galaxy S5

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 21:44

As untold millions unwrap their shiny new iPhone 6's this weekend, we thought the following would be useful for some context...


Source: The Onion

The Decline Of America's Economic Model In 1 Simple Chart

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 21:17

"You can't eat GDP, and you can't live in a rising stock market" is the striking phrase from NY Times' Neil Irwin as he offers the most damning chart of the decline of America's Economic Model (and dream). As we have explained vociferously, the most important thing to understand about today’s economy is: Around 1999, growth in the United States economy stopped translating to growth in middle-class incomes.


The choice, by Greenspan and carried on by his followers, was to enable the financialization of the US economy for the benefit of the few, at the cost of the many. As Irwin concludes, and we explained previously, Americans feel disappointed by the economy; the new data show that they have good reason.

Source: NY Times

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Perhaps, just perhaps, Rick Santelli was right after all...

"This is America! We don't follow consensus, we set it!"

This is what Santelli is upset about... Who is the Fed working for? Main Street or Wall Street?

Summarizing Obama's ISIS Strategy Endgame (In 1 Cartoon)

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 20:28

Presented with liitle comment aside to ask "who could have seen 'that' coming?"



Source: Cagle

Greenspan's "Irrational Exuberance" Warning In Context

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 19:33

As the marginal investing bot continues to invest his marginal leveraged dollar-on-the-sideline on an equity market that, as Janet Yellen has explained to the poor, will create a "wealth effect" to sustain everyone through rainy days and retirement, we thought some context worthwhile. On December 5th 1996, Alan Greenspan - upon the recognition that equity market capitalization has bubbled to over 100% of nominal GDP - opined that investors had succumbed to "irrational exuberance." Since then, that 'exuberance' has become increasingly rational as the Fed pulls all its monetary-base expanding, deficit-funding, asset-purchases to keep the American Dream alive for a select (and shrinking) few...


Irational-er and Irrational-er...


But adjusted for the reality of a fiat world, things look a little different since the dot-com collapse inspired The Fed...


As is clear - since the financial crisis, stocks have become completely dependent upon The Fed


As The Monetary stock and flow indicate...


And relative to debt... stocks have gone nowherefor 90 years...

Charts: The Chart Store

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"Clearly, sustained low inflation implies less uncertainty about the future, and lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets. We can see that in the inverse relationship exhibited by price/earnings ratios and the rate of inflation in the past. But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade..."

"How" indeed, Alan, how indeed?

Meanwhile, Here's What The "Super-Rich" Are Rushing To Buy

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 18:44

If you said shares of BABA, you'd be wrong. According to the Telegraph, the exodus out of paper wealth and into hard assets is reaching a fever pitch as the "super-rich are looking to protect their wealth through buying record numbers of "Italian job" style gold bars, according to bullion experts."

The numbers cited by the paper are impressive: the number of 12.5kg gold bars being bought by wealthy customers has increased 243% so far this year, when compared to the same period last year, said Rob Halliday-Stein founder of BullionByPost. "These gold bars are usually stored in the vaults of central banks and are the same ones you see in the film 'The Italian Job'," added David Cousins, bullion executive from London based ATS Bullion.

The sales of 1kg gold bars, worth about £25,000 each, have doubled during the three months ended August, when compared to the same period last year, Telegraph reports according to ATS Bullion sales figures.

As a reminder, these are not some dinky, 1 oz coins that are being bought hand over fist: the bars which are made from pure gold and are worth more than £300,000 each at today's prices of $1,223 (£760) an ounce.

That said, sales of the more popular, and far cheaper gold coins such as the quarter ounce sovereign and one ounce Krugerrand have also doubled this year, according to figures from BullionByPost.

Mr Halliday-Stein said that while most customers arrange for secure storage of the larger bars in secret vaults operated by Brinks, some customers have taken physical delivery of the 12.5kg bars.

Would they be... Chinese customers?

But, how is it possible that as the "super rich" are supposedly rushing to buy gold that gold prices are at 2014 lows?

Simple: as the chart below shows, there is no better way to continue masking the demand for physical gold than to keep selling paper gold, in this case via its most liquid manifestation, the GLD ETF. It is this ETF that just saw the notional value of gold "holdings" backing the paper manifestation of its "goldness", drop to just 776 tons, the lowest since 2008 and nearly half the maximum "holdings" of 1,353 tons reached in December 2012.

In fact, as if to punctuate what we said early yesterday about the liquidation of precious metals in order to fund BABA purchases, here is the percentage change in GLD holdings on a daily basis: yesterday's 1% drop in which some 8 paper tons of gold were firesold was a 1% drop in GLD holdings, and the second biggest daily drop in all of 2014...   

... a drop which also pushed the price of paper gold to its lowest for 2014. And, a drop, which all those who are buying physical gold instead of paper, are thankful for.

If you would like to decorate your profile with a natural home there's a collect...

Natural Homes - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 18:25
If you would like to decorate your profile with a natural home there's a collection of cover pictures here, each linked to an article about the building...

Facebook Covers
A beautiful collection of natural building Facebook covers, each with a link to an article.

Technical Outlook for the Dollar

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 18:02

Technically, the dollar is finishing the quarter on strong footing. It has risen against all the major currencies. The New Zealand dollar has eclipsed the yen as the weakest of the major currencies. It is off 7% since end of June. The Canadian dollar is strongest of the majors, losing only 2.7%, and that is after this week's leading 1.2% advance. 


Neither the euro nor the yen have been able to sustain even modest upticks.  Despite extended positioning, the bears do not appear to have had their fill.   Into the weekend G20 meeting, there has been no official resistance to the euro and yen's depreciation.    The poor participation in the ECB's new four-year lending facility (TLTRO) has boosted speculation that more aggressive measures will be needed to 1) revive lending and 2) bolster the ECB's balance sheet by the trillion euros Draghi mentioned.


In Japan, BOJ Governor Kuroda welcomed the yen's decline, and pledged to provide more stimulus if needed.  This is in the context in which the Federal Reserve's forecasts appear to have increased the risk of an earlier rate hike, and a US economy that is running a bit faster than appreciated.    Q2 GDP will likely be revised (September 26) to something closer to 5% than 4% (from 4.2%) and estimates for Q3 GDP are creeping up as well. 


A note of caution may be in order for the euro.  The multi-month lows set at the end last week were not confirmed by the RSI or MACD.  This could be an early signal of a market losing momentum.  However, the upside is not compelling, with new selling anticipated in the $1.3000-20 area.  On the downside, the next key target is near $1.2750. 


The dollar reached almost JPY109.50 before the weekend.  It has gone almost straight up since the JPY101-JPY103 four-month range was broken in late August.  We had suggested potential toward JPY110.   The market may grow cautious as this level is neared.   A pullback would be seen as a new buying opportunity for dollar bulls.  Downside support is near JPY107.80 to JPY108.00.


The weakness in the yen will likely continue to help lift the Nikkei, which finally turned positive for the year just before the weekend.   Since the dollar broke out of the range against the yen on August 20, the Nikkei has advanced by 6.2% to new multi-year highs.  


In an almost classic case of "buy the rumor, sell the fact", sterling fell two cents after initially rallying on new that Scotland will remain part of the Kingdom.  It appears to have posted a shoot star pattern, a bearish candlestick formation. Recall sterling had rallied from the $1.6050 low on September 10 to $1.6525 shortly after it became clear that the unionists would win.  It then proceeded to reverse lower.  Initial support is seen a little below $1.6300, and there is a daily trend line that comes in just below $1.6250, in front of a retracement objective near $1.6235. 


The Canadian dollar looks interesting from a technical perspective. For those US dollar bulls looking for a currency to diversify into, the Canadian dollar may be attractive. The US dollar was turned back from CAD1.11 at the start of last week, and with the help of a stronger core inflation print, it dipped below CAD1.09 before the weekend.  Trend line support, drawn off the mid-July and the early September lows comes in near CAD1.0875 at the start of the new week, which is just north of the 100-day moving average (~CAD1.0855).    There are US dollar bearish divergences in the MACD, but that does not rule out some modest upticks toward CAD1.0980-CAD1.1020    The bottom of the range is CAD1.08. 


Since it tested the $0.9400 area on September 5, the Australian dollar has slumped 4.3% or nearly five cents.    Immediate resistance is seen near $0.9000.  Given Australia's interest rates it is expensive to be short when the downside momentum stalls.  Weaker commodity prices and the China slowdown are often cited as factors that have sparked the dramatic drop in the Aussie.   The Australian dollar appears to have carved out a large head and should pattern from April through early-September.   The neckline was broken on September 9 near $0.9220.  The minimum objective is just above $0.8900, and below there is $0.8850.  Further a field, the 2014 low near $0.8660 from late-January beckons.    


Technical indicators are not generating strong signals in the Mexican peso.  The US dollar appears in a new broader range of MXN13.00 to MXN13.30.   We have a slight bias toward a stronger peso, and see that local stocks have performed better than the MSCI EM index recently, perhaps aided by strength of the US economy and somewhat better Mexican data.  


US 10-year yields edged single basis point higher last week.  While the near-term risk extends toward 2.70%, many are talking about 2.65%, which corresponds to the 200-day moving average.   Perhaps a sharp drop in the headline of August durable goods orders (September 25), as the July surge in Boeing orders is unwound, may encourage some backing off of the yield, but 2.55% may be the most that can reasonably be hoped for now. 


Observations based on the speculative positioning in the futures market:


1.  There was an unusually high number of significant position adjustments, which we have defined as a change of 10k of more contract in the gross position.   This increase in activity has been observed in the spot market as well.


2.  The gross long euro position increased by 20.2k contracts to 79.6k.  This seems to be a case of bottom picking.  The net short position fell as a result of new longs entering the market rather than a bout of short covering.  The gross short position fell by 200 contracts to 216.7k.


3.  The gross long yen position jumped by 20.3k contracts to 37.6k.  This was the principle cause of the decline in the net short position to 83.2k contracts from 101k.  The gross short position actually increased by 2.8k contracts to 120.8k.


4.  The gross long sterling position was cut by a 25.7k contracts to 55.6k.  The gross short position grew by 7.6k contracts.  This was sufficient to switch the net position to the short side (6.6k contracts) for the first time since last November.


5.  The gross long Australian dollar position was culled by 17.7k contracts to 55.6k.  The gross short position increased by almost 1.5k contracts.  The net long position was essentially halved to 22.1k contracts (from 41.2k).


6.  The gross short Mexican peso position rose by almost 15k contracts to 47.4k.  The gross long position was trimmed by 1.6k to stand at 69.4k contracts.


7.  Speculators generally added to gross short currency futures positions, with the euro the main exception.  The adjustment to the gross long position were more mixed.


8.  The net short US 10-year Treasury bond futures position fell to 6.8k contracts from 33.3k.  This was mostly a product of 23.2k gross short positions being covered.  The bulls added 3.3k contracts, which lifted the gross long position to 443.5k contracts.

GDP Watch: Summer 2014 Was World's Warmest Ever

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 18:01

Since weather has become the most crucial factor in forecasting economic growth, we thought it crucial to the future of central bank policy to note that Summer 2014 was officially the hottest one ever, according to NOAA. This of course means there is "pent-up" cold weather, which may explain the collapse in global growth expectations. However, this chatter about heat may surprise Americans (aside from those that live in the Western States) as the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S. were running cooler than normal (thus concerns about growth). According to NOAA’s records, this is the 38th consecutive August and 354th consecutive month with a global average temperature above the 20th century average.


As The Washington Post reports,

It was the warmest summer on Earth since records began in 1880, according to a monthly climate report by NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.



In addition, August 2014 was the warmest August on record for the globe, according to all three major organizations that track the earth’s temperature.



Over land and ocean, NOAA reports that August ended 0.75 degrees Celsius above the 20th century average, while the summer months, June through August, were 0.71 degrees warmer than normal.

Which explains this... (as meteoreconomists downgrade growth expectations on the basis that hot summer means cold winter in the Keynesian mean-reverting world of weather prognostication)


Global GDP growth plunged to cycle lows as the "hot" summer swept across the world.


Over land, the high latitudes were incredibly warm compared to normal, in Siberia in particular. The sizzling heat in the western U.S. and Mexico drove up the temperature for the JMA analysis, while the eastern U.S. was cooler than average in all three analyses.


The summer and August records may come as a surprise to the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast U.S., which were running cooler (and wetter) than normal according to both NASA and NOAA.



According to NOAA’s records, this is the 38th consecutive August and 354th consecutive month with a global average temperature above the 20th century average.

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So prepare yourself for Q3 earnings excuses that it was not Goldilocks... in fact it was too hot to shop/spend/invest in capex in the West and too cold to buy iPhones in the East...

AP Reveals 8 Ways Obama's "Most Transparent Administration Ever" Blocks Information

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 17:08

"We have put in place the toughest ethics and transparency laws of any administration in history," President Obama proclaimed four short years ago... However, as AP Washington Bureau Chief Sally Buzbee said recently, the fight for access to public information has never been harder, and in fact, the problem extends across the entire federal government and is now trickling down to state and local governments. Here is Buzbee’s list of eight ways Obama's "most transparent" administration is making it hard for journalists to find information and cover the news...


Remember, this is the most transparent and open administration ever...


Though, it seems, as AP reports, that is simply not true...

1) As the United States ramps up its fight against Islamic militants, the public can’t see any of it. News organizations can’t shoot photos or video of bombers as they take off — there are no embeds. In fact, the administration won’t even say what country the S. bombers fly from.


2) The White House once fought to get cameramen, photographers and reporters into meetings the president had with foreign leaders overseas. That access has become much rarer. Think about the message that sends other nations about how the world’s leading democracy deals with the media:  Keep them out and let them use handout photos.


3) Guantanamo: The big important 9/11 trial is finally coming up. But we aren’t allowed to see most court filings in real time — even of nonclassified material. So at hearings, we can’t follow what’s happening. We don’t know what prosecutors are asking for, or what defense attorneys are arguing.


4) Information about Guantanamo that was routinely released under President George W. Bush is now kept secret. The military won’t release the number of prisoners on hunger strike or the number of assaults on guards. Photo and video coverage is virtually nonexistent.


5) Day-to-day intimidation of sources is chilling. AP’s transportation reporter’s sources say that if they are caught talking to her, they will be fired. Even if they just give her facts, about safety, for example. Government press officials say their orders are to squelch anything controversial or that makes the administration look bad.


6) One of the media — and public’s — most important legal tools, the Freedom of Information Act, is under siege. Requests for information under FOIA have become slow and expensive. Many federal agencies simply don’t respond at all in a timely manner, forcing news organizations to sue each time to force action.


7) The administration uses FOIAs as a tip service to uncover what news organizations are pursuing. Requests are now routinely forwarded to political appointees. At the agency that oversees the new health care law, for example, political appointees now handle the FOIA requests.


8) The administration is trying to control the information that state and local officials can give out. The FBI has directed local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology the police departments use to sweep up cellphone data. In some cases, federal officials have formally intervened in state open records cases, arguing for secrecy.

*  *  *

If you like your transparency, in this case, you can't keep it!

Fear And Loathing In Scotland – Why The "NO"s Won & Lessons Learned From The Vote

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 16:23

Submitted by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

Yesterday morning, as I sat down for my ritualistic dose of caffeine and began to write, I noticed that I had auspiciously planted myself in front of two older women from the UK. One was from Scotland, the other from somewhere else in the United Kingdom with an accent I couldn’t quite place. The non-Scottish woman asked her friend for thoughts on the independence referendum. The Scottish woman replied that she would have voted “YES,” but that her friends were all voting “NO.” She said that “they were afraid.”

Upon overhearing this, I felt a pit form in my stomach. Almost all of the enthusiasm that I had for the day was immediately drained. Not only was I excited to see a historically defiant and proud people vote for independence, but yesterday marked the launch of the Contributor section of Liberty Blitzkrieg. It was a big day for me, yet all of a sudden it was as if the atmosphere suddenly evaporated and despair filled the air. Although no results had yet been reported, I knew the result. It was going to be NO.

I’m pretty sure I have absolutely zero Scottish blood in me, but I felt a strong sense of pride and camaraderie with the rebellious northerners. They had a chance to really kickstart a peaceful process of political decentralization that would spread like brushfire across the world. From Caledonia to Catalonia. From Quebec to these United States. It would have been an unstoppable force. It would be humanity proudly waving a flag of liberty and saying we can be fully integrated within the world at large without being ruled from a centralized power far from where we live. This is my dream and vision for the future and I was hopeful the Scots could lead the way. Unfortunately, this did not happen.

In the wake of the results, I have witnessed a great deal of bitterness and anger about the vote. While I can relate to such sentiments, I try to take a much more constructive and optimistic approach to the future. First and foremost, we should all be proud that the vote happened at all. So many people within the so-called “liberty movement” are discouragingly extreme pessimists. While proclaiming to fight for liberty, many of them seem to think we are powerless in the face of the powerful. To them, the independence referendum is proof that nothing can ever be changed. I completely disagree with this perspective.

The vote did happen, and the people of Scotland were given a choice. They said NO. I have always maintained that my vision of the future is not a world homogeneously looking like the type of community I personally want to live in, but rather a planet consisting of an almost infinite variety of different, autonomous, interacting, and prosperous communities. There will be so many choices, and such freedom of movement, that pretty much anyone of any disposition can find a place they feel they fit in and can call home. Nobody is ever subject to a life sentence within a particular political structure they had no role in creating just because they happened to be born there.

So that’s my vision, but how are we supposed to get there? Well for one thing, via powerful political movements such as the ones the Scots just pulled off. As a result of this movement, the people of Scotland were given a very important choice. A choice that 99.9% of the humans who have ever lived on planet earth have never had. This in itself is an important achievement. If the Scots voted NO, who am I or anyone else to say they made the right or wrong decision? They were given a real choice, a vote that actually mattered for once, and for that we should be encouraged. As I noted on Twitter yesterday:

No matter the outcome, the vote in Scotland matters. A lot. We need more votes and referendums that actually matter in the U.S. as well.

— Michael Krieger (@LibertyBlitz) September 18, 2014

Although I specifically mentioned the U.S., the above sentiment applies to the entire world. People everywhere should frequently hold direct referendums on specific issues that matter to them. The idea of representative democracy, in which we select some captured politician who will merely vote along the lines of special interests is outdated, immoral, childish and feudal. Recall the Princeton study that showed the U.S. is an oligarchy where the will of the people have zero effect on policy. So clearly we already know the status quo is not working for the vast majority of people.

So with that big picture vision out of the way, are there any positives those who favor decentralization can take from Scotland’s independence referendum other than the fact dedicated people actually made it happen? Yes, I believe there are many important takeaways, several of which are instructive going forward.

First, there’s the fact that fear was a driving force behind the NO voters. Fear is something I spent a lot of time addressing in posts several years ago. Fear is necessary in a very small number of scenarios we face as humans, but it is unfortunately applied in myriad situations where it makes our situations worse, not better. Fear is what allows despots to take and retain power. Fear is what keeps you from living life and achieving your goals. Fear is paralyzing. Fear makes a people reject their own independence.

Recall that the older lady yesterday (I would guess she was in her 70s) stated that her friends were all voting NO because they were “afraid.” This line took an increased level of significance for me later in the day as I was reading a lengthly article in the UK Telegraph and came across the following quote:

So with that in mind, it’s important to ask, who was fearful and why?

With the results now finalized, we have some definitive answers to this question. The post referendum polling done by Lord Ashcroft has been going around Twitter this morning, and the results are simply incredible. See below:

The NO vote was entirely secured by overwhelming support from those aged above 55. In fact, the “better together” camp failed to win any of the age groups below 55 years of age. For the 65+ crowd it was simply a blowout. 73% of them voted NO. So in a nutshell, old people filled with fear blocked independence. Similarly, fearful old people bailed out the banks in the U.S. several years ago, putting a nail in the coffin of the middle class and the youth generally. See what I am getting at here?

What we now know for certain is that old people in positions of wealth and power, and the ability to frighten others of their generation, is proving to be the most significant obstacle to global change. For those of us who wish to see paradigm shifting changes, this is a very positive realization. For starters, the older generation will gradually fade away, and the promises made to them via pensions will not be on the table for younger generations. Pensions were a huge issue for the 65+ crowd when it came down to their voting decisions.  The BBC noted that:

A recent BBC poll found that pensions came second in a list of the 10 things that mattered most to voters – only the economy was deemed more important.

The economy and pensions. So basically old people on the way out felt like they had a reasonable handle on what to expect under the current regime, and didn’t want to rock the boat. It’s really as simple as that.

Going forward, the older generation problem will naturally resolve itself. So we know that the youth will be deciding the future. Thus, the real question becomes, what will influence the youth?

As a result of the horrific and self-interested choices of older generations, the youth will be left with a much more difficult and uncertain future. This is already happening, but it will worsen considerably following the next severe economic decline, likely to start in late 2015.

My biggest concern is that fear will be used to drive the passions of the youth, rather than constructive, positive influences. We know that fear is an extremely powerful driver, and it more often than not leads to disastrous decision making. There is no doubt that the youth will decide the future, but will their passions be driven by negative emotions like fear, or positive sentiments like creativity, compassion and community? Only time will tell, but its up to us to be aware of this dynamic, understand exactly what is at stake, and attempt influence the outcome as positively as possible.

HoNK To THe CHieF...

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 16:18

Beware Dangerous Global Dirigisme

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 16:05

Courtesy of the SlealthFlation Blog:

Like many of our readers, I clearly have a very hard time reconciling a U.S. stock market making new all-time-highs almost daily, especially in the face of what most economists consider to be a weak domestic economy with negligible growth prospects.  Moreover, when you layover the thoroughly stalled and certainly weaker overall global economic picture, it’s even harder to rationalize.  Finally, throw into the mix the gravity of threatening geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and Russia, the two nations with the largest stockpiles of tactical nuclear weapons on earth, as well as the disintegrating Middle East mayhem, and the market actually welcomes it.  Something majorly does not add up, well, to this idiot anyways.

I know, I know, I know the economy is not the stock market.  What are you some kind of an moron.  But, let’s be honest with each other, the listed companies on the exchanges that make up the market in aggregate, do in fact represent the country’s economic condition at large. Therefore, if the overall economy has poor growth prospects, it surely stands to reason that the equity values which intrinsically measure the future earnings of those companies should in point of fact reflect that future weakness. Yet, we continue to achieve new highs almost daily? Some will tell you that it’s not so much the underlying value of the companies that is driving the market to new highs, but rather the Fed QE policy, printing ever free flowing funds which relentlessly increase financial asset values as the currency is consistently devalued, causing higher and higher prices. Well, if that were truly the case, wouldn’t rabid inflation be upon us in a general way, and thus reflected in all things cash buys?  The debased money still seems to be holding its value against certain other goods, right?  Not to mention that CPI is supposedly below 1% (rolls eyes).  Still others will tell you that it’s the astounding technology advances of our times driving the productivity gains which are behind these sensational stock valuations.  This I can buy into somewhat for several market sectors, at least where increased margins are concerned, but not across the board.   Moreover, during the past several quarters overall revenues have slowed, which has clearly been reflected in softer earnings growth for the majority of companies. Yet remarkably, the market continues making new highs, seeing nothing but clear skies above and continued smooth sailing ahead.  Call me a stubborn, but this idiot remains increasingly skeptical. FWIW, what I really see here is a entirely captured market being indirectly inflated by a complicit FED which through it's multinational mega bank agents, whom also happen to be it's board members, is desperrately trying to keep an impaired monetray and financial system afloat at all costs. They have reduced the market to a bill board, and themselves to foolish financial cheerleaders dubiously relying on a wealth effect that has yet to materialize. They also are well aware that the pension income stream demand 7% returns to maintain solvency. Where are they gonna get that? The eviceratted treasury market?  What I really see is nominal synthetic stock market gains, juiced by stock buy backs via zirp infested money, which are not a productive conduit for economic growth. I mean really, all time highs with little to no median income growth and nearly 60 million Americans permanently on food stamps.  What gives?

If one dares to make the unfathomable hair-brained assumption that the market is quite possibly not reflecting and perhaps even blatantly misrepresenting economic reality, what can really be going on here? What’s really driving the ballistic buying binge?  I realize that the momos and trendos among us don’t give a damn, as they continue to rake in coin via a market seemingly tailor made to reward their systematic approach to trading, almost as if it were specifically designed to entice and encourage their fabulous feeding frenzy. Now that their orginal sugar daddy has been repolaced by who's your Mommy, it seems reason enough to satisfy them. We remain unconvinced, and still require real rational answers to feel grounded in economic reality. What is really behind this seemingly illegitimate, and laughably ludicrous levitation?  Well, open your mind to the matrix, as we have an entirely spectacular answer for you all, which may well identify what is really operating behind the scenes.  Brace yourselves, if it’s even remotely accurate, it is truly terrifying.

Behold our bold brash belief or bogus bloviated buffoonery:

Most of us will acknowledge that an International Banking Cabal is in full control of the major Central Banks which orchestrate the current monetary order that the globe’s financial system runs on.  Moreover, you would have to have been living under a rock to have not noticed that, ever since the financial crisis of 2008, the political authorities leading the developed Nation’s of the world’s are now willfully subservient to their respective central banks which take their marching orders form the TBTF multinational banks which own them.  The cabal’s overriding self serving interests are suposedly paramount to us all. Yet, this avaricious international banking cartel has no allegiance other then unto itself.

Astonishingly, even the once revered ideal of national sovereignty itself has had its wings effectively clipped by this elite banking class. Perhaps the most obvious example of the abject subjugation, is the European Union, with its ECB imposed EURO hand cuffs firmly casting an iron grip around previously magnificent autonomous nations such as Italy and Spain, rendering them to a sad sorry state of subordinate EU foot stools.  How thoroughly we have permitted the self seeking interests of those privileged few closest to the powerful money levers control our collective destiny.  I dare say, many of you here seem to have acquiesced, and now actually welcome the money drug dealers. Beware my friends, as the pusher soon owns the junkie!

We are begining to genuinely believe that there may well exist self appointed elites running the deep state, acting as demigod’s directing our deferential dependency and the deliberate dollar’s demise, nefariously orchestrating a bold and grand scheme to complete the outright capture of our entire monetary existence.  It’s our contention, that all of this supposed tumult on the ground in Ukraine, is none other than globalist ongoing destabilization of the world’s sovereign Nation states designed to open the door for an IMF backed SDR new global monetary order, with the intent of establishing total financial hegemony over the world and all its natural resources, including those that are human.

These depraved puppet masters already have the European nation states right where they want them via their EU/ECB headlock strangle hold. They have rendered China entirely dependent on an export based / low wage economic growth model, as they have done with all the BRICS. They have destabilized MENA to disembowel OPEC. The next two chess pieces to fall will first be the once mighty Russian queen, followed by the indisputable king USA. The last move is to undermine the United States’ Petro dollar reserve currency supremacy. This final checkmate will be achieved by initiating a disastrous energy war.  They will require a raging resource war to destabilize the USD. The current covert NGO which manufactured and fomented riots in Kiev’s Maiden square, pitting Ukraine against Russia, is simply another carefully crafted conflict. They tried with Iraq and failed, they tried with Iran and failed, they tried with Libya and failed, they tried with Syria and failed, now they are desperately trying with Ukraine.  The American people could quite possibly fall for this last scheme. The MSM has certainly been working overtime to paint that Putinator prick as a dreadfully dangerous despot intent on world domination. Pay attention America, the international bankers want war, same as it ever was.


The following piece written by Brandon Smith provides provocative historical evidence of the int’l banks’ lust for war:

 With the exception of a few revolutions, most wars are instigated and controlled by financial elites, manipulating governments on both sides of the game to produce a preconceived result. The rise of National Socialism in Germany, for instance, was largely funded by corporate entities based in the U.S., including Rockefeller giant Standard Oil, JPMorgan and even IBM, which built the collating machines specifically used to organize Nazi extermination camps, the same machines IBM representatives serviced on site at places like Auschwitz. As a public figure, Adolf Hitler was considered a joke by most people in German society, until, of course, the Nazi Party received incredible levels of corporate investment. This aid was most evident in what came to be known as the Keppler Fund created through the Keppler Circle, a group of interests with contacts largely based in the U.S.

George W. Bush’s grandfather, Prescott Bush, used his position as director of the New York-based Union Banking Corporation to launder money for the Third Reich throughout the war. After being exposed and charged for trading with the enemy, the case against Bush magically disappeared in a puff of smoke, and the Bush family went on to become one of the most powerful political forces in America.

Without the aid of international conglomerates and banks, the Third Reich would have never risen to power.

The rise of communism in Russia through the Bolshevik Revolution was no different. As outlined in Professor Antony Sutton’s book Wall Street And The Bolshevik Revolution with vast detail and irrefutable supporting evidence, it was globalist financiers that created the social petri dish in which the communist takeover flourished.  The same financiers that aided the Nazis…

The two sides, National Socialism and communism, were essentially identical despotic governmental structures conjured by the same group of elites. These two sides, these two fraudulent ideologies, were then pitted against each other in an engineered conflict that we now call World War II, resulting in an estimated 48 million casualties globally and the ultimate formation of the United Nations, a precursor to world government.

Every major international crisis for the past century or more has ended with an even greater consolidation of world power into the hands of the few, and this is no accident.

The very same cunning crafty cabal has synthetically pumped the U.S. Stock and Bond markets to precariously unstable new all time highs, under very dubious circumstances.  Could this have been orchestrated to create the most economic havoc possible once the plug is pulled on all USD denominated financial assets? The devastating simultaneous detonation of both the U.S. debt and equity markets ultra bubbles would decimate the USD and what was left of the public’s faith in the U.S. financial markets. Is idea really such a stretch, are the conspiracy kooks actually onto something? Once the rabid globalist successfully provoke a major resource war, the oil market will shoot straight through the roof, interest rates will spike, and a US stock market crash of epic proportion will ensue.  After the dreadfully disastrous devastating dollar fall out, the entire world will be on its knees begging and pleading for the finacial internationalists at the IMF/BIS/WBG to save the days with their own sponsored global SDR currency regime to reset the world's monetary meltdown mess. The Banksters will have us eating out of their filthy hands. Their masterful maniacal mission mercilessly accomplished.

At almost 600 years old, this oak and wattle building was moved 12Km saving it f...

Natural Homes - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 16:00
At almost 600 years old, this oak and wattle building was moved 12Km saving it from demolition. It's in France but was built in 1420 by English carpenters.

Built in 1420, France
Take a look at the beautiful thatched oak frame Town Hall in Grimbouville, France

On Making Lunch Better (and a giveaway from Applegate!)

Nourished Kitchen - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 15:59

So the other day, I wondered to myself – if my son could head to the store and pick out anything he wanted for his school lunch (with no input from me), what would he choose?  So we went shopping together: he with his basket, and me with mine.

What My Son Would Pack

So he put together his own lunch: sandwich, a tangerine, Annie’s Fruit Snacks, ProBugs Kefir and Barbara’s Cheese Puffs.  Not altogether a terrible, really.  And who knew he had such a love of cheese puffs?

So I took his input, and adjusted it to meet my expectations for a little better nourishment.

What I Would Pack

So, I kept his sandwich.  I switched apple-sweetened dried cranberries for fruit snacks, added a sour pickle and dropped the sugary-sweet kefir for water.  I kept his tangerine, and exchanged Jackson’s Honest Chips (made with coconut oil and organic potatoes) for the cheese puffs.  And, in the end, my little boy will get both this week in his lunch box.

Tell Me about the Kind of Lunch You’d Pack Your Kids

So we’ve teamed up with Applegate again this week, to focus on reinventing the lunch box!  I’ve shown you my kiddo’s favorites (and my additions and subtractions), and I’m asking you to do the same.  Tell me, in the comments, about your kids’ dream lunch and how you’d reinvent it to make it a little more healthy.

Win a Half Time Lunch Kit by Applegate (valued at $25)

Appelgate has generously offered to giveaway these great HALF TIME kits!  Their half-time kits are something we always seem to have around the house in a pinch: crackers, cheese, lunch meat and a snack.  (My kiddo’s in love with them.  And I like to add a baggie of carrot or celery sticks to extend them a bit.)

Here’s what you’ll get in your kit if you win!
  • HALF TIME Bologna and Cheese
  • HALF TIME Ham and Cheese
  • HALF TIME Turkey and Cheese
  • a draw-your-own lunchbag which kids/ adults can design
  • markers
How to Enter

This is a great giveaway, and there’s lots of ways you can win.  Earn your entries by first telling me in the comments about your dream lunch bag lunch, then if you’d like more entries, head over to Facebook to like Nourished Kitchen and Applegate.  Remember to follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget below to enter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Copyright 2007 to 2014, all rights reserved. Nourished Media, LLC. No part of this content may be republished or reposted without express written permission. Posts on may contain affiliate links and links to sponsors.

Shocking Anti-Islam Ad Campaign Coming To New York City Buses And Subways

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 15:32

In a move that is certain to further escalate already stretched racial tensions in America's most cosmopolitan city, some 100 New York City buses will soon carry jarring anti-Islamic posters which feature photos of an ISIS beheading victim, his alleged executioner, Adolf Hitler, declare "Yesterday's moderate [Muslim] is today's headline" and proclaim "It's not Islamophobia, it's Islamorealism" as part of an "educational campaign." According to the NY Daily News, the ads, paid for by flame-throwing blogger Pamela Geller, at a cost of $100,000, are intended as an “education campaign” to warn of the “problem with jihad” and Islamic sharia law, Geller said.

Below are some of the ads which will soon grace 100 buses and at the entrances of the E. 59th St. station and the Columbus Circle station.

In one poster, a photo from the video in which U.S. journalist was killed is sits next to a photo of a British man suspected of being the militant behind the ISIS beheadings.

A second ad contains a 1940s photo of a pro-Nazi Palestinian leader chatting with Adolf Hitler under the headline, “Islamic Jew-Hatred: It’s in the Quran.”

Pamela Geller, creators of the anti-jihad subway ads, speaks at an MTA meeting two years ago.

As Al Arabiya reports, the ads also target the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a civil rights group based in Washington D.C. by linking it to Hamas.

“Geller is a known hater and there’s no law in this country that forces her to tell the truth,” Corey Saylor, a CAIR spokesman told the Daily news, adding that the group had considered suing Geller but did not think it was worth it.


Geller's message, however, does not come unopposed and it is none other than new NYC Mayor de Blasio who spoke up against Geller's campaign:


“These ads are outrageous, inflammatory and wrong, and have no place in New York City, or anywhere. These hateful messages serve only to divide and stigmatize when we should be coming together as one city,” New York City Mayor de Blasio told the U.S. daily.


“While those behind these ads only display their irresponsible intolerance, the rest of us who may be forced to view them can take comfort in the knowledge that we share a better, loftier and nobler view of humanity," he said.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority admitted that the ads will offend public-transportation passengers but had no choice but to allow them.

It tried to block Geller several years ago when she wanted to post ads in the subway that labeled enemies of Israel as “savages.”


The MTA said the ads violated its “no demeaning” language policy. But a judge ruled that rejecting the ads violated Geller’s First Amendment rights.


“If you read the court decision on this, our hands are tied,” said MTA spokesman Adam Lisberg.

Following that battle, the MTA updated its policy to force all viewpoint ads like Geller’s to contain language clearly stating that the opinions expressed are not the transit agency’s. Geller’s new ads will contain the disclaimer.

Because surely every stunned observer of the iconic picture of US journalist Foley about to be beheaded, plastered on NYC mass transit, will stop and carefully read all the way to the fine print. And some still wonder why the animosity between middle-eastern religious groups leads to ever rising animosity and ever greater bloodshed.

Strategic Relocation Briefing: Someplace Warm, Safe, And Far Away From Major Metro Areas

SHTF Plan - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 15:03

This week’s Strategic Relocation Briefing by Joel Skousen, compliments of the Strategic Relocation web site, takes us to Southern Utah. As you’ll see from Mr. Skousen’s assessment, if you are living in Southern California or Arizona this may just be the area you’re looking for as an ideal retreat location. It’s got fairly warm weather in winter, low crime rates and it’s far enough away from major metro areas that you won’t have to worry about a golden horde overrunning your town in the event of a major crisis. 

As always, Mr. Skousen puts forth an insightful analysis focusing on essential criteria that should be on your checklist no matter where you’re looking to live (or retreat to). Water, food availability and population density are critical factors. But just as important in a crisis is accessibility. You need to be able to reach your safe haven in an emergency, but you want it in such a locale that those leaving the major cities in search of scarce resources won’t ever make it to you. This is why exploring the primary thoroughfares to your retreat area is so critical and why it’s important to stay informed about what’s happening in the world. When a crisis is imminent you need to be first to act so as to avoid the inevitable traffic that will block exit points out of your city (and have a back up exit strategy in case you get bogged down with everyone else).  

When you are ready to explore retreat areas around the country take a look at the Strategic Relocation For Sale By Owner listings, where you’ll find preparedness-minded search tools, analysis and property ratings. 

For questions about a particular area or assistance with relocation contact Survival Retreat Consulting.

For additional analysis and information by Joel Skousen you can review previous Strategic Relocation Briefings covering regions all over the United States, as well as international expat destinations.

(Pictured: Farm in rural Southern Utah)

Strategic Relocation Briefing: Southern Utah
By Joel Skousen
Author, Strategic Relocation and The Secure Home

Southern Utah has two key advantages as a retreat area:  1) it’s the closest 5-star rated state (Utah and Idaho) within a day’s drive of Southern California and Phoenix and 2) it’s the only area in that high security region that has a moderate and sunny winter climate.  Yes, both of those are compromise criteria, but there are a lot of people in SoCal and So. Arizona that desperately need a safe retreat option within reach by car.

Although seeking a warm climate retreat is a contradiction of terms relative to safety, you’d be surprised how many consultation calls I get from people who feel they can’t tolerate the cold of the safer northern retreat areas and want to relocate to someplace warm.  They want both safety and a warm balmy climate for easy living during the remaining good years. That’s never possible in the truly warm winter areas because the easy living climate always attracts too many people of the soft, fun loving variety who don’t do well in a crisis. That said, Southern Utah is about the warmest climate they’ll get at the southern end of the highly rated Intermountain West.  It rarely freezes there, as evidenced by the proliferation of desert palm trees.

One of the reasons the Intermountain West is rated so high for safety is its distance from major metro areas like LA and Phoenix—and also because those distances are composed of dry, inhospitable deserts with few way stations.  The single freeway going north is going to be a major impediment to travel, even if there is some fuel in people’s tanks.  Like Katrina, this freeway with its many narrow passes will become quickly blocked with stalled vehicles that have broken down or run out of fuel. And, walking isn’t an option for most.  People who count on this retreat option will need advance warning.

Southern Utah’s main disadvantage is that it is only an hour and a half by freeway from Las Vegas. But cities like Vegas will also provide the benefit of absorbing most of the refugees coming out of California.  That will inevitably drive some people to push farther north for relief—putting Mesquite NV at high risk. But, there’s only one road going north from Mesquite to St. George, Utah and that’s I-15, which has to traverse the narrow Virgin River canyon of No. Arizona—a road that can be easily blocked if the locals see themselves in danger of being overrun.

Even though city of St. George itself isn’t the retreat destination I recommend it is the hub of Southern Utah, and will serve as your commercial and cultural center if you have a retreat in the surrounding areas.  It has a nice combination of old Utah pioneer architecture (red sandstone) and the Southwestern look of stucco and tiled roof houses that match a desert landscape.  There are red rock mountains and views in all directions with plenty of outdoor activities.

The area experienced a major building boom up until 2008 so it’s now a very modern community but still has a family friendly atmosphere.  I like how they have redone the downtown area.  They’ve preserved and modernized all the old pioneer historical buildings, and then integrated it all into a pedestrian mall type environment mixed with shops and markets surrounding with a tiled water course in the middle of town that families visit in the evenings to stroll around and let kids splash in the shallow water course—good planning for a desert community.

There are plenty of water resources in the mountains (which water hungry Las Vegas covets) so Southern Utah isn’t in the same dire situation as California for water supplies. I don’t recommend anything close to the I-15 corridor, but there are good residential locations to the West of St. George tucked away behind the high red rock Mesa that used to serve as the St. George airport—like a giant aircraft carrier in the desert.  In general, the valley behind the mesa is called Green Valley and follows the Santa Clara river up to Santa Clara and Ivans.  Hwy 18 leads you up to the mountain communities of Veyo and the Pine Valley mountain areas where you find the best cabin retreat—still at moderate altitudes.

To the northeast of St. George, heading toward the spectacular Zion’s National Park are the towns of Hurricane, La Verkin, and Toquerville.  Hurricane has some good irrigated farm lands to the south of town, and two small airports as well. A couple of my SoCal clients who are private pilots have opted for the airplane escape option and have found property in Hurricane near the public airport, or at Sky Ranch, the private airpark and homesite area just a little farther south.  All the farm areas in Hurricane are a fair distance from the path tourists take to nearby Zions National Park.

The Toquerville area is a small by out of the way town with a few small farms to the north of La Verkin.  It is particularly noted for its fine gravity fed water supply, both for domestic water and for pressurized irrigation—naturally pure, and doesn’t depend on pumps like the communities that depend on the Virgin River for irrigation.

Just north of St. George, but still part of Southern Utah is Cedar City, which has a university (SUU) and the well known Shakespeare summer theater (which has a lot more than Shakespeare).  While St. George is around 3000 feet in altitude, Cedar City is up in the high plateau starting at 4500-5500.  You can still get a full growing season at the high desert altitudes on  irrigated land, but it’s cold in the winter. I mention this area as part of this analysis only because people in St. George often have retreats out in the mountains to the east of Cedar City on highway 14 where we find the high mountain retreats sites of Duck Creek.  But, at 8500 feet of altitude, you get lots of snow in the winter, along with the beautiful stands of fir and pine trees.

A lesser known part of Southern Utah is the area Kanab, and the farming valley going north on highway 89.  Kanab was for many years a kind of backwater Hollywood base for making western movies in the Red Rock country of Utah and Arizona.  It’s also the gateway to the north rim of the Grand Canyon—by far the prettiest side of the Canyon, with its magnificent Pine forests. Highway 89 is also the only rural highway access coming north from Arizona around the Grand Canyon.  Going north into Utah, Hwy 89 is dotted with lots of old Mormon Pioneer communities with farmland along the Sevier river—there are a few retreat sites away from the highway.

For those who have the means to really get away into some breathtaking retreat country, try Tropic, Utah, east of the spectacular Bryce Canyon National Park.  To get even deeper into retreat paradise, follow Hwy 12 to Boulder, Ut at the base of the forested Aquarius Plateau of mountains.  It’s a pristine little farming community surrounded by some of the best hunting areas of Utah—“Ain’t nobody going to find you there!” as they say.

Always check for private listings of retreat property when you begin your search, wherever you decide to make your strategic relocation to.  Retreat consultant Todd Savage who runs the site does a good job of sifting through the offerings and providing you insights and ratings into the pros and cons of each.

Lastly, be sure to stop by the Sustainable Preparedness Expo in Spokane, Washington on Sunday September 21st, where I will be speaking and meeting attendees.

See more Strategic Relocation Briefings by Joel Skousen

France Releases Video Of Its First Airstrike Against ISIS

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 14:45

Several months ago, when France vehemently opposed canceling the delivery of the Mistral amphibious warship to Russia, its largest bank BNP was "unexpectedly" slapped with a record $9 billion fine by the US Department of Justice for money-laundering. The retaliatory measure was so obvious even Putin opined on the US action: "We know about the pressure which our U.S. partners are applying on France not to supply the Mistrals to Russia,” Putin said in July. “And we even know that they hinted that if the French don’t deliver the Mistrals, they would quietly get rid of the sanctions against the bank, or at least minimize them."

Fast forward a few months later when the French banking lobby has clearly gotten not only the upper hand in its ongoing fight with Hollande's imploding socialist leadership, now facing a record low approval rating, but realizes it once again has all the leverage, not only is the Mistral shipment on the verge of being scrapped, but it is time to make sure that another "BNP" never happens again: after all there are banker bonuses to think of.

As a result, the French administration is scrambling to demonstrate its faithful commitment to whatever warmongering cause the US may unleash on the world, in this case using the ISIS terrorist threat as a pretext to imminently bomb and crush Assad's Syrian regime, just so the Qatar natgas pipeline to Europe - which as a reminder was the underlying reason for the failed 2013 false flag campaign to eradicate Assad - can finally cross the country unopposed, and deliver the much needed alternative to Gazprom's product, eliminating the major leverage Putin has over Europe, which also explains why Russia is suddenly so vocal in its demands that the US halt its bombing of the Syrian regime. Follows a succinct situation summary on the Syrian situation from Al-Arabiya:

Russia was the third country to criticize the U.S. decision to bomb ISIS terrorists on Syrian territory, after the Syrian and Iranian governments. It’s not the best company to keep when opposing Obama’s decision in terms of international prestige and perception, however, it was to be expected.


The criticism came both from Russia’s leader Vladimir Putin and from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.


The criticism is based on one key point: without the Syrian government’s agreement and a UNSC mandate, the U.S. strikes in Syria would be a gross violation of international law and should be considered an act of aggression. Moreover, Moscow didn’t pass over in silence the double standard approach of Washington, as while helping Iraq to fight the terrorists on its territory, the U.S. president called for approval for more funding of the so-called armed opposition in Syria. Also, recent revelations by fighters in the pages of the Western press purport that the moderates in Syria are absolutely demoralized, weak and their ranks thinned out as the fighters join ISIS. In light of such reports, it is not clear which party Obama is going assist in this case and how his calls correspond to the real situation on the ground.


there are deep concerns that the U.S. will bomb not only ISIS positions in Syria, but also the Syrian government forces. These concerns can be explained by the fact that evidently the strikes against ISIS could play into hands of Damascus and this doesn’t correspond with the U.S. interests. Taking into account that during all these years of the Syrian war the U.S. could have been trying to realize its plans to bomb Syria, they could take advantage of this situation.


If the U.S. bombs the positions of government forces, by mistake or with malicious intent, this would have doubly unpredictable consequences, both at the international and regional levels.


For sure, this will trigger a new crisis with Russia. The crisis of credibility in bilateral relations will reach the highest point. Russia will ultimately respond to the possible aggression. But how? It’s a big question with a difficult to predict answer. Moreover, possible strikes against Damascus’ forces will blow up the remains of credibility of international law, international systems and institutions. After the meeting over Iraq in Paris on Monday, Russia’s foreign minister stressed that the international community should build common action “on a solid foundation of the United Nations Charter and U.N. counter-terrorist instrument and mechanisms.”  The call to respect the U.N. Charter is clear and logical, however its solidness, as well as that of the U.N. system in general, is already in doubt. Any further violations of international law and U.N. principles will definitely be the last straw, leading to international chaos.

But back to France, which in order to do prove its undying commitment to the US, moments ago the French Defense Ministry took a page right out of the Pentagon/CNN playbook, and released footage of French warplanes striking targets belonging to the Islamic State after taking off from an airbase.  Paris announced earlier this week it was taking part in military air strikes against the militant group in Iraq.

The video shows a pilot inspecting his aircraft, a French Rafale, before takeoff. The footage also shows several craft being refueled in mid-flight as well as infrared shots of the targets being bombed.

The statement released by the French Defense Ministry:

During the flight lasting about five hours, the two Rafales were refueled three times by the tanker aircraft C135-FR.


The French jets, delivered strikes between 9:40 and 9:58 with four laser-guided bombs GBU 12.


The maritime patrol aircraft Atlantique 2 conducted a ten-hour mission, coordinated with that of Rafale. Its sensors ensured the intelligence portion of the mission and performed a battle damage assessment (BDA) immediately transmitted to central planning headquarters in Paris.


During this mission, the recovery staff component, that is to say the ability to rescue pilots in hostile area, was insured by American military means.


In accordance with the will of the President of the Republic, new strikes will take place in the coming days to support the Iraqi armed forces in their fight against ISIS. These strikes will again be carried out in close coordination with the Iraqi as well as with our allies

And just like that, no more French banks will be sanctioned by the DOJ for as long as France understands just where its allegiances should lie.

Scotland Says "No" - Pound Remains Vulnerable To Currency Crisis

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 14:16

The result of the Scottish independence referendum was announced early yesterday morning, with 55.3% of voters wanting to stay in the United Kingdom (UK) and 44.7% wanting Scotland to become an independent nation.

Voter turnout was exceptionally high at nearly 85% (about 3.6 million people), which was not surprising given the importance of the referendum.

To some extent a cloud of economic and currency uncertainty that was hanging over Scotland and the rest of the UK has now been lifted. Share prices of Scottish related companies such as Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) have rebounded and sterling was higher against the euro, Swiss franc, silver and gold (see table).

Sterling was flat  against the dollar possibly due to longer term concerns about the political and economic implications of the referendum.

The pledges and promises to Scottish citizens by the ‘Better Together’ alliance will now have to be honoured. This includes devolution and decentralisation promises by the three main parties of the ‘No’ campaign, the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

One of the most important pledges was a promise that Members of Parliament (MPs) representing British citizens in Scotland will be allowed to exclusively vote on issues which only impact those citizens. As this agreement needs to be equitable for the other nations of the UK, it will also be rolled out to MPs representing Wales and Northern Ireland.

Many other UK fiscal policies that affect Scottish voters will also now become priorities amongst the Westminster political class and their civil service.

The outcome of the vote however has now provided the current UK government and HM Treasury with what it sees as a mandate to continue to manage the UK economy and the British pound in a steady as she goes fashion. This will probably mean that the recent volatility experienced by the pound sterling will die down for now.


However, on a broader scale, the size of the ‘Yes’ vote, at 45%, signals that there is still deep unease in Scotland about being part of a larger United Kingdom and this unease is not about to go away.

It may well spread to Wales and Northern Ireland. The next UK Government will probably be a Labour government as the electorate protests at the way the referendum was handled by the current Conservative/Liberal Democrats coalition.

Therefore, the perceived ‘safe haven’ status of the UK economy and the financial powerhouse of London may start to be perceived as not such a safe haven.

Gold in Sterling - 5 Years (Thomson Reuters)

Given the remaining uncertainties, it will be critical to closely watch how the UK’s stock and bond markets perform in the coming months, how the pound sterling performs, and how international financial companies act as regards their London headquarters.

With financial might continually shifting eastwards to Singapore, Hong Kong and Shanghai, it will be interesting to see whether the City of London can now recover from its recent bout of Scottish induced panic.

HSBC analysts warned "the shine had already begun to come off" sterling. "Any disappointment on growth, or renewed focus on the large current account deficit, could still weigh on the currency," they said.

Sterling may also come under pressure if central banks and large institutions decide to reduce allocations to sterling and diversify into dollars, euros, Swiss francs and indeed the up and coming global currency the Chinese yuan.

The UK current account deficit reached a very high 5.7% of GDP in the last three months of 2013, which was its highest level since proper records started to be compiled in the 1950s.

Given the scale of indebtedness in the UK and still very high current account deficit, the pound remains vulnerable to a currency crisis. George Soros and others may still be sizing up another opportunity to break the Bank of England. Another run on the pound has been postponed ... for now ...

Military Plant In East Ukraine Devastated By Massive Explosion; Kiev Accuses Russia Of Using Tactial Nuke

Zerohedge - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 14:08

Last night's headlines crowed in bright red flashing text that Russia and Ukraine had (once again) agreed a cease-fire and terms over the borders between the two nations. Perhaps not surprisingly, mere hours later, Ukraine is claiming that Russia has broken the truce... with the use of a tactical nuclear weapon at Luhansk airport. This comes on the heels of claims by the pro-Russia separatists that Kiev forces destroyed a massive military plant in Donetsk. Russia's defense ministry flatly denies the 'nuclear strikes' adding that "no reasonable person will take them seriously." This truce-breaking action has once again raised calls among Ukrainians for the nation to get its nuclear status back; something Russia is clearly strongly against.


Earlier in the day, a massive military facility in pro-Russian separatist-held Donetsk was destroyed. As RT reports, a neighborhood official told Ukrainian 112 television that a shell hit the plant.

“There was a direct hit at the No 47 industrial explosives shop, where some explosives were present. It detonated and caused another explosion. Luckily it didn’t hit the main storage facility where we have some 2.5 tons of explosives,” said Ivan Prikhod’ko, deputy chair of the local community council.



He added that while the incident caused considerable damage, nobody was hurt.




There is no verified report about what kind of weapon hit the plant. But there are rumors of it being targeted by a Tochka-U tactical missile launched by Kiev's troops.



“According to our information, three Tochka-U missiles were fired and there you have it,” a militia member who identified himself as codename ‘Scorpio’ told RT.

Then, as ITAR-TASS reports,

Ukrainian media earlier in the day quoted Geletei as telling one of the journalists that the Russian army had delivered two tactical nuclear strikes on the Lugansk airport from a self-propelled Tyulpan 2S4 mortar system, thus causing the Ukrainian troops to leave the area.


“The strikes were so powerful that they demolished buildings completely from top to bottom,” media reports quoted him as saying.

Adn as Inforesist notes, this was confirmed by the Minister of Defense of Ukraine Valery Geletey during the return of the Ukrainian delegation from Poland.

It is reported on your page in the Facebook Roman Bocskai.


In particular, the forces of the Russian Federation made two impact of self-propelled mortar 2S4 "Tulip" in Lugansk airport. It is for this reason that our military had left him. Blows were so powerful that "completely destroyed the building from the fifth floor to the basement" - described the minister.

The devastation at Luhansk Airport...

h/t @L0ggol

Which, as ITAR-TASS reports, the Russian Defense Ministry flatly denied...

Ukrainian media reports said that Defence Minister Geletei had made this statement upon return from talks in Poland.


“The leadership of Ukraine should consider sending Geletei through a basic military training course where rookies learn the main effects of a nuclear explosion and its consequences,” the Russian Defence Ministry said in what meant to be a jock.


“Speaking seriously, Geletei’s regular attempts to justify the failures of the punitive operation in the south-east of Ukraine by alleged actions of Russian army units look like paranoia. But no reasonable person will take them seriously,” the ministry said.

*  *  *
What is somewhat comical is that these incidents comes just hours after Friday’s signing of an extended ceasefire deal between Kiev and rebel forces, which hopes to put an end to hostilities in eastern Ukraine. The deal includes pulling back all heavy weapons from cities and frontlines.

The blast happened just as a Russian humanitarian aid convoy was unloading elsewhere in the city. Some 200 trucks carrying 2,000 tons of aid crossed the border earlier on Saturday.

NATO chimed in...


It’s Terrifying To Look At What’s Really Happening In The U.S.

King World News - Sat, 09/20/2014 - 14:05
On the heels of another wild week of trading in global markets, today Michael Pento warned that despite the propaganda, what is really happening in the U.S. is terrifying. Pento takes KWN readers around the world on a trip down the rabbit hole which takes a sobering look at what is really taking place in the United States.


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