Economic News

Economic News

Seattle Restaurants Close Doors as $15 Minimum Wage Approaches

Seattle Restaurants Close Doors as $15 Minimum Wage Approaches

Seattle Restaurants Close Doors as $15 Minimum Wage Approaches

By Shift WA

Seattle Restaurants Close Doors as $15 Minimum Wage Approaches

Downtown Seattle from Queen Anne Hill. Image credit: Rattlhed at en.wikipedia

Seattle’s $15 minimum wage law goes into effect on April 1, 2015. As that date approaches, restaurants across the city are making the financial decision to close shop. The Washington Policy Center writes that “closings have occurred across the city, from Grub in the upscale Queen Anne Hill neighborhood, to Little Uncle in gritty Pioneer Square, to the Boat Street Cafe on Western Avenue near the waterfront.”

Of course, restaurants close for a variety of reasons. But, according to Seattle Magazine, the “impending minimum wage hike to $15 per hour” is playing a “major factor.” That’s not surprising, considering “about 36% of restaurant earnings go to paying labor costs.” Seattle Magazine,

“Washington Restaurant Association’s Anthony Anton puts it this way: “It’s not a political problem; it’s a math problem.”

“He estimates that a common budget breakdown among sustaining Seattle restaurants so far has been the following: 36 percent of funds are devoted to labor, 30 percent to food costs and 30 percent go to everything else (all other operational costs).  The remaining 4 percent has been the profit margin, and as a result, in a $700,000 restaurant, he estimates that the average restauranteur in Seattle has been making $28,000 a year.

“With the minimum wage spike, however, he says that if restaurant owners made no changes, the labor cost in quick service restaurants would rise to 42 percent and in full service restaurants to 47 percent.”

Restaurant owners, expecting to operate on thinner margins, have tried to adapt in several ways including “higher menu prices, cheaper, lower-quality ingredients, reduced opening times, and cutting work hours and firing workers,” according to The Seattle Times and Seattle Eater magazine. As the Washington Policy Center points out, when these strategies are not enough, businesses close, “workers lose their jobs and the neighborhood loses a prized amenity.”

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Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Moscow Exchange to Start Ruble-Yuan Futures Trading Next Week

Moscow Exchange to Start Ruble-Yuan Futures Trading Next Week

Moscow Exchange to Start Ruble-Yuan Futures Trading Next Week

By RT

Moscow Exchange to Start Ruble-Yuan Futures Trading

Image credit: RIA Novosti / Alexandr Demyanchuk

Moscow trading in ruble-yuan futures will begin on March 17 with the currency pair expected to become the third most popular by volume, says Moscow Exchange (MOEX) Deputy Chairman Andrey Shemetov.

The number of tools that allow bidders to hedge their currency risks is currently not enough, that’s why Moscow Exchange offered to introduce a new hedging instrument as quickly as possible – futures on the yuan-ruble currency pair, Shemetov said Thursday as quoted by TASS.

“We hope that in the near future this tool will take the third position on the futures market and will allow producers to hedge their currency risks and increase the trade turnover between Russia and China,” he said, adding that in the spot market the ruble-yuan currency pair is already the third most popular terms of volume. The circulation of the Chinese currency has recently increased tenfold, according to Shemetov.

The Moscow Exchange hopes the futures will be liquid enough so manufacturers and suppliers can increase trade turnover between Russia and China.

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Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Spocking – Canada’s Central Bank Requests End To Defacing

Spocking – Canada’s Central Bank Requests End To Defacing

Spocking – Canada’s Central Bank Requests End To Defacing

By Mark O’Byrne | Gold Core

Spocking - Canada’s Central Bank Requests End To Defacing

Outpouring of affection for Leonard Nimoy has inspired the phenomenon of “Spocking” in Canada

The death of Leonard Nimoy inspired a wonderful outpouring of affection across the world, and possibly beyond.

Nimoy was best known for playing the role of Dr. Spock in Star Trek, possibly the most beloved character in the sci-fi genre for several generations.

From our point of view, with our interest in the nature and history of money, the most interesting of these expressions is the resurgence of the phenomenon of “Spocking” in Canada.

“Spocking” is the act of defacing the Canadian $5 note by superimposing the likeness of the half-Vulcan doctor onto the image of former prime minister, Sir Wilfred Laurier. There is quite a resemblance and therefore not much art is required to transform the former prime minister into the beloved Dr. Spock.

The trend, like all the most entertaining forms of mischief, is apparently illegal in most countries, but not Canada. That has not deterred Canadians who for years have enjoyed replacing the unfortunate Sir with the likeness of Spock or Alan Rickman’s portrayal of professor Snape in the Harry Potter movies.

Enough Spocking was being done that the Canadian central bank felt compelled to act and said:
“Yes, it’s legal, but it’s just not a very nice or Canadian thing to do. “Bank spokeswoman Josianne Menard said Tuesday that scribbling on bills is inappropriate because it defaces a Canadian symbol and source of national pride,” the Associated Press reports.

The practice of defacing paper notes will come to an end in November when the Bank of Canada will issue new plastic notes with a different image of Laurier.

Meanwhile in Greece a different, overtly political, form of graffiti has started to emerge. An artist known as Stefanos has been defacing euro notes with images of little human figures in a painfully bleak depiction of life in Greece under austerity.

100 Euro Hanging Sketch
The €100 note is particularly poignant and shows an apparent suicide by hanging while bystanders, including a child look on.

The €10 seems to depict a black hole sucking people into it – a possible reference to the euro itself and the seemingly unending extraction of wealth from working people in servicing a debt from which they derived no benefit.

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Spoking

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
International Banks Face US probe for Alleged Metals Market Fix

International Banks Face US probe for Alleged Metals Market Fix

International Banks Face US probe for Alleged Metals Market Fix

By RT

International Banks Face US probe for Alleged Metals Market Fix

The HSBC Global Technology Centre in Pune, India. Image credit: Amitauti [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

The US Department of Justice is in the early stages of an investigation into at least 10 international banks—including JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Barclays—over alleged manipulation of the precious metals market.

HSBC included in its annual report, published Monday, that the antitrust division of the Justice Department asked the bank to submit documents related to an investigation into the price setting of gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

The report added that the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) subpoenaed HSBC Bank USA for information on its precious metals trading. The bank said it was cooperating with American officials.

According to reports, the other banks involved in the investigation include Bank of Nova Scotia, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Societe Generale, Standard Bank and UBS.

The banks have yet to comment, although HSBC confirmed the investigation was “at an early stage.” Barclays will have to reveal if they are involved when it releases its annual report next week, according to The Independent newspaper.

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Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
US Government’s New ‘Rule’ Allows Banks to Completely Make Sh*t Up

US Government’s New ‘Rule’ Allows Banks to Completely Make Sh*t Up

US Government’s New ‘Rule’ Allows Banks to Completely Make Sh*t Up

By Simon Black | Sovereign Man

US Government’s New 'Rule' Allows Banks to Completely Make Sh*t Up

In 1494, a 47-year old Franciscan friar named Luca Pacioli invented something that was revolutionary.

Pacioli was, in fact, a friend and contemporary of Leonardo da Vinci, and the two collaborated frequently.

So you’re probably guessing that Pacioli was a co-designer in Leonardo’s famed flying machine, or a new architectural technique.

On the contrary.

Pacioli’s invention was the double-entry accounting system; in fact he’s known by bean counters today as the father of accounting.

This was a major and much needed innovation at the time.

In the 15th century, Italy was dominating global trade and commerce.

Yet unlike in the centuries before where merchants were primarily transporters and traders of exotic goods, 15th century merchants had essentially become proto-bankers whose primary business was extending and trading credit.

This was a major change in the way that business was done, and it absolutely demanded a new way to keep track of it all.

That’s exactly what Pacioli invented. And his system of accounting is still being used today, over 500 years later.

This was a seminal moment in business history—the near simultaneous birth and convergence of credit-based money, banking, and accounting that would eventually become the global financial system.

It revolutionized everything.

Back then, just as today, few people really understood it. And those who did were often clever enough to find loopholes in the system to hide their fraud. Especially banks.

There are some really stunning (and sometimes hilarious) examples of early banks who learned how to cook their books and misstate their capital using Pacioli’s system.

Curiously very little has changed. Banks still use accounting tricks to hide their true condition.

Bloomberg showcased one such technique last year, exposing the way that many US banks are rebooking their assets from “available for sale (AFS)” to the “held-to-maturity (HTM)” designation.

This is a very subtle move that means nothing to most people.

But to banks, it’s a highly effective way of concealing losses they’ve suffered in their investment portfolios.

Banks ordinarily buy bonds and other securities with the purpose of generating a return on that money until they have to, you know, give it back to their depositors.

That’s why they’re called “available for sale,” because the bank has to sell these assets to pay their depositors back.

But here’s the problem– many of these investments have either lost money, or they soon will be. And banks don’t want to disclose those losses.

So instead, they simply redesignate assets as HTM.

It’s like saying “I don’t care that these bonds aren’t worth as much money as when I bought them because I intend to hold them forever.”

Thing is, this simply isn’t true. Banks don’t have the luxury of holding some government bond for the next 30-years.

This is money they might have to repay their customers tomorrow, which makes the entire charade intellectually dishonest.

That doesn’t stop them.

JP Morgan alone boosted its HTM mortgage bonds from less than $10 million to nearly $17 billion (1700x higher) in just one year. This is a huge shift.

Nearly every big bank is doing this, and is doing it deliberately. This is no accident. And there’s only one reason to do it—to use accounting minutia to conceal losses.

But the accounting tricks don’t stop there. And in many cases they’re fueled by the government.

One recent example is how federal regulators created a new ‘rule’ which allows banks to consciously reduce the risk-weighting it assigns its assets.

The Federal Financial Institution Examination Council recently told banks that, “if a particular asset . . . has features that could place it in more than one risk category, it is assigned to the category that has the lowest risk weight.”

This gives banks extraordinary latitude to underreport the risk levels of their investments.

Bankers can now arbitrarily decide that a risky asset ‘has features’ of a lower risk asset, and thus they can completely misrepresent their investments.

Bottom line, it’s becoming extremely difficult to have confidence in western banks’ financial health.

They employ every trick in the book to overstate their capital ratios and understate their risk levels.

This, backed by a central bank that is borderline insolvent and a federal government that is entirely insolvent.

It certainly begs the question—is it really worth keeping 100% of your savings in this system?

I would respectfully suggest finding a new home for at least a portion of your savings.

After all, it’s 2015. You no longer need to bank in the same place as you live and work.

It’s possible to establish an account offshore—at a safe, stable, well-capitalized bank overseas in a country with no debt.

You might even find that the bank will pay you a reasonable interest rate that actually exceeds inflation (shocking!).

And in many cases you may be able to do all of this without leaving your living room.

It’s hard to imagine anyone would be worse off.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

If you liked this post, please click the box below. You can watch a compelling video you’ll find very interesting.

Will you be prepared when everything we take for granted changes overnight?

Just think about this for a couple of minutes. What if the U.S. Dollar wasn’t the world’s reserve currency? Ponder that… what if…

Empires Rise, they peak, they decline, they collapse, this is the cycle of history.

This historical pattern has formed and is already underway in many parts of the world, including the United States.

Don’t be one of the millions of people who gets their savings, retirement, and investments wiped out.

Source

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
The Grexit Into Gold-backed Drachma Conspiracy Theory – or – Plan Z

The Grexit Into Gold-backed Drachma Conspiracy Theory – or – Plan Z

The Grexit Into Gold-backed Drachma Conspiracy Theory – or Plan Z

By Reggie Middleton | Zero Hedge

The Grexit Into Gold-backed Drachma Conspiracy Theory - or - Plan Z

From Wikipedia:

Plan Z during 2012

“Plan Z” is the name given to a 2012 plan to enable Greece to withdraw from the eurozone in the event of Greek bank collapse.[16] It was drawn up in absolute secrecy by small teams totalling approximately two dozen officials at the European Commission (Brussels), the European Central Bank (Frankfurt) and the IMF (Washington).[16] Those officials were headed by Jörg Asmussen (ECB), Thomas Wieser (Euro working group), Poul Thomsen (IMF) and Marco Buti (European Commission).[16] To prevent premature disclosure no single document was created, no emails were exchanged, and no Greek officials were informed.[16] The plan was based on the 2003 introduction of new dinars into Iraq by the Americans[16] and would have required rebuilding the Greek economy and banking system ab initio, including isolating Greek banks by disconnecting them from theTARGET2 system, closing ATMs, and imposing capital and currency controls.[16]

Wolfson economics prize

In July 2012, the Wolfson economics prize, a prize for the “best proposal for a country to leave the European Monetary Union,” was awarded to a Capital Economics team led by Roger Bootle, for their submission titled “Leaving the Euro: A Practical Guide.”[19] The winning proposal argued that a member wishing to exit should introduce a new currency and default on a large part of its debts. The net effect, the proposal claimed, would be positive for growth and prosperity. It also called for keeping the euro for small transactions and for a short period of time after the exit from the eurozone, along with a strict regime of inflation-targeting and tough fiscal rules monitored by “independent experts.”

The Roger Bootle/Capital Economics plan also suggested that “key officials” should meet “in secret” one month before the exit is publicly announced, and that eurozone partners and international organisations should be informed “three days before.” The judges of the Wolfson economics prize found that the winning plan was the “most credible solution” to the question of a member state leaving the eurozone.

… In February 2015 the Russian government stated that it would offer Greece aid but would only provide it in rubles.[31]

Kathimerini reported that after the 16th February Eurogroup talks Commerzbank AG increased the risk of Greece exiting the euro to 50%.[32] The expression used by TIME for these talks is “Greece and the Euro Zone dance on the precipice”.[33]

Effect upon the European economy

Claudia Panseri, head of equity strategy at Société Générale, speculated in late May 2012 that eurozone stocks could plummet up to 50 percent in value if Greece makes a disorderly exit from the eurozone.[34]

Wait a minute! That’s not possible. Goldmans Sachs says to buy EU eqities because of ECB QE and NIRP! We all know Goldman Sachs is always right, that’s why more than half of hedge funds are following suit…

Asset Allocation EU Equities

Asset Allocation EU Equities

After all, do you remember Goldman’s recommendation to sell the Swiss Franc? It worked out excellente’, reference When Everybody Thinks They’re Right, They’re Almost Guaranteed to be Wrong! I Think This Is The Biggest Bubble In World History.

Bond yields in other European nations could widen 100 basis points to 200 basis points, negatively affecting their ability to service their own sovereign debts.[34]

Hopefully with no correlation whatsoever to US-based debt, cause Goldman also recommended – Long U.S. High-Yield credit risk: The recent underperformance of the U.S.High-Yield market should prove transitory, the bank reckons. I addition, what will the ECB do after all of this QE and NIRP if bond yields spike anyway? Well.. More NIRP and QE of course!

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Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Gold is Gone, Total Chaos Coming-Bill Holter

Gold is Gone, Total Chaos Coming-Bill Holter

Gold is Gone, Total Chaos Coming-Bill Holter

By Greg Hunter | USA Watchdog

Financial writer Bill Holter says there is better than 60% to 70% chance that another financial calamity will hit in 2015, and it could start from anywhere in the world. Holter contends, “It doesn’t really matter where it starts. It will probably be global within less than 48 hours. The reality is it will go all the way around the world within two days because party “A” will not pay party “B” who doesn’t pay party “C” and on and on we will go. The payment chain will break. . . . I’d like to get back to the point of true and real settlement. If nations don’t settle honestly amongst each other, that is how your trade wars start. That’s how one neighbor believes another neighbor is ripping them off. This is how wars start, and that is what this is about: the rest of the world wanting to trade and wanting to do business mutually and evenly and getting paid for trade. In the past with the dollar, the U.S. has gone into many places; and after the deal was unfair, they paid with dollars, which is an un-backed freely printed currency. That’s what the world is upset about. That’s what this tipping of the balance is about.”

Holter goes on to point out, “Greece has got to be hidden. The fact that they are broke cannot come out. If Italy or Spain or anyone else were to default, that would be calling a spade a spade. Once the daisy chain breaks, it will lead all the way to the West, and it will lead to London and it will lead to New York. It will lead to the fact that the gold is gone. That’s the great fault. That is the fault at the core of all of this. That’s why they are kicking the can and kicking the can because it can never be discovered that the gold is gone. Once that is discovered, it’s over.”

So, what will it look like to the man on the street when the next crash happens, Holter predicts, “On the streets here in the U.S., you are probably looking at total chaos. . . . Once the banks go, especially in the cities, you are going to see complete chaos because the average person has about three days of food stocked up, or maybe five days of food stocked up. When the banks go down, distribution will stop. When distribution stops, the stores, and you just saw this in the northeast, the stores are wiped out in a day or two. They have just-in-time inventories.

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Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Like a Thief, Expect Bankrupt Governments to Go After Easy Targets First!

Like a Thief, Expect Bankrupt Governments to Go After Easy Targets First!

Like a Thief, Expect Bankrupt Governments to Go After Easy Targets First!

By Simon Black | Silver Doctors

Like a Thief, Expect Bankrupt Governments to Go After Easy Targets First!

It doesn’t’ take a rocket scientists to figure out what a bankrupt government will do—just like any thief, they’ll go after easy targets first…

A member of my staff caught an obscure resolution that was introduced in the US House of Representatives last week—Resolution no. 41.

The fact that there was essentially no coverage of this Resolution really shows how the mainstream media is completely turning a blind eye to the true fiscal situation of the United States of America.

The entire point of the resolution is to say that the federal government is broke.

It can’t pay its own bills, and therefore is shouldn’t be responsible to pay anyone else’s either.

It doesn’t’ take a rocket scientists to figure out what a bankrupt government will do—just like any thief, they’ll go after easy targets first.

The easiest target of all is future generations.

They’re going to run up the debt as high as they can, which essentially means pulling future tax revenues into today. It’s the easiest tax of all, because unborn children do not vote.

The estate tax is another one to watch out for—because, like unborn children, dead people don’t vote either.

We had a great podcast yesterday about retirement savings, where there’s an easy $5 trillion treasure chest for them to raid.

And, of course, there’s the greatest tax of all, the inflation tax, which decreases the standard of living for most of the population as the cost of living rises much faster than incomes.

This Resolution is a pretty scary dose of honesty. But again, what’s even more concerning is that it was just ignored and has objectively a zero percent chance of passing.

I do encourage you to check it out though—even the government is admitting it’s finished.

I’ll quote from the Resolution now without comment and wish you a very pleasant weekend:

Whereas the Federal Government is operating at an annual deficit and is increasing its outstanding debt every year;

Whereas the Federal Government, as of January 2015, is carrying more than $18.0 trillion in debt, of which $13.0 trillion is owed to the public and $5.08 trillion is owed to Social Security and other trust funds;

Whereas foreign governments, individuals, and corporations as of October 2014 own 47 percent of Federal debt held by the public;

Whereas Social Security’s unfunded liabilities in 2014 are $10.6 trillion over 75 years and $24.9 trillion over the infinite horizon;

Whereas the Federal debt held by the public is expected to increase by more than $7 trillion from 2014 to 2024 according to the Congressional Budget Office;

Whereas more than 16 percent of the entire Federal budget goes directly to States and local governments;

Whereas more than 22 percent of total State and local government general revenue comes from the Federal Government according to Census Bureau’s latest Annual Survey of State and Local Government Finance;

Whereas several State and local pension plans are expected to fully exhaust their funds within ten years.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperityno matter what happens.

If you liked this post, please click the box below. You can watch a compelling video you’ll find very interesting.

Will you be prepared when everything we take for granted changes overnight?

Just think about this for a couple of minutes. What if the U.S. Dollar wasn’t the world’s reserve currency? Ponder that… what if…

Empires Rise, they peak, they decline, they collapse, this is the cycle of history.

This historical pattern has formed and is already underway in many parts of the world, including the United States.

Don’t be one of the millions of people who gets their savings, retirement, and investments wiped out.

Source

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Whistleblower Karen Hudes Reveals How The Global Elite Rule The World

Whistleblower Karen Hudes Reveals How The Global Elite Rule The World

World Bank Whistleblower Karen Hudes Reveals How The Global Elite Rule The World

By Michael Snyder | The Economic Collapse Blog

Whistleblower Karen Hudes Reveals How The Global Elite Rule The World

Yale-educated attorney that worked inside the World Bank for more than two decades

(First published on September 30, 2013) Karen Hudes is a graduate of Yale Law School and she worked in the legal department of the World Bank for more than 20 years.  In fact, when she was fired for blowing the whistle on corruption inside the World Bank, she held the position of Senior Counsel.  She was in a unique position to see exactly how the global elite rule the world, and the information that she is now revealing to the public is absolutely stunning.  According to Hudes, the elite use a very tight core of financial institutions and mega-corporations to dominate the planet.  The goal is control.  They want all of us enslaved to debt, they want all of our governments enslaved to debt, and they want all of our politicians addicted to the huge financial contributions that they funnel into their campaigns.  Since the elite also own all of the big media companies, the mainstream media never lets us in on the secret that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way that our system works.

Remember, this is not some “conspiracy theorist” that is saying these things.  This is a Yale-educated attorney that worked inside the World Bank for more than two decades.  The following summary of her credentials comes directly from her website

Karen Hudes studied law at Yale Law School and economics at the University of Amsterdam. She worked in the US Export Import Bank of the US from 1980-1985 and in the Legal Department of the World Bank from 1986-2007. She established the Non Governmental Organization Committee of the International Law Section of the American Bar Association and the Committee on Multilateralism and the Accountability of International Organizations of the American Branch of the International Law Association.

Today, Hudes is trying very hard to expose the corrupt financial system that the global elite are using to control the wealth of the world.  During an interview with the New American, she discussed how we are willingly allowing this group of elitists to totally dominate the resources of the planet…

A former insider at the World Bank, ex-Senior Counsel Karen Hudes, says the global financial system is dominated by a small group of corrupt, power-hungry figures centered around the privately owned U.S. Federal Reserve. The network has seized control of the media to cover up its crimes, too, she explained. In an interview with The New American, Hudes said that when she tried to blow the whistle on multiple problems at the World Bank, she was fired for her efforts. Now, along with a network of fellow whistleblowers, Hudes is determined to expose and end the corruption. And she is confident of success.

Citing an explosive 2011 Swiss study published in the PLOS ONE journal on the “network of global corporate control,” Hudes pointed out that a small group of entities — mostly financial institutions and especially central banks — exert a massive amount of influence over the international economy from behind the scenes. “What is really going on is that the world’s resources are being dominated by this group,” she explained, adding that the “corrupt power grabbers” have managed to dominate the media as well. “They’re being allowed to do it.”

Previously, I have written about the Swiss study that Hudes mentioned.  It was conducted by a team of researchers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.  They studied the relationships between 37 million companies and investors worldwide, and what they discovered is that there is a “super-entity” of just 147 very tightly knit mega-corporations that controls 40 percent of the entire global economy

When the team further untangled the web of ownership, it found much of it tracked back to a “super-entity” of 147 even more tightly knit companies – all of their ownership was held by other members of the super-entity – that controlled 40 per cent of the total wealth in the network. “In effect, less than 1 per cent of the companies were able to control 40 per cent of the entire network,” says Glattfelder. Most were financial institutions. The top 20 included Barclays Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co, and The Goldman Sachs Group.

But the global elite don’t just control these mega-corporations.  According to Hudes, they also dominate the unelected, unaccountable organizations that control the finances of virtually every nation on the face of the planet.  The World Bank, the IMF and central banks such as the Federal Reserve literally control the creation and the flow of money worldwide.

At the apex of this system is the Bank for International Settlements.  It is the central bank of central banks, and posted below is a video where you can watch Hudes tell Greg Hunter of USAWatchdog.com the following…

“We don’t have to wait for anybody to fire the Fed or Bank for International Settlements . . . some states have already started to recognize silver and gold, the precious metals, as currency”

Most people have never even heard of the Bank for International Settlements, but it is an extremely important organization.  In a previous article, I described how this “central bank of the world” is literally immune to the laws of all national governments…

An immensely powerful international organization that most people have never even heard of secretly controls the money supply of the entire globe.  It is called the Bank for International Settlements, and it is the central bank of central banks.  It is located in Basel, Switzerland, but it also has branches in Hong Kong and Mexico City.  It is essentially an unelected, unaccountable central bank of the world that has complete immunity from taxation and from national laws.  Even Wikipedia admits that “it is not accountable to any single national government.”  The Bank for International Settlements was used to launder money for the Nazis during World War II, but these days the main purpose of the BIS is to guide and direct the centrally-planned global financial system.  Today, 58 global central banks belong to the BIS, and it has far more power over how the U.S. economy (or any other economy for that matter) will perform over the course of the next year than any politician does.  Every two months, the central bankers of the world gather in Basel for another “Global Economy Meeting”.  During those meetings, decisions are made which affect every man, woman and child on the planet, and yet none of us have any say in what goes on.  The Bank for International Settlements is an organization that was founded by the global elite and it operates for the benefit of the global elite, and it is intended to be one of the key cornerstones of the emerging one world economic system.

This system did not come into being by accident.  In fact, the global elite have been developing this system for a very long time.  In a previous article entitled “Who Runs The World? Solid Proof That A Core Group Of Wealthy Elitists Is Pulling The Strings“, I included a quote from Georgetown University history professor Carroll Quigley from a book that he authored all the way back in 1966 in which he discussed the big plans that the elite had for the Bank for International Settlements…

The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.

And that is exactly what we have today.

We have a system of “neo-feudalism” in which all of us and our national governments are enslaved to debt.  This system is governed by the central banks and by the Bank for International Settlements, and it systematically transfers the wealth of the world out of our hands and into the hands of the global elite.

But most people have no idea that any of this is happening because the global elite also control what we see, hear and think about.  Today, there are just six giant media corporations that control more than 90 percent of the news and entertainment that you watch on your television in the United States.

This is the insidious system that Karen Hudes is seeking to expose.  For much more, you can listen to Joyce Riley of the Power Hour interview her for an entire hour right here.

Source

 

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Venezuelan Woman Earns Her Living Standing in Line to Buy Toilet Paper

Venezuelan Woman Earns Her Living Standing in Line to Buy Toilet Paper

Venezuelan Woman Earns Her Living Standing in Line to Buy Toilet Paper

By Simon Black | Sovereign Man

Venezuelan Woman Earns Her Living Standing in Line to Buy Toilet Paper

Sovereign Valley Farm, Chile

At two in the morning, Krisbell quietly slips out of bed so as to not wake the two small children curled up next to her.

She grabs her phone and quickly dials her friends’ numbers as she’s already headed out the door to get the day’s intelligence report.

Most importantly—where is milk, sugar, and toilet paper being sold today?

From the moment price controls were levied in the country, there were shortages of everything in Venezuela.

Each month, it’s become increasingly difficult to get basic goods. And the lines are growing longer and longer.

Not everyone can afford to wait in line half the day just to get a few supplies.

And since you can’t even get everything in one store, it takes the second half of the day to get the rest of what you need—if there’s even anything left by then.

Friends and neighbors had started coming to Krisbell, asking her if she could help them get things from the grocery store.

They all have to work just to be able to afford the food in the first place, and they can’t spare the time to stand in line.

So (as reported by Bloomberg) Krisbell started taking on clients. Now she has enough that she’s earning her entire living from waiting in line.

Imagine—an entire cottage industry (absurd as it may be) now exists in Venezuela because of destructive government polices.

Everyone in the country has to pay extra for their basic goods, while others dedicate their professional lives to the unproductive task of standing in line.

(If this seems far-fetched, consider that the US tax preparation industry takes in $6 billion annually for dedicating itself to the unproductive task of filling out Byzantine tax forms…)

There’s no limit to the stupidity and destructiveness of people in power, and Venezuela’s President Maduro is a prime example.

This man (and his predecessor) took the country with the largest oil reserves in the world and crippled it to the point that Venezuela now imports oil.

And that was before oil prices plummeted. Now the country is even weaker.

Venezuela’s government is now on the brink of defaulting on its financial obligations… just as it has already defaulted on its obligations to its citizens.

It’s a sad example of what governments do when they go bankrupt.

Almost invariably they manipulate the currency and print money.

This eventually causes inflation to get out of hand and prices to soar. They try to control it by imposing price controls.

And because it becomes unprofitable for businesses to produce at artificially low prices, shortages ensue.

Then they institute capital controls to trap money inside the country.

This movie has played out so many times before. And yet people rarely learn.

The consequences of terrible decisions creep up gradually, and then suddenly. Most people don’t realize what’s happening until it’s too late.

The resulting economic hardship often leads to extremism, or dangerous populism. Just look at what’s happening across Europe (and especially Greece with its new radical left Prime Minister).

But it all starts with a bankrupt government and decades of destructive policies.

We’ve all seen what’s happened with Venezuela. If you’re in a bankrupt nation, make sure this doesn’t affect you. Make sure you always have a Plan B.

Source

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
S&P Downgrades Russia’s Credit Rating to Junk

S&P Downgrades Russia’s Credit Rating to Junk

S&P Downgrades Russia’s Credit Rating to Junk

By RT

S&P Downgrades Russia's Credit Rating to Junk

Standard & Poor’s Headquarters. Image credit: B64 at en.wikipedia [CC BY 3.0]

US-based credit rating agency Standard & Poor’s has cut Russia’s sovereign rating to BB+, leaving it below investment grade for the first time in a decade. Moscow termed the decision “overly pessimistic.”

“The downgrade reflects our view that Russia’s monetary policy flexibility has become more limited and its economic growth prospects have weakened. We also see a heightened risk that external and fiscal buffers will deteriorate due to rising external pressures and increased government support to the economy,” said a statement from the agency.

The ruble fell from 66.3 to over 69 per dollar. As it experienced downward pressure through the early hours of Monday, the Russian currency has now fallen by over 8 percent since the previous trading day.

Russia’s Finance minister Anton Siluanov said S & P’s move was “overly pessimistic, and did not take into account the strengths of the Russian economy.” Among its advantages he listed Russia’s considerable foreign currency reserves, a positive balance of payments, and low levels of state debt. The official urged investors to “avoid dramatizing the situation.

In contrast, in their breakdown, S&P analysts drew up a bleak future for Russia’s economy, which is predicted to shrink this year.

“We project that the economy will expand by about 0.5% annually in 2015-2018, below the 2.4% of the previous four years,” says the report.

READ MORE: Russian Central Bank voids Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch ratings

It blames both the “structural problems” of Russia’s economy, and the cycle of Western sanctions and counter-sanctions imposed since the succession of Crimea from Ukraine last March.

“We see this muted projected growth partly as a legacy of a secular economic slowdown that had already begun before the recent developments in the Ukraine. It also reflects a lack of external financing due to the introduction of economic sanctions and the sharp decline in oil prices.”

The fall in credit ratings makes it more difficult for Russia to borrow money on the international markets, and may have wider ramifications for its financial system. Russian companies, both state-owned and otherwise, may struggle to repay their loans, while many investors without a remit to speculate in risky conditions may withdraw from the Moscow stock markets.

The government may have to step in to rescue key national corporations. The Russian Central Bank has promised to inject 1.2 trillion rubles (US$18 billion) into the country’s banking system to steer away from a full-fledged crisis.

“Credit ratings are meaningless in a situation when the international capital markets are closed off to Russian companies,” said a statement from oil and gas giant Rosneft, one of the companies targeted by sectoral sanctions adopted against Russia in the summer over the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine. Majority state-owned Rosneft insisted it was feeling “confident.”

Russia’s Central Bank announced last week that in its internal assessments it would ignore any ratings issued by the Big Three Western ratings agencies – Standard & Poor’s, Fitch, and Moody’s – that were issued after March 2014.

It said that all credit ratings given to Russian companies and banks will now be at the discretion of the board of directors of the bank. The regulator will assess whether or not the ratings made after March are accurate. The decision came after Fitch and Moody’s had downgraded Russia’s sovereign debt to just above junk status.

Read more

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Economic War, BRICS, and the Power of Self-Sufficiency

Economic War, BRICS, and the Power of Self-Sufficiency

Economic War, BRICS, and the Power of Self-Sufficiency

By Ulson Gunnar | New Eastern Outlook

The toughest, most resilient people as both individuals and as societies all generally have one thing in common – self-sufficiency. This by no means suggests isolationism, but rather the ability to survive, even thrive through one’s own work using resources at their own disposal.

As a principle, self-sufficiency, self-reliance, and individualism defined young nations like the United States, catapulting it upon the world stage as a global leader after spending time racked in debt and in England’s shadow. By establishing its own industry, its own institutions (including those of a financial nature) and its own military might, the United States transcended the tangled webs of interdependency locking Europe’s ever-shifting, fragile alliances together.

The evolution of human civilization along the lines of socioeconomics and technology has changed the roles, effectiveness and relevancy of those industries and institutions that had once made America great and in turn, those nations that had attempted to emulate such features have now all found themselves within the same boat – the boat of globalization.

Globalization is the hitherto pinnacle of interdependency, crippling any nation that falls foul of those sitting at the center of this entangled geopolitical order. There are many examples of nations that haven fallen foul including Cuba, Iraq, Iran and more recently Russia. In each case, respective economies depended heavily upon imports or exports or both. The response in defense against crippling economic warfare is self-sufficiency.

In Cuba, urban agriculture became a necessity long before it became a trend in urban centers elsewhere around the world. Iran has become independent in many aspects including arms manufacturing. Iraq, it can be said, was ultimately undone by sanctions combined with military invasion and occupation by the United States. Now in Russia, we see a nation first shifting its markets toward friendlier allies, then attempting to develop itself from within.

Combined with the overall instability of a global system of interdependencies ran by an inept, greedy and self-destructive oligarchy centered upon Wall Street and London, economic warfare is a serious and continuous threat to all nations. And while headlines are dominated by America’s economic war on Russia at the moment, amid that war many of the United State’s closest allies have suffered as well.

France had planned on selling Russia two Mistral-class amphibious assault ships for a total of 1.2 billion Euros. Because of pressure on France to support NATO’s proxy war against Russia in Ukraine, the delivery of the vessels has been indefinitely suspended. In addition to losing the 1.2 billion Euros for the contract already paid for by Russia, there is an additional penalty of 251 million Euros. Because of France’s tangling interdependencies with the US, European Union, and England, it is incapable of making a decision that represents its own best interests and those of the French people.

Similar scenarios have played out across Southern Europe where Russia’s South Stream Pipeline was to run but has now since been canceled due to US, British and EU pressure.

Likewise for Russia, instead of building their own amphibious assault ships, they have decided to depend on the French which was clearly a mistake.

In theory, for nations capable of building their own ships, cars, electronics or producing their own food and energy, the whims of foreign interests have much less impact. In practice, such nations are difficult to come by, and vulnerabilities in the form of sociopolitical and economic interdependencies are a feature of nearly every nation’s geopolitical standings.

Self-Sufficiency as a Matter of National Defense

The BRICS nations, Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, as well as other growing developing nations particularly in Southeast Asia, would do well to not only learn the dangers of interdependencies, but the merit of proactive self-sufficiency, not as a knee-jerk reaction, but as a proactive form of national defense.

Everything from industry to agriculture and even human health is becoming increasing dependent on advanced technology. Nations lagging behind in terms of education, research, and development are likely to fall prey to monopolies controlled from beyond their borders. A nation dependent on another is not only not truly a free and independent nation state, it is also immensely vulnerable to the meddling of those nations who control these monopolies.

Washington and Riyadh’s grip on the petrodollar is one example of this. Their ability to then manipulate global energy prices has been regularly used as an economic weapon against its enemies, most recently Russia. While a clumsy and unsustainable weapon to wield, the world would be a far better and more stable place if the firewalls of socioeconomic independence were stronger.

Should Russia prevail, it is hoped that while they will likely continue reaping the benefits of their resource-based export economy, they will also look inward for another source of strength to augment, then eventually replace their vulnerable interdependencies. Other BRICS nations would be wise to begin doing so long before it becomes a necessity. For nations like Brazil, who has invested decades in developing energy independence, such a proposition is much more in reach.

Ultimately, self-sufficiency as an individual or as a nation or bloc of nations does not mean isolationism. It means being able to thrive without, and thriving twice as much with. While it is difficult to convince industries and entrepreneurs to steer toward this more sustainable ground, tying self-sufficiency in with national defense can allow for measures otherwise shortsighted business sectors would reject. In the long run, say in Russia, business leaders who eagerly pursued globalism as a means toward riches are surely regretting their shortsightedness now. Sanctions force Russia, under pressure, to implement measures that should have been put in place years ago.

Tying self-sufficiency to national security, particularly now in Russia where jobs and prosperity are in peril is not a long stretch, especially considering that Russia’s current economic woes are part of what is essentially an attack on Russian sovereignty, peace and prosperity to begin with.

Source

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
27 Facts Show How The Middle Class Fared Under 6 Years Of Obama

27 Facts Show How The Middle Class Fared Under 6 Years Of Obama

27 Facts Show How The Middle Class Fared Under 6 Years Of Obama

By Michael Snyder | The Economic Collapse

27 Facts Show How The Middle Class Fared Under 6 Years Of Obama

During his State of the Union speech on Tuesday evening, Barack Obama is going to promise to make life better for middle class families. Of course he has also promised to do this during all of his other State of the Union addresses, but apparently he still believes that there are people out there that are buying what he is selling. Each January, he gets up there and tells us how the economy is “turning around” and to believe that much brighter days are right around the corner. And yet things just continue to get even worse for the middle class.

The numbers that you are about to see will not be included in Obama’s State of the Union speech. They don’t fit the “narrative” that Obama is trying to sell to the American people. But all of these statistics are accurate. They paint a picture of a middle class that is dying. Yes, the decline of the U.S. middle class is a phenomenon that has been playing out for decades. But without a doubt, our troubles have accelerated during the Obama years. When it comes to economics, he is completely and utterly clueless, and the policies that he has implemented are eating away at the foundations of our economy like a cancer. The following are 27 facts that show how the middle class has fared under 6 years of Barack Obama…

#1 American families in the middle 20 percent of the income scale now earn less money than they did on the day when Barack Obama first entered the White House.

#2 American families in the middle 20 percent of the income scale have a lower net worth than they did on the day when Barack Obama first entered the White House.

#3 According to a Washington Post article published just a few days ago, more than 50 percent of the children in U.S. public schools now come from low income homes. This is the first time that this has happened in at least 50 years.

#4 According to a Census Bureau report that was recently released, 65 percent of all children in the United States are living in a home that receives some form of aid from the federal government.

#5 In 2008, the total number of business closures exceeded the total number of businesses being created for the first time ever, and that has continued to happen every single year since then.

#6 In 2008, 53 percent of all Americans considered themselves to be “middle class”. But by 2014, only 44 percent of all Americans still considered themselves to be “middle class”.

#7 In 2008, 25 percent of all Americans in the 18 to 29-year-old age bracket considered themselves to be “lower class”. But in 2014, an astounding 49 percent of all Americans in that age range considered themselves to be “lower class”.

#8 Traditionally, owning a home has been one of the key indicators that you belong to the middle class. So what does the fact that the rate of homeownership in America has been falling for seven years in a row say about the Obama years?

#9 According to a survey that was conducted last year, 52 percent of all Americans cannot even afford the house that they are living in right now.

#10 After accounting for inflation, median household income in the United States is 8 percent lower than it was when the last recession started in 2007.

#11 According to one recent survey, 62 percent of all Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck.

#12 At this point, one out of every three adults in the United States has an unpaid debt that is “in collections“.

#13 When Barack Obama first set foot in the Oval Office, 60.6 percent of all working age Americans had a job. Today, that number is sitting at only 59.2 percent.

#14 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the average duration of unemployment in the United States has risen from 19.8 weeks to 32.8 weeks.

#15 It is hard to believe, but an astounding 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

#16 At the end of Barack Obama’s first year in office, our yearly trade deficit with China was 226 billion dollars. Last year, it was more than 314 billion dollars.

#17 When Barack Obama was first elected, the U.S. debt to GDP ratio was under 70 percent. Today, it is over 101 percent.

#18 The U.S. national debt is on pace to approximately double during the eight years of the Obama administration. In other words, under Barack Obama the U.S. government will accumulate about as much debt as it did under all of the other presidents in U.S. history combined.

#19 According to the New York Times, the “typical American household” is now worth 36 percent less than it was worth a decade ago.

#20 The poverty rate in the United States has been at 15 percent or above for 3 consecutive years. This is the first time that has happened since 1965.

#21 From 2009 through 2013, the U.S. government spent a whopping 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs.

#22 While Barack Obama has been in the White House, the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to 46 million.

#23 Ten years ago, the number of women in the U.S. that had full-time jobs outnumbered the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps by more than a 2 to 1 margin. But now the number of women in the U.S. on food stamps actually exceeds the number of women that have full-time jobs.

#24 One recent survey discovered that about 22 percent of all Americans have had to turn to a church food panty for assistance.

#25 An astounding 45 percent of all African-American children in the United States live in areas of “concentrated poverty”.

#26 40.9 percent of all children in the United States that are living with only one parent are living in poverty.

#27 According to a report that was released late last year by the National Center on Family Homelessness, the number of homeless children in the United States has reached a new all-time record high of 2.5 million.

Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.

The incredibly foolish decisions that have been made by Obama, Congress and the Federal Reserve have brought us right to the precipice of another major financial crisis and another crippling economic downturn.

So as bad as the numbers that I just shared with you above are, the truth is that they are nothing compared to what is coming.

We are heading into the greatest economic crisis that any of us have ever seen, and it is going to shock the world.

I hope that you are getting ready.

Source

 

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Currency Broker, Rocked by Swiss Move, Gets $300 Million Infusion

Currency Broker, Rocked by Swiss Move, Gets $300 Million Infusion

Currency Broker, Rocked by Swiss Move, Gets $300 Million Infusion

By Neil Gough | Dealbook

Currency Broker, Rocked by Swiss Move, Gets $300 Million Infusion

Swiss National Bank Headquarters. Image credit: Baikonur (http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benutzer:Baikonur)

FXCM, an online trading service struggling with client losses in the wake of turmoil on the currency markets, will receive a $300 million lifeline from Leucadia National.

Leucadia, the parent company of the investment bank Jefferies, said on Friday that the cash would permit FXCM to meet its regulatory requirements and allow to continue operations.

The currency broker, like others around the world, had been rocked by the Swiss central bank’s surprise decision on Thursday to remove the cap on its currency. FXCM said on Thursday night that its clients had suffered losses of $225 million in the wake of the move.

Under the terms of the deal, Leucadia is investing $300 million in cash in the form of a $300 million senior secured term loan with a two-year maturity and an initial coupon of 10 percent.

“We could not be more grateful to Leucadia and its team for their rapid and effective response and to our regulators, who have been willing to work with us through this challenging process. Drew Niv, FXCM’s chief executive, said in a statement.

As the market volatility continued on Friday, the casualties spread to brokers big and small, including Britain and New Zealand.

Stocks in Switzerland were down more than 4 percent and investors fled to perceived havens like German government debt. Swiss government bonds, also a haven in times of turmoil, rose sharply in price, taking the interest rate of the 10-year bond, which moves in the opposite direction, below zero for the first time. In effect, investors are paying for the privilege of holding Swiss assets.

Switzerland had effectively put a floor on the value of its currency at 1.2 francs per euro since 2011, a move intended to halt the franc’s rapid appreciation in the middle of a sovereign debt crisis in Europe.

Read more

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News
Jim Willie: The World Now Recognizes the U.S., Not Iran, as a Rogue Nation

Jim Willie: The World Now Recognizes the U.S., Not Iran, as a Rogue Nation

Jim Willie: The World Now Recognizes the U.S., Not Iran, as a Rogue Nation

By Kenneth Schortgen Jr

Jim Willie: The World Now Recognizes the U.S., Not Iran, as a Rogue Nation

On Jan. 13, Dr. Jim Willie was a guest on the Reluctant Preppers podcast to talk about the state of the dollar, oil, and the overall economy. During his 30 minute segment in part one of his interview, Dr. Willie laid out the reasoning behind the world’s current move away from the U.S. and the dollar, and that from a broken treaty agreement made by multiple nations in early 2014, the America is now being recognized as a rogue nation, far more than the rhetoric used to label Iran as such over the past decade.

As a well respected statistician and forecaster of economic and geo-political events, Dr. Willie has a long track record of correct predictions and forecasts revealed through his monthly periodical, The Hattrick Newsletter.

Jim Willie: There is going to be a loud cry, even among the Western nations to join the BRICS movement and towards the return of the gold standard. This is what I believe is going to start and gain alot of momentum this calendar year.

I want to tell you Elijah, I came to learn a little while ago that in the end of 2013, and into January of 2014, there was a global currency reset… kind of a treaty, a financial accord pact. It was signed by 117 nations including the United States. It was to re-jigger the currencies among themselves, and very importantly, to double the gold price and triple the silver price. That is what the global currency reset was all about. Changing the gold price relative to all the other fiat currencies.

It was called the Gold Standard Re-installation Pact. What it implied was that gold is a currency.

But instead of following through in January of 2014 with this currency reset as an international treaty, the U.S. once again violated a treaty and triggered the Ukraine war.

The U.S. is now seen widely across the world as a rogue nation. The rogue nation is not Iran. It’s being recognized increasingly even among Western European nations. – Dr. Jim Willie, Reluctant Preppers, Jan. 13

Belief that the U.S. has become a rogue or aggressor nation has only escalated over the past two years in several incidents that have caused extreme turmoil to both the economic and geo-political stability of multiple nations. Besides their involvement in the overthrow of the duly elected government in Ukraine, and the subsequent sanctions put on Russia that have caused economic pain to nations within the Eurozone as well as Russia’s currency, the U.S. has also been linked to punishments centered on France, which include fines imposed on BNP Paribas, the daylight carjacking of a Saudi Prince in downtown Paris, and the death of the CEO of France’s largest oil companies in a freak accident outside Moscow.

The world is demanding an end to the dollar based reserve currency system and the creation of a new and more stable platform based on direct bi-lateral trade and using gold as the primary reserve. And as the U.S. continues to dig in and refuse to work with other global economies in facilitating a solution to the current debt based global financial system, the more nations will isolate America and move towards the East where replacement infrastructures are already online to end dollar hegemony and accomplish the currency reset nation’s wanted nearly two years ago.

Video: Fractures in Economy, Dollar Collapse, & Gold Standard | Jim Willie’s 2015 Forecasts

IN THIS INTERVIEW:
– 2015 will be the year where the whole system fractures ►1:37
– Is the rise in the Dollar going to hurt the U.S. economy? ►13:05
– Calls for a new gold standard in 2015 ►17:12

Source

 

Posted by Red Pill Reports in Economic News