Friday, December 30, 2011

Petroplus, largest independent refiner and wholesaler in Europe suspending operations

Petroplus Holdings AG, is suspending operations at three plants as banks freeze a $1bn revolving loan facility.
Press copy from Petroplus about temporary shutdowns
Petroplus focuses on refining and currently owns and operates five refineries across Europe:
Coryton in the United Kingdom,
Antwerp in Belgium,
Petit Couronne in France,
Ingolstadt in Germany,
and Cressier in Switzerland.
refinery list above

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Somalia next to be attacked?

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has declared that Somalia is a so-called “failed state” and thus a threat to British interests, signaling what might be the next target in the global imperialistic crusade carried out under the guise of humanitarianism.

Iran Straight of Hormus update:

A senior Iranian lawmaker says the ongoing Velayat 90 naval drill aim to send a warning to the West that the Strait of Hormuz will be closed if Iran is threatened.
Iran's Navy ordered a helicopter from an unspecified foreign country to leave
the area of maneuvers it is conducting in the Persian Gulf, the semi-official Fars News Agency reported Monday. "The helicopter ignored the first two warnings but left the area after the third and severe warning," Fars quoted Rear Adm. Seyed Mahmoud Musavi, the deputy commander of operations for Iran's Navy, as saying. The incident occurred Sunday, according to Fars. Fars only described the helicopter as belonging to a foreign country outside the Middle East region.
Oil markets: Brent at $108.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

California pensions: there’s an 82% chance they will run out of money.

California’s pension system is living in a fantasy world where investment returns average 12.5% annually and there’s enough money for everyone. The largest union, CalPERS, has a 82% chance of a budget shortfall in the next 16 years.
Rhode Island: Cuts for the Already Retired
As cities, towns and counties struggle with fiscal pain, there has been speculation that they could shed their pension obligations in bankruptcy.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Portugal: Debt is our only weapon

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard at the Telegraph:
"We have an atomic bomb that we can use in the face of the Germans and the French: this atomic bomb is simply that we won't pay," said Pedro Nuno Santos, vice-president of the Socialist Party in the parliament.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Trustee Wants to Seize and Liquidate Even the Gold and Silver Bullion Stored Under Bailment for Customers From MF Global

Jesse's Cafe Americain
The bottom line is that apparently some warehouses and bullion dealers are not a safe place to store your gold and silver, even if you hold a specific warehouse receipt. In an oligarchy, private ownership is merely a concept, subject to interpretation and confiscation.
Here's Karl Denninger's take on the above story:
A warehouse receipt is not an unallocated, nebulous claim. It contains a serial number of one or more specific bars sitting in a warehouse. You are in fact charged a storage fee for the service of maintaining security over your property and you have had to tender payment in full as well. This is a bailment in any sense of the word and under any theory of law I've seen -- and yet now, suddenly, it is proposed that your property held under bailment by this institution can be seized and stolen to pay unallocated bankruptcy claims against the bankrupt company's estate! This sort of action turns the entire premises of private property and bailment on its ear! [blogger emphasis] NO -- and I repeat NO -- property held allegedly for your benefit by any third party anywhere is safe under this "theory" of the bankruptcy trustee. Yes, this includes something so simple as the money on deposit in your bank account.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Will silver regain its long-term value to gold?

priced in gold

Comment on a discussion about hacked drone in Iran

seek "Details of the hack have already appeared in the hacking circles. It was pretty simple (and simply brilliant.) It consisted of two jamming mechanisms. 1) Jammed primary communications link between drone and US controllers. This put the drone into a "go back home" mode. It's preprogrammed to fly back to a US controlled airport and automatically land on a long-term loss of communications. 2) (this is the fucking brilliant part) Using a known GPS vulnerability, a second set of jammers transmitted a replacement GPS signal that allowed Iran to skew the GPS-derived location at will (in essenence, transmitting their own localized GPS signal that results in incorrect, but controllable, positioning data.) The used #2 to make the drone think it was landing at its home base, when in reality it was landing in Iran. This is why the drone was in such good shape, it was executing a controlled landing in what it believed was friendly territory. Shame is the #2 vulnerability apparently was well known and documented years ago, and not corrected."

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Morgan Stanley to cut 1,600 jobs

(Reuters) - Morgan Stanley will cut 1,600 employees in the first quarter, the bank said on Thursday, as it trims costs in a difficult period for trading and banking revenue. The job cuts will come across all staff levels and geographic areas, spokesman Mark Lake said, including investment banking, trading and back-office functions. Morgan Stanley is one of the last big Wall Street banks to announce major job cuts as analysts have begun slashing fourth-quarter earnings estimates. Other banks, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc , JPMorgan Chase & Co , Bank of America Corp and Citigroup Inc have already outlined plans to cut thousands of jobs this year. Morgan Stanley had kept firings limited to several hundred underperforming financial advisers earlier in 2011, but is now extending the cuts to banking and trading.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Iran to practice closing Straight of Hormuz

From Reuters via Zerohedge:
A member of the Iranian parliament's National Security Committee said on Monday that the military was set to practise its ability to close the Gulf to shipping at the narrow Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil transit channel in the world, but there was no official confirmation. The legislator, Parviz Sarvari, told the student news agency ISNA: "Soon we will hold a military manoeuvre on how to close the Strait of Hormuz. If the world wants to make the region insecure, we will make the world insecure." Contacted by Reuters, a spokesman for the Iranian military declined to comment.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

NATO attacks Paki troops

NATO helicopters and fighter jets attacked two military outposts in northwest Pakistan Saturday, killing as many as 28 troops and plunging U.S.-Pakistan relations deeper into crisis. Pakistan shut down NATO supply routes into Afghanistan - used for sending in nearly half of the alliance's land shipments - in retaliation for the worst such incident since Islamabad uneasily allied itself with Washington following the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States.
Cargo trucks, including those carrying supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan, are seen halted along the Pakistan-Torkham border, after it was shut down to traffic November 26, 2011. REUTERS/Shahid Shinwari

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Swiss money base has exploded

My Swiss Franc updates ended moot when the Swiss National(Central)Bank started monetization to follow the Euro:
SNB Monthly report

Wall Street Unoccupied as 200,000 Job Cuts Bring ‘Darkest Days’

...wave of firings that has washed awaymore than 200,000 jobs in the global financial-services industry this year, eclipsing 174,000 in 2009, data compiled by Bloomberg show. BNP Paribas SA and UniCredit SpA announced cuts last week, and the carnage likely will worsen as Europe’s sovereign-debt crisis roils markets..

Monday, November 21, 2011

MF Global frozen customer funds may be more than $3 Billion

Anger mounts as MF Global clients see $3 billion still stuck
Three weeks after MF Global's collapsed, furious former customers are still fighting for access to billions of dollars as they question why as much as two-thirds of their money is still stuck. While authorities have touted the fact that they are returning 60 percent of the collateral and cash that had been frozen in the wake of the broker's October 31 bankruptcy, a closer look shows that in fact only about 40 percent of customers' total funds have been authorized for release so far. The remainder, more than $3 billion, ostensibly remains on hand to cover a shortfall originally estimated by MF Global to regulators at just $600 million.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Italy citizens protests bankster government

Students in Italy's financial capital Milan threw firecrackers at police trying to prevent them approaching the Bocconi university, which is chaired by Monti and has become a symbol for the new executive of technocrats he has formed to tackle Italy's debt crisis.There were also protests in Turin, Rome, Palermo and Bari,There were also protests in Turin, Rome, Palermo and Bari, with demonstrators targeting universities where some of Monti's ministers used to teach, bank branches and tax offices. In Turin, clashes broke out between police and thousands of demonstrators including anarchists trying to approach the local headquarters of the Bank of Italy.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Italy 10-year bond yields rise back above 7%

Nov. 15, 2011, 6:43 a.m. EST The 7% level is seen as psychologically important, marking the point at which Portugal and Greece were effectively shut out of credit markets. The 10-year yield soared well above 7% last week amid political turmoil and a hike in margin requirements for bond traders before retreating. The yield on 10-year Spanish government bonds ES:10YR_ESP +0.18% rose 17 basis points to 6.25%, while France's 10-year yield FR:10YR_FRA +0.19% rose 15 basis points to 3.58% and Belgium's 10-year yield BE:10YR_BEL +0.19% rose 19 basis points to 4.79%

Reality about the future of energy

Political BS:
“We don’t have to wait on OPEC anymore. We don’t have to let them hold us hostage. America’s got the energy. Let’s have American energy independence.”- Rick Perry, CNN Debate, October 18
“We must become independent from foreign sources of oil. This will mean a combination of efforts related to conservation and efficiency measures, developing alternative sources of energy like biodiesel, ethanol, nuclear, and coal gasification, and finding more domestic sources of oil such as in ANWR or the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS).” – Mitt Romney
The alternative energy solutions are not big enough to replace our prodigious use of energy, and the talk about abundant United States domestic energy (affordable comparable with now) is complete bullshit.

Monday, November 14, 2011

California budget cuts as tax receipts way below projections; spending soars

California has fallen $1.5 billion behind in revenue
through the first four months of the fiscal year, state Controller John Chiang said Thursday, amplifying fears the state will impose deeper budget cuts this winter.
If the state falls between $1 billion and $2 billion short, the budget calls for cuts in higher education, social services and public safety. If the state falls more than $2 billion short, the state will cut K-12 schools and community colleges.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Doug Noland at Prudentbear:
I am of the view that inflationary policy doctrine (“inflationism”) is in the process of impairing the Creditworthiness of the financial claims that constitute the foundation of the global financial system. Massive issuance of non-productive debt and central bank monetization have irreparably distorted the global pricing of finance and the resulting allocation of financial and real resources. This backdrop has nurtured destructive speculative dynamics.

Hungary credit downgrade by S&P

From S&P Republic of Hungary 'BBB-/A-3' Ratings Placed On Watch Negative Owing To The Unpredictable Policy Framework Overview In our opinion, the predictability of Hungary's policy framework continues to erode, weighing on the economy's medium-term growth prospects. As a result, we are placing the 'BBB-/A-3' foreign and local currency sovereign credit ratings on Hungary on CreditWatch with negative implications. We are also placing the 'BBB-' long-term counterparty credit rating on the National Bank of Hungary on CreditWatch with negative implications.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Italian 10-year reaches 7.2% today.

LCH.Clearnet raises margin requirements on Italy debt

Market Stalls As LCH Announces Margin Hikes On Italian Debt Headlines for now but chatter is that LCH will lift charges on Italian bonds effective close today (Wednesday November 9th). The details can be found here. *LCH COMMENTS ON ITALY BOND DEPOSIT CHARGES IN WEBSITE DOCUMENT LCH Raises Deposit Charge on 10-Yr Bonds to 11.65% From 6.65%
More:The deposit factor for Italian bonds due in seven-to-10 years will rise to 11.65 percent, the French unit of LCH Clearnet said. That compares with a charge of 6.65 percent announced on Oct. 7. Clearing houses guarantee that investors’ trades are completed by standing in the middle of two counterparties, and raise margin requirements to protect themselves against losses should one side of the trade fail.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Italy debt crisis

Barclays Credit research via Zerohedge:
"At this point, Italy may be beyond the point of no return. While reform may be necessary, we doubt that Italian economic reforms alone will be sufficient to rehabilitate the Italian credit and eliminate the possibility of a debilitating confidence crisis that could overwhelm the positive effects of a reform agenda, however well conceived and implemented."

Monday, November 7, 2011

MF Global: Beginning of more Wall Street ponzi unravelling

Shareholders, last in line to recover anything from a bankrupt estate, may get nothing []. MF Global's largest common shareholders as of Sept. 30 were Pyramis Global Advisors, with 8.4%, and RS Investments in San Francisco, with 7.8%, according to court papers. RS has sold its entire stake, Erin Burke, a spokeswoman for the firm, said in an e-mail. Fine Capital Partners held 7.4% and Cadian Capital Management had 6.2%, the company said. J.C. Flowers & Co. owns 1.5 million preferred shares, MF Global said. Mr. Corzine, who joined MF Holdings in March 2010, is also an operating partner at J.C. Flowers.
JP Morgan damage control:
JPMorgan Chase sought to protect its own huge exposure to MF Global, asking the bankruptcy court to place controls on the cash it provided the company, according to a Dow Jones Newswires report. CreditSights analysts estimated JPMorgan could have up to $120 million at risk in the company. According to the bankruptcy filing and its third-quarter financial report, MF Global has 25,000-50,000 creditors and around $40 billion in debts.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

San Diego school district faces possible insolvency

The San Diego Unified School District's board of trustees got a cold, harsh dose of fiscal reality from its financial consultant and its staff Tuesday night. Then it took an earful from angry parents, staff and even fifth-graders from schools the district has slated for possible closure. Aside from some sparring on whether to reduce busing, a spat that ended with a majority of the board voting to reject further cuts, there was little actual action at Tuesday's meeting. Rather, the marathon meeting was an opportunity for the board to air publicly the true depth of its financial woes and blame the state for those woes.
Bennett outlined the state's decision to project an optimistic $4 billion in extra revenues state, and described the legislative mandate from Sacramento that school districts must spend the money, even though they might never actually get it. His description of the budget games being played sent gasps through the 300-strong crowd of sign-waving education supporters, many of whom had clearly come to talk about school closures and seemed to be learning the details of the district's dire financial situation for the first time.
After further stunning the crowd with statistics — he said if the state makes midyear cuts to San Diego Unified's budget, the district will be down to the same per-student funding level it was at 11 years ago.
The topic isn't new to the district. Internally, it's been discussing possible insolvency for years even as the board has taken gambles on the state's situation improving, potentially compounding the grave financial situation.
The purpose of Bennett's presence at the meeting seemed more aimed at educating the broader public about just how dire things really are at San Diego Unified. Coming two weeks after district Superintendent Bill Kowba (who remained silent throughout Tuesday's four-and-a-half-hour meeting) announced the district was "at the edge of the cliff, looking over and down at insolvency," the presentation was the latest in a line of recent public proclamations of distress by the district.
Frances O'Neill Zimmerman posted at 8:52 am on Wed, Oct 26, 2011. Posts: 497 I really appreciated Will Carless' accurate account of that School Board meeting last night: sound and fury signifying nothing. Theater, grandstanding, heartfelt appeals, tainted Board members berating staff, no decisions, a silent Superintendent.
swiss franc climbing again
1 CHF = 1.1624 USD
Up about 2% this last month

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Greece live feeds

Live feeds from Greece!

Greece uprising

Volos protests The citizens of Volos rose from the sofa and took to the streets of fire
SEE Reportage "Mammoth": They carried the greatest volume and rate, mobilizing the city's history WORKERS and officials, public and private professionals of all trades, teachers, students, and retirees, sank the squares and streets the city, occupied public buildings, blockaded the offices of two government MPs, while the more hot-blooded smashed bank branches. And all of this? the same time as the Government continues its offensive against low-and low-income. He was truly the biggest volume and beat, strike in the history of Volos. The images also speak for themselves:
"War Zone" in downtown Athens Fires everywhere and suffocating atmosphere 10/19/2011 17:5477

Monday, October 17, 2011

Unconfirmed: Portugese military says it will protect the protesters

Story making rounds on internet. We will see what happens.
PORTUGUESE MILITARY TO PROTECT PROTESTERS AGAINST REGIME 11:45 PM OZYISM 1 COMMENT 17/oct/11 NATO member state Portugal is in trouble as new reports indicate that the military is preparing to protect protesters if the regime starts crack downs. This comes as NATO is desperate to end the war in Libya, even attempting a genocide in Sirte to end the resistance. Activists believe that NATO is desperate because it wants to prepare for internal uprisings in NATO member states, which are on their beginning phases.

Greece strike schedule posted

Posted 16 Oct 2011 Agenda MONDAY
State media are to continue strike action until Thursday. The Panhellenic Seafarers Association’s strike until Tuesday will affect all ferry services. Lawyers are continuing to strike until Wednesday. Customs employees walk off the job for 24 hours. Tax office, Social Security Foundation (IKA) and local authority employees continue rolling 48-hour strikes.
Development Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis visits Vienna to meet Austrian government officials and representatives of international organizations and Austrian business groups.
The Foundation for Economic and Industrial Research (IOBE) will hold a round-table discussion titled “Debt Crisis in Europe: Lessons for Greece from the Scandinavian Experience.” Starts at 6 p.m. at the Athens Hilton. (Info:
NGO Smile of the Child and Child Helpline International (CHI) will hold a press conference at 10 a.m. at the Astir Palace Resort in Vouliagmeni, in the context of the European CHI Regional Consultation that starts on Monday and concludes Wednesday. (Info:
Railway workers start a three-day strike, until Thursday, affecting the Proastiakos suburban rail and the metro service to Athens Airport. Journalists hold a 24-hour strike. Port workers start a 48-hour strike.
Rhodes inaugurates the Aquaculture 2011 Congress. To Friday. (Info:
The country’s main labor unions, GSEE and ADEDY, begin a 48-hour strike. There will be no flights or taxis. Retail stores and banks will remain closed too.
No flights or taxis, with public transport also likely to be disrupted as industrial action by GSEE and ADEDY continues.
The Laboratory of New Technologies in Communication, Education and the Mass Media of Athens University’s Department of Communication and Media Studies is hosting the 5th European Conference on Games-Based Learning (ECGBL 2011), with the support of the University Research Institute of Applied Communication and the cooperation of the Hellenic-American Union. To Friday. (Info: In the context of the conference there are two exhibitions on display at Athens University: “Serious Games Showcase & Best Practices 2011,” and “Playful Learning Media (PlayLearn) 2011,” open until Saturday.
Management guru Charlene Li to feature in an event titled “Understanding Open Leadership” at the Athenaeum Intercontinental Hotel. Starts at 6.30 p.m. (Info: 210.661.7777,
The American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce is organizing the 3rd Thessaloniki Tax Forum, with guest of honor Minister of Finance Evangelos Venizelos, at the Hyatt Regency Thessaloniki Hotel. The official language of the forum is Greek, with no simultaneous translation available. (Info: 2310.286453,
The Manpower Organization (OAED) is organizing its second Labor Forum from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Vellidio Conference Hall in the Helexpo grounds in Thessaloniki. (Info:
Prime Minister George Papandreou to take part in extraordinary eurozone and European Union summits. , Sunday October 16, 2011 (23:01)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Italian protests against banks

Italian newspaper
[translation] MOBILIZATION Students march against new banks Eggs and junk against several branches Attempted a raid at Goldman Sachs, busy throwing things against the media in defense of the police headquarters of Fininvest Blitz at Goldman Sachs LONDON - Blitz at Goldman Sachs, eggs and paint against the banks, vegetables at police headquarters in front of the Fininvest: also on Friday, after the demonstration on October 7 last year, students took to the streets to demonstrate for and against the public school funds the crisis and the government. The procession was attended by about ten thousand young people according to the organizers (two thousand according to police estimates). The raid at the headquarters of U.S. bank Goldman Sachs was the first action of the student demonstration. A group of twenty boys tried to get a surprise in the Milanese headquarters of the U.S. bank, Bossi in the square, near Piazza Cordusio. Rejected by some employees of the home, the young people then smeared with spray paint the hallway and throwing bags full of garbage to the cry of "Goldman Sachs has the courage to face the future without young people."

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Physical silver running out because its spot price does not reflect true investment demand

Silver at bargain prices!
Several readers of ArabianMoney have written to us over the past two weeks to express their astonishment at the current price of silver because demand where they live is so high that stocks have run out. Consider this comment: ‘I used to buy silver from a shop in Kobar in Saudi. From the last four weeks they said they ran out of silver. I cannot find anyone who sells silver in Saudi now. I asked them from where do they get their silver. They said the UAE. The problem is they only have 1kg bars…and I still cannot find any supplier.’ No stock Well don’t bother coming to the UAE. Our information is that the 1kg bars mentioned here and featured in a video on the website last month (click here) are all sold out too. We’ve also had feedback about low or no stock in Texas and Australia from big private bullion dealers there.
Here's a comment left on the above linked item:
Comment by Greg Hudson - 06 October 2011 Report from the Bullion trenches in Sydney (ABC Bullion): Brisk trading again today with clients queued before we opened and queues of 30+ mins to get in the front door at lunch time and early afternoon. A mix of gold and silver buyers. Very few sellers, in silver we only bought back 2kg of silver over the counter. As expected last week we have sold out 1kg silver bars for immediate sale, and the wait list for 1kg bars from the PAMP refinery has blown out from 4 to 6 weeks. The only silver bars we have to sell over the counter to take now is some beaten up 50 & 100 oz Harrington bars from the 70’s that we bought back several weeks ago when prices were much higher (we are selling them at loss!) and sub 1kg bars, such as 100 & 500gram, but the 10oz bars have sold out. 1oz & 1kg silver coins are still available. Gold bars and coins are still readily available but we are getting warnings of supply issues in the pipeline from our suppliers which is not a good sign going into the Indian gold buying festival of Diwali on the 26th.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Saudi Arabia unrest in al-Qatif

Unrest in Shia area al-Qatif 14 people injured Monday. Saudi police open fire on protesters
Pro-democracy protests which swept the Arab world earlier in the year have erupted in eastern Saudi Arabia over the past three days, with police opening fire with live rounds and many people injured, opposition activists say. Saudi Arabia last night confirmed there had been fighting in the region and that 11 security personnel and three civilians had been injured in al-Qatif, a large Shia city on the coast of Saudi Arabia's oil-rich Eastern Province. The opposition say that 24 men and three women were wounded on Monday night and taken to al-Qatif hospital. The Independent has been given exclusive details of how the protests developed by local activists. They say unrest began on Sunday in al-Awamiyah, a Shia town of about 25,000 people, when Saudi security forces arrested a 60-year-old man to force his son – an activist – to give himself up. [sounds a bit like how the London riot started.]

Indian Silver Demand Leads to ‘Supply Issues'

Tue, Oct 4 2011, 13:43 GMT
Heightened physical demand for silver from the Indian subcontinent is causing “supply issues” according to UBS this morning. UBS note that airline capacity to deliver the precious metal is being “stretched” and premiums are unsurprisingly on the rise.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Greek protests

Greek civil servants and unions opposed to Prime Minister George Papandreou’s new round of wage and pension cuts occupied government offices for a second day, blocking access for officials seeking to determine whether the country qualifies for an international loan to avert default.
Taxi drivers protest outside the Greece parliament building on 29 Sept 2011.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Alessio "The Trader" Rastani: BBC Interview Was Not A Hoax

Zerohedge follow-up on BBC video:
Zero Hedge's post yesterday of a trader telling the BBC how he (and everyone else) really feels about the current cataclysmic situation, went viral, and as of this writing, was about to generate 100,000 hits . Needless to say, the trader in question, Alessio Rastani, very suddenly and violently entered the public's eye, the most amusing side effect of which was the emergence a fringe group claiming that just because he looks like some other guy, that he is a spoof, and this was immediately used by the conventional media to attempt to discredit him. And as usually happens, this has backfired.
You Tube link
BBC statement:
Statement on BBC News channel interview with trader Alessio Rastani Date: 27.09.2011 The BBC have today issued the following statement regarding an interview with trader Alessio Rastani on the BBC News channel yesterday (Monday 26 September): "We've carried out detailed investigations and can't find any evidence to suggest that the interview with Alessio Rastani was a hoax. He is an independent market trader and one of a range of voices we've had on air to talk about the recession." BBC Press Office

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Gold and Silver: On Sale This Week!

A "golden" opportunity to acquire some physical precious metal assets!
Silver and gold continue their plunge on the London markets
Prices of the precious metals fell in morning trade in London with gold slumping to a seven-week low while the dollar and yen continue to rally amid increased recession fears.


Some savings banks wrestle with run
The run on Tomato 2 and some other lenders began the morning after the Financial Services Commission (FSC) suspended seven savings banks, including major players Tomato and Jeil, in its latest attempt to purge secondary lenders that were crippled by exposure to the country’s toxic property sector.
A crowd gathers at the Myeong-dong branch of the Tomato 2 Savings Bank in downtown Seoul, Monday, to withdraw money after the bank’s parent firm, Tomato Savings, was one of seven secondary banking units that had its business operations suspended. / Yonhap
An official (R) from Tomato Savings Bank briefs people who have spent several hours waiting to get a number that determines the date they will get provisional payments in front of the headquarters of Tomato Savings Bank in Seongnam, south of Seoul, September 22, 2011. South Korea's financial regulator on Sunday ordered seven savings banks, including major player Tomato Savings Bank, to temporarily close as the sector grapples with deteriorating asset quality due to bad construction loans. About 640,000 people have $9.60 billion deposited in the ailing banks, according to local media.

Five Banks Account For 96% Of The $250 Trillion In Outstanding US Derivative Exposure; Is Morgan Stanley Sitting On An FX Derivative Time Bomb?

ZEROHEDGE this morning:
The latest quarterly report from the Office Of the Currency Comptroller is out and as usual it presents in a crisp, clear and very much glaring format the fact that the top 4 banks in the US now account for a massively disproportionate amount of the derivative risk in the financial system. Specifically, of the $250 trillion in gross notional amount of derivative contracts outstanding (consisting of Interest Rate, FX, Equity Contracts, Commodity and CDS) among the Top 25 commercial banks (a number that swells to $333 trillion when looking at the Top 25 Bank Holding Companies), a mere 5 banks (and really 4) account for 95.9% of all derivative exposure (HSBC replaced Wells as the Top 5th bank, which at $3.9 trillion in derivative exposure is a distant place from #4 Goldman with $47.7 trillion).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

France bank turmoil

France’s BNP, SocGen Beat Retreat as Europe Debt Crisis Deepens
At the end of March, French financial firms had $672 billion in public and private debt in Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Italy and Spain, according to Basel, Switzerland-based Bank for International Settlements. That’s the biggest exposure to the euro-area’s troubled countries and almost a third more than German lenders. The four largest French banks have 5.9 trillion euros in total assets, including loans and bond holdings, or about three times France’s gross domestic product.

BNP Paribas SA, France’s largest bank, plans “significant” staff reductions at its investment- banking unit as the lender cuts total assets by about 10 percent, Chief Executive Officer Baudouin Prot said.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Lloyd’s of London Pulls Deposits From Banks on Debt Crisis

Lloyd’s, which holds about a third of its 2.5 billion pounds ($3.9 billion) of central assets in cash, has stopped depositing money with some banks in Europe’s peripheral economies, Savage said, declining to name the countries or institutions.

Siemens AG (SIE), European’s biggest engineering company, withdrew short-term deposits from Societe Generale SA, France’s second-largest bank, in July, a person with knowledge of the matter said yesterday.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Chinese City Halts Solar Plant Operation After Violent Protests

The eastern Chinese city of Haining in the province of Zhejiang halted operation of a facility owned by Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co. after violent protests by villagers because of alleged pollution from the plant, according to a video of a local television report posted to the website of the city’s government.
Villagers gathered at the gate of the solar panel producer and overturned eight vehicles and damaged four police cars in protests on Sept. 15 and Sept. 16, according to the report.

Hundreds protest pollution from Chinese factory

Town residents protest at gates to solar panel manufacturer Zhejiang Jinko Solar Co. Ltd. in Hongxiao village in Haining.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Bani Walid, town in the Libya desert

[from leonor in libya; it is google-translated from Spanish so a bit awkward grammar]:

Bani Walid

It is a small town south of Tripoli, about 170m km. It was founded just over 30 years and has a population of about 100,000.

Geographically it is an oasis on a "dry river" for thousands of years. It is the cradle of an ancient tribe Warfalla and place of supply of Bedouins. Its basic production was the olive oil. Can still be seen almost a thousand plants throughout the city green outlines.

The arrival is through the road that connects it to Tripoli or next of Misurata. At the end of Bani Walid route follows the south and splits into or continues to Shebba Ghadames.

The population is mostly Muslim but there is a core of foreigners (Pakistanis, Indians, Russians, Ukrainians). Its main textile industry was the production of typical wool rugs, traditional Arab or non-woven carpeting stores.

It has a hotel "El Azeiruna" and since the start of privatization was transformed into a dynamic city. The task force is composed of foreigners, Libyans and Tuaregs.

People are very friendly, profess a great friendship and generosity. Over the past decade were built many houses that people can access loans very comfortable. The houses are large, on average 200 meters square and costs around 25,000 euros.

Life is quiet, smooth, everyone knows each other and form a tightly knit community.

Firms are family and the charges are distributed among family members.

Bani Walid could define a neighborhood of a European city in the desert.

It is curious to meet certain customs. If you are staying for some days at the hotel, not surprisingly, upon learning of his nationality cook him something "special" for you or receiving visits from someone who knows his country or speaks your language. You can even receive gifts that leave the hotel concierge and you never know who left them.

This small haven of peace and friendship now under criminal bombs who know nothing of humanity. They are destroying a population, forcing them to emigrate, torturing them with a lack of essential services, killing innocent women and children just because they want to live their own way and have the option to choose their leader.

This is Bani Walid, one of the last strongholds of freedom, dignity and courage. Whoever wants to understand the tests are clear. After 6 months of atrocities, terror, brutality, Bani Walid does not back down and continues to fight to defend the right to life.

Bani Walid was in my heart, I love that town. Martyrdom will not stop a few traitors can not violate the dignity of a people.

BANI WALID VIVA !!!!!!!!!!! To my brother, I have them present and suffer for them. Satan also someday find its end.

Posted by Eleanor at 7:32 [at her blog today]

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mass demonstrations in Israel

As many as 400,000 Israelis demonstrated on Saturday night against the high cost of living and for social justice in one of the largest protests in the nation’s history, although questions remained about about what it might achieve.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Booming gold demand in Abu Dhabi

Jewellers in the United Arab Emirates are experiencing difficulties meeting rapidly growing demand for gold bullion. The strong rise in gold prices over recent months did not detract from domestic investors´ willingness to transfer capital into precious metals. On the contrary, locally operating gold traders reported that Abu Dhabi´s demand for 100 gram gold bars has reached new highs. Capital flight into safe havens continues among wealthy and middle-class investors, who fear that the world’s economy may face a double dip recession.

The monetary character of gold and silver makes both precious metals an interesting investment alternative. Paradigms have shifted since the outbreak of the worldwide financial crisis. Wealth preservation, rather than high returns, is now the main goal of investors. Precious metals have seen many different economic systems come and go in the last 5,000 years, while proving to be excellent safe havens. In times of fiat currency debasement and central bank money printing, investors are turning once more to precious metals.

Abu Dhabi´s jewellers have already adapted their business model to new market conditions. Sharply rising gold prices have led to a decline in jewellery demand in the United Arab Emirates, so many local jewellers have started offering gold bars to their clients. At Al Awadhi Jewellery, one of the largest jewellers in Abu Dhabi´s gold Souk, about 30 customers a day ask for gold bars, from 100-gram to 1-kilogram. The prices for these gold products vary between 22,000 dirham (about $6,000) per 100 grams and 220,000 dirham (about $60,000 per kilogram). According to Al Awadhi´s management, the demand for gold bars of these sizes has increased by 60 per cent in the last two months. Demand comes primarily from wealthy and middle-class investors seeking for safe investment alternatives.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Shadow inventory Armageddon

Foreclosure timeline up to an average of 599 days with 798,000 mortgages having no payment made in over 1 year and no foreclosure process initiated. Shadow inventory grows to over 6,540,000 properties.

Massive Wave Of Lawsuits To Be Filed By The US Against America's Biggest Banks As Soon As Tomorrow

In a move that could either send BAC stock limit down overnight or send it soaring (we are still trying to figure out just what is going on here), the NYT has broken major news that the US is preparing to go nuclear on more than a dozen big banks among which Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank, in an attempt for Fannie and Freddie to recoup $30 billion if not much more. The lawsuit is expected to hit the docket in the next few days: "The suits stem from subpoenas the finance agency issued to banks a year ago. If the case is not filed Friday, they said, it will come Tuesday, shortly before a deadline expires for the housing agency to file claims."

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Counterfeit currency in the news

Counterfeit $20 bills passed to Main Street nightclub (Utah)

Pueblo Police have released surveillance video of a woman passing a counterfeit $100 at a Family Dollar Store on Saturday. (Colorado)

Recently, the Pomeroy Exxon contacted the department after receiving a counterfeit $10 bill.

A fake $100 bill showed up at a Lynchburg McDonald's last month in what might have been part of a larger counterfeiting scheme, police said. (Virginia)

Woman passes counterfeit $100 bill at Forsyth County restaurant (Georgia)

Fake money spent at local store (Tennessee)

Counterfeit Cash Making Rounds In Metro Detroit
Scam Artists Printing, Passing Fake $100 Bills Around (Michigan)

Gerald Celente - I’m Now 100% In Gold, Roubini is Wrong

King World News
When asked what he was doing with his own money Celente replied, “What did (Nouriel) Roubini say? Gold would be lucky to go to $1,100 an ounce. Where is it now? Flirting between the high $1,780s and $1,900s. There are a number of people like myself and others that believe it’s going much higher.

You know I used to be in Swiss Francs (along with gold), I am not in Swiss Francs anymore. I got in (Swiss Francs) about a year and a half ago and did very well, but I’ve transferred everything I own into gold, I’m now totally invested in gold.”

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Warmonger John McCain wants to arm countries because he wants war so much

John McCain Worked to Arm Qaddafi in 2009
8/26/11 at 09:12 AM

A leaked U.S. diplomatic cable shows that Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain promised to help Libyan dictator Muammar Qadhafi obtain U.S. military hardware in 2009.

Algiers continues to observe "strict neutrality" on Libya

ALGIERS - Algeria will continue to observe "strict neutrality by refusing to interfere in any manner whatsoever in the internal affairs of Libya, said Friday the spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Amar Belani .

This is the first official reaction since the Libyan rebels control nearly Tripoli. Alger did not recognize the National Transitional Council (CNT), political arm of the rebellion, and has never formally requested the departure of Muammar Gaddafi.

Media try to downplay Ron Paul

Watch Jon Stewart's funny take on the ignore-Ron-Paul media stance:

Muammar Qadhafi wanted Dennis Kucinich to stop NATO bombing

The Qadhafi regime tried to get Rep. Dennis Kucinich to travel to Libya in a last-ditchattempt to stop the U.S.-backed NATO attack, a new report says.

Muammar Qadhafi reached out to Kucinich (D-Ohio) in an attempt to persuade him to visit Libya as part of a “peace mission,” according to The Guardian.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

US lawmaker: NATO must account for Libyan deaths

A US lawmaker fiercely opposed to NATO's role in the Libya conflict called Tuesday for the alliance's military chiefs to be held to account under international law for the deaths of Libyan civilians.
"Otherwise we will have witnessed the triumph of a new international gangsterism," Democratic Representative Dennis Kucinich, a leading opponent in the US Congress to Washington's role in the fighting, said in a statement.
Kucinich said that NATO forces had flouted UN Security Council resolutions in acting as "the air force for the rebels, who could not have succeeded but for NATO's attacks" and had "illegally pursued regime change."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Great Manmade River-Libya

The water project as it is depicted on the Libya 20 Dinar note.

The Great Manmade River infrastructure is being bombed by NATO, also known as France-United Kingdom-United States [also known as F.U.K.U.S.]

Great Manmade River Authority:
official website

Debt vs GDP

[click on the chart to make it larger]

Investors Can’t Resell

Anemic demand from owner-occupant homebuyers has forced investors to rent out about half of the homes they purchase — as opposed to renovating and flipping the properties.
Investor purchases of homes continued to decline for the third month in a row in July as investors were forced to adapt to new business models, according to the latest Campbell/Inside Mortgage Finance HousingPulse Tracking Survey.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Drudge Report:




Are You Ready? The Government Doesn't Give A Damn

Drill that into your head folks: The government doesn't get it, exactly as they didn't get it in early 2008.

There is no way to avoid what's coming. We have added roughly $4.5 trillion in debt to the Federal balance sheet trying to paper it over and have failed. Even the "good" banks like JP Morgan and Goldman are failing to make progress. The poorer ones such as Citibank, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America are seeing their market prices collapse. The XLF, the composite of the large banks, is back to where it was in the summer of 2009. Should it break below these levels it is likely going for the spring 2009 lows.

All the fraudulent accounting games, shifting Granny's earnings on her CDs to the banks through zero-interest rates and money printing have been used up as policy tools. There are few if any weapons left in the arsenal to combat what is coming.

This is where we are, and where we're going.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Grocery union vote backs strike at Ralphs, Vons and Albertsons

Los Angeles Times blog:
Members of a union that represents 62,000 grocery workers at Vons, Ralphs and Albertsons supermarkets in Southern California voted overwhelmingly to authorize a strike if an agreement on a new contract can't be reached.

The strike authorization won the backing of more than 90% of the United Food and Commercial Workers members who voted, easily more than the two-thirds majority required, the union said.

Vietnam stops anti-China protesters, arrests are made

It was the 11th anti-China rally in an unprecedented series of public protests that have taken place nearly every Sunday since early June against what Vietnamese see as China's violations of their country's sovereignty in the South China Sea.