Thursday, March 29, 2012

Spain general strike

Arrests Made As General Strike Locks Spain
Spain, millions join strike to protest labor reforms
Millions of Spaniards stayed off the job Thursday to protest new labor laws that allow companies to opt out of collective bargaining pacts, reduce wages and fire workers more easily.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Indonesia unrest over fuel prices

Thousands riot over fuel prices
Thousands of Indonesians protesting at plans to push up fuel prices by more than 30% have clashed with riot police. Rallies were held under tight security in big cities all over the country as parliament debated the need for a rise.
With global oil prices surging, most Indonesians realise there is little choice. But that has not stopped thousands in a nation of 240 million, many of whom live in abject poverty, from taking to the streets every day for the last week. If a price increase is approved, it will go into effect on Sunday. Security was especially tight in Jakarta, where 20,000 soldiers and police were deployed to secure key locations, including the presidential palace.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Syria people support their nation

Millions of Syrians Stress Support to Reform Program, Adherence to Syrian Leadership
PROVINCES, (SANA) - In a national scene conveying a message to the whole world of the Syrian people's commitment to national unity away from foreign interferences and dictates, millions of Syrians on Thursday streamed into the homeland's streets and squares throughout the provinces in a global march for Syria. Waving Syrian flags and banners with national slogans on them, the jubilant participants voiced rejection of foreign interference in the Syrian people's internal affairs and support to the comprehensive reform program led by President Bashar al-Assad to build the renewed Syria. The reverberating echoes of pro-Syria and pro-leadership chants were heard all through the Umayyad square in Damascus, and Saba Bahrat Square in Deir Ezzor, Saadallah al-Jaberi Square in Aleppo, al-Mohafazeh Square in Lattakia and al-Raqqa, along the cornice in Tartous, the President Square in Hasaka, al-Baladieh in Misyaf, the main street of Salhab, the Post roundabout in Daraa and the neighborhoods of al-Zahra, al-Nuzha, al-Hadara and al-Sheirat in Homs
Participants voiced trust that Syria will emerge even stronger form the crisis, pledging to protect Syria from traitors and plotters who attempt to undermine its power in service of foreign and Israeli agendas. ''These crowds want to get a vocal message across to the whole world that the Syrian people will remain united as ever in combating terrorism,'' said Monzer Mohammad, a participant. They expressed deep thanks to Russia and China who stood by the Syrian people, indicating that one year after the onset of the crisis, the Syrians' will remains unbreakable. ''The attempts of Western and Arab countries to alter Syria's position will come to naught…because the Syrian people will spare no sacrifice to defend their country,'' said one of the participants.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Turkey trying to get its citizens gold

Turkey's government, working to reduce a current-account deficit soaring to nearly 10 percent of gross domestic product and high inflation, aims to coax citizens into storing their vast gold holdings in the nation's banking system.
[Zerohedge comment...]
Because what may not be apparent to a Princeton Ph.D., is more than obvious to a 70 year old housewife in Istanbul:
[on Wall Street Journal quote] "I'm keen to save, so keeping gold at home is easy for me; there is no complicated procedure," said Ayten Altin, a 70-year-old housewife in Istanbul. "In an emergency, I can convert it to cash and I don't have to wait for the bank to say the asset has matured."

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Banking Crisis Timeline

Banking Crisis [2007-2008] Timeline
Feb. 7: HSBC announces losses linked to U.S. subprime mortgages.
May 17: Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said growing number of mortgage defaults will not seriously harm the U.S. economy.
June: Two Bear Stearns-run hedge funds with large holdings of subprime mortgages run into large losses and are forced to dump assets. The trouble spreads to major Wall Street firms such as Merrill Lynch, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs which had loaned the firms money.
Aug.: French bank BNP Paribas freezes withdrawals in three investment funds.
Sept.: Crisis-hit UK bank Northern Rock admits financial difficulties as it asks Bank of England for assistance. Share prices fall as customers queue up to withdraw their money.
Oct. 1: Swiss bank UBS announces losses liked to U.S. subprime mortgages.
Oct. 5: Investment bankMerrill Lynch reports losses of $5.5 billion.
Oct. 15: Cititgroup announces $6.5 billion third quarter losses.
Oct. 24: Merrill Lynch announces losses to be over $8 billion.
Jan: Swiss bank UBS announces fourth quarter losses at $14 billion.
Jan. 11: Bank of America pays $4 billion for Countryside Financial.
Jan. 15: Citigroup reports $18.1 billion loss in fourth quarter.
Jan. 17: Merrill Lynch reports $11.5 billion loss in fourth quarter. Washington Mutual posts losses.
Feb. 13: UK bank Northern Rock is nationalized.
March: UK hedge fund Peloton Partners and U.S. fund Carlyle Capital fail.
March 16: Bear Stearns, the U.S.'s fifth largest investment bank, collapses and is taken over by JP Morgan.
April 1: German Deutsche Bank credit losses of $3.9 billion in first quarter.
April 13: U.S. bankWachovia Corp. reports big loss for quarter.
May 12: HSBC writes off $3.2 billion in the first quarter linked to exposure to the U.S. subprime market.
July 22: WaMu reports $3.3 billion loss for second quarter.
Aug. 31: German Commerzbank AG takes over Dresdner Kleinwort investment bank.
Sept 7: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac effectively nationalized by the U.S. Treasury which places them into "conservatorship."
Sept. 9: Lehman Brothers shares plummet to lowest level on Wall Street in more than a decade.
Sept 14: Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy. Stock markets plummet; Central banks inject billions of dollars into money markets. Bank of America agrees to buy Merrill Lynch.
Sept. 16: AIG Corp, the world's biggest insurer, bailed out by the U.S. Federal Reserve. Morgan Stanley and Wachovia enter merger talks.
Sept. 17: Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS) to merge with UK bank Lloyds TSB in an emergency rescue plan.
Sept. 18: Federal Bank and other central banks inject billions into global markets to help ease the crunch.
Sept. 22: Japan's Nomura Holdings buys Lehman's Asian operations for up to $525 million.
Timeline: Banking crisis - 2 of 3 10/22/2008 7:43 AM
Sept. 25: WaMu sold to JP Morgan.
Sept. 27: HSBC announces 1,100 job cuts worldwide.
Sept. 29:
- U.S. Congress rejects $700 billion plan to bail out the U.S. financial system.
- UK's Bradford & Bingley nationalized. Santander to buy deposits for $38.2bn
- German bank Hypo Real Estate to be bailed out by banks and government.
- Citigroup, the world's largest bank, says it will buy Wachovia.
- Belgian giant Fortis is bailed out by Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.
- Royal Bank of Scotland shares lose a fifth of their value.
- Iceland part-nationalizes Glitnir, one of its biggest banks.
Sept 30:
- Belgian bank Dexia bailed out by France, Belgium and Luxembourg.
- Swiss bank UBS announces small profit in third quarter.
- Irish government guarantees safety of bonds, debts and deposits.
Oct 1: US Senate passes amended $700 billion bail-out plan.
Oct 3:
- US Congress passes $700 billion bail-out, President Bush signs it into law.
- Swiss bank UBS to cut 2000 jobs.
- Dutch government nationalizes banking and insurance activities of Fortis.
Oct 4-6:
- Proposed Hypo Real Estate bailout collapses.
- Chancellor Angela Merkel announces new plan for Hypo bailout worth $69bn.
- Merkel also announces guarantee of deposits in German banks.
- UK raises limit on guaranteed bank deposits from £35,000- £50,000.
- EU leaders meet in Paris for emergency summit to discuss financial crisis.
- Battle rages between Citigroup and Wells Fargo over purchase of Wachovia.
- French bank BNP Paribas takes 75% stake in Fortis
Oct 6:
- Danish government announces plan to guarantee bank deposits
- Wells Fargo and Citigroup agree to legal standstill in battle for Wachovia.
- Bank of America reports 68% profit drop, stock sale to raise $10bn.
Oct 7: Icelandic bank Landsbanki nationalized; Icesave, Landbanki's internet bank, freezes UK customers' accounts.
Oct 8:
- UK Treasury freezes assets of Landsbanki in the UK; threatens legal action
- UK Treasury announces £500 billion bank rescue package.
- U.S., UK, China, Canada, Sweden, Switzerland and ECB cut interest rates.
- IMF forecasts "Major global downturn".
Oct 9: Iceland nationalizes its biggest bank Kaupthing.
Oct 10: Black Friday
- G7 finance ministers meet in Washington and issue a five-point plan.
- Nikkei falls almost 10%, biggest drop in 20 years.
- FTSE falls more than 10%, closes at 8.85%; worst daily fall since 1987.
- Oil prices fall to $80 a barrel.
- Dow crashes nearly 700 points before regaining some lost ground.
- Icelandic bank Kaupthing is nationalized.
Oct 11- 12:
- The Fed rubberstamps Wachovia takeover by Wells Fargo.
- 15 EU leaders meet in Paris for emergency summit on crisis.
- Gordon Brown urges them to adopt similar measures to UK bank rescue plan. - Leaders agree to guarantee loans between banks until end of 2009.
- Germany, France and Italy to announce individual plans Monday.
- Australia agrees to guarantee deposits for next 3 years.
- New Zealand guarantees bank deposits for 2 years.
Oct 13:
- EU stock markets bounce back in response to EU leaders' bailout announcements.
- UK bails out 3 banks: RBS, HBOS and Lloyds TSB at cost of $63 billion.
- Bank of England loans $174 million to Icelandic bank Landsbanki to help repay UK depositors.
Oct 14:
- Iceland in talks with Russia to negotiate emergency loan of $5.44 billion after bank collapses.
- U.S. follows UK lead by part-nationalizing banks.
Oct 15:
- European and Asian stock markets fall after initial upswing.
- Southeast Asian nations agree to start fund to provide financial support to countries in crisis; World
Bank commits $10 billion to the planned fund.
- Russian stock market posts losses as RTS Index falls below 800 points.
Oct 16:
- Global markets fall on fears of global slowdown.
- Citigroup delays merger of its Japanese brokerage units due to costs involved.
- Swiss government bails out UBS with $59.2 billion.
- Credit Suisse posts 1.3 billion-franc third quarter loss; raises $8.7 billion from investors.
- Hungarian central bank gets cash injection from ECB to value of $6.7 billion.
- EU leaders at Brussels summit call for complete overhaul of international financial system.

Monday, March 19, 2012

London 2012 mascots are apparently surveillance cameras

Russian troops reportedly arrive in Syria

Russian anti-terror troops have arrived in Syria, despite the Assad regime’s insistence that outside nations not involve themselves in the ongoing bloodshed. United Nations security experts say the Russian troops might be there as a show of support to Assad. Russia has blocked repeated attempts by the U.N. Security Council to take action to stop the violence in Syria. Last week, Russian leaders said they did not have plans to send troops to Syria, but the Iman, a ship in the Russian Black Sea fleet, has docked at Tartus, a Syrian port on the Mediterranean Sea with Marines on board. The Russian government sells billions of dollars worth of military weaponry to Syria and has a close relationship with dictator Bashar al-Assad.
Russian special forces arrive in Syrian port: opposition sources Monday, 19 March 2012
« Breaking News » A Russian ship carrying marines anchors at Tartus, Syria DEBKAfile March 19, 2012, 6:00 PM (GMT+02:00) Two Russian naval vessels have anchored at the Syrian port of Tartus, Russian Black Sea headquarters at Sevastopol reports. Their mission and identifies were not disclosed, excepting that one was carrying a unit of “anit-terrorist marines” and the other, a military tanker which joined "a Russian naval reconnaissance and surveillance ship already tied up in Tartus."

Friday, March 16, 2012

California tax revenues plunge in February

That is a 22.55% plunge in spite of the fact that this February was a leap year adding a day to the calendar.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Essential items being used as alternate currency: to wit, Tide detergent

Thieves rolling Tide detergent out of stores
For a variety of reasons, the detergent in the familiar flame-orange bottle is well-suited for resale on the black market: Everybody needs laundry detergent, and Tide is the nation's most popular brand. It's expensive, selling for up to $20 for a large bottle at stores.

U.S. budget deficit $231.7 bln in February

This is the highest monthly budget deficit in history.

Monday, March 12, 2012

324 Years Of The Gold-To-Silver Ratio

Over this period, the average gold-to-silver ratioSince 1687, the gold-to-silver ratio has ranged from 14.14 to 99.76 (see chart below). was 27.28 and today (March 8, 2012) the gold-to-silver ratio is 50.09.
If silver were to rise to bring the gold-to-silver ratio back to its long-term average, the silver price must rise to $61/oz. (Of course, gold (GLD) prices could also fall to lower the ratio. But let's assume gold is priced at fair value.)
If the ratio were to return to the pre-1900 average of 16.13, the silver price would have to rise to about $105/oz.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Swiss campaign to save their gold reserves

People's initiative "Save our Swiss gold "
The popular initiative aims to: No further gold sales! Gold reserves are to be deposited in Switzerland! Gold share of national banking assets must be at least 20%!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Peak Oil

Peak Oil is here, Crude Oil price to reach $150 by 2012 Year End
The theory is named after M.King Hubbert (former Shell geologist) who created a method of modeling the production of oil. Of the 65 oil producing countries 54 already past its peak and is now declining.
Oil production in the US is down 11% since 1971, UK North Sea down 27% since 1999, Australia down 26% since 2001. Cantarell oilfield Mexico’s largest, has its output falling from 2.1 MBD in 2004 to less than 0.5 MBD today and Saudi’s Ghawar ,the world’s largest oilfield has been declining at about 5% per year.
Even King Abdullah realizes the effects of Peak Oil and had been quoted on a new oil find. “Leave it in the ground …. Our children need it”

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Oil prices higher

Brent North Sea crude is trading at nearly $ 127 per barrel
while West Texas Intermediate is trading above $ 109 a barrel. Meanwhile, light, sweet crude for April delivery soared to as high as $110.55 a barrel after it settled for Thursday at $108.84 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, up $1.77 from Wednesday's closing level. Brent crude on the ICE Futures Europe exchange also rose to $128.40 a barrel.

Saudi pipeline fire update

A pipeline between Awamiya and Safwa has been reportedly targeted, and is under fire

Saudi pipeline allegedly attacked

Saudi oil officials says reports about attack on pipeline are untrue- Dow Jones
Press TV:
Saudi Arabia saying no, PressTV [Iran] saying yes.
Press TV Breaking News