Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Compton, California bears watching

LA Times from 5 Sept
Rating agency Standard & Poor's announced Wednesday that it has suspended its ratings on the city of Compton's bonds, as the city has yet to get an audit firm to sign off on its financial statements from last year. In June, the city's former audit firm, Mayer Hoffman McCann, refused to sign off on its financial statements and quit, citing allegations made by Mayor Eric Perrodin that waste, fraud and abuse of public funds may have contributed to the city's financial distress.


Atwater, California, is going broke under the weight of public employee costs, lost revenue and a stagnant economy, pushing it toward becoming the state’s fourth city to seek bankruptcy protection. The city of 28,000, situated among Merced County’s dairies and almond groves about 100 miles (about 160 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco, has a $3.3 million deficit that may leave it insolvent before year’s end, according to budget documents. Atwater’s City Council is set to vote Oct. 3 on a fiscal emergency declaration that would permit it to follow other California cities — Stockton, San Bernardino and Mammoth Lakes — into bankruptcy court. Across the state, the recession and the foreclosure crisis have depleted property-tax revenue at the same time municipalities are burdened with rising costs including pensions.

Greece general strike today CAM LIVE VIVO

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Portugal contemplates reducing austerity measures

Portugal to launch new talks on disputed austerity Sunday, 23 September 2012 13:28
Portugal's embattled government will hold talks soon with trade unions and industry bosses on alternatives to tough austerity measures after a storm of criticism of planned spending cuts. The moves were decided following an eight-hour meeting of the advisory Council of State convened late Friday by President Anibal Cavaco Silva. It followed a statement by Prime Minister Pedro Passos Coelho that he is open to dialogue after his proposals met with fierce opposition.
Portugal Backs Down on Social Security Tax Rise
The centre-right government in Portugal has agreed to look for alternatives to a social security tax rise a week after huge anti-austerity street protests.

Qatar rethinking Syria conflict?

Latest Information: Qatar: No choice but to surrender to Al-Asad September 20, 2012
The Foreign Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber Al Thani, said Wednesday that there is no other choice but to take the decision to surrender to Syrian President Bashar al-Asad, an act that represents the withdrawal of the main sponsor of terrorists in Syria.
I think there is no other choice but to take the courageous decision to surrender to the government of Al-Asad, on the condition that none of the parties involved in the conflict to retaliate against the other, has also expressed the Prime Minister Cathari in an interview with the Kuwaiti daily Al-Rai.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

China protesters stop US ambassador's car, cause damage

LA Times with video
September 19, 2012 | 12:16am
The car of the U.S. ambassador to China was surrounded Tuesday by a small group of demonstrators who damaged the vehicle and briefly prevented it from entering the U.S. Embassy compound in Beijing
The five-minute video shows a black car approaching the embassy and attempting to turn into the gate. As demonstrators surround the vehicle, several dozen Chinese police and uniformed guards rush to the scene. Several water bottles are thrown at the car and one man can be seen banging on the hood of the vehicle.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Protest outside US embassy in Beijing

Zerohedge:"Between the anti-Japanese tensions and the converging dominance of the Japanese with the Chinese to our fiscal status quo, it seems the Chinese are increasingly pushing the US hand to supporting the Japanese. Via Ai Weiwei, contemporary Chinese artist, the US Embassy in Beijing is under protest by the Chinese marchers demanding (Google Translated) "Pay Back The Money" and "Down with US Imperialism". Some embassy cars were attacked - apparently on the back of the US role in the China-Japan tensions. The question now is what happens to China's Treasury holdings? They already threatened Japan with economic sanctions and now the populist view is turning anti-American at a time of new leadership. We assume they will continue to sell down their USD-based Treasury holdings and convert to Gold as they have been for the past year. With 2 months until the election, this will be an interesting distraction of global importance as the US is forced to support Japan or throw them under the bus."
al weiwei's instagram

Monday, September 17, 2012

Marc Faber: Own Gold – ‘Don’t Store It In The U.S., The Fed Will Take It Away From You One Day’

Faber is on record as to the importance of owning physical gold and he again warned about the importance of owning gold but not storing it in the U.S.
“You ought to own some gold but don’t store it in the U.S., the Fed will take it away from you one day,” Faber astutely noted.
He said that Bernanke is a money printer and this could lead to massive inflation and the Dow Jones at 20,000, 50,000 or 10 million.
Faber cheerily predicted that the “the Federal Reserve’s monetary policy will destroy the world” and “eventually we will have a systemic crisis and everything will collapse

Iran's Revolutionary Guards in Syria

Sun Sep 16, 2012 1:19pm EDT
(Reuters) - Members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) are providing non-military assistance in Syria and Iran may get involved militarily if its closest ally comes under attack, commander-in-chief Mohammad Ali Jafari said on Sunday.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Spanky Bernanke

Economic stimulus

Portugal ATM cash machines down


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Economy: Worst film revenue week in more than decade

US Movies Hit Worst Slump Since 2001
"The US box office suffered its worst slump in a decade with the top grosser The Possession earning less than $10 million...."

Libya update:US ambassador killed in consulate attack in Libya

Ambassador Chris Stevens was killed Tuesday night when he and a group of embassy employees went to the consulate to try to evacuate staff as the building came under attack by a mob guns and rocket propelled grenades.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Greek pensioners storm health ministry over cuts in covered doctor and pharmacist payments

The man in the white shirt is shouting [translated] "That is enough! We cannot suffer more!"
Greek pensioners storm ministry of health in Athens
"That was a dynamic action nobody had dared to expect from pensioners who proved more brisk and vital than one would have thought. Some 200 pensioners from Greece’s biggest insurance fund IKA stormed the Health Ministry in Athens on Tuesday morning, when they were denied a meeting with minister Andreas Lykourentzos."
Protesting Greek Pensioners Occupy Health Ministry September 4, 2012

Australia mining boom is over

China slowing down will cause commodity prices to collapse
Pettis now believes commodity prices will collapse by as much as 50% over the next few years. His rationale is solid.[China Financial Markets]
The boom isn't over, Julia Gillard [Prime Minister of Australia] tells miners ,which,of course, confirms that the boom is over.

Sunday, September 2, 2012


"Begin with a preface to a meaningful event that could change the entire US landscape, a redux of what happened four years ago. Consider the next Wall Street financial firm failure. It is in progress. It is not avoidable. It will have numerous ramifications. It will open the door to account thefts, the burial of documents, the ransack of undesired leveraged positions, the concealment of wrecked derivatives, and a path toward the merger of surviving (selected core) firms. It will urge an extreme defensive posture. "

Spain bank deposit outflows total over 17% this year

Mark J. Grant, author of Out of the Box via Zerohedge:
The central bank of Spain just released the net capital outflow numbers and they are disastrous.During the month of June alone $70.90 billion left the Spanish banks and in July it was worse at $92.88 billion which is 4.7% of total bank deposits in Spain. For the first seven months of the year the outflow adds up to $368.80 billion or 17.7% of the total bank deposits of Spain and the trajectory of the outflow is increasing dramatically. Reality is reality and Spain is experiencing a full-fledged run on its banks whether anyone in Europe wants to admit it or not.
The Spanish ten year now yields a 6.81% and their thirty year is yielding 7.34%. Spain has now set up a fund for its regions to tap of $22.6 billion and this, in my opinion, will not even be close to what is asked for or required with the regions needing some $50-75 billion in assistance in my estimation. Many of the regions in Spain are not paying suppliers or their other local debts and the situation is clearly out of control.