ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Jan 23 09:38

World War 3: 'Rapid military escalation' occurring between Iran and Israel

TENSIONS between Iran and Israel are "escalating and intensifying" after Israel struck Iranian targets this week, a former Pentagon official has warned.

World War 3: 'Rapid military escalation' occurring between Iran and Israel
TENSIONS between Iran and Israel are "escalating and intensifying" after Israel struck Iranian targets this week, a former Pentagon official has warned.

World War 3 fears were sparked this week after Israel hit the Syrian capital of Damascus early on Monday as part of its increasingly open assault on Iran's presence there. In response, Iran issued a chilling message to arch-enemy Israel – warning it is “impatient” and ready to confront and destroy the nation in a statement issued just hours after Israel launched the air raids in Syria.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Such a war would be horrific and costly for all concerned; I hope that the leaders of all these countries can find a way for it not to happen; unfortunately, too many of the actors in this environment have much to gain; the weapons manufacturers will profit; possibly the US will go back to the draft; and martial law will most probably be imposed here in the US.

I frequently talk about the possibility of a Department of Peace, tasked with achieving those geopolitical goals the US government wants to achieve, but without firing a single shot; unfortunately, however, I have seen this coming conflagration for far too long, to believe that the US government is going to give up on the complete occupation of Iran; Syria; Libya, Lebanon, Afghanistan; or Yemen.

Jan 23 09:30

Danielle Park – Stocks Headed Back Down

Jan 23 09:14

House Votes Overwhelmingly to Bar US Exit From NATO

n a 357-22 vote on Tuesday, the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to pass the NATO Support Act, which expressed Congressional support for the alliance and forbids any funding for any move by the US to withdraw from NATO.

One of the first bills pushed through the new Democratic-majority House, the vote saw every single voting Democrat, 208 of them, voting in favor. Only 22 Republicans voted against the bill. 54 representatives didn’t vote at all.

That reflects the scramble to get this vote quickly into the books and passed. Indeed, the bill went so fast from introduction to passage that the text of the bill was not even available on the Congressional website yet.

The bill is intended as a companion to a bipartisan Senate version which would forbid any effort by the president to withdraw from NATO without Senate approval. It does not appear the House version provides a mechanism for approval, however, instead just making staying in NATO an absolute requirement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is to ensure that the coming wars may have enough troop strength to fight them, until the US resumes the draft.

It also makes me think that NATO is very concerned about the new EU Army, created last week, courtesy of France's Macron and Germany's Angela Merkel.

Jan 23 09:10

PREPPING FOR BANKRUPTCY, PG&E SECURES $5.5 BILLION IN “DEBTOR-IN-POSSESSION” FINANCING. WHAT IS “DIP” FINANCING?

So what is DIP financing? How can a company that is about to default on all its debts and obligations even qualify for an additional $5.5 billion in debt? And why would banks be nuts enough to do it?

These are very timely questions, as a coming wave of bankruptcy filings by over-indebted Corporate America is shaping up on the horizon. Bankruptcy is a profit opportunity for an industry specialized in it. This includes the biggest banks, bankruptcy lawyers, restructuring advisory firms, and others. They’re already licking their chops.

So here we go, step by step, using PG&E’s disclosure as guideposts.

COLLATERAL FOR DIP LOANS: EVERYTHING AHEAD OF EVERYONE ELSE.
In its SEC disclosure, PG&E said that borrowings under DIP financing “would be senior secured obligations of the Utility, secured by substantially all of the Utility’s assets and entitled to superpriority administrative expense claim status in the Utility’s bankruptcy case.”

Jan 23 08:53

BIG DATA MEETS BIG GOV'T: NEW IRS SPY SOFTWARE

One of the reasons identify theft is considered by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration to be the crime of the century is because of the IRS. The Internal Revenue Service makes growing demands for information about people’s businesses and private lives every day. There is no such thing as personal privacy these days. That the IRS sends citizens a so-called “Privacy Act Notice” in all its mailings is a farce. The IRS lays claim to your data without court authority more so than any other government agency. And to make matters worse, they share the data with any other federal, state or local government agency claiming an interest, including foreign governments.

A river of data

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With so much data, how does one make it meaningful and intelligent to pursue, and how does one know what is actually worth pursuing?!?

Jan 23 08:50

US CONFIRMS ITS ENVOY HELD TALKS WITH TALIBAN IN QATAR

The United States has confirmed that its envoy met the Taliban in Qatar as Washington seeks to negotiate an end to the 17-year-old war in Afghanistan.

Zalmay Khalilzad, US special representative on Afghan reconciliation, on Tuesday met Taliban representatives in the Qatari capital Doha, the US State Department said.

"We can confirm that Special Representative Khalilzad and an inter-agency team are in Doha today talking with representatives of the Taliban," a State Department spokeswoman said, adding that the talks were taking place over two days.

The Taliban and the US envoys have officially met four times since July, in an attempt to find a negotiated settlement to the war in the embattled country.

However, Wednesdays comments mark the first time the US State Department has confirmed his meetings directly.

The meeting came even though the Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on Tuesday against an Afghan intelligence base in central Wardak province.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am not entirely certain as to where this process will lead, but I certainly hope that it ultimately leads to a complete withdrawal of US and NATO troops.

17 years on , there is still utterly no metric by which this horriific occupation can be judged "a victory".

Jan 23 08:47

EXPECT AN INCREASED SMEARING OF AMERICANS AS RUSSIAN ASSETS

SOURCE: THEMINDUNLEASHED.COM
After WikiLeaks documents provided irrefutable evidence that the Democratic National Committee had violated its charter by rigging its primary for Hillary Clinton against Bernie Sanders, what should have happened is this:

The DNC apologizing profusely to the public for violating the promises it had made to the electorate.
Massive, sweeping changes to bring transparency and public accountability to the DNC’s inner workings, including a complete overhaul of staff and leadership.
If at all possible, a complete do-over of the primary vote.
A dedication to attacking Trump’s right-wing policies from the left, showing the public that a progressive approach works better than a conservative one.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Speaker Pelosi, a word, please.

Primary rigging,just in case this is a foreign concept for you, us utterly immoral, because at the end of the day, the People do not get a chance to fully express their political preferences, because at the end of the day, those preferences will be well and truly flushed by the DNC's vote rigging.

So what Americans have, at the end of the day, are two very carefully culled and chosen candidates who will continue the wars, make sure that the dictats issued by their corporate masters, are obeyed; that the military complex will be worshipped, with obscenely "fat" contracts, and change utterly nothing for
We the People, except to throw more regulative barriers in our way; 24/7 surveillance; and a tax code which virtually guarantees our continued poverty.

At this point, the American political process is a highly ritualized, Kabuki-like process where the monied get everything they want from the government, because that government represents only those are already monied, leaving you and me, my friends, thrown under the proverbial bus, without any meaningful choice in leadership, or true representation.

Jan 23 08:35

BOOZE GOOD, WEED BAD: CBS REFUSES TO AIR MEDICAL MARIJUANA SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL

As more and more people shake themselves free from the taboo against the medical and recreational use of cannabis, one would think that the mainstream media would similarly shift with the cultural winds and begin to show more flexibility toward the plant.

In the case of CBS, this doesn’t seem to be an option.

The network’s stance was made clear when they rejected a commercial promoting the numerous medicinal and health benefits of cannabis during this year’s Super Bowl, when an estimated 100 million viewers will attentively watch not only the Big Game and Halftime Show, but also eagerly gape at the commercials that run during the game.

As is tradition, many of the ads will be for alcoholic beverages that viewers often binge-drinkthroughout the day. But ads for medical marijuana to treat glaucoma or improve the quality of life for suffering U.S. military veterans? Now that’s going too far – or so CBS executives say.

Jan 23 08:33

CHINESE COURT PRESENTS APP TRACKING NEARBY ‘DEADBEAT DEBTORS’ WITH MAP OF ‘SHAME’

The “People’s Court” of China’s Hebei province has introduced a new app which identifies and even maps the location of people dodging their debts to help create a “socially credible environment,” state media reports.
The program has been described as “a map of deadbeat debtors,” revealing their financial information and exact location to nearby peers. The app brings snitching on your neighbors into the 21st century, making it simple and convenient to report those with outstanding financial obligations to the authorities.

According to ChinaDaily, a news service run by the Communist Party of China, the app will show if someone with bad credit is within 500 meters, making it easier for citizens to “whistle-blow on debtors capable of paying their debts.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Well, then, why are not the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party, forced to wear this device 24/7?!?

Because rules like this are only for those considered "peasants", never the leadership.

Jan 23 08:27

US government spent MILLIONS researching invisibility cloaks, laser-powered weapons and wormholes in top-secret programme, declassified documents reveal

Declassified papers have emerged which reveal the US government spent tax-payers' money researching science fiction concepts.

These include using stable wormholes to travel to other parts of space, invisibility cloaking, warp drive and high energy laser weapons.

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) released the list in response to a freedom of information request.

Jan 23 08:24

Switzerland & Iran developing payment channel to bypass US sanctions

A special financial mechanism aimed at maintaining trade ties between Switzerland and Iran is ready for implementation, according to Sharif Nezam-Mafi, the head of the countries’ joint chamber of commerce.

Jan 23 07:40

US Home Sales Get Uglier

Jan 23 02:09

Trump Successfully Erodes Russia-Turkey Axis in Syria

Graham used to be the best buddy of late Sen. John McCain (an inveterate Russophobe) and a maverick who broke party stereotypes and was among the loudest Republican critics of the president, but today he’s perceived as a leading Trump ally.

Most certainly, Graham undertook the mission to Ankara on behalf of Trump. The Turks understood this and he was well received by President Recep Erdogan. He also had meetings with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, Defence Minister Hulusi Akar and intelligence chief Hakan Fidan. Only last week, Turks had cold-shouldered US National Security Advisor John Bolton. (Erdogan refused to receive Bolton.)

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Syria seems to be still much in play, and it appears that there is still a great deal which will have to be done to get and keep things stable here.

Jan 23 02:03

The Neocon Dream for Everlasting Hegemony Has Turned America Into a Nightmare 

A straight line can be drawn between today’s political hysteria and the 1970s era of right-wing Soviet hysteria as Russia stands accused of “meddling” in American democracy. The merits of those charges have been discussed in depth elsewhere. According to the dean of American intelligence scholars Loch K. Johnson as reported in the New York Times, the United States has done extensive meddling in other nation’s elections.

Jan 23 02:03

The Neocon Dream for Everlasting Hegemony Has Turned America Into a Nightmare 

A straight line can be drawn between today’s political hysteria and the 1970s era of right-wing Soviet hysteria as Russia stands accused of “meddling” in American democracy. The merits of those charges have been discussed in depth elsewhere. According to the dean of American intelligence scholars Loch K. Johnson as reported in the New York Times, the United States has done extensive meddling in other nation’s elections.

Jan 23 01:59

THE TSA COULD DECIDE THE FATE OF THE GOVERNMENT

The government shutdown, now in its 32nd day and being the longest ever in U.S. history, has caused massive media coverage on Transportation Security Agency (TSA) employees and their fate due to the shutdown. This is precisely because the TSA could bring the country to a virtual standstill, and thus has more power than most to end the shutdown by pressure.

Over this holiday weekend, sick call-ins for TSA employees not getting paid during the shutdown hit 10 percent,suggesting that the problem could spiral out of hand, despite the Agency’s insistence to the contrary.

There’s plenty of reason for the public sympathy with the TSA, despite the grueling process they put travelers through at the airport. Still, you won’t find this same level of human interest stories about judges, lawyers or other federal workers affected by shutdown.

Part of the reason may be the fact that TSA employees are the worst paid, or maybe because the agency exists because of the 9/11 attacks.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I am very grateful that neither Mike nor I have to travel anywhere at the moment; I have heard that it has been chaos.

Jan 23 01:55

VENEZUELA ARRESTS ROGUE OFFICERS AFTER MILITARY REVOLT IN CARACAS

Venezuela’s government said on Monday it had suppressed a military revolt after a group of officers stole weapons and kidnapped several officials, as a video posted online showed a sergeant demanding the removal of President Nicolas Maduro.

Some two dozen officers attacked a National Guard outpost in the Caracas neighborhood of Cotiza, a kilometer (0.6 mile) from the presidential Miraflores palace, where they met “firm resistance,” the government said. Witnesses reported hearing gunshots at about 3 a.m. (0700 GMT).

Protesters later burned trash and a car outside the outpost, where the 25 officers were arrested, in a sign of growing tensions following Maduro’s inauguration to a second term that governments around the world have called illegitimate.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The big question here is, how long will Maduro's military stay committed, if they are suddenly seeing massive decline to their quality of life as well?!

Jan 22 16:55

CEO: POTUS Trump’s tariffs like ‘gun to the head’ of China, forcing Beijing to negotiate or suffer MASSIVE recession and unrest

The CEO of a U.S.-based global investment firm said Tuesday that POTUS Donald Trump’s tariff regime against China is having the desired effect of both slowing Beijing’s economy while “holding a gun to the head” of a county that is used to enormous economic growth.

On Monday, the Chinese government announced in response to its slowest economic growth since 1990 that it was willing to spend as much as $1 trillion to close the yawning trade deficit with the United States, something that provides the Trump administration with a huge amount of new leverage with which to win concessions with Beijing over the imbalance, Fox Business reported.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What worries me is how fast trade wars can morph into shooting wars.

One stupid mistake, one critical oversight....and things can get nasty very quickly.

Jan 22 16:50

Dow Tumbles 450 Points, All Major US Indices Break Key Technical Support

Dow futures down 450 points accelerating on US-China trade talks headlines...

The question is - will they close below? Or will a well-timed quote from Trump or Mnuchin about how well things are going spark another buying panic for the algos?

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope the futures bounce back, at least to some degree.

I am really seeing a bear market starting to rise here.

Jan 22 16:26

Is Oil About to Rally?

Jan 22 16:14

2018 vs 2007-2009

Jan 22 16:10

There’s Been Yet Another #FedFake

Jan 22 16:08

States with the highest & lowest property taxes

Jan 22 15:59

Global Inequality Explodes: 26 Ultra-Wealthy Billionaires Now Have As Much Money As The Poorest 3.8 Billion People

Every year global wealth just keeps becoming more and more concentrated, and it makes you wonder how all of this will eventually end. You can only push people down for so long before they finally explode.

Jan 22 15:36

Fire The Fed?

As the US economy falls into another Federal Reserve-caused economic downturn, support for auditing the Fed will grow among Americans of all political ideologies. Congress and the president can and must come together to tear down the wall of secrecy around the central bank. Auditing the Fed is the first step in changing the monetary policy that has created a debt-and-bubble-based economy; facilitated the rise of the welfare-warfare state; and burdened Americans with a hidden, constantly increasing, and regressive inflation tax.

Jan 22 13:07

US Blunders Have Made Russia The Global Trade Pivot

The year 2019 had barely begun before news emerged that six Russian sailors were kidnapped by pirates off the coast of Benin. It was perhaps a foretaste of risks to come. As nations reel from deteriorating economic conditions, instances of piracy and other forms of supply chain disruptions are bound to increase.

According to the International Maritime Bureau (IMB), 107 cases of piracy were noted during the first half of 2018 vis-à-vis 87 throughout 2017. The 2018 tally included 32 cases in Southeast Asian waters and 48 along African shores – representing 75% of the total. To put this figure into perspective, Asian behemoths India and China – despite their vast shorelines – recorded only 2 cases of piracy each during the study period. Russia had none. In terms of hostages taken, the IMB tally read 102 in H1 2018 vs 63 in H1 2017.

Jan 22 12:22

IMF reveals that cryptocurrency is the New World Order end game

There are two kinds of globalist schemes: First, there are the schemes they spring on the public out of nowhere haphazardly in the hopes that the speed of the event along with some shock and awe will confuse the masses and make them psychologically pliable. This strategy loses effectiveness quickly, though; the longer the plan takes to implement, the more time the people have to reconsider what is actually happening and why.

Jan 22 11:40

Kunstler: America's "All Is Lost" Moment Looms

As in this age of Hollywood sequels and prequels, America prefers to recycle old ideas rather than entertain new ones, so you can see exactly how the 2020 presidential election is shaping up to be a replay of the Great Depression, with Roosevelt-to-rescue! — only this time it’ll be with somebody in the role of Eleanor Roosevelt as chief executive. Donald Trump, of course, being the designated bag-holder for all the financial blunders of the past decade, gets to be Herbert Hoover. As was the case in the original, economic depression will segue into war, with maybe not such a happy ending for us as World War Two was.

Jan 22 11:37

How to Buy Bitcoin Anonymously

By Kai Sedgwick

Buying bitcoin is not a revolutionary act. Nor should it be. And yet the way statists, apparatchiks and politicians bang on, you’d think the mere act of acquiring digital currency was akin to receiving the keys to a Pandora’s box in which lurks every illicit artifact known to man. One day, these dinosaurs will begrudgingly concede that buying bitcoin is no more seditious than buying a soda with a $20 bill. But until then, you’ll want to preserve your privacy when acquiring cryptocurrency...

Jan 22 10:39

Feds Prepare To Bail Out "Vast Majority" Of 90,000 Sears Pensions

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PBGC) said in a Friday press release that it believes Sears Holdings Corp's "continuation of the plans is no longer possible" following the Company's October bankruptcy, after it was revealed in a Friday filing that Chairman Eddie Lampert's $5.2 billion rescue package does not include pension plans.

Jan 22 10:09

Pence Urges Venezuelans To Rise Up Against "Dictator" Maduro After Failed Military Revolt

launched by 27 low-ranking officers and their subsequent arrests in the Cotiza neighborhood of Caracas, which sparked overnight protests and sporadic clashes with police after opposition leader Juan Guaido made a broad appeal to the military in a speech, urging them to demand Maduro step down. Guaido and other opposition leaders in the National Assembly have declared Wednesday a nation-wide protest day seeking to topple the regime — itself a historic date commemorating the end of Venezuela's military dictatorship in 1958.

On Tuesday US Vice President Mike Pence urged the Venezuelan people to "make your voices heard" in follow-up to Guaido's risky appeal, which appears a continuation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's comments throwing the United States' full weight behind Venezuela's opposition seeking to depose President Nicolás Maduro, which he made over a week ago while in the Middle East after Maduro was sworn in to a widely contested six-year second term.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Mr. Vice President, a word, please; much of the population is starving, sir; and US sanctions have not helped the people of Venezuela very much either.

I am praying (literally) for a peaceful demonstration, but understand that very possibly....the US already likely has some "players in the game" who will do their best to create a pitched, violent battle with the military and police, in images that will be on the net, and floating around the world, to document Venezuela's fall into chaos.

But they will not see the "unseen hand" of the devastation created by US sanctions, and what it has meant to both its working people, and its oil business in particular.

Jan 22 10:05

This Isn’t Even a Global Recession Yet....

Jan 22 10:00

Gap between rich and poor growing, fuelling global anger - Oxfam

A new billionaire was created every two days last year, just as the poorest half of the world's population saw their wealth decline by 11 percent

Jan 22 09:43

Are Energy Hedge Funds Going Extinct?

Jan 22 09:43

More global slowdown news...

Jan 22 09:36

Bloodbath on the high street: More than 175,000 jobs will be cut this year and 23,395 shops will shut as internet sales batter retailers

A total of 175,000 jobs are set to disappear from the High Street this year as the onslaught from online rivals continues.

A slump in the value of retail property is expected to see 23,395 shops shut as customers shun town centres in favour of internet shopping, according to property experts.

It marks a significant increase on last year when a string of retailers including Toys R Us, Poundworld and Maplin went bust, leading to the closure of 20,000 stores and the loss of 150,000 jobs.

Jan 22 08:42

Kunstler: America's "All Is Lost" Moment Looms

As in this age of Hollywood sequels and prequels, America prefers to recycle old ideas rather than entertain new ones, so you can see exactly how the 2020 presidential election is shaping up to be a replay of the Great Depression, with Roosevelt-to-rescue! — only this time it’ll be with somebody in the role of Eleanor Roosevelt as chief executive. Donald Trump, of course, being the designated bag-holder for all the financial blunders of the past decade, gets to be Herbert Hoover. As was the case in the original, economic depression will segue into war, with maybe not such a happy ending for us as World War Two was.

Jan 22 08:38

Adamowicz's Assassination Is Being Exploited To Politically Polarize Poland

Gda?sk mayor Pawe? Adamowicz of the Civil Platform (or PO) opposition party died after being stabbed in the heart by a deranged assailant at a charity concert on Sunday, who deceived security in order to get onstage and then give a crazed rant after the attack attempting to justify his crime on the alleged grounds that the mayor’s party wrongly imprisoned him.

All of Poland is mourning Adamowicz’s death and even his political rivals made speeches denouncing his assassination, but there are already some voices that are trying to make this into a partisan issue in order to score points ahead of this May’s European Parliamentary elections and besmirch the credibility of the ruling Law & Justice Party (also known by its Polish abbreviation as PiS).

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The irony here, is almost painful; condolences to Adamowicz’s families and friends, and please, can we be just a little more civil as alleged "master ascendents" of the food chain on this planet?????

Jan 22 08:17

With Trump Out, Davos Chief Eyes Fixing World Architecture

Trump canceled the U.S. delegation's trip to Davos this year amid the partial government shutdown.

"He would have been an interesting discussion partner," Schwab said. "But of course, we have understanding: We see government stand still."

Now, the WEF chief is focusing on reshaping the "global architecture" that has split populists and globalists and left many people feeling left out. That could be a tall order as trade forecasts predict slowdown and economic growth has eased, in part after Trump tax cuts doped-up the economy and markets last year.

Jan 22 05:55

40 UK ministers could resign over no-deal Brexit: Report

UK Prime Minister Theresa May has been warned that no less than 40 of her ministers could resign if she denies them the right to vote for a plan that would block a no-deal exit from the European Union (EU) later this year, a new report suggests.

Home Secretary Amber Rudd has informed May and other government officials that the possible exodus could take place unless the ministers are allowed to support an amendment in the House of Commons that extend the duration of the Article 50 of EU’s Lisbon Treaty beyond the original March 29 deadline for Brexit.

If approved, the new plan prevents May from proceeding with her previous threats of a no-deal divorce, which analysts say would have unpredictable ramifications.

Tabled by Labour’s Yvette Cooper and former Tory ministers Oliver Letwin and Nick Boles, the new amendment would come up for debate and vote on January 29.

Rudd has asked May to allow a free vote on the bill to prevent a mass walkout from 10 Downing Street.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was really not what the people of Great Britain signed off on, with the original Brexit vote; May has just not been able to deliver here,

Jan 22 05:50

Russia cuts foreign debt to decade low while boosting national reserves

Russia’s external debt has fallen by $64.4 billion or 12.4 percent from the beginning of last year, amounting to $453.7 billion as of January 1, 2019 – the lowest level since April 2009, according to Central Bank of Russia data.
All institutional sectors dropped their debts last year, the Central Bank of Russia announced on Monday, adding that other sectors contributed “the most to the country’s external debt contraction,” reducing their indebtedness by $32.3 billion.

The foreign debt has been dropping since mid-2014, when it reached its peak of around $733 billion in the wake US and EU sanctions. Since then, Russia managed to reduce debt by nearly $280 billion to reach the ten year minimum. In the fourth quarter of 2018 alone, the external debt was reportedly reduced by more than $16 billion or some 3.5 percent.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This.. is what a an intelligently managed country wants to see happen.

Jan 22 05:25

Zimbabwe court says internet shutdown illegal as more civilians detained

Zimbabwe’s government exceeded its mandate in ordering an internet blackout during civilian protests last week, a court ruled on Monday, as authorities pressed on with rounding up opposition figures blamed for the unrest.

In his interim ruling, High Court Judge Owen Tagu told mobile operators to immediately and unconditionally resume full services. The biggest, Econet Wireless, compiled with the order late on Monday, it said in a message to subscribers.

The sporadic blackout began on Tuesday following the start of protests against a rise in fuel prices that turned violent.

With evidence growing that the country is slipping back into authoritarian rule, critics of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government had accused it of shutting off the internet to prevent a security clampdown being broadcast to the world.

Mnangagwa was due back in Zimbabwe late on Monday after cutting short a foreign trip.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It looks like it is only a matter of time before the current government of Zimbabwe cannot hold this country together.

Jan 22 05:21

NATO, Russian ambassadors to meet Friday

NATO and Russian ambassadors will meet in Brussels Friday, the Western military alliance said, with discussions likely to focus on the standoff over Ukraine and on nuclear weapons.

This would be the ninth such NATO-Russia Council since the start of 2016.

"Following consultations with Russia, we have agreed to hold a meeting of the NATO-Russia Council at ambassadorial level on Jan. 25, 2019 at NATO headquarters in Brussels," a NATO official said Monday.

NATO has criticized Russia over its seizure of three Ukrainian naval vessels and their crews in November. A court in Moscow ruled last week that 24 Ukrainian sailors seized off the coast of Crimea should be kept in pre-trial detention until April.

Russia has meanwhile warned that a new U.S. missile defense strategy would unleash a dangerous arms race in space and amount to a relaunch of the Cold War-era "Star Wars" program.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

With so much ill will and animosity between NATO, the US government, and Russia, it will be a miracle if anything of substance is achieved at all in this Brussels meeting.

But let's hope something positive can come out of this.

Jan 22 05:16

Venezuela's top court declares parliament leadership illegitmate

Venezuela's Supreme Court declared the leadership of the opposition-controlled National Assembly illegitimate and its decisions "void" Monday after it repudiated the presidency of Nicolas Maduro.

The latest escalation in the power struggle between Maduro and the new president of the assembly, Juan Guaido, came on the same day as a brief military uprising in Caracas and amid opposition calls for mass protests on Wednesday.

Supreme Court president Juan Jose Mendoza read a statement to the press declaring that the legislature "does not have a legitimate board of directors."

He charged that it was "usurping its authority, and therefore all its decisions are void."

Webmaster's Commentary: 

There is an economic crisis; a military crisis, and a judicial crisis haunting Venezuela right now; the perfect trifecta.

One wonders how much can be endured by the Venezuelan people, until something snaps.

Jan 22 04:51

3 Reasons Gold Market Could See Bull Run

Jan 22 04:40

Feds Prepare To Bail Out "Vast Majority" Of 90,000 Sears Pensions

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp (PBGC) said in a Friday press release that it believes Sears Holdings Corp's "continuation of the plans is no longer possible" following the Company's October bankruptcy, after it was revealed in a Friday filing that Chairman Eddie Lampert's $5.2 billion rescue package does not include pension plans.

PBGC, a government agency, covers individuals' pensions in the event a pension plan shuts down without sufficient funding to meet its obligations. The Sears pension system, meanwhile, is underfunded to the tune of approximately $1.4 billion, which the agency could attempt to recover through the bankruptcy, according to MSN.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The problem is, where the money has been placed, for those life insurance policies, and what kinds of "exit bonuses" the top brass will take with them, overtly or covertly, before abandoning ship.

Jan 22 04:30

Anti-Trump Frenzy Threatens To End Superpower Diplomacy

Perhaps we should have guessed that the democracy-promotion genes of J. Edgar Hoover were still alive and breeding in the FBI, though for the Times, in its exploitation of the hapless and legally endangered Page, it seems not to matter.

Which brings us, or rather Russiagate zealots, to the heightened “threat” represented by “Putin’s Russia.” If true, we would expect the US president to negotiate with the Kremlin leader, including at summit meetings, as every president since Dwight Eisenhower has done. But, we are told, we cannot trust Trump to do so, because, according to The Washington Post, he has repeatedly met with Putin alone, with only translators present, and concealed the records of their private talks, sure signs of “treasonous” behavior, as the Russiagate media first insisted following the Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This growing "frenzy" against Russia, coupled with new NATO deployments right at its borders; the placing of weapons ringing Russia, plus the growing concern that the US government feels it needs to teach Russia "a lesson" about its having assisted Syria in kicking out most of the jihadis, the stage is set for something to go horrifically wrong here, and we may find both countries at each other's necks, in a shooting war.

Jan 22 04:23

China Threatens Retaliation As US Confirms Plan To Extradite Huawei CFO

Despite China's demands that the US government use the shutdown as an excuse not to make a formal extradition request for Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou, DOJ officials have reportedly told a Canadian diplomat that the DOJ will submit its formal extradition request by the Jan. 30 deadline (the US has 60 days from the day of Meng's arrest in Vancouver to formally ask for extradition).

The news, which was first published Tuesday by Canadian newspaper Globe and Mail, sent the offshore yuan lower as Chinese officials accused the US of "abusing" the extradition system in the Meng case. According to the report, David MacNaughton, Canada's ambassador to the US, met with senior White House and State Department officials about the Meng case.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

The US government appears, in this case, hell-bent to force things here from bad to worse, and at a time when trade relations are very tense.

This kind of behaviour from our government, smacks of a thuggocracy, rather the democratic republic, where the rule of law always triumphs, as it is alleged to be.

There were face-saving actions which could mean a win/win for China and the US; however, they were rejected immediately, and the Trump administration has now thrown geopolitical "blunt force trauma" into this pending request for extradition.

Jan 21 16:25

Should Retirees Worry About Bear Markets?

Jan 21 12:14

The World's Most Geopolitically Charged Pipeline

Russia’s proposed pipeline to bring more gas from Russian fields into Europe via an undersea pipeline to Germany seems unable to shake both geopolitical maneuvering as well as headline-grabbing quotes from both sides of the divide.

On Thursday, Wolfgang Ischinger, chairman of the Munich Security Conference, and a seasoned diplomat said Germany should finish the Russian-backed Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite U.S. opposition and growing domestic concerns, but future energy projects should be coordinated by the EU.

Jan 21 11:19

What It Takes to Become a Millionaire

Jan 21 10:27

No-deal Brexit could hit global growth and furious voters losing trust in governments could wreck the world order, warns IMF

A no-deal Brexit and a worse-than-expected slowdown in the Chinese economy could cause more turbulence on the financial markets and hit global growth, the International Monetary Fund has said.

The US organisation issued the warning as it left its growth forecasts for the UK in 2019 unchanged at 1.5 per cent, but slashed global growth forecasts for this year by 0.2 per cent to 3.5 per cent.

It comes as separate figures released today show that in 2018, the Chinese economy grew by 6.6 per cent, its slowest annual rate since 1990.

Jan 21 10:23

Charted: The 50 Best Jobs in America

Jan 21 10:19

Bitcoin Mass Adoption Through Chaos and Order

By Vin Armani

In this article – the first in a two-part series – I will explore the ways that the Bitcoin community can leverage the adoption strategies of existing digital payment networks, through profit-seeking, to incentivize mass adoption. My next article, part two, will explore the communication standards, known as Payment Protocols, that I believe hold great promise for delivering profits to those companies most highly incentivized to increase global use of Bitcoin as peer-to-peer electronic cash...

Jan 21 09:18

The Wealth Of The 12 Richest Davos Billionaires Has Increased By $175 Billion In Ten Years

It's almost time for the annual Davos boondoggle where the world's richest and most powerful financiers, politicians, artists and celebrities fly in on their private jets while surrounding by bodyguards and sit down (before partying among ultra exclusive DJs) to discuss the world's ills (which they created) such as the omni-present "global warming" (the type which apparently ignores the carbon emissions from private jets) and which can only be solved by paying a major bank (say Goldman Sachs) billions in carbon credit commissions, not to mention social upheaval and populist anger (the type which bodyguards are so skilled at neutralizing) and where not surprisingly nationalism once again ranks as the biggest threat risk to attempts to impose a globalist world order.

In other words, it is "A Reunion For People Who Broke The World" where a hotdog back in 2015 cost 38 Swiss Francs.

Jan 21 09:17

'Why Can't They Take The Bus?' - Davos Locals Furious As Limos Clog Streets

We couldn't imagine a struggle that better symbolizes the burgeoning conflict between the globalist "Davos Man", who has flourished in the years since the financial crisis (largely because central banks helped transform it into a dip to buy), and regular, working people than the one highlighted this weekend by Bloomberg News in a report about the simmering anger locals feel toward the wealthy MOUs who flock to their mid-tier ski town for a few days every January to revel in the excesses of the stratified world these outsiders helped to create.

Davos locals are growing increasingly frustrated with the traffic congestion that the conferences attendees (it's expected to draw 3,000 guests this year, the largest crowd in its history) and their limos bring to the town, with the 11,000 residents wondering why they can't just take public transportation like Swiss central bankers and government ministers do?

Jan 21 09:14

It’s the liquidity, stupid!

Jan 21 09:14

Are your finances recession-proof?

Jan 21 08:57

Shrinkflation IS happening! Official study finds 206 products including chocolate bars, bread and cereal have got smaller since 2015 – but it's NOT linked to Brexit

Shrinking chocolate bars, cereal boxes and loaves of bread have contributed to a rise in 'shrinkflation' in Britain - but it is not due to Brexit, new figures show today.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) revealed that 206 products shrank in size between September 2015 and June 2017.

They included bread and cereals, meat, sugar, jam, syrups, chocolate and other confectionery.

Prices tend to stay the same when products change size, the ONS said, consistent with the idea that some products are undergoing 'shrinkflation'.

Jan 21 08:51

Bloodbath on the high street: More than 175,000 jobs will be cut this year and 23,395 shops will shut as internet sales batter retailers

A total of 175,000 jobs are set to disappear from the High Street this year as the onslaught from online rivals continues.
A slump in the value of retail property is expected to see 23,395 shops shut as customers shun town centres in favour of internet shopping, according to property experts.
It marks a significant increase on last year when a string of retailers including Toys R Us, Poundworld and Maplin went bust, leading to the closure of 20,000 stores and the loss of 150,000 jobs.

Jan 21 08:33

Richest 26 people own same amount of wealth as poorest half of the world – Oxfam

The new report, titled "Public Good or Private Wealth," sheds light on the continued accumulation of wealth by the richest, as well as the reverse trend for the poorest half of the word, which grew some 11 percent poorer last year.

During the same period, the assets of those at the top of the wealth pyramid, the billionaires, have skyrocketed, increasing by $900 billion in 2018, or by a whopping $2.5 billion a day. Between 2017 and 2018, a new billionaire was created every two days, the report says.

In comparison to the previous year, when 43 people owned about the same as the poorer half of the world, in 2018 it took only 26 billionaires to match the wealth of 3.8 billion people.

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