In The News Today

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For you to relish the dish it must have enough salt. But if you add a little extra, it spoils the dish. So too, life becomes very difficult to bear, if you have too much of desire. Limit your desires to your capacity and even among them, have only those that will grant you lasting joy. Do not run after fashion and public approval and strain your resources beyond repair. Also stick to your own code of conduct that regulates your life or the stage you have reached. Do not place your needs and joy first. Consider the joy of others as more important than your own. Respect elders and cultivate cordiality between brothers and sisters, teachers and students, employers and employees. Respect the culture of your land and bring honour to the land you were born in and live in. Nourish your parents, revere them. If you do so, the Lord of the Universe will guard you against harm.
– SSB, Aug 19, 1964

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

What are they going to pay with as they are bankrupt, IOUs worth nothing whatsoever?

The judge is a New Normal genius. The Pensioner is the most endangered species on the planet. There is no future for the elderly.

Michigan Judge Bars Detroit From Cutting Pension Benefits
By Margaret Cronin Fisk & Megan Durisin – Jul 18, 2013 5:15 PM ET

A Michigan judge temporarily barred the state’s governor and Detroit’s emergency manager from taking any action that would allow cuts in pension benefits for city retirees.

Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie E. Aquilina rejected a bid by the General Retirement System and the Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of Detroit to block the city’s bankruptcy filing. The pension funds sued yesterday seeking to stop the filing.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Trouble in paradise with the ongoing romance between the Saudis and the USA?

Look at the gold around our leaders neck.

Saudis’ Unprecedented Break with Washington over Egypt
By F. William Engdahl
Global Research, July 18, 2013

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One of the least commented aspects of ousting Egypt’s Morsi is the defiant act of the Saudi Royal House in backing the ouster of the Brotherhood and supporting the military restoration. The Saudi move is unprecedented in its open defiance of White House declared backing for the Muslim Brotherhood. The implications of the split are huge.

Twilight in the desert?

Since the time in 1945 on his return from the fateful Yalta Conference, that USPresident Roosevelt met Saudi King Ibn Saud and won exclusive rights for US Rockefeller-group oil companies to Saudi Arabia’s vast oil wealth, the relationship between Saudi and USforeign policy has been one of almost satrapy status for the Saudis.[1] Following the Kissinger-orchestrated 1973 “oil shock” in which OPEC raised its price by some 400%, Washington extracted a pledge from the Saudis that they would insure that OPEC sold its oil only in dollars, thereby ensuring the continued dominance of the US dollar as world reserve currency. In return, Washington agreed to sell US arms including training the Saudi Air Force.[2]

And in 2010 just as Washingtonlaunched its Arab Spring “democracy” offensive in Tunisia, Egyptand across the Islamic arc of crisis, the Obama Administration announced the largest arms deal in UShistory. The USagreed to sell the Saudis 84 F-15s new and upgrade another 70 as part of a €46 billion deal, the biggest arms deal in US history, as it prepared to isolate Iran. [3]

As we reported in an earlier article, before the Egyptian military coup, the Saudis had given secret assurance to Defense Minister and Chief of the Army, General Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, that the Saudis along with other conservative Gulf oil states including Kuwait and UAE would guarantee financial support should the Obama Administration cut the €1 billion annual aid to Egypt’s military in retaliation for ousting their man, Morsi.[4]

On July 17, the newly-sworn-in Egyptian transitional government confirmed that it has received €6 billion in grants, loans and fuel fromSaudi Arabiaand the UAE.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This ought to give us some interesting employment figures.

Military communities brace for ‘hardship’ as defense furloughs take effect
By Joseph Weber
Published July 18, 2013

Military communities across the country, after listening to the warnings about steep budget cutbacks for months, are now bracing for impact as furloughs for roughly 650,000 civilian Defense Department employees kick in this month.

Officials at military bases and other DoD facilities will have some flexibility in scheduling days off. But the furloughs will nevertheless result in non-essential civilian workers missing one paid workday a week — a roughly 20 percent pay cut — over the next three months.

Virginia’s Hampton Roads, which encompasses the massive Naval Station Norfolk, is expected to be among the country’s hardest-hit communities — considering it has 14 military and Coast Guard facilities. Roughly half the regional economy is tied to the Defense Department.

“There no question we’ll feel the impact and it will pervasive across the entire region,” said Ira Agricola, a government affairs official with the Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce.

However, he and other regional experts said the full effect will not be known for months because the furloughs just started and economists need time to collect and analyze the data.

“I’m certain it will impact the community,” said retired Adm. Craig Quigley, now executive director of the Hampton Roads Military and Federal Facilities Alliance.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This might help sentiment in the silver market. There still is hope as regulators like money.

JP Morgan Is Reportedly Getting Ready To Settle For $1 Billion For Manipulating Energy Markets
Steven Perlberg Jul. 17, 2013, 4:41 PM

U.S. regulators and J.P. Morgan Chase are close to a monster settlement over allegations that the banking giant tampered with electricity markets in California and the Midwest, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Sources told the Journal the deal could come in close to a staggering $1 billion, the largest payout in the history of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), which overseas power trading markets.

JPM and FERC, the little regulator that could, are reportedly exchanging drafts of an agreement.

Although it seemed JPM might originally take the matter to court, sources told the Journal the bank is working quickly to finish the deal so they can gear up for even more regulatory hoopla in the wake of the London Whale debacle.

The filings associated with the allegations describe how traders rigged their bidding in order to be eligible for "make-whole" payments that would cover trading losses and generate a healthy profit, according to the Journal.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Isn’t this against international law?

‘Sorry is not enough’: Bolivia demands EU find culprits behind aerial hijack
Published time: July 17, 2013 11:29

EU apologies for the aerial blockade that forced the Bolivian president’s plane to land are “not enough,” said Bolivia’s foreign minister. The presidential plane was grounded amid suspicions that NSA leaker Edward Snowden had stowed away onboard.

The Bolivian Foreign Minister, David Choquehuanca, confirmed on Tuesday that Bolivia had received official apologies from Italy and Portugal, adding to those of Spain and France.

“Not only Spain has sent a verbal apology, but also Portugal and Italy have sent messages accounting for their actions,” said Choquehuanca at a press conference in the Bolivian capital of La Paz. However, Choquehuanca stressed that the apologies were not enough and the four countries “must identify those responsible and punish them in an exemplary fashion so that such an incident does not happen again.”

He went on to say that the apologies will be analyzed by the Bolivian government, adding that the countries in question would have “to repair the damage that has been done to the president.”

After attending an energy summit in Moscow, President Evo Morales’ plane was forced to abandon its home journey to Bolivia and land in the Austrian capital of Vienna on July 2. Italy, Spain, Portugal and France all closed their airspace amid suspicions that whistleblower Edward Snowden was onboard the presidential vessel. 

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Technology gone wild.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Forget expatriation because the back door in the Western world is closed by punitive taxes.

Consider class "A" long term foreign residency permits. They are nothing more than a very long visa.

How to Lose Friends, Citizens and Influence
The U.S. Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act seeks to co-opt foreign banks as long-arm enforcement agencies of the IRS.
By COLLEEN GRAFFY

Beware the sledgehammer used to crack the nut. In this case, the nut is the U.S. government’s laudable goal of catching tax evaders. The sledgehammer is the overreaching effect of legislation that is alienating other countries and resulting in millions of U.S. citizens abroad being forced to either painfully reconsider their nationality, or face a lifetime of onerous bureaucracy, expense and privacy invasion.

The legislation is Fatca, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act. To appreciate its breathtaking scope along with America’s unique "citizen-based" tax practices, imagine this: You were born in California, moved to New York for education or work, fell in love, married and had children. Even though you have faithfully paid taxes in New York and haven’t lived in California for 25 years, suppose California law required that you also file your taxes there because you were born there. Though you may never have held a bank account in California, you must report all of your financial holdings to the State of California. Are you a signatory on your spouse’s account? Then you must declare his bank accounts too. Your children, now adults, have never been west of the Mississippi but they too must file their taxes in both California and New York and report any bank accounts they or their spouses may have because they are considered Californians by virtue of one parent’s birthplace.

Extrapolate that example to the six million U.S. citizens living around the globe. Many, if not most, don’t know about these requirements. Yet they face fines, penalties and interest for not complying—even if they owe no U.S. taxes, own no U.S. property, have no U.S. bank account and haven’t lived there in years—if ever.

A particularly alarming aspect of Fatca is that it seeks to co-opt foreign banks as long-arm enforcement agencies of the Internal Revenue Service—even when it might contravene that country’s own privacy or data-protection laws. If financial institutions don’t report U.S. citizens holding accounts with them, these institutions face a 30% withholding tax on securities transactions that originate in the U.S.

Given this threat, why allow an American, or even suspected American, to bank with you? The reporting costs, and the consequences of a mistake, are too onerous. It isn’t always obvious who’s a U.S. citizen, either. Many, like the very British mayor of London, Boris Johnson, are "accidental Americans." He was born in New York, where his father worked for the U.N. And unless Mr. Johnson has actively renounced his citizenship, which requires an appointment at a U.S. Embassy, forms and fees, he is still an American citizen. Mayor Johnson repudiated his American citizenship in a newspaper column once, but it’s far from clear that this would satisfy U.S. authorities. Mr. Johnson, have you filed your taxes and reported all your U.K. bank accounts to the U.S. Department of Treasury yet?

Foreign financial institutions trying to avoid these new requirements have two alternatives: to drop American clients, or don’t invest in the U.S. Neither scenario benefits America. And yet it’s hard to believe that Chinese financial institutions will acquiesce in reporting their clients’ account information to the U.S. Imagine the howls down the halls of Congress if China informed U.S. banks that they must report to China all of the bank accounts held by Chinese citizens in the U.S. or face penalties.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

This is looking for real problems.

US preparing for military action in Syria, top US general says
Published time: July 18, 2013 16:16

President Barack Obama is considering using military force in Syria, and the Pentagon has prepared various scenarios for possible United States intervention.

Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Obama administration is deliberating whether or not it should use the brute of the US military in Syria during a Thursday morning Senate hearing.

Gen. Dempsey said the administration was considering using “kinetic strikes” in Syriaand said "issue is under deliberation inside of our agencies of government,” the Associated Press reported from Washington.

Dempsey, 61, is the highest ranking officer in the US military and has been nominated by Pres. Obama to serve a second term in that role. The Senate Armed Services Committee questioned him Thursday morning as part of the nominating process when Dempsey briefly discussed the situation in Syria.

Last month, the Obama administration concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons during the ongoing battles. Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said, “The intelligence community estimates that 100 to 150 people have died from detected chemical weapons attacks in Syria to date; however, casualty data is likely incomplete.”

Pres. Obama said previously that the use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and likely trigger American intervention. When the White House concluded Assad had relied on chemical warfare, Rhodes said, “both the political and the military opposition . . . is and will be receiving US assistance."

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