Carrying Several Passports? It’s Not Just for Spies By MICHAEL T. LUONGO Published: January 19, 2009
Alessandro Pappalardo, an artist in New York, holds passports from Italy and Argentina and, last year, added an American one. Previously an executive with Aerolíneas Argentinas, he said, “I used to go a lot to Brazil, and I would always decide what passport to show depending on what line was shorter.”
Stefan Stefanov, a citizen of the United States and Bulgaria who works for FirstApex Group in Warsaw, said he decided which passport to use depending on where he was going. “Of course, I don’t hide that I am a U.S. citizen,” Mr. Stefanov said. “But I don’t parade it either.”
Dual passports are no longer the sole province of people who grew up in more than one country. Millions of American citizens potentially qualify for various reasons — ethnic heritage, religion, country of birth or where their spouse was born.
“The fact is people don’t think about it until it is pointed out to them,” said Jan Dvorak, president of Travisa, a passport services company in Washington. Some Americans, he said, “don’t realize that they actually have dual nationality.”
While there are no hard numbers, more Americans seem to be trying to qualify for additional passports. “Savvy travelers and business travelers want to make sure they have two passports based on nationality because there are certain advantages,” Mr. Dvorak said.
Keep a close eye on both Russia and former USSR nations making a MAJOR thrust into property and company mineral acquisitions as North American and South African majors slumber on.
Russia Prepares To Rival Rio And BHP Vidya Ram , 01.16.09, 01:15 PM EST
A merger of Russian miners could be unwelcome competition for beleaguered European miners.
If plummeting commodity prices haven’t been keeping Rio Tinto’s Tom Albanese and BHP Billiton’s Marius Kloppers awake at night, the latest news out of Russia almost certainly will. Plans to create a super-miner, by merging three troubled miners, seems to be gaining momentum.
Making a big push internationally into the mining sector may not be ideal for the firms, timing wise, but with the backing of the comparatively-deep-pocketed Kremlin, a super-miner could pose a new and un-welcomed threat for the likes of BHP and Rio Tinto (nyse: RTP – news – people ). The super-miner would be in line for a bailout from the Kremlin should it come into existance.
Talks over a possible merger of mining firms Rusal, Norilsk Nickel and Metalloinvest are taking place in Moscow, reported a number of papers, including Russia’s Vedomosti. Rusal and Norilsk Nickel were unavailable for comment at the time of publication, while Metalloinvest said it would be responding to requests next week.
That same report suggested that the state could acquire a stake by converting the firms’ joint debts into a stake in the new company.
Norilsk Nickel Chief Executive Denis Morozov, which heads the palladium and nickel miner, had previously talked of his ambitions of making his firm the BHP Billiton (nyse: BHP – news – people ) of Russia. However, hopes of any merger in the mining sector had been held up by constant bickering over control, until now. (See "Russian Billionaires Tussel Over Nickel Giant.")
As a note of reference, please read the total history of the Lincoln administration as a historical reality, not a political construct.
Our new administration has undertaken that administration as its example to emulate.
The wartime President Lincoln set the blue print for the Cheney/Bush Administration.
Before you scream, study!
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
It will take both fancy bookkeeping and a miracle to hold it there.
Roubini Predicts U.S. Losses May Reach $3.6 Trillion (Update1) By Henry Meyer and Ayesha Daya
Jan. 20 (Bloomberg) — U.S. financial losses from the credit crisis may reach $3.6 trillion, suggesting the banking system is “effectively insolvent,” said New York University Professor Nouriel Roubini, who predicted last year’s economic crisis.
“I’ve found that credit losses could peak at a level of $3.6 trillion for U.S. institutions, half of them by banks and broker dealers,” Roubini said at a conference in Dubai today. “If that’s true, it means the U.S. banking system is effectively insolvent because it starts with a capital of $1.4 trillion. This is a systemic banking crisis.”
Losses and writedowns at financial companies worldwide have risen to more than $1 trillion since the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed in 2007, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
President Barack Obama will have to use as much as $1 trillion of public funds to shore up the capitalization of the banking sector, following the $350 billion injection by the Bush administration, Roubini told Bloomberg News. Congress last year approved a $700 billion rescue fund, of which half remains to be disbursed.
Bank of America Corp., the largest U.S. bank by assets, posted a quarterly loss of $1.79 billion last week, its first since 1991, and received $138 billion in emergency government funds. Citigroup Inc.posted an $8.29 billion fourth-quarter loss, completing its worst year, and plans to split in two under Chief Executive Officer Vikram Pandit’s plan to rebuild a capital base eroded by the credit crisis.
This is not without logic as an enduring recovery in China first would make a freely trading Chinese currency attractive as a reserve item. Time then could make the Chinese unit a major reserve currency.
Should that occur "Lenin" would take the position of the world’s leading economist. Think about that and know Greenspan is responsible for this phenomena with the support of all the OTC derivative traders around the world.
Jim Rogers sees Renminbi replacing US Dollar as world reserve currency Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Legendary global investor Jim Rogers said the Renminbi may possibly replace the US dollar as the international reserve currency 15 years from now.
Addressing the Asian Financial Forum in Hong Kong, an event that brought together about a thousand participants from around the globe, Rogers said he found Asia to be the place where "the world is changing" as he toured the world in 1990 through 1992.
"This is going to be the new centre of the world, not just the financial but the political world," he said.
The only currency that could replace the US dollar "this year" would be the euro, while the only conceivable currency that can replace the dollar as the reserve currency "15 years from now" is renminbi.
Rogers said he believed China will rise despite possible setbacks.
The United States also experienced setbacks and had various problems back in the 19th century, which, nevertheless, did not stop it from becoming the greatest success of the 20th century, he said.
Pakistan kills 22 militants near Afghan border: officials
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) — Pakistani troops backed by war planes and helicopter gunships on Tuesday killed 22 militants in a major offensive against insurgents near the Afghan border, security officials said.
"We have launched a major operation in Mohmand district early this morning," a paramilitary force official told AFP.
"At least 22 insurgents have died so far. Aircraft participated in the operation in Mohmand for the first time," he said.
Troops pounded suspected militant locations in the northwestern tribal region and destroyed several bases, said the official requesting anonymity.
India tests missile amid tensions with Pakistan Tue Jan 20, 2009 2:59am EST
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India successfully tested a supersonic cruise missile Tuesday in a remote desert close to the Pakistan border, officials said, amid continuing tensions with its nuclear-armed rival over the November attacks in Mumbai.
Indian officials say the launch of the Brahmos was only part of ongoing reliability tests, but some analysts say the timing was sensitive and could alarm Pakistan.
"The test was successful," a defense ministry spokesman said, without giving details.
The Brahmos, which can travel at up to 2.8 times the speed of sound and has a range of 290 km (180 miles), was tested at Pokhran, a desert town along India-Pakistan border and also the site of India’s 1998 nuclear tests.
Israel makes a major miscalculation. Pakistan goes nuclear Turkey is a victim. It is all percolating.
Cyr: Turkey at crossroads as a nation Submitted by SHNS on Tue, 01/13/2009 – 13:14.
At the start of the New Year, Russia publicly squabbles with Ukraine over the terms of shipping gas to the European Union, while Turkish police have announced the discovery of a very large weapons cache buried in a pine forest near Ankara.
The former dispute appears to be resolved for the moment. Ukraine has just agreed to shipping terms that Moscow has demanded. At the same time, steadily growing Russian nationalism is reflected in such high-handed handling of plentiful oil and gas resources. The collapse of the Moscow stock market has fueled the emotional fire encouraging such actions.
The Turkey case is very ominous. Government authorities have stated publicly that the arms are tied to a sizable plot to overthrow the Islamic government of the nation.
These two problems together provide the incoming Obama administration with an opportunity. Washington immediately should give high priority to Turkey as an alternate energy transshipment route. Turkey is a vital ally of the United States, second in importance only to Israel in the Middle East, but the Bush administration leaves office with our relations badly damaged.
Over the past two years, the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has ruled Turkey. The selection of former foreign minister and practicing Moslem Abdullah Gul as president reinforced fears of Islamic extremism and political instability. The president’s wife Hayrunnisa publicly wears the religious headscarf, formally banned in public buildings, and has become an iconic figure for the rise of religion in modern Turkey.
The following opinion on the Pakistan situation seems quite well informed:
"On another front, the seeming quiet between India and Pakistan is deceptive. I expect an out-of-the-blue strike by India on 4GW training camps in Pakistan, a Pakistani defeat and possibly a collapse of the Pakistani government in consequence. How many collapses of governments Pakistan can endure before the state itself crumbles is a key strategic question. The answer, I suspect, is not many more. Pakistan could offer Islamic 4GW forces an earth-shaking victory in 2009."
The Secretary of the US Treasury and President of the NY Federal Reserve Bank!
However after once again reviewing Mr. Geithner’s bio below, you know he will be confirmed regardless of tax problems.
Obama’s Treasury Pick Didn’t Pay Taxes By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS
WASHINGTON (Jan. 14) – Revelations about Timothy Geithner’s tax problems derailed Senate Democrats’ plans Wednesday to speed him to confirmation as treasury secretary so he could be sworn in on Inauguration Day.
President-elect Barack Obama had hoped for Geithner to be approved quickly so he could join other officials in urgent efforts to revive the failing national economy beginning immediately after Obama’s own inauguration next Tuesday. Now, Geithner’s confirmation hearing isn’t scheduled until next Wednesday, with Senate debate and a vote some time after that.
A top Republican objected to a hearing this Friday for Geithner at the Senate Finance Committee after the panel disclosed he failed to pay $34,000 in taxes several years ago.
Still, Democrats and Republicans on the panel voiced strong support for Geithner, who was phoning senators individually to persuade them that his tax problems were the result of innocent mistakes, not deliberate attempts to avoid paying the Internal Revenue Service.
Timothy F. Geithner became the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on November 17, 2003. In that capacity, he serves as the vice chairman and a permanent member of the Federal Open Market Committee, the group responsible for formulating the nation’s monetary policy.
Mr. Geithner joined the Department of Treasury in 1988 and worked in three administrations for five Secretaries of the Treasury in a variety of positions. He served as Under Secretary of the Treasury for International Affairs from 1999 to 2001 under Secretaries Robert Rubin and Lawrence Summers.
He was director of the Policy Development and Review Department at the International Monetary Fund from 2001 until 2003. Before joining the Treasury, Mr. Geithner worked for Kissinger Associates, Inc.
Mr. Geithner graduated from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in government and Asian studies in 1983 and from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies with a master’s in International Economics and East Asian Studies in 1985. He has studied Japanese and Chinese and has lived in East Africa, India, Thailand, China, and Japan.
Mr. Geithner serves as chairman of the G-10’s Committee on Payment and Settlement Systems of the Bank for International Settlements. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Group of Thirty.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
The COMEX is pulling your golden chair one more time.
Buying the near contract and taking delivery out of the Comex warehouse is your only weapon.
Gold Rush Buying the Real Thing Edited by ROBIN GOLDWYN BLUMENTHAL A look back at last week’s important events.
INVESTORS ARE TAKING A CUE FROM THE RAPPERS and adding more bling to their lives — not to hang around their necks, but to stash away in safes.
Physical gold is hot. Not gold stocks or ETFs, but the glittering stuff itself. You’ll read about it in our write-up of the latest Barron’s Roundtable, and the numbers are irrefutable. London-based World Gold Council said investment demand for gold, mainly bars and coins, surged 121% in the third quarter as investors rushed to safety.
But how, exactly, do you buy gold? Though you can visit a goldsmith and buy 24-karat jewelry, gold bugs favor bars, both big and small, and guaranteed coins issued by various world mints. Coins are easier to trade, but both coins and bars can be bought through hundreds of dealers’ sites, including onlygold.com, kitco.com and finest known.com. One site, goldmoney.com, even stores your gold.
Bars range in size from one gram to 400 troy ounces, while bullion coins come in weights of 1/20 ounce to 1000 grams. James DiGeorgia, the founder and publisher of goldandenergyadvisor.com, recommends the popular American Eagle or Buffalo coins. They generally fetch $25 to $70 above spot-gold prices, but you might score a better deal by buying directly from the U.S. Mint. DiGeorgia’s other advice: Never buy coins that are scratched.
India ‘notes Pakistan troop move’ By Sanjoy Majumder
BBC News, Delhi
The head of the Indian army says it has noted that Pakistan had moved some troops to its border with India in the wake of the Mumbai attacks.
Gen Deepak Kapoor acknowledged that there had been an increase in tension.
He said that Delhi was keeping all its options open but that military action would be the last resort.
Delhi believes the Mumbai attacks that killed more than 170 people were planned and executed from Pakistani soil. Islamabad denies involvement.
No state of alert
Addressing a news conference in the Indian capital Gen Kapoor said that Pakistan had moved some troops from the federally administered tribal areas along the Afghan frontier to its eastern border with India.
A 1.2 trillion dollar Federal Budget deficit which is just for starters, plus Pakistan should keep the new Administration busy.
Military Report: Mexico, Pakistan at Risk of ‘Rapid and Sudden Collapse’ Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Mexico and Pakistan are at risk of a "rapid and sudden collapse," according to a recent report from the U.S. Joint Forces Command.
The assessment comes as President-elect Barack Obama prepares to tackle international challenges including the conflict in Gaza, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and tensions between India and Pakistan.
"In terms of worst-case scenarios for the Joint Force and indeed the world, two large and important states bear consideration for a rapid and sudden collapse: Pakistan and Mexico," the report says.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Joint Forces Command said the latest assessment was likely written before the Mumbai attacks which further inflamed tensions in South Asia.
The Joint Operating Environment report, meant to examine worldwide security trends, says Pakistan, in the event of such a rapid collapse, would be susceptible to a "violent and bloody civil and sectarian war" made more dangerous by concerns over the country’s nuclear arsenal.
The report says that "perfect storm of uncertainty" by itself might require U.S. engagement.
This is no joke. I am in Johannesburg with my African family doing just this.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
God help us all!
The cost of bailouts will be no less than $17.2 trillion, and that will not make things alright.
1. This would never have happened if OTC derivatives did not exist. 2. Confidence is going to crack wide open, all at once, as if the world financial stepped into a hidden crevasse. 3. Hyperinflation is totally unavoidable – totally, absolutely, and without a shadow of a doubt. 4. Gold is the only answer. There is no other answer. Use it or lose everything you have and are. 5. The perps should be sent to one large island and then that island sent to hell. 6. This pervasive financial crime, OTC derivatives, is a CAPITAL crime that will in time be dealt with accordingly, if not by law then by the injured. 7. Long term unemployed get very angry. 8. The dollar is headed to .52 USDX 9. Gold, the value of insurance, is headed to $1200 then $1650 then to Alf’s more precise levels of:
Major THREE up from $700 to $3,500 (a Fibonacci 5 times the $500 low); Major FOUR down from $3,500 to $2,500 (a 29% decline); Major FIVE up from $2,500 to $10,000 (also a 4 fold increase, same as ONE)
Those of you not insured in gold are simply, blind, silly fools
Banks in Need of Even More Bailout Money By EDMUND L. ANDREWS and ERIC DASH Published: January 13, 2009
WASHINGTON — Even before word came on Tuesday that Citigroupmight split into pieces to shore up its finances, an unpleasant message was moving through Congress and President-elect Barack Obama’s transition team: the banks need more taxpayer money.
In all likelihood, a lot more money.
Mr. Obama seems to know it; a week before his swearing-in, he is lobbying Congress to release the other half of the financial industry bailout fund. Democratic leaders in Congress seem to know it, too; they are urging their rank and file to act quickly to release the rescue money. And Ben S. Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, certainly knows it.
On Tuesday, Mr. Bernanke publicly made the case that one of the most unpopular and most scorned programs in Washington — the $700 billion bailout program — needs to pour hundreds of billions more into the very banks and financial institutions that already received federal money and caused much of the credit crisis in the first place.
The most glaring example that the banking system needs even more help is Citigroup. Though it already has received $45 billion from the Treasury, it is in such dire straits that it is breaking itself into parts.
Like many banks, Citi is finding that its finances keep deteriorating as the economy continues to weaken.
Pakistan dismisses Indian data as ‘not evidence’ The Associated Press Wednesday, January 14, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Pakistan’s prime minister has played down the significance of a dossier handed over by India about the Mumbai attacks, saying it was just information and "not evidence," state media reported.
"All that has been received from India is some information. I say information because these are not evidence," Yousuf Raza Gilani told parliament late Tuesday, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan.
Gilani’s remarks were likely to anger New Delhi, which says the dossier provides evidence that Pakistani militants staged the November slaughter of 164 people. India specifically blames Lashkar-e-Taiba, a militant group believed to have links to Pakistani intelligence.
Pakistan only recently acknowledged that the only surviving Mumbai gunman was Pakistani, but it insists none of its state agencies played a role in the attacks. Under international pressure, Pakistan has detained some suspects allegedly linked to the attacks, while repeatedly calling on India to provide evidence to allow legal prosecutions.
The dossier, handed over on Jan. 5, includes transcripts of phone calls allegedly made during the siege by the attackers and their handlers in Pakistan. Previously, India had given Pakistan a letter from the lone surviving gunman, Mohammed Ajmal Kasab, that reportedly says he and the nine other gunmen were Pakistani.
You can be sure this is the number after being sent back 12 times for revision as unacceptably too high. This is dollar rot of the most virulent kind.
Three-month budget gap exceeds FY 2008 full year Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:23pm EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States racked up a record $485 billion deficit for the first three months of fiscal 2009, exceeding the $455 billion gap for all of the previous year, the U.S. Treasury said on Tuesday.
In December, the government posted a deficit of $83.62 billion versus a year-ago surplus of $48.26 billion — a wide swing that the Treasury attributed to a steep drop in corporate tax receipts and outlays from its financial rescue fund.
The December budget gap was in line with consensus forecasts of an $83 billion deficit from economists polled by Reuters.
The combined October, November and December deficit was nearly five times the year-ago budget hole of $107 billion, according to Treasury data.
The ballooning deficit could constrain President-elect Barack Obama’s ability to revive the U.S. economy with a massive fiscal spending program this year. The deficit for fiscal 2009, which started October 1, is expected to hit a staggering $1.186 trillion, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office. This is even before an estimated $800 billion in proposed tax cuts and stimulus spending from Obama.
I am surprised that the S&P, the same guys that sit on Commodity Index committees, do not also say "Whilst upgrading US Debt."
More around the corner dollar pushing.
S&P are the same guys that rated SIVs along with Treasuries.
S&P threatens to strip Spain of top AAA rating
Standard & Poor’s has threatened to strip Spain of its coveted AAA rating as country’s budget deficit explodes, offering the clearest warning to date that even wealthy states are running out of room to borrow. By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Last Updated: 7:31AM GMT 13 Jan 2009
The move caused fury in Madrid and revived fears in the currency and bond markets about the underlying health of Europe’s monetary union.
Spanish officials are irked that S&P has placed Spain’s debt on "CreditWatch Negative", a notch lower than the "outlook" alert issued on Irish bonds last week. It is the first time that a AAA country has suffered such a harsh verdict since the start of the global financial crisis.
Such a move typically precedes a downgrade within weeks but the finance ministry insisted last night this would not be allowed to happen. "There’s not going to be a rating downgrade because we are taking measures to overcome the crisis," it said.
Trevor Cullinan and Myriam Fernández, the agency’s analysts, said the housing crash had set off a downward spiral in Spain that would drive the budget deficit above 6pc by 2006, double the EU’s Maastricht limit.
"We expect a substantial worsening in the Kingdom’s public finances," it said, predicting 2pc contraction in 2009 and a long slump as years of credit excess are slowly purged.
Regardless of any interim technical dollar strength, it is doomed my friends, doomed. That will not and cannot change. A break up of the euro is a very long shot and would not reverse the terminal nature of the US dollar.
Bernanke Urges ‘Strong Measures’ to Stabilize Financial System By Craig Torres
Jan. 13 (Bloomberg) — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke warned that a fiscal stimulus won’t be enough to spur an economic recovery and that the government may need to buy or guarantee banks’ tainted assets to revive growth.
“Fiscal actions are unlikely to promote a lasting recovery unless they are accompanied by strong measures to further stabilize and strengthen the financial system,” Bernanke, 55, said in the text of a speech at the London School of Economics. “More capital injections and guarantees may become necessary to ensure stability and the normalization of credit markets.”
Bernanke’s speech indicates he sees further government aid to the U.S. financial system as essential to an economic recovery. The U.S. Treasury has already channeled $350 billion in taxpayer funds to recapitalize banks and other financial institutions, while the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has guaranteed principle and interest payments on $111.2 billion in bonds issued by financial companies.
The Fed chairman recommended three approaches on troubled assets. Public purchases of the bad assets are one possibility, as was originally planned under U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, the Fed chairman said.
The government could also agree to absorb, in exchange for warrants or a fee, part of the losses on a specified portfolio of troubled assets, he said. Regulators used that method recently with Citigroup Inc.
The almost seasonal nature of media babble about how negotiations and deals with North Korea have neutralized any nuclear threat is just that – babble.
Algorithms cannot see mushroom clouds on the horizon, but markets will.
NKorea says it won’t give up nuclear weapons
By JAE-SOON CHANG
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea said Tuesday it will hold onto its nuclear arsenal until it is satisfied the U.S. is not hiding atomic weapons in South Korea.
The North has long accused Washington of stationing nuclear weapons in South Korea for a possible attack on the communist nation. Both the South and the U.S. deny having nuclear weapons in South Korea.
Regional powers have been trying for years to rid North Korea of its nuclear program, but negotiations have recently stalled. The Foreign Ministry indicated it would consider giving up its nuclear weapons if the U.S. threat is removed and diplomatic relations between the two nations are established.
"We won’t need atomic weapons when U.S. nuclear threats are removed and the U.S. nuclear umbrella over South Korea is gone," the statement said.
The statement, carried by state-run Korean Central News Agency and monitored in Seoul, comes a week before President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration, and amid signs that the regime wants good relations with the next U.S. administration.
Now NATO is arming the militants. 8 hours ago in Pakistan.
Sure beats buying ammo.
Militants attack NATO truck depot in Pakistan: police
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) — Taliban militants launched a rocket attack on a NATO supply depot in northwest Pakistan early Tuesday, torching one truck and damaging three others, police said.
The attack on the outskirts of the city of Peshawar was the first since Pakistan launched a massive military operation late last month in the rugged Khyber tribal region bordering Afgahanistan to clear militants from the area.
That offensive was mounted after a series of spectacular attacks on depots in and around Peshawar in which hundreds of vehicles used to ferry supplies to NATO and US forces in Afghanistan were torched.
"The militants fired six rockets on a NATO terminal during the night. One truck was hit and it caught fire, while three other vehicles suffered minor damage," senior police officer Fida Mohammad told AFP.
Police and paramilitary soldiers tracked down the attackers and a brief gun battle ensued, he said. After about 30 minutes, the militants fled.
Islamabad (IANS): Stressing that Pakistan would not "bow down" to any pressure, President Asif Ali Zardari said that if India wants to build up world pressure on Pakistan, it is a "mistake", a media report Sunday said.
"If India wants to build world pressure on Pakistan, it is a mistake," Zardari said during a dinner reception hosted Saturday for Islamabad-based foreign ambassadors at the Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Zardari separately met Indian High Commissioner to Pakistan Satyabrata Pal and discussed the regional situation with him.
During the dinner meet with ambassadors, the president said Pakistan had sincerely and unconditionally offered cooperation into the Mumbai terror attack probe but India had not responded to the call. "Pak-India tension could sabotage the peace process in the region," The Nation newspaper quoted Zardari as saying.
Zardari Saturday asked the world powers to play their role through effective diplomacy to defuse tension between Pakistan and India.
"Pakistan will take strict action against anyone or any group found guilty in the terror attacks on Mumbai. We want the issue to be resolved peacefully through bilateral dialogue," he said.
Pakistan’s infallible Nuclear Defense Program, except for the two guys on the left with their backs turned chewing the fat. There is safety and soundness. What wise ass said they came by bullock cart?
Pakistani Nuclear Security Worries U.S. Officials Monday, Jan. 12, 2009
Preventing Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal from falling into extremist hands is a more important security priority for the United States than stabilizing Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a Bush administration report delivered to the team preparing for Barack Obama’s presidency, the New York Times reported yesterday.
"Only one of those countries has a hundred nuclear weapons," the report’s lead author said. Concerns persist over Islamabad’s ability to protect the arsenal, according to the Times.
U.S. intelligence officials have briefed Obama on the possibility that some Pakistani scientists with radical Islamic sympathies have sought to join the ranks of the nation’s nuclear elite.
There are "steadfast efforts of different extremist groups to infiltrate the labs and put sleepers and so on in there," said one of the most senior officials in the Bush administration.
India ready to break with Pakistan over lack of help with Mumbai inquiry David Byers, in Delhi
India plans to break off business, transport and tourist links with Pakistan and isolate it from the rest of the world if it fails to help to investigate the Mumbai terrorist attacks, the country’s Home Minister told The Times today.
Speaking in an interview that will raise the temperature further between the two countries, Palaniappan Chidambaram accused Pakistan of doing nothing to assist India bring to justice the perpetrators of the attacks on the country’s financial capital, which killed 165 people between November 26 and 29.
Asked what Pakistan was doing to help with the investigation, in which India handed over a dossier of evidence to its neighbour last week, Mr Chidambaram said: "Zero. What have they provided? Nothing."
The minister — who will brief David Miliband on the investigation’s progress when the British Foreign Secretary arrives in Delhi tomorrow — gave an indication of action that would be taken if Pakistan continued to refuse to investigate the attacks, blamed by India on Islamic militants with links to the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI).
Below zero? It would have to be to make it less attractive than the dollar.
Euro Falls Versus Dollar, Yen on Speculation ECB Will Cut Rates By Anchalee Worrachate and Ron Harui
Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) — The euro fell for a second day against the dollar as the International Monetary Fund’s Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said Europe is “underestimating the needs” of fiscal stimulus for the economy.
The currency also dropped to a one-month low versus the yen as traders increased bets the European Central Bank will cut its main interest rate to the lowest level since 2005 this week to help pull the 16-nation economy out of a recession. The yen rose against all 16 major currencies tracked by Bloomberg as falling Asian and European stocks damped demand for carry trades.
“The way to play it in the near term is to short the euro going into the announcement because the likelihood is that the ECB is going to cut,” said Daragh Maher, deputy head of global currency strategy in London at Calyon, the investment-banking unit of Credit Agricole SA. “My preference is short the euro against the yen. Economic reports throughout the week are likely to add to the environment of high risk aversion.”
The euro dropped to $1.3342 as of 8:43 a.m. in London, from $1.3476 in New York on Jan. 9. The currency declined to 120.28 yen from 121.81 and traded as low as 120.11, the weakest since Dec. 12. Against the British pound, the euro rose to 89.16 pence from 88.78 pence. The yen strengthened to 90.13 per dollar, from 90.39 last week.
The yen strengthened to 62.52 against Australia’s dollar from 63.59 and strengthened to 52.79 versus New Zealand’s dollar from 53.49 as investors trimmed holdings of higher-yielding assets funded in Japan.
Madoff to Remain Free on Bail With New Restrictions
NEW YORK (AP) — A judge allowed disgraced investor Bernard Madoff to remain free on bail Monday, rejecting an attempt by prosecutors to send him to jail for mailing more than $1 million in jewelry to family and friends over the holidays.
The decision means Madoff will avoid having to leave the comfort of his $7 million penthouse and await trial in a cramped jail cell with nothing but bunkbeds, a sink and toilet. Madoff will remain under house arrest and under the constant watch of security guards.
The ruling further outraged investors who have been clamoring for Madoff to be sent to jail for allegedly carrying out the largest financial fraud in history. They find it shocking that Madoff is free on bail, despite distributing assets that could be used to help repay investors who lost billions.
Stephen A. Weiss, a lawyer for several dozen Madoff investors, said there "are people on the street who are very unhappy" with the ruling.
"There is a thirst for blood that transcends just those who have been victimized. There is a feeling … that folks like Bernard Madoff get a different brand of justice than the guy in the street," Weiss said.
Comments to the Globe & Mail as the reason for gold’s pounding today:
Physical demand for gold was seen softening after holding firm in the normally very strong fourth quarter.
“It tends to tail out in the first quarter … the market over the next few weeks will probably focus on weaker demand,” said analyst Michael Widmer at BNP Paribas.
“Physical demand in the key demand centres continues to be lethargic with limited purchases,” Mr. Unni (Pradeep Unni at Richcomm Global Services) said, adding that gold could drop substantially in the next couple of months.
Hundreds cross from Afghanistan to attack Pakistani military Monday, January 12, 2009
KABUL, Afghanistan — Vice President-elect Joe Biden promised U.S. support for Afghanistan’s struggle against terrorism, drugs and corruption in a visit Sunday to an area of the nation that is a Taliban stronghold.
The future of the region where al Qaeda planned the Sept. 11 attacks "affects us all," Biden said.
Underscoring the difficulty of the situation, hundreds of militants crossed into the frontier area of Pakistan from eastern Afghanistan and attacked paramilitary forces on the same day that Biden visited Afghanistan’s southern Kandahar and Helmand provinces.
Afghan rebels strike Pakistan military camp Assault shows Taliban allied across border By Laura King Los Angeles Times / January 12, 2009
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Hundreds of militants crossed over from Afghanistan to attack a Pakistani military outpost yesterday, officials said, in an illustration of the merging of the Taliban insurgency on the two sides of the border.
The attack pointed up the growing boldness of militants operating in the lawless tribal areas abutting Afghanistan at a time when the Pakistan government has diverted some forces to the frontier with India.
While stepping up their campaign against government troops, the insurgents also employed extreme forms of cruelty to intimidate civilians in the tribal areas.
Pakistan’s Jamaat ‘ban’ lie nailed 12 Jan 2009, 1012 hrs IST, Times Now
NEW DELHI: TV channel Times Now has exposed yet another of Pakistan’s lies — Islamabad may want the world to believe that it has cracked down on the Jamaat-ud-Dawa, but that is far from the truth.
There is concrete evidence now that the Lashkar-e-Taiba’s front organization has re-emerged in the form of Tehreek-e-Tahafuz Qibla Awal.
Times Now has got visuals from Lahore, where the Tehreek recently held a rally. Addressing that rally were some of the top Jamaat and Lashkar leaders. The Jamaat-ud-Dawa is clearly going about with business as usual, just under a different name.
This is why China will dominate. They behave more intelligently than the politically driven west.
China makes strategic use of commodity collapse Tue Jan 6, 2009 2:45am EST By Eadie Chen – Analysis
BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s government is using the collapse in commodity prices to further its domestic agenda, with support for stricken sectors tailored to speed up reform plans rather than rescue ailing companies or prop up prices.
To survive plummeting demand for exports — a sharp turnaround after several years of booming global demand — many industries are looking for state help and consolidation.
But China’s policymakers are sticking to their economic blueprints and not letting sympathy for troubled corporates overwhelm longer-term priorities. Instead, they are favoring the strongest in each industry in a drive toward consolidation, and at the same time using low prices as a chance to stock up.
On Monday, it emerged that China was poised to buy up thousands of tonnes of rubber and sugar to create a bigger state buffer of supplies for the future, adding to efforts to enlarge stocks of everything from oil to corn to industrial metals.
At the same time, however, it’s letting small coal mines go to the wall, seizing a chance to make good on years of rhetoric, as well as allowing smaller, less efficient metal producers go under.
Crowd tries to attack US consulate in Pakistan Jan 11 11:56 AM US/Eastern By ASHRAF KHAN
KARACHI, Pakistan (AP) – Security forces used tear gas and batons to repel anti-Israel protesters who tried to attack a U.S. consulate in Pakistan on Sunday, as tens of thousands of people demonstrated worldwide against Israel’s offensive in the Gaza Strip.
Israel launched its campaign in Gaza on Dec. 27 to stop rocket fire from the militant Palestinian group Hamas. Gaza health officials say nearly 870 Palestinians have been killed, roughly half of them civilians. Thirteen Israelis have also died.
Tens of thousands of angry demonstrators protested Sunday across the Arab world, in Europe and Asia.
Some 2,000 protesters in the Pakistani port city of Karachi burned U.S. flags and chanted anti-Israel slogans, and several hundred of them marched on the U.S. Consulate, senior police official Ameer Sheikh said.
"They were in a mood to attack," Sheikh said. "They were carrying bricks, stones and clubs."
A U.S. Embassy spokesman in Islamabad, Lou Fintor, said the protesters did not get close to the consulate, which was closed Sunday.
Turkey coup plot arrests now at more than 100 By SELCAN HACAOGLU
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A Turkish court formally arrested 14 more people Sunday for ties to an alleged secularist plot by ultranationalists to bring down the Islamic-rooted government, bringing the total of people involved in the case to more than 100.
The prime minister said the crackdown will shed light on a network of renegade agents within the state and make Turkey transparent. Critics say it is designed to silence the government’s opponents.
The case highlights a difficult question about who holds the levers of power in a nation where tensions between secularists and Islamists, and liberals and rightists, have created deep fault lines in the country.
The problem is aggravated by key demands from the European Union — which Turkey hopes to join — to reduce the military’s influence in politics, make security officials accountable for torture and grant more rights to the country’s Kurds.
Over the weekend, an Istanbul anti-terror court formally arrested and jailed 18 coup plot suspects, including a former police chief and four active duty military officers. Fourteen of the 18 were arrested Sunday.
Police detained another 33 suspects in the case Sunday and displayed confiscated weapons. Prosecutors say the plot aimed to destabilize Turkey through a series of attacks and trigger a coup in 2009.
U.S. Rejected Aid for Israeli Raid on Iranian Nuclear Site By DAVID E. SANGER Published: January 10, 2009
WASHINGTON — President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials.
White House officials never conclusively determined whether Israel had decided to go ahead with the strike before the United States protested, or whether Prime Minister Ehud Olmert of Israel was trying to goad the White House into more decisive action before Mr. Bush left office. But the Bush administration was particularly alarmed by an Israeli request to fly over Iraq to reach Iran’s major nuclear complex at Natanz, where the country’s only known uranium enrichment plant is located.
The White House denied that request outright, American officials said, and the Israelis backed off their plans, at least temporarily. But the tense exchanges also prompted the White House to step up intelligence-sharing with Israel and brief Israeli officials on new American efforts to subtly sabotage Iran’s nuclear infrastructure, a major covert program that Mr. Bush is about to hand off to President-elect Barack Obama.
This is the problem. It is as much internal politics, the emergence once again of the feared (by present political parties in power) BJP that demands strong secular actions as it is terrorism sponsors, not the Pakistan government at the top but at almost every level below that.
Either "UPA" acts or "BHP" governs is the political challenge being laid down now.
Time for action against Pakistan: BJP 11 Jan 2009, 0448 hrs IST, TNN
BHOPAL: Time has come for India to move away from waging a war of words with Islamabad to taking action, BJP president Rajnath Singh said in Bhopal on Saturday supporting military action against terrorist outfits based in Pakistan.
"India has no other option but to take military action against Pakistan,” he said.
"The Prime Minister and his council of ministers have only been giving statements, which is not enough. The Union government should stop this ineffective verbal war with Pakistan. There is no need to just create a war hype in the country without real action. Since Pakistan is not taking any initiative to stop terrorist organisations within its territory, the time has come for us to take the world community into confidence and go for military action against the country which will not stop terror organisations from killing our innocent citizens,” Rajnath said.
The BJP president said, "Our country needs to show some diplomatic skill and urge the international community to support India against Pakistan. There is more than enough evidence that Pakistan’s intelligence agency, ISI, is directly linked to terror organisations and has been helping terrorist groups to carry out attacks in India and other parts of the world. Indian diplomacy should concentrate on bringing ISI on the international radar as an intelligence agency with questionable credentials.”
The UPA-led government should have snapped its diplomatic ties with Pakistan immediately after the Mumbai serial train blasts which killed 200 people, he said. "India has blundered, our assessment of Pakistan has been wrong. We should have taken strong steps against Pakistan after the Mumbai train blasts. Instead, our Prime Minister justified that Pakistan too is a victim of terror attacks. It was a mistake on our behalf to sign an agreement for a joint terror mechanism with Pakistan.”
Turkey comes on the heels of Pakistan, even if intelligence agencies are snoozing.
Turkey imprisons four army officers in Ergenekon case
ANKARA, Jan. 10 (Xinhua) — A Turkish court early on Saturday sentenced to prison four army officers in the ongoing "Ergenekon" investigation, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported.
Five prosecutors, including Zekeriya Oz, the top prosecutor of the ongoing Ergenekon case, demanded a criminal court in the Turkish largest city of Istanbul to imprison four army officers on charges of being members of the "Ergenekon terrorist organization," according to the report.
The court decided to send the four officers to prison, and release two others, said the report.
An alleged criminal network known as "Ergenekon" was uncovered after police seized 27 grenades, TNT explosives and fuses in a shanty house in Istanbul on June 12, 2007.
Police waged operations in several provinces and detained a number of people, including retired senior army officers, journalists and businessmen, for their alleged involvement in the network.
Police discover weapons, hand grenades in Turkey coup probe: report Posted Sat Jan 10, 2009 6:49pm AEDT
Turkish police have unearthed weapons and hand grenades near the capital of Ankara in a probe into an alleged plot to topple the Islamist-rooted government that has fuelled political tensions, Anatolia news agency reports.
The dig at a forest in the suburb of Golbasi resulted in the discovery of two light anti-tank weapons, 10 hand grenades, bullets and explosives, Anatolia said.
Using metal detectors and sniffer dogs, anti-terror police dug the area on the basis of documents seized from former police chief Ibrahim Sahin, one of some 40 suspects detained Wednesday, it said.
Sahin was one of the most prominent figures involved in a major scandal in 1996 which unveiled collaboration between members of the security forces, politicians and gangsters in acts outside the law, including murders of Kurdish dissidents.
Some media reports suggested the dig could shed light on the fate of weapons procured from Israel, which went missing during Sahin’s term and are believed to have been used in illicit operations.
For the past many years I have been telling you that if you don’t have private assets do not try and obtain them. Certainly do not use any internet means of finagling because you risk two problems – getting caught and having your money stolen simultaneously. The "deposit your money with an internet vehicle and have gold appear in another country" vehicle is inviting only to the terminally gullible.
"Citing pressure from U.S. federal authorities, Swiss mega-bank UBS said yesterday it will close 19,000 accounts that the IRS believes to be tax havens for American investors. The bank will write checks for the balances in house, or transfer them to other accounts… either way creating a paper trail for IRS hounds to follow.
“You can either take that check,” an anonymous UBS client told The N.Y. Times, “and throw it in the woods, or deposit it somewhere and get busted. There’s nowhere to hide.”"
According to the IRS, UBS is helping American investors evade around $300 million in taxes each year. You can bet your last dollar, if you’ve got any left, UBS won’t be the last target of IRS probes.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
It is good to get business finished before going home?
Bush Prepares to Ask for Second Tranche of Bailout Funds If Congress Fails to Approve Request, Administration May Use Veto Power By David Cho and Lori Montgomery Friday, January 9, 2009; 6:17 PM
Senior Bush administration officials are preparing to ask lawmakers for the second half of the $700 billion financial rescue package despite intense opposition in Congress and then have President Bush use his veto if the request is voted down, three sources familiar with the matter said.
The initiative, which is being coordinated with the Obama transition team, may be taken within days, the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.
Democratic Senate aides were notified in a meeting this afternoon that the request could come as soon as this weekend and that a vote could be held as soon as next week, congressional sources said.
Under the emergency rescue legislation approved by Congress in October, the administration must inform lawmakers that it wants access to the second installment of $350 billion. Unless Congress passes a resolution rejecting the request within 15 days, the Treasury can begin to tap the funds. If Congress does turn down the request, the president could veto the resolution and then the Treasury could proceed.
The plan now being crafted by the Bush administration is not finalized. By unsheathing the veto threat, the Bush administration could make it more likely that the Obama administration would get the rest of the rescue funds. Only if Congress overrides the veto would the money be blocked. A congressional source said advocates of the plan are now exploring whether there are enough votes in the Senate to override a veto.
"There have been discussions between the administration and the transition about how to proceed should the president-elect determine that he wants to have those funds available on January 20th," said Robert Gibbs, spokesman for the Obama transition team. "No final decisions have been made, but we want to be ready to act if needed."
1. Israel makes a significant miscalculation. 2. Pakistan goes Nuclear. 3. Turkey is a victim.
The Worst Pakistan Nightmare for Obama (Excerpts from article)
“I have two worries,” one of the most senior officials in the Bush administration, who had read all of the intelligence with care, told me one day last spring. One is what happens “when they move the weapons,” he said, explaining that the United States feared that some groups could try to provoke a confrontation between Pakistan and India in the hope that the Pakistani military would transport tactical nuclear weapons closer to the front lines, where they would be more vulnerable to seizure. Indeed, when the deadly terror attacks occurred in Mumbai in late November, officials told me they feared that one of the attackers’ motives might have been to trigger exactly that series of events.
“And the second,” the official said, choosing his words carefully, “is what I believe are steadfast efforts of different extremist groups to infiltrate the labs and put sleepers and so on in there.”
Turkey today. What starts as a trickle can end up as a deluge.
Support for Turkey’s AKP falls sharply ahead of Istanbul bi-election
Support to Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) fell sharply in the Istanbul mayoral elections, a poll conducted ahead of the March local elections showed on Friday. The support to the AKP fell to 29.4 percent from 45.3 percent since the local elections in 2004, the poll said.
The support to the AKP fell to 29.4 percent from 45.3 percent since the local elections in 2004, the ANKA News Agency reported citing a poll conducted by the Political Researcher Strategy Development Center.
The poll showed that support to the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) fell slightly to 25.9 percent from the 28.9 percent achieved in past elections in Istanbul.
The Islamist Felicity Party (SP) increased its votes to 8.9 percent from 5.38 percent, it said. SP has organized anti-Israel protests in Istanbul, attended by hundreds of thousands, since the Jewish state’s offensive on Gaza began.
Support to the opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) was 5.5 percent, according to the poll. The nationalist party gained 4.1 percent of votes in the 2004 elections.
Turkey’s army boss meets PM, president amid tension Thu Jan 8, 2009 4:49pm GMT By Ibon Villelabeitia
ANKARA, Jan 8 (Reuters) – Turkey’s military chief met Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul on Thursday as tensions rose in the EU candidate in the wake of a probe into an alleged plot to topple the Islamic-rooted government.
News of the meeting, a day after Turkish police detained about 40 people including three retired generals and active military officers for their suspected links to a right-wing group, added to financial woes in Turkey, which has been hit by the global financial crisis.
In a terse statement, the General Staff said the separate talks between armed forces commander General Ilker Basbug, Erdogan and Gul had centred on Wednesday’s detentions.
The military, which has unseated four governments in the last 50 years and views itself as the guarantor of Turkey’s secular order, denies any link to the group, known as Ergenekon.
Government in Turkey turns squeamish on defense ties with Israel
ANKARA — The increasingly Islamist leadership in Turkey has been placed on the defenseive by the parliament over extensive defense relations with Israel.
The government of Prime Minister Recep Erdogan has denied signing weapons deals with Israel during its invasion of the Gaza Strip, following condemnations of the Jewish state.
"There are no contracts or agreements in the time being with the Israeli side," Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said.
Gonul and other senior officials have been questioned by parliament over reports of an Israeli-Turkish defense project, Middle East Newsline reported. Under the reported $160 million deal, Israel would supply airborne reconnaissance systems to Turkey’s military.
Treasury’s Oversight of Bailout Is Faulted By DAVID BARSTOW Published: January 9, 2009
In a report scheduled to be released Friday, the Congressional panel overseeing the $700 billion federal bailout has expressed growing concern about the effectiveness and execution of the rescue plan.
A draft of the report obtained by The New York Times criticized the Treasury Department for its “shifting explanations” about the underlying purpose of the bailout, its failure to answer many of the panel’s questions and its failure to require financial institutions receiving bailout money to fully account for how they are using the public’s money.
“The recent refusal of certain private financial institutions to provide any accounting of how they are using taxpayer money undermines public confidence,” the draft of the report said. “For Treasury to advance funds to these institutions without requiring more transparency further erodes the very confidence Treasury seeks to restore,” it said.
The 45-page report also asserted that the Treasury, in defiance of what the panel claimed was Congress’s clear intent when it passed the bailout bill in October, had taken “no steps to use any of this money to alleviate the foreclosure crisis.”
The Treasury declined to comment on the panel’s latest findings, with the bailout, known as the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP. “We can’t comment on a report that’s not been shared with us,” said Brookly McLaughlin, a spokeswoman for the Treasury.
1. Israel makes a miscalculation. 2. Pakistan goes nuclear. 3. Turkey is a victim.
Turkish police detain dozens in coup plot probe By SELCAN HACAOGLU – 1 day ago
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Police detained three retired generals and dozens of others in raids across Turkey on Wednesday, as they broadened their investigation into an alleged plot by secularists to overthrow Turkey’s Islamic-rooted government.
In was the 10th time in more than a year that police have targeted prominent secularists, who are accused of trying to destabilize Turkey with a string of attacks ahead of a coup that was never carried out.
Eighty-six people — including former army officers, journalists, a former university dean and a lawyer — already are on trial in the case. They have pleaded innocent and accuse Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government of attempting to silence secular critics.
The case is widely perceived as being part of a power struggle between Turkey’s secular establishment, including parts of the military, and the democratically elected and religiously conservative government. It also has raised concerns about political instability in Turkey, a country that has endured the ouster of four governments by the military since 1960.
Turkey’s state-run Anatolia news agency said nearly 40 people were detained during Wednesday’s police raids, and local media said the suspects were taken into custody at homes and offices in about a dozen cities or towns. Police confirmed the raids, but provided few details.
You think the Chinese are going play nice, and hold all those Treasuries?
If you believe that you are academic ass.
That would be getting screwed twice.
They will not.
China may put new curbs on overseas investments Wed Jan 7, 2009 11:44pm GMT
SHANGHAI, Jan 8 (Reuters) – China’s Ministry of Commerce may ask Chinese companies to apply for approval from the ministry if they want to invest $100 million or more overseas, it said in new draft rules published late on Wednesday, after a few major Chinese companies reported big book losses on investments abroad.
Companies may also need the ministry’s approval if they want to invest in countries which have no diplomatic relations with China, foreign infrastructure projects or highly risky countries or regions, it said in new rules that were published to seek public feedback until Jan. 20.
Hit by the global financial crisis some Chinese firms have seen the value of their overseas investments dwindle, with the country’s second biggest insurer, Ping An Insurance (Group) (2318.HK) (601318.SS), booking a loss of about 15.7 billion yuan ($2.3 billion) on its investment in Fortis NV (FOR.BR) (FOR.AS).
The country’s $200 billion sovereign wealth fund, the China Investment Corp (CIC), has also suffered heavy paper losses on its high-profile stakes in U.S. private equity firm Blackstone Group (BX.N) and bank Morgan Stanley (MS.N). ($1=6.834 Yuan) (Reporting by Lu Jianxin; Editing by Jonathan Hopfner)
Who caused all this pain? The OTC derivative manufacturers, that is who.
Who will pay for all this pain? What blood suckers are out there counting their billions without any consideration for those that suffer?
Read the legal sites and you will see how they are spending their time and money – by hiring major names in defence attorneys.
They are hiring the best bankruptcy attorneys to devise methods of insulating their billions from those that lost it all to them. The Madoff situation is egregious, yet not different from the Hedge Fund managers raiding good, decent, and growing situations. It is no different on the chat sites that flow rancour to benefit their own positions.
How long will the public remain silent like lambs after the slaughter, wrapped and packed in cold silence? These people are criminals worse than Willie Sutton, worse than any mobster ever has been.
They are Ivy League snobs that will be dealt with, BECAUSE THAT IS NATURE’S WAY.
I feel the pain and suffering of the masses out there. I know exactly how bad it is going to get. I have been there, seen it, and have done my utmost to protect you.
These people do not care a fig about you. May they all burn in their personal hell. Their time is drawing close and they will not be the last man standing.
Pink slips pile higher amid deepening recession By JEANNINE AVERSA AP Economics Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) — Pink slips are piling higher as companies scramble to cut costs even deeper to survive the country’s economic and financial storms.
Just days into the new year, managed care provider Cigna Corp., aluminum producer Alcoa Inc., data-storage company EMC Corp. and computer products maker Logitech International were among those announcing layoffs to cope with a recession that has just entered its second year. The flurry of job cuts suggest the employment picture will remain grim this year.
A barometer on layoffs is expected to show Thursday that the number of newly laid off people signing up for state unemployment insurance last week rose to 540,000, up from 492,000 in the previous week, according to economists’ projections.
The number of people continuing to draw jobless benefits is projected to stay near 4.5 million, demonstrating the troubles the unemployed are having in finding new jobs.
Electronic unemployment filing systems have crashed in at least three states in recent days due to the crush of newly jobless Americans seeking benefits.
Weimar is here, the Dollar is DEAD and Gold is alive.
Changing Gold’s weightings in the Commodity Index is a sick joke by sick amoral people in a totally criminal world.
Protect yourselves because nobody else will protect you.
I can direct you, educate you, desire your safety for you and believe in you, but it is you who must take action.
In six months nobody will be able to help you. You are your own responsibility.
God helps those that help and believe in themselves.
Obama calls for ‘dramatic action’
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
I was there 10 years ago. There is only one excuse here – EGO. He was going to show us. He made himself clear. He called it a non-producing asset. He made it clear Gold would never produce. He invited other central banks to follow his lead. Listen to nothing else. He made an ass of himself then and now. He would be better advised to say, "I was wrong then and now."
Gordon Brown’s decision to sell half of the UK’s gold reserves ‘cost UK £5billion’ Gordon Brown’s decision to sell off part of the country’s gold reserves 10 years ago cost the public purse nearly £5billion, official figures show. By Christopher Hope, Whitehall Editor Last Updated: 7:47PM GMT 07 Jan 2009
The sale of more than half of the country’s gold reserves between 1999 and 2002 has proved to be deeply controversial.
Critics say that signalling such a large sale of bullion to gold traders helped to drive the precious metal to a 20-year low.
In 17 auctions, Mr Brown as Chancellor of the Exchequer sanctioned the sale of 395 tonnes of gold.
Figures released by the Treasury show that the total proceeds from the sales was around $3.5billion. According to a Parliamentary answer, if the gold was sold last month, on December 15, it would have raised $10.5billion.
The difference – $7billion – would be worth £4.7billion if the proceeds were converted into pounds yesterday.
The figure, which moves with the value of gold, is far higher than previously thought. Grant Thornton calculated two years ago that the figure lost to the Exchequer was £2billion.
The news comes as the Government considers whether to sell major public assets, including a stake in the Royal Mail and the bookmaker the Tote, to raise funds for public finances.
If you think Gordy did some dumb things before in his notable career this will be his Maximus Opus! The planet is headed towards Weimar.
Printing money is not the solution, Gordon From The Times January 9, 2009
Printing new money is a Zimbabwe-style policy which will simply lead to rising prices and stagflation
Sir, Gordon Brown is contemplating a Zimbabwe-style policy to get him out of his economic troubles — simply print more money (report, Jan 8). It will produce the same effect — stagflation.
When governments print money and spread it around, people do feel richer. So they do go out and spend, which is what the Government wants. But all this new spending just pushes prices up again, the new money buys less, and eventually people realise that they are actually no better off. By that time, businesses have to abandon all the investment they have made to capture the extra money, which just adds to our troubles.
Furthermore, the new money that government creates is not dropped uniformly across the economy. It goes into government industries and agencies, and is supposed to spread out from there. This can take a long time, and have many perverse effects on the way. And while the rest of us are cutting back, a spending boost for our bloated public sector is unlikely to be popular.
US commercial paper outstanding grows with Fed help Thu Jan 8, 2009 11:06am EST
NEW YORK, Jan 8 (Reuters) – The U.S. commercial paper market expanded the most since November in the latest week as the new year began, with much help from the Federal Reserve, Fed data showed on Thursday.
The U.S. central bank’s support of this cornerstone of short term funding for companies’ daily operations, is a key factor helping to buoy the market, analysts said. The commercial paper market has been sharply eroded by the global credit crisis since summer 2007.
"We don’t know to what extent the Federal Reserve played a role in the latest increase," said Tony Crescenzi, chief bond market strategist with Miller, Tabak & Co. "But increasingly the private sector has been gobbling up commercial paper and the Fed has not been a sole buyer," Crescenzi added.
More information about how much the Fed contributed to last week’s rebound in commercial paper will come with the weekly data on bank borrowings from the Fed and the central bank’s support to financial institutions and securities markets which the Fed is due to release at 4:30 p.m. EST.
When you do the same thing again anticipating different results what did Einstein say you were?
An Afghanistan ‘Surge’ Is a Losing Battle So why is Mr. Obama betting on it? By BRAHMA CHELLANEY | From today’s Wall Street Journal Asia
Vice President-elect Joe Biden’s visit to Afghanistan this month — even before President-elect Barack Obama’s inauguration — will underscore the new administration’s priority to ending the war there. But their planned "surge first, then negotiate" strategy isn’t likely to work.
The Obama-Biden team wants to weaken the Taliban militarily then strike a political deal with the enemy from a position of strength. This echoes what the Bush administration did in Iraq, where it used a surge largely as a show of force to buy off Sunni tribal leaders and other local chieftains. Current Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Michael Mullen has already announced a near-doubling of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, to up to 63,000, by mid-2009.
Sending more forces into Afghanistan is a losing strategy. The Soviets couldn’t tame the country with more than 100,000 troops. With the backing of Robert Gates, whom Mr. Obama will keep on as defense secretary, Central Command Commander General David Petraeus is thus looking for ways to win over local commanders and warlords — the mainstay of the Taliban. General Petraeus wants to explore truces and alliances with local tribal chieftains and guerrilla leaders and set up lightly trained local militias in every provincial district.
This idea turns a blind eye to the danger that such militias could terrorize local populations. It is also naïve to expect an Iraq-style surge-and-bribe experiment to work in Afghanistan, whose mountainous terrain, myriad tribes, patterns of shifting tribal and ethnic loyalties, special status as the global hub of poppy trade and history of internecine conflict set it apart from any other Muslim country. In a land with a long tradition of humbling foreign armies, payoffs won’t buy peace.
All that protected the Weimar citizens from their officialdom and the Papiermarc was Gold.
All that protects you against your elected officialdom and the Papierdollar is Gold.
Some day the Rentendollar will come. That you can be sure of.
Study history or become history.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Stop trading and start insuring. It is never too late, just less useful.
Play your index fund manipulations if you wish.
Play your gold bank quarterly earnings statement games if that makes you happy.
Listen to the paid anti gold for lobbyists as you seek to be more wrong than right.
Do all of the above if you will, but at the end of the day (which is coming sooner than you think), the dollar is dead and Gold is king. Weimar is coming and will not be escaped. Weimar can be a bad or even worse than the historical experience.
This is no longer about investment or trading, this is about survival financially, physically and spiritually.
Our retirees are in the cross hairs of time and misplaced trust. Your retirement programs from self directed to corporate will be assimilated into government run programs. The Democrats will cut benefits that you had feared the Republicans would. You are going to be culled from the gene poll in four years.
Harry Schultz lead a parade years ago into money in one country, citizenship in another and body in a third when people thought such a thing was bonkers.
Now it is gold in the mayo jar and Gold shares in non US Gold shares that are incorporated in one country with no operations in the country of incorporation. Only as many units of your venue currency in the country of domicile and other places to go. No EFTs, no agents between you and yours and Gold as INSURANCE, not trading!
In the end even the Chinese will lose their cool and face, because maintaining both is going to cost them simply too much.
The dollar is dead, past tense. It is over, worthless and more are realizing it by the day.
Stop trading and starting insuring.
China Losing Taste for Debt From the U.S. By KEITH BRADSHER Published: January 7, 2009
HONG KONG — China has bought more than $1 trillion of American debt, but as the global downturn has intensified, Beijing is starting to keep more of its money at home, a move that could have painful effects for American borrowers.
The declining Chinese appetite for United States debt, apparent in a series of hints from Chinese policy makers over the last two weeks, with official statistics due for release in the next few days, comes at an inconvenient time.
On Tuesday, President-elect Barack Obama predicted the possibility of trillion-dollar deficits “for years to come,” even after an $800 billion stimulus package. Normally, China would be the most avid taker of the debt required to pay for those deficits, mainly short-term Treasuries, which are government i.o.u.’s.
In the last five years, China has spent as much as one-seventh of its entire economic output buying foreign debt, mostly American. In September, it surpassed Japan as the largest overseas holder of Treasuries.
But now Beijing is seeking to pay for its own $600 billion stimulus — just as tax revenue is falling sharply as the Chinese economy slows. Regulators have ordered banks to lend more money to small and medium-size enterprises, many of which are struggling with lower exports, and to local governments to build new roads and other projects.
What is it? Who did it? Weimar is here, you just don’t know it yet!
Thank you, all of you cowboys and cowgirls in the OTC derivative bankers, brokers and hedge funds biz. You killed us all and yourselves as well.
That last part is still to come. Look over your shoulders, as in time your clients, those you devastated both client and otherwise, and the law looking for a scapegoat is going to get you all.
I understand prime-real estate in Brazil is in demand. Brazilian extradition attorneys are extremely busy.
Turks and Caicos passport mills are running full tilt.
Dr. Patangi has a long line of prior Greenwichites as clients. Puts on Greenwich CT are in a confirmed bull market.
There is a glut in for sale business jets at Westerchester Airport, New York Custom suit tailors are having hard times. Upscale street pharmacies are experiencing boom times in Westchester, NY.
Did you get any mail from Madoff?
NY unemployment claim systems overwhelmed
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s unemployment claims systems have crashed, overwhelmed by tens of thousands of jobless New Yorkers trying to call or log in at once ahead of this week’s filing deadline.
State labor department officials say the problem started Monday and caused the phone banks at the state’s toll-free claims center to shut down, followed by the online filing system. Leo Rosales, an agency spokesman, says as many as 10,000 people per hour were trying to log into the system.
Technicians are trying to bring the systems back online Tuesday afternoon but officials couldn’t say when they’ll be back up and available.
Rosales says the system failure shouldn’t delay newly unemployed workers from getting benefits because they have until the weekend to file claims.
On the lighter side from Zimbabwe, compliments of the Darwin Awards via CIGA Marty Mitchell.
After stopping for drinks at an illegal bar, a Zimbabwean bus driver found that the 20 mental patients he was supposed to be transporting from Harare to Bulawayo had escaped.
Not wanting to admit his incompetence, the driver went to a nearby bus stop and offered everyone waiting there a free ride. He then delivered the passengers to the mental hospital, telling the staff that the patients were very excitable and prone to bizarre fantasies.
The deception wasn’t discovered for 3 days.
Jim Sinclair’s Commentary
Everyone on the bandwagon while the bandwagon is still there to be had!
The Dollar is dead.
Philippines, Turkey Sell $2.5 Billion of Dollar Bonds (Update2) By Clarissa Batino and Lester Pimentel
Jan. 8 (Bloomberg) — The Philippines and Turkey sold $2.5 billion of bonds in international markets, joining a push by developing nations to take advantage of a decline in borrowing costs to finance budget deficits.
The Philippines sold $1.5 billion of 10-year notes to yield 8.5 percent, or 6 percentage points more than U.S. Treasuries, while Turkey sold $1 billion of eight-year bonds to yield 5.01 percentage points above Treasuries. Brazil and Colombia each sold $1 billion of bonds earlier this week.
The Philippines sale, which is triple the amount it issued all last year, will help the government arrange financing for a stimulus plan that aims to pull the Southeast Asian nation out of its worst economic slump in eight years.
“The Philippines has a first-mover advantage and good timing before the rest crowd international debt markets,” said Vishnu Varathan, a regional economist at Forecast Singapore Pte. “Chances are that credit will become tighter down the road given the huge fiscal expansion of governments including the U.S.”
Do you feel Mother Nature might be unhappy about spaceship Earth carrying so many criminals supported by so many other criminals that are left free to run amuck?
Flu Found Resistant to Main Antiviral Drug By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr. Published: January 8, 2009
Virtually all the flu in the United States this season is resistant to the leading antiviral drug Tamiflu, and scientists and health officials are trying to figure out why.
The problem is not yet a public health crisis because this is a below-averageflu season so far and the chief strain circulating is still susceptible to other drugs — but infectious disease specialists are nonetheless worried.
Last winter, about 11 percent of the throat swabs from patients with the most common type of flu that were sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for genetic typing showed a Tamiflu-resistant strain. This season, 99 percent do.
“It’s quite shocking,” said Dr. Kent A. Sepkowitz, director of infection control at theMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. “We’ve never lost an antibiotic this fast. It blew me away.”
The single mutation that creates Tamiflu resistance appears to be spontaneous, and not a reaction to overuse of the drug. It may have occurred in Asia, and it was widespread in Europe last year.
As Forrest Gump says, "That is all I have to say about that."
He Has a Heart of Gold and a Car of Biodiesel By NATE CHINEN
Near the midpoint of his sprawling, deeply satisfying show at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, Neil Young asked a simple question: “Where did all the money go?”
Near the midpoint of his sprawling, deeply satisfying show at Madison Square Garden on Monday night, Neil Youngasked a simple question: “Where did all the money go?” He sang this line and repeated it, for emphasis or symmetry. And a few moments later he issued variations on the wording — “Where did all the cash flow?/Where did all the revenue stream?” — that confirmed that it wasn’t such a simple question after all.
What a dangerous world we live in. If the crooks do not get you and you sidestep your elected officials then the nukes will. Damn!
Former Pentagon chief predicts Iran crisis soon By ROBERT BURNS
WASHINGTON (AP) — William Perry, who headed the Pentagon during a 1994 nuclear standoff with North Korea, predicted on Thursday that President-elect Barack Obama will soon face a nuclear crisis with Iran.
Iran is "moving inexorably toward becoming a nuclear power," with ominous implications for the Middle East, Perry said.
"It seems clear that Israel will not sit by idle while Iran takes the final steps toward becoming a nuclear power," Perry told a conference on foreign policy challenges facing the incoming Obama administration. The former Clinton administration defense secretary held out hope that more vigorous U.S. and international diplomacy could reverse North Korea’s nuclear weapons program. But he was less confident about stopping Iran’s ambitions.
"President Obama will almost certainly face a serious crisis with Iran," Perry said. "Indeed, I believe the crisis point will be reached in his first year in office. So on the nuclear front, President Obama will face a daunn!ting set of problems, none of which can be solved unilaterally."
Iran denies that its nuclear program is intended to build weapons. The Bush administration, while dismissing Iran’s claims of pursuing only peaceful uses of nuclear power, declined to negotiate directly with Iran.
Obama has said he favors "tough and direct diplomacy with Iran without preconditions," and that his administration, working with allies, will seek a comprehensive settlement with Iran to end its nuclear ambitions.