Krugman Slams Austerians, Pleads to ‘End Depression Now’
Krugman was beating the Keynesian Money Drums in the NYT today, outlining his case from his book for 4 pc inflation. He is an unofficial close adviser to Axelrod. The USA needs massive across the board tariffs until trade is in balance and tax reform to end outsourcing. What Krugman proposes is sheer madness. The government should be run like you would run your household or business. Save and invest. Not tax and spend. Still I will probably buy Krugman’s book in paper back when it comes out as he is a remarkably good economic historian, nearly as good as Murray Rothbard, although Rothbard was no liar like Krugman. I would love to see Krugman as UST Secretary as at least then the out of the closet Lunatics would be running the fiscal asylum. Recall the ZGRs 37 point plan to put Americans back to work. They have to drastically cut taxes on labor and small business and cut government welfare. We spend at least 3 trillion a decade on illegal immigrants according to the Heritage foundation and others. That is a lot of money. The Pentagon is a fat pig ripe for the budget axe. Put them on the Mexican border.
What next for the euro if France rejects austerity?-MI6-Jeremy Warner
I think I will move the English news and commentary under the American Markets since England runs the USA, like Australia and Canada by Proxy. I hear more and more English accents on the streets of SF as they are given extraordinary immigration privileges even above the illegal from our southern neighbor or the Israeli, and they often get media or government jobs. No one sane in the private sector would hire anyone English as their University Education is the worst in the Western World in math, science and engineering. I’m sick of hearing English accents every time I turn on the news.
Standard & Poor’s puts Argentina on ‘negative watch’ over YPF nationalization plan
State Sponsored Terrorism
Secret life of shoe bomber Saajid Muhammad Badat funded by the taxpayer…Another Gift from MI6 to the American People!!!
Prison officer found naked in bed with violent convict admits intimate messages
Notice another British-Israel Criminal Match- Holland and Robertson . Too funny. The Cops know there is little difference between them and the criminals. Neither wants to work for a living. This is why you don’t want to elect Females as heads of state, nor Homosexuals like Bush, Obama, Stalin, Mao, Churchill, etc. Notice how she is lying outright in court. Cops have no shame!
Silvio Berlusconi had ‘five types of women at parties
In the spirit of the Whacky New World Order News..
12 Central Banks Increase Gold Buying
Argentina Increases Gold Reserves
(Reuters) – Argentina added to its gold reserves for the first time in nearly six years in September 2011 as the price hit record highs, mirroring the trend among emerging central banks to diversify further from paper currencies such as the U.S. dollar.
Data from the International Monetary Fund on Tuesday showed Latin America’s third-largest economy added some 7 tonnes of gold to its holdings, bringing its reserves to 61.74 tonnes in September last year, when the spot gold price hit all-time peaks of $1,920.30 an ounce.
This was the first addition by Buenos Aires to its gold reserves since February 2005, according to the IMF’s monthly international finance statistics report.
“To me the most interesting central banks headline this morning is that of Argentina. It’s a new entry into the mix after a seven-year hiatus, its inflation is running at nearly 10 percent,” Edel Tully, precious metals strategist at UBS, said.
“Also, much uncertainty exists surrounding its nationalization plans and restrictions on international trade have implications for growth,” she said, adding that the fact that Argentina bought when gold was trading at record highs suggested that the central bank was more concerned about accumulating enough gold, rather than the price level.
The gold price is up 4.7 percent this year, trading around $1,630 an ounce, but has fallen by nearly 15 percent since early September.
Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor’s on Monday cut its assessment of the outlook for Argentina’s foreign debt to negative, citing policies that include a government push to seize control of energy company YPF from Spain’s Repsol (REP.MC).
President Cristina Fernandez announced the YPF takeover last week, drawing swift retaliation from Spain and criticism from other key trade partners tired of her government’s unorthodox import curbs.
Argentina’s economic growth slowed to its lowest level in more than two years in February.
The IMF data also showed Mexico made its largest addition to its gold holdings in March in a year, after raising its reserves by 16.81 metric tonnes (18.52 tons) to 122.58 tonnes.
Mexico was a net buyer of gold in 2011 and lifted its bullion holdings by nearly 100 tonnes to 106 tonnes.
Central banks around the world added nearly 500 tonnes of gold to their collective reserves last year, making them net buyers of bullion for the first time in at least two decades.
Most notably, Mexico, South Korea, Thailand, Philippines and Russia added heavily to their gold holdings, although other smaller nations such as Colombia and Belarus were also active buyers.
The IMF data for March showed Russia raised its holdings by 16.55 tonnes to 895.75 tonnes last month, while Kazakhstan upped its gold reserves by 4.30 tonnes to 96.16 tonnes.
Kazakh holdings of gold have risen by nearly 39 tonnes, or 42 percent, in the last 12 months alone.
Congress Takes Fresh Look at MF Global
A Congressional panel is continuing the examination of the collapse of MF Global and the firm’s misuse of customer money, as lawmakers seek to find ways to prevent a repeat of the financial debacle.
Against the backdrop of a continuing federal investigation into wrongdoing at MF Global, the Senate Banking Committee on Tuesday will hold the sixth Congressional hearing concerning the firm’s demise.
But unlike prior Capitol Hill inquiries that focused on exposing missteps by executives and regulators, this hearing is to center on new policies to protect customer money and improve regulatory oversight.
“As investigators seek to recover MF Global customer funds and hold accountable those responsible for any wrongdoing, this committee will focus our attention on preventing future abuses and the other critical public policy issues raised by the collapse of MF Global,” Senator Tim Johnson, a South Dakota Democrat who is chairman of the banking committee, is expected to say in an opening statement. (LYING WEASEL!!)
In the most anticipated aspect of the hearing, the bankruptcy trustee for MF Global, Louis J. Freeh, is to offer his first public assessment of the case. Mr. Freeh, a former director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has faced criticism over his handling of the bankruptcy process.
For instance, he initially declined to share certain internal documents with regulators and the trustee in charge of returning money to customers. Mr. Freeh is expected to defend the decision, saying in his prepared testimony that he “needed to implement a process to produce as quickly as we could documents requested as part of the investigations, but also in a manner that did not unnecessarily result in a broad waiver of any existing privilege.”
Noting in his prepared remarks that he ultimately waived the privilege, he said that to do so at a “very early stage potentially could have been contrary to my obligations as Chapter 11 Trustee.”
Mr. Freeh is also expected to address the uproar over his preliminary plans to award bonuses to MF Global executives who remained at the firm. While he is expected to acknowledge considering bonuses, no such plan was ever enacted.
“In conversations about retaining these individuals and the knowledge they possess, I’ve discussed at various times the possibility of establishing a retention program,” he said in the prepared testimony. “To be clear, no formal program was ever created for senior executives, nor was any motion ever filed with the court for approval in connection with any retention program for senior executives.”
The panel is also expected to hear testimony from a familiar cast of MF Global characters, many of whom have testified at earlier hearings. They include Robert W. Cook, director of trading and markets at the Securities and Exchange Commission; Richard G. Ketchum, head of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority; and Terrence A. Duffy, chairman of the CME Group, MF Global’s front-line regulator. Jill E. Sommers, a commissioner at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, is also expected to testify.
The regulators, who have faced criticism for not preventing the misuse of customer money, are expected to provide their feedback on a slate of new regulatory proposals under consideration. They are considering requiring firms to regularly report the whereabouts of customer money and creating an insurance fund to backstop losses in customer accounts.
James W. Giddens, the trustee in charge of returning money to customers, has his own ideas for change. He is expected to ask Congress to consider creating an insurance fund to protect customers from any losses sustained in the course of a bankruptcy. In addition, Mr. Giddens is set to bring up a loophole that allowed MF Global to legally use customer money during its final days. Mr. Giddens is expected to suggest closing the loophole, which allows a firm to use a less comprehensive method to calculate customer funds overseas.
As MF Global entered a tailspin, the brokerage used customer money to meet its own obligations, filing for bankruptcy on Oct. 31. Nearly six months later, farmers, hedge funds and other customers of MF Global are still owed an estimated $1.6 billion.
“The misuse of customer accounts by one of the world’s largest commodities and derivatives brokers has shaken confidence in our markets and deserves a thoughtful discussion of how to better protect farmers, ranchers and investors going forward,” Mr. Johnson is expected to say, while expressing “deep concern” that the money is still being withheld from its rightful owners.
Ex-CalPERS chief facing more fraud charges
US new-home sales off 7 percent in March
Fitch Restores Ford to Investment Grade
IBM Boosts Stock Buyback by $7 Billion, Raises Dividend
nternational Business Machines Corp. (IBM), the world’s biggest computer-services provider, boosted its stock-buyback plan by $7 billion and raised its dividend to return cash to shareholders as earnings increase.
The quarterly payout will rise 10 cents to 85 cents a share, Armonk, New York-based IBM said today in a statement before a shareholder meeting in North Charleston, South Carolina. IBM had $5.7 billion remaining from a previous buyback plan, bringing the total available for repurchases to $12.7 billion…
USA- Worker Confidence Little Changed in April
Social Security Slipping Closers to Insolvency
The Decline of America
University of Florida Eliminates Computer Science Department, Increases Athletic Budgets…
The Best Reason in the World to Buy Gold
Beijing is planning to avoid U.S. financial sanctions on Iran by paying for oil with gold. China’s imports of the metal are already large, and you can guess what additional purchases are going to do to prices.
On the last day of 2011, President Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012. The NDAA, as it is called, attempts to reduce Iran’s revenue from the sale of petroleum by imposing sanctions on foreign financial institutions conducting transactions with Iranian financial institutions in connection with those sales. This provision, which essentially cuts off sanctioned institutions from the U.S. financial system, takes effect on June 28.
The NDAA gives the president the power to waive the sanctions depending on the availability and price of supplies from non-Iranian sources. He can also exempt financial institutions from countries that have significantly cut back purchases of Iranian petroleum. Last month, the State Department announced waivers for Japan and ten European countries. China, which has received American waivers in the past under other Iran legislation, is now Tehran’s largest oil customer and investor as well as its largest trading partner. Given the new mood in Washington, Beijing cannot count on getting more exceptions in the future.
As the Wall Street Journal noted in early January, the sanctions are “an attempt to force other countries to choose between buying oil from Iran or being blocked from any dealings with the U.S. economy.” The strict measures put Chinese officials in a bind. They apparently believe their geopolitical interests align with those of Tehran, but their economy is becoming increasingly reliant on America’s.
So how can Beijing keep both Iran’s ayatollahs and President Obama happy at the same time? Simple, the Chinese can avoid the U.S. sanctions through barter. China has already been trading its produce for Iran’s petroleum, but there is only so much gai lan and bok choy the Iranians can eat. That’s why Iran is also accepting, among other goods, Chinese washing machines, refrigerators, toys, clothes, cosmetics, and toiletries.
The barter trade works, but Iran needs cash too. As it is being cut off from the global financial system, the next best thing is gold. So we should not be surprised that in late February the Iranian central bank said it would accept that metal as payment for oil. Last year, China imported $21.7 billion in Iranian oil and exported $14.8 billion in goods and services. As the NDAA goes into effect, look for Beijing to ship gold to Iran to make up the difference.
Gold bugs, however, shouldn’t get too happy about Iran’s plight. There are five principal factors that will depress anticipated demand for gold used to buy Iranian oil. First, other countries will also be bartering agricultural and manufactured goods. Russia and Pakistan, for instance, will undoubtedly continue wheat-for-petroleum arrangements.
Second, Tehran, out of apparent desperation, in February said it would also accept local currencies, thereby avoiding the U.S. financial system. As a result, the Indians announced in January that they would not request a waiver from the Obama administration, and they began opening rupee accounts to pay for as much as 45% of their oil purchases with their currency. In 2011, India exported only $2.7 billion to Iran while buying $9.5 billion in oil. Similarly, the Chinese, smelling blood in the water, will surely press the Iranians to accept the non-convertible renminbi.
Third, the result of sanctions is that Iran’s oil exports could be cut by as much as 700,000 barrels a day. China, for instance, is increasing its oil purchases from Saudi Arabia, its largest foreign supplier. The Chinese are also buying more from the Persian Gulf emirates as well as Vietnam, Russia, and Africa. Of course, every drop of other crude decreases China’s demand for Iran’s.
Fourth, China and other countries are taking advantage of Iran’s plight by negotiating large price reductions.
Fifth, if the Iranians are willing to accept wheat and non-tradable currencies in payment for oil, there is nothing to say they won’t start agreeing to silver too.
But nothing shines like gold. And there is one other reason to be bullish on the yellow metal. “This isn’t the end of the road,” noted an unnamed senior administration official to the Wall Street Journal days after the enactment of the NDAA. “There are many other sanctions we can put in place and that our multilateral partners around the world can put in place and will be.” As Washington tightens financial measures against Iran, the mullahs will have less access to hard currency and therefore more need for gold.
Unless, of course, they want to accumulate more Chinese washing machines.
I thank “straightarrow,” a reader of this column, for alerting me to this issue.
Home Prices in U.S. Cities Fell at Slower Pace in February
Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped at a slower pace in the year ended February, pointing to stabilization in the real-estate market.
The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values fell 3.5 percent from a year earlier, the smallest 12-month drop since February 2011, a report from the group showed today in New York. The median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News projected a 3.4 percent fall. The index climbed from the prior month on a seasonally adjusted basis for the first time since April of last year…
Walmart Subject to USA Criminal Probe
Facebook reveals revenue, profit slide ahead of IPO
(Reuters) – Facebook Inc reported its first quarter-to-quarter revenue slide in at least two years, a sign that the social network’s sizzling growth may be cooling as it prepares to go public in the biggest ever Internet IPO.
The company blamed the first-quarter decline, which surprised some on Wall Street, on seasonal advertising trends.
“It was a faster slowdown than we would have guessed,” said Brian Wieser, an analyst with Pivotal Research Group.
“No matter how you slice it, for a company that is perceived as growing so rapidly, to slow so much on whatever basis – sequentially or annually – it will be somewhat concerning to investors if faced with a lofty valuation,” Wieser said.
Facebook is preparing to raise at least $5 billion in an initial public offering that could value the world’s largest social network at up to $100 billion.
“The biggest issue is the realization that Facebook is not going to have an easy time meeting high expectations of the public market,” said Jeff Sica, chief investment officer of SICA Wealth Management, which manages more than $1 billion in client assets, real estate and private equity holdings. “It will affect how people look at the IPO.”…
Tech billionaires bankroll gold rush to mine asteroids
Reuters) – Google Inc executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt and filmmaker James Cameron are among those bankrolling a venture to survey and eventually extract precious metals and rare minerals from asteroids that orbit near Earth, the company said on Tuesday.
Planetary Resources, based in Bellevue, Washington, initially will focus on developing and selling extremely low-cost robotic spacecraft for surveying missions.
A demonstration mission in orbit around Earth is expected to be launched within two years, said company co-founders Peter Diamandis and Eric Anderson.
Planetary Resources’ aim is to open deep-space exploration to private industry, much like the $10 million Ansari X Prize competition, which Diamandis created.
The prize, which galvanized the emerging commercial human spaceflight industry, was awarded in 2004 to Scaled Composites’ SpaceShipOne for the first flights beyond Earth’s atmosphere by a privately developed, manned spaceship. Commercial suborbital spaceflights are expected to begin next year.
Planetary Resources’ first customers are likely to be science agencies, such as NASA, as well as private research institutes.
Within five to 10 years, however, the company expects to progress from selling observation platforms in orbit around Earth to prospecting services. It plans to tap some of the thousands of asteroids that pass relatively close to Earth and extract their raw materials.
Not all missions would return precious metals and minerals to Earth. In addition to mining for platinum and other precious metals, the company plans to tap asteroids’ water to supply orbiting fuel depots, which could be used by NASA and others for robotic and human space missions.
“We have a long view. We’re not expecting this company to be an overnight financial home run. This is going to take time,” Anderson said in an interview with Reuters…
U.S. Stocks Rise Amid Better-Than-Forecast Earnings
U.S. stocks rose, following yesterday’s decline in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as better-than-estimated quarterly earnings reports offset the 10th loss in 11 days for Apple (AAPL) Inc. shares.
Texas Instruments Inc., the largest maker of analog semiconductors, climbed 1.1 percent. 3M Co. (MMM), the maker of Post- it Notes, and AT&T Inc. (T), the largest U.S. phone company, added at least 2.1 percent. Apple, the most valuable technology company, lost 2 percent ahead of its results. Netflix Inc. (NFLX), the largest video-subscription service, tumbled 15 percent after forecasting a slowdown in growth of U.S. streaming customers.
Investors awaited data that may show that purchases of new homes increased to a 318,000 annual rate in March. Home prices in 20 U.S. cities dropped at a slower pace in February. Another report may show consumer confidence fell. Federal Open Market Committee members begin a two-day meeting today.
Yesterday’s losses were driven by political uncertainty as Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte offered to quit after lawmakers split over austerity and French President Nicolas Sarkozy lost the first round of his re-election bid. The S&P 500 was still up 8.9 percent in 2012 amid better-than-estimated economic and corporate data. Earnings per share have topped forecasts at 83 percent of S&P 500 companies that reported results since April 10, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Texas Instruments added 1.1 percent to $32.25 after forecasting second-quarter earnings that may top some analysts’ estimates. Texas Instruments (TXN)’ analog chips perform electronic functions that range from running car radios to controlling missiles, making the company’s earnings a harbinger of demand in the broader economy.
3M increased 2.1 percent to $89.96 after beating analysts’ first-quarter profit estimates as U.S. auto and industrial demand helped make up for slowing markets abroad.
AT&T Inc. added 2.8 percent to $31.48. The largest U.S. phone company posted first-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates after wireless subscribers spent more on browsing the Web, downloading video and sending e-mail.
The company is promoting feature-rich devices such as Apple’s iPhone to boost monthly bills and offset slower subscriber growth in a market where most people already have mobile phones. Some investors say that the carrier’s earnings may give some indication of what Apple may say when it reports quarterly results after the close of the market.
Peter Misek, analyst at Jefferies & Co., says both AT&T and Verizon Communications Inc.’s results imply estimates for Apple are too high. On average, the analysts surveyed by Bloomberg forecast the company will report fiscal second-quarter profit of $10.03 a share. The shares declined 2 percent to $560.25 today and are up 39 percent so far in 2012.
Apple dipped below its 50-day average yesterday for the first time since December. A weekly close below that level may signal a decline of as much as 19 percent from its record high is under way, according to UBS AG.
Should Apple fail to hold above its 50-day average, it may trigger a retreat to as low as $515, according to Peter Lee, the New York-based chief technical analyst for UBS.
“Violation of this level on a weekly closing basis opens the door for a deeper correction,” Lee wrote in an e-mail yesterday. “To convince traders to return, AAPL needs to rally” above $600 at least, he said, referring to the stock’s ticker.
Ford Motor Co. (F) rallied 1.5 percent to $11.52. The company and its Ford Motor Credit unit were raised to investment grade by Fitch Ratings, which cited the company’s “significantly improved financial performance.”
Netflix tumbled 15 percent to $87. Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings, presiding over the company’s first loss since early 2005, cited higher seasonal customer turnover for the slowdown. The company is racing to add viewers to confront competition from Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s StreamPix and Verizon Communication Inc.’s online venture with Coinstar Inc.’s Redbox. While Netflix may post a second-quarter profit, investors are focused on subscriber additions.