Radio Show Newsletter
CHARTS OF THE WEEK-QUOTES-QUICK HITS
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Facebook Stakes. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7nla89u
-CHART OF THE WEEK: More Than Half of Facebook Users Need Their Dose Daily. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7pjruq6
-CHART OF THE WEEK: World’s Ageing Population. Standard & Poor’s warned it may downgrade “a number of highly rated” group of 20 countries as of 2015 if their governments fail to enact reforms to curb rising health-care spending and other costs related to ageing populations. Today’s chart shows a number of graphs indicating an older population. Read more here- http://tinyurl.com/7kyua8w
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Rogue Trading. Former UBS trader Kweku Adoboli will stand trial in September after pleading not guilty on charges related to the loss of more than $2 billion on trades the Swiss bank says were unauthorized. Adoboli has been charged with two counts of fraud and two of false accounting, in one of the world’s biggest cases of alleged “rogue trading”. Today’s chart looks at some of the most notable instances of rogue trading since 1992. Does any particular case stand out? Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7zyutcb
–Buffett: Bonds Among Most Dangerous Assets. Warren Buffett, the billionaire chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., said low interest rates and inflation should dissuade investors from buying bonds and other holdings tied to currencies. “They are among the most dangerous of assets,” Buffett said in an adaptation of his annual letter to shareholders that appeared on Fortune magazine’s website. “Over the past century these instruments have destroyed the purchasing power of investors in many countries, even as these holders continued to receive timely payments of interest and principal.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/867hfad
-Cigarette Smugglers Prosper in Spain With Smokers Squeezed by Rising Taxes. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7a6unck
-Meet The Mysterious 58-Year-Old Monk Who’s Making Billions From 5-Hour Energy. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7rwnpfb
-Dependency Index Surges 23% Under President Obama. The American public’s dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/782cdp9
-‘Very Poor’ at Highest in 35 Years as Safety Gaps Grow. More than 20 million Americans live in a household with income of less than half the federal poverty rate, the level social scientists often use as a category for the very poor, according to census data for 2010. Last year that meant an annual income below $11,057 for a family of four. The portion of the population in that category was the highest in at least 35 years and has almost doubled since 1975, from 3.7 percent then to 6.7 percent in 2010. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7tz6ykr
-January was USA’s 4th-warmest on record. The warmth last month wasn’t a mirage: January 2012 was the USA’s 4th-warmest January on record, federal climate scientists announced. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7vj6kst
-Earth’s Polar Ice Melting Less Than Thought. Better technology yields better data. The bad news is the extra water from 2003-2010 would fill Lake Erie eight times. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7gn9xnu
-Somali Pirates Attacks Reach Record. Watch more here-http://tinyurl.com/7tymlsw
-Extraordinary top secret call between FBI and Scotland Yard ‘tapped’ by Anonymous. A confidential call between the FBI and Scotland Yard was recorded by hacking group Anonymous – the very people they were trying to catch, it was revealed. The group released a 15-minute tape of what appears to be a conference call last month about tracking and prosecuting the group’s members. The top-secret conversation begins with a bizarre exchange between the U.S. and British agents, where they talk about cheese and eating ‘McDonald’s at the Pentagon’. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6p9fsts
–Hacker releases Symantec source code. A hacker released the source code for antivirus firm Symantec’s pcAnywhere utility on Tuesday, raising fears that others could find security holes in the product and attempt takeovers of customer computers. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7pyxgxr and http://tinyurl.com/7jsdute
-Spying on Europe’s farms with satellites and drones. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7pnwjmc
-FBI warns of threat from anti-government extremists. Anti-government extremists opposed to taxes and regulations pose a growing threat to local law enforcement officers in the United States, the FBI warned. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7f9f3ut
-‘Doomsday Preppers’ highlights extreme survival techniques. 61% of Americans believe the country will experience a major catastrophic event within the next 20 years, but only 15% feel they are fully prepared for it. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6txg3mx
–Congress’s Job-Approval Reaches Another Low. The public’s contempt for the U.S. Congress continues to grow. The Gallup Poll’s latest gauge of public sentiment for the job Congress is doing sank to a record low, with just 10 percent of Americans registering approval. That’s down from 13 percent in January and a previous low of 11 percent in December. A full 86 percent of those surveyed disapproved of the job Congress is doing. That ties with a record disapproval rating set in December. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7wz9zny
-Super Bowl Quant Firm Won’t Quit Day Job as Giants Win Puts End to Streak. The New York Giants’ Super Bowl victory ended an eight-year winning streak by the quantitative money management firm whose model for picking the team to bet on went with the favored New England Patriots. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7q6aeb2
-Here’s The First Thing 47% Of People Said They’d Do If They Won The Lottery. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/72adds3
-The Rare Colored Diamonds Historical Value Tracker system is the perfect tool for investors to view the potential future value of a rare colored diamond based on the current market trend of a particular type of diamond. Track the potential future value of colored diamonds here-http://tinyurl.com/6l4thaf
–Rarecoloreddiamond.com Featured Diamond of the Week. This week’s Diamond is a 0.85 carat radiant cut fancy vivid Yellow internally flawless diamond. “Diamond prices are going up and they are going to continue to go up. Supply is going to dwindle as new diamond deposits become harder to find.” CNBC. Harold Seigel-See video the Featured Diamond here-http://tinyurl.com/7jzrd8g
-Richard Russell: Massive Money Going Into Tangibles. “I just went through the latest Rapaport jewelry and diamond magazine, and I was frankly amazed at the record prices paid at auction. Obviously, big money is investing in valuable tangibles. The prices that some of these jewels have gone for are at simply mind-blowing heights.”
“I list just a few examples to show subscribers that big (huge) money is investing in almost priceless, rare tangibles. These stones are often handed down from generation to generation, and only appear when one generation puts a stone up for auction.
1) The Elizabeth Taylor diamond, sold at Christie’s NYC, Dec., 2011, estimated sale price $2.3 million, it sold for $8.8 million.
2) Graff pink 24 carat pink diamond, sold a Sotheby’s, estimated at $27 million, sold for $46.1 million, November 2010.
3) A blue 38 carat diamond auctioned at Christie’s, estimate $15 million, sold Dec. 2008 for $34.3 million.
4) A 24 carat pink diamond auctioned at Sotheby’s estimate $27 million, sold Nov. 2010 for $46.15 million.
Note many of these rare jewels are one of a kind, and have never been put up for auction before. The magazine lists over 30 of these fantastic jewels with almost all selling far above estimates. The fact is that today there are thousands of millionaires around the world and hundreds of billionaires.
These people have enormous buying power, and their greatest problem is protecting their fortunes and their purchasing power. Hoarding great jewels is one way to do it. For instance, compare a $60 million rare one-of-a-kind diamond that weighs less than an ounce with $60 million worth of gold. And the diamond is smaller than the smallest joint of your little finger. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/884gewq
-Henri Barguirdjian CEO of Graff’s: Diamonds becoming a Part of the Ultra Rich’s Investment Portfolio.
LL: You recently mentioned to me you are seeing an interesting trend developing on Wall Street where diamonds are now be considered an investment. Can you please explain?
HB: This is something that has never happened before. We are being approached by money managers of very wealthy clients, or the wealthy clients themselves who are all considering investing a small percentage of their portfolio in diamonds. This is something we have never seen in the past. These people never considered diamonds as an investment.
They considered them as something very beautiful and nice to own, it made their wife happy and its gorgeous to look at but they always neglected the financial aspect of the transaction. And now when they see what has happened with the price of diamonds and they realize it is not so much a silly idea.
This is why financial institutions are seriously studying the diamond market. We have been getting lots of calls by people who are doing reports on this and they want charts and price history so they can formulate their research.
LL: What kind of price range are these investors looking at?
HB: You are talking about people in the Forbes 400 and they all invest $50-100 million in diamonds which is a small percentage of their net worth but in our business 50 to 100 million dollars is a very large transaction. These transactions are enough to push up the price of diamonds up very, very high. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/3dc7www
-“In 1969, at the housing peak, 660 ounces of gold purchased a house at the median price. At the low in 1979, the cost of such a dwelling was 80 ounces of gold. In 2001, the cost was 610 ounces. Currently, a little over 100 ounces buys a home.” Marketwatch
-Technically, the gold price action this week is just what the doctor ordered. It started with a light volume pull back that I projected would follow the breakout from the falling wedge price pattern. I have set $1803 as the upside target of the first stage of this move. From that price area, I see a bigger pull back, again on light volume.
From $1803, I’m projecting that gold will drop to about $1680, complete an inverse head and shoulders pattern, and then rise to $2100. June is the most likely timeframe that sees gold touch $2100. $2300 is likely by December, 2012. Morris Hubbartt
-Greyerz: Gold Price to Hit $5,000 in 24 Months & Silver $166. Here is what von Greyerz had to say about central bank activity and how it will impact gold and silver prices: “If you look at every central bank in the world they are in an absolute mess and they need to print unlimited amounts of money. So we will have a lot of zeros after the price of gold in many currencies.
But even in today’s money I see gold going up many times from here.” “The risks are enormous. The risk that many banks will fail is major. The authorities and central banks, around the world, are going to try to rescue them, but it’s not certain they can or will.
That’s why, again, it’s important to hold assets outside the banking system, whether it’s gold or silver or assets in the ground. That’s the way to protect yourself because if the system survives in the next couple of years, it will only be because there is massive money printing.
“Without that they cannot survive. But because of the massive risks to the financial system, I think it’s absolutely critical that investors hold a major part of their funds outside of the banking system. We are in this for the long-term. We got into it (gold) in 2002 at $300. We’re telling clients today, at $1,750, that right now gold is cheap.
We’re holding gold to protect our purchasing power and gold is just beginning a very major move. That move will take time. In the next two years I could see $5,000 (gold). We could see it before the next 24 months. That is just an intermediate top. We will have a bigger correction after that. But I’ve said for some time that gold could reach $10,000, and that’s in today’s money.
And I’m absolutely convinced that we won’t have today’s money in the future. If gold goes up to let’s say $5,000, the (gold/silver) ratio will come back down to at least where it was in 2011, which is 30. I would say that’s a minimum. Then you’re talking about silver at $166.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7vgfbaz
-James Turk: Is gold in a bubble? Clearly gold is not in a bubble. It does not follow the pattern of bubbles. Gold is not widely owned today, which stands in stark contrast to what would be expected if it were in a bubble. More importantly, instead of gold owners trying to rationalise a high price, people who do not own gold are giving reasons not own it.
There is a bubble today, but it is not gold. It is the debt instruments of the US government and indeed, other governments that have also made far too many financial promises. Many of these promises will be broken and many debts repudiated, but most people do not understand or refuse to accept this reality. Ignoring prudent financial analysis and even the lessons of history, they still believe government debt is a safe haven. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7jy7y63
-John Embry: Gold’s Rise Will Shock Market Participants This Year. “The fact that sentiment is so poor with gold at these levels just indicates that people don’t realize what’s really unfolding. I think the price action to begin the year has been exemplary. It was interesting as gold was getting a head of steam going last week, out comes that bogus jobs report that led to the one day reversal in gold and silver.”
“Accompanying the phony jobs number were all sorts of wonderful headlines in the mainstream press about how the US economy was firm and there were signs of recovery and so on. The fact they said there were 243,000 jobs created is ridiculous. When you couple all of this with the fact that sentiment in gold and silver is so bad, this sort of quiet gain, I mean gold has risen the better part of $200 since the end of the year, that’s a lot in a short period of time.
I still believe this is all just a precursor to what will be the finest year we’ve ever had in this bull market. The best up year, so far, in this gold bull was 36% and I would be surprised if that number were not obliterated this year. This will continue to be a very strong year for the precious metals and it will leave many market participants shocked.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/736pr8w
-James Turk: Corrective Action in Gold is Prelude to Bullish Explosion. Here is what Turk had to say about money on the sidelines and where gold and silver are headed: “Sooner or later that money is going to realize the train is pulling away from the station. Whether this money comes in next week or the week after, I do very much like this trading action. I’m very bullish here short-term on gold and silver, it looks very, very good.”
When asked about a continued wealth transfer to those owning gold and silver, Turk stated, “Gold doesn’t really create wealth, it’s just a sterile asset. It doesn’t have a cash flow and it doesn’t have a balance sheet or a P/E ratio. When the gold price is rising, what you are doing is taking wealth that’s already been created and is in the hands of people who own a fiat currency and it’s taking the wealth away from the people who own that fiat currency and putting it into the hands of people who own gold.
So you have this wealth transfer taking place. My expectation is that this wealth transfer is going to be one of the most phenomenal ones in monetary history. And to be part of it you have to own physical gold and silver, this is what you need to do to take advantage of it.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7crg428
–Richard Russell: Watch Gold, 2012 Fated to be a Monster Year. I’ve been sensing something Big and ominous is in the offing. What could it be? Ah, a front page article in Sunday’s NY Times supplies the answer. Israel will attack Iran with nuclear bombs. Israel must attack this year for this is the year when Iran will have nuclear capabilities.
If Israel attacks, the Mid-East will go up in flames. Suggestion dollars and gold. If the dollar collapses, gold will make up for the losses by sky-rocketing. The next target for gold to trade into the 1800s, and it’s getting close. 2012 is fated to be a monster year. Keep your eyes on the dollar and gold, and the newspaper headlines!” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/79rrk6c
-Ben Davies: Fair Value on Gold Today is Over $4,000. The high net worth and retail investor is really starting to accept that gold is here to stay. They are beginning to understand it should be part of your portfolio. So I’m really constructive over the course of this year.
I would not be surprised if 2012 is the year we really start to get that retail momentum into the (gold) market. So it’s not inconceivable the numbers I have posted in later years, that we start getting back to what I consider fair value relative to the monetary base, which is, of course, over $4,000.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7fzwpkn
-Rick Rule: Critical Differences Between Gold Bull Today vs. 70s. Rule also had this to say about how this will end: “It is my belief today that we have a chance to go substantially higher in the gold market. In the 70s the world economies were in better condition to deal with the stresses they experienced in the late 1970s than they are today. And as a consequence of heading into serious difficulties, with weakened national balance sheets, the potential for an upside blowout in the metal’s price is stronger now than it was in the 1970s.
Given that the world economic condition is far more precarious now than it was at the end of the 1970s, the response by fiat currencies to black swans or asymptomatic shocks could very well be much more dramatic. Because of this it’s possible that you will see more dramatic upside moves in both gold and silver than what we witnessed in the decade of the 70s.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/735nc9h
-Hathaway: People Are Right to be Scared & Gold is a Necessity. “About those employment numbers, when you strip away all of the seasonal adjustment and other touches the BLS added to them, you can conclude they weren’t very strong at all. I think Bernanke knows that.
For the CNBC crowd who is cheering the economy on, I don’t think the January employment numbers made any difference in the bigger picture because they weren’t that strong. There were actually 2.6 million jobs lost in January and the BLS is actually able to cover that up with adjustments for factors like people who had to stay away from work because of weather.
So the jobs data is among the most corrupt and lacking in credibility of any stats the government puts out and Bernanke knows that. I don’t think Bernanke is going to budge from his policy of zero interest rates for the next couple of years. But the big picture is the Fed is going to stay easy until Bernanke is no longer the Fed Chairman.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/8y3g6cu
-Caesar Bryan: Strong Gold Buying from Asia on Any Weakness. “The gold market is actually very healthy. We had the pullback into the new year and consequently, to start the year, it was coming off a decent pullback and now we’ve made up quite a bit of ground. Demand in the Far East is strong and gold is being accumulated by investors and central banks.”
I think this is the quiet time before more central bank action. We are currently in the eye of the storm and the storm is still raging. Gold has broken out of the downtrend and we expect money printing to light the fire of the next leg higher in gold.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6oytchj
-Stephen Leeb: US Government Desperate & Scared Regarding Gold. Leeb told King World News the US government is now showing signs of desperation and fear regarding the gold market. Leeb is concerned the US is destroying its own currency and was not at all impressed by government efforts to label goldugs as terrorists.
When asked how he responds to the government labeling him and others as potential terrorists for owning gold and suggesting people buy gold because the US is going broke after going off the gold standard, Leeb stated, “The nature of a comment like that strikes me as desperation.
When you are turning up the printing presses, common sense tells you that you are destroying your own currency.” “You could probably get away with that if there were not an alternative currency out there but there is and it’s called gold. People are scared to death and whoever is saying that in the United States is scared to death that people will pick up on gold as an alternative currency.
They are also probably scared that China is buying so much gold. So when you hear these kinds of comments coming out it tells me that somebody is really worried. But clearly those kinds of comments speak of some kind of desperation, that’s how I see it.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7gy96y4
-Greg Weldon: The Fed is Hoping to Avoid a Nightmare. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/787qlkj
-Jim Sinclair: Interviewed by Ellis Martin, Consolidate Your Holdings and Save Your Money. Listen here-http://tinyurl.com/7nkb2zr
-States seek currencies made of silver and gold. A growing number of states are seeking shiny new currencies made of silver and gold. Worried that the Federal Reserve and the U.S. dollar are on the brink of collapse, lawmakers from 13 states, including Minnesota, Tennessee, Iowa, South Carolina and Georgia, are seeking approval from their state governments to either issue their own alternative currency or explore it as an option.
Just three years ago, only three states had similar proposals in place. “In the event of hyperinflation, depression, or other economic calamity related to the breakdown of the Federal Reserve System the State’s governmental finances and private economy will be thrown into chaos,” said North Carolina Republican Representative Glen Bradley in a currency bill he introduced last year. Read more here-http://www.gata.org/node/10953
-Hong Kong gold flow to China more than triples in 2011. Hong Kong’s shipments of gold to mainland China in 2011 grew more than three times from a year earlier, confirming China’s rapidly growing appetite for bullion, despite a sharp drop in December. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7n2585q
-Paul Brodsky and Lee Quaintance: An adult approach. Read more here-http://www.gata.org/node/10969
Gold to silver ratio at 50 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $40.00
Gold to silver ratio at 40 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $50.00
Gold to silver ratio at 30 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $66.67
Gold to silver ratio at 20 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $100.00
Gold to silver ratio at 15 to 1 with gold at $2,000 the silver price would be $133.33
Gold to silver ratio at 50 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $50.00
Gold to silver ratio at 40 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $62.50
Gold to silver ratio at 30 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $83.33
Gold to silver ratio at 20 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $125.00
Gold to silver ratio at 15 to 1 with gold at $2,500 the silver price would be $166.67
-When silver was trading at its recent lows near $26 late last year, I suggested you engage in a series of timed accumulation buys. I bought physical silver in my own accounts, paying an average of under $30, with one very uncomfortable buy coming right into the low.
Since then, this market is up substantially. In the larger picture silver has likely just started the move higher. My trading model is targeting $36 for this move, followed by a pullback to about $31. From there, I am projecting a strong move towards $44, with that target likely acquired by the end of the first quarter. Morris Hubbartt
-Silver bullet for cancer: Metal can kill some tumours better than chemotherapy with fewer side effects. Silver can kill some cancers as effectively as chemotherapy and with potentially fewer side effects, new research claims. Scientists say that old wives tales about the precious metal being a ‘silver bullet’ to beat the Big C could be true.
The metal already has a wide range of medicinal uses and is a common antiseptic, antibiotic and means of purifying water in the third world. And British researchers now say that silver compounds are as effective at killing certain cancer cells as a leading chemotherapy drug, but with potentially far fewer side-effects. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6sxl42f
-John Embry: “At Sprott, as you know, we are very bullish on silver. Silver is just biding its time and it’s building a massive base in here. There has been a huge short position in the paper market, which has had a huge impact on the price. I think that will pass and right now as the physical market has become extremely tight.
This indicates, to me, the paper shenanigans that have really plagued the silver market have a finite life now. “I will not be at all surprised when silver clears $35 to $37, that it could sprint right back to the all-time high area. I have no problem with silver moving into the $60s over the next 12 to 18 months.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/736pr8w
-Indian investor interest in silver surging. With the predicted 7% expansion in global demand in 2012 to an unprecedented 968 million ounces, investors in India are using silver as an inflation hedge hoping that demand will be sustained by global concerns. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6vyamnf
-Ted Butler: Silver Update, Enough is Enough. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7ub9e23
-CHART OF THE WEEK: In Times Like These, It’s Time To Remember This Great Chart From Japan. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6vzoood
-Greek Leaders Reach Austerity Agreement. Greek political leaders announced agreement on austerity measures, clearing the way for a deal to cut the nation’s debt and win its second rescue in two years. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6u5y4cz
–Pimco: Greece Agreement May Be Questionable. The agreement reached by Greek political leaders to win the nation’s second bailout may be “analytically questionable,” Pacific Investment Management Co.’s Mohamed A. El-Erian said.
“It is very unlikely to lead to growth, jobs, financial stability and new investments,” El-Erian, chief executive and co-chief investment officer of the world’s biggest manager of bond funds, said in a interview. “This agreement will be very difficult to sell when the principals, those who have agreed, have to go to their constituents.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/8xxuwqc
-Most Germans want Greece to quit euro: poll. The majority of Germans feel the euro currency bloc would be better off if debt-crippled Greece left it, a poll published in mass-selling newspaper Bild am Sonntag showed. The Emnid poll said 53 percent of Germans surveyed thought Greece should return to its former currency, the drachma, while only 34 percent felt it should keep the euro. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7h99u8s
-‘Greece Should Default Instantly,’ Economics Professor Says. according to one Greek economics professor, the country should simply default as soon as possible to provide some kind of relief to the region’s debt crisis. “This bailout is certainly not the answer for anyone, for Greece, for the euro zone, for the world,” Yanis Varoufakis, Professor of Economics at University of Athens, told CNBC. “Greece should default instantly, immediately, without any talk of leaving the euro.
“Here we have a typical bankruptcy problem which we’ve had for two years now,” Varoufakis said. According to him, Greece’s first bailout back in May 2010 was not the illiquidity problem leaders perceived and they should stop “throwing good money after bad,” ballooning Greece’s deficit and “destroying the economy” thereby leaving it incapable creating income to repay its debt. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/74fjzhs
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Cuts drive Greek unemployment to record high. Greece’s jobless rate rose to a fresh record of 20.9 percent in November, highlighting the pain imposed by austerity on ordinary Greeks as the country negotiates a new pain-for-gain package with its EU and IMF lenders. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/77x7zfm
-ECB Keeps 1% Rate; Focus Turns to Greece. The European Central Bank kept interest rates on hold and altered its assessment of risks to the economic outlook as investors focus on the bank’s possible role in helping Greece avoid default.
“The economic outlook remains subject to high uncertainty and downside risks,” ECB President Mario Draghi said at a press conference in Frankfurt after policy makers left the benchmark interest rate at a record low of 1 percent. Last month, he said the outlook was subject to “substantial” downside risks. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/78u3qt5
-Romania’s population falls by 12% as three million flock to richer European countries including Britain. Population has fallen to 19million as workers leave. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6pcofh9
-Student Debt Could Be Next ‘Bomb,’ U.S. Bankruptcy Lawyers Say. Almost half of U.S. bankruptcy attorneys representing consumers say that potential clients with student-loan debt have “significantly increased” over the past three to four years, a survey found.
“Take it from those of us on the frontline of economic distress in America,” William E. Brewer, Jr., president of The National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, said. “This could very well be the next debt bomb for the U.S. economy.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6tpqlmb
-John Chambers: U.S. Faces Downgrade If No Plan. The U.S., lacking a plan to contain $1 trillion deficits, faces the prospect of another rating cut in six to 24 months depending on the outcome of November elections, according to John Chambers of Standard & Poor’s.
America has had an AA+ rating with a negative outlook since Aug. 5 when the New York-based unit of McGraw-Hill Cos. stripped the nation of its AAA ranking for the first time, citing the government’s failure to agree on a path to reduce deficits. The U.S. has a one-in-three chance of another downgrade, Chamber said today during an S&P sponsored Webcast.
“What the U.S. needs is not so much a short-term fiscal tightening, but it has to have a credible medium-term fiscal plan,” said Chambers, managing director of sovereign ratings. “That is going to have to say something about entitlements, and that is probably going to have to say something about revenues.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/854c7ua
–USPS Loses $3.3B, Warns of Cash Drain. The U.S. Postal Service said it lost $3.3 billion in the quarter ended Dec. 31 typically its strongest and that it expects to run out of cash in October unless Congress agrees to cuts in facilities and employees. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7h6crjk
-U.S. Consumer Credit Climbed by $19.3B in Dec. Consumer borrowing in the U.S. rose more than forecast in December, driven by demand for auto and student loans. Credit increased by $19.3 billion to $2.5 trillion, Federal Reserve figures showed today in Washington. The gain topped the $7 billion median forecast of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News and followed a $20.4 billion advance the prior month. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6t5n7kz
-INFOGRAPHIC: See The History Of Americans’ Addiction To Credit Debt. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/77h95he
-Los Angeles’s $100,000 Carpenters Show Influence of Water Department Union. The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power had the highest-paid public employees in the city, earning on average 40 percent more than other municipal workers, even those with identical job titles.
The utility’s 10,782 employees earned an average of $96,805 annually in 2010, the most recent year for which data was available, according to compensation statistics provided by state Controller John Chiang. The city’s 44,781 other employees took home $68,822 on average.
From nurses to prison guards, California public employees earn more than their counterparts in other states even as it has grappled with budget deficits that forced layoffs of teachers and cut services for children and the elderly. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6nhhme9
-With Pensions Like This, No Kidding Providence Rhode Island Faces ‘Bankruptcy By June.’ Rhode Island’s capital city Providence will be in bankruptcy by June if it doesn’t get help resolving its financial crisis. This statement says it all “Fire Chief Gilbert McLaughlin, now receives an annual pension of $196,813 a year. He retired with an annual salary of $63,510. At the current rate of growth, McLaughlin’s pension will total roughly $796,871 annually if he lives to the age of 100. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6nhejja
-Bernanke Holds to 2014 Low Rate Pledge Even as Unemployment Rate Declines. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke is holding to his pledge to keep borrowing costs close to zero at least through late 2014 even after unemployment unexpectedly fell to a three-year low. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/75vvthk
-Payrolls Jump Casts Doubt on Fed’s Rate Pledge. The U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly fell in January to the lowest in three years as payrolls climbed more than forecast, casting doubt on the Federal Reserve’s plan to keep interest rates low until late 2014. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6r7fq3o
-Fed Twists Yields for McDonald’s Record Low Rate. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s Operation Twist is paying dividends in the corporate bond market. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/74hlo2y
–Bernanke: Fed will protect U.S. economy from Europe. The recovery remains “frustratingly slow” in the United States, and now Europe’s debt crisis is posing additional challenges, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke told Congress. “Risks remain that developments in Europe or elsewhere may unfold unfavorably and could worsen economic prospects here at home,” Bernanke told the House Budget Committee.
But he also assured lawmakers that the Fed is doing everything in its power to prevent an economic slowdown in the U.S. “We are in frequent contact with European authorities, and we will continue to monitor the situation closely and take every available step to protect the U.S. financial system and the economy,” Bernanke said. Europe’s debt problems started in Greece more than two years ago, and the situation there has yet to be fully resolved. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/75wu3vw
-Charles Kadlec: Fed’s explicit goal is to devalue dollar 33%. Read more here-http://www.gata.org/node/10966
-Bernanke-Led Economy Shows Critics Wrong About Fed. The numbers are proving Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s critics wrong. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/79t56b9
-If The Federal Reserve Is Abolished, What Then? Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7swg9gx
-Paul Capturing Delegates Could Force Fed Changes on Republicans. Ron Paul, trailing in delegates needed for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, could be positioning himself to force his party to accept changes in the way the Federal Reserve operates. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7utohbm
-Greg Hunter: Dollar and America on the Road to Ruin. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/8x4hxuh
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Slower Job Growth Seen as Banks Tighten Credit. Companies are poised to create jobs more slowly later this year because bankers have become less inclined to lend them money, according to Tobias Levkovich, Citigroup Inc.’s chief U.S. equity strategist. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7m6algq
-Mike Shedlock: Were it not for people dropping out of the labor force, the unemployment rate would be well over 11%. Participation Rate fell .3 to 63.7%, taking out a 1984 low. In January, those “Not in Labor Force” rose by an amazing 1,177,000. If you are not in the labor force, you are not counted as unemployed. In January, the Civilian Labor Force rose by 508,000.
In the last year, the civilian population rose by 3,565,000. Yet the labor force only rose by 1,145,000. Those not in the labor force rose by 2,420,000. Some of those labor force numbers are due to annual revisions. However, the point remains: People are dropping out of the labor force at an astounding, almost unbelievable rate, holding the unemployment rate artificially low. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/73nfy8j
-Jobless Decline Masks Drop in U.S. Labor Force. The unemployment rate’s unexpected drop to a three-year low has overshadowed a less-positive labor-market development: fewer Americans are looking for work. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6r28gtk
-Bernanke: Labor Market ‘Long Way’ From Normal. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke repeated that the job market is still far from healthy after signs of economic improvement over the past year, and he called on lawmakers to reduce the long-term budget deficit.
“We still have a long way to go before the labor market can be said to be operating normally,” Bernanke said in testimony prepared for the Senate Budget Committee that is identical to remarks he gave on Feb. 2 to the House Budget panel. “Particularly troubling is the unusually high level of long-term unemployment.”
In response to a question, Bernanke said the unemployment rate of 8.3% understates the weakness of the labor market. He said it’s important to also look at other gauges of the labor market, including underemployment. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7a2kq74 and http://tinyurl.com/7twmhq7
-David Stockman: It’s True, The BLS Data Is Made Up. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/72nnvly
-Greg Hunter: 8.3% Unemployment Lie. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7ueeggb
-Rick Santelli: Here’s What’s Wrong With the Jobs Number. Watch more here-http://tinyurl.com/84u2ga6
-Vedran Vuk: Mixed Messages in Last Week’s Unemployment Report. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7n99cks
–US Jobs Gap Between Young and Old Is Widest Ever. Squeezed by a tight job market, young Americans are especially struggling. They have suffered bigger income losses than other age groups and are less likely to be employed than at any time since World War II. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/876s8lu
-Irish Urge Children to Leave as Export Gain Masks Lost Jobs. Anthony Roche is urging his unemployed son to emigrate to Australia from Ireland to escape joblessness stemming from the country’s economic collapse. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/73tgr5l
-CHART OF THE WEEK: Iran Crude Ban Difficult Without India, China. The U.S. and European Union may struggle to enforce a ban on Iranian crude because of Asia’s reliance on supplies from the Persian Gulf state, according to Global Insight Inc. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7nladx2
-Iran Sanctions Bid Targets Oil, Tanker Companies to Cut Exports. A U.S. proposal to sanction Iran’s state-owned oil company and its main tanker fleet may ensnare any person or business in the world involved in purchasing or shipping Iranian oil. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7xkgk58
–China buys up Saudi, Russian oil to squeeze Iran. China is scouring the world for alternative oil supplies to replace a fall in its imports from Iran, as it seeks to negotiate lower prices from Tehran, and has been drawing heavily on Saudi Arabia. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6svofdn
-Iran says to go green as oil sanctions tighten. Iran should invest in renewable energy to preserve its hydrocarbon reserves, Iranian energy minister Rostam Qasemi said, as tightening sanctions make it increasingly difficult for Tehran to sell oil. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7kppcjx
-Americans Gaining Energy Independence With U.S. as Top Producer. The U.S. is the closest it has been in almost 20 years to achieving energy self-sufficiency, a goal the nation has been pursuing since the 1973 Arab oil embargo triggered a recession and led to lines at gasoline stations.
Domestic oil output is the highest in eight years. The U.S. is producing so much natural gas that, where the government warned four years ago of a critical need to boost imports, it now may approve an export terminal. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7ogzl8e
-Gas Prices in All 50 States Back Above $3 a Gallon. Gas prices in all 50 states this week are back above $3 per gallon for the first time since December 15, when regular unleaded gasoline remained at this level for nearly 10 months. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7485vto
-U.S. Gas prices to spike 60 cents or more by May. Get ready for another round of pain at the pump: $4 (or higher) gasoline. After rising 19 cents a gallon in the past four weeks, regular unleaded gasoline now averages $3.48 a gallon, vs. $3.12 a year ago and $2.67 in February 2010.
Prices could spike another 60 cents or more by May. “I think it’s going to be a chaotic spring, with huge price increases in some places,” says Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service. Kloza expects average prices to peak at $4.05, although he and other industry trackers say prices could be sharply higher in some markets. Rising prices are an annual spring ritual, largely because of seasonal demand. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7vk5e8n
-Gail Tverberg: The Reality Is, Our Economy Runs On Oil And We Need More. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6vr95o6
-Debunking The Myth That America Has 100 Years Of Natural Gas Supply. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7h6mhta
-Pentagon Oil Spending May Snarl Efforts to Trim $490 Billion. The U.S. military’s appetite for oil may snarl efforts to pare defense spending by about $490 billion in the next decade. The Pentagon, the world’s single largest consumer of energy excluding countries, spent $17.3 billion on petroleum in fiscal 2011, a 26 percent increase from $13.7 billion the previous year, according to Department of Defense data provided to Bloomberg Government.
World oil prices will average an estimated $145 a barrel in 2035 in 2010 dollars, up from between roughly $85 and $110, according to Energy Department statistics. Such an increase might force the military to dedicate more of its budget to fuel while still trying to cut total spending, said Russell Rumbaugh, a defense budget analyst. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7hlhloy
-Refinery Closing Threatens Virgin Islands’ Debt, Employment. The U.S. Virgin Islands will confront the threat of a debt downgrade when one of the region’s largest oil refineries shuts down this month, doubling joblessness on St. Croix, the archipelago’s poorest island.
About 2,000 workers will lose their jobs when the 350,000- barrel-a-day Hovensa LLC refinery, a partnership of Hess Corp. and Petroleos de Venezuela SA, closes in mid-February to stem $1.3 billion in losses over the last three years. The decision leaves the Virgin Islands without its biggest private employer and facing a widening budget deficit and higher energy costs as some of its best-paid jobs disappear. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6r645cg
-MF Brokerage Trustee Traced $105 Billion in Cash Movements in Final Week. A trustee’s investigation found that the $1.2 billion in missing MF Global Inc. customer funds began to flow out of the brokerage on Oct. 26, five days before its collapse, as computers and employees fell behind margin calls and demands for collateral. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7dcmz9r
–MF Global’s $310 Million Margin Call on Last Day Exceeded Its Market Value. MF Global Holdings Ltd., the futures broker that filed the eighth-largest bankruptcy in October, faced a $310 million margin call on its final day that exceeded its market value. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7qmfcyp
-SEC is avoiding tough sanctions for large banks. Even as the Securities and Exchange Commission has stepped up its investigations of Wall Street in the last decade, the agency has repeatedly allowed the biggest firms to avoid punishments specifically meant to apply to fraud cases. Read more here-http://www.gata.org/node/10958
-Michelle Meyer: If You’re Counting On Housing To Save The Economy, You’ll Be Disappointed. Meyer writes, “Housing construction should increase this year, but home prices are likely to fall further.” Meyer recently wrote that she expected U.S. home prices to fall another 7% through 2013. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/73dwcjm
-Government Bailout Actually Hurt Housing Recovery: Zell. Government intervention has prevented the real estate market from healing, with the commercial sector hit especially hard, investor Sam Zell said. “Rather than let the elements of the business world take care of the problems, we basically stopped the process of creating market clearing,” Zell said in a CNBC interview. “Had we allowed the market to clear without trying to stop reality we would have a healthy housing market today.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7lw47ra
-History says home real estate is a bad investment. While the housing bust showed many people the dangers of investing in residential real estate, investors could have realized this long before, simply by paying attention to history. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7nsquvr
–BofA Plaza Goes for $235M in Auction. Bank of America Plaza, the tallest tower in the U.S. Southeast, was sold at a public auction today on the steps of the Fulton County Courthouse after landlord BentleyForbes missed mortgage payments.
BentleyForbes, based in Los Angeles, paid $436 million to acquire the 55-story Atlanta skyscraper in 2006 from Bank of America Corp. and Cousins Properties Inc. in the city’s biggest property deal. Since the property market peaked a year after the purchase, the 1.25 million-square-foot (116,000-square-meter) building’s value has tumbled with tenants, including namesake Bank of America, reducing space. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7xxzt7f
-Banks Paying Homeowners to Avoid Foreclosures. Banks, accelerating efforts to move troubled mortgages off their books, are offering as much as $35,000 or more in cash to delinquent homeowners to sell their properties for less than they owe. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/73wxl85
-U.S. Mortgage Servicers in $26B Settlement. Five U.S. banks will pay more than $25 billion in the biggest civil settlement involving states and the federal government to end a probe of abusive foreclosure practices stemming from the collapse of the housing bubble.
The U.S. Justice Department and Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the resolution of the 16-month nationwide state and federal probe. Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co. are among the banks the nation’s five largest servicers participating so far.
With 49 state attorneys general on board, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder called the agreement the largest federal-state civil settlement in U.S. history. “This agreement establishes significant new homeowner protections,” Holder said at a press conference. “It also provides substantial financial assistance to victim borrowers.” Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7uyzxb9
–Foreclosure Deal to Spur U.S. Home Seizures. The $25 billion settlement with banks over foreclosure abuses may trigger a wave of home seizures, inflicting short-term pain on delinquent U.S. borrowers while making a long-term housing recovery more likely. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6ojynbo
-A Mortgage Tornado Warning, Unheeded. Years before the housing bust before all those home loans turned sour and millions of Americans faced foreclosure a wealthy businessman in Florida set out to blow the whistle on the mortgage game. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/83yr85o
-Obama administration to move forward with closing Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac. The Obama administration plans to push forward this spring with efforts to wind down government-backed housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and attract more private funding to mortgage markets, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/84qgkfj
-China Central Bank Pledges Housing Market Support as Curbs Bite. China’s central bank pledged support for first-home buyers as a crackdown on real-estate speculation threatens to trigger a property slump in the world’s second-biggest economy. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/78rqxkk
–Toronto-Dominion Bank’s Clark Says Canada’s Housing Boom Is a ’Concern.’ Toronto-Dominion Bank Chief Executive Officer Edmund Clark said Canada’s banks have a “genuine concern” about the country’s housing boom and rising debt levels among consumers. “Household debt numbers are coming up to U.S. levels, so that is causing us a concern,” Clark, 64, said in an interview on Bloomberg Television. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7tjtvqv
-The World’s Tallest Building Is Now A ‘Distressed’ Property. At 2,717 feet, the Burj Khalifa is the tallest building in the world, but since its opening two years ago, it has struggled to profit from its grand reputation. Investors are calling the Burj “distressed,” as the building has not yet bounced back from a 40 percent downturn in apartment prices it suffered in 2010. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/85be7cj
-13 Detroit Houses You Can Buy For Less Than $100. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/76s7or9
-Era of Food Prices Always Falling Seen at End as World’s Population Grows. The era of falling food prices has come to an end with the world population set to add another 2 billion people, according to Cargill Inc., the U.S. farm commodities trader.
The United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization has said global food output must rise 70 percent by 2050 to feed a world population expected to grow to 9 billion from 7 billion now and as increasingly wealthy consumers in developing economies eat more meat. Food prices tracked by the FAO climbed to the highest ever a year ago on surging grain prices.
“You don’t have to be a reviving bull on commodities to believe that the era, which went from the 50’s, 60’s to 70’s and early 80s, of ever decreasing food prices in real terms has probably come to an end,” Paul Conway, vice chairman of Cargill, said. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7lv4k3m
-Farmers Plan Biggest U.S. Crop Boost Since 1984, Led by Corn. U.S. farmers will plant the most acres in a generation this year, led by the biggest corn crop since World War II, taking advantage of the highest agricultural prices in at least four decades. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6n2lhat
-Bees are still mysteriously dying. There’s good news and bad news on the honeybee beat. First the bad news. Bees are still mysteriously dying. Over the last five years roughly 30% of captive honeybees, which pollinate much of the food we eat, wind up dead at the end of each winter.
For whatever reason probably a combination of pesticides, parasites, disease and poor nutrition honeybees have been dying off at an alarming rate. The exact cause is still not known. Now for the good news. Beekeepers have been able to rejuvenate their hives each year so that by summer the population is back to previous levels.
There’s another bit of good news, too. Agricultural yields are rising, which means that while rejuvenating beehives is costly, the cost isn’t making its way to the supermarket. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/73s7mub
-Ayatollah: Kill all Jews, annihilate Israel. Iran lays out legal case for genocidal attack against ‘cancerous tumor.’ Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6lzau7g
-Iran’s Supreme Leader Threatens Israel, U.S. Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei: We’ll help any nation or group that confronts “cancerous tumor” Israel. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6mvywmq
-Israel, U.S. Divided Over Timing of Potential Military Strike Against Iran. The U.S. and Israel are publicly disagreeing over timing for a potential attack on Iran’s disputed nuclear facilities, as that nation’s leader said it won’t back down.
The U.S. and Israel have a “significant analytic difference” over estimates of how close Iran is to shielding its nuclear program from attack, Aaron David Miller, a former Mideast peace negotiator in the Clinton administration, said. “There’s a growing concern more than a concern that the Israelis, in order to protect themselves, might launch a strike without approval, warning or even foreknowledge,” he said in an interview. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7yqontu
-Israel Warns US Jews: Iran Could Strike Here. Israeli facilities in North America and around the world are on high alert, according to an internal security document obtained by ABC News that predicted the threat from Iran against Jewish targets will increase. Watch more here-http://tinyurl.com/7lvqpo6
-Is Iran trying to develop a missile that could reach America? An Iranian missile under construction, caught up in a mysterious blast in November, had a range of 6,000 miles, a senior Israeli official said in a speech outside Tel Aviv. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/78v4pv2
-Israel embassies preparing for Iran strike? Diplomats stationed in Israel request gas masks, prepare contingency plans in case of missile attacks; envoys fear that thousands of dual-citizenship Israelis will seek evacuation. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6rpv766
-Israel teams with terror group to kill Iran’s nuclear scientists, U.S. officials tell NBC News. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7kel3pz
-Netanyahu Says Only Military Strength Guarantees Security in Middle East. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who yesterday announced plans to visit the U.S. in March, said turmoil in neighboring Arab states and threats from Iran show that Israel must build up its military. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7thfbk9
-Obama Freezes Iranian Government Assets Under Mandate Passed by Lawmakers. President Barack Obama ordered a freeze on all Iranian government and financial institutions’ assets that are under U.S. jurisdiction, the White House said. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6u72rw4
-Iran turns to barter for food as sanctions cripple imports. Iran is turning to barter offering gold bullion in overseas vaults or tankerloads of oil in return for food as new financial sanctions have hurt its ability to import basic staples for its 74 million people, commodities traders said. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/6nufonj
-Ahmadinejad seeks rebound in Iranian elections. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7kwnqs4
-Niall Ferguson: Israel And The US Should Bomb Iran It Will Be Easy. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/77trwlh
-BBC: Iran ‘detaining’ relatives of journalists. The Iranian government has arrested relatives of Persian-language journalists working abroad for the BBC in a bid to silence them, the British Broadcasting Corporation said. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/7wcpmmk
-Jim Rickards: Iran, The Dollar And Financial Warfare. Read more here-http://tinyurl.com/72dag3p
-Doug Short: The Demographic Pyramid Points Toward Revolution In Syria.