In a little under two minutes, Nigel Farage sums up the utter farce that “the religion” that Europe has become. He explains, his fear is that what will break up the Euro, “is not the economics of it, but wholesale, violent revolution,” in the Mediterranean, and that is “all so unnecessary!” Speaking at Simon Black’s Offshore Tactics workshop, the so-called modern day Cicero goes on to point out that France’s Hollande is “the number 1 among idiots running countries around the world,” and worries that Merkel’s pending election means there will be more and more ‘tough talk and action’ as she shows the people she is in charge. Simply put he warns, alongside Ron Paul, that if you have money in European banks, “Get your money out,” because, “when the next phase of the disaster comes, they will come for you.”
With various “gun control” proposals flying fast and furious (precisely the reactionary kneejerk reaction Ron Paul warned would happen), some of which as brilliant as RFIDing every gun in existence, supposedly including the tens of millions of illegal and unregistered ones, it is perhaps appropriate to see how another authoritarian government – China – deals with its own equivalent of the touchy Second Amendment, its “First”, or the right to free speech in a society which for decades has had none, and where the internet makes free speech regulation impossible (very much any gun control in a nation in which there is one gun for every person is impossible). China’s solution, according to Reuters, the requirement of a real name registration for internet access for every person, “extending a policy already in force with microblogs in a bid to curb what officials call rumors and vulgarity…A law being discussed this week would mean people would have to present their government-issued identity cards when signing contracts for fixed line and mobile internet access, state-run newspapers said.”
“The law should escort the development of the internet to protect people’s interest,” Communist Party mouthpiece the People’s Daily said in a front page commentary, echoing similar calls carried in state media over the past week. “Only that way can our internet be healthier, more cultured and safer.“ Read More
America is over $16 trillion in debt. The “official” unemployment rate still hovers around 8%.
Our federal government claims the right to spy on American citizens, indefinitely detain them, and even assassinate them without trial.
Domestic drones fly over the country for civilian surveillance.
Twelve million fewer Americans voted in 2012 than in 2008, yet political pundits scratch their heads.
It’s not hard to see why, though. Read More
Anytime Ron Paul sits across from Ben Bernanke you know sparks will fly. Sure enough, they did: starting 50 seconds into the clip below, Ron Paul, guns blazing, asks the Chairman if he does his own shopping, if he is aware of what true inflation is, and if he knows that Americans don’t trust the government because they are being lied to about inflation. And it only gets better, once Paul starts brandishing a silver coin. The punchline: “The Fed will self-destruct anyway when the money is gone” – amen. And ironically letting the Fed keep on doing what it is doing will achieve that in the fastest possible way. In fact, letting the system cannibalize itself with no further hindrances may be the best option currently available – just go to town.
The folks at Religare Capital Markets have put together one of the better cheat sheets on a region that most of the big banks largely ignore: the Middle East, where day after day we get new and more troubling headlines of escalation, usually involving Iran and Israel. And since at the end of the day, in a resource-strapped world, the bottom line is always about energy, and oil, what happens in the MENA region is arguably far more important at the end of the day than who prints how much electronic paper/linen. But most important is probably the following analysis charting the probability of an attack of Iran by either Israel or the US. We were quite surprised to find that in Religare’s opinion the probability of an Israeli-sourced attack on Iran hits a high of 50% sometime in early February, with the US contributing about 20% with a peak in May and just before the presidential elections. This is how they explain it: “The probability of an attack on Iran is now higher than ever. The only solution to the current crisis, diplomacy, is off the table due to politics and the focus is now shifting to regime change. We see the probability dropping mid-year, although US elections could increase the probability of a US attack significantly (unless Ron Paul steams ahead), as will Iran’s likely decision to move their centrifuges to reinforced facilities in Qom if not handled correctly (likely mid-year). We reiterate our view that the fallout may not be as bad as expected from an Israeli strike, horrendous from a US one.” And if they are right, what happens to oil will likely be the biggest catalyst of events in 2012 – a topic PIMCO has already had some extended observations on.
The Dumbest Idea In The World: Maximizing Shareholder Value (Forbes)
• Occupy Beijing? (Diplomat) see also Tokyo and Beijing Agree on Currency Pact (WSJ)
• Goldman Sachs + Warren Buffett = Not Many Jobs (Bloomberg)
• Soros Sees Gold Prices on Brink of Bear Market (Bloomberg) see also Commodities Poised for First Annual Decline Since 2008 on European Crisis (Bloomberg)
• Traditional lenders shiver as shadow banking grows (FT.com)
• Retailers Get Late Lift (WSJ)
• Choose Your Tech Bullshit (Macro) see also People Who Didn’t Get What They Wanted For Christmas (Buzz Feed)
• Krugman: Keynes Was Right (NYT)
• Gingrich ‘Loophole’ Offers Lobbyist Access for Cash (Bloomberg) see also Matt Stoller: Why Ron Paul Challenges Liberals (Naked Capitalism)
• Jon Stewart Spanks Fox News In the Year-End Ratings (Warming Glow)
As the debt ceiling debate is on everybody’s mind, here is Ron Paul’s take from his website.
Ron Paul doesn’t mince his words.
“THIS DEAL DOES NOTHING TO SOLVE OUR SPENDING PROBLEM”
LAKE JACKSON, Texas – Today, 2012 Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul issued a statement outlining his opposition to the debt ceiling deal struck between the White House and Congress. See statement below.
“While it is good to see serious debate about our debt crisis, I cannot support the reported deal on raising the nation’s debt ceiling. I have never voted to raise the debt ceiling, and I never will.
“This deal will reportedly cut spending by only slightly over $900 billion over 10 years. But we will have a $1.6 trillion deficit after this year alone, meaning those meager cuts will do nothing to solve our unsustainable spending problem. In fact, this bill will never balance the budget. Instead, it will add untold trillions of dollars to our deficit. This also assumes the cuts are real cuts and not the same old Washington smoke and mirrors game of spending less than originally projected so you can claim the difference as a ‘cut’.”
“The plan also calls for the formation of a deficit commission, which will accomplish nothing outside of providing Congress and the White House with another way to abdicate responsibility. In my many years of public service, there have been commissions on everything from Social Security to energy policy, yet not one solution has been produced out of these commissions.
“By denying members the ability to offer amendments and only allowing an up-or-down vote that will take place in the hectic time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, this Commission essentially disenfranchises the vast majority of members from meaningfully participating in the debate over reducing spending and balancing the budget. Furthermore, despite the claims of the bill’s proponents, there is nothing to stop the commission from recommending tax increases. Read More
The man who yesterday got into a heated argument with the chairsatan on whether gold is or isn’t money (a Bernanke response already mocked to death so we will leave it alone), shares his take on the most recent bout of scaremongering by Moody’s (with S&P doing in private today what Moody’s did in public yesterday) with Bloomberg TV’s Erik Schatzker. When asked if the American AAA rating is worth saving, his reply: “probably not. I think if you had a market evaluation on this issue, it should have marked down a long time ago.” The reason the downgrade will come regardless is that “ultimately that is going to happen anyway because we are insolvent.” The big picture: “I think it is part of the game to make sure everyone is fearful so we continue this process. Long term, I think raising the debt limit is a negative because it delays the inevitable. It will give us much bigger problems down the road. Today and tomorrow, if Moody’s does not lower the bond rating, it will be helpful in the short run. In the long run, it will be more devastating because Congress will go back to their old habits again.” Said otherwise: Moody’s is concerned about US debt now, but is not concerned if US were more tomorrow – sheer idiocy.
Full Bloomberg TV: