zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 03/26/2015 12:20
Not too long ago we solved the mystery of America’s missing wage growth by pointing to the fact that wage growth for the country’s “non-supervisory” workers was in fact headed in the wrong direction, while America’s bosses were seeing their pay increase. We went on to note that with the correlation between consumer spending and wage growth now nearly perfect, the US economy could well suffer given that non-supervisory workers account for four-fifths of total employment and consumer spending accounts for three fourths of GDP.
thecommonsenseshow.com / by Dave Hodges / March 26, 2015
Black helicopters in Texas moving “enemy combatants” from Point A to Point B
As I was working on a report concerning the existence of nationwide rendition centers known as black sites, I was sent a video, from multiple people, made by Aaron Dykes and Melissa Melton filming black helicopters, yesterday, in Texas (see video below). This video validates many reports that I am receiving about preemptive arrests of dissidents notated as “enemy combatants” in preparation for Jade Helm 15 and this is what I believe the two reporters are witnessing.
Execution of Red List Activities to Remove Known Dissidents
Dissident extractions consist of personnel in armored vehicles descending upon a home of a known dissident. The known dissident and the family are SWAT-teamed and arrested. The dissident is transported to a waiting helicopter where they and other similarly collected dissidents are transported to where ground transportation will be used to move the captives to a “black site re-education facility”. This protocol is for the main target only. The planned fate of dissident family members is something that I have not been able to determine
financialsense.com / by STRATFOR / 03/26/2015
While the al-Houthi movement struggles to manage multiple regional challenges to its north, its rise to power in Yemen is a setback for Saudi Arabia on its southern flank. After the fall of the Yemeni government, Riyadh will have to capitalize on the al-Houthis’ need for political and financial support to re-establish its influence in the country. But because Iran is trying to fill that support gap, too, Yemen has become another battleground where the two sectarian rivals will struggle against one another.
After being driven from the capital of Sanaa in September, Yemen’s government is at war with itself. President Abd Rabboh Mansour Hadi issued a statement March 19 denouncing the airstrikes on his compound in the southern port city of Aden as an attempted military coup by forces loyal to his predecessor and one-time ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Earlier that day, soldiers and militiamen loyal to Hadi battled their way into Aden’s airport and stormed a nearby military base, both of which were under the control of Gen. Abdel-Hafez al-Saqqaf, a Saleh loyalist.
The infighting in Aden comes after Ansar Allah, the pro-Iranian Zaidi group led by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi, emerged as the single largest force in the country after taking over large swathes of territory in north and central Yemen. The al-Houthis represent a change in the balance of power in Yemen and even the Arabian Peninsula that has opened the door for Iran to become a major player in what was the exclusive domain of Saudi Arabia not too long ago.
The Rise of the al-Houthis
A number of factors facilitated the al-Houthis’ power grab in Yemen. First, Saudi Arabia’s attempts to manage the Yemeni government in the wake of Arab Spring protests did not go as planned. Saleh stepped down in favor of his one-time vice president, Hadi, but the move exacerbated intra-government fissures along tribal, ideological, political and military lines. By the time Hadi took over, Riyadh’s method of playing the various Yemeni factions against each other had undermined the old system to the point where the al-Houthis could take advantage of and align enough tribes to push beyond its northern stronghold of Saada and make their way down into areas south of the capital.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 03/26/2015 11:30
With Washington throwing its full faith and credit behind a new Ukrainian bond issue, it appears it’s time for Moscow to play spoiler to current debt restructuring talks between Kiev and its creditors. Russia is the country’s second-largest creditor after buying $3 billion in bonds back in the days of Viktor Yanukovych (who was once the victim of an attempted assassination by egg and who famously fled the country amid widespread protests last year) and now the Kremlin wants its money and isn’t likely to be amenable to any haircuts imposed on private creditors. Here’s more fromBloomberg:
Ukraine, after gaining a lifeline from the International Monetary Fund, included Russia’s bond among the 29 securities and enterprise loans it seeks to renegotiate with creditors before June. Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko has promised not to give any creditor special treatment. The revamp will include a reduction in the coupon, an extension in maturities as well as a cut in the face value, she said.
Russian Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said March 17 that the nation isn’t taking part in the debt negotiations because it’s an “official” creditor, not a private bondholder.
blog.milesfranklin.com / by Bill Holter / March 26th, 2015
Many people believe the Chinese are on the cusp of replacing the U.S. in many fashions, I believe this myself. There are others out there who believe the Chinese economy and financial markets will crash and burn with all the rest when the derivatives chain finally breaks, I don’t disagree with this either. Let’s look at what the Chinese have done, what they are doing and where they may end up. The spoiler is this, I believe you can equate the Chinese to where the United States stood in the late 1920′s and early 1930′s.
China has done many things over the past years. They have built their manufacturing base and infrastructure faster and on a far larger scale than America did in the early years of the 20th century. They have financed the U.S. budget deficits and “played the game” just as the U.S. did with Britain. It seems as if everything they do is geared toward one goal, that being economic and financial supremacy.
The list of what they have done over just the last few years is very long. China has set up global currency hubs in a dozen or more places all over the world. They have done trade deals all over the world and in various businesses and deals in various raw materials. The recent formation of the AIIB bank is a perfect example of how wide their sight is.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 03/26/2015 11:17
How can it be? Services PMI was at 6-month highs. The Kansas City Fed Index tumbled to -4 in March (against expectations of +1) and was last below this level in Feb 2013. KC Fed has now missed for 6 of the last 8 months and the report is a disaster across the board. New orders plunged to -20 (2nd lowest print since Lehman), order backlogs imploded, average workweek collapsed to -17 (lowest since Lehman), and future capex expectations fell to a five-year low. As one respondent noted, “we do not see the economy as being as strong as a portrayed in the national media reports.”
libertyblitzkrieg.com / by Michael Krieger / Wednesday Mar 25, 2015
The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word ‘war’, therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that it exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This — although the vast majority of Party members understand it only in a shallower sense — is the inner meaning of the Party slogan: WAR IS PEACE.
– George Orwell, 1984
While the incompetence and idiocy of U.S. foreign policy remains on clear display across the globe, nowhere is it more embarrassingly evident than within Iraq. Ironically, nowhere is it playing out more tragically within Iraq itself than in the birthplace of deposed dictator Saddam Hussein, Tikrit.
zerohedge.com / by Daniuel Stelter via The Globalist.com / 03/26/2015 11:01
The political pressure on Germany is rising in Europe. The country faces a choice: Continue business as usual or change the strategy?
Only the latter option may give it real influence on shaping the future course of economic and political affairs in Europe. Playing defense is the comfortable choice, but it may be the wrong strategy.
What needs to be done? Below is a proposal for saving the Eurozone in a way that would safeguard Germany’s interests, too:
1. Admit the facts: Policymakers need to communicate the message very clearly that between 3.0 and 5.0 trillion Euros of government and private debt in Europe will not be served in an orderly way. This excess debt needs to be written off.
2. Pool the debt overhang: Excess debt should be pooled into a debt redemption fund, with all the Eurozone countries bearing joint liability for it.
3. Pay off the debt: Start an orderly process for paying off this debt over a period of at least 20 years. Such longer maturity periods will help to reduce the cost saving pressures that many Eurozone countries are facing.
4. Issue Eurobonds: The debt relief fund (see #2 above) will be refinanced by Eurobonds specifically issued for this purpose. These bonds, with joint liability of all Eurozone countries, will have long maturity periods and low coupon rates and should be amortized on an annual basis.
5. ECB intervention: The ECB could purchase some of these bonds, thus ensuring long-term financing for this legacy debt at low interest rates. The risks are properly balanced: The greater the portion of these bonds purchased by the ECB, the smaller will be the burden on the domestic budgets of the member countries.
6. Show solidarity: Countries like Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain are unlikely to be in a financial position to be able to deal with their debt overhang by themselves. Better-positioned countries, especially Germany, will need to make generous contributions to counter this.
investmentresearchdynamics.com / By Dave Kranzler / March 26, 2015
The start of what could be a major military conflict in the Middle East began yesterday when Saudi Arabia began bombing Yemen last night. But if you get your news from Bloomberg.com or CNN or Fox, the only big news to which you would be exposed is the German commercial airliner crash, which occurred nearly three days ago.
Just for grins – in order to see what kind of pig vomit the major cable news networks are feeding to the masses who even make an attempt to stay current on news that doesn’t relate to the Kardashians or The Voice, I like to surf between Fox News and CNN in the morning. I can say with conviction that had I not known about the Saudi/Yemen war escalation through the althernative internet-based media, I might think that the only real world event this weeks has been the 3-day old plane crash. The front page of Bloomberg.com this morning does not have one reference to the Saudi bombing.
However, aside from the ongoing global economic collapse, the developing military conflict in the Middle East has the potential to profoundly affect life in this country as we know it. The plane crash? Bad for the people who died and their families – a non-event for the cable news tv junkies.
jsnip4, Published on Mar 26, 2015
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 03/26/2015 10:36
Nearly a month after the Hype Alpe Adria bad bank Heta Asset Resolution “unexpectedly” imploded under a house of non-GAAP and misreported cards, and which led to only the second European creditor bail-in after Cyprus in what until then was considered the safest European nation, unleashing a herd of black swans which will result in not only the insolvency of one of Austria’s provinces, Carinthia, but a week ago led to its first foreign casualty, German Duesseldorfer Hypothekenbank AG which had to be bailed out by the German FDIC-equivalent, the ECB has finally realized it may have a major problem at hand.
So, doing what it does best, a month after the fact and long after the black swans have left the stable so to speak, Mario Draghi’s ECB has asked Eurozone banks “to detail their exposure to Austria and provisions they plan to make after the country halted debt repayments by a “bad bank” winding down defunct lender Hypo Alpe Adria,” financial sources told Reuters.
The questionnaire sent to banks and a video conference to discuss the potential fallout underscore the sensitivity of Austria’s path-breaking move to invoke new European rules on ensuring creditors, not just taxpayers, fund bailouts.
“They are taking this seriously,” one senior executive said of the ECB on the condition he not be identified. The ECB declined to comment.
Bankers say Austria’s credibility is on the line after the second move in two years to impose losses on creditors of Hypo, many of whom assumed they had iron-clad backing from the state.
marctomarket.com / by Marc Chandler / March 25, 2015
Japan reports CPI, alongside retail sales, unemployment and overall household spending early tomorrow in Tokyo. Despite the extremely aggressive expansionary monetary policy, the BOJ has not managed to squash deflationary forces.
The BOJ has chosen to target the core rate, which in Japan excludes fresh food. The BOJ also wants to discount the sales tax increase from last April, which will be soon dropping out of the base effect. By this measure, Japan’s inflation is expected to have been just above zero in February. The BOJ has warned that CPI may be flat for the next few months.
The US reported February CPI earlier this week. The Federal Reserve does not target CPI but the core PCE deflator, which typically runs a little below the core CPI measure. Still, for the second month in a row, the core CPI bested expectations. The headline rate increased for the first time in four months. There are some other anecdotal reports, like MIT’s Billion Price Project (real time internet prices), warn of some creeping upside pressure to prices. Meanwhile, the May gasoline futures contract is up about 24% off the mid-January low and the CRB index is up more than 5% from last week’s 6-year low.
globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com / by Mike “Mish” Shedlock / March 26, 2015
Watching the Wrong Things
Many market watchers have their eye on jobs and the unemployment rate as the determinant of when the Fed will hike.
Let’s investigate the wisdom of that approach with actual data.
I downloaded seasonally adjusted employment and jobs data for the last five recessions from the BLS. Because the recessions start in different months, use of seasonally adjusted data is mandatory for this exercise.
My focus is on jobs and employment in the period three months prior to the recession to three months after the recession.
I used the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) report on US Business Cycle Expansions and Contractions as the official arbiter as to when recessions begin.
Jobs are from the Establishment Survey. Employment is from the Household Survey. Results are similar.
zerohedge.com / by Tyler Durden on 03/26/2015 10:27
Paging Jim Bullard…
corbettreport, Published on Mar 26, 2015
jonrappoport.wordpress.com / by Jon Rappoport / March 25, 2015
“Major pysops often contain the element of diversion. That is, the agents and propagandists are taking attention away from something they want to fall down the memory hole. This is particularly true when the thing-to-be forgotten was once a huge threat to the establishment. That thing must fade into oblivion. It must never surface again. So the people who could make it surface again are led into multiple distractions: substitutes for the real thing.” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
In the 1960s, there was a fearful and terrible thing called college activism.
It was fearful and terrible for the US war machine, during the Vietnam disaster.
From that moment, the establishment decided: this must never happen again.
Flash forward to today. Political movements on college campuses—many of them funded by college cash—are all about anything and everything EXCEPT a revolt against:
The war machine;
This is no accident.
It’s a large op.
A diversionary op.
zerohedge.com / by Charles Kennedy via OilPrice.com / 03/26/2015 10:15
Oil prices bounced back on March 24 on a sliding U.S. Dollar, and then again overnight on Middle East turmoil, but the pain may not be over yet.
Oil storage capacity continues to deplete. Storage levels at Cushing, Oklahoma, home to the crucial WTI benchmark, are at record levels. As of March 13, Cushing oil inventories hit 54.4 million barrels, the highest ever, according to the Energy Information Administration. That means that Cushing’s storage is now 77 percent full, up from just 27 percent in October 2014. The glut of oil has led to a flood of crude being diverted into storage tanks. As storage nears capacity, it becomes more likely that prices could drop significantly below current levels. That, of course, depends on if drillers cut back production enough to slow the storage build.
shtfplan.com / by Mac Slavo / March 26th, 2015
How widespread are the problems with excessive force by law enforcement in this country?
This shocking video once again raises questions about how much “less lethal” weapons like tasers really are during high stakes law enforcement encounters.
Dashcam video shows several Border Patrol agents descending on a vehicle at night, with one agent breaking through the passenger window and firing a taser at the driver, causing the vehicle to burst into flames.
The driver, Alex Martin, was killed in the ensuing explosion from the March 2012 incident, prompting a lawsuit filed by the victim’s family against the federal government blaming the weapon once considered “non-lethal” for igniting the fatal fire.
According to the lawsuit, the border agents refused to help save the driver, who was burned, despite having fire extinguishers in their vehicles.