ECONOMY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


ECONOMY

Feb 17 17:00

The £24bn bonanza: Britain's top banks poised to reveal biggest profits since financial crisis

Figures out this week are tipped to indicate that Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC and RBS made a combined profit of £23.9 billion last year – an astonishing 85 per cent increase on the previous 12 months when the figure was just £12.9 billion.

Feb 17 10:14

Citi May Liquidate Over $1 Billion In Venezuela Gold Within Weeks

Back in April 2015, when Venezuela still had a somewhat functioning economy and hyperinflation was not yet rampant, the cash-strapped country quietly conducted a little-noticed gold-for-cash swap with Citigroup as part of which president Nicolas Maduro converted part of his nation's gold reserves into at least $1 billion in cash through a swap with Citibank.

As Reuters reported then, the deal would make more foreign currency available to President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government as the OPEC nation struggled with soaring consumer prices, chronic shortages and a shrinking economy worsened by low oil prices.

Feb 17 09:02

Mexico To Support Indebted State Oil Firm Pemex With $3.6B

Mexico will support Pemex by injecting US$3.6 billion into the debt-laden state-held oil firm, including by refinancing debt and cutting taxes, Mexican officials said on Friday.

The Mexican government, however, will not take on new debt for Pemex, Reuters quoted officials as saying at a regular press conference.

The Mexican state oil firm has a total of US$106 billion in financial debt.

If Pemex needs more capital injection, the government will provide it, according to Finance Minister Carlos Urzua.

Feb 17 08:43

How Kleptocracy Impoverishes Angola, Côte d’Ivoire, and South Africa

Feb 17 08:42

Nearly Three Years After Olympics, The Rio 2016 Organizing Committee's Debt Load Has Tripled

The fallout from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro has continued years after the last games have ended. The debt incurred by the local Olympic organizing committee, Rio 2016, has now increased dramatically to more than three times its original estimate, according to a new report by Deadspin.

The debt was listed at $32 million in December 2016 and now, a little more than two years later, it has more than tripled to $113 million. The Brazilian government and the IOC have both refused to help the local organizing committee dispatch of its debts.

Feb 17 08:39

State Proposes Bill to Treat Gold and Silver as Money to Directly Fight Federal Reserve Monopoly

Bills introduced in the Tennessee legislature would define gold and silver specie as legal tender and eliminate sales taxes levied on it. Passage of these bills would pave the way for Tennessee residents to use gold and silver in everyday transactions, a foundational step for the people to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.

Feb 17 08:15

Philip Hammond's visit to China is cancelled last-minute 'after Beijing pulled out of talks over minister's threat to deploy aircraft carrier Big Lizzie to the Pacific'

Philip Hammond will not visit China this weekend amid reports that Beijing pulled out of trade talks after Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson threatened to deploy a warship in the Pacific.

The Chancellor was expected to meet Chinese vice premier Hu Chunhua, but Treasury sources said the trip was never confirmed.

It follows reports in the Sun newspaper that Mr Hu scrapped the plans hours after Mr Williamson announced that he would be sending HMS Queen Elizabeth to the Pacific region.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This was a bone-headed move. Great Britain needs a trade deal with China to help it through a no-deal BREXIT. What was Gavin thinking?

Feb 16 14:46

It’s time to fight for America and take it back from the corporate tyrants, the lobbyists and the deep state traitors

Life in America has become a gut-wrenching, soul-sucking, misery-drenched, demoralizing existence. -- We have managed to survive crackdowns, clampdowns, shutdowns, showdowns, shootdowns, standdowns, knockdowns, putdowns, breakdowns, lockdowns, takedowns, slowdowns, meltdowns, and never-ending letdowns. -- Take your stand now—using every nonviolent means at your disposal—while you still can. Don’t wait to reflect back on missed opportunities to push back against tyranny. Don’t wait until you’re the last one standing. Time is running out.

Feb 16 10:55

Deutsche Bank Renegs On Pledge To Help Distressed Homeowners

This ought to win Deutsche Bank some badly needed good will with global prosecutors investigating the bank for its involvement in various financial frauds - not to mention Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters.

According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, DB has decided - apparently with the blessing of a federally appointed monitor - that it won't pay out the $4 billion balance on its commitment to help distressed homeowners impacted by the housing collapse. The bank had agreed to spend billions of dollars on consumer relief during the waning days of the Obama administration as part of a massive settlement with the DOJ over its role in selling mortgages.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Feb 16 10:52

Former Goldman Banker Faces Extradition To US In 1MDB Case

Former Goldman banker Roger Ng has been sitting in a Malaysian jail cell since he was arrested in November and charged with abetting his employer's efforts to mislead investors in the three Goldman-organized bond offerings that helped capitalize the doomed Malaysian sovereign wealth fund 1MDB, which is at the center of what the DOJ alleges was a more than $4 billion fraud. But soon, Ng will find himself free on bail back in the US, now that the DOJ's extradition request has been granted by the Malaysian government.

Feb 16 10:47

India's PM Modi warns Pakistan of strong response to Kashmir attack

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Pakistan on Friday to expect a strong response to a suicide attack that killed 44 paramilitary policemen in Kashmir, ratcheting up tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

The car bomb attack on a security convoy on Thursday was the worst in decades of insurgency in the disputed region. India said it had “incontrovertible evidence” of Pakistani involvement, a statement quickly rejected by Islamabad.

“We will give a befitting reply, our neighbour will not be allowed to de-stabilise us,” Modi said in a speech, after meeting security advisers to discuss options.

The attack comes months before national elections in India.

The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility soon after a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a bus carrying police personnel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Other reports from the region, seem to indicate that New Dehli is seriously thinking about starting an economic war against Pakistan, particularly if such attacks continue (and trust me, they will continue, unless and until, the Kashmiri people finally get their long-deserved referendum, to permanently determine its status).

Here is the following article giving credence to this possibility:

India to remove trade privileges, and insure a complete financial isolation of Pakistan

And other stories about the case, brought together by antiwar.com:

Kashmir suicide bomber radicalised after beating by Indian troops, parents say

Jaishe-e-Mohammad; the Pakistan-based militants at the heart of tension with India

China has a strong defence understanding with Pakistan:

China to boost military cooperation with Pakistan: Report

The US, under President Obama, inked a deal to provide more defense capabilities to India: Joint Statement by President Obama and India's Prime Minister Singh on Defense Relations

If someone is not able to call off this potential war between Pakistan and India (Sergei Lavrov, white courtesy telephone, PLEASE!!) the US and China may well wind up in this mess also, with China backing Pakistan, and the US backing India against China and Pakistan. I would like to hope that some light of reason will dawn on the leadership of both countries, but it is hard to see where this will come from right now. A war between both nuclear-armed countries could create an absolutely horrific - and irreversible - future for both of them.

Feb 16 10:33

Russia calls latest US sanctions ‘just another schizoid story’

Russia is not afraid of sanctions and new penalties won’t hugely harm the economy, according to Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. However, he added that the measures may slow development.

The latest bill pushing a fresh round of economic sanctions against Moscow was introduced to US Congress by Senators Lindsey Graham and Bob Menendez. It is the second attempt to expand anti-Russia penalties after the previous version was defeated last year. If approved, the new package will target Russia’s banking and energy sectors, as well as its foreign debt.

Feb 16 10:26

Senator Warren Calls for End of US Support of War Crimes in Yemen

A starker reality is that the US has aided and abetted a criminal, genocidal war against Yemen, mostly carried out by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and several allies. From the beginning, this war has been a nexus of war crimes that included using cluster bombs on civilian targets, such as weddings, funerals, hospitals, and schools. The US was involved from the start in selecting those and other targets. The US provided intelligence, maintenance, mid-air refueling, and support for a naval blockade (an act of war) that helped starve a country that has always needed to import food to survive.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Yes, I know, I frequently link to images of dead, maimed children; their horrible death by malnutrition, and death by (possibly weaponized) cholera.

President Obama was always the clever, shifty one, who managed to state his case so poetically in prose, if coverage of the Yemen war got any press at all in the US, that you never, ever, would have considered him as a war criminal, when in fact, he was.

I will say the same thing about President Trump, who has massively allowed the Saudi Army to buy all kinds of arms and munitions to continue this genocide in Yemen, and is, because of this continuation in Obama's footprints, also a war criminal.

I am encouraged that Senator Warren has called for an end to this nightmare; but we need other voices in Congress to do that same, and initiate a bullet-proof, veto-proof-piece of legislation, which spells out the US pulling out of this mission, militarily, forever.

Feb 16 10:11

India's PM Modi warns Pakistan of strong response to Kashmir attack

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi warned Pakistan on Friday to expect a strong response to a suicide attack that killed 44 paramilitary policemen in Kashmir, ratcheting up tension between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

The car bomb attack on a security convoy on Thursday was the worst in decades of insurgency in the disputed region. India said it had “incontrovertible evidence” of Pakistani involvement, a statement quickly rejected by Islamabad.

“We will give a befitting reply, our neighbour will not be allowed to de-stabilise us,” Modi said in a speech, after meeting security advisers to discuss options.

The attack comes months before national elections in India.

The Pakistan-based Islamist militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) claimed responsibility soon after a suicide bomber rammed an explosives-laden car into a bus carrying police personnel.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Other reports from the region, seem to indicate that New Dehli is seriously thinking about starting an economic war against Pakistan, particularly if such attacks continue (and trust me, they will continue, unless and until, the Kashmiri people finally get their long-deserved referendum, to permanently determine its status).

Here is the following article giving credence to this possibility:

India to remove trade privileges, and insure a complete financial isolation of Pakistan

And other stories about the case, brought together by antiwar.com:

Kashmir suicide bomber radicalised after beating by Indian troops, parents say

Jaishe-e-Mohammad; the Pakistan-based militants at the heart of tension with India

China has a strong defence understanding with Pakistan:

China to boost military cooperation with Pakistan: Report

The US, under President Obama, inked a deal to provide more defense capabilities to India: Joint Statement by President Obama and India's Prime Minister Singh on Defense Relations

If someone is not able to call off this potential war between Pakistan and India (Sergei Lavrov, white courtesy telephone, PLEASE!!) the US and China may well wind up in this mess also, with China backing Pakistan, and the US backing India against China and Pakistan. I would like to hope that some light of reason will dawn on the leadership of both countries, but it is hard to see where this will come from right now. A war between both nuclear-armed countries could create an absolutely horrific - and irreversible - future for both of them.

Feb 16 09:45

A Financial System Headed For A Collision With Debt

I had to laugh when Trump’s Cocaine Cowboy – masquerading as the Administration’s flagship “economist” – attributed the plunge in retail sales to a “glitch.” Yes, the “glitch” is that 7 million people are delinquent to seriously delinquent on their auto loan payments. I’d have to hazard a wild guess that these folks aren’t are not spending money on the latest iPhone or a pair of high-end yoga pants.

Feb 16 09:43

Russians Told To "Prepare For Worst Outcome" As US Prepares New Sanctions

A bipartisan team of US senators is preparing to hit Russia with additional sanctions over its 2016 US election interference and military operations in Syria and Ukraine.

Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are spearheading the measure, called the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, which includes a wide range of financial penalties targeting Russia's energy complex, financial industry and "political figures, oligarchs, and family members and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Vladimir Putin," reported The Independent.

Feb 16 09:42

Foreigners Dumped Record Amount Of US Treasuries

Late last year, DoubleLine's Jeff Gundlach warned that as a result of rising hedging costs, US Treasury bonds have become increasingly unattractive to foreign buyers. This can be seen in the chart below which shows the yield on the 10Y US TSY unhedged, and also hedged into Yen and Euros. In the latter two cases, the yield went from over 3%, to negative as a result of the gaping rate differential between the Fed and ECB or BOJ.

Feb 16 09:37

Venezuelan opposition leader says humanitarian aid center opens in MiamiMore:http://tass.com/world/1045007?_ga=2.257650574.426148364.1550213569-363929275.1477368173

CARACAS, February 16. /TASS/. The fourth center for collecting humanitarian aid for Venezuela is being established in the US city of Miami, Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido wrote on his official Twitter account.

READ ALSO
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido
Opposition to take all measures for humanitarian aid to get into Venezuela
"We announce opening a center for collecting humanitarian aid in Miami, so that Venezuelans all around the world can join the movement for Venezuela," Guaido said.

On February 2 Guaido announced opening three checkpoints for accepting foreign humanitarian aid. The three checkpoints are in Cucuta, on the border with Brazil and on an island in the Caribbean. He did not rule out that another checkpoint may be opened on the territory of Colombia but did not specify the details.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I hope and pray, that the "aid" represented by these offerings are food, medicines, and clothing; not more guns.

Feb 16 09:31

Hungary Schools Pompeo Over 'Huge Hypocrisy' on Russia: 'We're Sick and Tired

The top Hungarian diplomat's remarks came during his joint press conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who, in particular, warned Hungary not to let Russian President Vladimir Putin "drive wedges between friends" in NATO.

Speaking at a joint news conference with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Budapest on Monday, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto specifically pointed out what he described as Western countries' hypocritical stance toward Moscow.

"As for Russia – and I have told the State Secretary about this – there is enormous hypocrisy and political correctness in the European political arena," Szijjarto said.

READ MORE: Hungary Refuses to Dance to US Tune, Step Up Pressure on Russia — Reports

He recalled that neither Hungarian nor central European energy companies are partnering with the Russian corporation Gazprom in the Nord Stream 2 project.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I didn't see any coverage of this story in the US papers, if they were, in fact, reporting on Pompeo's trips to both Budapest and Warsaw, which both appeared to have come off the flipping rails, and combusted, then imploded, then fell into the swamp!

Apparently, his and Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu's anti-Iran twitter rant did not win Pompeo any bouquets in Warsaw;

Ahead of Peace meeting in Warsaw, Netanyahu threatens war with Iran. and him prattling on about Hungary's not being a great "Western NATO Partner" against Russia, did not earn him anything positive in Budapest, either.

In the Biblical book of Isaiah, there is a phrase: Isaiah 1:18 King James Version (KJV) Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord".

Right now, to the international community, Mike Pompeo is behaving like some kind of bad-dream, Neocon-leftover clown whose only answer to everything which annoys the US, is, of course, more wars.

His polar opposite, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov is always the responsible, peace-seeking, reason-seeking adult in the room, and conducts himself with intelligence, clarity, and dignity.

Would that the US government had someone like this, carefully negotiating and listening, not blustering, seeking consensus, not further dividing, and asking, politely, for a specific outcome, rather than demanding it.

I am afraid that the only thing which would bring this about, would most probably be, a complete, utter, military loss of this country to several others, who collectively vow that the Unhinged, Surveilled State of Amerika will never be allowed to create a carnage as intense as this war creates.

Feb 16 09:19

Germans go gaga for Russian food discounter Mere amid nostalgia for ‘Iron Curtain’ era

“Many Germans cannot be identified as rich. There are many citizens living on welfare, pensioners, lonely and older people… In some parts of the country, especially in the East, unemployment rate totals eight percent,” Professor Johannes Ringel from Leipzig’s University told Russia’s state TV channel Rossiya 2.

Feb 16 09:05

Where A No-Deal Brexit Would Hit Hardest

In recent weeks, the chances of a dreaded no-deal Brexit occurring have increased exponentially ahead of the deadline on March 29th.

A new study has looked into that scenario's potential impact on jobs across the world. Statista's Niall McCarthy notes that the analysis was carried out by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH), focusing on 56 industrial sectors across 43 countries while assuming a 25 percent drop in EU exports to the UK in the event of a hard Brexit.

It found that Germany could lose the most jobs with around 103,000 threatened if the UK crashes out of the EU with no deal.

Feb 16 08:54

Millennials Ages 25-34 Have $42,000 in Debt

Feb 16 08:35

As Russia Collusion Narrative Collapses, The 'Resistance' Reaches New Depths Of Delusion

t’s been the opinion here at CFN that Mr. McCabe and a long list of DOJ / FBI / and Intel employees would eventually be summoned to grand juries on charges ranging from lying to their Internal Affairs colleagues all the way to sedition. Those worms now seem to be turning. Both house and senate committees investigating the Russia narrative declared that they turned up no evidence for it.

And late this week, William Barr was confirmed as a new Attorney General, meaning the extreme case of bureaucratic constipation in that department may be resolving in a shitstorm of counter-revelations and prosecutions in what amounted to an attempted coup d’etat. A lot of the evidence for that is already public and overwhelming.

But what will happen in the meantime as their enablers are dragged into courts of law to answer for their roguery?

Feb 16 08:30

California Nightmare: Over Half Of Golden State Residents Wish They Could Leave

This just shows what can happen when you let crazy people run a state for several decades...

Webmaster's Commentary: 

As a native San Franciscan, I do not believe that I could ever go back there and live; there is just too much insanity, and zero common sense, when it comes to the running of the state by day.

Or back to Greater Los Angeles, now overcome with rat infestation and typhus?!? flea-borne typhus infects Los Angeles

Thank you, NO!!

Feb 16 08:21

Climate Change Religion And Related Cover-Ups: What The Hell Is NASA Hiding?

The shrill voices of climate change hucksters get louder every day. Supposedly the world will end in 12 years. It won't.

Someone asked me on Twitter today "who are you to debate climate scientists."

Well, who are priests and clergy to debate Darwinism? Should we prevent debate that does not suit us?

Here's a widely held view: Climate Change Denial Should Be a Crime

In 1663, leading scientists all thought the sun revolved around the earth. The Catholic Church Convicted Galileo of Heresy for disputing the claim.

Supposedly, we are brighter today.

But why do we have scientists faking data and suppressing data that does not meet the cause?

Climategate
The Climate Scandal of the Decade involves fundamentally flawed methods and data manipulation to produce a "hockey stick" rise in temperatures.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Take THAT, criminal climate creeps!!!

Feb 16 08:15

IMF Discreetly Preps Massive Aid Package For "Day After" Maduro's Fall

The International Monetary Fund is reportedly making plans for the "day after" embattled President Nicolas Maduro's fall, according to Bloomberg. Though there's been little momentum in military defections following US-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido's offer of amnesty to any army officer that switches loyalties, Washington sanctions have effectively strangled state-owned PDVSA's access to global markets. News of IMF maneuvering also comes amidst fresh reports the US is amassing aircraft, troops and armored vehicles on the Venezuelan border under the pretext of getting humanitarian aid into the country.

The only significant cash flow that remains after the oil sanctions is through India, Venezuela’s second-biggest oil market after the United States, which still recognizes the Maduro government, and is now reportedly seeking to avoid purchases through US banks and even financial institutions with a heavy US presence.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

IF India can find a way around US sanctions, they will start a domino effect against them; if they cannot, Maduro's ability to stay in power may be completely handicapped by them.

Feb 16 07:47

Russians Told To "Prepare For Worst Outcome" As US Prepares New Sanctions

A bipartisan team of US senators is preparing to hit Russia with additional sanctions over its 2016 US election interference and military operations in Syria and Ukraine.

Sens. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) are spearheading the measure, called the Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act, which includes a wide range of financial penalties targeting Russia's energy complex, financial industry and "political figures, oligarchs, and family members and other persons that facilitate illicit and corrupt activities, directly or indirectly, on behalf of Vladimir Putin," reported The Independent.

Threats of the sanctions rocked Russian stock and government bond markets at the end of the week, and the country's debt insurance costs jumped alongside FX volatility.

Moscow has responded to the prospect of new sanctions with anger.

A former minister told Russians to prepare for the worst outcome; the Kremlin accused the US of “racketeering.”

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Demonization of a country, compounded with severe financial sanctions against it, are nearly always the prelude to an American-created war, and that is precisely what I am seeing, getting played out, here, with Russia.

Feb 16 07:42

Veni, Vidi, Tweeti - An Obituary For The Republic

What dreamers they were! They imagined a kind of global power that would leave even Rome at its Augustan height in the shade. They imagined a world made for one, a planet that could be swallowed by a single great power. No, not just great, but beyond anything ever seen before — one that would build (as its National Security Strategy put it in 2002) a military “beyond challenge.” Let’s be clear on that: no future power, or even bloc of powers, would ever be allowed to challenge it again.

And, in retrospect, can you completely blame them? I mean, it seemed so obvious then that we — the United States of America — were the best and the last. We had, after all, outclassed and outlasted every imperial power since the beginning of time. Even that other menacing superpower of the Cold War era, the Soviet Union, the “Evil Empire” that refused to stand down for almost half a century, had gone up in a puff of smoke.

Feb 16 07:28

Humanitarian Intervention" And The New World Order, Part 2

However, successful collective security is mainly on direct dependence on three conditions:

The states must be roughly equal, or at least there must be no preponderant power.

All states must be willing to share the cost and responsibility of defending one another.

There must be an international body that has the moral authority and military capacity to take effective action.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And this has much to do with Russia, India, and China moving out of the dollar, and into other currencies, like the Euro.

When the world's oil is sold in any other currencies than the US dollar, that state, or states, doing this, suddenly become the "evil other,", and to be "reckoned with", by the US, as happened with Libya's Muammar Gaddafi, who had to be quickly "neutralized" by the West, to preventing him from introducing his "gold-backed dinar", which would have left the US dollar in the dust.

When Karl Marx made the observation that all wars are economic in nature, he pegged it absolutely , and completely correctly.

Feb 16 07:19

Analyzing Russia's Nuclear Submarine Threat

Introduction:

Nuclear submarines are the leading strike force of a fleet, capable of covertly controlling the expanses of the world’s oceans and quickly deploying in the required directions. They deliver unexpected and powerful strikes from the depths of the ocean on both sea and land targets.

The main striking force of the Russian Navy is nuclear submarines armed with ballistic and cruise missiles with nuclear warheads. They are constantly in various parts of the world’s oceans, ready for immediate use of their strategic weapons. Submarines, armed with cruise missiles, are aimed mainly at combating the enemy’s large surface ships and strike on the enemy’s coastal infrastructure. Torpedo nuclear submarines are used to disrupt the enemy’s underwater and surface communications and in the defense system against the underwater threat, as well as to escort surface ships and missile submarines.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

So I would like to know, where is the US military (and particularly our Navy) in assuring that capabilities necessary to counter these ships and weapons exist, and are moved very quickly into workable production?!?

Somehow, it appears that the US military has gotten more than a bit behind both Russia and China, in signing off on the capabilities of existing destroyers and subs, And that.... needs to get fixed, and quickly.

Feb 16 07:10

FOIA Docs Reveal Obama FBI Covered Up "Chart" Of Potential Hillary Clinton Crimes

The top brass of the Obama FBI went to great lengths to justify their decision not to recommend charges against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified information, according to Judicial Watch, which obtained evidence that the agency created a 'chart' of Clinton's offenses.

The newly obtained emails came in response to a court ordered Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that the DOJ had previously ignored.

Via Judicial Watch (emphasis ours):

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Again, in this country, the monied do not eat their own.

Crimes were committed; violations of law happened; and yet, Hillary Clinton was not, and most probably will not, be investigated for them.

She and Bill probably have a "comfortable arrangement" with some country which does not have a mutual extradition treaty with the United States, so if the excrement even starts to get near the ventilation system, they have a way out, 24/7, on a private jet, into a happy, comfortable paradise.

Feb 16 07:03

DEUTSCHE BANK RENEGS ON PLEDGE TO HELP DISTRESSED HOMEOWNERS

This ought to win Deutsche Bank some badly needed good will with global prosecutors investigating the bank for its involvement in various financial frauds - not to mention Financial Services Committee Chairwoman Maxine Waters.

According to a Bloomberg report on Friday, DB has decided - apparently with the blessing of a federally appointed monitor - that it won't pay out the $4 billion balance on its commitment to help distressed homeowners impacted by the housing collapse. The bank had agreed to spend billions of dollars on consumer relief during the waning days of the Obama administration as part of a massive settlement with the DOJ over its role in selling mortgages.

Instead, the bank will use the money on providing new loans.

The bank's monitor said the decision might disappoint some homeowners who had reached out to the bank for relief over the past two years...but, to be fair, DB has already paid out $1.5 billion as part of the program.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

It is very simple in this country; the monied rarely eat their own, as demonstrated by the US judiciary's allowance for DB changing course, and not providing the relief they promised they would.

Feb 16 06:56

OPIOID MAKER USED RAP VIDEO TO PUSH POWERFUL PAINKILLER

Employees at a drug company accused of bribing doctors rapped and danced around a person dressed as a bottle of the highly addictive fentanyl spray in a video meant to motivate sales reps to push the drug.

The video was shown to jurors this week in the closely watched trial in Boston of wealthy Insys Therapeutics Inc. Founder John Kapoor and four other onetime executives, including a former exotic dancer who prosecutors say was hired as a regional sales manager even though she had no pharmaceutical experience.

They’re charged with scheming to pay doctors bribes and kickbacks in exchange for prescriptions of the opioid meant for cancer patients with severe pain. Kapoor and the other former executives of the Chandler, Arizona-based company have denied all wrongdoing.

The video, titled “Great by Choice,” was shown during a national sales meeting in 2015 to encourage employees to talk doctors into prescribing higher doses, prosecutors said.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

One can nearly sell anything in this country, wrapped up in a pretty advertising campaign, and get away with it, most of the time; but those moral questions, about a drug's power and potential lethality are generally rarely visited in the US.

And ironically, right now, the FDA is pushing for the scheduling of the herb "Kratom", which, when taken in small doses, can assist people suffering from pain, moderate to severe, and not create a "hangover effect" from the drug, which means those taking this herb, will not need more of it then previously, to get comfortable again.

Feb 15 19:10

How do you like them Apples? Tim Cook's iPhones sitting in the tree, feeling unloved by the Chinese

Apple's iPhone sales volumes in the strategic Chinese market slumped by double digits in Q4 – the firm's seasonally biggest quarter – as buyers opted for homegrown hardware makers' handsets.

CEO Tim Cook warned at the start of January that Cupertino's mobile phone revenue for Q1 of fiscal '19 ended 29 December were likely to be down 15 per cent, and so it proved when those numbers were filed.

Now Canalys has painted more colour on Apple's actual shipments: Apple sold 2.6 million fewer mobiles in China in the quarter, down almost 18 per cent to 11.5 million units. This was in a market that had declined 10.8 per cent to 100.7 million.

Feb 15 15:10

Retail Apocalypse and Carmageddon Continue to Pick up Speed as Predicted Here

We now know that the Retail Apocalypse took another trip downhill during the all-important holiday season. December reports show retail sales declined more in one month than they have since … the Great Recession. Notice what a common refrain that comparison has become.

Feb 15 13:33

Ocasio-Cortez celebrates Amazon’s NYC pullout

U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cheered the decision by Amazon.com Inc to scrap its plans to build an outpost in New York that could have created 25,000 jobs

Feb 15 11:56

Payless To Close All 2,300 Stores Amid Bankruptcy Plans: Report

With plans in place to file bankruptcy later this month, Payless ShoeSource Inc. will close all of its store locations as it plans to liquidate, Reuters reported.

The discount shoe retailer will close all of its approximately 2,300 store locations, sources told the outlet. The company is said to be in the process of initiating a going-out-of-business sales in the next week.

Payless had been trying to locate a buyer for the sale of its company, but a deal has not been struck with any promising investor. The company has made the decision to move toward liquidation, hoping for a buyer to come forth after it files for bankruptcy, reports Reuters.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

And yet the government and corporate media keep insisting the economy is doing just fine.

Feb 15 11:40

Iranian Cryptocurrency Ready to Challenge Bitcoin and Save Tehran From Sanctions

Iranian authorities, together with four local banks and Ghoghnoos, have launched the PayMon cryptocurrency backed by gold reserves, aiming to bypass international sanctions. No other country has ever used gold reserves to back a cryptocurrency. PayMon is expected to be presented on the Iranian Fara Bourse OTC securities market.

Feb 15 11:40

US warns the world against buying Venezuelan oil

US National Security Advisor John Bolton has warned countries and companies against buying crude oil from Venezuela, after the Latin American country said it wants to sell more oil to the fast-growing Indian market.

In a tweet with a Bloomberg article on Venezuelan-Indian oil relations attached, Bolton wrote: “Nations and firms that support Maduro’s theft of Venezuelan resources will not be forgotten. The United States will continue to use all of its powers to preserve the Venezuelan people’s azsets and we encourage all nations to work together to do the same.”

Feb 15 11:06

US retail sales, Fed comments

Feb 15 10:33

US National Debt: ‘You Can’t Bridge Deficit Gap Overnight’ – Chief US Economist

The US national debt has surpassed the 22 trillion dollar mark for the first time; a milestone that experts have warned is further evidence of the deterioration of the nation’s finances and could jeopardise the economic security of every American.

The Treasury Department's daily statement showed Tuesday that the total outstanding public debt now stands at $22.012 trillion. It stood at $19.95 trillion when President Donald Trump took office on 20 Jan 2017

Feb 15 09:51

Recession looms as subprime borrowers default loans

Feb 15 09:49

Proposed ‘sanctions from hell’ against Russia may curb Trump, but won’t help US rule the world

Even as the ‘Russiagate’ probe crumbled in the US Senate, five senators resurrected a ‘sanctions bill from hell’ against Russia. What are the prospects of it passing, and does it even need to in order to achieve its objective?

The “Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression (DASKA)” Act, also known as Senate Resolution 482, was announced on Wednesday by the leading Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations committee, Bob Menendez (D-New Jersey). It is a rehash of the August 2018 bill (S. 3336) proposed by Menendez and Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina), called the “sanctions bill from hell” at the time.

Feb 15 09:13

THE CHINESE AND MAGINOT GOLD LINES

Feb 14 18:31

JP Morgan creates first US bank-backed crypto-currency

US investment bank JP Morgan has created a crypto-currency to help settle payments between clients in its wholesale payments business.

JPM Coin is the first digital currency to be backed by a major US bank.

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