Monday, October 21, 2019

The 8:00 PM Algo-At 7:06 PM

by Andy Hoffman, Miles Franklin:

In a world gone mad – mostly, due to a handful of sociopathic “one percenters” – here are some of the PiMBEEB reasons, from the past 24 hours alone, why I last week penned “the most Precious Metals bullish I’ve ever been.”

  1. In the words of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev – former President, and current right-hand man to Vladimir Putin – regarding Congress’ insane decision to impose dramatic new economic sanctions on Russia, for reasons essentially no one understands; “the signing of new sanctions against Russia into law by the US president leads to several consequences. First, any hope of improving our relations with the new US administration is over.  Second, the US just declared a full-fledged trade war on Russia. Third, the Trump administration demonstrated it is utterly powerless, and in the most humiliating manner transferred executive powers to Congress.”
  1. Following up on America’s unfathomably self-destructive foreign policy, Trump is this morning expected to deliver a speech denouncing China’s trade policies; in essence, igniting a potentially globally destructive trade war, that China has already vowed to retaliate against.
  1. In a series of moves telegraphing America’s intention to invade; atop the economic sanctions imposed in the aforementioned law, to not just Russia, but North Korea and Iran; the government ordered all U.S. citizens to leave North Korea by September 1st. This, mere hours after publishing a video displaying the capabilities of its Minuteman ICBM program.
  1. Escalating border tensions between nuclear-armed China and India, culminating in a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman stating “the crossing of the mutually recognized national borders on the part of India… is a serious violation of China’s territory and runs against the international law“…and that “the determination and the willingness and the resolve of China to defend its sovereignty is indomitable, so it will safeguard its sovereignty and security interests at whatever cost.”
  1. Just one day after the Royal Bank of Australia’s “unexpectedly” uber-dovish policy statement – in which it “warned” of the dangers of a strengthening Aussie dollar; the Australian “black economy task force” proposed a variety of draconian “war on cash” measures – like inserting nanochips in paper currency and issuing currency “expiration dates” to prevent hoarding.
  1. Yet again, a major Central bank “unexpectedly” published an uber-dovish policy statement. In this case, the Bank of England – following yesterday’s RBA decision, and those of the Fed, BOJ, and ECB in the prior two weeks.
  1. This, as the Reserve Bank of India – “war on cash” and all – “unexpectedly” reduced interest rates last night, too.
  1. Incredibly, despite maniacal stock and bond market support by the PPT, Fed, and Exchange Stabilization Fund, it was reported that the average U.S. public pension fund returned just 0.6{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in 2016, compared to the comically unattainable 7.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} “assumption” they cumulatively made.
  1. Now that the “repeal and replace” movement is dead and buried, the first 2018 Obamacare rate hike requests have come in from health insurance companies – featuring massive increases, of up to 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.
  1. S. Commercial and Industrial loan generation plunged to its lowest year-over-year growth rate in six years – at barely above zero.
  1. Plunging interest rates that, with each passing day, makes my early January call that 2.5{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} would represent the top of the 10-year Treasury yield look that much more prescient.

 

  1. News that OPEC production again hit a new record high in July, six months after the fraudulent “production cut” concocted by the ad hoc “oil PPT” first commenced – which will only increase the dramatic deflationary trends Central banks are so terrified of.
  1. Last but not least, the dollar index is now down 9{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} in 2017, representing its worst first half of the year since 1985. Not an insignificant accomplishment, given how the Euro, Yen, and Pound are on the verge of being hyper-inflated into oblivion.

 

Consequently, the powers that be’s’ attempts to mask political, economic, and monetary collapse with market manipulation have gone parabolic – to the point that quite soon, the entire world will realize what’s going on, and “invest accordingly.”  As at some point, “dotcom valuations in a Great Depression Era” and Precious Metals trading at their “lowest ever inflation-adjusted prices” must revert to the mean, no matter how much manipulation is utilized to prevent this inevitability.

I’ve been forced by one of the gold Cartel’s most egregious, “in your face” attacks in history – which most probably don’t realize, given that as I write just after the COMEX open, both gold and silver prices have moved back into the black.  Which was, this “flash crash” last night at 7:06 PM EST.  Followed of course, by a similar “flash crash” at the time-tested “2:15 AM” hour (when London “pre-market” paper trading commences), for the 884th time in the past 1,009 trading days.

Read more @ MilesFranklin.com

DEBT SLAVERY + FAKE MONEY = FINAL COLLAPSE

from Egon von Greyerz, Gold Switzerland:

Over the last 150 years, the West has gone from human slavery to debt slavery. Slavery was officially outlawed in most countries between the mid 1800s and early 1900s. In the British Empire, it was abolished in 1834 and in the US in 1865 with the 13th amendment.

But it didn’t take long for a different and much more subtle form of slavery to be introduced. It started officially in 1913 with the creation of the Federal Reserve Bank in New York. More than 100 years before that, the German banker Mayer Amschel Rotschild had stated: “Give me control of a nation’s money and I care not who makes its laws.” The bankers who gathered on Jekyll island in November 1910 were totally aware of the importance of controlling the country’s money and that was the objective of their infamous secret meeting which laid the foundations to the Fed. The Fed is officially the Central Bank of the USA but it is a private bank, owned by private banks and for the benefit of private banks and bankers.

MORTGAGE = DEATH PLEDGE

So the Western world was free from human slavery for around half a century but is now subject to a form of slavery which most people are unaware of. It is a slavery which no law, no regulation or edict can abolish. Nor are there any magic financial tricks that can make this form of slavery disappear. I am of course talking about debt slavery which has gradually taken hold of the West in the last hundred years and now is enslaving many emerging market countries too. There is mortgage slavery. The word mortgage comes from Latin and French and means death pledge. And this is exactly what it will be for a lot of people who will neither afford the coming increase in interest rates nor the repayment of capital on their property which will collapse in value. We also have credit card slaves, auto loan slaves and student slaves. Virtually all of these loans will expire worthless as the enslaved borrowers default.

US DEBT GROWS AT 2X GDP

In 1913 global debt was negligible but grew steadily to 1971 when Nixon abolished the gold backing of the dollar. Since 1971, the debt enslavement has taken off at an exponential rate. Just looking at US total debt, it was $1.7 trillion in 1971 and is now $67 trillion. At the beginning of this century US debt was “only” $30 trillion so just in the last 16 years it has doubled.

Since 1971, US total debt has grown 39x whilst GDP has grown 16x only. This is more proof that perceived improvement in the standard of living and wealth can only be achieved with printed money and credit expansion. What the world is experincing today is a Fake prosperity based on Fake money and Fake growth. Hardly a recipe for a sustainable US or world economy.

GLOBAL DEBT $ 2 QUADRILLION

Debt slavery is now a chronic condition which the world finds itself in. The word debt has the same roots as death and clearly has very dark connotations. Slavery means being owned and controlled by someone. What the bankers started on Jekyll Island has now enslaved the world in a debt/death grip from which there is no escape. Global debt of $230 trillion plus unfunded liabilities and derivatives takes us to over $2 quadrillion debt and liabilities is just too big a weight to get rid of.

KRUGMAN – PRINT MORE MONEY

So how does the world attempt to solve this debt/death trap. We can of course ask Nobel prize winner Krugman and he will give us the Keynesian solution which the world has applied for ¾ of a century with catastrophic consequences – JUST PRINT MORE MONEY!

Money printing has created a massive debt problem, more printing exacerbated it, and even more merely postponed the inevitable collapse. Any further dose of this poisonous medicine will be like pushing on a string – it will have zero effect as a remedy but a disastrous effect when it comes to the destruction of money. And this is of course what is likely to happen in the next few years. I have for many years been clear that massive money printing is the only tool that central banks have left. This will lead to hyperinflation, the total destruction of paper money and to a deflationary asset and debt collapse. Only after that can the world grow again, but before that there will be a lot of pain in the world.

SWEDEN – AN ENSLAVED CASHLESS SOCIETY

The powers that be have not been satisfied just to enslave the world with debt. People must also be prevented from spending whatever money they have left. The banning of cash transactions and withdrawals is growing. In many European countries, the cash limit is between Euro 1,000 and 3,000. But that is just the first step. Sweden for example has virtually abolished all cash transactions. Many retailers only take credit cards. New bank notes have also been introduced making the old ones unusable. This is similar to India and a way of punishing the holder of cash and confiscating money. It is no coincidence that personal debt in Sweden is among the highest in Europe. Abolishing cash will stop the Swedes from taking their money out of the bank.

Read More @ GoldSwitzerland.com

Venezuela – The National Constituent Assembly Is in Place – But the Fight for Sovereignty Isn’t Over

by Peter Koenig, Global Research:

Venezuela has voted on 30 July for a National Constituent Assembly (ANC – Asamblea Nacional Constituyente) with a resounding close to 8.1 million votes, or over 41{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the total eligible electorate. The figure was confirmed by the president of the National Electoral Council, Tibisay Lucena. The Chavistas battle cry before the elections was Venceremos! – Ché Guevaras favored revolutionary slogan. And the day after, 31 July, the victorious Ganamos! Accompanied by dancing in the streets.

To counter the mainstream presstitute mass media slandering of Venezuela, calling the legitimate democratically elected President a dictator, and that the vote was illegitimate and against the present Venezuelan Constitution – lets explain upfront what the Constitution says:

Article 347 of Venezuela’s constitution:

“The original constituent power rests with the people of Venezuela. This power may be exercised by calling a National Constituent Assembly for the purpose of transforming the State, creating a new juridical order and drawing up a new Constitution.”

Article 348 states

“(t)he initiative for calling a National Constituent Assembly may emanate from the President of the Republic sitting with the Cabinet of Ministers; from the National Assembly by a two-thirds vote of its members; from the Municipal Councils in open session, by a two-thirds vote of their members; and from 15{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the voters registered with the Civil and Electoral Registry.”

Article 349 states

“(t)he President of the Republic shall not have the power to object to the new Constitution. The existing constituted authorities shall not be permitted to obstruct the Constituent Assembly in any way.”

The process to vote for the ANC is complex but highly democratic. The 30 July election chose 545 members to the National Constituent Assembly, of which two thirds (364) were elected on a regional or territorial basis, and one third (181) by sectors of professions or activities, i.e. students, farmers, unions of different labor forces, employees, business owners – and so on. This cross-section of people’s representation is the most solid basis for democracy. See also:

http://www.globalresearch.ca/why-is-venezuela-in-the-white-houses-crosshairs/5594240.

The 8.1million pro-ANC vote may, at first sight, with 41{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of total eligible voters not constitute an absolute majority, but they are a legitimate majority analyzed from different perspectives. The only historic data we currently have on Venezuela is the one from the 1999 Constitution (still valid today), which President Hugo Chavez Frias, elected in 1998, initiated after asking the people whether they agreed to the drafting of a new Constitution. He received an overwhelming 80{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} support.

Assuming that on average about 20{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 25{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the electorate do not vote (based on the past 19 elections since the Bolivarian Revolutionary Government took over in 1998), of the 20 million eligible electorate, about 15 million could be expected to vote. With 8.1million ANC supporters, the National Constituent Assembly resulting from the 30 July elections is a clear majority, about 54{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}.

The election result is another resounding victory, when compared to the opposition’s plebiscite, illegally held a week earlier. The opposition claims having received 7.2 million votes against the ANC. However, by all observers, including internationals, this is a highly questionable and probably vastly inflated figure, based on their election boots which were a fraction of those of the ANC election process countrywide. Plus, the announced result cannot be checked, as the voter’s bulletins were burned by the opposition, as soon as they informed the public of the plebiscite’s result. However, even assuming this figure was correct – which it most likely isn’t – the total alleged votes cast between the official ANC process and the illegitimate referendum would amount to 15.3 million, of which 8.1 million represents about 53{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}, or an absolute majority of the votes cast.

For analysis sake, let’s just look at the curious composition of votes the oppositions claims having received. In their referendum people had to respond with yes, or no to three questions, with each one being a leading question against the ANC. Each one of the three answers counted for one vote, thus, there were up to three votes per person. The same people also were allowed to vote in several districts. During the press conference held by the opposition, a journalist asked whether it was correct that one voter could cast his / her vote 17 times. The answer of one of the directors was yes, but it may be discovered at the final count. There were also stories of 10-year old kids and other minors voting. Also, there are 101,000 eligible voters abroad – but according to the opposition, the votes received from Venezuelans living outside Venezuela were almost 700,000.

The illegitimate – yes, illegitimate – opposition vote is pure farce. Though it can never be checked, since the votes were burned and given the above details, the promulgated results of 7.2 million votes against the ANC would have to be discounted by at least 30{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} to 50{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528}. Yes, illegitimate, as the Constitution does not allow interference from anybody, once the ANC process has been launched.

Curiously though, the opposition, having the majority in the National Assembly could have initiated themselves an National Constituent Assembly. They didn’t. They could have actively participated inPresident Maduro’s ANC vote and presented their own candidates as they would have, had they respected the principles of democracy. They didn’t do that either. It is clear, they are not interested in a democratic process. They are not interested even in dialogue, one of Mr. Maduro’s priorities for conflict resolution. They want a violent ‘regime change’ – that’s what their Washington masters want and pays them for.

The most vociferous critics of the process came from the usual villains, CNN, BBC, Washington Post, NYT, even The Guardian, but so far relatively few from the EU and her members. One of the countries that sticks out most with her unsolicited comment is “neutral” Switzerland, where the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called on President Maduro, to cancel the elections for the new National Constitutional Assembly in ‘respect of democracy’. It further declared through the Swiss state-run radio-TV station, SRG, that the elections were illegal, as they are against the Constitution – which is a blatant lie, the Swiss Executive is aware of, but it pleases for sure Washington.

The Trump Administration also said it would not recognize the vote and slammed more heavy sanctions on Venezuela, among them, blocking President Maduro’s alleged ‘assets held in the US’. This in itself is a massive and ridiculous propaganda falsehood. It must be clear to any dimwit, that President Maduro does not have assets in the US. Washington forced ‘sanctions’ will probably also follow from its European vassals.

The right-wing puppet leaders (sic) in Latin America have of course also immediately played to the tune of their northern masters. The first one to do so was Peru’s President Pablo Kuczynski, saying that his government would not recognize the result of the elections. But who cares what Peru thinks about sovereign democratic Venezuela? – His arrogance went as far as calling upon the Peruvian Prime Minister to form a committee that should look into possible actions Peru could and should take against Venezuela. If one knows the level of corruption that literally runs Peru – one of the worst, if not the worst of all Latin America – and the way Kuczynski was ‘elected’, or rather shoed in by his Washington Masters, one can just chuckle in disbelief. If there was any un-bought, uncorrupted functioning legal system in Peru – the last five consecutive Presidents would now be in jail for corruption and crimes against humanity, including the present one.

Read More @ Global Research.ca

Audio Reveals Seymour Hersh Alleging Seth Rich Was Wikileaks Source

by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:

Cassandra Fairbanks of Big League Politics released audio today revealing journalist Seymour Hersh had stated that Seth Rich provided the DNC emails to Wikileaks. The stunning audio files also appear to contradict claims made by private investigator Rod Wheeler in a defamation suit filed today against Fox News stemming from allegedly false quotation in their report on the investigation of Rich’s death. Media furor surrounding this case has centered on both the dismissal of Rich as a source for Wikileaks, and allegations that the Trump White House had “concocted” the story with Fox News. However, statements made by Wheeler and Hersh in a second audio file appear to undermine claims made in Wheeler’s suit, with Hersh’s statement going even further by directly stating that Seth Rich had been the source of Wikileaks DNC emails.

The first audio clip published by Fairbanks earlier today revealed Rod Wheeler discussing his investigation into Rich’s death. The conversation includes allusions to Rich’s brother, stating that Aaron Rich stalled the investigation into Seth’s potential connection to Wikileaks. The audio released by Big League Politics is particularly relevant to the statements Wheeler made to Fox News which were quoted in their controversial article published in May. Dispute over this citation serves as the basis for a defamation suit Wheeler initiated against Fox today.

Wheeler had been employed by Seth Rich’s family as a private investigator in order to investigate Rich’s unsolved murder. Wheeler’s suit claims that the Trump administration coordinated with Fox, and that the company had ‘invented’ quotes from him. The explosive allegations made by Wheeler caused a firestorm in the mainstream media.

The second audio clip appears especially significant as it depicts Seymour Hersh alleging that Seth Rich had kept DNC emails in a protected drop box, which was eventually accessed by Wikileaks. He can also be heard calling former CIA Director John Brennan an “a**hole.” Big League Politics also noted that Hersh cited an FBI document and an NSA report in alleging these details.

Disobedient Media spoke with Charles Grapski, a legal and political theorist who serves as Director of the Open Records Project and the Director of the Fair Elections Initiative. He told us that he believed Wheeler’s defamation claims were weak, with misquotation being an unstable basis to prove defamation of character had occurred.

No false statement was actively made about Wheeler in the original Fox story, but instead refers to incorrect attribution made in Wheeler’s suit. It also appears that many statements in the complaint could be based on hearsay. The civil rights claim added to allegations of defamation are especially bizarre considering that it indicates Fox News should have hired Wheeler as an employee; while simultaneously claiming Fox had defamed him. Grapski stated via Twitter that the newly published audio had undermined Wheeler’s defamation claim. A Federal civil rights claim would also allow Wheeler to collect his attorney’s fees from the defendants.

Escalating media furor in the wake of Wheeler’s suit has labelled Seth Rich’s possible association with Wikileaks to be “baseless.” These conclusions were to some extent counteracted by the audio published by Fairbanks which appears to contradict his claims against Fox to some extent. If the audio clips had not been released, the media firestorm regarding Wheeler’s suit may have effectively replaced the discredited Russian hacking narrative as a focus of legacy media deflection from allegations of severe corruption within the Democratic party.

Read More @ DisobedientMedia.com

BOOM! LEAKED DOCUMENT Reveals McMaster GRANTED Susan Rice “Unfettered Access to Classified Information”

0

by Joshua Caplan, The Gateway Pundit:

Sara Carter of Circa News reported National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster granted top Obama official Susan Rice top-secret security clearance. The letter, in which McMaster notified Rice that such powers were granted to her, can be seen below.

Circa News reports:

Almost one month after it was disclosed that former President Obama’s National Security Adviser Susan Rice was unmasking members of President Trump’s team and other Americans, Trump’s own national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, sent an official letter giving her unfettered and continuing access to classified information and waiving her “need-to-know” requirement on anything she viewed or received during her tenure, Circa has confirmed.

The undated and unclassified letter from McMaster was sent in the mail to Rice’s home during the last week of April. Trump was not aware of the letter or McMaster’s decision, according to two Senior West Wing officials and an intelligence official, who spoke to Circa on condition that they not be named.

This is the letter from McMaster to Rice. Names, phone numbers and personal addresses have been blurred.

“I hereby waive the requirement that you must have a ‘need-to-know’ to access any classified information contained in items you ‘originated, reviewed, signed or received while serving,’ as National Security Adviser,” the letter said. The letter also states that the “NSC will continue to work with you to ensure the appropriate security clearance documentation remains on file to allow you access to classified information.”

Circa revealed in March that during President Obama’s tenure, top aides — including Rice, former CIA Director John Brennan and former Attorney General Loretta Lynch — routinely reviewed intelligence reports received from the National Security Agency’s incidental intercepts of Americans abroad. They were doing so by taking advantage of rules Obama relaxedstarting in 2011 to help the government better fight terrorism, espionage by foreign enemies and hacking threats, according to documents obtained by Circa.

The Gateway Pundit previously reported National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster has concluded key Obama official Susan Rice did nothing wrong in making numerous ‘unmasking’ requests. 

Read More @ TheGatewayPundit.com

Retired Green Beret Warns: “North Korea Can Deliver A Warhead Containing An EMP Weapon Dead Center Over The Continental United States”

by Jeremiah Johnson, SHTFPlan:

Most are aware by now that North Korea has tested (successfully) another ICBM missile, and its nuclear ambitions are more concrete by the day.  The mainstream media and the Obama administration are the creators of the public’s skepticism and denial regarding North Korea’s capabilities.  The Obama administration consistently and deliberately downplayed the true strengths and capabilities of North Korea over an eight-year period.  Such a downplay was further enabled by key press conferences in which members of the U.S. military’s command structure (specifically those serving in the Pentagon) were made to parrot the administration’s denial.

By “pulling Pentagon officials out” and having them categorically deny North Korea’s capabilities, it set the tempo to create a false narrative that Obama and his minions would champion throughout the eight years.  Pentagon officials (Admirals and Four-star Generals) were periodically “rotated” into these press pools to downplay the abilities of North Korea to launch a nuclear missile against the United States.

This obfuscation, orchestrated by Obama and parroted by those general officers who were about to retire in a couple of years was a precise and deliberate weakening of the United States’ defensive stance against a nation that declared its intentions to strike her.

All the experts on the subject were marginalized and labeled either as “crackpots,” or just scoffed at with their opinions relegated to page A-14, just above a coupon for “Captain Crunch” and at the bottom of the page of the newspaper.  The public bought it.  They swallowed the pill offered by the government-media complex, and in their own narcissistic hubris, discounted the efforts of a “backwards” country such as North Korea to send a nuke to the U.S.

Not anymore.

Now the media is grudgingly, painfully admitting what cannot be hidden: North Korea has more than enough capability to hit the United States.  All of it.  The North Korean ICBM test on Friday, July 29 proves they can strike the U.S. anywhere.  Here you go:

“Looks like it pretty much can get to New York, Boston, and probably falls just short of Washington [DC].  If those numbers are correct, the missile flown on a standard trajectory, the missile would have a range of 10,400 km (6,500 miles), not taking into account the Earth’s rotation.  However, the rotation of the Earth increases the range of missiles fired eastward, depending on their direction.  It is important to keep in mind that we do not know the mass of the payload the missile carried on this test.”

David Wright, Senior Scientist, Global Security Program, Union of Concerned Scientists to CNBC

Keep this sentence in mind from the excerpt: “However, the rotation of the Earth increases the range of missiles fired eastward, depending on their direction.” 

Such proves they have at least enough “juice” to deliver a warhead containing an EMP weapon dead center over the continental United States, and can strike the U.S. anywhere.

Dr. Peter V. Pry, formerly an analyst with the CIA, and now the head of the Committee to Assess EMP (Electromagnetic Pulse) Threats against the U.S., is the foremost expert on such threats and briefs Congress on them annually.  Dr. Pry has assured Congress countless times that North Korea not only has miniaturization capabilities regarding nuclear warheads, but also has that capability regarding the deployment of an EMP weapon.  I strongly urge you to read his writings and articles.

Now-retired Congressman Roscoe Bartlett (R, MD) practically hopped up and down during both the Bush Jr. and Obama administrations to try and initiate action by the government to protect the grid and infrastructure from an EMP attack.  To no avail, all his pleadings… substantiated by piles of research documents and assessments – pure evidence – fell on deaf ears, and he has since retired and withdrawn from mainstream society.  Several general officers over the past years (such as General Curtis Scapparotti, for example) went “against the grain” during the Obama years and declared that North Korea did indeed possess EMP weapons, miniaturization capabilities, and ICBM’s.  Their declarations also went unheeded.

Now, just as Obama planned it, we are “behind the power curve,” and vulnerable: North Korea has had years to prepare, in the face of mere “sanctions” or other “paper-tiger” rumblings.  Through our complacency, they have been enabled to strike the U.S.  Along with the mothballing of TARS (Tethered Aerostat Radar System), the string of radar-equipped balloons along the Gulf Coast to add about ten minutes early warning time to our missile tracking capabilities. As SHTF Plan reportedTARS was taken out in 2013, at Obama’s direction.  North Korea has two satellites in orbit that each cross over the U.S. several times daily at 300 km, the optimal height for an EMP strike.

Just as Obama planned it.

The United States, South Korea, and Japan all equally assessed the North Korean launch on July 29th with the same capabilities.  President Trump said that he would take all necessary steps to ensure the security of the U.S. and its allies.  The nations (the U.S. included) have all declared the intention of more sanctions against North Korea.  More nonsense.  These two excerpts came from a Dailymail.com article by Cheyenne Roundtree and Gareth Davis for Mailonline that are interesting, if not “amusing” (from a cynical perspective).  Here’s the first, with the main point underlined:

“[President] Donald Trump released a statement yesterday after the missile launch, saying: ‘North Korea’s test launch yesterday of another intercontinental ballistic missile – the second such test in less than a month – is only the latest reckless and dangerous action by the North Korean regime.”

Yes, there you have it from the mouth of the President of the United States, confirming it was indeed and intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), and was indeed the second one that is confirmed.  Here is the second excerpt:

“Washington and its allies have watched with growing concern as Pyongyang has made significant progress toward its goal of having all of the US within range of its missiles to counter what it labels as US aggression.  While there are hurdles, including building nuclear warheads to fit on those missiles and ensuring reliability, many analysts have been surprised by how quickly Kim Jong-Un has developed North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs.

Well, along with interesting and amusing, let’s add infuriating to the list to describe these words from the excerpt:

“Many analysts have been surprised.”

“Significant progress toward its goal”

Do you think those analysts will be surprised when, suddenly, all the lights and air conditioning in their offices go out and they’re in the dark on the 30thfloor?  Or if not that, perhaps they’ll be surprised when they look out of their windows and see a nice blinding flash of light and a mushroom cloud?  Do you think either an EMP and/or a mushroom cloud over what was once an American city will prove that North Korea has made significant progress toward its goal?

Sometimes valuable information comes from sources that might normally never see the light of day.  I found this comment on Steve Quayle’s website that may place things into perspective from a “grass roots” level.  Obviously, it is written by a mother of someone in the service, probably the U.S. Army.  Here it is, along with its citation:

“Angel says:  Comment ID: 3722746    August 1, 2017 at 1:22 am

“Wanted to give a heads up that the upcoming fight with North Korea is very real.  My child is a Combat Engineer stationed at the DMZ currently and they are readying for a fight.  They are doing things in that area that haven’t been done in 50 years.  Such as clearing mine fields.  They are awaiting orders to attack.  Get prepared now if you’re not already.  I have someone on the front line and I can tell you it’s getting bad.”

Sometimes information from the average person will give you insights on things you will not hear in the mainstream media.  This woman’s comment is both simplistic and unsolicited, and anyone with more information who is in the area?  Your comments would be greatly appreciated.  Such comments can reveal (at least in part) what is taking place over there and is valuable, because there is no such thing as “grass roots” journalism anymore.  There are no more reporters to interview the “man on the street” or to cover things happening in foreign countries.  We must rely on what information we bring to one another and our wits to be able to recognize the valuable parts…pieces to the overall puzzle that present the big picture.

Read More @ SHTFPlan.com

One of the Largest Banks in the World Just Accused of Laundering Millions for Drug Cartels

by Claire Bernish, The Free Thought Project:

Commonwealth Bank of Australia stands accused by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) of a stupefying 53,700 violations of money laundering and counter-terrorism-financing laws, in which the financial institution failed to notify in a timely fashion — and, sometimes, not at all — transactions topping a mountainous A$77 million.

As the case unfolds, it should be noted, each breach of the act carries a jaw-dropping potential penalty of A$18 million — meaning Commonwealth Bank could be slapped with an astonishing level of fines.

Alleging ‘serious and systemic non-compliance’ with the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act), the regulator commenced civil penalties proceedings against CommBank on Thursday, after the tentative conclusion of an investigation — the heft of which focused on the bank’s use of intelligent deposit machines (IDMs) — revealed rampant breaches of the act, according to acting CEO Peter Clark.

“The effect of CommBank’s conduct in this matter has exposed the Australian community to serious and ongoing financial crime,” asserted AUSTRAC in a statement.

Bloomberg notes of IDMs, “Commonwealth Bank’s automated cash deposit machines, which allow anonymous deposits to recipient accounts that can then be funneled offshore or to other domestic accounts, Austrac said in documents lodged with the Federal Court in Sydney on Thursday. The cash deposit machines were used by drug rings to move the proceeds of crime, the agency said […]

“The automated machines were introduced in May 2012, and the amount of cash flowing though them grew exponentially, the court documents say. In the six months to November 2012 about A$89.1 million was deposited. By May and June 2016 this had risen to more than A$1 billion per month. About A$8.9 billion in cash was put through the system before the bank conducted any assessment of the money laundering risk, Austrac said.”

 

In this post-9/11 world, Western governments take seriously the tracking of larger banking transactions, under the premise that watching the money by moved terrorists and other high-level criminals through such institutions could stem the spread of violence. But machines like those at the center of the controversy make apparent avenues for significant anonymous banking indeed still exist — if skirting the lines of legality — or, at least, did until recently.

Five money laundering syndicates opportuned CommBank’s IDMs, AUSTRAC claims, with just one drug case totaling A$21 million distributed across eleven separate accounts. Even an alert from the Australian Federal Police to the bank about multiple accounts used for illicit purposes failed to provoke a substantial response — with several tacitly permitted to continue operating afterward.

Suspect accounts attempted to divert suspicion by keeping deposits small and inconspicuous, as well as by moving funds into offshore accounts.

“CommBank permitted several of the accounts to remain open even after this time and further transactions occurred. Eight individuals have been charged with dealing in proceeds of crime, with 6 of these individuals already having been convicted,” the Guardian reports.

“In another case,” Bloomberg continues, the agency “alleges A$20.6 million was deposited into 30 accounts, 29 of which were in fake names, which shortly after was transferred abroad. After the bank identified ‘repeated, suspicions and connected’ patterns of cash deposits, it permitted a further approximately A$9.1 million to be transferred from these accounts to Hong Kong, Austrac said.”

By statement, cited by the Sydney Morning Herald, CommBank contends, “On an annual basis, we report over 4 million transactions to Austrac in an effort to identify and combat any suspicious activity as quickly and efficiently as we can.”

Read More @ TheFreeThoughtProject.com

 

Watch: Baltimore Cops Keep Accidentally Recording Themselves Planting Drugs on People

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by Everett Numbers, The Anti Media:

Officers planting evidence appear to be growing a tree of corruption at the Baltimore Police Department, as the second release of suspicious body camera footage in two weeks has led to more dropped drug charges.

On Tuesday evening, Baltimore defense attorney Josh Insley released BPD body camera footage showing officers apparently faking the recovery of drugs from a woman’s vehicle. The three videos led the Baltimore state attorney’s office to drop charges against Insley’s client, Shamere Collins, on Monday, the Baltimore Sun reported.

Insley plans to sue the police department to seek justice for Collins, 35, who was pulled over on November 29, 2016, when police say they observed what looked like a drug deal involving the passenger of her vehicle, according to the Sun.

None of the names of the seven officers who responded to the traffic stop have been released by the BPD. Two of those officers, however, have been suspended pending an internal affairs investigation, and other cases involving those two officers are also being delayed, the Sun reported.

The city’s public defender office described the video as showing “multiple officers working together to manufacture evidence,” according to the newspaper.

At one point in the recordings, after officers found nothing around the driver’s seat or in the rest of the vehicle, body cameras were turned off.

A half hour later when they were turned back on, a different officer appeared at the driver’s side of the car and passively asked, “Did anybody check this compartment?” while simultaneously leaning down and soon standing back up with a black plastic bag in hand.

The move was quick, but it’s unclear whether that was why none of the officers standing by responded to his question. Police also claimed that the officer who picked out the plastic bag had been conducting surveillance before the traffic stop and therefore knew better where to look.

“Oh here you go,” the officer then stated. “Oh yeah. That’s the weed smell right there.”

Body cam footage from earlier in the traffic stop showed a man who appeared to be the passenger being handcuffed as he told the officers, “You crooked. You set motherf***ers up. That’s what you do.”

What a generalization. Not all cops are crooked. But just in case, Baltimore Police Commissioner Kevin Davis sent a reminder memo this week to all officers regarding body camera policy.

“In the event your body worn camera is not activated during the recovery of evidence, under no circumstances shall you attempt to recreate the recovery of evidence,” Davis wrote, according to the Sun.

Read More @ TheAntiMedia.com

 

Follow the money

by Alasdair Macleod, GoldMoney:

Since 2009, equities and other financial assets have climbed a wall of worry. Initially, it was recovery from the threat of a complete financial collapse, before the Fed saved the system once again.

Systemic collapse continued to be on the cards, with European banks at risk of bankruptcy. We still talk about this today. More walls of worry to climb.

The global economy has not imploded, as the bears have consistently warned. Systemic and other dangers still exist. The bears now point to excessive valuations as the reason for staying out of the market. But this misses the point: the general level of asset valuations depends not on fundamentals, but on credit flows. It matters not whether there is cash sitting on the side-lines, or whether speculators borrow to invest, so long as the credit keeps flowing into financial assets. Just follow the money.

It is all about credit, and when you have central banks suppressing interest rates and causing bank credit to expand, they create a credit cycle. Modern credit cycles have existed since Victorian times, the consequence of fractional reserve banking. The cycle varies in length and the specifics, but its basic components are always the same: recovery, expansion, crisis and destruction. Today, central banks reckon their mission is to stop the destruction of credit, and to keep it continually expanding to stimulate the economy.

The economic and financial community fails to understand that the sequence of booms and slumps is not a free market disorder, but the consequence of a credit cycle distorting how ordinary people go about their business. It is a waste of time trying to understand what is happening in the economy without analysing credit flows. It is Hamlet without the Prince. This article walks the reader through the phases of the credit cycle, identifying the key credit flow characteristics, whose starting point we will take to be the end of the great financial crisis. It will conclude with a summary of what this tells us about current credit flows, and prospects for the near future.

The seeds of recovery

In a modern credit-driven economy, central banks see their role as preventing recessions, slumps, and depressions. The need to preserve the banking system, to stop one bank taking out the others in a domino effect, is paramount. To prevent the weakest banks collapsing takes financial support from the central bank by increasing the quantity of base money, while at the same time discouraging banks from calling in loans, particularly from their larger customers.

Central bank priorities will have switched from fear of price inflation ahead of the crisis to fear of deflation. They are still informed by Irving Fisher’s description of how an economic crisis develops from financial flows. When businesses start to fail, banks call in their loans, causing otherwise sound businesses to collapse. The banks liquidate collateral into the market, undermining asset prices in a self-feeding downward spiral. The way to prevent it is to backstop the banks by issuing more money.

We saw this at its most spectacular in the great financial crisis. The Fed effectively wrote open cheques to any bank that needed money, and for some that didn’t. The most important rescue was of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two private-public entities that dominated the residential property market, with some $5 trillion of agency securities outstanding. The Fed’s initial involvement was to buy up to $500bn of agency debt through quantitative easing, supporting the remaining mortgage debt values and injecting a matching quantity of money into the banks in the form of excess reserves.

This didn’t stop with Fannie and Freddie. AIG, Bear Sterns and Lehman were just a few of the names associated with the crisis. Term Auction Facility, Primary Dealer Credit Facility, Asset-backed Commercial Paper, Money Market Mutual Fund Liquidity Facility, Commercial Paper Funding Facility, and Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility entered the financial language as new rescue vehicles financed with raw money from the Fed.

It wasn’t just the US. Most major jurisdictions were locked into the same credit cycle, and by 2007-08 they were all on the edge of the crisis. Consequently, the financial crisis in America was replicated in the UK and the Eurozone. Including Japan, the sum of the balance sheets of their four central banks increased from about $6.5 trillion to nearly $19.5 trillion today.

The increase in the liability side of central bank balance sheets has been substantially in the reserves of commercial banks. This is the most pronounced feature of the current credit cycle, potentially fuelling substantial levels of bank lending when the banks eventually become more confident in their lending to the non-financial sector.

The recovery phase has now been in place for an extended period, lasting eight years so far. It has been characterised, as it always is, by an increase of financial asset prices. This is partly driven by the suppression of interest rates, which creates a bull market for bond prices, and partly by banks buying government bonds.

Government bonds are always accumulated by the banks in large quantities during the recovery phase of the credit cycle. The shortfall in fiscal revenue and the increased cost-burden on government finances leads to a general demand for credit to be switched from private sectors to governments. For the banks, investing in government debt is a safe harbour at a time of heightened lending risk, further encouraged by Basel regulatory risk weightings. On the back of falling bond yields, other financial assets rise in value, and therefore banks increasingly make credit available for purely financial activities.

In the current credit cycle, the boom in financial assets has been exaggerated by central banks buying government bonds as well. The result is a bond bubble far greater than would otherwise be the case. Consequently, when an economy moves from recovery into expansion, the price effect of the credit flows as they wash out of bonds into lending is likely to be more dramatic than we have ever seen before.

We appear to be on the cusp of this change into a phase of economic expansion for much of the world, though the situation in America is less clear. To understand the implications of this change, we must first examine the underlying credit flows.

Expansion – credit hidden then in plain sight

The stability that returns in the recovery phase, coupled with fading memories of the previous crisis, engenders growing confidence in the non-financial economy, which demands credit in increasing quantities for expansion of production. While interest rates remain suppressed, financial calculations, such as return on capital, make investment in even unwanted production appear profitable. It is the bankers which impede this early demand for money, because they still retain memories of the previous crisis and are determined not to repeat the errors of the past. Furthermore, bank regulators are still closing stable doors long after the horses have bolted.

Banks will have continued lending to big business throughout the recovery phase. Under pressure from large corporates, this lending also extends to their consumers, currently evident with car, or auto loans, financing most of the products of major motor manufacturers. Without this consumer credit, vehicles cannot be sold, and manufacturers would be forced to close factories. That is not where the problem under discussion lies: it is in the other 80{5f621241b214ad2ec6cd4f506191303eb2f57539ef282de243c880c2b328a528} of the economy, the small and medium-size enterprises (SMEs), which the banks see as too risky. However, gradually at first, the banks begin to reassess the risk of lending to non-financial entities relative to owning the government bonds on their balance sheets.

Read More @ GoldMoney.com