After nervous customers panicked and drained their accounts, ultimately causing the collapse of Spanish bank, Banco Popular, equally jittery European Union officials are debating the merits of freezing access — preventing anyone from withdrawing any money — at the first sign of a bank run.
Proponents claim measures to halt a rush of withdrawals would prevent the downfall of floundering financial institutions at their most vulnerable point — in hopes of staving off a catastrophe at least as harrowing as that of 2008 — while detractors admonish the move might have precisely the opposite effect, with investors rushing to yank funds at the slightest indication of trouble.
“The desire is to prevent a bank run, so that when a bank is in a critical situation it is not pushed over the edge,” ‘a person familiar with German government’s thinking’ told Reuters.
“Giving supervisors the power to temporarily block bank accounts at ailing lenders is ‘a feasible option,’ a paper prepared by the Estonian presidency of the EU said, acknowledging that member states were divided on the issue,” Reuters reports.
“EU countries which already allow a moratorium on bank payouts in insolvency procedures at national level, like Germany, support the measure, officials said.”
A cursory autopsy of last month’s Banco Popular failure had economic officials scrambling to figure out how best to prevent a similar financial debacle; but the idea of cutting customers’ access to their own funds when conditions warrant, blasts apart a Pandora’s Box of potentialities — all, favoring the State and banking industry over individual customers.
While officials contend cutting off account access would theoretically prevent a bank already in distress from going under, when scores of people withdraw money at once, the proposal toes a fraught but sacrosanct line blocking government overreach from private, individual finance.
According to the Estonian paper perused by Reuters, an additional measure proposed the development of a mechanism whereby customers in such a situation could withdraw “at least a limited amount of funds.”
In June of 2017, a group of 200 scientists and medical professionals called on the international community to ratchet up restrictions on the production and use of triclosan and triclocarban – 2 antimicrobial chemicals found in shampoos and cosmetics. They cite “extensive peer-reviewed research” which suggests the ingredients are potentially harmful. 
In late 2016, the FDA banned 19 chemicals in hand and body soap over concerns about their effect on human health and the environment. Despite the ban, dangerous chemicals are still commonly used in other personal care products.
A senior scientist with the Environmental Working Group (EWG), David Andrews said:
“Other ongoing uses are not addressed by the recent FDA action, and more needs to be done.” 
The group of scientists and medical professionals said in a statement published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives that the chemicals, which have been used for decades, should be reserved for use only in situations where there is an “evidence-based health benefit.” 
While everyone is fixated on President Trump’s unbecoming and inexplicable assault on Attorney General Jeff Sessions, the media has been trying to sneak away from the “Russian collusion” story. That’s right. For all the breathless hype, the on-air furrowed brows and the not-so-veiled hopes that this could be Watergate, Jared Kushner’s statement and testimony before Congress have made Democrats and many in the media come to the realization that the collusion they were counting on just isn’t there.
As the date of the Kushner testimony approached, the media thought it was going to advance and refresh the story. But Kushner’s clear, precise and convincing account of what really occurred during the campaign and after the election has left many of President Trump’s loudest enemies trying to quietly back out of the room unnoticed.
– Latest developments show risks in crypto currencies
– Confusion as bitcoin may split tomorrow
– SEC stepped into express concern over ICOs
– ICOs have so far raised $1.2 billion in 2017
– ICOs preying on lack of understanding from investors
– Physical gold not vulnerable to technological risk
– Beauty and safety in simplicity of gold and silver
Editor: Mark O’Byrne
Forks and ICOs solves bitcoin v gold debate
There is still a huge amount of noise in the bitcoin and cryptocurrency space but there have been a few developments of late which have pushed the space further into maturity.
From what I can tell from dinner party conversations people who are vaguely aware of bitcoin now know that there are two terms they need to throw into the chat in order to sound like they know what they are talking about. These two terms are ICO and Fork.
Price is also a major talking point at present. As ever the price of bitcoin remains volatile and headline-worthy.
This week will mark a point in cryptocurrency history as the most powerful of cryptocurrencies, bitcoin will experience a major technical change and the US regulator SEC has just made a significant announcement about fundraising in the space.
We have written previously about how bored we are with the bitcoin vs gold debate, but for those who still like to peddle it then they would do well to see how these latest developments put the issue to bed.
The break-up of the year
For a long time there has been a debate about the scaling of the bitcoin network. What is ultimately a required software upgrade has caused many arguments and fall-outs in recent years.
Pressure has been ramping up within the bitcoin community as to how certain problems can be resolved. The discussion may seem like something which is just technical but has at times become philosophical and political.
“Seek the Lord, all you humble of the land,
who have observed his law;
Seek justice, seek humility;
And perhaps you will be sheltered
on the day of the Lord’s justice.
This was the triumphal city, high and mighty,
Saying to herself, ‘I am the one, and none dare stand beside me.’
How desolate now has she become, a place fit only for wild beasts.
Those who pass by her scoff, and shake their heads at her ruin.”
“I’m not crazy about reality, but it’s still the only place to get a decent meal.”
I have a feeling that we are going to be seeing some real fireworks in the precious metals before the end of the year.
But feelings really do not count in markets. But it is there, tempting my trading discipline. I know that you have never experienced that. lol.
Stocks bobbled a bit today. I also think we will be seeing a slide in stocks. But let’s see how the earnings come out, and what the Fed does about their bloated balance sheet.
While I am not so sure yet about where gold and silver and stocks are going, here are three things that I am pretty sure about.
1. There is no sustainable recovery. Basic items like housing and healthcare are fast outstripping the growth in real wages. This is sustainable? There is, and for too long has been, a well-funded class war underway, and the middle class is losing.
2. Trump is a terrible president, and way over his head in the job. I do not refer so much to the social graces, of which he has none or at least sees no need to use them, but in terms of organizing and managing and leading a very large enterprise. From pitting underlings against each other to shooting from the hip and trying to get lucky he has some of the very management and strategy weaknesses that brought a certain German leader in the last century to his eventual downfall. Hopefully the span of his control over fanatical followers will not achieve the same critical mass.
by Michael Hart, Squawker
In what may be one of the most remarkable conflicts of interest that we have seen in a long time, it appears that Steven Wasserman, Assistant Attorney for the District of Columbia who is the brother of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has been tasked with overseeing the investigation of DNC IT employee Imran Awan, who was arrested earlier this week while attempting to flee the US and charged with bank fraud.
— TruthLeaks (@GeorgWebb) July 27, 2017
The Assistant US Attorney overseeing the Awan family investigation is Steven Wasserman, the brother of Wasserman Schultz! pic.twitter.com/iRZsUMJRH0
— Pamela Moore (@Pamela_Moore13) July 26, 2017
You might remember the infamous video from May where Debbie Wasserman Schultz threatens the DC police commisioner with “consequences” if he does not give back a laptop used by Awan that the police had obtained:
I wonder what was on that laptop that Debbie thought was so important?
Read More @ Squawker.org
The Environmental Defense Fund released a study in June, 2017, showing the presence of detectable levels of lead in a surprising number of baby food samples tested over a decade-long period.
For the study, the EDF evaluated data collected by the FDA between 2003 and 2013. They collected 2,164 baby food samples and found that:
The group said in the report:
“Eight types of baby foods had detectable lead in more than 40 percent of samples. Baby food versions of apple and grape juices and carrots had more samples with detectable lead than the regular versions.”
Study author Tom Neltner, of the EDF, said:
“The levels we found were relatively low, but when you add them up — with all the foods children eat … it’s significant.”
None of the samples exceeded the FDA’s allowable level of lead, which is good, but does it really matter? Many argue that there is no “safe” level of lead exposure, and the agency is in the process of reviewing its standards over concern that they don’t reflect the latest science about the potential health risks.
Lead poisoning in children is extremely serious. It most often occurs when the heavy metal builds up in the body over time, often months or years. Even small amounts can cause severe and irreversible effects on a child’s mental and physical development. So it’s important to consider lead exposure, especially since it is present in small amounts everywhere – not just in baby food.
Iceland’s largest volcano, Katla, was just moved to yellow status. But that isn’t all that’s concerning. There have also been over 500 earthquakes in Iceland in the last four days.
Experts now believe that a volcanic eruption that could be quite large, may soon occur in Iceland. A series of 40 small earthquakes occurred just North East of Mount Fagradalsfjall two days ago, with the final one felt in Reykjavik, measuring at almost 4 on the Richter scale.
Following tremors at Katla in South Iceland and a glacial river flood in Múlakvísl, the Icelandic Met Office has raised the status of the famous volcano on its “Aviation Colour Code Map for Icelandic Volcanic Systems” from green to yellow.
People have even been warned to stay away from the MúlakvíslRiver because of the odor of sulfur.
An earthquake of the magnitude of 3 occurred in the Katla caldera at 00:48 last night followed by a series of smaller tremors.
The seismic unrest could be connected to the glacial river flood and not connected to a possible eruption at all but the Iceland Met Office cannot be certain at this point.
Alert code yellow means that the volcano is active but that nothing points to an immenent eruption. If the colour code moves up to orange it means that the volcano is increasing its activity and an eruption is becoming likely. –Iceland Monitor