by Chloe Kerr, The Daily Express:
Goldman Sachs said “the political events related to Catalonia continue to be an important risk” for Spain’s recovery in a report analysing the Spanish banking system.
The report said: “We continue to see the political events related to Catalonia as an important risk for the recovery of Spain.”
Despite the worrying claims, the bank believes the overall “threat” for the economy in the short term has been reduced.
The capital cost projections for the whole of Spanish banking are currently above their levels prior to the ‘illegal’ referendum held on October 1.Last month Spain’s credit rating was bumped back up to A by Fitch, the first time it has had an A rating since the eurozone debt crisis.
Last week Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy upped Spain’s growth forecast for 2018 to “at least 2.5 percent” just months after it was downgraded over the secession crisis in Catalonia.
Speaking at conference in Madrid, he said: ”This year, 2018, we will have a growth forecast of at least 2.5 percent, with the creation of 400,000 jobs.”
In October, at the height of an attempt by Catalan leaders to get independence from Spain that caused huge economic uncertainty, the Spanish government downgraded its 2018 growth forecast to 2.3 per cent.
But last month official data showed the Spanish economy had grown more than three per cent in 2017 in a record year for tourism and booming exports, containing the impact of the Catalan crisis.
Spain suffered an almost five year recession until the second half of 2013 when the economy began a long, slow turn around boosted by strong exports and rising domestic demand.
Economy Minister Luis de Guindos said the economy could also grow by around 3 percent this year, after flash data showed 3.1 percent expansion in 2017 year on year.
On Tuesday Irish airline Ryanair said that it has dropped its prices by 30% on flights to Catalonia over the last few months in response to the ongoing political crisis between the Catalan and Spanish governments.
According to the airline boss, Michael O’Leary, the reason was to maintain the level of passenger traffic.
Read more @ Express.co.uk
by Elizabeth Vos, Disobedient Media:
Less than 48 hours after a UK judge ruled against Julian Assange’s legal team in their efforts to free him from the Ecuadoran embassy, The Intercept published a disingenuous and sloppy character assassination against the Wikileaks Editor-In-Chief.
The timing of the article’s publication acted to brutally counter growing support for Assange that arose in the wake of a clearly unjust UK ruling. Essentially, the publication of the smear attempted to deflect attention from the revelation of corruption in the ongoing detention of Assange, and to assassinate his character in the process.
The Intercept’s decision to publish the article at such a time unfortunately serves to characterize the outlet as a servant of the same US deep state that The Intercept has gained a reputation for – at least in theory – opposing.
The serious errors contained in The Intercept’s character assassination of the Wikileaks co-founder were quickly dismantled earlier today by independent journalists including Suzie Dawson, Caitlin Johnstone, HA Goodman and others. That Micah Lee, who has engaged in continual attacks against Assange on social media, would be allowed to contribute to an article of this kind represents a fundamental conflict of interest in the work, not to mention the factual inaccuracies and assumptions it makes without so much as pausing to take a breath.
The claims made in The Intercept’s hit piece regarding messages sent privately by Wikileaks’ Twitter account were disingenuous on multiple levels, beginning with the assumption that Assange was the sole author of the texts. The inference is clearly stated in the article, destroying any shred of journalistic integrity that might be expected from a well-respected news outlet.
Assange addressed the intentional inaccuracy of The Intercept’s coverage of the messages:
– the article changes the context of its quotes even compared to the clearly highly selective claimed excerpts Lee placed on Document Cloud: https://t.co/1p9wmyhYnJ
— Julian Assange ⌛ (@JulianAssange) 14 February 2018
Given the premise that The Intercept’s smear aimed at Assange was integrally flawed, the most important aspect of the publication in the mind of this author is that it came just over 24 hours after a critical ruling was made by a UK magistrate that upheld an arrest warrant against Assange. In light of this context, the importance of the Intercept’s smear piece is what it was meant to distract from.
As Disobedient Media previously reported, UK magistrate Baroness Emma Arbuthnot, ruled against Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange when she upheld an arrest warrant against him yesterday. Arbuthnot is intimately linked to the interests of the same military industrial complex whose wrongdoings have been so thoroughly exposed by Wikileaks.
Read More @ DisobedientMedia.com
Last month, members of the global financial and political elite listened with rapt attention as George Soros, the famed money manager and purported champion of “open” societies, blasted “mafia states” like Russia and his native Hungary, while also criticizing US President Donald Trump, with Soros admitting that his “goal in the United States” for this year’s midterm election was “to reestablish a functioning two-party system”…
Economist John Williams sat down with ‘s Greg Hunter to discuss the dire state of the dollar and United States…
Indeed, octogenarian Soros is showing no signs of dialing back his meddling in the affairs of European nations, and the US as well. And nowhere has his interference been more visible than in Hungary, where his former protege Viktor Orban has sought to close the country’s borders to intruding refugees – a decision that has enraged Soros, who recently dedicated most of his eleven-figure fortune to erasing all national boundaries via his “Open Society” foundations.
After declaring Hungary “a mafia state” last summer and suggesting that he will do everything in his power to remove Orban from power, the country’s ruling party has engaged in a heated propaganda battle against Soros and his agents that has included erecting anti-Soros billboard messages around the country.
Now, that battle is escalating as Orban and his party are gearing up for national elections in April. As Reuters reported Wednesday, the country’s nationalist government introduced legislation to empower the country’s interior minister to ban NGOs – like those funded by Soros – that support policies that might compromise national security – policies like open borders and unrestricted immigration.
The bill would impose a 25% tax on NGOs that back migration that are operating in Hungary…
The bill, submitted to parliament late on Tuesday, is a key part of Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s anti-immigration campaign targeting U.S. financier George Soros whose philanthropy aims to bolster liberal and open-border values in eastern Europe.
The government says the bill, which would also impose a 25 percent tax on foreign donations to NGOs that back migration in Hungary, is meant to deter illegal immigration Orban says is eroding European stability and has been stoked in part by Soros.
Hungary and Poland are both under nationalist governments that have clashed with the European Union leadership in Brussels over their perceived authoritarian drift deviating from EU standards on democracy and rule of law.
But Orban’s message, championing conservative Christian beliefs and rejecting multiculturalism, has gone down well with Hungarian voters and his Fidesz party is expected to secure a third straight term in a general election due on April 8.
Read More @ ZeroHedge.com
by Jon Rappoport, No More Fake News:
Note: I wrote this article long before Donald Trump appeared on the scene. Love him, hate him, trust him, don’t trust him, he has spoken against Globalism and for Nationalism. Those sentiments have taken hold and reverberated across the planet, crossing swords with Elites who are bent on destroying separate nations and ruling one collectivist world from above. Therefore, whether or not Trump means what he says, he must be taken down. The genie must be put back in the bottle.
Who is in charge of destroying economies?
One group has been virtually forgotten. Its influence is enormous. It has existed since 1973.
It’s called the Trilateral Commission (TC).
Keep in mind that the original stated goal of the TC was to create “a new international economic order.”
In the run-up to his inauguration after the 2008 presidential election, Obama was tutored by the co-founder of the Trilateral Commission, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
In 1969, four years before birthing the TC with David Rockefeller, Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote: “[The] nation state as a fundamental unit of man’s organized life has ceased to be the principal creative force. International banks and multinational corporations are acting and planning in terms that are far in advance of the political concepts of the nation state.”
Goodbye, separate nations.
Any doubt on the question of TC goals is answered by David Rockefeller himself, the founder of the TC, in his Memoirs (2003): “Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure—one world, if you will. If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.”
Patrick Wood, author of Trilaterals Over Washington, points out there are only 87 members of the Trilateral Commission who live in America. Obama appointed eleven of them to posts in his administration.
* Tim Geithner, Treasury Secretary;
* James Jones, National Security Advisor;
* Paul Volker, Chairman, Economic Recovery Committee;
* Dennis Blair, Director of National Intelligence.
Here is a stunning piece of forgotten history, a 1978 conversation between a US reporter and two members of the Trilateral Commission. (Source: Trilateralism: The Trilateral Commission and Elite Planning for World Management; ed. by Holly Sklar, 1980, South End Press, Pages 192-3).
The conversation was public knowledge at the time.
Anyone who was anyone in Washington politics, in media, in think-tanks, had access to it. Understood its meaning.
But no one shouted from the rooftops. No one used the conversation to force a scandal. No one protested loudly.
The conversation revealed that the entire basis of the US Constitution had been torpedoed, that the people who were running US national policy (which includes trade treaties) were agents of an elite shadow group. No question about it.
And yet: official silence. Media silence. The Dept. of Justice made no moves, Congress undertook no serious inquiries, and the President, Jimmy Carter, issued no statements. Carter was himself an agent of the Trilateral Commission in the White House. He had been plucked from obscurity by David Rockefeller, and through elite TC press connections, vaulted into the spotlight as a pre-eminent choice for the Presidency.
The following 1978 conversation featured reporter, Jeremiah Novak, and two Trilateral Commission members, Karl Kaiser and Richard Cooper. The interview took up the issue of who exactly, during President Carter’s administration, was formulating US economic and political policy.
The careless and off-hand attitude of Trilateralists Kaiser and Cooper is astonishing. It’s as if they’re saying, “What we’re revealing is already out in the open, it’s too late to do anything about it, why are you so worked up, we’ve already won…”
NOVAK (the reporter): Is it true that a private [Trilateral committee] led by Henry Owen of the US and made up of [Trilateral] representatives of the US, UK, West Germany, Japan, France and the EEC is coordinating the economic and political policies of the Trilateral countries [which would include the US]?
COOPER: Yes, they have met three times.
NOVAK: Yet, in your recent paper you state that this committee should remain informal because to formalize ‘this function might well prove offensive to some of the Trilateral and other countries which do not take part.’ Who are you afraid of?
KAISER: Many countries in Europe would resent the dominant role that West Germany plays at these [Trilateral] meetings.
COOPER: Many people still live in a world of separate nations, and they would resent such coordination [of policy].
NOVAK: But this [Trilateral] committee is essential to your whole policy. How can you keep it a secret or fail to try to get popular support [for its decisions on how Trilateral member nations will conduct their economic and political policies]?
COOPER: Well, I guess it’s the press’ job to publicize it.
NOVAK: Yes, but why doesn’t President Carter come out with it and tell the American people that [US] economic and political power is being coordinated by a [Trilateral] committee made up of Henry Owen and six others? After all, if [US] policy is being made on a multinational level, the people should know.
COOPER: President Carter and Secretary of State Vance have constantly alluded to this in their speeches. [a lie]
KAISER: It just hasn’t become an issue.
This interview slipped under the mainstream media radar, which is to say, it was buried.
US economic and political policy run by a committee of the Trilateral Commission—the Commission had been created in 1973 by David Rockefeller and his sidekick, Zbigniew Brzezinski.
When Carter won the presidential election (1976), his aide, Hamilton Jordan, said that if after the inauguration, Cy Vance and Brzezinski came on board as secretary of state and national security adviser, “We’ve lost. And I’ll quit.” Lost—because both men were powerful members of the Trilateral Commission and their appointment to key positions would signal a surrender of White House control to the Commission.
Read More @ NoMoreFakeNews.com
by Peter Schiff, SchiffGold:
Passage of a GOP budget that added $300 billion in new spending has focused plenty of attention on surging federal government debt over the last week or so. But Uncle Sam isn’t the only one running up those credit cards. Everyday Americans are also piling on the debt.
Total household debt soared to a record $13 trillion dollars in 2017, according to the latest data released by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data.
Total household debt increased by $193 billion to $13.15 trillion in the fourth quarter of 2017. The report marked the fifth consecutive year of positive annual household debt growth. American indebtedness has eclipsed levels seen on the eve of the Great Recession.
Household debt rose in every category in Q4 2017.
Americans are burning up those credit cards. Revolving debt grew by $26 billion in the fourth quarter alone, a 3.2% increase. Americans have run up an $834 billion credit card tab. Meanwhile, flows into serious delinquency have increased steadily since the third quarter of 2016.
Mortgage debt grew by $139 billion, a 1.6% increase. Housing loans make up the largest portion of American household debt. As the debt grows, the creditworthiness of borrowers is dropping. The median credit score for those taking out new mortgages decreased slightly in Q4 2017.
Auto loan balances continued a steady rise that started in 2011. Currently, Americans owe $1.22 trillion on vehicle loans. Last year saw the highest annual auto loan origination volume ever observed in the New York Fed data. As of Dec. 31, 2017, 4.1% of auto loan balances were 90 or more days delinquent.
Student loan debt stands at a staggering $1.38 trillion. Outstanding student loan balances increased by 1.5% in Q4 2014 and delinquency levels remain high. About 11% of aggregate student loan debt was 90+ days delinquent or in default in the last quarter of 2017. As we reported last year, student loan debt is one of the biggest factors driving a growing trend of millennials struggling to transition into adulthood.
Growing debt level should come as no surprise. The Federal Reserve has held interest rates unnaturally low for nearly a decade. This has pumped up what US Global Investors CEO Frank Holmes called “the mother of all bubbles.”
The skyrocketing levels of debt also tell us something about the “economic recovery” since the 2008 financial crisis. It is essentially a fake recovery built on debt. This is not just an American phenomenon. As we reported last month, global debt is growing three times faster than global wealth.
Net wealth = Assets – Debt
So, you really can’t talk about wealth without talking about debt. While it may appear the economy is growing and Americans are getting wealthier because they have more stuff, it’s an illusion. Debt is holding everything up and that is not a firm foundation.
Increasing debt levels will likely temper future spending and could put a significant drag on the economy. This will become especially acute if the Federal Reserve continues pushing interest rates up. Rising rates will increase payments on outstanding debt. That could be the pin that pops the debt bubble.
Last summer, Holmes warned that the debt bubble will eventually burst. There are certainly signs the pop could be imminent. He recommended investors should buy gold and called the yellow metal’s long-term investment case “bright.” He said if and when the mother of all bubbles pops, it could potentially spell trouble for the investor who hasn’t adequately prepared with some allocation in a safe haven.
Read More @ SchiffGold.com
by Alexander Mercouris, The Duran:
Twelve days ago, shortly after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (‘CAS’) cleared 28 Russian athletes of the doping allegations which had been made against them, I expressed the hope that sanity would prevail and that the International Olympic Committee would reconsider its decision to exclude some of these athletes from the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
After all the International Olympic Committee’s own Schmid commission had reported that there was no proof of a government organised state sponsored doping conspiracy in Russia, and since the athletes had been cleared of the doping allegations there seemed no reason to exclude them.
In the event sanity – or at least justice – did not prevail. Not only did the International Olympic Committee refuse to allowed the cleared athletes to attend the PyeongChang Games, but Thomas Bach – the IOC President, who is himself a lawyer – not only criticised CAS’s decision in intemperate terms but actually called for CAS to be reorganised
We cannot have a situation of CAS losing its credibility with athletes… We have to do our job to make proposals so trust of the athletes can be restored….. [the CAS] ruling was extremely disappointing and surprising…..We feel that this decision shows the urgent need for reforms in the internal structure of CAS…..
Bach then went on to insinuate that the 28 Russian athletes who had been cleared by CAS might not be clean after allt
……[the absence of CAS sanctions does not mean that the Russian athletes are entitled to receive an invitation from the IOC] because receiving this invitation is a privilege of clean Russian athletes
(bold italics added)
Bach did not of course say what grounds the International Olympic Committee had for insinuating that the Russian athletes who had been cleared might not be ‘clean’ after all, or what distinguished them from the ‘clean’ Russian athletes the International Olympic Committee had invited to PyeongChang.
However, and unsurprisingly given the clear threat against CAS implicit in these words, CAS then went on to adopt this strange reasoning in its subsequent decision to uphold the International Olympic Committee’s decision to exclude these cleared Russian athletes from the PyeongChang Winter Games. Here is what CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb said in an interview he gave to RT
The duty of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) was to show that the athletes involved in this case were guilty of an anti-doping rule violation. The fact that you cannot establish the evidence of guilt does not mean that you have established the innocence of the athletes
(bold italics added)
Ever since the beginning of the Russian Olympic Doping Scandal in the autumn of 2015, and especially since the publication of the first of Professor McLaren’s two reports on the even of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, I have been saying that the burden of proof was being reversed, and that instead of those who were accusing Russian athletes of doping offences being asked to prove their case, it was the Russian athletes who were being required to prove their innocence. This for example is what I wrote on 18th July 2016, shortly before the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio
Read More @ TheDuran.com
by John Rubino, Dollar Collapse:
Self-destruction usually happens in stages. At first there’s a binge in which the thrill outweighs the sense of transgression. This is usually followed by remorse, acknowledgement of risks, and an attempt to reform.
But straight-and-narrow is exhausting, and because of this is frequently just temporary, eventually giving way to a kind of capitulation in which the addict drops even the pretense of self-control.
2018 is apparently the year in which the world enters this final stage of its addiction to debt. Wherever you look, leverage is soaring as governments, corporations and individuals just give up and embrace the idea that borrowing is no longer a necessary evil, but simply necessary. Some recent examples:
(Reuters) – China’s banks extended a record 2.9 trillion yuan ($458.3 billion) in new yuan loans in January, blowing past expectations and nearly five times the previous month as policymakers aim to sustain solid economic growth while reining in debt risks.
Net new loans surpassed the previous record of 2.51 trillion yuan in January 2016, which is likely to support growth not only in China but may underpin liquidity globally as major Western central banks begin to withdraw stimulus.
Corporate loans surged to 1.78 trillion yuan from 243.2 billion yuan in December, while household loans rose to 901.6 billion yuan in January from 329.4 billion yuan in December, according to Reuters calculations based on the central bank data.
Outstanding yuan loans grew 13.2 percent in January from a year earlier, also faster than an expected 12.5 percent rise and compared with an increase of 12.7 percent in December.
(CNBC) – Total household debt rose by $193 billion to an all-time high of $13.15 trillion at year-end 2017 from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data report released Tuesday.
Mortgage debt balances rose the most in the December quarter rising by $139 billion to $8.88 trillion from the previous quarter. Credit card debt had the second largest increase of $26 billion to a total of $834 billion.
(Chicago Tribune) – President Donald Trump unveiled a $4.4 trillion budget plan Monday that envisions steep cuts to America’s social safety net but mounting spending on the military, formally retreating from last year’s promises to balance the federal budget.
The president’s spending outline for the first time acknowledges that the Republican tax overhaul passed last year would add billions to the deficit and not “pay for itself” as Trump and his Republican allies asserted.
Trump’s plan sees a 2019 deficit of $984 billion, though White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney admits $1.2 trillion is more plausible after last week’s congressional budget pact and $90 billion worth of disaster aid is tacked on. That would be more than double the 2019 deficit the administration promised last year.
So far, the financial markets are responding pretty much according to script:
(CNBC) – U.S. government debt yields hit session highs Wednesday after the government reported inflation in January rose more than expected.
The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note jumped to 2.882 percent as of 10:03 a.m. ET. It hit a four-year high of 2.902 percent on Monday. The yield on the 30-year bond was last seen higher at 3.146 percent. Bond yields move inversely to their prices.
Schwab’s Kathy Jones argued that the latest reading could mean that the yield on the benchmark 10-year note could test 3 percent in the next few months.
Read More @ DollarCollapse.com
by Stefan Stanford, All News Pipeline:
While the Southern Poverty Law Center makes millions of dollars off of selling hatred by labeling practically everyone they disagree with as a ‘political hate group’, as we’ve seen going back a decade+ since Barack Obama came in to office and helped put Christians, Conservatives and people who love America on DHS watch lists while allowing a countless number of potential ‘trojan horse terrorists’ into America, the globalists war upon Christians and America continues to this day.
With Christians now the most persecuted religious group in the world as stated by VP Mike Pence as is also surprisingly documented by Wikipedia, in this new story from The Organic Prepper we learn that a new bill in Congress once again puts a target on the back of millions of law-abiding American citizens, especially those who love America, and the SPLC is one of the driving forces behind it with the bill citing numerous unreliable, biased and ‘fake news’ sources.
While no mention is made of the terrorist group ‘antifa’ in H.R. 4918, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act of 2018, as the Free Thought Project reports in this new story, the “ominous new bill is targeting millions of peaceful Americans who identify with being a patriot by lumping them in with extremely rare violent hate groups”.
With the left and mainstream media recently going so far as to label anyone who supports President Trump a ‘white supremacist’, might this bill be used in a sick and twisted attempt to make sure President Trump doesn’t win again in 2020 by rounding up America-loving Patriots via the lumping of us into the domestic terror bill with those ‘rare hate groups’ on the right that are actually violent?
If what we’ve been witnessing in America over the past decade+ really was an attempt to overthrow US sovereignty while merging us into a totalitarian, Islamic global government where people have no rights as Jerome Corsi recently reported in this Infowars story, then this latest bill is just par for the course as those who’ve committed treason against America in Congress attempt to take the focus off of themselves and put upon those who love America and voted President Trump into office.
And if anyone reading this story had any doubts where ex-president Barack Obama sat on this issue, we got a definitive answer in this recent story from Susan Duclos on ANP in which we see that Obama is quite literally a ‘serpent in the garden’, his administration full of hatred towards whites and Christians as perfectly exemplified by the person he chose to paint his portrait. It’s clear Obama was brought in by globalists to complete the destruction of America which only the election of President Trump has put off a few more years.
And while Congress (most of whom long ago sold out America) currently has a 20% approval rating as reported in this recent Gallup poll, should we be surprised that they are once again attempting to target those who helped put President Trump into office? Is it part of the globalists plans to keep Trump out of office in 2020? As the Daily Bell reports:
It shouldn’t be a problem that the bill targets white supremacists. They are after all responsible for violence, including the tragic killing spree carried out by Dyan Roof on a church congregation.
But “Trump supporter” is now synonymous with “white supremacist” to the mainstream media. How often do you hear people throw out the charge of “racism!” when something has nothing to do with race?
Read More @ AllNewsPipeline.com