In Race Against Coming Storm, Workers Scramble To Plug Oroville Dam Hole Using Rocks, Sandbags

After discovering a hole in Oroville Dam’s emergency spillway, officials said late Sunday that they will attempt to plug it using sandbags and rocks. But, as the LA Times notes, they stressed the situation remains dangerous and urged thousands of residents downstream to evacuate to higher ground. Video from television helicopters Sunday evening showed water flowing into a parking lot next to the dam, with large flows going down both the damaged main spillway and the emergency spillway.
They also showed lines of cars getting out of downtown Oroville. An evacuation center was set up at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico.
Officials feared a failure of the emergency spillway could cause huge amounts of water to flow into the Feather River, which runs through downtown Oroville, and other waterways. The result could be flooding and levee failures for miles south of the dam, depending on how much water is released.
So to limit the potential damage and flooding, the primary plan of action currently in place is to plug a hole in the emergency spillway, including using helicopters dropping bags of rock into the crevasse to prevent any further erosion. Here’s the loud, chaotic scene as the choppers prepare for the rock drop via @judywbrandt on Twitter.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 13, 2017.

What Will Trump Do About the Central-Bank Cartel?

The US is by far the biggest economy in the world. Its financial markets – be it equity, bonds or derivatives markets – are the largest and most liquid. The Greenback is the most important transaction currency. Many currencies in the world – be it the euro, the Chinese renminbi, the British pound or the Swiss franc – have actually been built upon the US dollar.
The world is effectively on a US-dollar-standard, and the US Federal Reserve (Fed) has risen to the unofficial status of the world’s central bank. The rise of the Greenback has to a large extent been propelled by international banking, which has basically ‘dollarized’ in terms of its lending and issuing activities.
The Fed Sets Global Policy The Fed’s policy not only determines credit and liquidity conditions in the US, but does so in many financial markets around the world as well. For instance, movements of long-term US interest rates regularly have effects on credit and equity markets in, say, Europe and Asia. The Fed’s actions are the blueprint for monetary policymaking in many countries around the world.

This post was published at Ludwig von Mises Institute on February 13, 2017.

David McWilliams – Print Punts As French Election Could See Euro Break Up

David McWilliams, economist, writer and journalist, has warned that the coming French election may lead to the euro breaking up and that Ireland should have a ‘plan B’ and ‘print punts’ in order to be ready for the collapse of the ‘single currency.’
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David McWilliams at Ireland’s Banking Inquiry
McWilliams writes
This time last year, only a few of us were suggesting that Brexit was likely. The mainstream view was that it couldn’t possibly happen. But it did. And so too did Trump. When this column argued in June that ‘we should prepare for President Trump’, one or two local talk shows chuckled and sneered at the mere suggestion that such a creature could inhabit the White House. But he is there.
In December, the Italian electorate revolted against its government – again the view of ‘sensible’ people was that bolshie Italians would see reason. But they didn’t.

This post was published at Gold Core on February 13, 2017.

Exposing The “Outrageous Malevolence” Of The European Leaders

Earlier this week I was talking in Athens to a guy from Holland, who incidentally with a group of friends runs a great project on Lesbos taking care of some 1000 refugees in one of the camps there. But that’s another topic for another day. I was wondering in our conversation how it is possible that, as we both painfully acknowledged, people in Holland and Germany don’t know what has really happened in the Greek debt crisis. Or, rather, don’t know how it started.
That certainly is a big ugly stain on their media. And it threatens to lead to things even uglier than what we’ve seen so far. People there in Northern Europe really think the Greeks are taking them for a ride, that the hard-working and saving Dutch and Germans pay through the teeth for Greek extravaganza. It’s all one big lie, but one that suits the local politicians just fine.
By accident(?!), I saw two different references to what really happened, both yesterday in the UK press. So let’s reiterate this one more time, and hope that perhaps this time someone in Berlin or Amsterdam picks it up and does something with it. There must be a few actual journalists left?! Or just ‘ordinary’ people curious enough, and with some intact active neurons, to go check if their politicians are not perhaps lying to them as much as their peers are all over the planet.
What I’m talking about in this instance is the first Greek bailout in 2010. While there are still discussions about the question whether the Greek deficit was artificially inflated by the country’s own statisticians, in order to force the bailout down the throats of the then government led by George Papandreou, there are far fewer doubts that the EU set up Greece for a major league fall just because it could, and because Dutch, French, German politicians could use that fall for their own benefit.

This post was published at Zero Hedge on Feb 13, 2017.

Are You Prepared for ‘Unencumbered’ Interest Rate Policy?

This is a syndicated repost courtesy of The Daily Reckoning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
In September Janet Yellen gave a speech in Jackson Hole, Wyoming titled ‘Designing Resilient Monetary Policy Frameworks for the Future.’ That title at least suggested that some new thinking and new policies might be on display. They weren’t. Yellen basically said that interest rate cuts, quantitative easing, interest on excess reserves and forward guidance were sufficient to pull the U. S. economy out of a future recession if needed.
In short, Yellen said the Fed’s existing toolkit is adequate, and is unwilling to consider more radical tools or remedies. The real lesson was that if you like weak growth, money printing and market manipulation, get ready for more of the same.
She dismissed the idea of negative rates. She also agreed that ‘helicopter money’ (really fiscal policy supported by Fed bond purchases to finance deficits) could be useful, but made it clear that it was up to Congress to implement that and the Fed would not lead the charge.

This post was published at Wall Street Examiner on February 10, 2017.

Scientists First Predicted Ice Age – Not Global Warming in 1971

Back in 1971, the theory that burning fossil fuels would create an ice age, not global warming. The Washington Post reported on July 9, 1971, that Dr. S. I. Rasool of NASA and Columbia University said that the fine dust from fossil fuel use would block out so much sunlight that the Earth’s ‘average temperature could drop by six degrees.’ Rasool went on to argue that ‘such a temperature decrease could be sufficient to trigger an ice age!’
Scientists with time figured out that this would not happen on any permanent basis. After all, when a volcano erupts, it hurls up ash which does block the sun. The major event of Mount Tambora eruption in 1816 threw into the air so much ash that it snowed during the summer in New York City. It became known as 18-hundred-and-froze-to-death. This account from history tells the story that 1816 was a year when the sunlight could not penetrate the natural pollution from Tambora. As a result of a volcanic eruption at Mount Tambora in Indonesia, weather patterns were disrupted worldwide for months, allowing for excessive rain, frost, and snowfall through much of the Northeastern U. S. and Europe in the summer of 1816. The global cooling altered the natural weather and it resulted in a serious food shortage that set off a mass migration from New England to the Midwest within the USA as people were trying to find the sun like me moving to Florida.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Feb 13, 2017.

Greece warned Troika they are Playing with Fire

Greek Prime Minister Alexis is finally getting some backbone thanks to BREXIT. He has now warned the IMF and the German Federal Minister of Finance Wolfgang Schuble and Merkel along with the Troika, that they should no longer ‘play with the fire’ in the Greek debt crisis. The Troika’s demands have been an all or nothing approach to subjugate Greece. They have pushed Greece beyond human endurance and the EU will pay the price.

This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Feb 12, 2017.

Trump Promises ‘Fast Trains,’ Japan’s Railway Stocks Soar

Do Trump and California suddenly see eye-to-eye on high-speed rail? President Donald Trump met with airline CEOs at the White House on Thursday. At the core of the discussion was the overhaul of the Federal Aviation Administration, including changes to the ‘totally out of whack’ national air-traffic control system. He had other goodies for the airline CEOs.
Afterwards, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly told reporters that the meeting had been ‘delightful.’ It seems they’d gotten pretty much what they’d wanted. ‘We are very well-aligned on some very key topics: income tax reform, regulatory reform, and especially growing our industry,’ he said.
But something wasn’t picked up by the US media, though it was picked up by hedge funds and other speculators: In his remarks, Trump mentioned high-speed rail in the US. And on Friday, Japanese stocks dealing with high-speed rail systems soared on huge volume! And even in China, it happened.

This post was published at Wolf Street on Feb 12, 2017.

Why The Next Large Market Correction Will Cause Record Gold Demand

Precious metals investors should be prepared that the next large market correction will likely cause record gold demand with much higher prices. Once the Great Hyped Trump Rally runs its course and the lousy fundamentals are allowed to kick in, the broader stock markets are going to experience one hell of a correction.
And with that correction, we will experience another big surge in Retail Gold ETF demand, just as we did back in Q1 2016. Even though Gold ETF demand is paper driven market, it is instrumental in pushing the gold price considerably higher.

This post was published at SRSrocco Report on February 12, 2017.