• Tag Archives Police
  • The Great Retirement Con

    The Origins Of The Retirement Plan
    Back during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress promised a monthly lifetime income to soldiers who fought and survived the conflict. This guaranteed income stream, called a “pension”, was again offered to soldiers in the Civil War and every American war since.
    Since then, similar pension promises funded from public coffers expanded to cover retirees from other branches of government. States and cities followed suit — extending pensions to all sorts of municipal workers ranging from policemen to politicians, teachers to trash collectors.
    A pension is what’s referred to as a defined benefit plan. The payout promised a worker upon retirement is guaranteed up front according to a formula, typically dependent on salary size and years of employment.
    Understandably, workers appreciated the security and dependability offered by pensions. So, as a means to attract skilled talent, the private sector started offering them, too.
    The first corporate pension was offered by the American Express Company in 1875. By the 1960s, half of all employees in the private sector were covered by a pension plan.
    Off-loading Of Retirement Risk By Corporations
    Once pensions had become commonplace, they were much less effective as an incentive to lure top talent. They started to feel like burdensome cost centers to companies.
    As America’s corporations grew and their veteran employees started hitting retirement age, the amount of funding required to meet current and future pension funding obligations became huge. And it kept growing. Remember, the Baby Boomer generation, the largest ever by far in US history, was just entering the workforce by the 1960s.

    This post was published at PeakProsperity on Friday, November 17, 2017,.


  • Looking For Inflation In All The Wrong Places

    A policeman sees a drunk man searching for something under a streetlight and asks what the drunk has lost. He says he lost his keys and they both look under the streetlight together. After a few minutes the policeman asks if he is sure he lost them here, and the drunk replies, no, and that he lost them in the park. The policeman asks why he is searching here, and the drunk replies, ‘this is where the light is’. – The Streetlight Effect
    The drunk in the above story is an idiot, of course. But no more so than modern economists who can’t find inflation because they’re looking only at the part of the economy covered by their government’s Consumer Price Index.
    But gradually, grudgingly, a handful of mainstream economists do seem to be figuring out that the soaring value of stocks, bonds, real estate, fine art, collectibles and cryptocurrencies is a legitimate sign of a depreciating currency and future instability. Inflation, in other words. From yesterday’s Morningstar:
    Lack of inflation is a global issue
    (Morningstar) – The lack of inflation is a global issue. Unemployment is at cyclical lows in the US, Germany, and Japan, yet in each of these countries there is only small evidence that wages are picking up. No doubt globalisation and technology are common factors that have helped constrain wages across countries.

    This post was published at DollarCollapse on NOVEMBER 14, 2017.


  • US Links Erdogan To “Secret Gold” Trade With Iran; Lira, Bonds Tumble

    While long forgotten for some, in the summer of 2014, we reported in detail on what appeared to be the biggest, most bizarre money-laundering scheme ever, involving Turkey trading “200 tons of secret gold” with Iran…
    The topic of Turkey’s Oil-for-Gold ‘deals’ has not been far from our thoughts over the last few years (here, here, and here) but as Bloomberg reports, after accessing a report leaked on March 14 of a network that spanned Turkey, China, Dubai and Iran, the plot reveals “one of the most complex illicit finance schemes [prosecutors] have seen.” It included the classic money-laundering techniques of over-invoicing and false invoicing (exactly as in the case of the Chinese commodity financing scandal underway) but the secret government plan to juice Turkey’s exports goes much deeper; and if you think that the exposure of this scheme is slowing Turkey’s manipulation, think again. Turkey’s trade balance continues to fluctuate unpredictably as gold stocks flow out of the country in bursts. ‘Turkey’s going to continue it,’ the Turkish economy minister said. ‘If those casting aspersions on the gold trade are searching for immorality, they should take a look in the mirror.’ We first started noticing major ‘odd’ exports of gold from Turkey to Iran in May 2012. But in 2013, with a plunging currency, surging inflation, slowing growth, and specter of rapid QE-driven hot money outflows leaving his nation desperate; Zafer Caglayan, the minister in charge of Turkey’s $800 billion economy decided that the only way to ensure success in the looming election… was to cheat…
    Read more here…
    A farcical domestic investigation was undertaken and while the judges and officials who probed the money laundering scheme were either fired or reassigned, the findings in their report were leaked.
    The leaked document that Erodgan tried so hard to hide, prepared by the Turkish National Police, shows that investigators probed the activities of a cast of characters that was both powerful and dependent upon each other for favors. There have been some arrests (but no politicians)

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Nov 3, 2017.


  • Smuggled Gold Pouring into India as Consumers Dodge Taxes

    An increase in the import duty hasn’t dampened Indians’ appetite for gold. It’s just pushed the market underground.
    Gold is such an important part of the Indian economy, people will do whatever they have to in order to get their hands on the yellow metal – including skirt the law. According to a recent report by the Hindu, occurrences of gold smuggling have risen rapidly in the wake of higher import taxes.
    Ever since the import duty on gold was raised to 10%, the country has reportedly witnessed a rapid rise in the quantum of gold brought into the country illegally. Currently, government levies total 13%, including IGST of 3%.’
    Government efforts to crack down on smuggling have proven largely ineffective. Officials estimate customs agents and police have intercepted less than 10% of the gold entering the country illegally. Police do a better job of catching smugglers traveling by air from West Asia and south-east Asia, but officials say gold brought in through the international waters of Sri Lanka and the porous borders of Myanmar, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan is seldom tracked.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on OCTOBER 23, 2017.


  • Finally Belgium Speaks Out Against Spanish Oppression

    The Belgium Prime minister Charles Michel has come out against Spain and now other European leaders applaud him for taking a position against the repressive action by Spain’s Civil Guard and National Police despite the fact that those in Brussels remain silent because they care only about their own jobs. Brussels has been silent fearing others will rise up as separatists against their rule. So Brussels has demonstrated to the world that human rights come second to self-interest. This oppression in Spain has done far more damage to the EU than most people realize. Their silence has been taken as proof that they too would resort to violence to protect their jobs as well.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Oct 16, 2017.


  • Catalonia To Declare Independence From Spain On Monday

    Spanish stocks tumbled, with the IBEX index sliding into a 10% correction, following an overnight report that Catalan leader Puigdemont was set to make a statement at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Wednesday, after an all-party committee of the region’s parliament meets to agree a date for a plenary session on independence. That concluded moments ago and CUP, the pro-secession party that is a majority in the Catalan parliament, has announced it will declared independence from Spain in plenary session on Monday, El Pais reports.
    As reported last night, Catalan President Carles Puigdemont told the BBC that his government would ask the region’s parliament to declare independence after tallying votes from last weekend’s referendum, which Madrid says was illegal. “This will probably finish once we get all the votes in from abroad at the end of the week and therefore we shall probably act over the weekend or early next week,” he said in remarks published on Wednesday.
    Puigdemont’s comments came after Spain’s King Felipe VI accused secessionist leaders on Tuesday of shattering democratic principles and dividing Catalan society, as tens of thousands protested against a violent police crackdown on Sunday’s vote. The Catalan leader is due to make a statement at 9 p.m. (1900 GMT) on Wednesday, during which he is expected to announce that Catalonia will formally announce independence on Monday.
    Spain has been rocked by the Catalan vote and the Spanish police response to it, which saw batons and rubber bullets used to prevent people voting. Hundreds were injured, in scenes that brought international condemnation.
    And while the constitutional crisis in Spain, the euro zone’s fourth-biggest economy, has hit Spanish stocks and bonds, raising Madrid’s borrowing costs, it has so far failed to have an adverse impact on the broader European market, or the Euro which has remained relatively steady in recent days. As shares in Spain’s big lenders fell on Wednesday, Economy Minister Luis de Guindos tried to reassure investors and customers. ‘Catalan banks are Spanish banks and European banks are solid and their clients have nothing to fear,’ he said on the sidelines of a conference in Madrid.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 4, 2017.


  • “Total Stoppage”: Barcelona Paralyzed By General Strike, Barricades As Protesters Take To The Streets

    The Catalan rebellion escalated on Tuesday, resulting in a day of “total stoppage” for the Catalan capital, in which Barcelona metro stations were closed, pickets blocked main roads and civil servants walked out on Tuesday in response to a strike called by pro-independence groups as separatist activists took to the streets of Barcelona to press home their demands for independence after winning an referendum on Sunday which despite a violent crackdown by the Spanish government, saw nearly 90% of the vote cast for splitting away from Madrid.
    According to Bloomberg, public transport and shops were closed as demonstrators gathered in the center of the Catalan capital to protest the police violence that marked Sunday’s vote and reinforce their demands for a split with Spain. Photographs showed traffic backed up behind protesters on one of the main highways connecting Catalonia with the rest of Spain. Roads are blocked in 48 places in the region, the Spanish traffic agency said.
    Regional traffic authorities in Catalonia told The Spain Report on Tuesday morning that more than 50 barricades or protests had blocked roads across the region, including major toll roads and motorways used for commercial traffic to and from France.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 3, 2017.


  • Stocks and Precious Metals Charts – Risk On – Non-Farm Payrolls on Friday

    Stocks were in ‘rally mode’ today, although the results were more mixed than one might initially realize. Big cap Techs, which have been leading the parade higher, ended the day essentially unchanged.
    That is a big non-confirmation of the push to a new high on the SP 500. Let’s see if the kool-aid is served up again by Wall Street tomorrow.
    The economic news this morning via the ISM was viewed as just peachy.
    There will be a non-farm payrolls report on Friday.
    Over the weekend there was police violence against voters in Catalan, and a very tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas. These are the times in which we live.
    It was an absolutely gorgeous day here, with the bright but cool autumn weather settling in. The leaves have not started to change here yet. It will take a hard freeze or two to turn them. Dolly and I were out cruising the ‘hood with the sun roof open and the windows down, grabbing some fresh sweet cider and powdered sugar donuts from one of the local farms, along with the usual suspects from the vegetable family. We are getting exceptionally good white sweet corn much later than usual thanks to the weather. Even zucchini and tomatoes are still going gangbusters.

    This post was published at Jesses Crossroads Cafe on 02 OCTOBER 2017.


  • Gold Price Hits 6-Week Dollar Low as Euro Falls After Catalonia Vote

    Gold prices fell to new 6-week lows in London trade Monday as the Dollar rose and world stock markets edged higher.
    The Euro slipped after Sunday’s clashes with civil police in Spain’s Catalonia region as people voted for independence in what the national government called an illegal ballot.
    “With this day of hope and suffering,” said regional president Carles Puigdemont in Barcelona, “the citizens of Catalonia have won the right to an independent state in the form of a republic.”
    Gold priced in the Euro meantime crept back up to 1085 per ounce as the single currency slipped on the FX market, unwinding last week’s 2 drop but holding 4% below early September’s 4-month high.
    “The prospects of further monetary tightening in developed economies have started to weigh on the price of gold,” says a note from head of precious metals sales Tom Kendall at Chinese-owned bullion bank ICBC Standard, pointing to the Fed and ECB discussing balance-sheet reduction while the Bank of England’s “hints” at UK rate rises.

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 10/02/2017.


  • Why Rajoy Is Panicking – Last Minute Poll Shows Huge 80% Surge For Catalan Independence

    We noted yesterday that “if Catalonia secedes from Spain…in terms of the debt sustainability parameters laid down by the Treaty of Maastricht, it’d be the Eurozone debt crisis 2.0…” and it is clear by the thuggish brutality of Spain’s police that Rajoy will do anything to ensure this vote does not go ahead as the latest poll data shows a massive surge in favor of independence, as government fascism has clearly triggered unintended consequences that look set to spirtal out of control.
    ***
    As MishTalk.com’s Mike Shedlock notes, numerous sites keep posting stats that claim a majority in Catalonia want a vote but do not support independence. I have stated those polls are old and likely wrong thanks to the pitiful tactics of prime minister Mariano Rajoy. A new last-minute poll suggests I have this correct.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Oct 1, 2017.


  • Frontrunning: September 29

    Republican Tax Plan Hits First Hurdle (WSJ) A $6.4 Billion Windfall Awaits Big U. S. Banks in Trump’s Tax Cut (BBG) How Does the Trump Tax Plan Affect You? WSJ Answers Your Questions (WSJ) Twitter suspends Russia-linked accounts, but U. S. senator says response inadequate (Reuters) Flight ban on Iraqi Kurds imposed after independence vote (Reuters) Elon Musk’s New Vision: Anywhere on Earth in Under One Hour (BBG) Kurdistan region refuses to hand over border crossings to Iraqi government: Rudaw (Reuters) Independence Vote Tests Catalonia’s Police Force (WSJ) Uber CEO Khosrowshahi to Visit U. K. to Rescue London License (BBG) Chinese Money Is Still Leaking Into the World’s Housing Markets (BBG) Russia accuses CNN International of violating Russian media law (Reuters) Dems on Trump’s Voter Fraud Panel Push Back (BBG) Schumer says senators close to bipartisan deal on health exchanges (Reuters) VW’s dieselgate bill hits $30 billion after another charge (Reuters) VW Takes New $2.9 Billion Hit From Diesel Scandal (WSJ) Iron Ore Becomes Punch Bag as China Concerns Drive 20% Collapse (BBG) U. S. visas to six Muslim nations drop after Supreme Court backs travel ban (Reuters) P&G CEO Blasts Nelson Peltz as Tensions Mount Over Board Vote (BBG) Lyft IPO puts investors in self-driving cars as well as ride services (Reuters) World’s Biggest Oil Company Promised Expats Idyllic Lifestyle – Then Fire Erupted (WSJ) Chaos and hackers stalk bitcoin investors (Reuters)
    Overnight Media Digest
    WSJ
    – A day after announcing their tax plan, Senate Republicans debated scaling back one of their largest and most controversial proposals to pay for lower tax rates – repeal of the individual deduction for state and local taxes. on.wsj.com/2yJB9qV

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 29, 2017.


  • Update from Puerto Rico: People are running out of cash, ATMs aren’t working and groups of looters are posing as police

    My friend Adam (not his real name) lives in Puerto Rico and sent me a startling update…
    Adam and his family evacuated the island for the hurricane, but he’s been in close contact with his friends who stayed on the ground.
    And the situation is bad.
    According to his contacts on the ground, people in Puerto Rico are running out of cash. And ATMs aren’t working.
    That’s how it happens during a crisis – food, gas, cash (all the things you need most) disappear first.
    This is exactly why you keep several months’ worth of expenses in cash in a safe (a little gold helps, too). It’s a simple step you can immediately take to help keep you and your family safe during a crisis… And the tragedy in Puerto Rico shows you that crises do happen.

    This post was published at Sovereign Man on September 26, 2017.


  • Man caught smuggling 1 kilogram of gold in his rectum

    Earlier today in Sri Lanka’s Colombo International Airport, a passenger was arrested by local authorities and found to have stuffed nearly $30,000 worth of gold into his rectum.
    That’s nearly 1 kilogram of gold. In his ass.
    The gold had been carefully wrapped in plastic and included four small bars and multiple chains of jewelry.
    Airport police were tipped off when they noticed the 45-year old man ‘walking suspiciously.’ No sh*t, Sherlock.
    And curiously this was not even close to the first incident of rectal gold smuggling in Sri Lanka. Just last week another passenger was found with 314.5 grams of gold stuff inside her rectum. Amateur.
    Gold, of course, has a long history of value and marketability, going back to ancient civilizations that have been extinct for thousands of years.
    Archaeologists have unearthed dozens of graves, some of which date back more than 6,000 years, containing gold artifacts.

    This post was published at Sovereign Man on September 25, 2017.


  • Catalonia Independence Vote October 1st

    The Spanish government refuses to listen to anything from Catalonia and announced it would intervene in Catalonia’s finances to ensure that ‘not one euro’ of public money was used to fund the ‘illegal’ vote. Meanwhile, the Spanish police arrested 13 people in the region of Catalonia and Madrid for their alleged involvement in planning a vote to secede from Spain. This is clearly demonstrating that the Spanish government is reverting to its old fascist ways for it is the boldest move yet by Spanish authorities to stop the separatist movement.
    It was 1931 when the nations defaulted on their debts that saw Estat Catal and other parties began to form Esquerra Republicana de Catalunya (Republican Left of Catalonia)(ERC). The ERC won a dramatic victory in the municipal elections that year and this is when we must regard the first major step in the separatics movement.

    This post was published at Armstrong Economics on Sep 21, 2017.


  • Gold Price Falls, Sinks vs UK Pound Despite N.Korea Missile, London Bomb + Spain’s Catalonia Crisis

    Gold price gains of 1.6% from last week were again erased Friday in London, as the outlook for interest-rate hikes trumped new geopolitical tensions led by another weapons test by the pariah state of North Korea.
    Dollar priced-gold retreated to $1325 per ounce – more than $30 below last Friday’s 12-month high – as major government bond prices fell yet again, driving US Treasury bond yields up to their highest since mid-August above 2.20% on 10-year debt.
    After threatening to “sink” Japan and turn the US “into ashes and darkness” on Thursday, Pyongyang this morning fired its furthest-yet missile test over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, splashing into the Pacific.
    British police said an ‘improved explosive device’ caused an explosion on a rush-hour London Tube train, with 22 people needing hospital treatment, mostly for burns

    This post was published at FinancialSense on 09/15/2017.


  • Vault Containing $70 Billion In German Gold To Be Evacuated As Frankfurt Defuses Massive Bomb

    Approximately 60,000 residents of Germany’s financial capital, Frankfurt, will be ordered to evacuate their homes on Sunday as the city’s emergency service staff will attempt to defuse a massive World War Two bomb, discovered recently at a local building site. The 1.4-tonne HC 4000 bomb dropped by the British air force during World War Two was uncovered on a building site on Wismarer Strasse in Frankfurt’s leafy Westend where many wealthy bankers live.
    ‘We have never defused a bomb of this size,’ bomb disposal expert Rene Bennert told Reuters, adding that it had been damaged on impact when it was dropped between 1943 and 1945.
    ***
    Bomb disposal experts who examined it said the massive evacuation could wait until the weekend. ‘We are still working on the modalities of the evacuation plan,’ a spokeswoman for Frankfurt police said on Wednesday.
    As a result, ahead of Sunday’s planned evacuation, more than 100 hospital patients, including premature infants and those in intensive care, were evacuated from two Frankfurt hospitals on Saturday, city councillor Markus Frank told Reuters television.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Sep 2, 2017.


  • Harvey Makes Second Landfall In Louisiana After Leaving “Apocalyptic” Flooding, Record Rainfall In Texas

    Five days after it first plowed into southwest Texas as a category 4 hurricane, Tropical Storm Harvey has made second landfall west of Cameron on the border between Texas and Louisiana, early Wednesday according to the National Hurricane Center. The storm, which has already pummeled the city of Houston with more than 50 inches of rain – a new record for the contiguous US, according to the Wall Street Journal – has left at least 18 dead, including two Houston police officers, and forced tens of thousands of people from their homes.
    ***
    Though the hurricane (now tropical storm) has wreaked widespread devastation on Texas, Reuters says citizens of Western Louisiana have at least one silver lining to cling to: torrential rains are expected to cease later on Wednesday as the storm picks up speed and moves northeast away from the Gulf of Mexico. NOAA was forecasting less than an inch of rain for the Houston area on Wednesday, with a slight chance of sunshine.

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 30, 2017.


  • Driver Arrested After Running Over Three Protesters At St. Louis Transgender Rally

    Less than two weeks after a driver in Charlottesville, Virginia slammed into a crowd of counter-protesters demonstrating against a rally held by white nationalists, killing a 32-year-old woman, on Wednesday night a driver in St. Louis was taken into custody after hitting three protesters who blocked traffic during a march for a transgender woman shot and killed by police a day earlier, local media reported.
    According to Reuters, the unidentified driver of a black Mercedes was taken into custody for felony fleeing, a block away from where a man and two women suffered minor injuries after they were hit by his car, said Schron Jackson, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis Police Department.
    Pix from car that drove through protesters, car stopped was surrounded, then drove through, one person ended up on hood, only minor injuries pic.twitter.com/EYNxSJARoF
    — David Carson (@PDPJ) August 24, 2017

    This post was published at Zero Hedge on Aug 24, 2017.


  • Keener Risk Aversion In World Marketplace After Spain Terror Attacks

    This is a syndicated repost courtesy of Money Morning. To view original, click here. Reposted with permission.
    (Kitco News) – World stock markets were mostly lower in overnight trading. The U. S. stock indexes are pointed toward slightly higher openings when the New York day session begins. The marketplace is reacting with keener risk aversion to an ISIS terror attack in Barcelona, Spain Thursday, in which a van rain into a crowd and killed 13 people. A second attack in another town in Spain was thwarted by police, who killed five terrorists.
    Gold prices are higher in pre-U. S. day session trading Friday and hit a 2.5-month high above $1,300 an ounce on some more safe-haven demand and technical buying.
    Traders and investors are also pondering the future progress of the Trump administration’s objectives. Many believe the administration is in turmoil.

    This post was published at Wall Street Examiner by Jim Wyckoff ‘ August 18, 2017.


  • Central Bank Polices Disrupt Our Ability to Assess Risk

    When central banks manipulate interest rates, they disrupt normal patterns of savings and investment. They pump up economic bubbles that ultimately pop and kick off economic crashes. We saw this vividly in the 2008 financial crisis. Low interest rates, along with government policies, encouraged unsustainable investment in housing. When the bubble popped, it nearly brought the entire economy down with it.
    There is another problem with central bank interest rate tinkering that exacerbates bubbles.
    It hides inherent risk.
    When interests rates remain artificially low, it suppresses risk premiums and drives further malinvestement.
    Thorsten Polleit writing for the Mises Institute Fed Watch explained the mechanism.
    Inherent risk exists with any investment, but some are riskier than others. In an unfettered market, investors reap a reward in the form of higher yield for taking on higher risk.

    This post was published at Schiffgold on AUGUST 15, 2017.