Submitted by Tyler Durden – ZeroHedge
As the world contemplates the various ‘provocation’ scenarios – a Russian act, a CIA act meant to look like a Russian act, or a Russian act meant to look like a CIA act? – the following clip suggests this was anything but an ad hoc shooting…
The narrator suggests, as Nemtsov and his companion are walking along the road, a garbage truck (or cleaning vehicle) is behind them. When the garbage truck comes alongside the couple, it slows down, then moves ahead, then stops… and another man leaves the vehicle and jumps in a following car, which speeds away with tires smoking…
“At this juncture, the impact on the broader economy and financial markets of the problems in the subprime market seems likely to be contained.” – Fed chairman, Ben Bernanke, Congressional testimony, March, 2007
“Capitalism without financial failure is not capitalism at all, but a kind of socialism for the rich.” – James Grant, Grant’s Interest Rate Observer
The Federal Reserve issued their fourth quarter Report on Household Debt and Credit last week to the sounds of silence in the mainstream media. There were minor press releases issued by the “professional” financial journalists regurgitating the Federal Reserve’s storyline. Actual analysis, connecting the dots, describing how the massive issuance of student loan and auto loan debt has produced a fake economic recovery, and how the accelerating default rates in auto loans and student loans will produce the next subprime debt implosion, were nowhere to be seen on CNBC, Bloomberg, the WSJ, or any other status quo propaganda media outlet. Their job is not to analyze or seek truth. Their job is to keep their government patrons and Wall Street advertisers happy, while keeping the masses sedated, misinformed, and pliable.
Luckily, the government hasn’t gained complete control over the internet yet, so dozens of truth telling blogs have done a phenomenal job zeroing in on the surge in defaults. The data in the report tells a multitude of tales conflicting with the “official story” sold to the public. The austerity storyline, economic recovery storyline, housing recovery storyline, and strong auto market storyline are all revealed to be fraudulent by the data in the report. Total household debt grew by $117 billion in the fourth quarter and $306 billion for the all of 2014. Non-housing debt in the 4th quarter of 2008, just as the last subprime debt created financial implosion began, was $2.71 trillion. After six years of supposed consumer austerity, total non-housing debt stands at a record $3.15 trillion. This is after hundreds of billions of the $2.71 trillion were written off and foisted upon the backs of taxpayers, by the Wall Street banks and their puppets at the Federal Reserve.
This week I was invited to address an important conference of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Scholars from Russia and from around the world, Russian government officials, and the Russian people seek an answer as to why Washington destroyed during the past year the friendly relations between America and Russia that President Reagan and President Gorbachev succeeded in establishing. All of Russia is distressed that Washington alone has destroyed the trust between the two major nuclear powers that had been created during the Reagan-Gorbachev era, trust that had removed the threat of nuclear armageddon. Russians at every level are astonished at the virulent propaganda and lies constantly issuing from Washington and the Western media. Washington’s gratuitous demonization of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has rallied the Russian people behind him. Putin has the highest approval rating ever achieved by any leader in my lifetime.
Washington’s reckless and irresponsible destruction of the trust achieved by Reagan and Gorbachev has resurrected the possibility of nuclear war from the grave in which Reagan and Gorbachev buried it. Again, as during the Cold War the specter of nuclear armageddon stalks the earth.
Why did Washington revive the threat of world annihilation? Why is this threat to all of humanity supported by the majority of the US Congress, by the entirety of the presstitute media, and by academics and think-tank inhabitants in the US, such as Motyl and Weiss, about whom I wrote recently?
It was my task to answer this question for the conference. You can read my February 25 and February 26 addresses below. But first you should understand what nuclear war means. You can gain that understanding here: http://thebulletin.org/what-would-happen-if-800-kiloton-nuclear-warhead-detonated-above-midtown-manhattan8023
The Threat Posed to International Relations By The Neoconservative Ideology of American Hegemony, Address to the 70th Anniversary of the Yalta Conference, Hosted by Institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Moscow, February 25, 2015, Hon. Paul Craig Roberts Continue reading
I think the ongoing destruction in the Japanese Household sector demonstrates very well a specific shortcoming about economic statistics like GDP. The basic calculation of the particular measure that forms the headlines of almost all commentary is a comparison of the current quarter to the previous one. That right away opens the door to incongruities as there remain very definite seasonal differences between quarters. Orthodox econometrics has decided that this seasonality is easily defined, so it adds its own formulaic adjustments to make each quarter “apples to apples.”
Even setting aside whether such adjustments can ever be properly defined let alone measured, that still leaves GDP as a function of second derivatives within each quarterly change – second derivatives that could very well be influenced by what econometrics believes as “random” errors even in seasonality. In terms of Japanese household spending, there is a clear vicious trend at play, but in GDP terms household spending has added a positive contribution to the whole for the past two quarters!
The calculation that twists the signs is that building upon second derivatives. Because household spending was “less negative” in Q4 than Q3, but still negative, household spending “contributed” +0.6% to that overall +2.2%. Continue reading
Submitted by Tyler Durden – ZeroHedge
Now that Greece and the Eurogroup are back on the same page and “cooperating” to use a game theory term, and any attempts of Eurozone “defection”, pardon the pun, by the Syrizia government have been postponed until the 4 month bailout extension runs out in June when the entire charade is set to repeat, it is critical for Greece to undo the mess that the Troika did when heading into the mid-February negotiations, the ECB did everything in its power to foment a massive bank run by spooking both banks and citizens that their funds may be Corzined, or otherwise capital controlled, thereby crushing any negotiation leverage the Tsipras government may have (just as we had laid out previously).
What we do know, is that it didn’t take much, and sure enough in the month of January, Greek banks suffered the biggest deposit outflow in both absolute and relative terms in Greek history.
One can only guess how bad it must have gotten in February, when rumors of €1 billion daily outflows were a daily occurence, and when even the likes of Stratfor reported (incorrectly as per official denials) that one of the largest Greek banks, Piraeus had run out of cash into month end.
As a result, everyone in Greece is now in full-blown confidence rebuilding mode in a desperate attempt to restore some of the deposit outflows, which have pushed total Greek deposits back to 2005 levels, even though nothing has been resolved vis-a-vis long-term Greek sustainability. As the WSJ reported late last week, “according to one senior banking official, more than €800 million ($905 million) in deposits have been put back into the Greek banking system since Monday when Greece’s banks were closed for a public holiday. “We saw €700 million return on the first day and another €150 million yesterday,” the banking official, speaking on the sidelines of central bank conference, told journalists.“Things are going well.”
Maybe, or maybe this is just yet another attempt to play off the public mood, because while as recently as 2 weeks ago the western media was desperate to see lines in front of Greek ATMs to accelerate the Greek government’s folding to the Troika’s demand (which ultimately happened), now it is just trying to talk back some of these destructive, confidence-crushing innuendos. Continue reading