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Saturday, 15 February 2014

Feb 15, 2014: News Updates

 Feb. 14, 2014, 5:12 p.m. EST

Soros buys J.P. Morgan, Citi; ups GM stake

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Soros Fund Management, founded by hedge-fund legend George Soros, took stakes in J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. JPM +0.21% and Citigroup Inc. C -0.68% in the fourth quarter and boosted holdings of General Motors Co. GM +2.13% , the fund revealed Friday in its quarterly 13-F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Soros held more than 2.28 million shares of Citigroup as of Dec. 31 and more than 2.8 million shares of J.P. Morgan Chase, the filing said. Soros held no shares in either bank at the end of the third quarter.

Treasury says it’s dope for banks to take marijuana money

February 14, 2014, 3:50 PM

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has given banks the green light to work with marijuana-related businesses.

That’s what the FIN-2014-G001 memo says, at least. To be sure, marijuana is not legal in most U.S. states. But what about in Colorado and Washington, or the states where medical marijuana is legal?

 Feb. 14, 2014, 11:57 a.m. EST

Trina Solar buys mainland China solar-cell maker

Shares decline; company looking to expand capacity at lower cost
SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — Chinese solar-cell manufacturer Trina Solar Ltd. said Friday it is buying a majority stake in a mainland China solar-cell maker, as it seeks to expand capacity.

Turkish lawmakers brawl, then pass law

By Gul Tuysuz, CNN
February 15, 2014 -
Istanbul (CNN) -- After a hard-fought battle -- one that landed a lawmaker in the hospital -- Turkey's parliament in Ankara voted Saturday to approve changes to the administrative body that oversees judges and prosecutors.

The approval, by a vote of 210-28, came a day after parliament erupted in a brawl during debate about the proposed changes.

20 Signs That The Global Economic Crisis Is Starting To Catch Fire

By Michael Snyder, on February 13th, 2014

#1 The unemployment rate in Greece has hit a brand new record high of 28 percent.

#2 The youth unemployment rate in Greece has hit a brand new record high of 64.1 percent.

#3 The percentage of bad loans in Italy is at an all-time record high.

#4 Italian industrial output declined again in December, and the Italian government is on the verge of collapse.

#5 The number of jobseekers in France has risen for 30 of the last 32 months, and at this point it has climbed to a new all-time record high.

#6 The total number of business failures in France in 2013 was even higher than in any year during the last financial crisis.

#7 It is being projected that housing prices in Spain will fall another 10 to 15 percent as their economic depression deepens.

#8 The economic and political turmoil in Turkey is spinning out of control.  The government has resorted to blasting protesters with pepper spray and water cannons in a desperate attempt to restore order.

#9 It is being estimated that the inflation rate in Argentina is now over 40 percent, and the peso is absolutely collapsing.

#10 Gangs of armed bandits are roaming the streets in Venezuela as the economic chaos in that troubled nation continues to escalate.

#11 China appears to be very serious about deleveraging.  The deflationary effects of this are going to be felt all over the planet. The following is an excerpt from Ambrose Evans-Pritchard's recent article entitled "World asleep as China tightens deflationary vice"...

Western Banks And China: "Interesting Times" Are Coming

Submitted by Pater Tenebrarum of Acting-Man blog,
Western Bank Exposure to Mainland China Explodes Higher – Australia Vulnerable
...In the course of this year, some $800bn. of debt issued by 'wealth management products' is coming due in China, and Mr. Darby notes in this context that the potential knock-on effects on Western banks from an increase in non-performing loans in China are probably not properly appreciated at this juncture.
Especially UK banks with a huge $193 bn. in total exposure, as well as Hong Kong banks (approximately $150 bn. in net claims) and Australia's 'big four' banks seem to be in the line of fire here.

The Merger of State and Commerce- feb 15 2014

The Leviathan’s Thumb
Many observers of the US economy have come to the realization there are now few truly free markets left within 21st Century Western capitalism.
It seems all investments today are controlled to unfair advantage in some large way by the governments and financial firms operating the markets, especially the market in money itself.  The newly-invented powers of the central banks to buy anything, to fund any bailout, can reach into any area of the economy, either to grant large favors or to inflict great pain, typically with the cooperation of the too-big-to-jail banks that own the Federal Reserve and its policies.
The precious metals market is a good example of the Fed and its henchmen inflicting pain.  The Western paper gold market has been the long-used tool of Leviathan to bludgeon the world’s only true money.

Germany, France to discuss EU communications avoiding US

German Chancellor Angela Merkel plans to discuss building an anti-NSA European communication network with French President Francois Hollande on Wednesday during her visit to France, she said. "Above all, we'll talk about European providers that offer security for our citizens, so that one shouldn't have to send emails and other information across the Atlantic. Rather, one could build up a communication network inside Europe," Merkel said. Holande confirmed that the two countries have been negotiating on the issue. Merkel has been calling for strengthening data protection in Europe following the revelations made by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden regarding US mass surveillance in Europe.

Montenegro police clash with anti-government protesters in Montenegro-

The Associated Press February 15, 2014

Police in Montenegro fired tear gas and stun grenades Saturday to disperse hundreds of stone-throwing protesters who were blaming the government for high unemployment, economic mismanagement and alleged corruption, and demanding its resignation.

The protests were called by an informal Facebook group that asked Montenegrins to voice solidarity with Bosnian anti-government protesters who earlier this month stormed into the country's presidency and other government buildings in Sarajevo and set them ablaze over similar demands.

Protests, violence continue in Venezuela

By Radina Gigova, CNN-February 15, 2014
(CNN) -- Young Venezuelans unhappy with the ravaged economy, shortages and rising crime clashed again Friday with security forces who fired tear gas and water cannons.

Hundreds of anti-government protesters blocked traffic on a major highway in Caracas, days after three Caracas protesters died in violence.

The clashes, which have left dozens more injured or detained across the country, have exacerbated an already tense situation.

EU 'very concerned' by Spanish police use of rubber bullets to deter migrants

Published time: February 15, 2014 12:03
The European Commission wants Spain to account for the drowning of 13 migrants who recently failed to swim to Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in North Africa. Spain earlier admitted that rubber bullets were fired at them, but claimed no one was injured.

Uganda's president to sign bill that would allow life sentences for some homosexual acts

By Rodney Muhumuza, The Associated Press February 14, 2014
KAMPALA, Uganda - Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni plans to sign a bill into law that prescribes life imprisonment for some homosexual acts, officials said Friday, alarming rights activists who have condemned the bill as draconian in a country where homosexuality already has been criminalized.

 Feb. 15, 2014, 1:56 p.m. EST

Obama wants $1 billion in Jordan loan guarantees

Ally needs funds to contend with flood of Syrian refugees, president says

LOS ANGELES (MarketWatch) — President Barack Obama wants the U.S. to grant $1 billion in loan guarantees to a Middle East ally, Jordan, as that nation struggles to contend with the flood of refugees fleeing civil war-torn Syria.

British PM reneges on pledge to let voters sack MPs

Feb 15/2014
British Prime Minister David Cameron has reneged on his pledge to let voters recall disgraced parliamentarians, sparking a furious coalition row.

As part of the coalition agreement of 2010, the prime minister had vowed to bring in "early legislation" to allow voters to force a by-election, in an attempt to deal with voter anger over the expenses scandal.

Nigerian president sacks ministers in new shake-up

Wednesday 12 February 2014 20:18
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan on Wednesday sacked four cabinet members including aviation minister Stella Oduah, a close ally, in the latest of a wave of government changes ahead of elections next year.
Jonathan also dismissed minister of police affairs Caleb Olubolade, minister of the Niger Delta Godsday Orubebe and deputy finance minister Yerima Ngama,

PBS returns millions to anti-pension crusader who funded TV series

Published time: February 15, 2014 04:01
A member station within the Public Broadcasting Service announced Friday that it would return a $3.5 million grant to a former Enron executive who first provided the money to fund an anti-pension series.
WNET, the New York City affiliate of PBS, said production on the planned series, dubbed “Pension Peril,” would be suspended indefinitely after journalist David Sirota of PandoDaily revealed the money was coming from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation.
John Arnold, a former executive at the disgraced Enron before who became one of the youngest billionaires in the US, was once the leading financial backer of a political movement to slash retirement benefits for firefighters, teacher, police officers, and other public-sector workers.

19 Statistics About The Drugging Of America That Are Almost Too Crazy To Believe

Feb 15 2014

The American people are the most drugged people in the history of the planet.  Illegal drugs get most of the headlines, but the truth is that the number of Americans that are addicted to legal drugs is far greater than the number of Americans that are addicted to illegal drugs.  As you will see below, close to 70 percent of all Americans are currently on at least one prescription drug.  In addition, there are 60 million Americans that “abuse alcohol” and 22 million Americans that use illegal drugs.  What that means is that almost everyone that you meet is going to be on something.  That sounds absolutely crazy but it is true.