tn moved

tn moved

Friday, 21 February 2014

Feb 21, 2014: News Updates

"The Pig In The Python Is About To Be Expelled": A Walk Thru Of China's Hard Landing, And The Upcoming Global Harder Reset

...At this point one should conclude that reality - through massive, unprecedented liquidity injections - has been deferred long enough. It is time to let the markets finally return to some semblance of uncentrally-planned normalcy: there is a reason why nature abhors a vacuum. Even if it means the eruption of the very painful grand reset, washing away decades of capital misallocation, lies and ill-gotten wealth, so very overdue.

FCC sidesteps explanation on controversial plan to ‘interfere with news stations’

Published time: February 20, 2014 23:58
The US Federal Communications Commission announced it will pull back from an unpopular plan that proposed placing a federal agent inside newsrooms across the country, prompting media watchdogs to accuse the government of trying to restrict press freedom.
 Ajit Pai, commissioner of the FCC, wrote an editorial for The Wall Street Journal earlier this month complaining that his own agency was planning to “send researchers to grill reporters, editors, and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.”
“But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain issues,” he wrote.

Venezuela Revokes CNN Press Credentials

CARACAS, Venezuela February 21, 2014 (AP)
Associated Press
Venezuela's government has revoked the press credentials of journalists from CNN after President Nicolas Maduro blasted the television network's coverage of political protests.
CNN says Friday that four of its journalists were notified by the Information Ministry that they are no longer allowed to report in the country. They include CNN en Espanol anchor Patricia Janiot

Not a typo, monopsony in spotlight in U.S. cable deal

WASHINGTON Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:21pm GMT

Reuters) - If U.S. antitrust enforcers decide to challenge the proposed $45 billion merger of Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc, it may be because of an idea with a funny-sounding name that has been gaining currency in government offices.
The idea is monopsony power, the mirror image of the better-known monopoly power but a concept that is just as old.

Google deal is no 'gentlemen's agreement', says EU antitrust chief

By Foo Yun Chee

PARIS Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:59am GMT
(Reuters) - The EU antitrust chief defended a deal with Google over how it displays web search results, following criticism from rival firms and his own colleagues, saying there had been no gentlemen's agreement to close the case.
The world's most popular search engine has been under investigation for three years by the European Commission, which acts as the bloc's antitrust regulator, over complaints it was blocking competitors in search results.

Chelsea Manning: US secrecy breeds unilateralism that defies constitution

Published time: February 21, 2014 14:31
The US government’s pursuit of secrecy and power lends itself to unilateralism which the Founding Fathers feared, Chelsea Manning has said. The whistleblower spoke out after being awarded the Sam Adams prize for Integrity in Intelligence.
In a written statement posted on the Pvt. Manning Support Network, Chelsea Manning said the US is moving towards what the American constitution was written to prevent. Following the attacks on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, “the American government has been pursuing an unprecedented amount of secrecy and power consolidation in the Executive branch, under the President and the Cabinet,” Manning wrote.

Ukraine peace deal signed, opens way for early election

KIEV Fri Feb 21, 2014 8:06pm GMT
(Reuters) - Ukraine's opposition leaders signed an EU-mediated peace deal with President Viktor Yanukovich on Friday, aiming to resolve a political crisis in which scores have been killed and opening the way for an early presidential election this year.
Under pressure to quit from mass demonstrations in Kiev, Russian-backed Yanukovich made a series of concessions to pro-European opponents, including a national unity government and constitutional change to reduce his powers, as well as bringing forward the poll.

Bank Runs Begin In Ukraine As Russia's Largest Bank Halts Lending

Six months ago a "glitch" halted all ATM withdrawals, and Credit and Debit card transactions for Russia's largest bank but today, the CEO of the huge bank has no such "glitch" to blame:


We suspect that whether an agreement is in place or not, this will continue.

Obama meets with Dalai Lama despite China warnings

By Roberta Rampton and Sui-Lee Wee

WASHINGTON/BEIJING Fri Feb 21, 2014 6:56pm GMT
(Reuters) - President Barack Obama met exiled Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama on Friday in a show of concern about China's human rights practices, and in spite of warnings from China that the visit would "seriously damage" ties with Washington.
The private meeting appeared to last about an hour, although the Dalai Lama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, was not seen by White House photographers as he entered or exited the complex.

Suspended Nigeria central bank boss hits back

Lamido Sanusi says president has no powers to suspend head of central bank as he hints he will challenge decision.
Last updated: 21 Feb 2014 11:55
Nigeria's suspended central bank governor has implied that he will challenge President Goodluck Jonathan's decision to suspend him on grounds of financial recklessness.
"The central bank is an independent institution, [and] there is a section of the act that says the president cannot remove the governor without two-thirds of the senate," Sanusi told Channels Television in Lagos, the commercial capital.


 Feb. 21, 2014, 2:53 p.m. EST

‘Fog of war’ surrounded Fed in 2008, transcripts show

Struggling with a crisis that stayed one step ahead of them
WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — For the Federal Reserve, 2008 was a grim year, transcripts of their policy deliberations released Friday reveal.
The central bankers trudged though an ever-deepening crisis that remained shadowy and illusive, while trying to show markets that they were on top of the situation. The transcripts show central bankers consistently hampered by a lack of basic information about the weak condition of the nation’s biggest financial firms, whose excesses eventually led to a loss of basic confidence in the health of the financial system.

Russia Freezes Aid For Ukraine; Urges Respect For Legitimate Government

“We planned to allocate another tranche according to that arrangement. Yet in the current situation we have many questions as to how the money will be used and how it will be paid back," said Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, according to ITAR-TASS this morning.
...    “The national bank of Ukraine can now make efforts to bolster the hryvnia, but demand for foreign currency amid political uncertainty will remain high,” he said. “Therefore, interventions can prove a waste of gold and currency reserves that will lead to nothing and will not prevent the hryvnia's devaluation."

Sliding ruble to drag Russian economy into recession

Published time: February 20, 2014 09:51
Russia’s GDP growth turned negative in January, with the lowest investment since 2010. Analysts say uncertainty surrounding the ruble, which hit its all-time low against the euro on Wednesday, is weighing on the economy and could drag it into recession.

China starts to make a power move against the US dollar

China owns more of US national debt than any other country does.
Fri Feb 21, 2014 7:10PM GMT
In order for our current level of debt-fueled prosperity to continue, the rest of the world must continue to use our dollars to trade with one another and must continue to buy our debt at ridiculously low interest rates. Of course the number one foreign nation that we depend on to participate in our system is China.
Unfortunately, there are signs that China has now decided to start looking for a smooth exit from the game. In November, I wrote about how the central bank of China has announced that it is "no longer in China’s favor to accumulate foreign-exchange reserves". That means that the pile of U.S. dollars that China is sitting on is not going to get any higher.

Renzi Forms Italy's Latest Coalition

ROME February 21, 2014 (AP)
By FRANCES D'EMILIO Associated Press
Democratic Party leader Matteo Renzi formed Italy's new government on Friday and promised that his coalition will give the economically-stagnant country "hope."
At 39, Renzi will become Italy's youngest premier when he, and his Cabinet, are sworn in Saturday. He will also be the third straight premier to come to office without being elected — the last premier who stood for election was scandal-tainted Silvio Berlusconi in 2008.

Feb. 20, 2014, 6:58 p.m. EST

Citigroup Gives CEO 23% Pay Raise

Citigroup C +0.42% Inc. boosted Chief Executive Michael Corbat 's pay by an estimated 23% for 2013, his first full year at the helm of the nation's third-largest U.S. bank by assets.

Britain's bank bosses to get millions in share payments in bonus cap dodge

Payments would be on top of bank leaders' basic pay in a move to circumvent EU's limits on bonuses
    The Guardian, Friday 21 February 2014 20.00 GMT

Canada inflation rate jumps but retail sales sag

Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:55am EST
OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) - Canada's annual inflation rate jumped unexpectedly last month to its highest in 1-1/2 years, alleviating concern that the country is headed for disinflation and reducing the likelihood the Bank of Canada will be forced to cut already low interest rates.
But the impact of the positive inflation data was offset by a figures that showed a slump in retail sales in December as harsh winter weather kept consumers at home. The drop was the biggest in 12 months and reinforced expectations that the economy likely shrank in the last month of 2013.

Austria Demands "Profitable" Bondholders Pay Up Before Bad Bank Bailout

While, for now, depositors at Austria's Hypo-Alde-Adria-Bank (nationalized in 2009) have not had assets confiscated, Austrian authorities are shifting in an unusual (scary precedent-setting) direction. Amid the resignation of the bank's CEO, the government is taking aim at 'speculators' who dared to buy the bank's bonds below par - and made money therefore on the back of the taxpayer. "What financial markets expect is not always what you want politically," Austria's finance minister warned, "if someone buys today at a lower price, saying ‘shortly, I’ll get 100 back,’ that’s what’s agitating the people."It seems Europe has a new template.

 Business Wire Halts Direct Feeds to High-Speed Traders

By Noah Buhayar and Sam Mamudi Feb 21, 2014 6:01 AM GMT+0100
Business Wire, the distributor of press releases owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A), will stop letting high-speed trading firms purchase direct access to its service.

Buffett's Hypocrisy Exposed Yet Again

Chile: Pedophile Priest Defies Vatican Order

SANTIAGO, Chile February 21, 2014 (AP)
A prominent Chilean priest who was ordered by the Vatican to never again celebrate a public Mass as punishment for sexually abusing altar boys has been photographed apparently defying the order.

Chile's top church leaders confirmed the Rev. Fernando Karadima's act of insubordination Friday and sent the case to the Vatican for investigation. The photos were taken Dec. 4, but they were only released this week by Juan Carlos Cruz, a journalist and one of Karadima's victims.

Federal judge says it’s okay for the NYPD to spy on Muslims

Published time: February 21, 2014 17:26
A federal judge this week dismissed a lawsuit against the New York City Police Department and said that the covert NYPD operation that sent undercover officers into area mosques to conduct surveillance on innocent Muslims was not unconstitutional.
United States District Judge William Martini — a George W. Bush appointee — opined in a 10-page decision published late Thursday that the June 2012 lawsuit against the NYPD must be dismissed due in part to lack of standing with respect to the plaintiffs: a coalition of six Muslim individuals, two organizations that operate mosques, two Muslim-owned businesses and the Rutgers University Muslim Student Association.

Swiss court rules police officer's slurs did not breach anti-racism law

'Foreign pig' and 'dirty asylum seeker' insulting but not against anti-racism law because specific ethnic group not mentioned
    Agence France-Presse, Friday 21 February 2014 14.08 GMT

US expands military net over Africa, checking China’s influence

Over the last decade, America has quietly expanded its military presence throughout Africa in an attempt to counter Chinese and other emerging nations’ influence, while consolidating control over critical strategic resources and trade routes.
The United States, like its allies Britain and France, has long maintained influence and indirect control in Africa through financial institutions such as the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, and African Development Bank. It has exerted political influence using aid organizations such as USAID and NGOs like the National Endowment for Democracy, Freedom House and others.
However, recent years have seen an unprecedented military expansion which has gone almost entirely unnoticed by the US public.

Egypt police fire birdshot, tear gas at protesters

Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:51PM
Egypt security forces have fired tear gas and birdshot at anti-government protesters during nationwide demonstrations, injuring several people.

Israeli forces attack protesters in al-Khalil

Fri Feb 21, 2014 5:27PM GMT
Israeli forces have used rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas to disperse a pro-Palestinian protest in the southern West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron).

Yemeni forces open fire on separatist protesters

Fri Feb 21, 2014 4:26PM GMT
Yemeni security forces have opened fire on pro-independence protesters in the southern city of Aden, killing one person and leaving over a dozen injured.
The violence broke out when thousands of demonstrators took to the streets in the port city after Friday prayers.

Venezuela's poor join protests as turmoil grips Chávez's revolution

Government claims protests bear the hallmarks of US-backed coup plot led by jailed opposition leader Leopoldo López
    The Guardian, Thursday 20 February 2014 19.42 GMT   
The poor neighbourhood of Petare in western Caracas is not an obvious hotbed of anti-government sentiment. In the past, its residents have been among the major beneficiaries of Venezuela's public health and education campaigns, and an economic policy that resulted in one of the sharpest falls in inequality in the world.

But as demonstrations sweep several major cities, even the people of Petare have taken to the streets to protest again surging inflation, alarming murder rates and shortages of essential commodities.

Why Banks Are Doomed: Technology and Risk

It’s not just that banks are no longer needed–they pose a needless and potentially catastrophic risk to the nation. To understand why, we need to understand the key characteristics of risk.
The entire banking sector is based on two illusions:
1. Thanks to modern portfolio management, bank debt is now riskless.
2. Technology only enhances banks’ tools to skim profits; it does not undermine the fundamental role of banks.
The global financial meltdown of 2008-09 definitively proved riskless bank debt is an illusion. If you want to understand why risk cannot eliminated, please read Benoit Mandelbrot’s book The (Mis)Behavior of Markets.

 Zuckerberg’s Data Stance Faces Privacy Backlash in Europe

By Cornelius Rahn and Marie Mawad Feb 21, 2014 1:00 AM

Friday, February 21, 2014

Human Rights group calls on World Bank to acknowledge role in the mass killing of one million Indonesians

The Oscar-nominated documentary THE ACT OF KILLING was projected on the World Bank headquarters in Washington, D.C. Thursday in an action by the East Timor and Indonesian Action Network. The group is calling on the World Bank to acknowledge its role in the 1965 military coup in Indonesia that lead to the massacre of an estimated one million civilians. The World Bank helped prop up the corrupt government of Suharto, the general who lead the coup and ordered the mass killings. The Bank sent the Suharto regime $30 billion in development aid over the course of three decades despite knowing $10 billion had been looted by the government.

Jon Ronson is ready for blast-off. Is Richard Branson?

After a 10-year wait, Richard Branson says Virgin Galactic will have lift-off this year: he and his children will be on the first (live televised) flight. What took them so long? Jon Ronson meets him and the 'future astronauts' as they prepare for the ride of their lives
        The Guardian, Friday 21 February 2014 16.00 GMT