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Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Feb 26, 2014: News Updates

Confidential papers raise fears over conflict gold

Papers show firm accepted gold from customers walking in off the street with no paperwork
    The Guardian, Wednesday 26 February 2014
Hundreds of millions of dollars worth of suspect gold has poured into the global markets as major breaches occurred in new international rules designed to tackle an underground trade linked to African warlords and human rights abuses.
Confidential papers shown to the Guardian by a whistleblower detail how, in 2012, one of the world's biggest gold refineries ignored guidelines designed to stop the trade in so-called conflict gold.

UN experts track Dubai gold trading activity in conflict-torn DRC

UN experts are convinced Dubai is most frequent destination for gold leaving hands of armed groups in DRC   
    The Guardian, Tuesday 25 February 2014 21.54 GMT

Here Is The FT's Gold Price Manipulation Article That Was Removed

Two days ago the FT released a clear, informative and fact-based article, titled simply enough "Gold price rigging fears put investors on alert" in which author Madison Marriage, citing a report by the Fideres consultancy, revealed that global gold prices may have been manipulated on 50 per cent of occasions between January 2010 and December 2013.

To those who hve been following the price action of gold in the past four years, gold manipulation is not only not surprising, but accepted and widely appreciated (because like the Chinese those who buy gold would rather do so at artificially low rather than artificially high fiat prices) and at this point, after every other product has been exposed to be blatantly and maliciously manipulated by the banking estate, it is taken for granted that the central banks' primary fiat alternative, and biggest threat to the monetary status quo, has not avoided a comparable fate.

 Switzerland Sent 80% of Bullion Exports to Asia in January

By Nicholas Larkin Feb 20, 2014 8:13 AM GMT+0100
Switzerland sent more than 80 percent of its gold and silver bullion and coin exports to Asia last month, the Swiss Federal Customs Administration said today in an e-mailed report. It imported most from the U.K.

Credit Suisse CEO fights back on tax evasion claims

ZURICH Wed Feb 26, 2014 9:24am EST
(Reuters) - Credit Suisse's chief executive will hit back at allegations the Swiss bank was a willing accomplice in U.S. tax evasion on Wednesday, blaming instead a small group of its private bankers for helping Americans conceal their wealth.

 Reddit Censors Big Story About Government Manipulation and Disruption of the Internet

The moderators at the giant r/news reddit (with over 2 million readers) repeatedly killed the Greenwald/Snowden story on government manipulation and disruption of the Internet … widely acknowledged to be one of the most important stories ever leaked by Snowden.

Similarly, the moderators at the even bigger r/worldnews reddit (over 5 million readers) repeatedly deleted the story, so that each new post had to start over at zero.

 Banks Averting Bond Losses With Accounting Twist: Credit Markets

By Jody Shenn Feb 26, 2014 4:20 PM GMT+0100
JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) and Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) are leading a shift in how banks account for their bond investments after a $44 billion plunge in value exposed a potential drain on capital under new rules.

The largest U.S. lenders are moving assets into the “held-to-maturity” column of their books instead of designating them as “available for sale,” an accounting method that under post-crisis banking regulations allows paper losses to erode measures of their health. The change pushed the share of securities that the five biggest banks keep in the held-to-maturity category to 8.4 percent, the highest in almost two decades, according to Credit Suisse Group AG analysts.

New deal for Warren Buffett and Bank of America

February 26, 2014, 12:07 PM
Warren Buffett and Bank of America Corp. have renegotiated a deal between them.
The lender and the billionaire have changed the terms of their preferred stock agreement negotiated in 2011, according to a filing by the bank with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
Buffett injected $5 billion in capital into the bank as its stock floundered under the pressure of the financial crisis.  As part of the preferred stock deal at the time, the Oracle of Omaha would receive a 6% annual dividend and received warrants to buy 700 shares of Bank of America BAC -0.06% stock for $7.14 a share.

10 Signs That Reveal Mounting Panic In The Banking System

Gold Silver Worlds | February 25, 2014 | Category: Economy
We don’t want to cause you unnecessary stress or worry, but it might be prudent to pay attention to a series of unusual news reports recently emanating from the banking world.  Viewed independently, each event might be rather insignificant.
However, when examined collectively, these events paint a very dire warning for the safety of bank deposits everywhere.  Naturally, most all of these have received little to no coverage by the mainstream media.  That is to be expected.
The mainstream media’s job one is to always obfuscate any potentially dangerous news that has a chance of frightening investors or depositors.  After all, the goal of the world banking cartel/equities Ponzi scheme is to keep depositors and investors relaxed and passive in their comfort zones until the complete collapse of their positions is unavoidable.

 Kerry Says U.S. Plans $1 Billion Ukraine Loan Guarantee

By Nicole Gaouette Feb 26, 2014 9:53 PM GMT+0100
Secretary of State John Kerry said the U.S. is formulating a $1 billion loan guarantee for Ukraine and is working with the International Monetary Fund and other international organizations that would provide the money.

Market Continues To Purchase “All” Allocated Silver Eagles From U.S. Mint

February 25, 2014 By The Doc 5 Comments
U.S. Mint Silver Gold RatioAs sales of Gold Eagles remain subdued, the market continues to purchase every available Silver Eagle from the U.S. Mint.  Since the beginning of the year, the U.S. Mint has sold its Silver Eagles on a weekly allocated basis.
 in the past several weeks, 80-90% of the total allocated weekly Silver Eagle amount was sold on the first day of the week!
The U.S. Mint just updated its sales figures Monday, with an astonishing 744,500 Silver Eagles sold in one day:

Jordan lawmakers vote to expel Israel envoy

Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:35PM GMT
The majority of lawmakers in the Jordanian parliament have voted for the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to their country over a discussion on the sovereignty of the holy al-Aqsa Mosque.

Economics Has a Surprising Mental Disorder

Are economists rational scientists? Or grown men who can’t let go of their mamas?
February 24, 2014 
The typical mainstream economist is about as good at making predictions as a monkey reading tea leaves. Exhibit A: The financial crisis, which only a few economists outside the mainstream saw coming, despite oceans of papers, prognostications and plumb academic assignments.

Ocwen, Dubbed "Next Generation Subprime Lender" By Moodys, Is Focus Of NY State Regulator

Ocwen Financial, dubbed by Moody's as poised to become the "next generation" of subprime lenders, has come under considerably pressure this morning amid news that NY State regulators are investigating the firm for "conflicts of interest"...


It is the Mortgage Servicing Rights (MSRs) that has Moody's the most-concerned as the volumes required may force Ocwen (and others) to shift their business model to ever lower quality loans.

Pro-Assad forces kill 175 rebels in ambush: Syrian state media

By Stephen Kalin

BEIRUT Wed Feb 26, 2014 2:22pm EST

A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon on one of the battlefronts in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus February 22, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

A Free Syrian Army fighter carries his weapon on one of the battlefronts in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus February 22, 2014.
(Reuters) - Forces loyal to Syria's president killed at least 175 Islamist rebel fighters, most of them foreigners, in an ambush in insurgent-held eastern outskirts of Damascus, state media said on Wednesday.

Turkish Lira Blows Out As Graft Scandal Comes Back With A Vengeance


As we reported previously, on Monday new revelations in the graft scandal surrounding Turkish PM Erdogan in the form of a leaked phone conversation between him and his son, Bilal, detailing plans how to hide huge sums of cash, by some estimates up to $1 billion, brought back the political crisis that has gripped the nation front and center, and led to renewed demands by the opposition party that the PM resign. It also sent the USDTRY surging to levels not seen in weeks. We said: "Somehow we doubt that Erdogan will resign, however, this latest confirmation that the graft scandal that is and will continue to dodge the Turkish Prime Minister is not going away, may just be the catalyst that pushes the TRY, and with it some of the other recently pacified EMs, back into volatile mode." Today the crisis is fully back and so is the predicted volatility, with the Lira blowing out by another 400 pip to a level of 2.240, not seen since the first week of February when the Turkish central bank was scrambling to restore confidence in the imploding currency.

Uganda central bank tries to halt shilling slide over aid cuts

KAMPALA Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:22pm GMT
(Reuters) - The Ugandan central bank sold dollars to support the shilling on Wednesday after the currency weakened more than 1.8 percent during the session on fears of more aid cuts by Western donors over a law that toughened punishments for gays.

Scandal of Europe's 11m empty homes

Housing campaigners denounce 'shocking waste' of homes lying empty while millions cry out for shelter
    The Guardian, Sunday 23 February 2014 21.09 GMT

More than 11m homes lie empty across Europe – enough to house all of the continent's homeless twice over – according to figures collated by the Guardian from across the EU.

In Spain more than 3.4m homes lie vacant, in excess of 2m homes are empty in each of France and Italy, 1.8m in Germany and more than 700,000 in the UK.


New Fed Chairman Angrily Rejects Central Bank Audit

February 24, 2014   AFP
When Janet Yellen appeared before the House Financial Services Committee February 11, she gave relaxed answers to most questions. But two members of Congress that day touched a nerve when they each grilled the newly confirmed chairman of the privately owned and controlled Federal Reserve on the merits of former Texas maverick Representative Ron Paul’s bill to audit the Fed.

How Morgan Stanley Has Raked in Billions by Manipulating the Prices of Everyday Commodities

An excerpt from Morey's new book, "The Great American Disconnect: Seven Fundamental Threats To Our Democracy."

Major Washington watchdog increasing security after break-in

Published time: February 26, 2014 18:08
Security is being stepped-up at the Washington, DC offices of an independent federal watchdog group following a mysterious break-in earlier this month.

Police say the Project on Government Oversight’s DC headquarters was ransacked on the night of February 11, but whoever entered didn’t do too much damage. According to the official report, the main door and a file cabinet were jimmied open, but dozens of computers and other valuable office equipment disregarded.

35 million gallons of coal ash spilled into Dan River

Published time: February 26, 2014 18:31
As much as 35 million gallons of coal ash and arsenic-contaminated water spilled into North Carolina’s Dan River due to a ruptured pipe at the Duke Energy power plant, a team of researchers said Tuesday.

Third of California town's cops tied to auto theft scheme

Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:16PM GM
Several police officers in a small Central California town have been arrested for a theft scheme of taking away poor Hispanics’ cars, authorities say.
In the scheme, more than 200 cars belonging to poor Hispanic people were impounded, towed and later sold when the car owners couldn't pay the fees, Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo said.

Bhutan To Be First Country to Go 100% Organic

If there was ever a nation that could see the purpose behind organic, sustainable farming, it would be a nation that is composed mostly of farmers. Such a place does exist, and it soon may be the first nation to go 100% organic, paving the way for others to do the same on a global scale.