Iraq’s Kurds have announced that the independence referendum will go ahead as planned on 25 September despite US demands to postpone the vote. Kurdish leaders reiterated their intention to hold the referendum on the independence of the Kurdish region from Iraq. Over the weekend, head of the autonomous Kurdish region, Masrour Barzani, denied that he told US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that he agreed to delay the referendum. Postponing the referendum is “absolutely impossible,” Barzani told the Saudi newspaper Okaz. US officials are opposed to the September referendum believing it to be a destabilising move at a time when the fight against Daesh is ongoing. The United States and other Western governments fear the referendum could ignite a new […]
An Egyptian lawmaker who called for the constitution to be amended to extend the president’s term by two more years has retracted his comments following growing opposition to the idea. Lawmaker Ismail Nasreddine’s comments were published in Egyptian daily Al-Shorouk and stated that the idea to amend the constitution would not apply to President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s current four-year term but to the next president. Once Al-Sisi completes his term in office in 10 months’ time he will be barred by the constitution to serve more than two four-year terms. Al-Sisi is expected to run in next year’s elections despite declining to state whether he would run for a second term and has urged Egyptians to vote next year. Read: […]
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African Union and Somali forces have captured a strategic town in Somalia, All Africa reported yesterday. The town of Bariire, 27 miles from Mogadishu, was retaken along with a strategic military base in the Al-Shabaab stronghold. A fierce gun-battle with Al-Shabaab forced the group to retreat after the African Union and Somali national army attacked from three different sides of the town. Seven civilians were killed and four injured in the operation to recapture the town of Bariire. There were no reports of involvement by the United States Special Forces. Read: Turkey to open largest military base in Somalia Baiire was a key town to retake for the African Union and Somali troops as Al-Shabaab was using the strategic military […]
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Ford will seek to crack the world’s largest auto market with fully electric vehicles sold under a new brand.The post Ford will create new brand to make electric cars in China appeared first on NASDAQ.
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Solutions abound, but they require the retirement of obsolete systems that defend entrenched interests and soul-crushing inequalities.
It turns out Nero wasn’t fiddling as Rome burned–he was 60 km away at the time. Did Nero Really Fiddle While Rome Burned?
The story has become short-hand for making light of a catastrophe, either out of self-interest (one theory had Nero clearing a site he desired for a palace with the fire) or out of a mad detachment from reality.
Are we fiddling while Rome burns? I would say yes–because we’re not solving any of the structural problems that are dooming the status quo. Instead, we’re allowing a corrupt, corporate mainstream media to distract us with fake “Russians hacked our election” hysteria, false “cultural war” mania, and a laughably Orwellian frenzy over fake news which magically avoids mentioning the propaganda narratives pushed 24/7 by the mainstream media–narratives that are the acme of fake news.
The media is only half the problem, of course; the audience doesn’t want to hear about structural problems that can only be fixed by disrupting the status quo. If we don’t accept that the financial system we inhabit is imploding, maybe all the problems will go away.
The system is coughing up blood and we still want to believe it is “recovering” from a cold.
Here’s a short list of structural problems we should be tackling:
1. Soaring inequality and the institutionalization of economic privilege. Systemic economic privilege doesn’t exist in a vacuum–it’s enforced by a centralized hierarchy, a dynamic I describe in my book Inequality and the Collapse of Privilege. Systemic inequality doesn’t just undermine the economy–it also undermines the social and political orders.
2. The central state (government) has one default setting: endless expansion into every nook and cranny of daily life. There are no mechanisms for contraction and no institutional memory of government reducing its control of every aspect of life.
As I explain in my book Resistance, Revolution, Liberation: A Model for Positive Change, this concentration of power attracts concentrations of wealth which then buy the machinery of governance: democracy is reduced to an auction that excludes the bottom 99.9%.
3. Finance has detached from the real-world economy, distorting every function via financialization, which concentrates income and wealth in the hands of the few. As I have often explained in the blog (and in my book Why Our Status Quo Failed and Is Beyond Reform), if we don’t change the way we create and distribute credit-money, we change nothing.
4. Our educational system is obsolete but the the current system is incapable of transformation for structural reasons. These include high sunk costs, bureaucratic sclerosis, self-serving fiefdoms that fear disruption of their gravy trains, a lack of understanding of the emerging economy, a dysfunctional centralized hierarchy and the state-funded exploitive machinery of student-loan debt.
I explain all this and present a model that would cut costs by 90% in my book The Nearly Free University and the Emerging Economy.
5. The economy and thus our society (i.e. our mode of production) are changing beneath our feet in dramatic ways. Highly centralized hierarchies (government, corporations) are the wrong unit size and structure to manage this transformation to the benefit of all rather than to the benefit of the few.
I present a decentralized non-state, non-corporate, non-financialized model in my book A Radically Beneficial World: Automation, Technology & Creating Jobs for All.
For individuals navigating these disruptive forces, I wrote an overview guide to the emerging economy, Get a Job, Build a Real Career and Defy a Bewildering Economy.
Solutions abound, but they require the retirement of obsolete systems that defend entrenched interests and soul-crushing inequalities. The world is changing rapidly, and centralized systems that worked well in the past are failing because they are optimized for a world that no longer exists.
The status quo is coughing up blood, and the situation is dire. Denial won’t fix what’s broken, and neither will magical thinking (the economy is “recovering,” symbolic gestures and virtue-signaling will fix everything, etc.) Clinging to the absurd hope that the status quo just has a nagging cold will only increase the disorder when the system breaks down.
- US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin visits Fort Knox Gold
- Later tweeted ‘Glad gold is safe!’
- Only the third Treasury Secretary to visit the fortified vault, last visit was 1948
- Last Congressional visit was 1974
- Speculation over existence of gold in Fort Knox is rife
- Concerns over Federal Reserves lack of interest in carrying to audit on gold
- Gold was last counted in 1953, nine years before Mnuchin was born
- Mnuchin may be looking to prevent countries and states from worrying about and repatriating their gold
US Treasury Secretary ‘assumes’ the gold is still in Fort Knox, 64 years after it was audited.
81 years after it was built Fort Knox received its third visit from a US Treasury Secretary yesterday, Steven Mnuchin.
The fortified facility is reportedly surrounded by 30,000 soldiers, tanks, armored personnel carriers, attack helicopters, and artillery. Despite this , there is still concern as to whether the gold is there.
As he headed in Mnuchin told an audience, “I assume the gold is still there…It would really be quite a movie if we walked in and there was no gold.”
With a background in Hollywood it was unsurprising that Mnuchin’s imagination appeared to be getting carried away with tales of finding the $200 billion of gold missing.
Missing gold: fact or fiction?
An empty Fort Knox is an issue far removed from the hills of Hollywood and has far more basis in reality than many give it credit for.
For many decades campaigns have been led for the US Treasury and government to audit the gold and to testify to its existence.
The gold has not been ‘counted’ since 1953. This was less than 20 years after Fort Knox was built. Since then there has been no official count or audit.
The facility (purportedly) holds 147 million ounces of gold, worth around $186 billion. This is small compared to the amount purportedly held at the Liberty Street facility, in New York.
As with Fort Knox, the New York gold is yet to be audited.
At the moment a tweet from a US Treasury Secretary is all we have when it comes to assurance over the gold’s existence.
— Steven Mnuchin (@stevenmnuchin1) August 21, 2017
Lack of Fort Knox gold audit to prevent damage, will cause damage
Congressman Ron Paul has argued previously that the US government ask Americans to trust that the Fort Knox gold is there plus gold stored elsewhere. They refuse to allow any checks and audits (whether independent or carried out by the government).
Paul stated back in 2010, “if there was no question about the gold being there, you think they would be anxious to prove gold is there.”
Mnuchin is no doubt aware of the damage that would be done to the US economy should it come to light that the gold is no longer where its supposed to be.
He has likely taken note of Goldfinger’s dastardly plan in the infamous Bond film. In Goldfinger the villain plans to contaminate the US gold holdings in order to boost the value of his and the Chinese’s own bullion.
Whilst the gold in Fort Knox is unlikely to have been contaminated there is a strong argument that it isn’t there at all. Instead, it has been leased out many times over.
Who has the gold?
As GATA found out between 2008 and 2009 the Fed keeps a secret of its gold-swap arrangements with foreign banks.
Unsurprisingly gold-swap arrangements potentially lead to the eventual problem that no-one’s sure whose gold is whose anymore. It’s can be a high-end, expensive game of pass-the-parcel.
It’s worth remembering that the gold held by the US Government is not just owned by America, they hold gold for many countries, including Germany.
There is an argument to be made over whether or not Germany, or anyone else storing gold in a central bank abroad, owns allocated gold or is merely a ‘creditor’ on a metal statement, given gold swap arrangements.
Concerns have been so great over the United State’s lack of interest in auditing the gold bullion that countries have begun to repatriate the gold and demand statements.
Venezuela and Germany are the two most high profile countries to have recently repatriated their gold. Both went to big efforts to publicise the existence of the gold as it was repatriated. Germany even published bar numbers.
Missing gold has the states in a state
The US has its own trust issues though when it comes to gold, thanks to the lack of checks in place. Two years ago the state of Texas were given the go ahead to build its own Bullion Depository, into which the state would repatriate over $1 billion worth of gold.
The move by Texas highlighted mistrust in the Federal Government’s ability to not only keep the physical gold but also to not confiscate it should the monetary system run into problems.
Gold going missing in the US is not a recent issue.
Back in the 1920s Herr Hjalmar Schacht, then head of the German Central Bank, went to New York to see Germany’s gold. Despite the importance of the visit, Fed officials could not find the palette of Germany’s gold bullion.
One would have thought this would have triggered an early start to the Second World War but instead Herr Schacht turned to the Federal Reserve Chairman, Benjamin Strong, and said ‘Never mind, I believe you when you when you say the gold is there. Even if it weren’t you are good for its replacement.’
All of this serves as a timely reminder that we should learn from the mistakes of governments and central banks. Rather than offer up a blind trust to counterparties storing gold we should ensure that we have as much control as possible over our gold bullion.
We believe that allocated and segregated gold bullion, stored in secure locations such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Zurich is the best way to store gold. When you do this with GoldCore you have control and a audit of your gold holdings so you know they are right where you want them, when you want them.
News and Commentary
Gold Prices (LBMA AM)
22 Aug: USD 1,285.10, GBP 1,000.71 & EUR 1,091.95 per ounce
21 Aug: USD 1,287.60, GBP 999.82 & EUR 1,096.52 per ounce
18 Aug: USD 1,295.25, GBP 1,004.34 & EUR 1,102.65 per ounce
17 Aug: USD 1,285.90, GBP 998.12 & EUR 1,096.74 per ounce
16 Aug: USD 1,270.15, GBP 985.13 & EUR 1,082.29 per ounce
15 Aug: USD 1,274.60, GBP 986.92 & EUR 1,084.05 per ounce
14 Aug: USD 1,281.10, GBP 987.34 & EUR 1,085.48 per ounce
Silver Prices (LBMA)
22 Aug: USD 17.02, GBP 13.27 & EUR 14.48 per ounce
21 Aug: USD 17.02, GBP 13.20 & EUR 14.48 per ounce
18 Aug: USD 17.15, GBP 13.30 & EUR 14.60 per ounce
17 Aug: USD 17.02, GBP 13.23 & EUR 14.55 per ounce
16 Aug: USD 16.68, GBP 12.96 & EUR 14.25 per ounce
15 Aug: USD 16.89, GBP 13.12 & EUR 14.38 per ounce
14 Aug: USD 16.97, GBP 13.09 & EUR 14.39 per ounce
Recent Market Updates
– Buffett Sees Market Crash Coming? His Cash Speaks Louder Than Words
– Gold, Silver Consolidate On Last Weeks Gains, Palladium Surges 36% YTD To 16 Year High
– Must See Charts – Gold Hedges USD Devaluation, Rise in Oil, Food and Cost of Living Since Nixon Ended Gold Standard
– World’s Largest Hedge Fund Bridgewater Buys $68 Million of Gold ETF In Q2
– Diversify Into Gold Urges Dalio on Linkedin – “Militaristic Leaders Playing Chicken Risks Hellacious War”
– Gold Has Yet Another Purpose – Help Fight Cancer
– Gold Up 2%, Silver 5% In Week – Gundlach, Gartman and Dalio Positive On Gold
– Great Disaster Looms as Technology Disrupts White Collar Workers
– Gold Sees Safe Haven Gains On Trump “Fire and Fury” Threat
– Silver Mining Production Plummets 27% At Top Four Silver Miners
– Gold Consolidates On 2.5% Gain In July After Dollar Has 5th Monthly Decline
– Gold Coins and Bars See Demand Rise of 11% in H2, 2017
– Greenspan Warns Stagflation Like 1970s “Not Good For Asset Prices”
For your perusal, below are our most popular guides in 2017:
Please share our research with family, friends and colleagues who you think would benefit from being informed by it.
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- Trump commits to a ‘fight to win’ in Afghan war (Reuters)
- Stay or Go? Some Trump Aides Are Pressed From All Sides (WSJ)
- Futures higher as traders pick up beaten-down stocks (Reuters)
- Divers Search Compartments of Ship for Missing Sailors (WSJ)
- Why Do U.S. Navy Ships Keep Colliding? (BBG)
- North Korea Threatens ‘Absolute Force’ as U.S., South Hold Drills (WSJ)
- The Unintended Consequences of Quantitative Easing (BBG)
- Ross Levinsohn Named CEO, Publisher of Los Angeles Times (WSJ)
- Big protests expected as Trump plans Phoenix rally (Reuters)
- Millennial Americans Are Moving to the ‘Burbs, Buying Big SUVs (BBG)
- Identity Thieves Hijack Cellphone Accounts to Go After Virtual Currency (NYT)
- BHP Flags Exit From Shale as Full-Year Profits Surge Five-Fold (BBG)
- Elliott Notches Win as BHP Eyes Sale of U.S. Shale Assets (WSJ)
- Oil prices steady ahead of U.S. stocks data (Reuters)
- After U.S. destroyer collision, Chinese paper says U.S. navy a hazard (Reuters)
- Macy’s Hires eBay Executive Amid Management Shakeup (WSJ)
- China’s ‘big four’ banks raise billions for Belt and Road deals (Reuters)
- Famed Plaza Hotel Is On the Block (WSJ)
- Trump’s team and lawmakers making strides on tax reform plan (Politico)
- Booming Metals Rally Signals Optimism on Global Growth (WSJ)
- Could Puerto Rico Be the Next Hot Tax Haven? (BBG)
- Muslim divorce law ‘unconstitutional’, rules India’s top court (Reuters)
- South Korea, U.S. fail to reach agreement on possible revision to FTA deal (Reuters)
- California Crackdown on Cars Reinforced by Road Emissions Uptick (BBG)
Overnight Media Digest:
– President Donald Trump said he would expand the U.S. mission in Afghanistan but take a different approach from his predecessors by being tougher on Pakistan and refraining from telegraphing troop levels. on.wsj.com/2imqFJO
– The U.S. Navy announced an “operational pause” and has begun a broad investigation after the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant vessel, leaving 10 sailors missing, the second such incident in as many months. on.wsj.com/2im7vUB
– Tronc Inc is undergoing a broad management shake up at its flagship newspaper, the Los Angeles Times, bringing in internet and media industry veteran Ross Levinsohn as its new chief executive and publisher. on.wsj.com/2ill46q
– Activist investors scored a victory after BHP Billiton Ltd said it was looking to sell its onshore U.S. oil-and-gas operations. on.wsj.com/2illE46
– CNN is launching a daily news show for Snapchat called “The Update,” the latest reflection of how media companies are stepping up their interest in the mobile messaging platform. on.wsj.com/2imJZXq
– Jeep, the crown jewel of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and a world-wide symbol of American military and manufacturing might, has an interested Chinese suitor, Great Wall Motor Co Ltd, the latest sign of an industry in the midst of a global reshuffling. on.wsj.com/2imTohs
– In a growing number of online attacks, hackers have been calling up Verizon Communications Inc, T-mobile US Inc , Sprint Corp and AT&T Inc and asking them to transfer control of a victim’s phone number to a device under the control of the hackers. nyti.ms/2vYNZAr
– Tronc Inc, the parent company of The Los Angeles Times, abruptly replaced the newspaper’s top leadership on Monday. Ross Levinsohn, a longtime media executive who held a senior position at Fox’s digital group and was once considered a top candidate to lead Yahoo, was named publisher and chief executive of The Times. nyti.ms/2xn2jlZ
– A Los Angeles jury on Monday ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay $417 million in damages to a medical receptionist who developed ovarian cancer after using the company’s trademark Johnson’s Baby Powder on her perineum for decades. nyti.ms/2vk41mu
– The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, which was conducting a scientific study of the public health risks of mountaintop-removal coal mining said in a statement they were ordered to stop work because the Interior Department was conducting an agencywide budgetary review. nyti.ms/2x8iDrw
– Statements and evidence provided to German investigators by Zaccheo Giovanni Pamio, former head of thermodynamics in Audi’s engine development department, suggest that knowledge of emissions fraud reached higher in the ranks of management than Volkswagen has admitted. No members of the company’s management board have been charged, although investigations are continuing. nyti.ms/2wz8fuN
* The former chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group Plc and one of his top lieutenants are suing the bailed-out lender for hundreds of thousands of pounds in unpaid bonuses in a move that risks sparking public outrage. bit.ly/2g1MPAx
* Nicholas Macpherson, the former Treasury mandarin who oversaw the introduction of quantitative easing eight years ago, has compared money printing to “heroin” for policymakers and said it is “time to move on”. bit.ly/2g0erFY
* Ford Motor Co has announced a car and van scrappage scheme allowing customers to trade in and scrap any brand of older vehicle for at least 2,000 pounds ($2,578.80) in a bid to get dirtier vehicles off the roads and boost its sales in UK’s flagging car market. bit.ly/2g03eoP
* Activist group Avaaz has hired lawyers and launched the first steps of a judicial review against Ofcom following its report into the 11.7 billion pound bid by Rupert Murdoch’s Twenty-first Century Fox for the 61 percent of Sky Plc it does not already own. bit.ly/2fZmzGV
* French supermajor Total SA has become the second largest North Sea operator at a stroke with a surprise $7.45 billion (5.79 billion pounds) deal swoop on Danish oil and gas firm Maersk Oil. bit.ly/2g094GU
* Britain is to keep all of Europe’s business standards after Brexit by applying to remain a full member of Europe’s three business standards agencies after March 2019, the head of the UK’s official standards agency told the Telegraph. bit.ly/2g0v6cG
* Theresa May is facing pressure to transform her approach to shaping Britain’s post-Brexit trade links amid scepticism from business leaders about the scale and ambition of a forthcoming trip to Japan. bit.ly/2fZCLHS
* British wealth manager Rathbone Brothers has confirmed that it is in talks over a 2-billion-pound merger with UK-based financial services provider Smith & Williamson, in a bold move that would accelerate the consolidation of the wealth management sector. bit.ly/2g0YejK
الأسهم في الامارات العربية المتحدة تغلق متباينة في نهاية تداولات يوم الثلاثاء، حيث صحبت المؤشرات للأعلى، وقد سُجلت مكاسب في قطاعات الإتصالات،الخدمات المالية والإستثمارات والخدمات. في المقابل، سُجلت خسائر في قطاعات السلع الأساسية،التأمين والبنوك والمصرفية، حيث قادت المؤشرات للأسفل. عند نهاية التداولات في دبي، مؤشر سوق دبي أغلق على ارتفاع عند 0.45%، بينما مؤشر أبوظبيضعُف بنحو 0.46%. من بين الأسهم القيادية اليوم […]
“Why did you think you could walk in here and it would be business as usual?”
That was one of many harshly worded questions and insults lobbed at the Charlottesville Va. city council during a Monday night meeting that was beset by protesters angrily demanding an explanation for what they alleged was the city’s botched response to Aug. 11 “Unite the Right” rally. The rally, which revived a national conversation about the line between heritage and hate speech that continues to this day, devolved into violence as white nationalists, who had earlier marched through the University of Virginia’s campus carrying torches, clashed with counterprotesters. The weekend ended in tragedy when one of the young men in attendance rammed his Dodge Charger into a crowd of counter protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman, and injuring dozens of others.
Protesters in Charlottesville, VA call for the resignation of city leaders during the first city council meeting since the deadly violence. pic.twitter.com/VnbzDeTqrg
— ABC World News Now (@abcWNN) August 22, 2017
At the council meeting, protesters “shouted down the mayor, “took over city council chambers,” “broke out into furious chants of ‘shame’ and “gave four hours of impassioned testimony.” Their efforts resulted in a small victory: The city authorized a third-party review of the city’s planning and response to the rally, according to the New York Times.
Of course, there was no shortage of drama:
“’I’m outraged! said Tracy Saxon, 41. “I watched my people get beat and murdered. They let Nazis in here have freedom of speech, and they protect them? And we can’t have freedom of speech?”
At one point, two people stood on the dais and unfurled a banner with the words “Blood on your hands!” as council members and the mayor left the room. The residents refused to cede control of the room until the authorities promised to release the residents who had been taken away and let people have their say.”
As the chaos intensified, most of the council members and the mayor briefly left the meeting. The sole council member who stayed behind negotiated with the protesters and agreed to scrap the agenda to instead allow each person the opportunity to speak:
“Vice Mayor Wes Bellamy, the only African-American on the council, was the sole ember who remained. He negotiated with residents to restore order in exchange for scrapping the meeting’s regular agenda and giving each person one minute to speak.
It took about a half-hour for order to be restored, and the meeting stretched for several hours, as speaker after speaker spoke about their anguish over what the community had experienced. Several people wept and said they had been unable to sleep since witnessing violence against their neighbors. “‘I’m not the same person I was that day,’ said Paul Hurdle, who shook as he described the mayhem on Aug. 12”
At one point, three protesters were ejected by the police, drawing a chant of “let them go!” from the crowd.
People demand the release of ejected patrons. pic.twitter.com/0iLohwThwr
— Frances Robles (@FrancesRobles) August 21, 2017
The councilmembers repeatedly pleaded with the protesters for calm, stressing the fact that it had tried to deny a permit for the “Unite the Right” rally, but had been overruled by a federal court. But for whatever reason, the protesters rejected the council’s version of events, which has been documented in the media.
“’We tried really hard,’ Mayor Mike Signor said. “A federal judge forced us to have that rally downtown.”
His account was met with jeers, and the shouting continued.
Mr. Signer took the brunt of the community’s ire, as many people demanded his resignation.”
Once the chaos had subsided, the city council voted unanimously to drape statues of Robert E Lee and Stonewall Jackson in black. Maybe if protesters escalate their tactics, at the next meeting the council will simply decide to tear the statues down, resulting in a progression of even more escalating social discontent within a society that according to Ray Dalio has not been so polarized since 1937…
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The current round of risky asset weakness and rise in volatility been partially blamed on Trumps decision to deploy additional troops into Afghanistan. In reaction to news of his announcement, the VIX spiked to a high of 16, US equities fought to susta…
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