Corzine, others settle MF Global lawsuit for $64.5 million

Jon Corzine and other former MF Global Holdings Ltd officials have reached a $64.5 million settlement of litigation brought by investors seeking to hold them liable for the now-defunct futures brokerage’s 2011 bankruptcy.

The all-cash settlement with Corzine, who was MF Global’s chief executive and previously New Jersey’s governor, and nine other defendants resolves the lastCorzine major piece of litigation by MF Global stock, bond and convertible bond investors over the company’s rapid descent into Chapter 11.

U.S. District Judge Victor Marrero in Manhattan on Tuesday evening granted preliminary approval of the settlement, which was disclosed earlier in the day. He scheduled a Nov. 20 hearing to consider final approval.

The class action accord would boost the investors’ recovery to $204.4 million, including $74.9 million from underwriters and $65 million from the auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers….More

A Great Explanation of one of the many facets of Debt

Things Are Unraveling At An Accelerating Rate:  Those who brought their consumption forward can no longer add to present consumption

Does anyone else have the feeling that things are not just unraveling, but that the unraveling is gathering speed?Though quantifying this perception is more interpretative than statistical, I think we can look at the ongoing debt crisis in Greece as an example of this acceleration of events.

The Greek debt crisis began in 2011 and reached a peak in 2012. The crisis was quelled by new Eurozone/IMF loans to Greece, and European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi’s famous “whatever it takes speech” in late July, 2012.

The Greek debt crisis quickly went from “boil” to “simmer,” where it stayed for almost two-and-a-half years. But no one with any knowledge of the gravity and precariousness of the situation expects the latest “extend and pretend” deal to patch everything together for another two years.  Current deals are more likely to last a matter of months, not years.

We can discern the same diminishing returns in Federal Reserve/central bank interventions, as the initial rounds of quantitative easing pushed stock and bond markets higher for years at a time, while the following interventions generated lower returns.

What factors are reducing the positive effects of intervention and causing increased volatility? Let’s start with the engine behind every central bank/state intervention and every “save” of the status quo: debt.

Debt Brings Forward Consumption & Income

Debt has one primary dynamic: borrowing money to consume something in the present brings forward consumption and income.  Economists describe trading future income for consumption today as bringing consumption forward. And since debt must be repaid with interest, bringing consumption forward also brings income forward….More

French Submarine ‘Sinks’ Entire US Aircraft Carrier Group During Wargames

A series of joint naval drills between the United States and France recently didn’t quite turn out the way the US, no doubt, expected. The practice scenario ended with the French nuclear submarine that was acting the part of an enemy ship “sinking” the American aircraft carrier and most of its escort.The exercises took place over 10 days starting in mid-February off the coast of Florida. The French nuclear attack submarine (SNA) — named Saphir — joined US Carrier Strike Group 12, comprising the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (nicknamed the “Big Stick”), several Ticonderoga cruisers or Arleigh Burke destroyers and a Los Angeles class nuclear attack submarine.

Read more: http://sputniknews.com/news/20150306/1019130173.html#ixzz3TuygabP7

95% Of Income Gains Since 2009 Went To The Top 1% — Here’s What That Really Means

This month, Berkeley economics professor Emmanuel Saez put out an update to his estimates of income inequality, and the headline figure has everybody outraged: 95% of income gains since 2009 have accrued to the top 1%.

This is indeed outrageous, but not quite for the reason that most people think.

What the 95% statistic obscures is that the last three years’ recovery haven’t been very good for anybody, including the rich. They’ve been terrible for the bottom 99%, whose incomes are barely rising at all: just 0.1% per year in real terms. But top 1% incomes are also growing more slowly than they did in the last two economic expansions. That’s because the same slack labor market that holds down wages also deprives businesses of the customer base they need to invest and grow.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/95-of-income-gains-since-2009-went-to-the-top-1-heres-what-that-really-means-2013-9#ixzz3TuyBaeVp

S&P 500 Companies Spend Almost All Profits on Buybacks

(Bloomberg) — Companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index really love their shareholders. Maybe too much.

They’re poised to spend $914 billion on share buybacks and dividends this year, or about 95 percent of earnings, data compiled by Bloomberg and S&P Dow Jones Indices show. Money returned to stock owners exceeded profits in the first quarter and may again in the third. The proportion of cash flow used for repurchases has almost doubled over the last decade while it’s slipped for capital investments, according to Jonathan Glionna, head of U.S. equity strategy research at Barclays Plc.  mkt caps

Buybacks have helped fuel one of the strongest rallies of the past 50 years as stocks with the most repurchases gained more than 300 percent since March 2009. Now, with returns slowing, investors say executives risk snuffing out the bull market unless they start plowing money into their businesses.

“You can only go so far with financial engineering before you actually have to have a business with real growth,” Chris Bouffard, chief investment officer who oversees $9 billion at Mutual Fund Store in Overland Park, Kansas, said by phone on Oct. 2. “Companies have done about all that they can in terms of maximizing the ability to do those buybacks.”

S&P 500 constituents will probably say earnings rose 4.9 percent in the third quarter when they begin reporting results this week, according to more than 10,000 analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Alcoa Inc., Yum! Brands Inc. and Monsanto Co. are among nine companies scheduled to announce financial details.

Buyback Index

U.S. equities rebounded from last week’s retreat, with the S&P 500 rising 0.4 percent at 9:55 a.m. in New York. The S&P 500 Buyback Index is up 7.5 percent this year through Oct. 3, compared with the 6.5 percent advance in the S&P 500, after beating it by an average of 9.5 percentage points every year since 2009.

While the ratio to earnings shows how buybacks and dividends compare to past economic expansions, it doesn’t indicate companies are struggling to fund them. Five years of profit growth have left S&P 500 constituents with $3.59 trillion in cash and marketable securities and they’ve raised almost $1.28 trillion in 2014 through bond sales, headed for a record.

“Buybacks are something corporations can take control of and at low borrowing costs, they’re a viable option,” Randy Bateman, chief investment officer of Huntington Asset Advisors, which manages about $2.8 billion, said by phone on Oct. 1. At the same time, he said, “If management can’t unearth future opportunities for growth, as a shareholder, I lose confidence.”

 

 

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Kohl’s And The Rest Of The Retailers Are In Deep Doo Doo

“Facts are stubborn things, but statistics are pliable.”  Mark Twain

I never believe government manufactured numbers. They will always be adjusted, massaged, and manipulated to achieve a happy ending for the propagandists attempting to control and fleece the sheep. Yesterday, the government produced retail sales numbers for August that were weak and the corporate MSM propaganda machine immediately threw up bold headlines declaring how strong these numbers were. Positive stories were published on the interwebs and Wall Street hack economists were rolled out on CNBC, where the bubble headed bimbos and prostitutes for the status quo like Jim Cramer and Steve Liesman declared the recovery gaining strength. Woo Hoo….READ

37 lies Americans tell themselves to avoid confronting reality

(NaturalNews) Have you noticed the incredible detachment from reality exhibited by the masses these days? The continued operation of modern society, it seems, depends on people making sure they don’t acknowledge reality (or try to deal with it). “Denial” is what keeps every sector of civilization humming along: medicine, finance, government, agriculture and more.

The trouble with the denial approach is that eventually the lies collide with reality. Until that day comes, however, happy-go-lucky Americans are merrily enjoying their courtship with self delusion, repeating the following 37 lies to themselves as if they were true:

Lie #1) All FDA-approved medications are safe to consume in any combination, because the FDA protects the public.

Lie #2) Food prices keep going up because inflation is a natural force that can’t be halted.

Lie #3) The mainstream media is telling me the truth when it reports on world events.

Lie #4) Chemical food additives are tested for their safety before being widely used across the food supply.

Lie #5) We can all pump groundwater out of the ground forever, and it will never run out.

Lie #6) We can also pump fossil fuels out of the ground forever, and they will never run out, either. Why worry?

Lie #7) If anything bad happens in terms of a national emergency or natural disaster, the government will take care of me.

Lie #8) It doesn’t matter where my food comes from as long as it’s cheap and delicious.

Lie #9) GMOs must be safe to eat because a bunch of scientists paid by the biotech industry all tell each other that GMOs are safe and therefore have reached “scientific consensus.”

Lie #10) Government debt doesn’t matter because the government can simply create more money any time they want.

READ

 

Rabbi Kaduri, Ariel Sharon and Jesus (Yeshua)

In the “very interesting” category comes this prophecy by the famous Jewish Rabbi, Yitzcrabbikadurihak Kaduri.  It is said that the Lubavitcher Rebbe predicted that Rabbi Kaduri would bear witness to the coming of the Messiah. That got my attention, because quotes from the Lubavitcher Rebbe (Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson) comprise one of my favorite books, Bringing Heaven Down to Earth: 365 Meditations of the Rebbe.  During his final years on Earth, Rabbi Kaduri’s thoughts were centered on the coming of the One who would redeem Israel. The Rabbi passed on in January of 2006….READ

Reorganization has many forms?

This article is a couple of years old but what I found interesting was the alteration of the company and how it changed to meet apparent needs.  Once again, the restructuring entailed a lot of sell off and lay off and how it tried to maintain itself as a dynamic stock market investment.  First question:  did it achieve this end?

It almost seems like a bit of a wash when you factor in the divisions it sold coupled with the number of firings. It may have cost them much more than would appear considering FORESTFORTHETREESthat the stock price didn’t really improve proportionally based on the amount of energy exerted.   What makes this doubly  an interesting article is the date. If you have a recession / crisis in 2008 and continues, as it has, you only see what effects you directly in your own field and it becomes a bit creepy to see how, right across the board, big the ripple effect really is.

WEYERHAEUSER PERFORMS AS A REIT

After years of facing a stagnant stock price, Weyerhaeuser finally gave Wall Street what it wanted: a smaller company focused on timberlands rather than paper and packaging mills.

In just five years, assets and revenues have been cut in half and employment reduced 70 percent, from 46,700 to 14,250 people.

The timber giant also gave investors $5.6 billion of its past earnings, a special dividend that was required by its conversion last year to a real estate investment trust….READ

Facts All US Citizens Need to Know About Israel and Palestine

  • Gaza (along with the West Bank and East Jerusalem) is occupied Palestinian territory under international law, determined by the vast majority of the world, as well as the highest court in the world, the UN’s International Court of Justice. Gaza cannot commit aggression against Israel, since Israel is in constant and continual commission of illegal aggression against Palestine by occupying it (illegally and sadistically blockading it and frequently committing terrorism against its civilians, including by targeting them with chemical weapons provided by US taxpayers – see “Rain of Fire” by Human Rights Watch). As documented by Amnesty Int’l, Human Rights Watch, and many others, Israel intentionally targets and murders civilians, including children, en masse.
  • But, even ignoring international law and that Gaza is under illegal Israeli occupation, Gaza did not initiate this current round of violence; Israel did:
    • Western/US/Israeli propaganda says the violence started with the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli youths on June 12th. That is a lie:
    • On May 20th, the Israeli government murdered 2 unarmed Palestinian teens, one on video, and wounded a third.
    • The firing of pathetic scrap metal rockets from impoverished Gaza, which have killed no one, were in fact launched in response to earlier Israeli bombings, killings, assassinations, and arrests of Palestinians, including children.
  • Since the year 2000, Israel has killed 1,500 Palestinian children, while Palestinians have killed 132 Israeli children. That means Israel has killed over 1,000% percent more Palestinian children than vice versa.

READ

The U.S. Elite Run a Ukrainian Genocide While American Public Are Ignorant of It

On Wednesday, July 2nd, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko resumed unlimited war against the residents of southeastern Ukraine, whom he calls “terrorists” for their wanting not to be killed by his troops. European leaders (especially Merkel of Germany, Hollande of France, and Putin of Russia) urged him not to resume his bombing campaign against the southeast, but the U.S. (specifically President Obama) supports the bombings, and that’s enough for Poroshenko; so, he did it. As the U.S. State Department said, “he has a right to defend his country.” Reuters reports that Poroshenko gave as his reason for the resumption, “to rid Ukraine of ‘parasites’.”  Adolf Hitler had given the same reason for ethnically cleansing his country.

Here are videos and photos of the Obama Administration’s sponsored ethnic cleansing to reduce the population in the areas of Ukraine that had voted overwhelmingly “the wrong way” in Ukraine’s final nationwide election, in 2010:  the areas of Ukraine that overwhelmingly chose as Ukraine’s President the man whom Obama’s coup overthrew in February 2014. After this ethnic cleansing, maybe Ukraine can have another nationwide election, which will produce the type of outcome that the U.S. Government likes. But on 25 May 2014, we held in Ukraine an election where people voted only in the pro-American portion of Ukraine, and only leaders who were acceptable to the U.S. White House were allowed onto the ballot.

America’s “news” media are not reporting on America’s ethnic-cleansing program in Ukraine. It’s happening in the dark, as far as the American public are concerned: they don’t know about it. But, here it is: this, is what they are hiding from you….READ

Should dual citizen of US/Israel be vice chair of our Federal Reserve Bank?

FisCherTwo weeks back, Forbes and CNBC reported that President Obama plans to nominate Stanley Fischer to be the next vice chairman of the Federal Reserve if the current vice chair, Janet Yellen, is confirmed by the Senate as Fed chairwoman in the new year.

This would be a giant sop for the Israel lobby: Fischer is the former head of the Bank of Israel.

Fischer, a dual-citizen of the U.S. and Israel, served as the head of Israel’s central bank for eight-years before stepping down on June 30 of this year.

Fischer is disliked on the left because of his ruthless neoliberalism, as shown in this documentary about the International Monetary Fund, where he was once an exec. But the dual nationality question is also in play. Matthew Yglesias deemed Fischer extraordinarily well-qualified, but did arch an eyebrow:

This is a bit of a surprising development if only because Fischer didn’t seem to be seriously considered as a contender for the top Fed job. I figured that was either because Fischer wasn’t interested in a government job or because the White House deemed him insufficiently American. If either of those were the case, it would seem to disqualify him for the vice chairmanship too…..Read

The Tiny House Movement & Agenda 21: Welcome Home

The Community Faith Partners (CFP) has invested in the Second Wind Cottages (SWC) project which is a village of tiny houses built for the homeless in Newfield, New York.
With the cost of each home being $10,000, this project has become part of a national movement to offer an alternative to apartment building living.TinyHomeAgenda 21
SWC is currently open to homeless men only; however the non-profit is “exploring how to help women in similar circumstances”.
Services to help these homeless occupants will be provided by “private and governmental agencies” as well as “Christian fellowship and support”.
In Olympia, Washington, Quixote Village has been operational since late 2013 with “30 free-standing cottages and a community center. It was born out of the homeless encampment.”
The 30 cottages on the property are 114 square feet….READ

REVEALED: Central Banks Explain How They Control Money

Recently, the Bank of England (BoE) released a report entitled “Money Creation in the Modern Economy” which outlines that most people do not understand how banking works and the populist ideology regarding financial business is correct.

Through fractional reserve banking (FRB), technocrats are able to get away with dangerous lending practices; however the central banks continuously feed printed fiat into the system at the request of smaller banks.

 

– See more at: http://www.occupycorporatism.com/home/revealed-central-banks-explain-control-money/#sthash.EVaFQXkl.dpuf

Recently, the Bank of England (BoE) released a report entitled “Money Creation in the Modern Economy” which outlines that most people do not understand how banking works and the populist ideology regarding financial business is correct. Through fractional reserve banking (FRB), technocrats are able to Bankers2get away with dangerous lending practices; however the central banks continuously feed printed fiat into the system at the request of smaller banks. Central banks were intended to regulate fiat supplies within nations and control inflation, as the story goes. Printing fiat and not printing too much is the oversight role of the central bank. They are supposed to fund private economic trends and not governments through purchasing treasury bonds. In 2012, quantitative easing round 3 turned into QE Infinity because the Federal Reserve Bank under former chair Ben Bernanke purchased mortgage-backed securities (MBS) at $85 billion per month which is now being tapered back. The report reads: “Rather than banks receiving deposits when households save and then lending them out, bank lending creates deposits. In normal times, the central bank does not fix the amount of money in circulation, nor is central bank money ‘multiplied up’ into more loans and deposits.”

Read More

A Little Old but Interesting

Corrupt British Banking And The Global Drug Trade

Death penalty doesn’t mean anything unless you use it on people who are afraid to die. Like… the bankers who launder the drug money. The bankers, who launder, the drug monBritish-Banking-and-the-Global-Drug-Tradeey. Forget the dealers, you want to slow down that drug traffic, you got to start executing a few of these fucking bankers. White, middle class Republican bankers. — George Carlin, ‘Back in Town Special,’ 1996

In a recent investigation I presented the case that British banking and financial giant HSBC conspired with banking institutions with documented links to terrorist financing, including those responsible for helping bankroll the 9/11 attacks.

Drawing upon evidence published by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations in their mammoth report, “U.S. Vulnerabilities to Money Laundering, Drugs, and Terrorist Financing: HSBC Case History,” we learned that senior HSBC officers, despite misgivings voiced by staff in internal correspondence, choose to continue profitable relations with Saudi Arabia’s Al Rajhi Bank, described by U.S. law enforcement agencies as moneymen for the CIA’s false flag specialists, Al Qaeda…more

Judge Rejects Teacher Tenure For California

LOS ANGELES — A California judge ruled Tuesday that teacher tenure laws deprived students of their right to an education under the State Constitution and violated their civil rights. The decision hands teachers’ unions a major defeat in a landmark case, one that could radically alter how California teachers are hired and fired and prompt challenges to tenure laws in other states.

“Substantial evidence presented makes it clear to this court that the challenged statutes disproportionately affect poor and/or minority students,” Judge Rolf M. Treu of Los Angeles Superior Court wrote in the ruling. “The evidence is compelling. Indeed, it shocks the conscience.”

The decision, which was enthusiastically endorsed by Education Secretary Arne Duncan, brings a close to the first chapter of the case, Vergara v. California, in which a group of student plaintiffs backed by a Silicon Valley millionaire argued that state tenure laws had deprived them of a decent education by leaving bad teachers in place…more

When Too Much Cash Hurts

Rodney Johnson, Senior Editor, Survive & Prosper

Europeans are struggling with a problem. Their banks are stuffed to the gills with cash.

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, there aren’t many borrowers, or at least, qualified borrowers, just aching to take on more debt.

This has left banks with wads of idle euros lying around, which they’re putting on deposit at the European Central Bank (ECB).

At first this suited everyone just fine. The ECB even paid the banks interest on their deposits of excess reserves, which kept the money close at hand instead of potentially fueling runaway inflation as all of those euros got lent out.
But now things aren’t so rosy…

For the last year and a half, the euro zone’s inflation rate has fallen. Now it’s approaching zero. This is the twilight zone for bankers.
As we’ve said for many years, inflation doesn’t really scare central bankers. They believe they know how to fight it. It’s deflation that keeps them up at night.

What do you do when consumers and businesses refuse to spend at the rate you want them to? You can make loans cheaper through lower interest rates, but after that there aren’t many options.

Looking at fat (digital) stacks of euros, the ECB decided they needed to act, so they recently cut interest rates… to negative 0.1%. That’s right, now the central bank charges member banks to hold their cash.

The ECB did this hoping it would motivate banks to remove their excess deposits and use the funds to provide loans to businesses and consumers. The thought was that more lending would lead to more cash flowing through the economies of European countries, which would mean more euros chasing goods, and therefore rising inflation.

There’s only one problem: Charging banks to hold their excess cash does nothing to motivate consumers and businesses to borrow more money.

When it comes to credit, Europe is not facing a supply problem. There’s plenty of cash and credit available for qualified borrowers. Instead, it’s facing a demand problem. People aren’t motivated to borrow at a higher level.

To prod borrowers, the ECB would have to improve the confidence among Europeans that their businesses will receive more orders, their workers will receive higher pay, and their citizens — particularly the youth — will actually gain employment. Without these critical factors, making more funds available for lending is like putting more fuel in the tank of a car with no engine.

So what is a bank in the euro zone to do?

If making more loans is a non-starter, then European banks will have to decide what to do with their extra cash. They can keep the funds at the ECB and pay the penalty, but banks aren’t making a lot of profit these days, so ponying up for a penalty seems unlikely.

The most probable outcome is that banks will use the funds to buy securities, particularly bonds issued by euro zone countries. These bonds would require the smallest reserve requirement against loss so that banks could invest the most money.

It wouldn’t make sense to buy German bonds, which pay almost no interest. Instead, the banks will probably buy short maturity bonds of peripheral countries, particularly those that have struggled in recent years, because that’s where the yield is.

This will cause the interest rate paid on Greek, Irish, Portuguese, Spanish, and Italian bonds to drop dramatically as banks pile into the bonds issued by these countries.

What is not likely to happen is that the euro zone countries get any respite from their steady march toward outright deflation.
This trend is occurring because many countries are still dealing with the debt hangover from the financial crisis, their populations are aging and therefore want to save more not spend more, and wide swaths of European youths have no income, so can’t spend at all.

At the end of the day, negative interest rates on excess reserves held at the ECB does nothing to change any of this.

1,200 Ukrainian Soldiers Dead in Slaviansk Special Op – People’s Mayor

RIGA, May 29 (RIA Novosti) – About 1,200 Ukrainian army soldiers have been killed during a special operation in Slaviansk, and eight helicopters and 15 armored vehicles were destroyed, Slaviansk people’s mayor Vyacheslav Ponomaryov said Thursday.

“According to our information, the Ukrainian army has the following losses and damages: 1,200-1,300 people were killed, eight helicopters, 15 armored transport vehicles, and three [artillery] weapons destroyed. They are suffering huge losses. I’m speaking only about Slaviansk,” Ponomaryov said in an interview with the Latvian radio station Baltkom…more

God has a Special Role for you in His Plan, No matter where you have been and No matter What Do

adapted from Life Missions, Family Healing, by Michael Brown]

Intriguing is the notion that each one of us has a special cause in the greatest depths of spirituality.  It is a very deep secret.  Your family has been sent here for a specific reason that is consciously unknown to you (at least as far as the details) and it is important for you to fulfill your part of that assignment. 
Before getting to our families – and the healing necessary to complete family sanctity – let’s stay on the topic of mission. Life is like foreign land – a wilderness – and we have to cross deserts, scale cliffs, endure lack of jesusnourishment, seek shelter, rediscover paths, decide which turns to take (and which are dangerous), ford rivers (that may have rapids), cut through “brush,” survive heat and cold, navigate mountains and ravines. You are an explorer on a strange planet that one day you will see was not your real home but a place for learning and accomplishment, growth, and sanctification. It all comes down to keeping our eyes on the Light and bringing our loved ones along...more

U.S. Backs Off Tight Mortgage Rules In Reversal, Administration and Fannie, Freddie Regulator Push to Make More Credit Available to Boost Housing Recovery

The Obama administration and federal regulators are reversing course on some of the biggest post-crisis efforts to tighten mortgage-lending standards amid concern they could snuff out the fledgling housing rebound and dent the economic recovery. Nick Timiraos reports.

WASHINGTON—The Obama administration and federal regulators are reversing course on some of the biggest postcrisis efforts to tighten mortgage-lending standards amid concern they could snuff out the fledgling housing rebound and dent the economic recovery.

On Tuesday, Mel Watt, the newly installed overseer of Fannie Mae FNMA -4.56% and Freddie Mac, FMCC -4.56% said the mortgage giants should direct their focus toward making more credit available to homeowners, a U-turn from previous directives to pull back from the mortgage market.

FHFA director Mel Watt, pictured in Washington this month, took the helm of the agency in January. Bloomberg News

In coming weeks, six agencies, including Mr. Watt’s, are expected to finalize new rules for mortgages that are packaged into securities by private investors. Those rules largely abandon earlier proposals requiring larger down payments on mortgages in certain types of mortgage-backed securities.

The steps mark a sharp shift from just a few years ago, when Washington, scarred by the 2008 crisis, pushed to restrict the flow of easy money that fueled the housing bubble and its subsequent bust. Critics of the move to loosen the reins now, including some economists and lenders, worry that regulators could be opening the way for another boom and bust.

For the past year, top policy makers at the White House and at the Federal Reserve have expressed worries that the housing sector, traditionally a key engine of an economic recovery, is struggling to shift into higher gear as mortgage-dependent borrowers remain on the sidelines.

Both Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew and Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen last week noted the housing market as a factor holding back the economic recovery.

Mr. Watt, the former North Carolina congressman who took over as the director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency in January, used his first public speech on Tuesday to lay out the shift in course for Fannie and Freddie, and pegged executive compensation at the companies to meeting the new goals.

Fannie and Freddie, which remain under U.S. conservatorship, and federal agencies continue to backstop the vast majority of new mortgages being issued.

The FHFA has recently attempted to lure private investors back into the housing-finance market—and reduce the Fannie and Freddie footprint—by raising the cost of government-backed lending.

With few signs that private investors are returning on a large scale, Mr. Watt signaled a clear break with his predecessor, Edward DeMarco, who left the FHFA last month after nearly five years as its acting director.

“I don’t think it’s FHFA’s role to contract the footprint of Fannie and Freddie,” Mr. Watt said during a discussion at the Brookings Institution in Washington. Winding down the companies without clear proof that private investors are willing to step back in “would be irresponsible.”

His comments signal a move away from treating Fannie and Freddie as “institutions in intentional decline” towards “institutions that should be better prepared to form the core of our system for years to come,” said Jim Parrott, a former housing adviser in the Obama White House.

Mr. Watt’s remarks are significant, given legislation to overhaul the mortgage-finance giants and replace them with a new system that reduces the government’s role in housing appears headed for a dead end in the current session of Congress.

Mr. DeMarco in a separate speech at a banking conference in Charlotte, N.C., on Tuesday, urged restraint: “Do not confuse weakening underwriting standards and underpricing risk with helping people or promoting market efficiency.”

The new steps are the fruit of three years of strenuous pushback by those opposed to tighter lending standards.

In the wake of the 2010 Dodd-Frank law, regulators proposed a spate of new rules intended to eliminate questionable mortgage products and remove any incentive banks had to make loans unlikely to be repaid.

Among the biggest changes that were proposed: Borrowers would either have to put 20% down, or the bank would have to retain 5% of the loan’s risk once it was sliced, packaged and sold to investors.

The March 2011 proposal triggered a huge outcry from lawmakers, affordable-housing groups and the real-estate industry, all of whom said it would put the brakes on homeownership for millions of credit-worthy borrowers, particularly first-time buyers and minorities.

The potential for a high down payment also raised alarm bells at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, one of six writing the rule, according to government officials.

HUD officials agitated for a gentler approach, telling counterparts that a high down payment wasn’t the only way to prevent defaults, but would likely destroy any chance for a housing-market recovery.

At a meeting before the rule was proposed, a HUD official warned fellow regulators away from a 20% down payment, saying that “the impact is between uncertain and bad,” according to a person familiar with the discussions.

When the five other agencies were not swayed, HUD took another approach and refused to sign off on the proposal unless a 10% down payment was included as an alternative. Regulators agreed.

By August 2013, more than 10,000 comment letters had poured in to the agencies, and the response was almost universal: Regulators should avoid a high down-payment level.

The groundswell caught the attention of U.S. policy makers, who began to worry about the collective impact of so much new regulation.

Regulators announced a series of steps Tuesday that they said could help ease standards—abruptly raised by lenders during the financial panic—and make it easier for first-time and other entry-level buyers.

Mr. Watt said that he would direct Fannie and Freddie to provide more clarity to banks about what triggers “put-backs,” in which lenders have been forced to spend billions of dollars buying defective loans sold during the housing boom. To guard against future put-back demands, lenders say they have enacted standards that go beyond what Fannie, Freddie and other federal loan-insurance agencies require.

Mr. Watt said that he hoped that the changes would “substantially reduce” credit barriers, “and that lenders will start operating more inside the credit box that Fannie and Freddie” provide.

Shaun Donovan, the HUD secretary, announced on Tuesday similar changes designed to encourage lenders to reduce similar restrictions on loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, which is part of his department.

Odessa tragedy survivor: ‘Many people strangled after escaping the fire’

Radicals set the building with innocent people inside on fire in Odessa, then strangled the survivors and finished them with bats, while police did nothing to prevent the bloodshed. That’s the scary picture a survivor of the massacre told RT.  “First of all, nobody expected such cruelty, and secondly, it was too late to escape,” Tatyana Ivananko told RT’s correspondent Alexey Yaroshevsky about the Odessa tragedy on May 2, after which at least 46 people died in flames, when radicals set ablaze the local House of Trade Unions with anti-government protesters trapped inside….more

Subway chemical, also in yoga mats, removed from sandwich bread

What sort of ingredients do you expect in your sandwich bread? Flour, yeast, and maybe a few whole grains are probably the first things that come to mind. “A chemical found in yoga mats” is likely not, which led to a major publicity nightmare for Subway this week. The global sandwich chain said Thursday that it would be removing such a chemical from its bread, a week after a petition called for its removal. The petition was organized by Vani Hari, a popular food blogger who runs the website Foodbabe.com. The chemical, called azodicarbonamide, is a plastic additive used as a bleaching agent in Subway’s bread and used in other products to increase elasticity. Azodicarbonamide is legal in the US and Canada, and deemed safe by the Food and Drug Administration. But the World Health Organization has warned of a link between the chemical and certain medical issues, and Subway does not use it in bread sold in its European and Australian locations….more

**Flour bleaching agents are added to flour to make it appear whiter (freshly milled flour is yellowish), to oxidize the surfaces of the flour grains, and help with developing of gluten.  Oxidizing agents are added to flour to help with gluten development. They may or may not also act as bleaching agents. Originally flour was naturally aged through exposure to the atmosphere. Oxidizing agents primarily affect sulfur-containing amino acids, ultimately helping to form disulfide bridges between the gluten molecules. The addition of these agents to flour will create a stronger dough.-From Hui and Corke 2006, p. 233.**

Children’s diabetes shows big increase

For years, doctors have warned of an epidemic of diabetes among children. Yet there has been surprisingly little firm data on the extent of the disease among younger Americans.

Now, a nationally representative study has confirmed that, from 2001 to 2009, the incidence of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes drastically increased among

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children and adolescents.

The prevalence of Type 1 diabetes increased 21 percent among children up to age 19, the study found. The prevalence of Type 2 diabetes among those ages 10 to 19 rose 30 percent during the period.

Those are big numbers, said Dr. Robin S. Goland, a co-director of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, who has been in practice for about 25 years. “In my career, Type 1 diabetes was a rare disease in children, and Type 2 disease didn’t exist.”…more

NAFTA’s Impact on US Workers

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NATFA) was the door through which American workers were shoved into the neoliberal global labor market.
By establishing the principle that U.S. corporations could relocate production elsewhere and sell back into the United States, NAFTA undercut the bargaining power of American workers, which had driven the expansion of the middle class since the end of World War II. The result has been 20 years of stagnant wages and the upward redistribution of income, wealth and political power.
NAFTA affected U.S. workers in four principal ways. First, it caused the loss of some 700,000 jobs as production moved to Mexico. Most of these losses came in California, Texas, Michigan, and other states where manufacturing is concentrated. To be sure, there were some job gains along the border in service and retail sectors resulting from increased trucking activity, but these gains are small in relation to the loses, and are in lower paying occupations. The vast majority of workers who lost jobs from NAFTA suffered a permanent loss of income…more

*What’s most interesting is how NAFTA paved the way for China to take over*

Baltimore Residents & Workers Voice Outrage Over Plans to Privatize Public Housing

JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Baltimore moves ahead with controversial plans to sell about 40 percent of the city’s public housing to raise money for badly needed repairs. Over one hundred public housing residents, workers, and advocates gathered to speak out against the proposal.

SHARON JONES, TENANT COUNCIL PRESIDENT, BEL-PARK TOWER: Like everyone said, we want to be able to live in the places. We don’t want to [incompr.], we don’t want to be stepped on, we don’t want to be told that everything is going to be alright and the whole time they are running over us over and over again in these large buses, running us out…

While local entities such as the Housing Authority of Baltimore City own public housing, the federal government provides capital and maintenance funds. Cities cross the country are grappling with dropping federal funding for public housing. We’ll explore this important context in the second part of this story… more

Americans live in matrix of total lies :: Dr Paul Craig Roberts

The March payroll jobs report released April 4 claims 192,000 new private sector jobs. Here is what John Williams has to say about the claim:

“The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) deliberately publishes its seasonally-adjusted historical payroll-employment and household-survey (unemployment)mark-twain1907 data so that the numbers are neither consistent nor comparable with current headline reporting. The upside revisions to the January and February monthly jobs gains, and the relatively strong March payroll showing, reflected nothing more than concealed, favorable shifts in underlying seasonal factors, hidden by the lack of consistent BLS reporting. In like manner, consistent month-to-month changes in the unemployment rate or labor force simply are not knowable, because the BLS cloaks the consistent and comparable numbers.”   (More)

Venezuela decrees: “All properties leased for 20 years will be sold to tenants in 60 days at government-set prices”

 maduro

Nicolas Maduro goes for housing Venezuelans. The president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela decreed on Monday that those properties leased for 20 years, will be sold to their tenants in a maximum period of 60 days. As echoes El Universal , the National Superintendency of Housing Lease countdown began on 28 March...more

If link is broken:  Here

– Seguir leyendo: http://www.libremercado.com/2014-04-03/venezuela-expropia-las-viviendas-que-lleven-mas-de-20-anos-alquiladas-1276514910/

Old but Interesting | 60 Minutes Makes Medicare Fraud Seem Sexy Like Scarface

Last night’s 60 Minutes had an investigation into the $60 billion-per-year Medicare-fraud industry, which has replaced the illegal drug business as the No. 1 organized crime in South Florida. Medicare fraud sounds boring, but it’s actually totally insane! Steve Kroft interviewed this guy who looks like a cross between Disco Stu and the Wolverine who made tons of money off of it and is now in prison, and he explained how anyone can make millions of our tax money just by setting up a fake medical-supply company or pharmacy and billingmedsupply Medicare, which, because of a crazy law, has to pay out all claims within 30 days of submission and doesn’t have the time or manpower to investigate anything. Watching this, we actually had the thought that Medicare would be better run by those horrible murderous insurance-company executives, or at least something in between. Also, we finally understand the existence in NYC of those strange tiny pharmacies with really old products in the window that never seem to actually be open for business….(here)

Interview with John Bogle | Can you afford to Retire?

With regard to defined benefit plans — lifetime pension plans that give you a certain amount of money as long as you live — you are saying that the private sector, corporate America, is underfunding its lifetime pension plans?

The whole retirement system, in fact, in the country is in, I think, very poor shape, and it’s going to be the next big financial crisis in the country, I honestly believe. … The private pension plans are underfunded by an estimated $400 billion, and the state and local government plans are underfunded by an estimated $800 billion. That’s a $1.2 trillion shortfall between the assets the plans have and the liabilities they will have to the pensioners as they pay out their retirement checks over the rest of their lifetimes….more

The Decline Of Breadwinner Jobs Has Resulted In The Longest Bread Lines In American History

As the number of good jobs continues to decline, the number of Americans that cannot take care of themselves without government assistance continues to explode.  On Friday, we learned that the U.S. economy added “195,000 jobs” last month.  But when you look deeper at the numbers, another story emerges.  Last month, the U.S. economy actually lost 240,000 full-time jobs.  Overall, the U.S. economy has only added 130,000 full-time jobs in 2013, but it takes about 90,000 full-time jobs a month just to keep up with population growth.  So we are losing quite a bit of ground as far as full-time jobs are concerned.  Meanwhile, the U.S. economy has added more than 500,000 part-time jobs so far this year.  Unfortunately, there are very, very few part-time and temp jobs that can be considered “breadwinner jobs”.  Part-time jobs are great for teenagers, university students and elderly people that only want to work a limited number of hours, but what most Americans need are good paying full-time jobs with benefits that will allow them to take care of their families.  Unfortunately, those jobs are continually becoming a smaller part of our economy….more

Thank You Sesame Street for NOT Sexualizing our Babies & Children!!!

Burt & Ernie

 

Bert And Ernie Gay Marriage? Sesame Street Says No

Source: Huffington Post

Bert and Ernie will not be getting married. To each other, or anyone else.  The demands of a petition calling for Bert and Ernie to get married, which has become an internet sensation in the last few years, has been gently denied by the Sesame Street Workshop, who issued this statement on their Facebook page:

Bert and Ernie are best friends. They were created to teach preschoolers that people can be good friends with those who are very different from themselves. Even though they are identified as male characters and possess many human traits and characteristics (as most Sesame Street Muppets™ do), they remain puppets, and do not have a sexual orientation.

...more

Nearly 1 in 6 Americans Receives Food Stamps

The number of people receiving food stamps through the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program rose during the recession. The sluggish job market, higher poverty rate and changes to the way applicants are evaluated have contributed to the rising ranks. Historically, enrollment has fluctuated seasonally and with emergency federal assistance in the wake of natural disasters….more

In Secret, Court Vastly Broadens Powers of N.S.A.

WASHINGTON — In more than a dozen classified rulings, the nation’s surveillance court has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data on Americans while pursuing not only terrorism suspects, but also people possibly involved in nuclear proliferation, espionage and cyberattacks, officials say.

The rulings, some nearly 100 pages long, reveal that the court has taken on a much more expansive role by regularly assessing broad constitutional questions and establishing important judicial precedents, with almost no public scrutiny, according to current and former officials familiar with the court’s classified decisions….more

10 Things Unhappy People Have in Common

We all want to be happy in some way or another. We strive each day to find the path of happiness whatever we think it is. But some of us come up way short. Some of us make mistakes day in and day out that take us away from the shining beacon of happiness at the end of the tunnel.https://i1.wp.com/www.gomonews.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/08/unhappy-face.gif
Are you striving to find peace? Are you striving to locate that inner glow that you know must exist? Are you coming up short or finding happiness that’s always fleeting? Life is a journey and on it we find what works and what doesn’t work. However, the most unhappy people tend to have a few things in common. If you’re looking to find peace, balance, and joy in your life, here’s what NOT to do…more

It’s Here: The Stealth Collapse of the American Economy

The Economic Collapse….people envision bank runs, life WROL (without rule of law), piles of worthless currency, rampant homelessness, and breathless news reports on CNN and the network channels (if you happen to still have access to a television, that is). They imagine a grim, gray world, devoid of entertainment, with unwashed citizens digging desperately through the trash.

Because of this apocalyptic image, the idea of an economic collapse seems pretty far-fetched to most people. After all, we still see cars in every driveway, lights in every window at night, children going to school and parents going to work.  Everything’s fine, right?  The economic collapse is only a conspiracy theory, cooked up by those crazy libertarians and right-wingers, right?

– See more at: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/the-stealth-collapse-of-the-american-economy-07072013#sthash.b11n35a1.dpuf

The Economic Collapse….people envision bank runs, life WROL (without rule of law), piles of worthless currency, rampant homelessness, and breathless news reports on CNN and the network channels (if you happen to still have access to a television, that is). They imagine a grim, gray world, devoid of entertainment, with unwashed citizens digging desperately through the trash.

Because of this apocalyptic image, the idea of an economic collapse seems pretty far-fetched to most people. After all, we still see cars in every driveway, lights in every window at night, children going to school and parents going to work.  Everything’s fine, right?  The economic collapse is only a conspiracy theory, cooked up by those crazy libertarians and right-wingers, right?

– See more at: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/the-stealth-collapse-of-the-american-economy-07072013#sthash.b11n35a1.dpuf

The Economic Collapse….people envision bank runs, life WROL (without rule of law), piles of worthless currency, rampant homelessness, and breathless news reports on CNN and the network channels (if you happen to still have access to a television, that is). They imagine a grim, gray world, devoid of entertainment, with unwashed citizens digging desperately through the trash.

Because of this apocalyptic image, the idea of an economic collapse seems pretty far-fetched to most people. After all, we still see cars in every driveway, lights in every window at night, children going to school and parents going to work.  Everything’s fine, right?  The economic collapse is only a conspiracy theory, cooked up by those crazy libertarians and right-wingers, right?

– See more at: http://www.theorganicprepper.ca/the-stealth-collapse-of-the-american-economy-07072013#sthash.b11n35a1.dpuf

The Economic Collapse….people envision bank runs, life WROL (without rule of law), piles of worthless currency, rampant homelessness, and breathless news reports on CNN and the network channels (if you happen to still have access to a television, that is). They imagine a grim, gray world, devoid of entertainment, with unwashed citizens digging desperately through the trash.

Because of this apocalyptic image, the idea of an economic collapse seems pretty far-fetched to most people. After all, we still see cars in every driveway, lights in every window at night, children going to school and parents going to work. Everything’s fine, right? The economic collapse is only a conspiracy theory, cooked up by those crazy libertarians and right-wingers, right?…more

Ancient ‘Prophecy of the Popes’ coming true?

A new documentary is the first effort to take an objective look at the prophecies of a 12th century Irish Catholic saint and what they portend for the future of the Church and Pope Francis.  According to the Prophecy of the Popes, a time of vast biblical significance is now at hand.

“The Last Pope?” includes medieval historians, Vatican-affiliated experts and authors. From Ireland to Italy, “The Last Pope?” tells a riveting story of eschatological intrigue. The film is based on the book, “Petrus Romanus: The Final Pope is Here,” by Tom Horn and Cris Putnam.

“The Last Pope?” delves deeply into the prophecies of St. Malachy, an Irish saint and archbishop of Armagh who lived from 1094 to 1148. Malachy’s “Prophesies of the Popes” is said to be based on a prophetic vision of the 112 popes following Pope Celestine II, who died in 1144….more

Look Out!!

The Market Trap Is Being Set – With China, EU, UK, Japan etc.  In full collapse Mode, Major Bank Failures soon followed by Bail – Ins And Extreme Money Printing.  The whole world is turning Japanese!

It looks like the collapse is at our doorstep knocking. With China, EU, UK, Japan etc. in full collapse mode. I am expecting to see major bank failures soon followed by bail-ins and extreme money printing later this year.

Think of this as 1996+/- in Japan. Seven years in after the Nikkei went kaput. The Japanese Central Bank apparatchik probably though the same. Not, and deflation still kicking their behind 17 yrs later.

Moral of the story is – If you save the Bankster you impoverish a sizeable percentage of the present population and you kneecap economic growth for the next generation.more

A SAFE move out of the state

Albany

Business has been good for Rockland County-based Kahr Arms, so much so that it plans to expand with a new factory on more than 600 acres. The trouble, at least for New York state: The gun manufacturer, currently based in Rockland County, is expanding across the border in Pennsylvania, and in the process will be moving its headquarters out of the Empire State. The reason, according to a corporate official, can be found in the swift passage last January of Gov. Andrew Cuomo‘s SAFE gun control law. It wasn’t so much that the measure bans certain kinds of guns and magazines, the company said. Instead, it was the suddenness with which the law was passed — less than 24 hours after being released to the public — leaving Kahr’s executives to wonder what kind of unforeseen regulations or restrictions might lie ahead….more

If You Like The Surveillance State, You’ll Love E-Verify

From massive NSA spying, to IRS targeting of the administration’s political opponents, to collection and sharing of our health care information as part of Obamacare, it seems every day we learn of another assault on our privacy. Sadly, this week the Senate took another significant, if little-noticed, step toward creating an authoritarian surveillance state. Buried in the immigration bill is a national identification system called mandatory E-Verify.

The Senate did not spend much time discussing E-Verify, and what little discussion took place was mostly bipartisan praise for its effectiveness as a tool for preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining employment. It is a tragedy that mandatory E-Verify is not receiving more attention, as it will impact nearly every American’s privacy and liberty.…more

Walmart Heirs Hold More Wealth Than 42% of Americans Combined

The recession has devastated the finances of many Americans, but it has been very good to the Walton family. Since 2007, Walmart stores have been flooded with millions of folks who’ve lost their shirts in the housing bust, stock market crash, and stalled job market—people who can no longer afford to buy anything that isn’t made in China and sold by someone making close to minimum wage. Using newly released data from the Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances (listed as “SCF” below), labor economist Sylvia Allegretto has put together this chart on the diverging fortunes of the Waltons and their customers… more

The Afghan War: “No Blood for Opium”

It was common during the opening of the Iraq war to see slogans proclaiming “No blood for oil!” The cover story for the war – Saddam’s links with Al Qaida and his weapons of mass destruction – were obvious mass deceptions, hiding a far less palatable imperial agenda. The truth was that Iraq was a major producer of oil and, in our age, the Age of Oil, oil is the most strategic resource of all. For many it was obvious that the real agenda of the war was an imperialistic grab for Iraqi oil. This was confirmed when Iraq’s state-owned oil company was privatised to western interests in the aftermath of the invasion…more

JACK BOGLE: The Financial Industry Has Too Much Power Over Corporate America

Vanguard’s John Bogle criticized the financial industry and said it has too much power over corporate America, when speaking at the Morningstar Investor Conference in Chicago. Advisor One quoted Bogle saying, “the mutual fund industry owns 35% of the stock in America. …But it’s actually much more than that because the big firms run institutional money as well. So it’s probably 50% of stock. So we control corporate America.” He added that “executive compensation is a disgrace,” and said the  legal system wasn’t aggressive enough in pursuing securities fraud...more

Obama Pledges Indirect Support to Al Qaeda. McCain Applauds.

President Obama has promised to send military aid to the rebel forces in Syria. Senator McCain and ex-President Clinton both had publicly chastised Obama for hesitating. On Tuesday evening, Clinton warned Obama that he risked looking like a “total wuss” and a “total fool” if he continued to sit to the sidelines. On Wednesday, Obama made his pledge to do what Clinton recommended. The White House has not yet identified which accusation President Obama is trying to avoid: being a total wuss or a total fool. This announcement was good news for the Jabhat al Nusra Front, which is one of the rebel groups. Its chief recently swore allegiance to Sheik Ayman al-Zawahri, who is generally regarded as having replaced Osama bin Laden as the head of Al Qaeda. USA Today reports the following….more