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Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Monster Has Awakened

"I was answered through the stillness of night by a loud and fiendish laugh. It rang on my ears long and heavily; the mountains re-echoed it, and I felt as if all Hell surrounded me with mockery and laughter."

-Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

The most significant event of yesterday was not the Spanish banking system unlocking the door to the horror chamber and clicking the melt-down button that it found on the wall but what happened at the European Union. That which had been created woke and in its new found consciousness sat upright and staring into the void it turned upon its Master. It should not have come as a surprise, I suppose, but the mockery of the beast was a frightening sight.

For thirteen years the nations of Europe had worked, slaved, propped up their egos with their ministrations and yesterday the Creation came into its own mind and threw off the shackles in which it had been bound and leapt up upon the table and announced that it no longer belonged to any man and that the chains that had held it would not enslave it any longer. Brussels turned, and looking Berlin squarely in the eye, it used impolite words and gestures and essentially said:

"Stick it."

Those living in Belgium, created and paid for by the nations on the Continent, cast off their shackles and announced themselves free men. To some extent it was the fruition of them believing their own proclamations and to some extent it was their believing the dreams that had been foisted upon them but in the end, which occurred just yesterday, they demanded their own Manifest Destiny and announced it to the world.

Brussels has now called for Eurobonds, has called for the ESM to fund the European banks and it a sign of their new felt independence, has thrown all of this squarely in the face of Germany, the Netherlands, Finland et al who are providing the money. Firstly, and most humorously, there is no ESM at present; it does not exist. The markets spiked initially yesterday when Brussels made its grand pronouncement until the collective mind realized that what was called for was only resident in the imagination of those living in Belgium and was not a reality yet, if ever, in the real world. It was rather humorous to be frank, watching billions of Dollars and Euros change hands based upon a fantasy tossed out and written in officialdom for all to read. This was not even reliance upon some contingent asset or promise to pay because the mechanism, while much discussed and surely endorsed by most, had not yet come into existence so that it was rather like talking about what present you would like to get on your next birthday.

Finland emerged from the thaw first and said, “No,” to be followed by Germany that woke up and said “No” and the markets quickly came back to their senses but Brussels had already let the cat out of the bag and it remains to jump up now at any time and scratch everyone rakishly across the face. The European Union, like some amoeba dividing, is itself dividing with the nations needing funding, joined by the bureaucrats in Belgium, demanding total equality where everyone in Europe is to live exactly the same and with the exact same standards of living. This plays out well in Portugal, Greece, Spain et al but not so much in Germany, Austria and the Netherlands. However it all goes down I can assure you, one hundred percent, that in the end Berlin will not allow itself to decline to the extent that their lifestyle is exactly the same as those in Athens and Lisbon. That will NOT be happening in this lifetime!

France, the middle player and the supporter of Germany in times past is now firmly aligned with those demanding cohesion. The game has changed. It will no longer be push and shove and muddle through but convictions and ideology that are in stark opposition so that surprises and inflamed statements will become the order of the day and not the exception. If it is to be either Germany for the Germans or Germany for the citizens of Athens, make no mistake in your thinking; Berlin will prevail regardless of the outlying costs to either the nation or to the future of the Union that theoretically governs Europe.

"Mingled with this horror, I felt the bitterness of disappointment; dreams that had been my food and pleasant rest for so long a space were now become a Hell to me; and the change was so rapid, the overthrow so complete!"

-Mary Shelley, Frankenstein

Zero Hedge

48 Prophecies - Chuck Missler

Jews Practice Pesach Sacrifice, Declare: We Are Ready!

Gerald Celente - Tommy Schnurmacher

Bilderberg 2012: Secretive summit kicks off in Virginia

All Eyes on Ireland: Austerity on referendum knife edge

Clinton: "Russia contributing to potential Syria civil war"

Cynicism has no limits....

They produce the war and blame the victim helper, welcome to the NEW WORLD ORDER

The US Secretary of State says Russian policy will contribute to a potential civil war in Syria.

Hillary Clinton's comments came after Russia and China renewed opposition to tougher UN Security Council action.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has repeated a warning that Syria could be moving towards "catastrophic" civil war, in the wake of the Houla massacre.

Rebel commanders are split on whether to abandon a ceasefire if Syrian forces do not withdraw to barracks.

The FSA's Colonel Qassim Saadeddine in Homs said that if there was no government response by Friday lunchtime the FSA would consider itself "no longer bound" by the plan.

But the FSA head, General Riyad Asaad, later denied the deadline existed.

Instead, he urged peace envoy Kofi Annan to issue a statement declaring his peace plan to have failed.

The BBC's Paul Wood, who has just returned from three weeks inside Syria, says there is no ceasefire holding on the ground.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has come under intensified pressure to adhere to the ceasefire plan since the Houla massacre, in which more than 100 people - many of them children - died.

Mrs Clinton, speaking on a visit to Denmark, said the case for military intervention was growing stronger every day.

"[The Russians] are telling me they don't want to see a civil war. I have been telling them their policy is going to help to contribute to a civil war," she told an audience in Copenhagen.

Mr Ban, speaking at a conference in Turkey, said UN monitors had not been sent to Syria "just to bear witness to the slaughter of innocents".

"We are not there to play the role of passive observer to unspeakable atrocities," he said.

"The massacre of civilians of the sort seen last weekend could plunge Syria into catastrophic civil war - a civil war from which the country would never recover."Commander's ultimatum

Col Saadeddine's ultimatum, citing the Houla massacre, was given in a video released online, in which he said the government had to "implement an immediate ceasefire, withdraw its troops, tanks and artillery from Syrian cities and villages".

"It should also allow immediate humanitarian aid to all affected areas and free all detainees... The regime should also enter into a real and serious negotiation through the United Nations to hand over power to the Syrian people," he went on.

But Colonel Asaad, speaking to al-Jazeera by phone from Turkey, insisted the FSA was "committed to the Kofi Annan plan and committed to international resolutions and implementing this plan".

"There is no deadline; however, we hope that Kofi Annan will issue a statement to announce the failure of this plan," he said.

The UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on Syria on Friday looking into the killings, officials said.

As many as 15,000 people have been killed since the revolt against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad began in March of last year.


Preventive alert declared for three Costa Rican volcanoes

The National Emergency Commission (CNE) on Wednesday declared a preventive “green alert” due to recent seismic activity at three volcanoes: Rincón de la Vieja, in the northwestern province of Guanacaste, Poás, northwest of San José in the province of Alajuela, and Turrialba, in the eastern province of Cartago.

“The CNE’s alert is supported by reports from technical and scientific agencies that note the volcanoes are in constant activity,” the commission stated.

Turrialba Volcano, 70 kilometers east of the capital, has seen significant volcanic and seismic activity in recent months, prompting the National Seismological Network to upgraded its own color threat level to yellow.

Emissions of gas at Poás Volcano are expected to increase, and Rincón de la Vieja Volcano has also seen significant volcanic activity, the CNE noted.

Despite the warning, access to the volcanoes will remain open to the public, but visitors must follow guidelines issued at each national park’s entrance.

The Tico Times

Europe's "Teleportation To Safety" In One Chart

While European credit markets have been a roller-coaster today - returning back to their wides now - there is one thing that has remained constant. The inexorable flood of money into Switzerland. Rather shockingly 2Y Swiss interest rates have dropped to -26bps (yes, no typo - you pay 26bps to allow the Swiss government to borrow your money). These are obviously record lows and suggest that events are unfolding extremely rapidly (and those bets on the unsustainability of the SNB peg may be gathering pace).

2Y Swiss Government interest rates are accelerating lower...

and intraday it looks even more incredible...

Today saw the single-biggest drop in 2Y swiss interest rates ever as safety flows are clearly increasing very rapidly...

Zero Hedge

Iran smuggling weapons to Syria passenger planes

Iran is smuggling weapons to Damascus and Beirut via commercial aircraft, according to a report aired Wednesday by German broadcaster ZDF.

The report cited Western security sources and other unspecified information that the TV station had obtained.

The type of weaponry transported was not mentioned, but the shipments were apparently paid for by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, which supports the Bashar Assad regime in Syria and the terror organization Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Two carriers were implicated in the report, Iran Air and Yas Air.

The US has previously accused Tehran of sending arms to Hezbollah under the guise of passenger planes. ZDF’s report mentioned one instance, in March 2011, where Turkish officials in Diyabarkier intercepted a Yas Air commercial flight that was carrying weapons and explosives to Damascus.

The Times of Israel

Transatlantic alliance between Rothschilds and Rockefellers for wealth management

As if they weren't already well-connected enough, the world's two greatest dynasties joined forces yesterday as Europe's Rothschild banking clan bought a stake in the Rockefeller group's wealth and asset management business to gain a foothold in the US.

The patriarchs of the two families – 96-year-old David Rockefeller and Jacob Rothschild, 76 – cemented a five-decade acquaintance as the younger man's London-based £2bn RIT Capital investment trust bought a 37 per cent stake in the American's business.

In addition to bringing together the two doyens, the deal will considerably expand the vast networks of both families.

To give a taste: Lord Rothschild's son, Nat Rothschild, is a well-known entrepreneur with stakes in a range of companies such as Genel, the Kurdistan-focused oil producer run by former BP chief executive Tony Hayward and Bumi, the Indonesian mining group. He was also linked with George Osborne and Peter Mandelson at a notorious party on an oligarch's yacht off Corfu in 2008.

Lord Rothschild's niece Kate is married to Ben Goldsmith, brother of Conservative MP Zac Goldsmith and Jemima Khan and son of the late billionaire business tycoon Sir James Goldsmith.

On the Rockefeller side, for starters, David's granddaughter Ariana is a successful fashion designer who married the construction heir Matthew Bucklin in 2010. And let's not forget the founders who, although no longer with us, live on through their business creations.

The Rockefeller family's journey to vast riches began in 1870 when John D Rockefeller set up Standard Oil and went on establish a fortune that is widely regarded to be the largest in US history. The family's wealth management operation was set up in 1882 to manage that fortune.

The Rothschild dynasty goes back even further, to when Mayer Amschel Rothschild started a business in Frankfurt towards the end of the 18th century. It helped finance Britain's war against Napoleon in the 19th century and raised funds for a loan allowing the British government to buy the Suez canal.

The Rothschilds bought the stake in Rockefeller from French banking group Société Générale for an undisclosed sum. SocGen, which has owned the stake since 2008, appointed a new head of private banking in March, replacing Daniel Truchi with Jean-François Mazaud.

SocGen's sale of the stake comes as banks around the world sell peripheral assets to reduce their risks and strengthen their capital bases in order to meet tough regulations aimed at preventing a repeat of the 2008 financial crisis.

Commenting on the deal, Mr Rockeller said: "Lord Rothschild and I have known each other for five decades. The connection between our two families remains very strong. I am delighted to welcome Jacob and RIT as shareholders."

The Independent

Eurozone set-up unsustainable, says Draghi

European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi says that eurozone leaders must decide what they want the bloc to look like in the future, because the current set-up is "unsustainable".

He said that the ECB could not "fill the vacuum" left by governments on creating growth or structural reforms.

EU economics commissioner Olli Rehn said more austerity was needed if the eurozone was to avoid disintegration.

New figures showed eurozone inflation slowed more than expected this month.

Inflation in the 17 countries that use the euro eased to 2.4% in May from 2.6% in April.

The figure is still above the ECB's target to keep inflation below 2%, but the lower-than-expected number could fuel calls for an interest rate cut next week.Stability needed

Speaking to the European Parliament, Mr Draghi said: "Can the ECB fill the vacuum of lack of action by national governments on fiscal growth? The answer is no. Can the ECB fill the vacuum of the lack of action by national governments on the structural problem. The answer is no.

"The next step... is to clarify what is the vision a certain number of years from now. The sooner this is specified, the better it is."

Mr Rehn talked down the idea of European states issuing joint bonds, saying that austerity and closer co-operation were needed.

"We need a genuine stability culture and a much upgraded common capacity to contain common contagion," he told a conference.

"This is the case, at least if we want to avoid a disintegration of the eurozone and instead make the euro succeed."

Worries over the eurozone debt crisis - and in particular Spain's banking sector - have been hitting markets all week.

However, the markets were enjoying a respite on Thursday. The euro - which had fallen to near two-year lows against the dollar at $1.2358 - recovered slightly to $1.2410.

European stock markets were mostly positive, with London's FTSE 100 share index up 0.8%, and the Frankfurt and Paris indexes registering similar gains.

The pressure on bond yields also eased slightly, with Spain's 10-year bond yield - the rate of return demanded by investors - falling back to 6.61%, having reached 6.79% on Wednesday.Mixed data

In other figures released on Thursday, Germany's unemployment rate fell below 7% as Europe's biggest economy continued to perform strongly.

The jobless rate dropped to 6.7% in May, from 7% in April, as the number of people unemployed fell by 108,000 to 2.86 million.

However, there was more bad news from Greece as figures showed that Greek retail sales volumes fell by 16.2% in March compared with a year earlier. This followed February's decline of 12.9%.


Mickey Mouse media will keep on lying

What some experts said about the economic situation.....
Please prepare and pray for creative ideas to secure your assets, because the Mickey Mouse media will keep on lying. 
John Embry told King World News, “This situation is unprecedented. The world has never, ever been in a condition like this.” Embry, who is Chief Investment Strategist of the $10 billion strong Sprott Asset Management, also told KWN, “anyone that is complacent will be shocked at the chaos that is heading our way.” Here is what Embry had to say about the situation: “I think we’re in an extraordinary place. It’s becoming obvious that Europe is imploding, and the powers that be really don’t have any solutions." 

Norcini correctly predicted the current downturn in global markets back on May 11th and today he issued a further warning. But first, here is what Norcini had to say about the recent action in the markets: “There was a sea of red on the global stock markets today. We had a pretty good hit in the Asian and European markets. This was followed by downside action in the S&P and Dow, along with the Nasdaq.”

King world News

Spain in a state of 'total emergency'

Felipe González, the country’s elder statesman, said: “We’re in a situation of total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through.”

Global financial markets lurched yesterday at the spectre of the eurozone’s fourth biggest economy being locked out of international capital markets and being unable to fund itself.

Spanish borrowing costs soared, while the Madrid stock market fell 2.6 per cent, the euro sank to a 22-month low against the dollar and the price of Brent crude dropped 2 per cent.

Meanwhile, global investors fled to “safe havens” sending UK bonds to another low. The FTSE 100, however, dropped 1.7 per cent, along with European and American stockmarkets.

The rout on global markets paused briefly around midday when the European Commission published a report calling for radical new support for “sinner states” across the eurozone.

The Telegraph

West may be forced to seize Bashar al-Assad's toxic gas stockpile

Here it's the excuse.....

Syria possesses hundreds of tons of VX, Sarin and mustard gas. Western governments are concerned about the security of these munitions if Mr Assad's regime falls or loses control over the relevant sites.

"The thing that privately has got people very worried is chemical weapon stocks," said the diplomat. "Were it to be the case that the regime did start to lose control of the security environment, and it looked as though it wasn't able to secure those sites, then that would be a game-changer."

At present, the 14-month uprising probably does not pose an "existential threat" to the regime, added the diplomat. But if that changed, the international community would have to avert the threat of chemical weapons falling in dangerous hands.

Al-Qaeda, which has been blamed for recent suicide bombings in Syria, is understood to have moved operatives into the country from neighbouring Iraq. Hizbollah, the Shia extremist group, has a longstanding presence in Syria and a close alliance with Mr Assad.

"We could not tolerate the possibility of some of that stuff falling into the wrong hands," said the diplomat. "This uprising is not an existential threat to the Assad cartel, but if it was the case that they were starting to lose the plot and it looked as if their ability to secure those materials was questionable, then I think you'd see more very serious worries coming out of the Security Council."

Like Israel, Syria has not signed the Chemical Weapons Convention of 1997, nor is it a member of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which verifies stockpiles of these weapons. Outside experts say that Syria's chemical weapons programme dates back to the 1970s and ranks among the most advanced in the Middle East. However, Mr Assad is not believed to possess any biological weapons.

The rationale for his arsenal is to counterbalance a nuclear-armed Israel on Syria's western flank and a NATO-allied Turkey on the northern frontier. Experts believe Mr Assad is highly unlikely to use these munitions against his domestic opponents. Whether Syria's armed forces are fully trained in their use is also questionable.

Dina Esfandiary, a non-proliferation specialist at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, said that little was known about the full extent of Syria's chemical weapons stockpiles. "It's worrying because we don't know," she said. "We don't know exactly what Syria's capability is. We don't know how big their stockpiles are - or where they are. It would be difficult for everybody to secure them, particularly if factions within the country are fighting eachother."

Ms Esfandiary added: "The risk of the agents falling into the hands of non-state actors is quite worrying."

America has identified "at least a dozen or so sites that have some very serious chemical weapon caches," said Mike Rogers, a Republican Congressman who chairs the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee. He told CNN that the attendant risk "keeps me up at night".

The al-Safir military complex, near the city of Aleppo, is understood to be one site where chemical weapons are stored. Satellite imagery of the location "offers substantive evidence that Syria maintains and continues to upgrade a chemical weapons programme", according to Jane's Intelligence Review.

Al-Safir is protected by SA-2 surface-to-air missiles and contains 16 storage bunkers, according to Jane's, which adds that Syria "continues to enhance its ability to deliver both conventional and chemical warheads". The country is believed to possess 700 Scud missiles, one of the biggest such arsenals in the Middle East.

The evidence suggests that Syria has adapted these weapons to deliver chemical warheads. In 2007, an explosion at another plant killed 15 scientists and engineers as they tried to load a chemical warhead on to a Scud.

North Korea is known to have helped Syria's missile programme and may have aided the development of chemical weapons. Mr Assad could also have received help from Iran, his closest ally.

The Telegraph