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Meanwhile, in Europe… | Zero Hedge

Meanwhile, in Europe… | Zero Hedge. (FULL ARTICLE)

For years, since the onset of the euro crisis, we have heard that the crisis is over. Every year, politicians keep on telling us that the worst is over, but that next year will be so much better. Do you really think so? Here are some hard facts & figures instead of wishful thinking of lying politicians showing that the euro crisis is not over. On the contrary, things are getting worse.


La Dolce Vita, the good life, is no longer achievable for millions of Italians. Italy is the third largest Eurozone country and is in dire straits. Public debt has ballooned to well over 130 percent! Is this money ever going to be repaid? Who is going to do that? The country has one of the fastest aging populations in the world. Italian women, when having any children at all, prefer to have just one child. In order for a society to maintain a healthy demographic balance, they should have at least two. Nonetheless, unemployment, from a European perspective, is relatively low at 12 percent. But wait, youth unemployment is virtually at 40 percent. So there are no jobs in Italy, public debt is out of control and its aging population lays a heavy burden on both income taxes and Social Security payments.



Iceland PM Warns Nation’s FX Shortfall “Is Matter Of Huge Concern” | Zero Hedge

Iceland PM Warns Nation’s FX Shortfall “Is Matter Of Huge Concern” | Zero Hedge. (FULL ARTICLE)

Just a few weeks ago, the Icelandic government started threatening to use the European ‘template’ of removing guarantees on large deposits (though maintaining its capital controls) indirectly pressuring the wealthy to spend (for fear of haircuts). However, the capital controls have backfired as Bloomberg notes, Iceland’s private sector is running out of cash to repay its foreign currency debt, according to the nation’s central bank. The Prime Minister has said that the FX shortfall – exacerbated by his own policy restricting the selling of Krona – is “a matter of huge concern.” The government’s biggest challenge is to allow capital to flow freely without triggering a krona sell-off that would cause Iceland’s foreign debt to spike and undermine the nation’s economic recovery.

The yield on Iceland’s 5.875 percent dollar $1 billion bond due May 2022 has soared this year to as high as 5.71 percent last month from a low in May of 3.81 percent. Its spread to the U.S. Treasury curve widened to around 280 basis points yesterday from a May 28 low of around 180 basis points…


Citizens Are The Soylent Green of Today’s Politics – Monty Pelerin’s World : Monty Pelerin’s World

Citizens Are The Soylent Green of Today’s Politics – Monty Pelerin’s World : Monty Pelerin’s World. (FULL ARTICLE)

Neither American political party is worth supporting. Each has interests inconsistent with those of the American public. The claimed political differences are mostly cosmetic, designed for marketing advantage. Both parties act in their self interest which does not coincide with that of the citizens or the well-being of the country.

Each party behaves like a self-serving criminal gang. The quaint concept of serving the public exists no longer. Routinely they exempt themselves  from the rules and laws they impose on the rest of the country. Their policies enrich the political class while the rest of the country becomes poorer.

Mark Twain described Congress as our ”distinctly native American criminal class.”Albert J. Nock went further, generalizing Twain’s somewhat parochial observation:

Taking the State wherever found, striking into its history at any point, one sees no way to differentiate the activities of its founders, administrators and beneficiaries from those of a professional-criminal class

Lest the reader think these two individuals confused or biased, a more complete collection of quotes on government is available here: Do Only Dumb People Believe in Government?

How The Game Changed…


Brazil’s Second Largest Oil Company On Verge Of Latin America’s Biggest Corporate Bankruptcy Filing | Zero Hedge

Brazil’s Second Largest Oil Company On Verge Of Latin America’s Biggest Corporate Bankruptcy Filing | Zero Hedge. (FULL ARTICLE)

When on October 1, fallen billionaire Eike Batista’s OGX Petroleo & Gas, missed a $45 million bond coupon payment, some were surprised but most  had seen the writing on the wall. After all, Brazil’s second largest oil company after Petrobras, and the crowning jewel of Batista’s EBX Group, had been under the microscope of investors and certainly creditors (and if it wasn’t it certainly should have been) after oil deposits that Batista had valued at $1 trillion turned out to be commercial failures. And so the countdown to the inevitable bankruptcy filing began. Overnight, Bloomberg reports that the wait should not be long (in fact it may coincide with the default of that other insolvent mega-creditor: the United States), and will mostly certainly take place before the end of the month, following the retention of bankruptcy specialist law firm Quinn Emanuel.

From Bloomberg:

Quinn Emanuel was hired to work on restructuring and potential litigation matters in the U.S. for Batista, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly.

OGX Petroleo & Gas Participacoes SA (OGXP3) is considering filing for bankruptcy protection by the end of this month, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said last week. The filing would be done in Rio de Janeiro where OGX is based, said the people, asking not to be identified as discussions are private. While Batista is negotiating with creditors to avoid the same process for shipbuilder OSX Brasil SA (OSXB3), the most likely outcome is that both companies will seek legal protection, they said.

Prior stakeholder representations by Quinn Emmanuel have been the bankruptcies of energy trader Enron Corp., futures trader Refco Inc. and oil-trader SemGroup LP, according to the firm’s website, so they are quite proficient at representing what is about to be Latin America’s largest energy-related bankruptcy in a long time….

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Nestlé gives in on water drawing conditions – Politics – CBC News

Nestlé gives in on water drawing conditions – Politics – CBC News. (FULL ARTICLE)

Nestlé Waters Canada is backing down from a fight with environmental groups and accepting drought restrictions on its permit to take water from its well in Hillsburgh, Ont.

Wellington Water Watchers and the Council of Canadians, bothrepresented by Ecojustice, announced today that Nestlé is withdrawing its appeal to the Ontario Environmental Review Tribunal. The appeal centred on conditions the Ontario Ministry of the Environment put on the company’s renewed permit to take water.

“It’s a major win. Nestlé’s decision to back down is huge. For the first time in Ontario’s history, a company must adhere to mandatory restrictions on the water it pumps out of the ground during drought conditions,” said Ecojustice lawyer Will Amos.

Nestlé confirmed that it sent a letter to the tribunal asking that it not go ahead with the appeal. This means that the company will have to abide by the mandatory drought restrictions in its permit to take water.

Conditions attached to permit…


Inside Canada’s top-secret billion-dollar spy palace – Politics – CBC News

Inside Canada’s top-secret billion-dollar spy palace – Politics – CBC News. (FULL ARTICLE)

While the Harper government is preaching government austerity, it is spending almost $1.2 billion on a new Ottawa headquarters for a little-known military spy agency.

It’s the most expensive Canadian government building ever constructed.

Under tight security, CBC obtained an exclusive tour of the top secret complex that most Canadians will otherwise never get to see, a development even National Defence apparently thinks is so grandiose that the department dubbed the project “Camelot” in official documents.

When completed next year, the facility in suburban Ottawa will house the roughly 2,000 employees of the Communications Security Establishment Canada, a federal agency that spies mainly on foreigners by hacking into their computers, reading their email and intercepting their phone calls.

CSEC officially estimates the complex will cost $880 million. But sources close to the project say it will be closer to $1.2 billion by the time all the associated costs are tallied.The new CSEC headquarters will have more floor space than the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, and its cost would build several big city hospitals.

The developer has also been contracted to maintain the building and provide other services for another roughly $3 billion over the next 30 years….


SNAKE OIL: Chapter 3 – A Treadmill to Hell

SNAKE OIL: Chapter 3 – A Treadmill to Hell. (FULL ARTICLE)

The tiny ghost town of Desdemona is situated in Eastland County, Texas, about halfway between Fort Worth and Abilene. It was founded in the mid-19th century as a fort to protect settlers from Indians, its early economy revolving mostly around peanut farming. In 1918, Tom Dees of Hog Creek Oil Company discovered an oil field nearby, and within weeks 16,000 speculators and rig workers crowded Desdemona’s dusty streets. Fortunes were quickly made—less often on actual oil production than on the trading of stock shares, which appreciated dramatically in value during the first couple of years of the boom. (Some shares that originally sold for one hundred dollars soon fetched over ten thousand.) Fortunes were just as suddenly lost in gambling or robberies. By 1920, rampant lawlessness had drawn the attention of the Texas Rangers, who at the time operated as a paramilitary organization employing tactics like targeted killing and enhanced interrogation. The Rangers effectively ran Desdemona—but they didn’t stay long. Between 1919 and 1921, oil production rates dropped by two-thirds. The value of oil stocks collapsed. By 1936, Desdemona’s city government had dissolved itself; the town’s lone school closed its doors in 1969, and as of 2013 only two businesses remain.

Booms go bust: it is a story as old as civilization. Historically, most booms have been associated with resource extraction—gold, silver, oil, gas, or coal. Often, financial speculation based on an extravagant (and sometimes deliberate) overestimation of resource potential drives the peak of the boom higher than would otherwise be the case, thus making the bust all the more devastating. Though the pattern is consistent, on each occasion the participants assure themselves and one another that “this time it’s different.”

The current fracking frenzy in the oil and gas fields of Texas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, and Pennsylvania shows all the signs of being a boom in the classic sense. How do we know it’s not different this time, that itwon’t end in a colossal bust? And if it is yet another instance of the same old story, how soon will the bust come?…

Canada Spying In Brazil Allegations Puts Military Ties At Risk: Experts

Canada Spying In Brazil Allegations Puts Military Ties At Risk: Experts. (FULL ARTICLE)

OTTAWA – A carefully cultivated military relationship with Brazil could be damaged by the unfolding spy drama involving Canada’s super-secret eavesdropping agency, defence and diplomacy experts say.

Since late spring, a platoon of Canadian soldiers has been embedded with a Brazilian army unit as part of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti.

The deployment is slated to run until Christmas, but the entire exercise has been considered an important bridge-building effort with South America’s biggest military power.

The Conservative government attempted to contain the damage Tuesday. Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he is “very concerned” and that Canadian officials are “reaching out very proactively” to their counterparts in Brazil.

But experts say the relationship of trust built up by the joint mission and over the last few years by the country’s top military commanders has been badly damaged.

The government in Sao Paulo actually sought out Canadian participation in the Haiti operation because of the country’s reputation as a peacekeeper, said Walter Dorn, a professor at the Canadian Forces Staff College in Toronto….


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