Jim Sinclair

http://www.jsmineset.com/

Posted at 5:55 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Mr. Williams shares the following with us.

- First-Quarter Economic Contraction Indicated by Retail Sales and Durable Goods Orders
– Headline January Real-Retail Sales Still Fell by 0.1% (-0.1%), On Top of the Monthly Plunge of 0.7% (-0.7%) in the CPI-U
– Home Sales Activity Remained Heavily Stressed
– Unchanged before Inflation, Real Average Weekly Earnings Gain Was Due to Headline Plunge in CPI-W Inflation
– January Year-to-Year Inflation: -0.1% (CPI-U), -0.8% (CPI-W), 7.5% (ShadowStats)
– Average Oil and Gasoline Prices Increased in February

“No. 699: January CPI, Real-Retail Sales and Earnings, Durable Goods, Home Sales”
Web-page: http://www.shadowstats.com

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Yes, soon it will cost you to have a bank deposit even in the weakest as well as strongest currencies.

How Much Will You Pay to Park Cash as Central Banks Go Negative?

Sweden’s Riksbank says it’s open to further reductions, while the Swiss and Danes may be forced into them if their currencies threaten to climb.

The Bank of England has said it no longer views 0.5 percent as a floor for its benchmark, while Barclays says the Bank of Japan could switch to negative rates if it needs more stimulus amid concerns over the size of its balance sheet and the diminishing power of quantitative easing.

Citigroup said Friday that the ECB may cut its deposit rate as low as minus 50 basis points from the current minus 20 basis points if growth prospects fail to improve.

“It is clear that the ‘zero lower bound’ is much less of a constraint than was widely assumed,” Michael Pearce, an economist at Capital Economics in London, said in Thursday’s report. “We are in uncharted territory and nobody knows where the lower bound really lies.”

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The Gold market is going through significant changes that will offer competition to the paper hangers.

China plans yuan-denominated gold fix this year: sources
27 Feb4:15 PM

[SINGAPORE] China plans to launch a yuan-denominated gold fix this year to be set through trading on an exchange, sources familiar with the matter said, as the world’s second-biggest bullion consumer seeks to gain more say over the pricing of the precious metal.

The Chinese benchmark would be derived from a new 1 kg contract to be launched on the state-run Shanghai Gold Exchange, a senior source directly involved in the process told Reuters.

China, also the top producer of gold, feels its market weight should entitle it to be a price-setter for bullion and it is asserting itself at a time when the established benchmark, the century-old London fix, is under scrutiny because of alleged price-manipulation.

If the Chinese fix takes off, it could add to the pressure on the London benchmark, which is used worldwide by producers, refiners and central banks to price holdings and contracts, although the two could exist side-by-side. “We need a renminbi benchmark for Chinese producers and foreign suppliers to the market,” said the source, using an alternative name for the yuan. “This renminbi gold benchmark can be complementary to the US dollar gold-fixing in London.” The contract for the Chinese fix would be traded for a few minutes each day to make the process transparent – addressing one of the big complaints about the London fix – and the exchange would settle all trades, the source said.

One barrier to wider international acceptance is that the yuan is not fully convertible.

A second source with a global bullion bank said trading and settlement could be done in offshore yuan to allow foreign banks and other suppliers to participate, although only domestic players are expected to participate initially.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Sharps Pixley has not distinguished itself as positive on gold often. Therefore this is a good as it gets.

Gold Getting Support from Rising Physical Demand and Euro QE

The U.S. Comex gold futures rebounded over one percent in the past two days to $1,210.10 on Thursday while the Dollar Index also rose 0.85% and the Euro/Dollar plunged 1.25% in the same period. This week, the Euro Stoxx 50 Index jumped 2.42% while the S&P 500 Index was flat and the crude oil futures were down 4.31%. The U.S. ten-year Treasury yield fell 8bp this week to 2.03% on Thursday while the ten-year German Bund yield fell 4bp to 0.323%.

Focusing on Inflation
The Dollar Index has strengthened on the back of a stronger than expected core inflation data in the U.S of 0.2% in January. The Fed chairman also expects that the inflation will climb towards the Fed’s two percent target as the short-term decline in inflation due to oil price plunge is transitory. According to Bloomberg, the market sees a 60% chance that the Fed will raise rates in October this year. In Japan, the consumer prices excluding food rose 2.2% year-on-year in January. However, the core inflation slowed to 0.2% and the inflation-adjusted wages fell 1.7% in December, raising the fear that Japan will fall into deflation again. In Europe, Germany’s February unemployment number fell more than expected by 20,000 while the Q4 GDP growth accelerated and the sentiment in Europe improved. The launch of the Euro QE will likely support the gold prices near-term.

Rising Physical Demand
The gold prices have been supported by rising physical demand from China. Its net imports from Hong Kong rose 12.8 metric tons in January to 71.6 metric tons while gold futures trading in the Shanghai Gold Exchange, the world’s largest physical gold exchange, rose for the second day after the end of the Chinese New Year holidays. Later this year, a gold link-up is likely between Hong Kong and Shanghai following the successful launch of the stock link-up late last year.

What to Watch
We will monitor India’s 2016 budget this Saturday for any signs of the gold import duty cuts. We will also watch China’s February NBS manufacturing PMI Index on 1 March, the Eurozone January unemployment rate, the U.S. February ISM manufacturing index, and the U.S. January core PCE price index on 2 March, the U.S. February ADP private payrolls on 4 March and the Bank of England and the ECB interest rate and asset purchase decisions on 5 March as well as the U.S. January trade balance, the February non-farm payrolls, and the unemployment rate on 6 March.

More…

Pending Home Sales Miss For 5th Month In A Row
Tyler Durden on 02/27/2015 10:15 -0500

Despite a modest 1.7% rise (after dropping 1.5% in December), Pending Home Sales missed expectations of a 2.0% rise – the 5th monthly miss in a row.

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It appears NAR’s chief economist Lawrence Yun, whose specialty is revising the script to goalseek any desired outcome until the deviation from reality is so massive the NAR has no choice but to do a massive backward-looking revision, has flip-flopped yet again: On existing home sales, NAR blamed the drop on lack of supply (bizarrely, just as prices dropped at the same time ) while on pending home sales, NAR says buyers overcame lack of supply.

To wit:

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says for the most part buyers in January were able to overcome tight supply to sign contracts at a pace that highlights the underlying demand that exists in today’s market. “Contract activity is convincingly up compared to a year ago despite comparable inventory levels,” he said. “The difference this year is the positive factors supporting stronger sales, such as slightly improving credit conditions, more jobs and slower price growth.”

At least he didn’t blame snow in the seasonally-adjusted winter like he did for months in a row one year ago. Then again, there is always February…

In the meantime, the narrative spin must go on:

Yun also points to more favorable conditions for traditional buyers entering the market. All-cash sales and sales to investors are both down from a year ago1, creating less competition and some relief for buyers who still face the challenge of limited homes available for sale.

More…

 

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Apple diversified its huge cash. Apple, Russia ,India and China should pretty well make a dent in the physical gold market.

Apple buying a third of world’s gold to meet demand for iWatch
Cecilia Jamasmie | February 26, 2015

Technology giant Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) may soon buy up one third of the world’s gold in order to meet the demands of its highly anticipated Apple Watch, according to reports.

Interest in the high-end model, featuring 18-karat gold casing, is picking up and the firm is already taking the necessary steps to have enough of them in stock. According to WSJ.com, Apple plans to start producing more than one million units per month in the second quarter of the year, anticipating high demand from Asian markets, mainly China.

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This Apple Watch could cost as much as 10 iPads.

Josh Centers, from TidBits, estimates that each gold watch will contain 2 troy ounces (62.2 grams) of gold. So, based on the estimated sales figure, he concludes that Apple will need 746 tons of gold a year, or about 30% of the world’s annual production.

His estimations — admittedly based on the Wall Street Journal predictions, not official figures — would mean that Apple may soon become a major player in the world’s luxury watch market, grabbing about half of it.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Speaking out is becoming more dangerous everywhere.

Attackers in Bangladesh hack to death American blogger
Posted: Feb 27, 2015 9:49 AM ESTUpdated: Feb 27, 2015 9:57 AM EST
By JULHAS ALAM

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh’s capital with his wife, police said Friday.

The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh in recent years.

A previously unknown militant group, Ansar Bangla 7, claimed responsibility for the attack, Assistant Police Commissioner S.M. Shibly Noman told the Prothom Alo newspaper.

Roy “was the target because of his crime against Islam,” the group said on Twitter.

Roy was a prominent voice against religious intolerance, and his family and friends say he had been threatened for his writings.

About 8:45 p.m. Thursday, a group of men ambushed the couple as they walked toward a roadside tea stall, with at least two of the attackers hitting them with meat cleavers, police Chief Sirajul Islam said. The attackers then ran away, disappearing into the crowds.

More…

Posted at 4:56 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim’s Mailbox.

Jim,

Gives new meaning to the East-West Game. Russia/China vs. USA/Europe.

I wonder where they’ll have their bowl game? Hawaii?

Actually a better idea than what they’re doing now… destroying the world.

CIGA Wolfgang

China Just Sided With Russia Over The Ukraine Conflict
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/27/2015 – 14:25

Few asked throughout the Ukraine civil war is just whose side is China leaning toward, after all the precarious balance of power between NATO and Russia had resulted in a stalemate in which neither side has an obvious advantage (even as the Ukraine economy died, and its currency hyperinflated, waiting for a clear winner), and the explicit or implicit support of China to either camp would make all the difference in the world, and perhaps the world’s most formidable axis.

Today we finally got the answer.  China’s ambassador to Belgium, was quoted as blaming competition between Russia and the West for the Ukraine crisis, urging Western powers to “abandon the zero-sum mentality” with Russia.  Reuters assessment of Xing speech: “an unusually frank and open display of support for Moscow’s position in the crisis.” At least it is not a warning to the US to back off or else. Yet.

More…

Jesse: Gold Daily And Silver Weekly Charts – March Silver Comes In like a Lion

http://jessescrossroadscafe.blogspot.com/

Today was the usual dull day of market focused on their own navels, surrounded by the flies of the HFT bots.
Silver was the bigger story with the first report from the March contract, with an impressive claim of over six million ounces of silver being claimed on the Comex.
The Comex silver sees plenty of warehouse action, since CNT is using it as a delivery vehicle into their contracts with the US mint.
Otherwise the Comex has all the appearances of a bucket shop for gold.
The economic calendar for next week is below, and as you can see, we have another Non-Farm Payrolls report on Friday.  Since they have revised the jobs numbers back to whenever already, it will be interesting to see what kind of a number they can scrape up for February.
Stormy weather.
Gold is moving from West to East.
If you don’t agree, or don’t understand this, that’s ok.
You will.
Live long and prosper.
Have a pleasant weekend.

SP 500 and NDX Futures Daily Charts – Toppy

Stocks were floundering around most of the day on a weak GDP revision this morning, and a shockingly low Chicago PMI which *could* be an effect, at least in part, of the weather.

Stocks are looking a bit lofty here, and volumes are thin.

But here comes March, and another month in which the wolves can thin the saving herd, as thin as they may have become.

The cash Nasdaq continues to creep higher towards the magic 5,000 handle.

The last time we saw that was in March, 2000.  And you remember how things went from there.

Have a pleasant weekend.

Pop Quiz: How Many Constitutional Rights Have We Lost?

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/02/lost-constitutional-rights.html

http://www.theispot.com/images/source/FredaLibertyUpended1.jpgPainting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

How Many Constitutional Freedoms Have We Lost?

This post explains the liberties guaranteed in the Bill of Rights – the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution – and provides a scorecard on the extent of the loss of each right.

First Amendment

The 1st Amendment protects speech, religion, assembly and the press:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

The Supreme Court has also interpreted the First Amendment as protecting freedom of association.

However, the government is arresting those speaking out … and violently crushing peaceful assemblies which attempt to petition the government for redress.

A federal judge found that the law allowing indefinite detention of Americans without due process has a“chilling effect” on free speech. And see this and this.

There are also enacted laws allowing the secret service to arrest anyone protesting near the president or other designated folks (that might explain incidents like this).

Mass spying by the NSA violates our freedom of association.

The threat of being labeled a terrorist for exercising our First Amendment rights certainly violates the First Amendment. The government is using laws to crush dissent, and it’s gotten so bad that even U.S. Supreme Court justices are saying that we are descending into tyranny.  (And the U.S. is doing the same things that tyrannical governments have done for 5,000 years to crush dissent.)

For example, the following actions may get an American citizen living on U.S. soil labeled as a “suspected terrorist” today:

And holding the following beliefs may also be considered grounds for suspected terrorism:

And see this. (Of course, Muslims are more or less subject to a separate system of justice in America.)

And 1st Amendment rights are especially chilled when power has become so concentrated that the same agency which spies on all Americans also decides who should be assassinated.

Second Amendment

The 2nd Amendment states:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Gun control and gun rights advocates obviously have very different views about whether guns are a force for violence or for good.

But even a top liberal Constitutional law expert reluctantly admits that the right to own a gun is as important a Constitutional right as freedom of speech or religion:

Like many academics, I was happy to blissfully ignore the Second Amendment. It did not fit neatly into my socially liberal agenda.

***

It is hard to read the Second Amendment and not honestly conclude that the Framers intended gun ownership to be an individual right. It is true that the amendment begins with a reference to militias: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” Accordingly, it is argued, this amendment protects the right of the militia to bear arms, not the individual.

Yet, if true, the Second Amendment would be effectively declared a defunct provision. The National Guard is not a true militia in the sense of the Second Amendment and, since the District and others believe governments can ban guns entirely, the Second Amendment would be read out of existence.

***

More important, the mere reference to a purpose of the Second Amendment does not alter the fact that an individual right is created. The right of the people to keep and bear arms is stated in the same way as the right to free speech or free press. The statement of a purpose was intended to reaffirm the power of the states and the people against the central government. At the time, many feared the federal government and its national army. Gun ownership was viewed as a deterrent against abuse by the government, which would be less likely to mess with a well-armed populace.

Considering the Framers and their own traditions of hunting and self-defense, it is clear that they would have viewed such ownership as an individual right — consistent with the plain meaning of the amendment.

None of this is easy for someone raised to believe that the Second Amendment was the dividing line between the enlightenment and the dark ages of American culture. Yet, it is time to honestly reconsider this amendment and admit that … here’s the really hard part … the NRA may have been right. This does not mean that Charlton Heston is the new Rosa Parks or that no restrictions can be placed on gun ownership. But it does appear that gun ownership was made a protected right by the Framers and, while we might not celebrate it, it is time that we recognize it.

The gun control debate – including which weapons and magazines are banned – is still in flux …

Third Amendment

The 3rd Amendment prohibits the government forcing people to house soldiers:

No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.

A recent lawsuit by a Nevada family – covered by (Mother Jones, Fox News and Courthouse News – alleges violation of the Third Amendment.

Moreover, the military is arguably quartering “digital” troops within our homes.

 In America, Journalists Are Considered Terrorists
Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Fourth Amendment

The 4th Amendment prevents unlawful search and seizure:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

But the government is spying on everything we dowithout any real benefit or justification.

Indeed, experts say that the type of spying being carried out by the NSA and other agencies is exactly the kind of thing which King George imposed on the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War.

And many Constitutional experts – such as Jonathan Turley – think that the police went too far in Boston with lockdowns and involuntary door-to-door searches.


Paintings by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com.

Fifth Amendment

The 5th Amendment addresses due process of law, eminent domain, double jeopardy and grand jury:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

But the American government has shredded the 5th Amendment by subjecting us to indefinite detentionand taking away our due process rights.

The government claims the right to assassinate or indefinitely detain any American citizen on U.S. citizen without any due process. And see this.

For example, American citizens are being detained in Guantanamo-like conditions in Chicago … including:

  • Brutality
  • Being held in secret
  • Not even telling a suspect’s lawyer whether his client is being held?

And see this, this and this.

As such, the government is certainly depriving people of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.

There are additional corruptions of 5th Amendment rights – such as property being taken for privatepurposes. And the right to remain silent is gone.

The percentage of prosecutions in which a defendant is denied a grand jury is difficult to gauge, as there is so much secrecy surrounding many terrorism trials.

HUNG LIBERTY (NYSE)Image by William Banzai

Sixth Amendment

The 6th Amendment guarantees the right to hear the criminal charges levied against us and to be able to confront the witnesses who have testified against us, as well as speedy criminal trials, and a public defender for those who cannot hire an attorney:

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Subjecting people to indefinite detention or assassination obviously violates the 6th Amendment right to a jury trial. In both cases, the defendants is “disposed of” without ever receiving a trial … and often without ever hearing the charges against them.

More and more commonly, the government prosecutes cases based upon “secret evidence” that they don’t show to the defendant … or sometimes even the judge hearing the case.

The government uses “secret evidence” to spy on Americans, prosecute leaking or terrorism charges (even against U.S. soldiers) and even assassinate people. And see this and this.

Secret witnesses are being used in some cases. And sometimes lawyers are not even allowed to read their own briefs.

Indeed, even the laws themselves are now starting to be kept secret. And it’s about to get a lot worse.

Moreover, government is “laundering” information gained through mass surveillance through other agencies, with an agreement that the agencies will “recreate” the evidence in a “parallel construction” … so they don’t have to admit that the evidence came from unconstitutional spying.   A former top NSA official says that this is the opposite of following the Fourth Amendment, but is a “totalitarian process” which shows that we’re in a “police state”.

And there are two systems of justice in America … one for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else. The government made it official policy not to prosecute fraud, even though fraud is themain business model adopted by Wall Street. Indeed, the biggest financial crime in world history, thelargest insider trading scandal of all time, illegal raiding of customer accounts and blatant financing of drug cartels and terrorists have all been committed recently without any real criminal prosecution or jail time.

On the other hand, government prosecutors are using the legal system to crush dissent and to silence whistleblowers.

And some of the nation’s most powerful judges have lost their independence … and are in bed with the powers-that-be.

Seventh Amendment

The 7th Amendment guarantees trial by jury in federal court for civil cases:

In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

But there are two systems of justice in Americaone for the big banks and other fatcats, and one for everyone else.  So good luck going after the powers-that-be.

And the World Justice Project – a bipartisan, independent group with honorary chairs including numerous current and former Supreme Court Justices – released a report saying that Americans have less access to justice than most wealthy countries …  and many developing nations.  The report finds that Americans have less access to justice than Botswanans,  and that only the wealthy have the resources to protect rights using the court system:

For example, Germans sue equally whether they are rich or poor  … but in America, only the wealthy have the resources to protect rights using the court system:

And the austerity caused by the highest levels of inequality in world history – which are in turn is caused by socialist actions by our government, which have destroyed the Founding Fathers’ vision of prosperity – is causing severe budget cuts to the courts, resulting in the wheels of justice slowing down considerably.

Finally, federal judges have recently decided that they can pre-judge cases before the plaintiff even has the chance to conduct discovery … and throw cases out if they don’t like plaintiff’s case.

Painting by Anthony Freda: www.AnthonyFreda.com

Eighth Amendment

The 8th Amendment prohibits cruel and unusual punishment:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Indefinite detention and assassination are obviously cruel and unusual punishment.

The widespread system of torture carried out in the last 10 years – with the help of other countriesviolates the 8th Amendment. Many want to bring it back … or at least justify its past use.

While Justice Scalia disingenuously argues that torture does not constitute cruel and unusual punishment because it is meant to produce information – not punish – he’s wrong. It’s not only cruel and unusual … it is technically a form of terrorism.

And government whistleblowers are being cruelly and unusually punished with unduly harsh sentences meant to intimidate anyone else from speaking out.

Ninth Amendment

The 9th Amendment provides that people have other rights, even if they aren’t specifically listed in the Constitution:

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

We can debate what our inherent rights as human beings are. I believe they include the right to a level playing field, and access to non-toxic food and water. You may disagree.

But everyone agrees that the government should not actively encourage fraud and manipulation. However, the government – through its malignant, symbiotic relation with big corporations – is interfering with our aspirations for economic freedom, safe food and water (instead of arsenic-laden, genetically engineered junk), freedom from undue health hazards such as irradiation due to government support of archaic nuclear power designs, and a level playing field (as opposed to our crony capitalist system in which the little guy has no shot due to redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the super-elite, and government support of white collar criminals).

By working hand-in-glove with giant corporations to defraud us into paying for a lower quality of life, the government is trampling our basic rights as human beings.

Tenth Amendment

The 10th Amendment provides that powers not specifically given to the Federal government are reserved to the states or individual:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Two of the central principles of America’s Founding Fathers are:

(1) The government is created and empowered with the consent of the people

and

(2) Separation of powers

Today, most Americans believe that the government is threatening – rather than protecting – freedom. We’ve become more afraid of our government than of terrorists, and believe that the government is no longer acting with the “consent of the governed“.

And the federal government is trampling the separation of powers by stepping on the toes of the states and the people. For example, former head S&L prosecutor Bill Black – now a professor of law and economics – notes:

The Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the resident examiners and regional staff of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency [both] competed to weaken federal regulation and aggressively used the preemption doctrine to try to prevent state investigations of and actions against fraudulent mortgage lenders.

Indeed, the federal government is doing everything it can to stick its nose into every aspect of our lives … and act like Big Brother.

Conclusion: While a few of the liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights still exist, the vast majority are under heavy assault.

Other Constitutional Provisions … and The Declaration of Independence

In addition to the trampling of the Bill of Rights, the government has also trashed the separation of powers enshrined in the main body of the Constitution.

The government is also engaging in activities which the Founding Fathers fought against, such as taxation without representation (here and here), cronyism, deference to central banks, etc.

As the preamble to the Declaration of Independence shows, the American government is still carrying out many of the acts the Founding Fathers found most offensive:

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures. [Background here and here]

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power. [Background here, here, here, here and here]

***

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation: [Background]

***

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences [Background]

***

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation. [Background]

***

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us. [Background here, here and here]

Friday Evening 2/27

     WEB PAGE ADDRESS:  WWW.HARVEYORGANBLOG.COM Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen: Here are the following closes for gold and silver today: Gold: $1212.60 up $3.00   (comex closing time) Silver: $16.51 down 7  cents  (comex closing time)     In the access market 5:15 pm     Gold $1213.10 silver $16.60   Tonight we have […]

QUIET CHANGE EXPANDS ATF POWER TO SEIZE PROPERTY

A quick glance at the Federal Register (Vol. 80, No. 37, p. 9987-88) today reveals that Attorney General Eric Holder, who earned cautious praise last month for a small reform to the federal equitable sharing program, has now delegated authority to the Director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) to seize and “administratively forfeit” property involved in suspected drug offenses. Holder temporarily delegated this authority to the ATF on a trial basis in 2013, and today made the delegation permanent while lauding the ATF for seizing more than $19.3 million from Americans during the trial period.

Prominent Politician And Putin Critic Shot To Death In Moscow; “Shocked” John Kerry Urges Russia To Bring Justice

Update: John Kerry has decided to comment: U.S. URGES RUSSIA TO ACT IN EXPEDITIOUSLY IN NEMTSOV MATTER, SAYS BORIS NEMTSOV SOUGHT TO REFORM RUSSIA   Just nine hours after tweeting “Putin annexed Crimea and is now handing over Siberia to the Chinese,” and three ours after calling for a “Russian Spring” march, prominent Vladimir Putin critic and opposition politician (who back in 1997 was also deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation) Boris Nemtsov, has been killed in the center of Moscow. As The BBC notes, the Russian opposition politician and former deputy PM was shot to death on a Moscow street. Life News is reporting he was shot in the chest four times on a street very close to Red Square.

Nemtsov’s Assassination: A Propaganda Attack On Putin?  Paul Craig Roberts

Boris Nemtsov, a Russian dissident politician highly critical of President Vladimir Putin often sounded like an agent of Washington. He was shot and killed today on a street near Red Square.  If Nemtsov wasn’t assassinated by the CIA in order to blame Putin, most likely Nemtsov was killed by Russian nationalists who saw him as Washington’s agent.  Remembering the Magnitsky affair that resulted in sanctions imposed on Russians as a result of the US Congress over-reacting to a jail death in Russia, Nemtsov’s death will likely be blamed on Putin. The Western media will repeat endlessly, with no evidence, that Putin had his critic killed.  I can tell you one thing, and that is that Putin is much too smart to play into Washington’s hands in this way. Moreover, Nemtsov, although a loud mouth, had no impact on Putin’s 85% approval rating. Nemtsov’s support resided in the Washington-funded NGOs in Russia. If the CIA assassinated Nemtsov, they killed their own asset.  It remains to be seen if the propaganda gains justify the CIA’s loss of a Putin critic.

China Just Sided With Russia Over The Ukraine Conflict

Few asked throughout the Ukraine civil war is just whose side is China leaning toward, after all the precarious balance of power between NATO and Russia had resulted in a stalemate in which neither side has an obvious advantage (even as the Ukraine economy died, and its currency hyperinflated, waiting for a clear winner), and the explicit or implicit support of China to either camp would make all the difference in the world, and perhaps the world’s most formidable axis. Today we finally got the answer.  China’s ambassador to Belgium, was quoted as blaming competition between Russia and the West for the Ukraine crisis, urging Western powers to “abandon the zero-sum mentality” with Russia.  Reuters assessment of Xing speech: “an unusually frank and open display of support for Moscow’s position in the crisis.” At least it is not a warning to the US to back off or else. Yet.

10 Reasons Washington Has War Fever

Never has our nation, corporations and wealthy top 1% faced so many new threats to their efforts to grow their power and wealth around the world.  But a real war would provide the crisis excuse to confiscate your gold and “excess” retirement plan and IRA assets, reduce or curtail your social security benefits, dramatically raise taxes and institute total exchange controls while curtailing your remaining freedoms and ability to resist for the duration of the crisis.

The Forgotten War – Understanding The Incredible Debacle Left Behind By NATO In Libya

In retrospect, Obama’s intervention in Libya was an abject failure, judged even by its own standards. Libya has not only failed to evolve into a democracy; it has devolved into a failed state… As bad as Libya’s human rights situation was under Qaddafi, it has gotten worse since NATO ousted him.”

Puerto Rico’s 3rd Largest Bank Fails

Based on Bloomberg data, Doral Bank is the 3rd largest (by assets) bank in Puerto Rico…or rather was. After a 58% collapse in the share price today, news broke after the close:  PUERTO RICO’S DORAL BANK PLACED UNDER FDIC RECEIVERSHIP, BANCO POPULAR AGREES TO BUY DORAL BANK OPERATIONIt appears Non-Performing Loans were over 40%. Popular will take the deposits (and 8 of Doral’s 26 branches) and the FDIC eats the bad debt (estimates to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund (DIF) will be $748.9 million).

TURKEY’S INVASION OF SYRIA SHOWS TURKISH CONNECTION TO ISIS; NATO AGENDA

Turkey has now officially proven that Israel and the United States are not the only nations that can brazenly violate the sovereignty of other countries, Syria in particular, without fear of reprisal due to NATO support and a blatant culture of aggression. The Turkish invasion of Syrian soil on February 22 under the guise of protecting and securing the tomb of Sulayman Shah is case in point.

AND IT BEGINS: MOODY’S DOWNGRADES CHICAGO

Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Chicago’s debt rating, citing its overwhelming pension burden. Moody’s dropped the city’s rating to Baa2. A rating of Baa2 is eight notches below the highest debt rating of Aaa.

Is This The Greatest Threat To The World?  from KingWorldNews:

Stagnant Reserves – In his most recent “Thoughts From The Frontline”, my good friend, John Mauldin, touches on the anomaly that has frustrated the Fed in trying to get the economy kicking in. It is the velocity of money – or, more correctly, the non-velocity of money in today’s economy. Here’s a bit from John’s note:  Yet the US monetary base has expanded significantly, and there has been no real increase in inflation, and the dollar is actually getting stronger. “So what’s the problem?” Mr. Krugman asks. Inflation is brought about by not just an expansion of the monetary base but also by a stable, concurrent rise in the velocity of money.

Art Cashin continues @ KingWorldNews.com

Sign Of Judgment? Total Solar Eclipse On March 20th Falls In The Middle Of The Four Blood Red Moons

by Michael Snyder, End of The American Dream:

The total solar eclipse on March 20th falls on Nisan 1, which is the first day of the first month of the Biblical calendar.  According to Jewish tradition, a solar eclipse on Nisan 1 is a sign of judgment.  And this has certainly been true in the past.  For example, there was a solar eclipse on Nisan 1 in 70 AD.  Later that year, the Romans attacked Jerusalem and completely destroyed the Temple.  What makes all of this even more interesting is the fact that the solar eclipse on March 20th falls right in the middle of the blood moon tetrad, and it also happens to fall during the Shemitah year.  If you are not a believer, you may be tempted to dismiss all of this as some sort of extremely bizarre coincidence.  If you are a believer, you also might be skeptical.  But by the end of this article, at least you will understand what so many people are talking about right now.

Read More…

 

 

 

Now think! How big is the GOD who created all this?

By Andrew Z. Colvin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org) or GFDL (gnu.org)], via Wikimedia Commons  —THIS IS WELL WORTH VIEWING

  1. This is the Earth! This is where you live.

View this image ›This is                                                           the Earth!                                                           This is where                                                           you live.

NASA Goddard Space Flight Center Image / Via visibleearth.nasa.gov

2. And this is where you live in your neighborhood, the solar system.

View this image ›And this                                                           is where you                                                           live in your                                                           neighborhood,                                                           the solar                                                           system.

Via foxnews.com

3. Here’s the distance, to scale, between the Earth and the moon. Doesn’t look too far, does it?

View this image ›Here's                                                           the distance,                                                           to scale,                                                           between the                                                           Earth and the                                                           moon. Doesn't                                                           look too far,                                                           does it?

4. THINK AGAIN. Inside that distance you can fit every planet in our solar system, nice and neatly.

View this image ›THINK                                                           AGAIN. Inside                                                           that distance                                                           you can fit                                                           every planet                                                           in our solar                                                           system, nice                                                           and neatly.

PerplexingPotato / Via reddit.com

5. But let’s talk about planets. That little green smudge is North America on Jupiter.

View this image ›But let's                                                           talk about                                                           planets. That                                                           little green                                                           smudge is                                                           North America                                                           on Jupiter.

NASA / John Brady / Via astronomycentral.co.uk

6. And here’s the size of Earth (well, six Earths) compared with Saturn:

View this image ›And                                                           here's the                                                           size of Earth                                                           (well, six                                                           Earths)                                                           compared with                                                           Saturn:

NASA / John Brady / Via astronomycentral.co.uk

7. And just for good measure, here’s what Saturn’s rings would look like if they were around Earth:

View this image ›And just                                                           for good                                                           measure,                                                           here's what                                                           Saturn's rings                                                           would look                                                           like if they                                                           were around                                                           Earth:

Ron Miller / Via io9.com

8. This right here is a comet. We just landed a probe on one of those bad boys. Here’s what one looks like compared with Los Angeles:

View this image ›

Matt Wang / Via mentalfloss.comThis                                                           right here is                                                           a comet. We                                                           just landed a                                                           probe on one                                                           of those bad                                                           boys. Here's                                                           what one looks                                                           like compared                                                           with Los                                                           Angeles:

9. But that’s nothing compared to our sun. Just remember:

View this image ›But                                                           that's nothing                                                           compared to                                                           our sun. Just                                                           remember:

Via Twitter: @maiwandafghani

10. Here’s you from the moon:

View this image ›Here's                                                           you from the                                                           moon:

NASA

11. Here’s you from Mars:

View this image ›Here's                                                           you from                                                           Mars:

NASA

12. Here’s you from just behind Saturn’s rings:

View this image ›Here's                                                           you from just                                                           behind                                                           Saturn's                                                           rings:

NASA

13. And here’s you from just beyond Neptune, 4 billion miles away.

View this image ›And                                                           here's you                                                           from just                                                           beyond                                                           Neptune, 4                                                           billion miles                                                           away.

NASA

To paraphrase Carl Sagan, everyone and everything you have ever known exists on that little speck.

14. Let’s step back a bit. Here’s the size of Earth compared with the size of our sun. Terrifying, right?

View this image ›Let's                                                           step back a                                                           bit. Here's                                                           the size of                                                           Earth compared                                                           with the size                                                           of our sun.                                                           Terrifying,                                                           right?

John Brady / Via astronomycentral.co.uk

The sun doesn’t even fit in the image.

15. And here’s that same sun from the surface of Mars:

View this image ›And                                                           here's that                                                           same sun from                                                           the surface of                                                           Mars:

NASA

16. But that’s nothing. Again, as Carl once mused, there are more stars in space than there are grains of sand on every beach on Earth:

View this image ›But                                                           that's                                                           nothing.                                                           Again, as Carl                                                           once mused,                                                           there are more                                                           stars in space                                                           than there are                                                           grains of sand                                                           on every beach                                                           on Earth:

Via science.nationalgeographic.com

17. Which means that there are ones much, much bigger than little wimpy sun. Just look at how tiny and insignificant our sun is:

View this image ›Which                                                           means that                                                           there are ones                                                           much, much                                                           bigger than                                                           little wimpy                                                           sun. Just look                                                           at how tiny                                                           and                                                           insignificant                                                           our sun is:

Via en.wikipedia.org

Our sun probably gets its lunch money stolen.

18. Here’s another look. The biggest star, VY Canis Majoris, is 1,000,000,000 times bigger than our sun:

View this image ›26                                                           Pictures Will                                                           Make You                                                           Re-Evaluate                                                           Your Entire                                                           Existence

Via youtube.com

………

19. But none of those compares to the size of a galaxy. In fact, if you shrank the sun down to the size of a white blood cell and shrunk the Milky Way galaxy down using the same scale, the Milky Way would be the size of the United States:

View this image ›But none                                                           of those                                                           compares to                                                           the size of a                                                           galaxy. In                                                           fact, if you                                                           shrank the sun                                                           down to the                                                           size of a                                                           white blood                                                           cell and                                                           shrunk the                                                           Milky Way                                                           galaxy down                                                           using the same                                                             scale, the                                                           Milky Way                                                           would be the                                                           size of the                                                           United                                                           States:

Via reddit.com

20. That’s because the Milky Way galaxy is huge. This is where you live inside there:

View this image ›That's                                                           because the                                                           Milky Way                                                           galaxy is                                                           huge. This is                                                           where you live                                                           inside there:

Via teecraze.com

21. But this is all you ever see:

View this image ›But this                                                           is all you                                                           ever see:

Via Twitter: @lucybrockle

(That’s not a picture of the Milky Way, but you get the idea.)

22. But even our galaxy is a little runt compared with some others. Here’s the Milky Way compared to IC 1011, 350 million light years away from Earth:

View this image ›But even                                                           our galaxy is                                                           a little runt                                                           compared with                                                           some others.                                                           Here's the                                                           Milky Way                                                           compared to IC                                                           1011, 350                                                           million light                                                           years away                                                           from Earth:

Via Twitter: @smokeinpublic

Just THINK about all that could be inside there.

23. But let’s think bigger. In JUST this picture taken by the Hubble telescope, there are thousands and thousands of galaxies, each containing millions of stars, each with their own planets.

View this image ›But let's                                                           think bigger.                                                           In JUST this                                                           picture taken                                                           by the Hubble                                                           telescope,                                                           there are                                                           thousands and                                                           thousands of                                                           galaxies, each                                                           containing                                                           millions of                                                           stars, each                                                           with their own                                                             planets.

Via hubblesite.org

24. Here’s one of the galaxies pictured, UDF 423. This galaxy is 10 BILLION light years away. When you look at this picture, you are looking billions of years into the past.

View this image ›Here's                                                           one of the                                                           galaxies                                                           pictured, UDF                                                           423. This                                                           galaxy is 10                                                           BILLION light                                                           years away.                                                           When you look                                                           at this                                                           picture, you                                                           are looking                                                           billions of                                                           years into the                                                           past.

Via wikisky.org

Some of the other galaxies are thought to have formed only a few hundred million years AFTER the Big Bang.

25. And just keep this in mind — that’s a picture of a very small, small part of the universe. It’s just an insignificant fraction of the night sky.

View this image ›And just                                                           keep this in                                                           mind that's a                                                           picture of a                                                           very small,                                                           small part of                                                           the universe.                                                           It's just an                                                           insignificant                                                           fraction of                                                           the night                                                           sky.

Via thetoc.gr

26. And, you know, it’s pretty safe to assume that there are some black holes out there. Here’s the size of a black hole compared with Earth’s orbit, just to terrify you:

View this image ›And, you                                                           know, it's                                                           pretty safe to                                                           assume that                                                           there are some                                                           black holes                                                           out there.                                                           Here's the                                                           size of a                                                           black hole                                                           compared with                                                           Earth's orbit,                                                           just to                                                           terrify you:

  1. Benningfield/K. Gebhardt/StarDate / Via mcdonaldobservatory.org

So if you’re ever feeling upset about your favorite show being canceled or the fact that they play Christmas music way too early — just remember…

This is your home.

View this image ›This is                                                           your home.

By Andrew Z. Colvin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org) or GFDL (gnu.org)], via Wikimedia Commons

This is what happens when you zoom out from your home to your solar system.

View this image ›This is                                                           what happens                                                           when you zoom                                                           out from your                                                           home to your                                                           solar system.

And this is what happens when you zoom out farther…

View this image ›And this                                                           is what                                                           happens when                                                           you zoom out                                                           farther...

By Andrew Z. Colvin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org) or GFDL (gnu.org)], via Wikimedia Commons

And farther…

View this image ›And                                                           farther...

By Andrew Z. Colvin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org) or GFDL (gnu.org)], via Wikimedia Commons

Keep going…

View this image ›Keep                                                           going...

By Andrew Z. Colvin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org) or GFDL (gnu.org)], via Wikimedia Commons

Just a little bit farther…

View this image ›Just a                                                           little bit                                                           farther...

By Andrew Z. Colvin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org) or GFDL (gnu.org)], via Wikimedia Commons

Almost there…

View this image ›Almost                                                           there...

By Andrew Z. Colvin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org) or GFDL (gnu.org)], via Wikimedia Commons

And here it is. Here’s everything in the observable universe, and here’s your place in it. Just a tiny little ant in a giant jar.

View this image ›And here                                                           it is. Here's                                                           everything in                                                           the observable                                                           universe, and                                                           here's your                                                           place in it.                                                           Just a tiny                                                           little ant in                                                           a giant jar.

By Andrew Z. Colvin (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (creativecommons.org) or GFDL (gnu.org)], via Wikimedia Commons

 

Now think! How big is the GOD who created all this?

The Daily Jot: What can I do?

People are writing me saying that they write letters, call elected officials, attend town hall meetings, send emails, faxes and texts, but nobody is listening. Our elected officials do not receive the advice of those who elected them. So the feeling out there is helplessness. Nothing works. Nobody listens. This is true. These elected officials for the most part care about getting elected and keeping there power. Many are frustrated, even angry when folks like me say they must act. First, what can you do? You can pray, and if that’s all you can do, then pray like you have never done before. If you can do more, let’s get on it. But, we need to stop seeking political solutions, a political messiah if you will, to a spiritual problem.
As I see it, we are commanded by Christ to make disciples and preach the good news to all creatures around the world. This doesn’t mean going to a great rally, getting people all emotional, getting people saved, and then leaving them on their own to figure out their salvation. We must be willing to coach people, hold them accountable, have relationships. This is difficult. It puts us out of our comfort zone. We have to know more about the Word of God than what we have heard from the pulpit. We have to get out of what is generally being taught in the church–a self indulgent, emotional and extra-biblical concept of Christ. It is not about us, it is about the Messiah. He died for us, what are we doing for him?
Sitting in the pews thinking about what God is going to do for us has disastrous consequences. If we were making disciples, and telling, teaching, exhorting, accounting, contending for the truth, then the nation would not be in this physical bondage and spiritual darkness. Leadership that is antichrist would not be elected. It would not survive the light. We have to ask ourselves the question: Does what we are doing here on earth matter in eternity? For that is what will be judged. What can we do to change the nation? We need to conduct heart to heart combat. Matthew 11:12 says, “And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force.”
We cannot make a difference in this world by disconnecting from it. We cannot make a difference in this world by asking what God is going to do for us. He already did it. He sent His only begotten Son to die for our sins that we may have everlasting life. The rest of the story is how we work out our salvation under the commandments of Christ. If we collectively were doing our job, as did our forefathers in the early days of this nation, the leadership of this nation would reflect it. We have to get outside ourselves and be effective at making disciples. But? Here is a “But” for you: But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own; that you should show forth the praises of him who has called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. (1 Peter 2:9).” Make disciples, change the nation.

 

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!

Bill Wilson
www.dailyjot.com

Friday Morning 2/27

Goldcore: Gold Sovereigns Bought by Greeks in Volume as New Greek Drachmas Designed

– Greece warns may default on IMF loan next week – Greek bank runs continue and deposits flee – German Bundestag votes for bailout extension – Syriza agree to a bailout extension of four months, in return for concessions yet to be approved by the EU – Questions over Syriza negotiating a weak deal despite […]

CONTINUE READING

Treasury won’t explain decision to make $3 billion in Obamacare payments
The U.S. Treasury Department has rebuffed a request by House Ways and Means Chairman Rep. Paul Ryan, R- Wis., to explain $3 billion in payments that were made to health insurers even though Congress never authorized the spending through annual appropriations. At issue are payments to insurers known as cost-sharing subsidies.

Obama Dares GOP: Go Ahead, ‘Have a Vote on Whether What I’m Doing Is Legal…I Will Veto’
Pres. Obama is daring Republicans to vote on whether or not his executive actions are legal. Discussing opposition to his executive amnesty orders…Obama said he would veto the vote because his actions are “the right thing to do…“What we’ve done is we’ve expanded my authorities under executive action…so now the question is, how can we get a law passed.”

Not again! Meet Obama’s new controversial pastor
Rev. Jim Wallis, a member of President Obama’s “faith council” who is described as a spiritual adviser to the president, is a socialist activist who has championed communist causes and previously labeled the U.S. “the great captor and destroyer of human life.”

Feds to Ban Popular Ammo; NRA Rips Obama’s Anti-Gun Agenda
A federal proposal that would ban M855 AR-15 green tip ammo by revoking its “armor-piercing” exemption was revealed earlier this month, angering the National Rifle Association and conservatives across the board.

German Parliament Approves Greek Bailout After Schauble Makes It Clear Germany Remains In Charge

If Bild’s expectation that its “Nein to more Greek bailout” campaign would lead to a near unanimous vote in the Bundestag for a Greek bailout, then it achieved its goal when a massive majority of lawmakers, some 542 of them, voted in favor of giving Greece the prenegotiated 4 month extension to its current bailout. Still, as many pointed out, of the 32 votes against, a record margin for a euro vote, or 29, came from Merkel’s own CDU/CSU block. This was up from 13 voting against the second Greek bailout. Indeed, as the Guardian’s Ian Traynor summarizes “Merkel’s biggest majority on Greece but also biggest rebellion in her ranks while linke votes for Syriza pals, also a 1st.”

Netanyahu Iran Drama, War in Ukraine & Middle East, Global Warming–Not

from USA WatchdogNext week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to address Congress on the deal the Obama Administration is trying to do with Iran to curtail its nuclear program.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=nN16ZvEC798

No doubt, Netanyahu will warn a deal that will eventually allow Iran to get nuclear weapons will cause big problems for the world. There has been increasing friction and drama with President Obama over this address. All the drama surrounding Benjamin Netanyahu’s address to Congress can only mean one thing–negotiations with the U.S. and Iran to curtail its program are not going well. Likely, there will be, once again, no deal at the end of the current deadline, which is the end of next month. Some Democrats are threatening to boycott the address, and members of the President’s staff have clearly said they are not happy with Congress for inviting the Israeli Prime Minister. I predict this will be resolved one way or another this year.

Read More @ USAWatchdog.com

US-NATO Military Convoy of Tanks and Armored Vehicles at Russia’s Doorstep, Rolling Along the Estonia-Russia Border

by Joost Niemöller, Global Research:   In the video below you can see a long column of military vehicles, including tanks and armored cars. This column, according to the caption, was filmed on 23 February in the border city of Narva, Estonia, The city is located on a reservoir that provides St. Petersburg [electric] power.

The convoy is crossing the city [of Narva within less than a kilometer from the Russian border]. It can be filmed by anybody. [Note the picture below, Estonia on the left. Russia on the right on the other side of the bridge].

You can imagine how Putin might feel in this regard, [a US-NATO convoy] close to his former power base of Saint Petersburg. That might well be the underlying intent [of this military convoy].

This may be part of a major NATO exercise to be held in the area. The Netherlands is also involved. 

Read More @ GlobalResearch.com

Paul Craig Roberts: World Annihilation Threatened – Trust Now Shattered Between Russia And U.S.

from KingWorldNews:  This week I was invited to address an important conference of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Scholars from Russia and from around the world, Russian government officials, and the Russian people seek an answer as to why Washington destroyed during the past year the friendly relations between America and Russia that President Reagan and President Gorbachev succeeded in establishing.

Putin Has Highest Approval Rating Ever Achieved By Any Leader In My Lifetime

All of Russia is distressed that Washington alone has destroyed the trust between the two major nuclear powers that had been created during the Reagan-Gorbachev era, trust that had removed the threat of nuclear armageddon. Russians at every level are astonished at the virulent propaganda and lies constantly issuing from Washington and the Western media. Washington’s gratuitous demonization of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has rallied the Russian people behind him. Putin has the highest approval rating ever achieved by any leader in my lifetime.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts continues @ KingWorldNews.com

 

Jim Sinclair

http://www.jsmineset.com/

Posted at 10:04 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Is Greece next?

Russia Signs Military Deal With EU Member State
15:31 26.02.2015(updated 20:48 26.02.2015)

Russian navy ships will now have access to stop off at ports in Cyprus, while Moscow will continue to provide the Mediterranean country with debt relief, following an agreement by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Cypriot leader Nicos Anastasiades.

The agreements, which apply to Russian vessels involved in counter terrorism and anti piracy efforts, follow Mr. Anastasiades’ two-day visit to Russia, which led to the two countries signing a programme of cooperation for 2015-2017.

The agreement comes amid heightened tensions between Russia and the EU over the conflict in Ukraine, however Mr Putin played down any concerns the West may have over the new deal.

“Our friendly ties aren’t aimed against anyone,” he said. “I don’t think it should cause worries anywhere.”

More…

 

Cyprus praises Russia, lets in warships
By ANDREW RETTMAN

The Cypriot president has, on a visit to Moscow, showcased his country’s economic dependence on Russia and the emergence of an increasing threat to EU and US unity on sanctions.

Nicos Anastasiades used the trip, on Wednesday (25 February), to formalise an accord for Russian warships to use Cypriot military bases, and to speak out against EU policy on Ukraine.

Referring to Russia as a “great country”, the 68-year old politician said: “I think it’s increasingly felt by our European counterparts that action against such a great country as Russia leads to countermeasures on the part of Russia which have negative results, not only for Cyprus, but also for a number of other European Union countries”.

He noted that his own “small homeland” is “largely dependent on the Russian Federation, whether it’s the economy, or services, or tourism, or defence, or solidarity on the Cyprus issue [it’s frozen conflict with Turkey]”.

He said he supports Ukraine’s territorial integrity.

But he went on to describe the situation as a “civil conflict” and to “welcome” Russian leader Vladimir Putin’s contribution to the peace process, which was recently revived in Minsk – remarks which go against the EU joint position that Russia is arming, commanding, and fighting alongside the anti-Ukrainian paramilitaries.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Never say never about the US dollar.

This Is What Happens To Gold In A Hyperinflationary Currency Crisis: Ukraine Edition
Tyler Durden on 02/25/2015 23:22 -0500

As Ukraine’s socio-economic situation goes from wost to worst-er, today’s announcement by President Poroshenko that the government will take actions to stabilize the currency (which as we previously noted, appears to be heading for hyperinflation) has Ukrainians rushing for the exits into precious metals… with only one goal in mind – wealth preservation.

clip_image001

This is what gold does in a fiat-currency crisis. Now if only Ukraine actually still had some gold…

Furthermore, according to RIA, on Tuesday, Ukrainian television channel Ukraina announced that with the new exchange rate, the minimum wage in Ukraine stands at around $42.90 per month, which according to the channel, is lower than in Ghana or Zambia.

There are currently no plans to raise the minimum wage until December.

Behold hyperinflation:

“Food prices among producers rose 57.1 percent, with the price for grains and vegetables rising 91 percent from January 2014 to January 2015, while the official inflation rate over the period totaled 28.5 percent.

More…

Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

According to this, the reason for the horrific behavior on the part of the terrorists is because of the fact that they come from very poor backgrounds. Well you can throw that excuse out the window because the terrorist identified as a British, Jihadi John, comes from a well to do family in West London. Once again our leaders in Washington came to the wrong conclusion and the problem improperly identified gets no resolution.

‘Jihadi John’: The Islamic State killer behind the mask is a young Londoner

LONDON — The world knows him as “Jihadi John,” the masked man with a British accent who has beheaded several hostages held by the Islamic State and who taunts audiences in videos circulated widely online.

But his real name, according to friends and others familiar with his case, is Mohammed Emwazi, a Briton from a well-to-do family who grew up in West London and graduated from college with a degree in computer programming. He is believed to have traveled to Syria around 2012 and to have later joined the Islamic State, the group whose barbarity he has come to symbolize.

“I have no doubt that Mohammed is Jihadi John,” said one of Emwazi’s close friends who identified him in an interview with The Washington Post. “He was like a brother to me. . . . I am sure it is him.”

A representative of a British human rights group who had been in contact with Emwazi before he left for Syria also said he believed Emwazi was Jihadi John, a moniker given to him by some of the hostages he once held.

“There was an extremely strong resemblance,” Asim Qureshi, research director at the rights group, CAGE, said after watching one of the videos. “This is making me feel fairly certain that this is the same person.”

More…

clip_image003

February 26, 2015
Singapore

Warren Buffett once famously chided that all the gold in the world would form a cube of 67 feet (20 meters) on each side.

In doing so, he was attempting to argue that there was no point in owning gold since all the gold in the world would be an unproductive, useless hunk of metal.

What’s ironic (and completely lost on the venerable Mr. Buffett) is that you could make the same argument about the paper-based financial system.

It’s estimated that the derivatives market now exceeds $1 QUADRILLION (15 zeros) in notional value. If you were to somehow accumulate and stack up $1 quadrillion, the pile would be thousands of feet high and hundreds of yards long… much bigger than the cube of gold.

It’s a similar story with government debt, which exceeds $56 trillion worldwide.

Now, it may be a cute thought experiment to blast gold as a useless hunk of metal. But the reality is that gold will never require a taxpayer-funded bailout. It won’t crash the financial system. And it won’t enslave future generations to higher taxes and inflation.

On the balance, at least as a means of preserving assets over the long-run, ‘useless’ certainly beats ‘destructive’.

(Actually gold can be put to productive use and generate a rate of return—it’s just that such platforms are extremely rare. I’ll share some exciting developments on this front with you soon.)

My friends at Silver Bullion (a state-of-the-art precious metals depository here in Singapore) recently put together a great infographic which visualizes all of this—over $1 quadrillion in the paper financial system stacked against the known supply of gold and silver in the world.

clip_image005

They were kind enough to let me send this out to you, I hope you enjoy.

Until tomorrow,
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Simon Black

Posted at 8:40 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim’s Mailbox.

Jim,

They did what they said they were going to do. As you have said before, what a colossal mistake the West has made using SWIFT as a weapon.

CIGA BT

Russia Launches Own ‘SWIFT’ Service, Links Up 91 Credit Institutions

Almost 91 of Russia’s credit institutions have been incorporated into a newly launched Russian domestic ‘SWIFT’ analogous.

Ekaterina Blinova — Almost 91 domestic credit institutions have been incorporated into the new Russian financial system, the analogous of SWIFT, an international banking network.

The new service, will allow Russian banks to communicate seamlessly through the Central Bank of Russia. It should be noted that Russia’s Central Bank initiated the development of the country’s own messaging system in response to repeated threats voiced by Moscow’s Western partners to disconnect Russia from SWIFT.

More…

 

Hi Jim,

When push comes to shove, no doubt they’re both wrong.

CIGA JD

Believe it or not, this gives you one of the best explanations of the current unemployment stats

COSTELLO: I want to talk about the unemployment rate in America .
ABBOTT: Good Subject. Terrible Times. It’s 7.8%.
COSTELLO: That many people are out of work?
ABBOTT: No, that’s 14.7%.
COSTELLO: You just said 7.8%.
ABBOTT: 7.8% Unemployed.
COSTELLO: Right 7.8% out of work.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 14.7%.
COSTELLO: Okay, so it’s 14.7% unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, that’s 7.8%.
COSTELLO: WAIT A MINUTE. Is it 7.8% or 14.7%?
ABBOTT: 7.8% are unemployed. 14.7% are out of work.
COSTELLO: If you are out of work you are unemployed.
ABBOTT: No, Congress said you can’t count the “Out of Work” as the unemployed. You have to look for work to be unemployed.
COSTELLO: BUT THEY ARE OUT OF WORK!!!
ABBOTT: No, you miss his point.
COSTELLO: What point?
ABBOTT: Someone who doesn’t look for work can’t be counted with those who look for work. It wouldn’t be fair.
COSTELLO: To whom?
ABBOTT: The unemployed.
COSTELLO: But ALL of them are out of work.
ABBOTT: No, the unemployed are actively looking for work. Those who are out of work gave up looking and if you give up, you are no longer in the ranks of the unemployed.
COSTELLO: So if you’re off the unemployment roles that would count as less unemployment?
ABBOTT: Unemployment would go down. Absolutely!
COSTELLO: The unemployment just goes down because you don’t look for work?
ABBOTT: Absolutely it goes down. That’s how it gets to 7.8%. Otherwise it would be 14.7%.
COSTELLO: Wait, I got a question for you. That means there are two ways to bring down the unemployment number?
ABBOTT: Two ways is correct.
COSTELLO: Unemployment can go down if someone gets a job?
ABBOTT: Correct.
COSTELLO: And unemployment can also go down if you stop looking for a job?
ABBOTT: Bingo.
COSTELLO: So there are two ways to bring unemployment down, and the easier of the two is to have people stop looking for work.
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like an Economist.
COSTELLO: I don’t even know what the hell I just said!
ABBOTT: Now you’re thinking like a Politician.

 

Dear Jim,

It seems there are still many people who do not believe they are considered unsecured creditors in the “Bail-In” movement. I’d just like to remind people that it’s accounting 101. Debits on the left, credits on the right.

Now look at your bank statement, and recognize which side your deposits are located.

Yes, it’s that simple folks, your deposits are instantly converted to bank credit once you hand over your money to the bank.

Regards,
CIGA Bosko

 

Jim,

People feel they aren’t getting the truth, and the information they are getting is making them feel uneasy.

CIGA LarryM

Despite Record Stocks & Surging Wage Inflation, Consumer Comfort Plunges Most In 10 Months
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 02/26/2015 09:54 -0500

What do people have to be ‘uncomfortable’ about?!! Stock markets around the world are at record highs… real wages just jumped by the most MoM since 2008… So why oh why did Bloomberg’s Consumer Comfort Index plunge to its lowest of the year, falling by the most since May 2014? Perhaps, just perhaps, the market is a red herring… distracting the plebeians from the reality of the economy?

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Not encouraging for The Fed, we suspect…

Furthermore, across every cohort from age to income to sex to political bias, everything got worse…

Chart: Bloomberg

More…

Posted at 3:42 PM (CST) by & filed under In The News.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

There is a difference between these alternatives? I don’t think so.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

There is something so wrong with this. If it is not disinformation then we have sacrificed the life of friendly troops.

Top Secret? Jordan Furious After Pentagon Reveals Anti-ISIL Training Site
04:07 25.02.2015(updated 13:23 25.02.2015)

The Pentagon has altered records to try and cover up its disclosure that one of its training camps to battle Islamic State militants is located in Jordan – information Jordan had requested be kept private.

The slip happened last week as a Pentagon officer briefed reporters on condition of anonymity. In an effort to hide the screw-up, the Pentagon has since redacted any mention of the training camp from its public records, the Washington Times reported.

The Pentagon typically only discusses aid partner nations provide to its operations against Islamic State militants only after those partner nations have publicly spoken about those contributions.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

I would demand my gold deposit back immediately. To do otherwise is lack of fiduciary duty

Austria Expresses Concern Over Their Gold At BOE
Koos Jansen
Posted on 25 Feb 2015

Yesterday the Austrian Court of Audit (Der Rechnungshof) released a report on the Austrian central bank’s official gold reserves audits (Austria holds in total 280.0 metric tonnes). This report contains (official) critical notes regarding the safekeeping of the Austrian gold.

The report is written in German, but from being Dutch (my native language is similar to German), using Google Translate, having spoken to Peter Boehringer about this and using the English introduction from the Rechnungshof’s report, we can squeeze the essential bullion points from the report.

I will sum up the highlights. Let’s start with a quote from the English introduction:

In end-2013, the OeNB (central bank of the Republic of Austria) stored some 82 % of its physical gold holdings at a depository in England [BOE] and therefore ran a high concentration risk. The current depository concept lacked adequate measures to reduce this risk. Additionally, the gold depository contract with the depository in England contained deficiencies. As regards the gold reserves stored abroad, internal auditing measures were lacking.

The Austrian Court of Audit expresses great concern about the disproportionate amount of official gold reserves (229.6 tonnes) stored at the Bank Of England (BOE), which will be their excuse for repatriating, “the gold depository contract with the depository in England contained deficiencies” and, “gold reserves stored abroad, internal auditing measures were lacking”. They’re putting it blunt for an official source on a topic so sensitive as gold.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

Will you have waterfront property soon?

US sea level north of New York City ‘jumped by 128mm’
24 February 2015 Last updated at 13:45 ET
By Helen Briggs Environment Correspondent

Sea levels along the northeast coast of the US rose by record levels during 2009-2010, a study has found.

Sea levels north of New York City rose by 128mm in two years, according to a report in the journal, Nature Communications.

Coastal areas will need to prepare for short term and extreme sea level events, say US scientists.

Climate models suggest extreme sea level rises will become more common this century.

“The extreme sea level rise event during 2009-10 along the northeast coast of North America is unprecedented during the past century,” Prof Jianjun Yin of the University of Arizona told BBC News.

“Statistical analysis indicates that it is a 1-in-850 year event.”

Tidal records

Scientists at the University of Arizona and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in New Jersey studied records of tidal levels along the east coast of the US and Canada.

They divided the coastline into three areas: north of New York City, New York City to Cape Hatteras on the coast of North Carolina, and south of Cape Hatteras.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The banks seem to losing their mojo to cash seeking Federal agencies. I feel this is not going into the white wash bucket.

JPMorgan, Still On 2-Year Probation, Under Scrutiny in Gold Fixing Probe
By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: February 24, 2015

The financial press is reporting this morning that the U.S. Justice Department is investigating at least 10 of the biggest U.S. and foreign banks for potentially rigging the gold market and other precious metals markets. That investigation comes while ongoing investigations continue into the potential rigging by big banks of the setting of interest-rate benchmarks and foreign currency.

Cartel activity in every facet of U.S. and London financial markets now seems to be the norm with regulators typically five to ten years too late in sniffing out the illegal conduct.

JPMorgan Chase was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the banks under scrutiny in the precious metals probe. That could pose a particularly difficult situation for JPMorgan as it is under an effective two-year probation with the U.S. Justice Department for its role in the Bernard Madoff fraud. The probation stems from a deferred prosecution agreement, signed on January 6, 2014, requiring that for the next two years, JPMorgan had to bring to the attention of Federal prosecutors any knowledge of wrongdoing inside the bank, cooperate fully and in good faith, and agree to “commit no crimes under the federal laws of the United States subsequent to the execution of this agreement…” If JPMorgan did not live up to its end of the bargain, it could be prosecuted for new crimes as well as for the two felony counts related to the Madoff matter.

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Jim Sinclair’s Commentary

The Great Leveling precedes the Great Reset.

1 in 3 Americans on verge of financial ruin
Published: Feb 23, 2015 9:07 a.m. ET
By Catey Hill

The rich keep getting richer. The rest of us aren’t so lucky.

According to a survey released Monday by Bankrate.com of more than 1,000 adults, 37% of Americans have credit card debt that equals or exceeds their emergency savings. “These numbers mean that three out of every eight Americans are teetering on the edge of financial disaster” — thanks to the fact that many of these folks might be hard-pressed to pay for an emergency should one arise, says Greg McBride, Bankrate.com’s chief financial analyst. “Not only do most of them not have enough savings, they’ve all used up some portion of their available credit — they are running out of options.”

That’s particularly problematic considering that emergencies happen more often than you might think. A 2014 survey by American Express found that half of all Americans had experienced an unforeseen expense in the past year — some of which could be considered an emergency. Indeed, 44% of those who had an unforeseen expense(s) had one for health care and 46% for car trouble — two items that for many Americans are must-pay items, as you need a car to get to work and your health expenses are usually not optional.

Some groups — for example, the 30 to 49 age group — are in worse off than others when it comes to credit card debt and savings. This group is in particularly rough shape, likely it faces child-related and mortgage expenses.

Age % who say credit card debt is greater than emergency savings
18-29 21%
30-49 32%
50-64 25%
65+ 14%

For consumers, the ideal situation is to have no credit card debt and at least six months of savings in an emergency fund (more if you have dependents), experts say. But the reality is that most of us don’t have even close to that (just 58% of Americans have more emergency savings than credit card debt, the Bankrate survey revealed).

The good news: If you have no emergency savings, or more debt than savings, experts say you can remedy that situation. Some recommend paying off your credit card debt first (focus on paying as much as you can on the highest-interest-rate debt and the minimums on all others) and then building up savings, but others say you should try to do both at once. “When you have high interest credit card debt, I recommend saving just enough to cover short-term emergencies (your washer or dryer breaks, your car needs new brakes) — that might be one or two thousand dollars,” says Doug Bellfy, a financial advisor at Synergy Financial Planning in Glastonbury, Conn. “Then attack the credit cards and only then go back and complete building your emergency fund.”

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Posted at 3:35 PM (CST) by & filed under Jim’s Mailbox.

Jim,

Here comes increased wage demands because regardless of the official government figures show, it cost more to live every day.

CIGA Wolfgang

Contracts for 5 million workers to expire in 2015
Union leaders say contract negotiations will have broad implications for the U.S. economy
February 24, 2015 7:30PM ET
by Ned Resnikoff @resnikoff

Millions of unionized workers in the U.S. will see their contracts expire over the next year, and labor leaders say that even non-union workers should hope those contract negotiations go well for the labor movement.

The heads of the unions affiliated with the labor federation AFL-CIO said in a Tuesday conference call with reporters that they expect new contract negotiations to have a noticeable effect on the broader economy, due to the issues up for negotiation and the number of people covered by those contracts.

The AFL-CIO, which includes unions representing more than 12 million workers, said it estimates that roughly 5 million union members work under labor contracts that are set to expire in 2015.

More…

Jim,

Nice to see Brussels admit that Germany depends on Russia for Energy.

Excerpt:

“Germany, for example, depends largely on Russian gas and is shutting its nuclear plants; Poland relies almost entirely on its own coal mines while Britain favors renewable and is investing heavily in new nuclear plants.”

EU unveils plans for historic single energy market

CIGA Perry

Jim,

Student loan defaults… we ain’t seen nothin yet!

CIGA Alex

The People Who Are Willing to Destroy Their Credit on Principle
The 15 Corinthian Colleges alumni who are refusing to pay back their student loans grabbed headlines, but are probably making things worse for themselves
by Natalie Kitroeff
From Bloomberg, Feb 25, 2015, 5:00:03 AM

Student loans, especially when they come from the government, are a lot like bedbugs: Once you have them, they’re almost impossible to get rid of. Unlike other debts, the government essentially doesn’t allow people to discharge student loans in bankruptcy, and there’s no statute of limitations on these loans, so if you don’t pay them back, they will stick around as long as you do.

On Monday, 15 former students announced they’d had enough of that particular nightmare and were going on a “debt strike” until the government canceled their student loans. The so-called Corinthian 15 took out federal loans to attend colleges run by Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit company that has agreed to close or sell all of its schools amid investigations into wrongdoing by multiple state attorneys general.

The campaign peels the cover off a long-simmering headache for the Department of Education, which has forgiven most of the private loans that Corinthian sold students, but has not granted relief to the people who owe the government for their time at the disgraced for-profit colleges.

More…

Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box officially launched: New video, DIY instructions, downloadable 3D parts and more

http://www.foodrising.org/

Dear Food Rising readers

This week I’ve unveiled the Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box, a revolutionary open source technology you can use to grow your own highly-nutritious food with almost no effort.

See the official launch video at this page.

The downloadable parts I’ve designed (if you want to 3D print these parts yourself) is available at this page.

Instructions for assembling your own automatic water level float valve (to use in any grow system) is found at this page.

We have achieved funding to donate 250 of these systems to schools across America! So far 140+ donation requests have been received. Systems ship out next week to children nationwide!

Pre-built systems are available now atwww.SupplySource.com

But I encourage you to make your own! Be part of the “maker” movement and find out how incredibly easy it is to get started growing your own food:

www.FoodRising.org

The Food Rising Mini-Farm Grow Box system is:

* 100% EMP-proof, using no circuit boards.
* 100% non-electric. Requires no electricity whatsoever.
* Key parts needed for the system can be easily scavenged almost anywhere (a paper clip, a pencil eraser, etc.).
* Eliminates weeding.
* Grows food in less than half the space of soil agriculture.
* Grows food at waist height; eliminating bending over.
* Uses about 1/20 the water of conventional soil agriculture.
* Produces highly nutritious food with higher mineral density.
* Can grow vegetables, fruits, herbs and even root vegetables (with an adaptation to be released later).

The key component of the system is the self-watering float valve, and to make this sytem easy to make yourself, I designed a 3D printable automatic water-leveling float valve designed around common parts that can be easily scavenged or acquired:

* A pencil eraser
* A paper clip
* A garden hose washer
* A common vitamin bottle

Using almost any 3D printer (and the correct filament, which is called “t-glase”), any person can print their own self-watering float valve and use it to grow their own food with very little effort and at very little cost.

Learn more at www.FoodRising.org

The Real Ukraine Aggressor: IMF Burying Bankrupt Country In Debt To Fight Civil War

http://davidstockmanscontracorner.com/the-real-ukraine-aggressor-imf-burying-bankrupt-country-in-debt-to-fight-civil-war/?utm_source=wysija&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Mailing+List+Mid+Day+Thursday

From Bloomberg News

Ukraine risks losing support from IMF member countries for a proposed $17.5 billion bailout if the conflict in the former Soviet republic continues to escalate, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The new four-year loan program is awaiting approval by the International Monetary Fund’s executive board, which represents the lender’s 188 member nations. Getting the panel’s consent will become more challenging if pro-Russia rebels continue their advance and seize territory such as the strategic port city of Mariupol, one of the people said.

A second person said that while a worsening conflict would complicate approval, IMF country representatives are likely to maintain their support unless an open conflict with Russia breaks out affecting the majority of Ukraine. Both people asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Any doubts over the IMF funds would increase pressure on Ukrainian allies including the U.S. and European Union to step up their own funding to prevent the country from becoming more vulnerable to Russian economic pressure and wider incursion by pro-Russia rebels. A worsening conflict would make it tougher for Ukraine to maintain economic commitments to the IMF and repay the money while deepening the fund’s involvement in the worst standoff in Europe since the end of the Cold War.

Plugging Ukraine’s financing needs and stabilizing its economy amid an armed conflict will be an “enormous challenge,” said William Taylor, the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine from 2006 to 2009 who is now acting executive vice president at the U.S. Institute of Peace. “If they’re going to exist as a nation, they’re going to have to be able to defend themselves.”

Board Support

Last year’s $17 billion, two-year bailout for Ukraine by the IMF had broad support from the fund’s board, overcoming concerns at the time about the security risks in the country, one of the people said.

There have been many violations of the cease-fire agreed on in the Belarusian capital of Minsk on Feb. 12, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday. Ukraine and its allies in the EU and the U.S. accuse Russia of backing the militants in the conflict that has killed more than 5,600 people, according to United Nations estimates. Russia denies military involvement.

Ukraine’s decision this week to tighten capital controls may also complicate the IMF plans. IMF staff members are revising their economic projections in light of the restrictions, according to one of the people familiar with the situation.

Exchange Rate

The Washington-based IMF said in announcing the program Feb. 12 that Ukraine agreed to maintain or implement certain policies, including a flexible exchange rate. The lender said in a statement earlier this week that while capital controls may be necessary, the fund expects them to be eventually lifted.

Ukrainian officials will have to explain to the IMF why the central bank tightened capital controls, as well as how the government plans to revive the economy in general, one of the people familiar with the matter said.

The IMF’s executive board will consider the aid package on March 11 and the loans will be front-loaded to help stabilize the economy quickly, the fund said in an e-mailed statement Wednesday without elaborating on how the conflict will influence the board’s decision. The fund hasn’t given any indication that members will reject the program.

The IMF also said it’s ready to assist Ukraine in designing measures to address imbalances in the foreign-exchange market.

No Condition

Gerry Rice, an IMF spokesman, said last week that the proposed aid for Ukraine isn’t conditioned on an end to the fighting. “The conflict is something that we are concerned about and monitor, but the new program makes very conservative assumptions in its baseline scenario for 2015 to buffer a further impact of the ongoing conflict in the east,” he told reporters.

The intensifying conflict has shattered the fund’s economic projections. In April, the IMF forecast the Ukrainian economy would grow 2 percent this year after shrinking 5 percent in 2014. By September, the fund had cut its growth forecast to 1 percent this year, while assuming the conflict would subside “in the coming months.”

The Ukrainian economy ended up shrinking as much as 7.5 percent in 2014 as the conflict took a “significant toll on the industrial base and exports,” undermining confidence and putting pressure on the financial system, the IMF said this month. The economy will probably contract 5.5 percent this year, Finance Minister Natalie Jaresko said Feb. 16.

Reserves Plunge

Ukraine’s gold and foreign-currency reserves plunged to $6.4 billion in January, the lowest since 2004, from $17.8 billion a year earlier, according to central bank figures.

“The situation is really serious and if there is any foreign donor help, it should be coming in a matter of weeks, not months,” said Ondrej Schneider, senior economist at the Institute of International Finance in Washington and a former adviser to the Czech government. “It’s a matter of weeks before they run out of reserves.”

Jaresko said Wednesday that the government is trying to get the parliament to approve laws to fulfill IMF requirements ahead of the fund’s March 11 decision. The first part of the IMF loan will be disbursed within several days after approval, Jaresko said at a briefing in Kiev.

IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said earlier this month that the aid program is subject to “high risks,” with the main one being “geopolitical developments that may affect market and investor confidence.”

The IMF-led program totals $40 billion when including bilateral deals with nations as well as about $15 billion in savings expected from negotiations the country is pursuing with bond investors. Achieving that level of savings from a bond restructuring is probably too optimistic, Schneider said.

The IMF has stalled payouts under the existing funding plan as the nation held presidential elections in October, lawmakers delayed the passage of this year’s budget and the parties negotiated the revised

 

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-02-25/ukraine-said-to-risk-losing-imf-support-for-aid-if-war-escalates