Nov 072010

Uh oh — Found on Natural News (be sure to read this article in its entirety too. You’ve been warned about Natural News lies before):

NIA projects that at the average U.S. grocery store it will soon cost $11.43 for one ear of corn, $23.05 for a 24 oz loaf of wheat bread, $62.21 for a 32 oz package of Domino Granulated Sugar, $24.31 for a 32 fl oz container of soy milk, $77.71 for a 11.30 oz container of Folgers Classic Roast Coffee, $45.71 for a 64 fl oz container of Minute Maid Orange Juice, and $15.50 for a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate 1.55 oz candy bar. NIA also projects that by the end of this decade, a plain white men’s cotton t-shirt at Wal-Mart will cost $55.57.

NIA Projects Future U.S. Food Price Increases

The report highlights how despite cotton rising by 54%, corn rising by 29%, soybeans rising by 22%, orange juice rising by 17%, and sugar rising by 51% during the months of September and October alone, these huge commodity price increases have yet to make their way into America’s grocery stores because corporations have been reluctant to pass these price increases along to the consumer. In today’s dismal economy, no retailer wants to be the first to dramatically raise food prices. However, NIA expects all retailers to soon substantially raise food prices at the same time, which will ensure that this Holiday shopping season will be the worst in recorded American history.

That storm we’ve been predicting…. it’s here.

And for whatever it’s worth – a real “I told you so” moment if there ever was one, I just found this in the NIA Report (emphasis is mine):

NIA believes the only asset class that has the potential to rise in value by more than gold and silver this decade is agricultural commodities (food). Inflation gravitates most towards goods that Americans need to live and survive. There is nothing that Americans need more to live and survive than foodNIA Projects Future Food Prices (pdf file).

I’ve got about two hundred ounces of silver I’m going to dump pretty soon I think.  It’s useless to me as a practical and essential item.  I’ve long taken the position that gold and silver are NOT the ‘investments’ people have been taught to believe and that food prices have outpaced their increase.  I could (and did) invest in food stores, which have appreciated far faster then gold or silver did even in this market.  But the report above makes this notion more concrete then ever.

Nobody will take your silver or your gold for food (let this be a reminder).  There are only a limited number of places where you can actually exchange gold and silver for dollars (or anything actually) — even today.  A few trade shows have dealers that will let you trade your gold for guns or a few other items, but that’s about it.  Everybody still only accepts dollars, a situation that I have long expected to last nearly indefinitely.  Even ‘inflated dollars’ until such time as a wheel-barrow full is what it takes to buy a loaf of bread.  But the moral of the story remains the same as I have always said: invest in yourself and your future and what you NEED.

Oh, in case you didn’t know already — in the Argentinian collapse, gold and silver bullion traded at “junk prices”, the same as junk jewelery, effectively deflating it’s alleged “stored value” by a ridiculous amount.  Nobody in a collapse situation actually trades bullion at the market values, and this is because (after you cut through all the b.s.) this is a commodity nobody actually needs.  The trader (dealer) is going to have to convince somebody else to buy it or trade for it, and in a collapsed economy — what do you think people are really going to need?

Privately, I’ve been having long conversations with a few people on this topic, and I think that a lot of people are being badly misled by all the hypsters and hucksters out there.  But hey, it’s your life, your money and your future, so you decide for yourself.

Nov 072010

From Vaughn’s links:

Soon, We’ll All Be $1.8 Trillion ‘Richer’! (Nov. 5, 2010 – Rick’s Picks)

A CNBC talking head, for one, averred that if the Fed buys $600B of U.S. debt, it will produce a “wealth effect” three times as large, or $1.8Tr. We could digress by rolling on the ground, convulsed with laughter, upon hearing that this gargantuan Ponzi scheme is evidently thought by some to create “wealth.” 

QE2 Is Fooling You (Nov. 5, 2010 – The Automatic Earth)

Let’s start off by repeating once again what I still don’t think everyone acknowledges: in essence, quantitative easing is a measure that is entirely experimental at best.

QE2 is here, despite the gigantic failures and behemoth losses of its predecessors, because QE works like a Mother Mary statue in tears’ bleeding charm. Of course these guys all know that no proof of a QE ever reviving an economy exists. But they can pretend it does, and so they do: $900 billion, even for them, is real money.

Wall Street banks get another injection of short term breathing space. That’s all. And what was that last number on insider selling vs buying again? 3000 to 1?! Look, these people can’t sell all their hygienic paper all at once, there’s silly market regulations that prevent it, they need a time window to do it.

MUST READ – Quantitative Easing: Elixir Or Posioning? (Nov. 6, 2010 – Aletho News/Stephen Lendman)

In simple terms, it’s monetary policy to increase the money supply ““ literally creating it out of thin air. Wikipedia calls it a central bank policy “to increase the supply of money by increasing excess reserves of the banking system. This policy is usually invoked when the normal methods to control the money supply have failed.” Or have been exhausted in cases where interest rates are near zero, today’s situation in America, Japan and elsewhere.

Moreover, QE II is a zero sum game. It can only work at the expense of other economies. That’s why it’s “financial aggression,” destroying global currency stability. It also harms America, the greater economy sacrificed for the FIRE sector, especially Wall Street, destroying countries and human beings for profit.

Under today’s privately-run Fed and predatory banking system, Wall Street runs America, wrecking it for profit, QE its latest scheme. What could be used productively is a weapon of mass destruction. As a result, harder than ever hard times are coming, what only civil action can prevent, including demanding that government control its own money, what the Constitution’s Article 1, Section 8 mandates.

That would happen only if people got off their duffs, turned off the ( HPDD) hypnotic propaganda delivering device (er, TV), read relevant material and didn’t care about who was doing whatever that earned them a stay in celebrity rehab.  Instead, this is what disgusts people and the ‘news’ reports.  While asinine on the part of the participants, it is a sideshow and doesn’t affect your daily life, where globalization and the control and crashing of economies does.

How Ben Bernanke Sentenced The Poorest 20% Of The Population To A Cold, Hungry Winter (Nov. 5, 2010 – Zero Hedge)

The following chart prepared recently by JPMorgan demonstrates something rather scary, and makes it all too clear how the Chairman’s plan to “assist” the US population via some imaginary “wealth effect” due to QE2, is about to backfire. As is now becoming very evident, the prices of energy and food products are about to surge, and in many cases have already done so, but courtesy of some clever gimmicks (Wal Mart selling what was formerly 39 oz of coffee as a 33.9 oz product for example) the end consumers haven’t quite felt it yet. They will soon.

No Exit (Nov. 5, 2010 – King World News)

The Fed has finally embarked on QE2, the best publiciced journey since the flight of Balloon Boy to which quantitative easing might well be compared.  Of course, quantitative easing, or QE, is just a euphemism for what is really going on.  We’ll skip the Orwellian Newspeak of QE and stick to the Oldspeak – printing money.

Which is a just another form of tax and increases the rate of inflation.  Becuase the Federal Reserve is a private company owned by both foreign and domestic banks, each dollar printed, and circulated into the US economy, already has interest attached to it, even before it is spent.  There is no way out of this revolving debt unless the Federal Reserve is abolished.  And what a catchy name – ‘Federal Reserve’.  It is about as ‘federal’ as Federal Express.

How ironic that the banksters are meeting this weekend at Jekyll Island in Georgia to celebrate 100 years of pillaging and plunder.  If you’re so inclined, you can catch panel discussions here.

A Loaf Of Bread May Soon Cost $23 Due To Skyrocketing Food Price Inflation (Nov. 6, 2010 – Natural News)

Within a decade, a loaf of wheat bread may cost $23 in a grocery store in the United States, and a 32-oz package of sugar might run $62. A 64-oz container of Minute Maid Orange Juice, meanwhile, could set you back $45.71. This is all according to a new report released Friday by the National Inflation Association which warns consumers about the coming wave of food price inflation that’s about to strike the western world.

Treasury Yields Tumble to Records on Fed’s Plan to Purchase $600 Billion (Nov. 6, 2010 – Bloomberg)

Treasury two- and five-year note yieldsdropped to records after the Federal Reserve said it would buy an additional $600 billion of U.S. debt to keep borrowing costs low and sustain the economic recovery.

To sustain WHAT ‘economic recovery’?!  The only ‘economic recovery’ is happening for large financial institutions, and definitely not for the People.  Bernanke defends bond purchases in this other Bloomberg article dated Nov. 6th.  Here is a 1:22 video on Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke-isms, er, lies, put out by Karl Denninger of Market Ticker.

US Dollar Printing Is Huge Risk – China Central Bank Adviser (Nov. 4, 2010 – Reuters)

“As long as the world exercises no restraint in issuing global currencies such as the dollar — and this is not easy — then the occurrence of another crisis is inevitable, as quite a few wise Westerners lament,” he said.

China Tees Up G20 Showdown With US (Nov. 5, 2010 – Financial Times)

Officials from China, Germany and South Africa on Friday added their voices to a chorus of complaint that the Fed’s return to so-called quantitative easing would create instability and worsen imbalances by triggering surges of capital into other currencies.

US Banks Failing At Fastest Pace In 2 Decades (Nov. 6, 2010 – Huffington Post)

Regulators shut down four more banks Friday, bringing the 2010 total to 143, topping the 140 shuttered last year and the most in a year since the savings-and-loan crisis two decades ago.

Important to note:

The growing bank failures have sapped billions of dollars out of the FDIC’s deposit insurance fund. It fell into the red last year, and its deficit stood at $15.2 billion as of June 30.
The FDIC expects the cost of resolving failed banks to total around $52 billion from 2010 through 2014.

Fannie Mae asks for $2.5B in new US aid (Nov. 6, 2010 – AP)

Government-controlled mortgage buyer Fannie Mae is asking for $2.5 billion in additional federal aid after posting a narrower loss in the third quarter.

The government rescued Washington-based Fannie Mae and sibling company Freddie Mac about two years ago and it estimates that will cost taxpayers up to $259 billion.

$259 billion more.  From?  Have the execs at Fannie NOT seen the size of the current US deficit?

Obama continues Washington’s aggressive courting of India (Nov. 6, 2010 – WSWS)

US President Barack Obama begins a three day visit to India today, kicking off a ten day, four nation Asian tour. In addition to India, Obama will visit Indonesia, then South Korea, where he will attend the G-20 heads of government meeting, and finally Japan.

The Indian elite is angered and petrified by US efforts to export its crisis through protectionist measures, including threats to limit IT and business-processing outsourcing, and by driving down the value of the US dollar. “Even the heads of major Indian corporations who had long been strong boosters of a robust Indo-US relationship are now openly asking if the United States remains genuinely committed to free trade or if it merely mouths the principle as a slogan of convenience,” reports Sumit Ganguly, a US-based academic who has long promoted closer ties between Washington and New Delhi.

Obama calls India creator, not poacher, of US jobs (Nov. 6, 2010 – AP)

Fresh off a political trouncing at home, Obama was determined to show tangible, economic results on his long Asia trip, and that was apparent from almost the moment he set foot on a steamy afternoon in the world’s largest democracy. By the end of the first of his three days in India, he was promoting $10 billion in trade deals“” completed in time for his visit “” that the White House says will create about 54,000 jobs at home. That’s a modest gain compared with the extent of the enduring jobless crisis in the United States. Economists say it would require on the level of 300,000 new jobs a month to put a real dent in an unemployment rate stuck near 10 percent.

More on the number-of-jobs-required  in this post over at Zero Hedge.  And while jobless numbers continue to rise, the Obummers are reportedly spending taxpayer dollars like fiends on their trek through Asia.

Harley-Davidson To Build Bikes In India (Nov. 4, 2010 – CNN)

Harley-Davidson, the iconic American motorcycle brand with a cult-like following, has announced it has chosen to build its second assembly plant ever outside the United States in India.

“What we are doing is made in USA, assembled in India, which will have a positive job effect back home which is why we are driving this investment as quickly as we are,” Anoop Prakash managing director for Harley Davidson India told CNN.

I’ll bet that the price of those pieces of junk won’t drop either!  This is just another reason for Americans to boycott so-called ‘American’ vehicles.

Contradiction Meet Obama; Obama, Contradiction – Obama calls for compromise, won’t budge on tax cuts (Nov. 6, 2010 – The Hill)

Or should that be Hypocrite?  Anyway….

…he (Obama) signaled no willingness to bend on the first challenge likely to face him from a Republican House as he advocated the permanent extension of Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year despite the GOP’s resolve to extend the tax cuts for all income brackets.  In his weekly address Saturday, Obama said that Democrats and Republicans not only agree on middle-class tax cuts but the need to rein in spending, and used this to try to drive his position on the tax cuts.  “At a time when we are going to ask folks across the board to make such difficult sacrifices, I don’t see how we can afford to borrow an additional $700 billion from other countries to make all the Bush tax cuts permanent, even for the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans,” the president said. “We’d be digging ourselves into an even deeper fiscal hole and passing the burden on to our children.”

Said the guy who is spending a boat-load on his trip in Asia over the next few days, and trillions on the continuation of illegal and immoral wars, and who is also still allowing handouts to banksters and Wall Street.

US Jobs Report Misleading (Nov. 6, 2010 – Revolutionary Politics/RT, video, 5:18)

The Labor Department released a better than expected October jobs report today but is it really good news? Unemployment is at its highest in over two decades and the housing market is displaying signs that it could dip into another sub-prime crisis. All this coming as the Federal Reserve has injected hundreds of billions into a US economy that is falling on its face.

Department Of Labor Comes Begging: Hilda Solis Asks For Extension Of Emergency Unemployment Compensation Program (Nov. 5, 2010 – Zero Hedge)

In an email just sent out by the Derpatment of Labor, Hilda Solia has officially requested an extension of the EUC program which is expiring in November and which will leave 2 million unemployed Americans without insurance benefits after November (and 6 million by the end of next year). Obviously this plea for fiscal heroin will be granted: how else can the country that has now become a utopian experiment in socialist-fascist fusion, supposed to delude the world that 42 million Americans on food stamps are actually not going to benefit from Ben Bernake’s actions?

Foreclosure Gate Could Force Bank Nationalization (Nov. 5, 2010 – Truthout)

For two years, politicians have danced around the nationalization issue, but ForeclosureGate may be the last straw. The megabanks are too big to fail, but they aren’t too big to reorganize as federal institutions serving the public interest.

May be a viable option – EXCEPT – for that part about letting the US Federal Government run them.  I mean, look at how they screwed up the US economy.  Not exactly a bright spot on the ol’ resume, is it?

Fed Chairman Clears The Waters: “No Jobs, No New Housing – But The Stock Market Is Up” (Nov. 6, 2010 – Before It’s News)

(well at six in the morning, C-Span, Sat., Nov. 6, Bernanke cleared the waters for those of us awake at that time)