IN THE NEWS......
"Sad will be the day when the American people forget their traditions and their history, and no longer remember that the country they love, the institutions they cherish, and the freedom they hope to preserve, were born from the throes of armed resistance to tyranny, and nursed in the rugged arms of fearless men."
Roger Sherman, one of the five committee members who drafted and signed the Declaration of Independence
Britain on Thursday said new powers to punish rigging of Libor interest rates with criminal sanctions should be extended for seven major benchmarks, drawing in oil, gold and currency markets.
"The government has today launched a consultation on extending the new legislation the government put in place to regulate Libor to cover further benchmarks in the foreign exchange, fixed income and commodity markets," said a statement from the Treasury.
The government said it wished to extend the legislation to the London Gold Fixing and the LMBA Silver Price, which determine the price of gold and silver in the London market.
Also targeted is the ICE Brent futures contract, "which acts as the crude oil futures market's principal financial benchmark", the Treasury said.
The government wants to extend the legislation to cover also the WM/Reuters 4pm London Fix, or "dominant global foreign exchange benchmark" and the ISDAFix, described as the "principal global benchmark for swap rates and spreads for interest rate swap transactions".
The two other markets mentioned are the Sterling Overnight Index Average (SONIA) and the Repurchase Overnight Index Average (RONIA), which both serve as reference rates for overnight index swaps.
"Ensuring that the key rates that underpin financial markets are robust, and that anyone who seeks to manipulate them is subject to the full force of the law is vital," Economic Secretary to the Treasury Andrea Leadsom said in the statement.
"That's why the government is determined to deal with abuses, tackle the unacceptable behaviour of the few and ensure that markets are fair for the many who depend on them."
The government, working alongside the Bank of England and Britain's financial regulators, said it intends to have the new regime for the designated benchmarks in place by the end of the year.
Britain had announced in June its intention to punish the manipulation of key financial benchmarks with criminal sanctions. On Thursday it spelled out which markets would be targeted.
The proposals appear as a number of banks worldwide are being probed over potential rigging of the foreign exchange market. This comes meanwhile after some traders have been found guilty of manipulating the inter-bank Libor interest rate. Britain had already threatened prison for those found guilty of rigging Libor.
The Libor scandal erupted two years ago when British bank Barclays was fined £290 million ($473 million, 371 million euros) by British and US regulators for attempted manipulation of Libor and Euribor interbank rates between 2005 and 2009. Euribor is the eurozone equivalent of Libor.
The London Interbank Offered Rate, or Libor, is a flagship instrument used all over the world, affecting what banks, businesses and individuals pay to borrow money.
Other banks have meanwhile faced far bigger fines than Barclays over Libor, notably Swiss lender UBS which was ordered to pay a penalty of $1.5 billion.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-britain-eyes-libor-abuse-powers-for-oil-gold-markets-2014-9#ixzz3ES0cCVJ0
EU proposes deal to ensure Ukraine gets winter gas supplies from Russia, pays back debts
BERLIN (AP) - Ukraine would repay $3.1 billion in debts to Russia in exchange for guaranteed gas deliveries through the harsh winter months under a proposal unveiled Friday after talks brokered by the European Union.
The proposed deal, which would expire next spring, is aimed at averting a supply crisis in Ukraine and the EU over the winter but wouldn't resolve a deeper dispute over what price Kiev should pay for past and future deliveries.
An arbitration court in Stockholm is expected to rule only next year on that. "Today, we worked out a sound draft for a winter package, and I am confident that this draft can win the approval of all those involved in Moscow and Kiev," EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said.
He said there is a good chance of the deal being signed next week, when he plans to get the two countries' energy ministers and top gas executives back together in Berlin. Those officials will now consult with governments in Kiev and Moscow.
(I am glad the EU is patting themselves on the back for the commitment to pay Russia for the back payments so the people have heat this winter....However....as they think they have the solution and Russia will go along they still have to consult with Kiev and Moscow. Will Putin accept Al?
BOSTON (AP) - Many Massachusetts households are going to see their electric bills shoot up 37 percent this winter,(there and everywhere will see rate increases) a rate increase will put additional strain on low-income families. State regulators approved the increase for National Grid household customers that would mean an average of $33 per month more for the typical residential customer and would push a typical monthly bill higher than $150.
Large-business customers will see even higher increases. National Grid has almost 1.3 million residential and business electric customers in Massachusetts. The new rates take effect in November.
"This is pretty bad, and it's going to really have a bearing on a lot of Massachusetts households' abilities to just make ends meet this winter," John Howat, senior energy analyst at the National Consumer Law Center in Boston, told The Boston Globe.
History shows higher interest rates don't always upend stocks
(this is what they want you to think but lets not forget the trillions of dollars in debt of this country....a bankrupt country...you can not compare today with yesteryear except fiat currencies always....and I mean always collapse.
NEW YORK (AP) - It's no surprise that the prospect of a Federal Reserve rate hike worries stock investors. The Fed's unprecedented economic stimulus has in large part driven a surge in stock prices since 2009. The central bank has bought trillions of dollars of bonds and kept short-term interest rates close to zero. That's allowed businesses and consumers to refinance their debt at lower rates, freeing up cash to spend. But if history is a guide, investors have nothing to fear. In the nine instances since 1955 that the Fed has started raising rates after a recession, the Standard & Poor's 500 index has risen by an average of 58 percent between the first hike and the peak of the market, according to LPL Financial, an independent broker-dealer based in Boston. The Fed is set to end its bond purchases in October and most economists expect the first short-term rate hike by mid-2015.
Late Thursday afternoon, the Obama Administration quietly announced a policy change that will allow illegal aliens to join the military.
The change to an existing policy, known as the Military Accessions in the National Interest (MAVNI) program, will allow up to 1,500 illegal aliens who qualified for deferred action under Pres. Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) amnesty to enlist if the illegal alien possesses high-demand skills, rare foreign language expertise, or specialized health care training.
Under existing law, illegal aliens are forbidden from joining the military, however, the Secretary of Defense does have some discretion if it is "vital to the national interest". But in order to be eligible for MAVNI, illegal aliens have to pass a background check, and the woman who create MAVNI said back in May that DACA recipients would in all likelihood fail the background check. We fully expect the Administration to find a way around it.
WHILE AMERICANS ARE TURNED DOWN
Sadly, Pres. Obama's announcement comes at a time when the military is rejecting Americans for enlistment more than ever before. A report published by the Kansas City Star earlier this year said that as many as 80% of Americans trying to enlist are ultimately rejected. Furthermore, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced plans earlier this year to draw down the overall number of troops while the military has been simultaneously forcing current officers out of service.
THE THIRD GREAT WAVE OF IMMIGRATION
A new report from the Center for Immigration Studies examines new data from the Census Bureau's latest release of its American Community Survey and finds that the U.S. immigration population reached 41.3 million in 2013. That's the highest level in our nation's history, and the proportion of the foreign-born population to the country's overall population is at its highest level since the Second Great Wave of the late-1800s and early-1900s.
Just 25 years ago, the share of the immigrant population was just 7.9%, but it has spiked to its current share of 13.1% more than doubling since 1980.
At the height of the Second Great Wave (1905-14), the average annual flow of legal immigrants into the United States was 1.01 million per year. But since 2001, the annual flow has reached 1.05 million. At all other times in our nation's history since the end of the Civil War, annual flows averaged 400,000 per year.
What's fascinating is that many political and business leaders alike think we need to further increase legal immigration and guest-worker programs even though these levels are at all-time highs. A report from the center for immigration studies found that all net job growth since 2000 has gone to newly-arrived immigrants while the number of native-born Americans holding jobs dropped by 127,000 over the same period.
Last week, House Speaker John Boehner told the American Enterprise Institute that we need to pass "comprehensive immigration reform" to grow the economy. And earlier this month, Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg was pushing for more immigration while hanging out with the world's richest businessman, Carlos Slim. The "immigration reform" that both Boehner and Zuckerberg support would double the current annual flow of legal immigrants, adding more competition to the job market for unemployed Americans and legal immigrants and driving down wages.
A report this week from fivethirtyeight.com included data showing that the median household income in the United States has become stagnate over the last 15 years, and today's inflation-adjusted median household income is at the same level it was at the end of the Reagan Administration after growing steadily for decades. Coincidently, that was the time Congress granted amnesty to 3-4 million illegal aliens and increased legal immigration to its current levels.
Abandoned trailer containing thousands of pounds of rotten chicken towed to Montana landfill
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - An abandoned trailer containing 37,000 pounds of rotten chicken was towed to a landfill Friday after sitting at a western Montana truck stop for possibly a month or longer, and its contents were dumped in a freshly dug pit. Authorities say a truck driver abandoned the trailer after his employer, Dixie River Freight Inc., refused his demands for more money to deliver its then-frozen cargo. He left the chicken worth $80,000 to thaw and then rot when the fuel for the trailer's refrigeration unit ran out. The Nampa, Idaho-based trucking company reported it missing Aug. 27. The trailer was discovered this week at the Flying J Truck Stop west of Missoula, dripping rancid juices onto the concrete and attracting flies. Nampa police Sgt. Joe Ramirez said it might have been there for more than a month.
Orders for durable U.S. goods (goods, as household appliances, machinery, or sports equipment, that are not consumed or destroyed in use and can be used for a period of time, usually three or more years) .plunged by a record 18.2% in August after a record 22.5% gain in July, mainly because of up-and-down demand for airplanes.
Orders rose by 0.7% if the volatile transportation sector is stripped out and business investment also increased, government data showed, a sign that companies continue to spend at a moderate pace.
Economists surveyed by MarketWatch had expected orders to fall by a seasonally adjusted 17.3%.
Orders for core capital goods - a broader measure of business investment - climbed by 0.6% in August, the Commerce Department said Thursday. Shipments of core capital goods, a category used to calculate quarterly economic growth, edged up by 0.1% and rose for the fourth straight month.
How does that happen when yesterday the report for sales of new single-family homes in the U.S. rose sharply in August, reaching the highest level in more than six years - quite a relief from the unexpected decline last month.
Data released by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Sep 25 showed that new home sales increased 18% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 504,000
The sharp increase in August suggests that consumer demand is improving. The number also improved 33% from the year-ago quarter. (doesn't seem to be with the drop of durable goods)
New homes inventory for sale was 203,000 units in September. This is a 4.8-month supply at the current sales pace - the slowest so far this year.
Per data released on Sep 17, U.S. Homebuilder Confidence hit a 9-year high in the month, clearly indicating that builders are upbeat about their prospects for future sales. Homebuilders' confidence, as indicated by the National Association of Home Builders (:NAHB)/Wells Fargo housing market index rose 4 points to 59 in September - the highest since Nov 2005 and the 4th consecutive monthly gain for the index.
Sale of existing homes fell 1.8% in August, after four consecutive months of gains, per the Sep 22 data release.
A good day ....Resignation of Eric Holder
With Eric Holder's announcement Thursday that he's stepping down as attorney general, only two original Cabinet members remain for President Obama's final White House years. (let us not forget Iranian-born Communist sympathizer Valerie Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to the President of the United States and Assistant to the President for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration.)
Holder apparently decided to leave over Labor Day, .
Holder is the fourth-longest serving attorney general ever - third-longest if he stays into December.
In the Bush administration, only Labor Secretary Elaine Chao stayed for both terms.
President Bill Clinton retained four: Attorney General Janet Reno (after a slightly delayed start); Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt; Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala; and Education Secretary Richard Riley were there from 1993-2001.
Now if we can get rid of the rest starting with Reid, Pelosi, Feinstein, Boxer and Schummer and the list goes on.
We only go after evil dictators that stand in the way of our oil and gas interests? Saudi Arabia and it's monarchy is about as evil as you get ( along with the Israeli government) but why are they our BFF? This is and always has been about deposing Assad so we can run a Qatar pipeline through Syria once Assad is out of the way.
Watch for the next false flag when we claim Assad shoots down one of our planes or drones and now we have to take him out! So many times before as in "remember the Maine", the Lusitania, Gulf of Tonkin in Vietnam, OBL in Afghanistan, Yellow Cake in Iraq and so many other false flags. If we want real peace, arrest the Banksters and leaders of the MIC along with wackos like John McCain, John Kerry etc.
USDA rolls out details of new farm payment programs based more on farmer risk
By DAVID PITT
(AP:DES MOINES, Iowa) DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says farmers can begin signing up for new safety net programs next week established in the 2014 farm bill that replace the much-criticized direct payments with government payouts based on risks farmers face.
Vilsack announced the roll-out of the programs on Thursday, and said farmers can sign up as soon as Sept. 29.
The programs can help farmers protect themselves against price drops and from lower revenue in poor crop years.
Payouts this year could be significant since anticipated record corn and soybean harvests have sent commodity prices plummeting. If farmers lose money in the harvest, the programs will enable them to collect significant government payments.
Vilsack expects farmers will take several months to research their options, talk with advisers and use online calculators to determine their best choices.
The farm bill, signed into law in February, provided $6 million to set up local meetings and for the design of online tools and creation of educational materials for farmers to help them choose which program would be best.
Instead of direct payments, farmers of major row crops - mostly corn, soybeans, wheat and rice - can choose between subsidies that pay out when revenue drops or when prices drop. Cotton and dairy supports were overhauled to similarly pay out when farmers have losses.
US judge orders Texas brothers to give up 'staggering' $187M for brazen fraud spanning years
NEW YORK (AP) - A federal judge in New York has ordered a Texas businessman and the estate of his brother to surrender more than $187 million after a jury found that they engaged in a massive fraud to evade taxes. Judge Shira Scheindlin on Thursday ordered Sam Wyly and the estate of his brother Charles to give up the money. She said the final amount including prejudgment interest could reach $400 million. The judge said she knew the amount would be "staggering" and among the largest ever awarded against individuals, but it was necessary nonetheless. A jury earlier this year found that the brothers evaded taxes from 1992 to 2002 on more than $500 million earned through offshore trusts set up to dodge taxes. Attorneys in the case did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Navajo to get $554 million in settlement with US over mismanagement; largest deal of its kind
(AP:FLAGSTAFF, Ariz.) FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - The Navajo Nation is poised to receive $554 million from the federal government over mismanagement of tribal resources in the largest settlement of its kind for an American Indian tribe.
Much of the land on the 27,000-square-mile reservation has been leased for things like farming, grazing, oil and gas development, mining and housing.
The leases once were largely overseen by the government, which mismanaged the revenue and failed to properly invest and account for it, according to the tribe.
The Navajo Nation originally sought $900 million when the lawsuit was filed in 2006."We had a strong claim," said Navajo Nation Council Delegate Lorenzo Curle for October.
"Tribes across the country have filed more than 100 breach-of-trust cases against the U.S. government. The Navajo Nation settlement is the largest, exceeding the next highest amount by $170 million, Sandler said. The Interior Department said it is working to resolve cases with other tribes without going to trial. Since April 2012, the federal government has resolved about 80 cases, totaling $2.5 billion.
Study: One in Ten Adults in U.S. Not Proficient in English
By Andrew Johnson
The number of working-age adults in the United States with limited proficiency in English has more than doubled since 1980, according to a new Brookings Institution study. Immigrants proficient in English, the study notes, tend to earn substantially higher incomes.
"English proficiency is a strong predictor of economic standing among immigrants, regardless of the amount of education they have attained, and it is associated with the greater academic and economic success of the workers' children," the study found.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the rise comes out to nearly 1 in 10 adults who lack sufficient English skills, two and a half times more than three decades ago. Two-thirds of those lacking proficiency are Spanish speakers.
In large cities, the numbers are even higher. For example, in Los Angeles and Miami, the Journal reports almost 25 percent of adults lack proficient English. The study also finds that cities such as Indianapolis have witnessed a near 100 percent increase in limited-English speakers since 2000.