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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Dollar Is Safest Place For Your Money


Relax, gold buyers and others trying to buy safety. Stock markets are about to hit their lows and offer you real bargains. Obama is not nuts. He undestands that Bush's spending boom has to end. He has a natural air of authority, a good brain and a common sense approach to matters economic.

Reuters yesterday 23rd February 2009 -

Underlining the severity of U.S. debt problems, President Barack Obama pledged on Monday to cut the ballooning budget deficit in half over the next four years.

See whole report HERE

The panic is not over, but things are going to be A.O.K. Take it easy. Hillary Clinton has confirmed with China that a weak dollar is in no one's interests. China will broaden her investment strategy but still underwrite American government borrowing.

Forex news also shows that confidence in the US Administration is growing -

Reuters again Monday 2rd February 2009 -

TOKYO (Reuters) - The dollar steadied on Tuesday, hovering near a three-month high against the yen on expectations the U.S. government will stay more proactive than other nations in fighting the financial crisis.

The U.S. Treasury Department, Federal Reserve and three other federal agencies jointly said on Monday that they will initiate a program on Wednesday to assess large U.S. banks' capital needs and determine whether a bigger buffer is warranted.

"Players in the forex market believe the U.S. government is taking very aggressive steps to tackle bank problems," said Hideki Amikura, deputy general manager of forex trading at Nomura Trust and Banking. "That is helping the dollar."

The dollar also received a boost on Monday after the Wall Street Journal reported the government could take a stake of up to 40 percent in Citigroup by converting preferred stock into common shares.


And yet all financial advisers are telling people to beware of the dollar and buy gold, a highly volatile and risky investment. They themselves will not be buying gold. They are shorting it as the commitments of traders statistics show, and they are shorting stocks on markets. The last thing they want is the investing public stopping buying gold as they intend to make a killing from the coming fall, and they want to clean up on the falling shares as small savers panic and rush for the exit.

UPDATE - Head Gold Bug Jon Nadler of Kitco in Canada runs to the defence of the Gold ETFs today as follows -

Today's critic's prize goes to the gold ETF, which now holds $30 billion in gold assets. Oscar-worthy, that milestone. Some critics (evidently former Rotten Tomatoes writers) charge that there is no gold behind the fund's facade. And, boy, are they ever wrong. Then again, they missed "The Wrestler" too. The award for 'best product comeback' goes to the S.A. Krugerrand - which fell into an also-ran orphaned state following the Reagan-era embargo on imports. From has been, to have-to-have! It's the Mickey Rourke comeback of the bullion coin market! The Rand Refinery has upped its blanking output to 20,000 weekly in the wake of (largely European) demand.

Fine words Jon, but do you offer any evidence or argument? Only 'boy are they ever wrong'!!!!!

As Jon knows not even the ETF's auditors are permitted to know if there is any gold in stock, to check its fineness, or even see it!!!! Such certainty is misplaced. But Jon's keen to keep the gold panic pot boiling as long as he can. His business bonuses depend on it.

But the gold fall is already getting started. Sell. Sell. Sell.

Today's chart showing the gold game is up......



Latest price $972 after touching $968!!! A $25 nearly straight fall. The sellers will take some stopping now.

FINALLY - Obama enjoys broad popular support. See NY Times HERE

Monday, February 23, 2009

Vaclav Klaus Jeered In EU Parliament

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Europe's greatest living democrat tells it like it is to Europe's MEPS, and they don't like it one bit!!! This speech is the most important one made anywhere in the world this year. Europe could still be saved from bureaucratic Soviet-style oblivion, but only if Klaus and a tiny few number of judges in Germany succeed in stopping the process.

The world without a democratic Europe will be a far more dangerous place. Klaus has the wisdom to know it and the strength to say so. Out of all Europe's politicians he is almost alone in being able and willing to do that. I hope that people in the future look back and listen to this speech. If Europe goes into a dark age, people need to know that good people were trying to stop it from happening, and the human spirit will thereby more easily survive the coming concentration of total power into too few, too selfish and too greedy hands.

See how MEPs become millionaires in just one Parliament HERE.

The reaction of MEPS is described by Bruno Waterfield in The Daily Telelgraph In MEPs Boo Call For Free Speech And EU Debate

EXTRACT

Many Euro-MPs booed or walked out as the Czech president appealed for a real debate over the meaning of Europe and the European Union.

"The most important task is to make sure that debate over problems is not silenced as an attack on the very idea of European integration. We have always believed that being allowed to discuss such serious issues, being heard, defending everyone's right to present a different that "the only correct opinion - no matter how much may disagree with it - is at the very core of democracy," he said.

"Since there is no European demos - and no European nation - this defect can not be solved by strengthening the role of the European Parliament."

Shocking stuff here in conformist Brussels, home to the mindless MEP.

Avril Doyle, a particularly fine example of Euro-MP mindset attacked President Klaus, her voice trembling, for trying to influence a second Irish referendum (update I now hear from parliament staff that she was objecting to leaflets not the speech) .

Debate is a "recipe for chaos in our corridors", she screeched.

"Please ensure that the bureau (the parliament's administration) does not allow it to happen again."

See Avril Doyle blubbering against free speech in the video below, after hearing Vaclav Klaus' speech.



Ireland, are you proud?

UPDATE - One character enjoyed the Vaclav Klaus show immensely, my old mate who got me into a pile of trouble in my UKIP days in 2001! All in the best of causes, of course. Hear Nigel Farage MEP -

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Hyperinflation And Phantom Finance


The world is going mad. The gold price briefly touches $1000 yesterday, and yet demand for the metal is collapsing, other, that is, than in Gold Exchange Traded Funds, which claim to hold tonnes of the metal in warehouses of unspecified location. They refuse to permit anyone, even their own auditors, to see any real metal. (See 'Is GLD ETF really worth its metal? HERE).

The reason, however, the ETFs and their numerous media supporters claim that people should be buying their phantom gold in the first place is the coming of the dreaded 'hyperinflation'.

So let's have a quick look around see where this hyperinflation is located, seeing as we cannot find any gold anywhere.

Shares are tanking. Commodities are tanking. Wages are tanking. Prices in shops are tumbling. Yes. That sounds like hyperinflation is a real problem right now. These geniuses are clearly onto something.

But please, anyone interested in maintaining just a modicum of rationality, just sit back in your chair and start again. It is not hyperinflation which is the problem we are faced with. It is the exact opposite - deflation. Look at the 40 year chart of Treasury Bond Yields and see how longterm these trends are. There is not going to be a sudden new hyperinflationary beast stalking the earth - at least not for quite a while, and then only if governments go completely mad.

The only modern day country that faced hyperinflation was Germany in the 1920s and that was caused in part by the terms on which they surrendered in WW1, where huge Reparations were demanded by the 'Allies' to force Germany to pay for the war they had caused. OK things can happen and history can repeat itself. But let's at least make a clear-headed statement of 'where are we now?' first before we set out objectives of where we need to go next.

The answer is we are locked in a deflationary environment. Why don't we deal with that first before engaging with an imaginary hyperinflationary beast, who hasn't even made a guest appearance on the planet for three generations...except in Zimbabwe. Now if I was in Zimbabwe, yes I would buy some gold. But really I would actually be buying US dollars as they are a lot more easily converted, and are not subject to the volatility that gold is.

Just look at the bargains in the stock market shortly to be on offer, once shares are down another 20 or 30%. You don't follow the herd to make money. You buy when everyone else is selling, and you sell when everyone is buying.

Gold will tank next once the hyperinflationists calm down and face deflationary reality. They should sell their gold now, and get ready to buy shares if money-making is their goal. But they seem more fixated by their belief that hyperinflation will come and eat them all up, like the Big Bad Wolf in Little Red Riding Hood.

Gold ETFs offer phantom gold to deal with the phantom threat of hyperinflation. There seems to be a whole new subject for study at college - Phantom Finance And Its Inexplicable Appeal.

UPDATE 22nd February 2009 - Deflation - How It Can Be Stopped.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Obama Offers Gaza Palestinians A Home In The USA


I met an American friend last night who was complaining that extraordinary measures being put into effect by President Barack Obama were not being given any news coverage. He told me that Obama had opened the doors to the whole population of Gaza offering them a home in the USA. That's big news, I would have thought, so I asked him for a link. He sent me the below written by an outraged Lou Dobbs.


Obama Decrees: Massive Immigration of Hamas Refugees from Gaza


by Lou Dobbs
Posted: Monday
Feb 9, 2009 at 5:38 pm

Obama has signed a presidential determination allowing hundreds of
thousands of Palestinians to resettle in the United States. Sure, what
can go wrong when we allow hundreds of thousands of people who have
been, as Mark Steyn memorably described, "marinated" in a "sick death
cult," who voted for Hamas, and 55% of whom support suicide bombings
live here and at the American taxpayers' expense:

By executive order, on January 27, 2009, (Federal Register on February
4) Obama has ordered the expenditure of $20.3 million in urgent
migration assistance to the Palestinian refugees and conflict victims
in Gaza to resettle in the United States.

Few on Capitol Hill took note that the order provides a free ticket
replete with housing and food allowances to individuals who have
displayed their overwhelming support of the Islamic Resistance
Movement (Hamas) in the parliamentary election of January 2006 at US
taxpayers' expense.

Let's review some of Obama's most recent actions since he was
inaugurated a little more than two weeks ago:

• His first call to any head of state as president was to Mahmoud
Abbas, leader of Fatah party in the Palestinian territory.
• His first one on one interview with any news organization was with
Al Arabia television.
• He ordered Guantanamo Bay closed and all military trials of detainees halted.
• He ordered all overseas CIA interrogation centers closed.
• He withdrew all charges against the masterminds behind the USS Cole and 9/11.
• Today we learn that he is allowing hundreds of thousands of
Palestinian refugees to move to and live in the US at American
taxpayer expense.


So we can't pay our own bills. Our economy is dying, hundreds of
thousands of people are losing their jobs, and now we will pay to move
terrorists and their supporters to live free in our country? What
about the thousands of our brave soldiers who gave their lives to
fight these terrorists?

Obama insulted the Medal of Honor Award winners at their Inauguration
Ball by being the first President in over 40 years to not show up and
now he inviting their very enemies to come live in our country at our
expense? Why not just send all of our weapons over there and allow
them to kill us now? It will be less painful!

Now you see why the founding fathers wanted to protect us from a
president with divided loyalties! Now do you see why congress and the
Supreme Court should have made Obama show proof of natural born
citizenship?

"The times are dark, the spirits of ruin are abroad in all their
power, and the mercy of God alone can save us."

"Our reliance is the love of liberty which God has planted in our
bosoms. Our defense is the preservation of the spirit which prized
liberty as the heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy
this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your
own doors. Familiarize yourself with the chains of bondage and you are
preparing your own limbs to wear them."

"Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us,
to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."

— President Abraham Lincoln

[Federal Register: February 4, 2009 (Volume 74, Number 22)]
[Presidential Documents][Page 6115]From the Federal Register Online
via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov] [DOCID:fr04fe09-106]
Presidential Documents
[[Page 6115]]
Presidential Determination No. 2009-15 of January 27, 2009
Unexpected Urgent Refugee and Migration Needs Related To Gaza
Memorandum for the Secretary of State
By the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the
United States, including section 2(c)(1) of the Migration and Refugee
Assistance Act of 1962 (the ``Act''), as amended (22 U.S.C. 2601), I
hereby determine, pursuant to section 2(c)(1) of the Act, that it is
important to the national interest to furnish assistance under the Act
in an amount not to exceed $20.3 million from the United States
Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund for the purpose of
meeting unexpected and urgent refugee and migration needs, including
by contributions to international, governmental, and nongovernmental
organizations and payment of administrative expenses of Bureau of
Population, Refugees, and Migration of the Department of State,
related to humanitarian needs of Palestinian refugees and conflict
victims in Gaza.

You are authorized and directed to publish this memorandum in the
Federal Register.
(Presidential Sig.)
THE WHITE HOUSE,
Washington, January 27, 2009


Well Obama said he believed in change!



The story is denied HERE(thanks for link to comment below). And it is suggested that Lou Dobbs did not write the piece himself although it appeared on a forum on his site, and was not deleted or denied.

TEXT of denial from World Net Daily, Tel Aviv -

By Aaron Klein
© 2009 WorldNetDaily

TEL AVIV, Israel – Contrary to some news media reports, President Obama did not authorize Palestinian "refugees" to migrate to the U.S. as part of emergency assistance following Israel's 22-day war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

On Jan. 30, Obama signed an order issuing an emergency contribution of $20.3 million for "urgent relief efforts" in Gaza. He approved the aid, which was to come from the U.S. Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund, one day after the U.N. launched a flash appeal for $613 million to help Palestinians in the Hamas-controlled territory rebuild infrastructure following Israeli antiterrorism air raids.

Several media outlets wrongly reported Obama had approved the emergency migration of Gazans to the U.S.

Canada Free Press, for example, released an article titled, "Obama opening floodgates by inviting Hamas to 'migrate' to the U.S.A.?"

Also, the New Media Journal featured a piece by author Paul L. Williams with the screaming headline, "Pres. Obama invites Hamas terrorists to America."

An e-mail containing an article titled, "Obama Decrees: Massive Immigration of Hamas Refugees from Gaza To U.S." has been circulating with the byline of CNN's Lou Dobbs. However, WND has learned Dobbs did not pen any such piece. The article was simply posted on the reporter's website forum and later falsely attributed to him.

WND received a number of e-mail requests from readers asking the news organization to investigate the stories.


It seems that the story is substantially incorrect, but the fact that it was believed by so many Americans including my friend here in Manila shows how concerned many are at the steps Obama is taking, and they see this as being in character and entirely possible. It could be a double blind to give him a story he can deny which makes the other things he's doing seem less extreme. Who knows?

Germany In Chaos Over Saving The Euro



Chaos In Germany

From the BBC 20th February 2009, Germany's finance minister said Germany might consider bailing out smaller European nations. Germany's Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck described the suggestion that the eurozone could fall apart as "totally absurd" and promised that if other member states got into trouble, "we will show ourselves to be capable of acting".
Mr Steinbrueck's comments strengthened the euro against the dollar. One euro was worth $1.2760 by late afternoon from $1.2511 on Wednesday.

Given the risks facing the Eastern European economies, if Berlin does decide to support them, that will weigh on [Germany's] finances, said Yuji Saito of Societe Generale.

Many Eastern European countries have been in trouble in recent months amid the global financial and economic crisis, as their economies plummeted from boom to bust.


But the message of generosity to Germany's neighbours has not yet travelled from the office of the Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck (Pictured riding a scooter) as far as that of the President, Angela Merkel, whose chances or re-election would be damaged by any significant Euro bail-out. Germans are already angry at the burden of carrying the EU's less fiscally responsible members.

BBC - German Chancellor Angela Merkel met EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso amid speculation that Germany may announce measures to help some other European economies.
But she declined to comment specifially on the matter saying after the meeting: "The eurozone has, in fact, proven its worth in this financial crisis."


But Angela, will you be prepared to pay up to save the Euro? Warm words will not be enough. Cold hard cash will be required, and not a small amount either. The IMF is already fully stretched after bailing out Iceland, Hungary, Ukraine and others. Only German money will be able to stop countries from falling out of the single currency, or saving European banks close to collapse. What will you do about it?

Chaos In Poland

Poland's finance minister said his country was considering adopting the single currency to help weather the downturn.
"Secure public finances and a quick adoption of the euro are the best way out of the crisis for Poland," Jacek Rostowski told members of parliament.


But just as in Germany, in Poland too, the fine pro-Euro words of the Finance Minister are not yet on the lips of other financial authorities.

central bank head Slawomir Skrzypek said on Wednesday that Poland was not ready to set out on the path to the eurozone.
He cited the weakness of the zloty, which has dropped more than 12% against the euro since the beginning of the year.
Many Eastern European financial markets have been hit hard amid worsening economic data and an exodus of foreign investors.


The fact is that the future of the Euro will be decided in Germany in the end of the day.

If Germany decides to carry the burdens of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) as well as Poland, The Czech Republic, The Baltic States and Hungary, then the Euro might have a chance of surviving a little bit longer before some of these countries either crash out of the Euro or begin to drag down the European banking system, and the Euro's value with it.

But let's face the reality. The German government failed to raise the cash it was seeking in a recent bond sale to finance its own cash shortage caused by the slump, with Germany being dependent on disappearing exports. How can Germany raise the kind of sums that would be needed to bail out the weaker economies of Europe, without threatening her own ability to survive the current economic storm?

It might take a while for this reality to sink in, but with Germany still not yet ratifying the Lisbon Treaty with Gauweiler's and other legal challenges being taken seriously by the German Supreme Court on the basis that Lisbon threatens the German Constitution, and with her economy suffering a colossal slump in growth, it is eminently possible that Germany, now inhabited by a new generation that feels free from war guilt, might set a new political course. Germany unlike her Finance Minister might prefer to see the Euro disintegrate than be dragged down by it, and to redefine the future of Europe without the burden of 'ever closer union' on her shoulders.

It is in Germany that the timing of the Euro's demise will be decided, and already there are clear disagreements amongst German politicians as to when reality will have to be faced. Where, I wonder, does Peer Steinbrueck imagine he can raise a few trillion dollars?

Two outline proposals are being considered. From Market Watch -

One option would be for countries facing insolvency to issue a bilateral bond, with a creditworthy country taking the loan and providing it to the distressed country. Another option would be a joint bond issued by creditworthy countries, as well as a rescue package led by the European Union.



Another idea has been put forward by George Soros in his recent piece (19th February 2009)

Eurozone Government Bond Market Needed

The euro suffers from certain structural deficiencies; it has a central bank but it does not have a central treasury and the supervision of the banking system is left to national authorities. These defects are increasingly making their influence felt, aggravating the financial crisis.

The process began in earnest after the failure of Lehman Brothers when, on October 12 , the European finance ministers found it necessary to reassure the public that no other systemically important financial institution would be allowed to fail. In the absence of a central treasury, the task fell to the national authorities. This arrangement created an immediate and severe financial crisis in new European Union member states that have not yet joined the euro and eventually it also heightened tensions within the eurozone.

Most of the credit in the new member states is provided by eurozone banks and most household debt is denominated in foreign currencies. As the eurozone banks sought the protection of their home countries by repatriating their capital, east European currencies and bond markets came under pressure, their economies sagged and the ability of households to service their debts diminished. Banks with large exposure to eastern Europe found their balance sheets impaired.

The capacity of individual member states to protect their banks came into question and the interest rate spread between different government bonds began to widen alarmingly. Moreover, national regulators, in their efforts to protect their banks, were unwittingly engaging in beggar-thy-neighbour policies. All this is contributing to internal tensions.

At the same time, the unfolding financial crisis has convincingly demonstrated the advantages of a common currency. Without it, some members of the eurozone might have found themselves in the same difficulties as the countries of eastern Europe. As it is, Greece is hurting less than Denmark, although its fundamentals are much worse. The euro may be under stress but it is here to stay. The weaker members will certainly cling to it; if there is any danger, it comes from its strongest member, Germany.

Germany is at odds with most of the world in its attitude to the current financial crisis but it is easy to understand why. It has been traumatised by its history during the 1930s when runaway inflation in the Weimar republic led to the rise of Hitler. While the rest of the world recognises that the way to counteract the collapse of credit is by expanding the monetary base, Germany remains opposed to any policy that might carry the seeds of eventual inflation. Moreover, while Germany has been a steadfast supporter of European integration, it is understandably reluctant to become the deep pocket that finances bail-outs in the eurozone.

Yet the situation cries out for institutional reform and Germany would benefit from it just as much as the others. Creating a eurozone government bond market would bring immediate benefits in addition to correcting a structural deficiency. For one thing, it would lend credence to the rescue of the banking system and allow additional support to the newer and more vulnerable members of the EU. For another, it would serve as a financing mechanism for co-ordinated counter-cyclical fiscal policies. Properly structured, it would relieve Germany’s anxiety about other countries picking its pocket.


How exactly? The only way would be to grant Germany powers to intervene directly in the affairs of the other Eurozone members. And they are going to love that.

The eurozone bond and bill markets would complement but not replace the existing government bond markets of individual states. They would be under the control of eurozone finance ministers. The regulation of the financial system would then be put in the hands of the European Central Bank while the task of guaranteeing and, when necessary, rescuing financial institutions would fall to the finance ministers. This would produce a unified and well supported financial system within the eurozone.

Even the UK, which is struggling with an oversized and undercapitalised banking system, may be tempted to join.


Yes. How attractive it would be to come in and have to carry another bunch of bankrupt countries by joining the Euro. Britain clearly needs a few extra burdens right now. Well done, George. You are so right - not.

Eurozone bonds could be used to assist the new EU member countries that do not yet belong to the eurozone.
They could also serve to increase the lending capacity of the EU beyond the current mandates of the European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

The EU could then finance investment programmes that combine a counter-cyclical function with important European objectives such as an electricity grid, a network of gas and oil pipelines, alternative energy investments and employment-creating public works in Ukraine. All these investments would help break Russia’s stranglehold over Europe. The objection that they would take too long to serve a counter-cyclical purpose can be rejected on the grounds that the recession is also liable to last a long time.

Two thorny issues would need to be resolved – one is the allocation of the debt burden among member states and the other is the relative voting power of the different eurozone finance ministers.

The existing precedents, namely the EU’s budget and the composition of the ECB, would be considered unfair and unacceptable by Germany. But many member states will balk at agreeing to a solution that changes the balance of power within the EU.

Nevertheless some concessions would have to be made to bring Germany on board. Usually it takes a crisis to bring about a compromise but the crisis is now brewing and the sooner it is resolved the better.


The crisis puts Germany right at the centre of events now. This is the crunch moment. Will Germany agree to act as the economic anchor for the EU? It seems possible, but only on the basis that Germany in future holds far more power over the various governments of the EU, and their financial policies.

The reality is that Germany will have to be made an overridingly strong member of the EU if it is going to be asked to hold the EU and the Euro together through this finncial crisis. If Germany wishes to carry out the role, and that is still doubtful, will the other countries be willing to accept a new role for Germany as effectively financial supervisor over all others?

No wonder German politicians are at odds with each other.

The other question is of course, is whether there is enough time to carry out the kind of re-balancing of the EU that is necessary to face down this crisis?

If Germany does achieve a position of enhanced economic power within the EU out of this crisis, what happens next?

A Euro substantially controlled by Germany would dictate a strong Euro policy over all other EU members, and the economic disciplines that Germany is well known for. Will Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece really turn over a new leaf and begin to bow down to the wishes of bankers?

If they do, the combined growth rates of EU countries will inevitably be lower, as consumption in the German economic approach to life, is always kept in check, as are most forms of borrowing. The inflation that Germany fears would be held down, but so too would opportunities for economic growth. Europe's economies would be condemned to a dangerous period of slow growth, higher unemployment and the process would become politically destabilising. It would be better to bring Europe's economies back into balance by loosening ties than by strengthening them with a strong German hand on the tiller.

Soros' plans would no doubt help to see off the current phase of economic troubles across Europe, and restore financial confidence. But the political consequences would be too severe, and a worse form of instability would result as Europe gets sucked into a new phase of excessive centralisation.

Was it really so bad when the Italians had the Lira and the French had the Franc? At least everyone knew exactly where they stood. Now Europe is in chaos, as are the politicians trying to see the way to go next.

Bloomberg's take is that the EU's bigger Euro countries will be forced to bail-out not only the weaker banks but also the weaker nations in the eurozone as well as those that have heavily borrowed in euros. See HERE.

All the bail-outs going on in the world, however, are being made imagening that once money refills the coffers, people will borrow and lend, buy and sell as before. What is not remembered is that recessions and depressions are based mostly on emotion, and not on money alone. It takes time to rebuild confidence, and persuade people to take risks again. Throwing money at lost confidence does not fix it. Banks with money are not lending it. People are not taking on extra borrowing. Politicians forget that being seen to be doing something, essential as that is for their political survival, in fact does little to accelerate the end of the crisis. Time alone will do that.

The survival of the Euro will ultimately depend on people's belief that they are better off with it than without it.

Germany for one must surely be wondering whether being in the Euro is really in her long term interests, although you won't find a politician ready to admit such a thing quite yet.

For a more detailed ananlysis see Der Spiegel's Support For Wobbly Euro Economies.

Gold At $500 Within 6 Months


Anyone following the great gold boom stories running throughout all media for many months - sufficiently to convince most ordinary folk that gold is in huge demand, might be surprised to hear by exactly how much gold demand has increased. ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds) are buying up 1000's of tonnes of gold, we are told, and storing it away for their clients hoping to use their gold as a safe financial haven.

So are you sitting down, ready to hear how much more gold has been sold in 2008 compared to 2007? The figures could be shocking so maybe you should equip yourself with a brandy first before reading them.

OK, you're ready. Here's the figure for you -

In tonnage terms, gold demand rose 4% to 3,659 tons, the World Gold Council said.

(Source - Today's Market Watch article by Moming Zhou, New York - Gold Retreats From 7 Month High)

4 measly per cent?!!! Is that all???????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Here is yet more evidence that the great gold ETF game is a farce, or even worse, a giant con. Demand for gold by the jewelry industry worldwide is collapsing, and yet all these tonnes of gold being bought by speculators aren't even raising gold demand above its normal level, providing yet more evidence that ETFs are not holding physical gold but long postions in the futures market.

Now that IMF sales will be coming in, speculators are being asked to pay near $1000 an ounce, and some people (like me) are beginning to query whether the ETFs actually hold any physical gold at all, you have to ask yourself how long it will be before gold heads for the floor.

What's the real story going to be? Gold at $500 within 6 months? I would think that very likely.

CATCH UP FROM EARLIER POSTS

In earlier post comments, Nostradamus, apparently.. gave a link to Seeking Alpha. The text it contains about Gold ETFs is quite shocking. Anyone holding any investment in ETFs should read the following words extremey carefully.

In December I published A Problem With GLD and SLV ETFs where I briefly perused the GLD prospectus. It concluded, “For these reasons including (1) the quality of the gold is at issue, (2) no audit of the physical metal is permitted, (3) counter-party risk impregnates the investment vehicle and (4) there are strong conflicts of interest with complicit players in the central bank gold price suppression scheme, GLD and SLV appear impotent in reducing inflation or counter-party risk.”

QUALITY OF GOLD

From the original article, "Page 12: 'In issuing Baskets, the Trustee relies on certain information received from the Custodian which is subject to confirmation after the Trustee has relied on the information. If such information turns out to be incorrect, Baskets may be issued in exchange for an amount of gold which is more or less than the amount of gold which is required to be deposited with the Trust.' On page 11:'In addition, the ability of the Trustee to monitor the performance of the Custodian may be limited because under the Custody Agreement the Trustee has only limited rights to visit the premises of the Custodian for the purpose of examining the Trust’s gold.' Therefore, it appears that an audit of the actual physical gold is precluded (update: See comments 25 & 26)."


Gold buyers, you are being sold an investment vehicle for storing gold on your behalf which states quite clearly that you are not allowed to know if there is any gold there at all!!!!!!!!!!!!! Are you sitting comfortably? I don't think so.



Thank you Nostradamus apparently ( a lawyer who reads the small print in prospectus') for the link.

One is forced to consider what kind of regulatory environment permits such appalling deception to be carried out on tens of thousands of investors in the first place. As many say, the US government is actively trading in these markets with agents placed in the offices of the likes of Goldman Sachs, shorting gold as it drives gullible investors to take up the long positions. Only a government could be carrying out such frauds and expect to get away with it.



Screen of 24 hour spot gold market from kitco.com. The ETF rally stalled at $980 as sellers appeared in the USA and Hong Kong yesterday (the red line). Will the rally resume or will people start to see through the hype? Today 20th February 2009, the market pipped $999.90 after London-based rally but missed the magic $1000 in the spot market. US sellers came back into action again, sending the price down to $989 as I write. Is it possible that in New York and Hong Kong they've realised the vulnerability of the rally, while in London no one suspects the ETF scam as yet?

They will!




Compare the spot price chart with the 10 year chart, which shows how vulnerable the recent rally would be to a correction. The chart suggests a fall to $600 or even $450 is on the cards.. The rally is based in the futures market. Each contract has one player going long and one player going short. Once the price starts falling the shorts clean up, and the longs get wiped out. The trick is to keep the longs buying as long as you can. ETFs mean that the longs don't even know that that is what they are buying, imagining they own physical gold.

Back to ETFs...

See the full article and technical discussion of the gold ETF accounting issues at Seeking Alpha Is the GLD ETF really worth its metal?. The author and contributors consider all possible explanations for the strange language used to describe the gold holdings, apart from the most likely - that the gold is held as long positions in the futures market.

See Gold tipped to rise in September 2009 on www.sahilkaps.wordpress.com

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Dando Cover-Up Gets More Sinister


Email Received this morning from Neil Jones. Read it.

Hi,

My name is Neil Jones, I hope you do not mind, I have posted a link to your blog on my facebook page. I was the last person to comment on your blog regarding the governments cover up of Jill Dando's murder which I signed 'NJ'. See original commentHERE.

The reason for which I am getting in touch, is because my attempts to expose the truth about the governments covering up of Jill Dando's murder, has resulted in my falling foul of the law in a most spectacular way.

A lot of my comments about this subject, made prior to my arrest under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 are starting to simply vanish from the internet. I was wondering if there is any way of confirming when I wrote these comments on your blog? I was arrested less than two weeks after trying to email the BBC on the subject, after they were refusing to respond to two previous telephone attempts.

The contents of the email I have included below.

Contents of email sent to BBC less than two weeks before my arrest:

IN STRICTEST CONFIDENCE

I have now tried on two occasions to contact Mr Mark Byford, (on the recommendation of a former BBC Director as someone whom I could possibly trust).

At the time of my first call I did not realise that Mr Byford was the deputy director general, I thought I was being put through to a journalist.

The second attempt to contact Mr Byford got me through to an answering machine!

My reason for contacting you:

As a CPO (Bodyguard) I was entrusted with information, from a long served client whom I have personally provided close protection services since 1994 a man whom has quite literally entrusted his life and that of his family to my care through some very dangerous times.

To this end I have confidential information about a fatal incident which took place some years ago involving a member of the BBC, information which I do not want my name or my clients name attached to.

I do not want payment, I do not want fame (in the interest of self preservation I wish to remain anonymous, hence my not approaching the authorities, for reasons which will become worryingly apparent if anyone in the BBC actually bothers to query what I have to say!) I just want justice for a fellow British Citizen.


As a result of my attempt to contact the media, I suspect I have already put myself and probably my immediate family at risk, Although I may not merit the stature of being a director for such a large “institution” such as the BBC, I nevertheless find it rather rude that I am putting myself in harms way, by trying to help you get justice, or at the very least peace of mind, knowing what actually happened to one of your colleagues, and you in return seem the least bit interested.

Could someone please get in touch?

PLEASE DO NOT PUBLISH MY COMMENTS!
(I assume you mean the BBC, Neil, and not The Tap!)

These links were provided by Neil Jones to explain his story, his arrest, the harrassment of his family and the feeding of innuendo against him to the media.



PICTURE - Neil's South Yorkshire home where he was arrested in the early hours of Sunday morning on November 2nd 2008 by the Leeds Anti-Terrorist Police, three weeks after his comments appeared on The Tap HERE.

Cover-up 1
Cover-up 2
Cover-up 3

He adds - I look forward to the high court case later this week which gave rise to this headline in the Daily Express Labour gagged BBC over Dando probe by MI5.

EXTRACT - SENSATIONAL allegations that a minister persuaded the BBC not to report information that a Serbian hit team killed television personality Jill Dando will be aired in the High Court this week.
Barrister Ed Fitzgerald, QC, is set to make explosive revelations that cast a new light on the death of the popular Holiday and Crimewatch presenter.

His claims will put pressure on the Government and on the BBC to release all the information in its possession about a Serbian plot to kill Miss Dando.


And I hope the truth will out, as Barry George was not the only person unlawfully incarcerated in this matter. As I speak two pilots who were unnecessarily arrested while employed by MI6 several years ago, are still in custody today in our governments "taking no chances" attempt to suppress the truth. Any assistance you can give with confirmation of the date I commented on your blog, would prove helpful in my court case.

Best regards,
Neil Jones


Any comments left here will be read by Neil, I think you could safely assume.

We need to establish the dates on which he commented on my blog post which was published on Saturday August 2nd 2008 Did Blair Order Jill Dando Cover-Up?.

If you want to email him, send via my email address to be found in my profile.

Fellow Bloggers, please propagate this story far and wide. They are trying to delete the Blair Dando Cover-Up from the internet. They should not be allowed to succeed. Copy and paste as much as you can to your blogs and make links here. That is, if you believe that the truth should come out.

NJ - after checking, your comment was left on October 18th 2008 according to 'comments atom' on blogger.com.

I hope that answers your query. Keep posting your story far and wide. There's no point in imprisoning you or anyone else once the story's out. It's your best defence to keep talking. Good luck!



PICTURE - The late Jill Dando of the BBC. Would she have approved of the framing of Barry George and the arrest and imprisonment of several people to hide the real cause of her death?

Keep us informed as to what happens Neil. Thanks for getting in touch. I wonder who the minister was, persuading the BBC to drop their investigation into the Serbian assassination story. Was it Mandelson? Only a guess.

UPDATE 23rd February 2009 - Heilan Laddie emailed me this link - Police Study New Lead In Dando Murder Hunt. It seems as if the true story might come out if all media are starting to carry it, just in time to take the pressure off Neil in his court case. Of course no one will mention Blair as having any involvement in the cover-up, or Mandelson.

They've obviously decided, though, that it would be better to get this skeleton out of the cupboard and render it neutral before Blair makes any serious attempt at the Presidency Of Europe. Barry George has served his time and his purpose in covering up Blair's embarrassment at having caused Dando's murder. Letting Barry out of jail, and finally telling the truth (or at least part of it) would stop this story from exploding under Blair later on when he's visible to the media once again. While he's in media hiding, all these kinds of 'innoculations' can be carried out on his behalf.



BLAIR SITTING PRETTY - See Daily Mail article.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Euro Meltdown Begins


Tucked away inside THIS Financial Times article of February 17th 2009, quoted below, on the Euro's troubles and sinking fortunes lies an extraordinary statistic. Banks within the eurozone have no less than a $1.5 trillion exposure to collapsing Central European economies. The problem is that the economies hold the majority of their debts in Euros, and as their currencies collapse at an alarming rate, the value of their debts balloon ever further out of reach.

On the FOREX markets today the Euro itself is coming under intense pressure as a result, as the costs of this financial burden are beginning to be weighed by traders. Today it fell by over 2% (1.285 to 1.257) in less than 24 hours. At the current rate of slump a fall to parity with the Dollar - or lower - is becoming more and more likely, and it could be about to happen quicker than people think. The Euro was at $1.43 in late December and the decline now appears to be accelerating.

EXTRACT -

The euro dropped to a two-month low against the dollar on Tuesday on heightened concerns over eurozone banks’ exposure to the worsening conditions in eastern Europe.

Rating agency Moody’s said Austrian, Swedish and other banks with eastern European subsidiaries might face downgrades as the region’s economies slump.

Eurozone banks have the largest exposure to central and eastern Europe, with liabilities of $1,500bn, about 90 per cent of total foreign bank exposure to the region.

Central and eastern European currencies have come under intense pressure in recent weeks as the credit crisis has raised fears over the region’s ability to finance its current account deficits and as slowing global growth has heightened concerns over the health of its export-dependent economies.

Indeed, on Tuesday, the Polish zloty slumped to a five-year low against the euro, the Czech koruna hit a three-year trough against the single currency and the Hungarian forint falling to a record low.

Antje Praefcke at Commerzbank said eastern European currencies were in a “self-feeding depreciation spiral.”

“The creditworthiness of local banks, companies and private households, who hold mainly foreign currency denominated debt, is deteriorating with each depreciation Eastern European currencies, thus further undermining confidence in the currencies,” she said.

Ms Praefcke said further depreciation of eastern European currencies was thus a distinct possibility, which was likely to undermine the euro.

“The collapse of these currencies is likely to constitute a risk for the euro,” she said. “So far markets have largely ignored this fact, but are unlikely to be able to maintain this approach if the weakness of the Eastern European currencies continues.”


There is no 'if' bout it. The story can only be one of accelerating decline and it will sink the Euro. If ever there was a one way bet on offer, this is it.

See a ten year Euro chart and see what I mean - HERE. Wave 3 down is just beginning.

PICTURE - Polar bear is the EU and the disappearing iceberg the Euro, its basis of existence. The polar bear can swim to a new ice home. The EU has no other destination.

Europe cannot raise money as easily as the USA. Demand for government bonds is drying up there - even in Germany, while the USA government is borrowing as much as it wants offering negative returns. See relevant article HERE.

EXTRACT -

The United States enjoys funding its ever-increasing debt in its own currency as the dollar, for better or worse, remains the world’s reserve currency. Because the euro and the pound sterling do not enjoy this status, the smaller economies under the European Union's stability pact are having trouble attracting investors for government debt.

This comes as news to nobody in the euro zone, but what surprised many was that a German bond auction failed the first week of the new year. Such a failure is an ominous sign that current government yields won’t secure investor demand to fund the massive European stimulus that is yet to come.

The United States has an integrated (but by no means efficient) monetary and banking authority under the auspices of the Federal Reserve and the Treasury. Europe does not. The European Central Bank does not have the authority to set rates or sell debt on behalf of any sovereign nation. What is good for Germany, say, with its export-based economy, does not necessarily benefit Spain, which depends on foreign investment and suffers a substantially higher debt-to-GDP ratio.

The Federal Reserve appears to be fully committed to expanding its balance sheet at the expense of credit quality. The Treasury seems ready to aggressively fund the borrowing needs of the United States with weekly issuances of T-Bills and T-Notes. With nearly $9 trillion already pledged in stimulus, bailouts and rescues, the U.S. has mortgaged 50% of its annual GDP in an attempt to stabilize the financial markets.

Europe, in turn, looks to its erstwhile economic leaders – France, Germany and the UK – but sees little unity there. Germany is pledging a stimulus of 2% of GDP, but France is balking, and the UK will face difficulty in raising more cash than it already has. They will not be the only ones.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'The Euro Is Indestructible'. So Was The Titanic!


It is always good for people who hold strong views about things (like me on the Euro, for example) to read the other side of the argument. I was interested therefore when a good American friend forwarded me this expert opinion on the likelihood of the Euro surviving the world's current economic difficulties. Written by Niels Jensen of Frontline Thoughts, it makes some good points. I cannot copy and send it all to you to read, as it contains economic information relevant only to investors. But it is also interesting from the political viewpoint.

The economic arguments Niels makes for the continuation of the Euro are strong. But he doesn't stray into the bottom line of the Euro's continued existence. That is - Is there the political will to keep battling away for the countries that need to endure wage reduction and other economic hardship for maybe ten long years? Life is in the end the art of the possible. The Euro only needs to crack in one of the 11 eurozone countries and the process of its destruction could become a domino effect.

Here are the arguments Niels makes for the survival of the Euro from his piece

Can The Euro Survive?

EXTRACT -

On the other hand, I may disappoint one or two readers (I will certainly disappoint Ambrose Evans-Pritchard of the Daily Telegraph who appears to have declared war on the euro), but I firmly believe that the euro will almost certainly survive the current crisis. I am much more worried about some of the member countries.

There is nothing in the Maastricht treaty which prevents a member country from leaving the euro, yet the decision to join is effectively irreversible. There are a number of reasons for this, the most important being economic costs. Take Italy which has a history of compensating for lost competitiveness through regular devaluations. If Berlusconi did the unthinkable tomorrow (sorry – nothing is unthinkable in Berlusconi's world), Italy's borrowing costs would explode. My guess is that bond investors would demand double digit returns on a Lira denominated bond to compensate for the dramatically increased devaluation risk. Already in a precarious fiscal position, Italy could quite simply not afford that.


Or Italy would set a policy of pegging the lira to the US$, keep its old debts in Euros and see the sum of its debts shrink as the Euro sinks into the depths, caused by Italy's default triggering a series of others.

So, if any country were to leave the euro, it would more likely be from a position of strength, and only one country possesses enough strength to pull that off in the current environment. That country is Germany. And, although the euro is not particularly popular in Germany, I believe it is extremely unlikely for Germany to make such a move unilaterally. There are several reasons for that – Germany's history in Europe being the most important.

At the same time, the fact that the euro has saved the bacon of more than one country in recent months - Ireland being the most obvious example - should not be ignored.

Tellan Irishman his bacon has just been saved. He might not quite agree with his slumping property market and attendant banking crisis. Exiting the Euro and devaluing the currency a touch would be the perfect medicine.

For this very reason, the euro membership is actually far more likely to grow than to shrink as a result of the financial and economic crisis engulfing the world. The issue the EU has to deal with is whether the new applicants should actually be welcomed. Most of those who would want to join will bring plenty of baggage.

To add to the weight of the baggage already on board the vessel.

Another possible outcome, which you hear almost no mention of, is the possibility of a new Transatlantic currency. When I mention this possibility, everyone laughs, but think about it for a second. The economic crisis on both sides of the Atlantic is enormous. Both are resorting to the same formulas – large fiscal stimulus and quantitative easing (a word invented by central bankers because 'printing money' smacks too much of Zimbabwe). There is a real risk that the entire financial and monetary system on either side of the pond needs to be re-designed. If that were to happen, I am pretty confident that the Fed and the ECB would at least sit down and discuss the possibility of a joint currency. That would also allow the UK to join a currency union without too much egg on its battered face.

What would that be called? The Duro? Sterling would love to join such a monumental disaster in the making after about two hundred years to bed in the new currency. The trouble is with lumping all currencies together is that the risk factors are hugely increased. All eggs are placed in one huge basket. What happens when the basket falls?

In the short to medium term, though, there is no such bailout on the horizon. In recent years, the weaker members of the euro, such as Italy, have managed to 'muddle through' (to borrow one of John Mauldin's favourite terms), mostly because the global economy has been strong enough to gloss over any weaknesses. D-day is now firmly on the horizon. As I see things, it is not inconceivable that a member country could be forced to default on its sovereign debt. Interestingly, any euro member country defaulting on its debt could (and probably would) carry on as a full member of the currency union. And I will bet almost anything that the EU would rather have one of its members defaulting on its debt than having to break up the currency union.

It's almost comical - full Euro members trailing debts of 5XGDP behind them, with inteest rates at 10% above the German level. I'm not sure I follow this concept!

Another, and more likely, outcome is the possibility of one or more member countries coming under EU administration. This would almost certainly include the most painful of all cures – mandatory wage reductions in order to get unit labour costs back in line. It would be a lot easier for the government of, say, Greece to get the EU to do the dirty job than to do it itself. Civil unrest will no longer be the privilege of countries such as Indonesia or Thailand. The recent crowd trouble in Greece could very well turn out to be the dry run for much bigger and more organised labour market unrest across Europe as reality begins to bite.

For the time being, though, European governments continue to be in denial. When the IMF recently recommended that Spain implement various structural reforms, the idea was flatly rejected by Prime Minister Zapatero. In the meantime, you can sit back and prepare for the drama to unfold. Very simplistically, it is a choice between Zimbabwe and Japan. Our central bankers can choose to monetize their way out of the current slump and run the risk of much higher interest rates and a rapidly deteriorating currency like Zimbabwe or they can show fiscal discipline and accept perhaps ten years of below par growth a la Japan. Or they can find the delicate balance in between the two and everyone will live happily thereafter. But that requires both skill and luck.


So even an educated supporter of the case for the Euro having a future realises that it will all be down to skill and luck. Maybe he should add one more simple element to his list of requirements for survival - the will to survive. Will there be sufficient political leadership to hold the eurozone together? The EU is becoming ever more unpopular as is the Euro. Over time the pressure to break up could become overwhelming, despite all the best intellectual arguments in the world.

Do people want to live in one enormous political entity controlling most of the world's economy and political structures, ending the democratic period of history? I am not sure they do, Niels. In fact the evidence is that people feel most uncomfortable being ruled by powerful uninformed central authority. The flames from Athens are the first sign of rebellion against the imposition of government from outside Greece, and the Irish rejection of Lisbon is another. Will it be the Euro that has the will to survive, or will it be democracy? That is the real question. Will it be The Titanic or the iceberg?

COUNTERINTUITIVELY - it may be Germany that sinks the Euro ship. From today's Open Europe -

German court to decide whether Lisbon Treaty is unconstitutional
AFP reports that Germany's Constitutional Court will today consider claims that the Lisbon Treaty is unconstitutional. The article notes that the Federal Constitutional Court has allotted two days for the hearings - an extremely rare step that the plaintiffs say indicates that the court is taking the case very seriously.

The complaint has been lodged by MP Peter Gauweiler, who argues that the proposed Treaty calls into question the principle of democracy, a cornerstone of Germany's constitution, as it undermines the Bundestag - the country's parliament. EUobserver notes that the court's judgement is expected to be made in two to three months. But even if the court comes out in favour of the Lisbon Treaty, the process may not be over. Last month, a separate group handed in another complaint against the Treaty, listing political and economic faults.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Mike Smithson Suspects Electoral Fraud In Britain



The problems with postal vote fraud in Britain are well known. Less so are the allegations of ballot box tampering regularly made by the BNP. The topic of electoral fairness has not yet burst into the open in Britain as it should be doing. And yet the November poll in which Labour miraculously held Glenrothes with a sizeable 5000 vote margin when polls were saying that the SNP were within a hair's breadth of taking the seat have aroused suspicions, especially as the electoral register has been carefully 'disappeared' since the vote.

Notable among those drawing attention to the result at Glenrothes in November and its suspicious circumstances is blogger Mike Smithson of Political Betting, who is admired throughout the political blogosphere for the fairness and accuracy of his reports. I saw a blog post of his on this topic in which Smithson all but alleged electoral fraud was behind Labour's victory HERE, focussing on the fact that the register that records who voted has been 'disappeared' since the vote.

He recently added THIS more considered explanation of what is going on. Any objective view of the dishonesty implied by Smithson should be to find it all totally shocking.

Looking back in my own blog to September 2006, I find a blog post I wrote on postal voting fraud, which was already being considered by many as a seriosu threat to the fair result of elections. It seems about time that people in Britain wised up to the attempts being made to demolish their democratic system. Things have advanced a lot further since the mass fraud of the general election of 2005, to the point when election rigging and its associated pollster rigging is now commonplace in Britain.

At least Mike Smithson is at last aware and awake to the possibilities.

But when will the masses start to realise that they are being politically defrauded?

You can read my updated and relinked 2006 post below titled 'Did Labour Win 2005 By Postal Voting Fraud?' -

"Labour scored around 25% in local elections in 2004 and 2006, but managed 35% in the general election (GE) in 2005. A different pattern is expected in local compared to national elections, but not usually by such a large margin.

Turnout in the 2005 GE was forecast (from polling) to be heading lower than the 59.4% of 2001. Headlines were saying 'turnout to be the lowest since 1918' and some were wondering if it might reach 50%, but on the day it actually went up to 61.3%.

Articles had appeared in the media about large scale postal voting fraud about to happen in the General Election in 2005, but these suddenly fell silent on the matter two weeks prior to the poll, no doubt due to election reporting rules.

Allegations of postal voting fraud after the 2005 GE were reported to Parliament. See THIS - Police were looking into 25 alleged incidents of postal voting fraud in 19 Constituencies.

Many voters across Britain turned up to vote and were told that their vote had already been cast postally. These included two BBC reporters, John Humphreys and Mariela Frostrup.

The law had been modified by Labour in 2001 relaxing the previous restrictions on Postal votes. Parties were to be allowed to handle their own postal votes. This should never have been allowed. Only election officials and voters should be involved. see THIS.

In Northern Ireland postal votes are extremely hard to acquire requiring proof of identity etc so that cheating is impossible. In the rest of the UK the system is becoming a farce.

George Galloway Of Respect claimed that in the GE he was nearly defeated by Labour harvesting around 1000 fraudulent postal votes in his constituency Bethnal Green. He scraped home by around 80 votes. There were many cases reported of voters being turned away from polling stations, who claimed that their votes had been used by others postally.

The numbers from the GE 2005 are as follows - Labour polled 9.4 million. Conservatives came in with 8.5 million. Postal votes were reported in the Press as having been 6 million. The Electoral Commission however states that the actual total was in excess of 4 million, although Parties had requested 6 million application forms.

The numbers and anecdotal evidence suggest that postal voting fraud was widespread in the 2005 GE. 100,000 targeted votes delivered into marginal seats could easily have changed the result of the election. It is perfectly possible that postal voting fraud was a significant factor in Labour's victory. The proportion of postal votes in marginal seats was suspiciously high.

Since the GE the media have been mostly silent on the topic of electoral fraud. The government have not substantially changed the law since, although they claim to have resolved the situation. They have made it a criminal offence to attempt to vote fraudulently.

This conveniently means that once an allegation of fraud has been made and is being investigated, it becomes a Police matter, and is subject to the rules of criminal enquiry and legal procedure. The Press can say little, so the topic rarely makes the headlines.

As any individual case is very hard to prove beyond reasonable doubt, the criminalisation of voting fraud provides little check. Not to mention that Police Forces are becoming more political than they used to be, and it is not inconceivable that prosecution and investigation could be selectively applied.

It would be far more effective to put in place controls that prevent those with criminal intent from being able to cheat, than making Police Forces run around allocating time and resources on cases that are almost impossible to substantiate. Fraud is a notoriously difficult crime to prove. The actions of a fraudster resemble those of an honest person. It is only the intent that is different.

In the 2006 local elections, the BNP claim that postal voting scams were used to bar them from winning many seats in Birmingham and London. There are also alleged substantial discrepancies between the numbers of votes at the counts and the numbers of people who were logged going into polling stations.

Richard Mawrely QC famously stated in 2005 during an electoral fraud trial that the postal voting system in Britain would 'disgrace a banana republic'. The situation has attracted international comment from the ODIHR in Warsaw

The only substantive article I have seen on this appeared in The Guardian in August 2005.

Pressure on Britain to curb postal vote fraud

Hugh Muir Saturday August 6, 2005 The Guardian

International election monitors yesterday applied fresh pressure on the government to introduce new measures to combat postal voting fraud. Officials from the Warsaw-based Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) yesterday urged ministers to ensure that voting materials were only handled by election officials. Their comments followed controversy during the general election campaign, which was marred by accusations of postal voting fraud and claims that parties were exploiting an insecure system by "harvesting" postal vote applications. Article continues

The election monitors told ministers that they should move towards the more secure system used in Northern Ireland, where those applying for a postal vote are obliged to explain why they need one and to have their applications verified by a third party. The monitors also called for more measures to help increase voting in person. This could be done, they say, by operating polling stations "out of country" for voters who are abroad, or by using absentee voting certificates which would require the proxy voter to enter a polling station. The ODIHR also suggested that British voters might be compelled to produce identification at polling stations before being given a ballot paper. A national database of registered voters should be established to help "identify or prevent multiple registrations". Further safeguards might involve changing the law relating to registrations to emphasise the need for individuals to register themselves. During the election it was found that heads of households were completing registration forms for individual members of their families, a practice that was exposed as open to abuse. The monitors also urged ministers to remove the serial numbers from ballot papers, arguing that these created "opportunities to breach the secrecy of the vote".

There were also calls for minimum standards for those who administer elections, and concern about the extent to which the monitors were able to scrutinise the May election.

"The United Kingdom's legislation is not yet in full compliance with its ... commitments regarding election observation," they said. John Turner, president of the Association of Electoral Administrators, said the monitors supported many of the concerns raised by officials during the campaign.


2 PICTURES - nicked from the BNP website
"It is a matter of public record that the problems with this election were the largest number that have come together at any one point in recent years," he said. "Postal voting diverted attention away from everything else. Most people who were involved are saying fairly publicly that this must never happen again."

The government has pledged to address concerns with an electoral administration bill, which will still allow postal voting on demand but will also introduce a new offence of fraudulently applying for a postal vote, punishable by up to two years in prison. Under the proposals, electoral registers will be more secure, with household registrations including signatures and dates of birth for all occupants.

However the lord chancellor, Lord Falconer, has indicated that the government will reject the idea of a registration system similar to that in Northern Ireland, where individuals register separately, providing details such as date of birth, signature and national insurance number. The parties are also likely to continue their involvement in garnering postal vote application forms, continuing to make a clear distinction between those and completed postal vote applications. A spokesman for the Department for Constitutional Affairs said: "We recognise that security issues are important but need to be balanced with the ability of as many people as possible to be able to register to vote." ENDS


For further reports of tampering with votes and elections, the British National Party is making a series of allegations of ballot box tampering. Read the evidence before dismissing the claims.

The evidence of large scale voting fraud taking place regularly in Britain is growing. When will the people of Britain wake up and do something about it?

Britain now allows the overnight storage of ballot boxes prior to counting. Mmmmmmmm.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ireland To Quit Euro And Peg To US Dollar


Turn on your sound for this one. This is the moment eurosceptics have been waiting for - Ireland is to quit the Euro, relaunch the Punt and peg to the US Dollar. And it is Barack Obama who has made it all possible.

The Euro is set to tumble and be demolished as the indebted 'P.I.I.G.S.' start to come crashing out - Portugal, Italy, Ireland, Greece and Spain. The only way they can do that and see their currencies successfully relaunched is to 'go American with Obama' and peg to the US Dollar. As the Euro continues to tumble to parity with the dollar, the debts of the P.I.I.G.S. if pegged to the US$, will automatically be reduced by 20%. This song tells it how it all might come about. Ireland, Obama is waiting for you! P.I.I.G.S. will finally fly.

Remember. There has to be an element of truth...Obama's great great great grandfather came from a small village in Ireland, and Obama says he's coming over for a pint. Once they get him talking, after seven pints of Guinness and a dose of Irish charm, the punt will be as good as pegged.

HERE ARE THE LYRICS TO THE SONG FROM THE ONE-EYED PARROT DANCE CLUB WHO WERE THE FIRST TO SEE THE POTENTIAL IN OBAMA'S PRESIDENCY FOR IRELAND.

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

You don't believe me, I hear you say
But Barack's as Irish, as was JFK
His granddaddy's daddy came from Moneygall
A small Irish village, well known to you all

Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

He's as Irish as bacon and cabbage and stew
He's Hawaiian he's Kenyan American too
He’s in the white house, He took his chance
Now let’s see Barack do Riverdance

Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

From Kerry and cork to old Donegal
Let’s hear it for Barack from old moneygall
From the lakes if Killarney to old Connemara
There’s no one as Irish as Barack O’Bama

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama
From the old blarney stone to the great hill of Tara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

2008 the white house is green, their cheering in Mayo and in Skibereen.
The Irish in Kenya, and in Yokahama,
Are cheering for President Barack O’Bama

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

The Hockey Moms gone, and so is McCain
They are cheering in Texas and in Borrisokane,

In Moneygall town, the greatest of drama, for our Famous president Barack o Bama

Toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a loo, toor a lama
There's no one as Irish As Barack O'Bama

The great Stephen Neill, a great man of God,
He proved that Barack was from the Auld Sod
They came by bus and they came by car, to celebrate Barack in Ollie Hayes’s Bar

O'Leary, O'Reilly, O'Hare and O'Hara
There's no one as Irish as Barack O'Bama

By

Hardy Drew

Come on, Hardy. We need one more verse about Obama agreeing to peg the Punt to the Dollar after 7 pints of Guinness.

But seriously read THIS.


EXTRACT FROM ARTICLE -

This month Portugal, Spain and Greece have seen their credit ratings downgraded. It is likely the ratings agencies will hit Ireland's next. They will then find it not only more expensive to borrow money, but more difficult to find any investors willing to lend to them.

Obama? Is your visit to be taking place sooner than expected?

Slante!

SEE latest Irish Anti-EU Poster



To get Print copies, click HERE.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Pound Leaps Clear Of Sagging Euro


For all the acres of newsprint written recently describing the coming demolition of Sterling, notable amongst whose authors are George Soros' Quantum partner, Jim Rogers, and various politicians who saw Sterling's approaching parity with the Euro as the ideal moment to slide the two currencies together, it is worth noting that Sterling, the supposedly 'doomed' currency, has been making a remarkable leap in value this week, now at 14% above the Euro when on December 29th, it was down at 2%.

Sterling bottomed at $1.35, and is now back up to $1.48, while the Euro bottomed at $1.27 and is still at or near the same level, $1.295 at close yesterday. Sterling has made a nice bounce while the Euro has had no bounce at all.

No doubt the next market phase will be more crashing stock markets as they hit another downwave, which, as before, will send the Dollar up, and both Sterling and the Euro back down to new lows. But wherever those lows are to be, it seems that Sterling will maintain and probably enlarge further its growing differential to the Euro.

It's amusing how silent the europhile politicos are now, after all the noise they were making so recently, when market events haven't conformed with their their political desires. Where is Mandelson this week advocating the merging of Sterling with the Euro, for example? It is not Sterling but the Euro which looks likely to hit dollar parity. Sterling looks like it has the legs to hold itself at a higher level, possibly hitting Euro plus 30,40% or even 50%. The parity excuse is already out of political reach. The europhiles will have to seek out further 'reasons' why Sterling should be merged with Europe's slumping currency, if they can think of any others that is..

(The GBP fell from $2.11 to $1.35 (36%), while the Euro has only fallen from $1.60 to $1.27 (20%). The Euro was at one point valued at $0.80 and has a much bigger fall potential from current levels than the GBP which could see $1.30 as its final low prior to an upwards correction.)

See David Stevenson of Money Week writing on January 9th at the peak of the Sterling/Euro merger speculation Should Britain Join The Euro Party?. He finishes by saying that some countries are bound to crash out of EMU. That's going to keep the Euro's value pinned down for quite a while, one would hve thought. Sterling seems safe enough, only a month after Brown's government was sniffing the possibility of what would have been a totally shocking political move, had Sterling and the Euro achieved parity. At least one threat to Britain's economy seems to be less than it did a short time ago.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Bloomberg Joins In The Big Gold Lie


It isn't often that you read outright distortion in news reports, except of course when the BBC is reporting anything to do with the EU. This time it is Bloomberg who are at it, for some reason trying to join in the gold ETF con trick being perpetrated on unsuspecting investors at this time, where many billions in easy money is going to be snatched up by large banks, operating against their own investors' interests, with the approval of the US government.

Read the extract below from THIS article from Bloomberg today. I offer an alternative version or interpretation. I find it quite shocking that supposedly reputable news organisations like Bloomberg can be offering a report which is so misleading.

'LIE' NUMBER ONE.
Hedge-fund managers and other large speculators increased their net-long position in New York gold futures in the week ended Jan. 27, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data.

The important figure is not what the speculators are doing, but what the large commercial operators are doing. They aren't going long at all. Far from it, they extended their short positions by a sizeable 22,000 contracts last week, and their long by about one tenth of that. So why does Bloomberg focus on the speculators and ignore the more important information?

The details of Comex futures trading is only available to people who pay to receive it, so I guess they think all traders paying to know the truth, don't mind when the public is being conned. So they can all steal more from the unsuspecting public, and all can be relied on to keep quiet. Once the commercial operators start shorting large numbers of contracts, however, it's a clear signal that the price is going to fall, and that is a story Bloomberg is clearly not willing to write, preferring only to talk about the speculators.

'LIE' NUMBER TWO.
Speculative long positions, or bets prices will rise, outnumbered short positions by 141,114 contracts on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, the Washington- based commission said in its Commitments of Traders report.

Well yes, but the speculators or Hedge Funds are mostly persuading their clients to buy long. This enables the big operators and the Hedge Funds themselves to take the other side of the future contracts, and sell forward a huge quantity of gold at a lovely high price, in preparation for the coming fall, when they will make a killing at their clients' expense.

'LIE' NUMBER THREE
Fund Holdings

Holdings in the SPDR Gold Trust, the largest exchange-traded fund backed by bullion, exceed the gold reserves of all but five central banks and the International Monetary Fund. Investment in the fund is at a record 843.6 metric tons.


Mmmm. No one knows where this vast horde is gold is being kept. It is in fact more likely that what they call 'an exchange traded fund backed by bullion' ( a rather vague term I think you will agree) is actually merely made up of long positions in the futures market, whereby rich folk are conned into giving up their savings up to an almighty gold price scam, where the shorts will make a killing, and the longs will shortly be wiped out.

PICTURE - Jodie March from British premiere of DAYLIGHT ROBBERY.

Bloomberg should be given a severe drubbing for allowing such a shoddy report to be made. As all media are pumping the public to buy gold as hard as they can at this point of time, one suspects that the motivation of jounalists to mislead might be based on more than just misjudgement. After all there are billions of dollars to be made or lost, and a columnist can keep the buyers hot for just a few more days, before their faces are ripped off.

Jodie might think her face is her fortune. She is certainly hot. My advice to gold buyers is to blank all the seductive talk and to cool it. Not everything you see is real these days, eh Jodie? When all the media are at you trying to keep you buying gold, the alarm bells should be ringing. Come back and buy gold when the media circus has moved on in a year from now after the coming gold crash has completed. You won't feel part of the razzmatazz but you'll end up making money. It won't seem so exciting buying away from the herd, but don't be down-hearted. Once you're rich, Jodie will date you.

FURTHERMORE - One gold ETF claims it is finding easier to store its tonnages of gold with Brinks a precious metal delivery service in the UK, than the refinery in SOuth Africa which it was claiming to be its location for storage previously. Anyone in the UK over a certain age would remember the GBP 40 million Brinks Mat Gold Robbery at Heathrow Airport. It's hardly the most reassuring suggestion to drop off your investor's precious possessions with the equivalent of UPS.

Of course the story of where all the tonnes are being kept is getting harder to substantiate as the numbers of tonnes alleged to be held balloons ever higher. Desperate moves such as the below are required to persuade investors to keep buying and believing.

Gold EFTs are generally described as 'gold backed' and don't actually claim to hold physical gold. It is still far more likely that the Long positions are being held substatially as futures contracts, with others holding the shorts.

South Africa loses gold ETF base to UK

By: Martin Creamer
Published on 17th February 2009

JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) South Africa has lost its gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) base to the UK.

Absa Capital, the investment banking division of the Barclays-controlled Absa Bank, said on Tuesday that that the issuer of the NewGold ETF, NewGold Issuer Limited, had appointed Brink's Limited of the UK as the safe-custody custodian of NewGold's gold bullion holdings, taking over from the Rand Refinery of Germiston.

Absa Capital cited the reason for the change as "the limitation in the safe custody capacity of the previous custodian", in light of significant increase in NewGold's holdings of gold and the predicted continued growth of such holdings. No direct reference was made to Rand Refinery, the custodian from the outset.

The bank said that NewGold was South Africa's largest ETF with R8,7-billion under management.

NewGold's gold bullion had, it added, been transported to the "safe vault premises of Brink's in England", where they had assumed physical control of the gold bullion with effect from February 16, 2009.

Brink's, the bank said, was a global leader in business and security services serving banks, retailers, governments, mines, refiners, metal traders, diamantaires and jewellers through more than 800 facilities in 50 countries on six continents.


Thanks, Barclays for making it quite clear that all the gold cannot be very great in quantity as Brinks would not be capable to protect the tonnages you claim to possess, any more than a refinery. Refineries and gold shippers don't hold vast vaults full but keep only what they are being asked to refine or to ship.

FINALLY - this from Kitco Senior Analyst Jon Nadler, Montreal today 19th February 2009.

With that in mind, let us welcome the breach of the $980 high we projected on 12/31/08, add to it the $100 we tacked on for good measure - in the event the sun fails to rise between now and March 31 - and await further developments. Such as the rise in volatility to beyond the 40% mark, or the open interest figures at 360,000 (while deliveries were fewer than 3000 contracts on the month) contracts.

So in a month when ETFs claim huge rises in their physical tonnages, only 3000 contracts on the futures market were actually delivered while there are 360,000 contracts of open interest. Something doesn't quite add up.