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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Foodstamp Shutdown Statewide California



General Advice Disclosure: Please note that the advice contained herein is general advice and is for the purposes of education only. The risk of loss in trading futures contracts, commodity options, stocks, stock options and forex currencies can be substantial, and therefore investors should understand the risks involved in taking leveraged positions and must assume responsibility for the risks associated with such investments and for their results. You are reminded that past performance is no guarantee or reliable indication of future results. It has not been prepared taking into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs.You should therefore assess whether the advice is appropriate to your individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. You should do this before making an investment decision based on this general advice. You can either make the assessment yourself or seek the help of a professional adviser.This commentary is not a recommendation to buy or sell, but rather a guideline to interpreting the specified indicators. This information should only be used by investors who are aware of the risk inherent in securities trading. The Vulcan Report accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from any use of this expert or its contents.liability whatsoever for any loss arising from any use of this expert or its contents.For Related news and other stories please visit - http://www.wideawakenews.com/For Related videos on our Youtube channel please visit - http://www.youtube.com/user/pulsescan72Be Sure to register for faster updates and commentaries at -BLOG 1: - http://pulsescan.blogspot.com/BLOG 2: - http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/466159-pulsescan72/BULLS make money... BEARS make money.... PIGS get slaughtered!"TAKE WHAT YOU CAN .........GIVE NOTHING BACK"!!

Foodstamp Shutdown Statewide California



General Advice Disclosure: Please note that the advice contained herein is general advice and is for the purposes of education only. The risk of loss in trading futures contracts, commodity options, stocks, stock options and forex currencies can be substantial, and therefore investors should understand the risks involved in taking leveraged positions and must assume responsibility for the risks associated with such investments and for their results. You are reminded that past performance is no guarantee or reliable indication of future results. It has not been prepared taking into account your particular investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs.You should therefore assess whether the advice is appropriate to your individual investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs. You should do this before making an investment decision based on this general advice. You can either make the assessment yourself or seek the help of a professional adviser.This commentary is not a recommendation to buy or sell, but rather a guideline to interpreting the specified indicators. This information should only be used by investors who are aware of the risk inherent in securities trading. The Vulcan Report accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss arising from any use of this expert or its contents.liability whatsoever for any loss arising from any use of this expert or its contents.For Related news and other stories please visit - http://www.wideawakenews.com/For Related videos on our Youtube channel please visit - http://www.youtube.com/user/pulsescan72Be Sure to register for faster updates and commentaries at -BLOG 1: - http://pulsescan.blogspot.com/BLOG 2: - http://seekingalpha.com/instablog/466159-pulsescan72/BULLS make money... BEARS make money.... PIGS get slaughtered!"TAKE WHAT YOU CAN .........GIVE NOTHING BACK"!!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

6/20/2012 - Double-Trauma Strikes Europe! U.S. Next?!

Martin and Larry here, with an urgent report on the next, explosive stage of the European crisis now unfolding before your eyes …
Yesterday’s election in Greece is just one chapter in this saga.
Regardless of its consequences, the European Union, the largest economy in the world, is now suffering under the weight of TWO traumatic crises striking simultaneously:
Trauma #1. Europe’s governments are in big trouble — debts out of control, tax revenues plunging, interest costs surging.
Trauma #2. Europe’s banks are under siege — drowning in massive losses, swamped with withdrawals, and lining up for bailout money that no government can afford.
Find it hard to believe that the largest economy and banking system in the world is collapsing even as you read these words? Then, read on for the evidence …

Trauma #1. Governments in Big Trouble

Debts out of Control
Tax Revenues Plunging

Interest Costs Surging
Some people seem to think the European Union’s sovereign debt problems are limited to just a few countries that have been in the news.
Others seem to assume that the debts are relatively static and unchanging.
But the hard data shows that, in reality …
Europe’s debt troubles are widespread, making almost every country vulnerable to the contagion now spreading across the continent.
Of course you already know about the countries in the headlines:
Greece with gross government debt of $315.8 billion … Spain with more than double that amount ($839.9 billion) … and Italy with debts that are SIX times larger than Greece’s (nearly $2 trillion)!
But what about the countries that have so far been viewed as “stronger”? Are they debt free?
Absolutely not!
France’s debts are almost as large as Italy’s — $1.8 trillion. And Germany’s debts are actuallylarger than Italy’s — nearly $2.1 trillion.
Plus, don’t forget others in the European Union, including Austria ($230.1 billion), Belgium ($374.3 billion), Finland ($101.1 billion), Ireland ($180.3 billion), the Netherlands ($427.6 billion), Portugal ($188.5 billion) and more!
Needless to say, not all countries are equal. Relatively speaking, some are stronger and others are weaker.
But here’s the key: They all belong to the same economic entity (the EU) and they’re all entangled in the same financial mess (the sovereign debt crisis).
That’s why it’s so important to note that TOTAL government debts owed by EU countries are now$8.6 trillion dollars — all based on the data from official sources compiled by Weiss Ratings.
Worse, despite all the sworn promises of austerity and all the solemn pacts to control deficits, the hard evidence also demonstrates that these debts are growing by leaps and bounds.
Official data shows that EU countries have added nearly $1 trillion in new debts just since the sovereign debt crisis began! And that doesn’t even include the massive new obligations of the EU institutions providing bailout funds!
And what’s most shocking is that nearly every effort to cut deficits has resulted in even larger deficits.
The main reason: Government cutbacks have slammed the economy. They have strangled the finances of the people. And they have bankrupted their businesses. So when all that happens, the end result is inevitable — they can’t pay their taxes!
Spain is a classic example. In fact, right now, the collapse in Spanish tax revenues is replicating the pattern in Greece, where fiscal revenues have fallen 4.8% in the past 12 months and Value Added Tax (VAT) revenues have plunged 14.6%.
The Daily Telegraph of London says “Spain is in the gravest danger since the end of the Franco dictatorship.”
Spain’s former premier Felipe Gonzales calls it “a total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through.”
And just remember: Spain is NOT alone!
Surging Borrowing Costs
Spain’s borrowing costs have soared to 7%, widely considered the dividing line between stability and chaos.
Italy’s short-term borrowing costs have jumped wildly, as much as 164 basis points in a single day!
Other European interest rates are on a similar path.
This means that …
On top of collecting a lot less in revenues, they now have to pay a lot more for the money they desperately need to borrow.
But sinking government finances and financing is just one of the traumas striking Europe today. Also consider …

Trauma #2. Banks Under Siege

Drowning in Massive Losses
Swamped with Withdrawals
Lining up for Bailout Money
In addition to America’s banks and thrifts, Weiss Ratings now issues Financial Strength Ratings on all of Europe’s large banks.
And among the largest EU banks (with $200 billion or more in assets), there are now SIXTEEN institutions receiving a Weiss Rating of D+ or lower:
What does our rating of D+ mean?
According to a landmark study by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), it’s the equivalent to “speculative grade” (junk) on the rating scales of Moody’s, S&P and Fitch.
And also according to the GAO, Weiss was the only one that consistently warned ahead of time of future financial failures.
Indeed, if track record is any guide, our tougher grades — based strictly on the facts without any conflicts of interests — are consistently the most accurate.
Like Moody’s, S&P or Fitch, we look at each bank’s capital, earnings, bad loans, liquidity, and other factors.
But unlike the other rating agencies, we have never accepted — and WILL never accept — any compensation from the banks for their ratings.
Nor do we give big banks special credit based on the “too-big-to-fail” theory. We’ve said all along that, when push comes to shove, governments will have to save their own necks first and let failing banks fail.
Or, alternatively, they will have to print money and devalue the banks’ liabilities (YOUR deposits) in order to keep the banks alive.
Either way, depositors are at risk!
In Spain, we first gave Bankia its E+ rating (meaning “very weak”) three months ago — well before its massive losses were revealed, setting off the latest phase of Europe’s debt crisis.
But despite its $396.3 billion in assets, it’s not the largest Spanish bank in jeopardy:
Banco Santander is FOUR times larger with over $1.6 trillion in assets and merits a rating of D-, also deep into junk territory; while Spain’s BBVA bank, with nearly $775 billion in assets, gets a D.
And based on our metrics, Spain’s Caixabank (a $350 billion bank) is just as weak as Bankia with a rating of E+.
In Italy, Unicredit SpA gets an E+, despite its $1.2 trillion in assets; Intesa Sanpaolo merits a D-, and Banca Monte Dei gets an E.
What most people don’t seem to realize, though, is that most of the largest weak banks in the EU — and in the world — are headquartered in …
France! Crédit Agricole (with a massive $2.2 trillion in assets) is a candidate for failure with a rating of E and Societé Générale is not far behind with a D-. Plus, there are two other large French banks in jeopardy — Natixis and CIC.
But here’s the biggest — and most important — surprise of all:
Germany is NOT the safe haven most people think it is, especially when it comes to banking: In fact, the largest weak bank in the world is Deutsche Bank with $2.8 trillion in assets and meriting a D.

Commerzbank, with $857.6 billion in assets, is even weaker, getting an E rating.
All based on the same kind of objective, conflict-free analysis that helped us name nearly all the major failures of the last debt crisis well ahead of time! (See “The Only Ones Who Warned Ahead of Time.”)
Bottom line:
The total assets of just these 16 banks alone is $15 trillion, or about $1 trillion more than the total assets of ALL commercial and savings banks in the United States!

Who Saves Whom?
Late last year, the bonds of major European governments were sinking fast and Europe seemed on the brink of a meltdown.
So the European Central Bank (ECB) decided to come to the rescue with the aid of the largest banks.
The plan was simple:
The ECB hands the money over to the banks via special loans.
The banks hand the money over to sovereign governments by buying their bonds.
And everyone’s happy, right?
Wrong!
The plan has backfired: The government bonds have sunk anyhow. And the banks are stuck with even greater losses.
Now, a “new” old plan is hatching. Instead of banks helping to bail out their governments by buying their bonds … the idea is for governments to bail out their banks with money borrowed from the stronger governments of the European Union.
So one day they talk about banks saving the sovereigns. Next day, it’s the sovereigns savings the banks. They can’t seem to make up their minds as to who will save whom.
But …
Now the Public Is Beginning
To See Through This Charade!
They remember how many times the authorities have vowed that “the crisis is over.”
They know, first hand, how unemployment has gone through the roof.
They see the crisis feeding on itself.
So they are beginning to ask the real question of the day: Who sinks whom?
Will the sovereign debts sink the banks?
Will the banking crisis tear down the sovereign governments?
Or will they both go down in a spiraling cycle of bond market collapses and bank failures?
Our Suggestions …
1. Keep most of your liquid funds in cash, ready to be deployed on a moment’s notice, but as safe as can be right now. The best way: A short-term Treasury-only fund in the U.S., or equivalent.
2. Hold on to all long-term gold holdings. You do not want to let go of those. We feel gold could be headed to $5,000 an ounce over the next few years.
In the short term, however, we would not be surprised to see gold — and silver — move lower.
3. Consider prudent speculative positions to grow your wealth.
But no matter what you invest in — stocks, bonds or commodities — always be open to playing both the declines and the rises.
Even gold, silver and oil, despite major long-term bull markets, are bound to suffer further declines before turning higher.
And never forget this critical fact: As we’ve demonstrated here repeatedly, the U.S. government and U.S. financial institutions have made many of the same mistakes and are vulnerable to most of the same dangers.
http://www.moneyandmarkets.com/double-trauma-strikes-europe-u-s-next-49868

6/20/2012 - Oh Crud! 19 Reasons Why It Is Time To Start Freaking Out About The Global Economy

Yes, it is officially time to start freaking out about the global economy.  The European financial system is falling apart and it is going to go down hard.  If Europe was going to be saved it would have happened by now.  The big money insiders have already pulled their funds from vulnerable positions and they are ready to ride the coming chaos out.   Over the next few months the slow motion train wreck currently unfolding in Europe will continue to play out and things will likely really start really heating up in the fall once summer vacations are over.  Most Americans greatly underestimate how much Europe can affect the global economy.  Europe actually has a larger population than the United States does.  Europe also has a significantly larger economy and a much larger banking system.  The world is more interconnected today than ever before, and a collapse of the financial system in Europe will cause a massive global recession.  Once the global economy slides into another major recession, it is going to take years to recover.  The pain is going to be immense.  Yes, that is going to include the United States.  Sadly, we never recovered from the last recession, and it is frightening to think about how much farther this next recession is going to knock us down.
The big problem is that there is simply way, way, way too much debt in the United States and Europe.  It has been a lot of fun spending all of this borrowed money, but now we get to pay the price.
The following are 19 reasons why it is time to start freaking out about the global economy....
#1 The yield on 10 year Italian bonds has now risen to more than 6 percent.
#2 The yield on 10 year Spanish bonds has now risen to more than 7 percent.  This is considered to be an unsustainable level.
#3 Citigroup Chief Economist Willem Buiter says that both Italy and Spain are going to need major bailouts.
#4 The Spanish banking crisis continues to get worse.  The following is from a CNN article that was posted on Monday....
But the depth of the nation's crisis has raised doubts about whether €100 billion will be enough to recapitalize the banks. For example, the Bank of Spain, the nation's central bank, released data Monday showing that "doubtful" loans -- those that are more than 3 months overdue -- rose to €152.7 billion in April, equal to 8.7% of all the loans held by the nation's banks.
#5 Unemployment in Spain is sitting at a record high of over 24 percent with no hope in sight.
#6 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole has hit a brand new all-time record high.
#7 The socialists won an outright majority in the recent parliamentary elections in France.  That means that France and Germany are now headed in completely different directions.  The close cooperation that we have seen between France and Germany in recent years is now over.
#8 New French President Francois Hollande has promised to implement a top tax rate of 75 percent on those making over 1 million euros a year.
#9 German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared that Germany will not budge at all on the terms of the Greek bailout.
#10 Analysts at Citigroup Global Markets are projecting that the odds of Greece leaving the euro over the next 12 to 18 months are still between 50 and 75 percent.
#11 Money is being transferred from banks in southern Europe to banks in northern Europe at an astounding pace....
Financial advisers and private bankers whose clients have accounts too large to be covered by a Europe-wide guarantee on deposits up to 100,000 euros ($125,000), are reporting a "bank run by wire transfer" that has picked up during May.
Much of this money has headed north to banks in London, Frankfurt and Geneva, financial advisers say.
"It's been an ongoing process but it certainly picked up pace a couple of weeks ago We believe there is a continuous 2-3 year bank run by wire transfer," said Lorne Baring, managing director at B Capital, a Geneva-based pan European wealth management firm.
#12 As I wrote about recently, about 500 million euros a day has been pulled out of Greek banks so far this month.
#13 The Bank for International Settlements is warning that global lending is contracting at the fastest rate that we have seen since the end of the last financial crisis.
#14 Lloyd's of London has publicly admitted that it is making preparations for a collapse of the eurozone.
#15 Government debt levels all over the industrialized world have exploded in recent years.  The following is from a recent article by Stephen Lendman....
Five years ago, OECD countries sovereign debt/GDP ratios were 70%. Today it’s 106% and rising.
Anything over 100% is considered to be an extremely dangerous level.
#16 The economic problems in Europe are already taking a toll on the U.S. economy.  At this point U.S. exports to Europe are way down.
#17 One recent poll found that 75 percent of Americans are either "very or somewhat worried" that the U.S. economy is heading for another recession.
#18 Under Barack Obama, the United States has been indulging in a debt binge unlike anything ever seen in U.S. history.  The following is from a recent Forbes article....
After just one year of the Obama spending binge, federal spending had already rocketed to 25.2% of GDP, the highest in American history except for World War II.  That compares to 20.8% in 2008, and an average of 19.6% during Bush’s two terms.  The average during President Clinton’s two terms was 19.8%, and during the 60-plus years from World War II until 2008 — 19.7%.  Obama’s own fiscal 2013 budget released in February projects the average during the entire 4 years of the Obama Administration to come in at 24.4% in just a few months.  That budget shows federal spending increasing from $2.983 trillion in 2008 to an all time record $3.796 trillion in 2012, an increase of 27.3%.
Moreover, before Obama there had never been a deficit anywhere near $1 trillion.  The highest previously was $458 billion, or less than half a trillion, in 2008. The federal deficit for the last budget adopted by a Republican controlled Congress was $161 billion for fiscal year 2007.  But the budget deficits for Obama’s four years were reported in Obama’s own 2013 budget as $1.413 trillion for 2009, $1.293 trillion for 2010, $1.3 trillion for 2011, and $1.327 trillion for 2012, four years in a row of deficits of $1.3 trillion or more, the highest in world history.
#19 Barack Obama almost seems more focused on his golf game than on the problems the global economy is having.  He just finished up playing his 100th round of golf since he became president.
If you are looking for some kind of a global financial miracle you can stop watching.
If European leaders had a master plan to save Europe they would have shown it by now.
If Barack Obama had a master plan to fix things he would have implemented it by now.
If the Federal Reserve had a master plan to fix things we would have seen it by now.
The entire house of cards is starting to come down and things are going to get really messy.
A lot of people both in the United States and in Europe are going to lose their jobs and their homes over the next few years.
It is likely that the next recession will be even more painful than the last one was.
Now is not the time to panic.  If you acknowledge what is coming and prepare accordingly then you will likely be in good shape.
But if you stick your head in the sand and pretend that everything is going to be okay then the next few years will likely be incredibly painful for you.

6/20/2012 - Net Worth Implosion: It’s Not Just Housing

Source: CNN

Americans’ net worth collapsed in recent years, but don’t blame the housing market for it all.New Census Bureau data shows that median household net worth, excluding home equity, fell by 25% between 2005 and 2010. That decline was driven largely by the plummeting stock market, which devastated Americans’ portfolios and retirement accounts.
Overall, median household net worth declined 35% to $66,740 in 2010.
The median worth of stock and mutual fund portfolios fell 33%, while the median home equity value dropped 28%.
“One of the significant factors is housing, of course, but it’s not that alone” said Alfred Gottschalck, an economist with the Census Bureau. “It’s how business conditions affect stock and retirement accounts.”
The estimates are generally in line with what other government reports have found. Last week, the Federal Reserve released its triennial study that showed median family net worth overall dropped nearly 40%, between 2007 and 2010. The Fed study surveys a smaller number of people.
The Great Recession — including the housing and stock market collapses — wiped out nearly 30 years of net worth gains for the typical household.
“The median household is no wealthier than they were in 1984,” said Scott Winship, economic studies fellow at Brookings Institution.

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