They should be lined up and shot.
The EU allows Europeans politicians to behave more like their US counterparts. From today’s Open Europe news summary:
The European Court of Auditors has concluded that the €1bn of EU aid to Egypt over the last seven years under the European Neighbourhood Policy has been “well-intentioned, but ineffective” in terms of improving human rights and democracy.
ECA press release Le Figaro FT
The price of bullion is not set in the physical market where individuals take delivery of bullion purchases. It is set in the paper futures market where short selling can drive down the price even if the demand for physical possession is rising. The paper gold market is also the market in which people speculate and leverage their positions, place stop-loss orders, and are subject to margin calls.
When the enormous naked shorts hit the COMEX, stop-loss orders were triggered adding to the sales, and margin calls forced more sales. (Read more)
Is your coutry’s GDP too low? No problem! Just lie. I can almost *feel* the economy getting healthier. Whelp, I’m off to sell my gold and buy government bods.
I smell something fishy — that market-manipulating, terrified-central-banker smell.
The likelihood of the decline: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-04-16/presenting-golds-7-sigma-move
A new report on American aid to Haiti in the wake of that country’s devastating earthquake finds most of the money went to U.S.-based operations.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research analyzed the $1.15 billion pledged after the January 2010 quake. The group says a lack of transparency makes it hard to track all the money. It found the “vast majority” of the money it could follow went to U.S. companies and organizations, more than half in the Washington area alone.
Just 1 percent went to Haitian companies. (Read more)
California will be the first state to declare bankruptcy.
Alameda County supervisors have really taken to heart the adage that government should run like a business — rewarding County Administrator Susan Muranishi with the Wall Street-like wage of $423,664 a year.
For the rest of her life.
According to county pay records, in addition to her $301,000 base salary, Muranishi receives:
– $24,000, plus change, in “equity pay’’ to guarantee that she makes at least 10 percent more than anyone else in the county.
– About $54,000 a year in “longevity” pay for having stayed with the county for more than 30 years.
– An annual performance bonus of $24,000.
– And another $9,000 a year for serving on the county’s three-member Surplus Property Authority, an ad hoc committee of the Board of Supervisors that oversees the sale of excess land.
Like other county executives, Muranishi also gets an $8,292-a-year car allowance.
Muranishi has been with the county for 38 years, and she’s 63. When retirement day comes, she’ll be getting a lot more than a gold watch.
That’s because, according to the county auditor’s office, Muranishi’s annual pension will be equal to the dollar total of her entire yearly package — $413,000. She also has a separate executive private pension plan, for which the county chips in $46,500 a year.
These are the people “protecting” the public from corporate abuses.
Some bombastic idiot got paid $200,000 to make USDA employees repeat mantras about diversity and multiculturalism. The videos are rapidly vanishing from the internet, but you can follow the links.
– USDA sensitivity training video excerpt 1 – “If you take a look at all of you here and you think about your salaries and your benefits and what you have left undone – plus my fee – plus the expense of the team that putting the video together, this is a huge expense.”
– USDA sensitivity training video excerpt 2 – “I want you to say that American was founded by outsiders – say that – who are today’s insiders, who are very nervous about today’s outsiders. I want you to say, ‘The pilgrims were illegal aliens.’ Say, ‘The pilgrims never gave their passports to the Indians.’” Betances also asked the audience, “Give me a bam,” after these statements, to which the audience replied in unison.
– USDA sensitivity training video excerpt 3 – “By the way, I don’t like the word ‘minorities.’ How about ‘emerging majorities?’”
THE Pentagon says it has grounded its entire fleet of F-35 fighter jets after discovering a cracked engine blade.
The problem was discovered during what the Pentagon called a routine inspection at Edwards Air Force Base, California, of an Air Force version of the F-35. Other versions of the F-35 are flown by the Navy and the Marine Corps.
All versions were grounded on Friday. (Read more)
Military procurement is the most holy, and therefore the most corrupt government procurement.
The Pentagon’s pursuit of the Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter jet has been a heartbreaking one. If you’re a tax payer, the program’s estimated $1 trillion price tag probably breaks your heart a little bit. If you’re an aviation enthusiast, the constant whittling away of the do-it-all aircraft’s features, which in many cases actually amounts to adding weight and taking away maneuverability, must hurt a little bit, too.
. . . .
To put it bluntly, the Pentagon’s new trillion-dollar fighter jet doesn’t go a fast as it should, doesn’t turn as sharp as it should and doesn’t handle as nimbly as it should. This is bad news, explains Wired’s David Axe. For the pilots who will eventually take the F-35 into combat, the JSF’s reduced performance means they might not be able to outfly and outfight the latest Russian- and Chinese-made fighters,” writes Axe. “Even before the downgrades, some analysts questioned the F-35′s ability to defeat newer Sukhoi and Shenyang jets.” That all sounds like bad news, doesn’t it? If our expensive new jets can’t beat the Russians or the Chinese, who can we fight? I’m pretty sure al Qaeda doesn’t have an air force. (Read more)