Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Today's Links

1--Merck’s Former Doctor Predicts that Gardasil will Become the Greatest Medical Scandal of All Time, HIN

The full extent of the Gardasil scandal needs to be assessed: everyone knew when this vaccine was released on the American market that it would prove to be worthless!  Diane Harper, a major opinion leader in the United States, was one of the first to blow the whistle, pointing out the fraud and scam of it all.

Gardasil is useless and costs a fortune!  In addition, decision-makers at all levels are aware of it!
Cases of Guillain-Barré syndrome, paralysis of the lower limbs, vaccine-induced MS and vaccine-induced encephalitis can be found, whatever the vaccine.

I predict that Gardasil will become the greatest medical scandal of all times because at some point in time, the evidence will add up to prove that this vaccine, technical and scientific feat that it may be, has absolutely no effect on cervical cancer and that all the very many adverse effects which destroy lives and even kill, serve no other purpose than to generate profit for the manufacturers.

There is far too much financial interest for these medicines to be withdrawn.

3--The EU's "creditless recovery, naked capitalism

, despite declining bank credit

4---Giving Away the Farm: Gov Guarantees for private label MBS?, Dean Baker

Johnson-Crapo solves both problems for the industry. First, it shuts down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This means Wall Street no longer has to worry about competing with them. But, Crapo-Johnson does more than just wipe out Wall Street's competition; it also allows banks to issue MBS that carry a government guarantee.

Under Johnson-Crapo, investors would have 90 percent of the price of a privately issued MBS guaranteed by the government. This means that no matter how much garbage Goldman Sachs or J.P. Morgan threw into an MBS, investors wouldn't have to worry about losing more than 10 percent of their investment. After an initial 10 percent loss, the taxpayers would be on the hook for the rest.

Proponents of Johnson-Crapo argue that the risk of losing 10 percent of their investment will ensure the quality of these MBS. Apparently these people are not old enough to remember back to the days of the housing bubble when investors gobbled up MBS issued by the Wall Street banks even though they could in principle lose 100 percent of their investment.

The moral hazard created by Johnson-Crapo, in which private banks get the profit and taxpayers get the risk, virtually guarantees the sort of abuses we saw during the housing bubble years. In fact, if we feel the need to get rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as government-run companies, it would make far more sense to just get the government out of the MBS market altogether.

5--The problem starts in Kiev, RT

First, it is wrong to portray the situation as if the main problem is in eastern Ukraine. Yes, people have taken up arms and seized public buildings. What our Western colleagues don’t want to see is that these actions are a reaction to what happened in Kiev – to the violent unconstitutional coup, to attempts to curtail the status of the Russian language, to calls by extremists for punitive operations in the east, to the inability of the authorities to end provocation or begin meaningful dialogue with Russian-speaking regions. One cannot expect people to go home when no steps are being taken to end the threats from Kiev and western Ukraine.

Second, it is unacceptable that the situation in the east is described as being the result of Russian meddling. We haven’t seen the slightest proof of that. Kiev and Washington are unable to corroborate their claims by anything other than the fact that the activists speak Russian and hold Kalashnikovs – which is also the case for most Ukrainian servicemen in that area. British reporters on the ground overwhelmingly agree the protest movement has local roots and is manned by local residents. That Russia can order them to stop protesting is pure fantasy....

If  the current leaders continue to see the situation exclusively through the prism of “Russian aggression” instead of addressing the real problems, they risk plunging their country into an economic abyss. Such a scenario is deeply troubling for Russia and the Russian people, who wish their Ukrainian brothers and sisters well, but the risks are increasing with every day that passes.

6---Washington, EU imposes new sanctions on Russia, wsws

The US puppet regime in Kiev has also demanded more severe sanctions against Russia, including a cut-off of European purchases of Russian oil and gas.
The EU has until now held back from taking such measures, which could quickly bring much of the European economy to a halt. Several major energy importing nations depend on supplies from Russia, including Germany (30 percent), the Netherlands (34 percent), and Italy (28 percent). Many Eastern European countries rely almost totally on Russia: Poland (91 percent), Lithuania (92 percent), Slovakia (96 percent), Hungary (86 percent), and Bulgaria (90 percent).

British energy corporations, including BP, which holds a 20 percent stake in Rosneft, reportedly intervened to oppose US plans for sanctions against Russia modeled on those imposed on Iran, which have largely cut the country off from world trade. US oil firm ExxonMobil, which also works closely with Rosneft, said it was studying the potential impact of sanctions against Russia on its operations.

Russian officials dismissed the sanctions and threatened to retaliate. “We will respond, although it is not our choice,” Deputy Foreign Minister Sergey Ryabkov told ITAR-TASS. “But we cannot leave this situation without reaction, without practical reaction, without reaction by means of our own decisions. US behavior in the field is becoming provocative.”

7---10 Warnings Signs Of Stock Market Exuberance  , Lance Roberts

  1. Expected strong OR acceleration of GDP and EPS  (40% of 2013's EPS increase occurred in the 4th quarter)
  2. Large number of IPOs of unprofitable AND speculative companies
  3. Parabolic move up in stock prices of hot industries (not just individual stocks)
  4. High valuations (many metrics are at near-record highs, a few at record highs)
  5. Fantastic high valuation of some large mergers (e.g., Facebook & WhatsApp)
  6. High NYSE margin debt- Margin debt/gdp (March 2000: 2.7%, July 2007: 2.6%, Jan 2014: 2.6%)
    - Margin debt/market cap (March 2000: 1.8%, July 2007: 2.3%, Jan 2014: 2.0%)
  7. Household direct holdings of equities as % of total financial assets at 24%, second-highest level (data back to 1953, highest was 1998-2000)
  8. Highly bullish sentiment (down slightly from year-end peaks; still high or near record high, depending on the source)
  9. Unusually high ratio of selling to buying by corporate senior managers (the buy/sell ratio of senior corporate officers is now at the record post-1990 lows seen in Summer 2007 and Spring 2011)
  10. Stock prices rise following speculative press releases (e.g., Tesla will dominate battery business after they get partner who knows how to build batteries and they build a big factory.  This also assumes that NO ONE else will enter into that business such as GM, Ford or GE.)
  11. All are true today, and it is the third time in the last 15 years these factors have occurred simultaneously which is the most remarkable aspect of the situation
8---Epidemic Of Hunger: New Report Says 49 Million Americans Are Dealing With Food Insecurity, zero hedge

9--Average Retirement Age In America Hits Record High, zero hedge

10--Creeping Deflation: Saxo Warns "Markets Are Drifting Into Dangerous Territory. zero hedge

11---Collapsing mortgage market has Corelogic down, but not out, HW

Due to 60% “contraction” in mortgage origination volumes ...

CoreLogic cited an estimated 60% “contraction” in U.S. mortgage origination volumes as a driver in its lower revenue. The company did note that market share gains in Technology and Processing Solutions and growth in insurance and spatial solutions and international operations helped to offset the drop.
The company’s operating income from continuing operations was down significantly from last year. It decreased 71% to $13.7 million reflecting the impact of lower mortgage origination volumes as well as acquisition-related costs, severance charges and stranded AMPS costs.
The net loss from continuing operations was $3.9 million.

12--What will be the impact of cash investors slowing purchases in California? Large investor sales drop 31 percent year-over-year in California. 1.2 million homeowners underwater. Dr Housing Bubble

Investor activity slows down dramatically   
First, there has never been a year where 30 percent or more of all sales went to investors. That is, until 2009. Since that point, for half a decade over 30 percent of all sales in the state of California have gone to the “all cash” crowd. Wall Street was the first house horny buyer leveraging cheap rates in a lustful attempt to chase yield. This is how you have the odd mix of a falling homeownership rate in conjunction with higher home prices

13--Spring Recovery: Dead on Arrival?, DS News

14---Average Down Payments Shrink in Q1 2014, DS News

15---The credit crisis remains real, HW

Fear of mortgage rejection drives away almost half of potential buyers

Most telling, though, is the reinvention of the Clinton Administra-tion as a halcyon time of progressive success. Bill Clinton’s record dem-onstrates, if anything, the extent of Reagan ism’s victory in de
ning the terms of political debate and the limits of political practice. A recap of some of his administration’s greatest hits should suf
ce to break through the social amnesia. Clinton ran partly on a pledge of “ending welfare as we know it”; in of
ce he both presided over the termination of the feder-al government’s sixty-year commitment to provide income support for the poor and effectively ended direct federal provision of low-income housing. In both cases his approach was to transfer federal subsidies—when not simply eliminating them—from impoverished people to em-ployers of low-wage labor, real estate developers, and landlords. He signed into law repressive crime bills that increased the number of feder-al capital offenses,
ooded the prisons, and upheld unjusti
ed and racial-ly discriminatory sentencing disparities for crack and powder cocaine. He pushed NAFTA through over strenuous objections from labor and many congressional Democrats. He temporized on his campaign pledge to pursue labor-law reform that would tilt the playing
eld back toward workers, until the Republican takeover of Congress in 1995 gave him an excuse not to pursue it at all. He undertook the privatization of Sallie Mae, the Student Loan Marketing Association, thereby fueling the student-debt crisis. Notwithstanding his administration’s Orwell ian folderol about “reinventing government,” his commitment to de
cit reduction led to, among other things, extending privatization of the federal meat-inspection program, which shifted responsibility to the meat industry—a reinvention that must have pleased his former Arkansas patron, Tyson Foods, and arguably has left its legacy in the sporadic outbreaks and recalls that suggest deeper, endemic problems of food safety in the United States. His approach to health-care reform, like Barack Obama’s, was built around placating the insurance and pharmaceutical indus-tries, and its failure only intensi
ed the blitzkrieg of for-pro
t medicine.In foreign policy, he was no less inclined than Reagan or George H.
Bush to engage in military interventionism. Indeed, counting his portion of the Somali operation, he conducted nearly as many discrete military interventions as his two predecessors
 and in four fewer years. Moreover, the Clinton Administration initiated the “extraordinary rendition” policy, under which the United States claims the right to appre-hend individuals without charges or public accounting so that they can be imprisoned anywhere in the world (and which the Obama Administration has explicitly refused to repudiate). Clinton also increased American use of “privatized military services”—that is, mercenaries.

Leading active members of today’s economics profession... have formed

themselves into a kind of Politburo for correct economic thinking. As a general

rule—as one might generally expect from a gentleman’s club—this has placed them

on the wrong side of every important policy issue, and not just recently but for

decades. They predict disaster where none occurs. They deny the possibility of

events that then happen. ... They oppose the most basic, decent and sensible

reforms, while offering placebos instead. They are always surprised when something

untoward (like a recession) actually occurs. And when finally they sense that

some position cannot be sustained, they do not reexamine their ideas. They do not

consider the possibility of a flaw in logic or theory. Rather, they simply change the

subject. No one loses face, in this club, for having been wrong. No one is dis-invited

from presenting papers at later annual meetings.And still less is anyone from the

outside invited in.19

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