19 Jan 2012
419 scams and Tim Geithner's gimp. In the second half of the show, Max talks to financial blogger and semi-retired Wall Street executive Warren E. Pollock about MF Global, wealth confiscation and bank holidays. Source
Andy Samberg, Neil Gaiman, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage & More Tell Congress: Don't Pass PIPA Or SOPA In Our Names
A group of some pretty damn famous people within the entertainment industry just made it clear that the folks pushing PIPA and SOPA do not represent their best interests. To hear the MPAA and the US Chamber of Commerce tell the story, they're pushing these bills in order to "protect artists." But more and more we're seeing the very artists they claim they're protecting say they want no part of these laws. The guys from The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer), famous both for their YouTube videos and their work on NBC's Saturday Night Live, along with a number of other notable names in the entertainment industry -- including Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Trent Reznor, Aziz Ansari, Adam Savage, Damian Kulash (and the rest of OK GO), the band MGMT, and a bunch more -- have written a letter saying that, as internet users, they don't think these bills are a good idea:
We fear that the broad new enforcement powers provided under SOPA and PIPA could be easily abused against legitimate services like those upon which we depend. These bills would allow entire websites to be blocked without due process, causing collateral damage to the legitimate users of the same services - artists and creators like us who would be censored as a result.When even the very people that the entertainment industry insists its "protecting" with these bills are being quite vocal against them, you have to wonder why they're being pushed so hard?
We are deeply concerned that PIPA and SOPA’s impact on piracy will be negligible compared to the potential damage that would be caused to legitimate Internet services. Online piracy is harmful and it needs to be addressed, but not at the expense of censoring creativity, stifling innovation or preventing the creation of new, lawful digital distribution methods.
We urge Congress to exercise extreme caution and ensure that the free and open Internet, upon which so many artists rely to promote and distribute their work, does not become collateral damage in the process.
Once again, it seems that these bills aren't about protecting artists at all. They're about protecting the gatekeepers, who want to control those artists... Source
”Reddit Co-Founder: SOPA Blackout ‘Resounding Success”
For Chinese shipping executive Ping Bo buying gold is the best way to protect his family's wealth and give his 10-year-old son a headstart into adulthood. (Reuters)
"For my son, the idea is that he will get a nice stash of gold that he can cash out when he turns 21 or when he gets married," said Ping, one of over 2 million people that have opened accounts in the past two years to accumulate gold at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC). The ICBC launched the accounts in April 2010. The gold that it has bought to back them is only a fraction of total Chinese demand, but the explosive growth in the number of investors that have signed up is a symptom of the wider demand for the precious metal in the world's most populous country. China, expected to overtake India as the world's top gold consumer in the next few years, accounted for 23 percent of the world's total consumer physical gold demand in the first three quarters of 2011, up from 19 percent in 2010, according to the World Gold Council (WGC). Growing wealth in a traditional culture that favours gold, economic uncertainty and looser regulations on the domestic gold market together have combined to create rapid growth in China's gold demand. The accounts are one of a range of methods that China's banks have come up with that allow small investors like Ping access to the gold market. Investors buy as little as a gram a month through the accounts, a tiny quantity but one that adds up when the middle class of the world's most populous country is involved. "Its a fantastic way for me to accumulate gold," said Shanghai-based Ping. ICBC's accounts drew 2.33 million investors by the end of November, according to the bank, just 19 months after the launch, with 22 tonnes of gold held to back them. Agricultural Bank of China said that for a similar product launched in September, more than 70,000 clients signed up to buy a minimum of one gram of gold per month. "The product will retain its vitality as long as the demand for physical gold investment keeps growing," said the bank in a written reply to a Reuters enquiry. The ability of China's banks to keep money flowing into bullion investments will play a major part in supporting gold prices this year, after spot bullion pulled back to around $1,660 an ounce from a record above $1,920 in September. "The Chinese really love gold," said Shi Xudong, deputy head of the Administration Office of the Precious Metals Department at ICBC (1398.HK) (601398.SS). "The fact that the government has started to clean up the gold market is favourable to our business, as investors who have been trading on illegal platforms will need to look for new investment platforms." He referred to a recent statement from China's central bank on cracking down on informal gold exchanges outside the Shanghai Gold Exchange and Shanghai Futures Exchange. ICBC, the biggest among the country's commercial banks in precious metals, also offers paper gold, a way for investors to buy and sell without taking physical delivery, and allows retail investors to trade on the Shanghai Gold Exchange through its platform. In the first 11 months of 2011, the bank's clients traded 295 tonnes of gold on Shanghai gold forward contracts and 615 tonnes on paper gold. In 2011, the bank sold 50 tonnes of physical gold products and 70 tonnes of silver products, ICBC said. For graphic on China's physical gold demand, click link.reuters.com/raz85s
CHINA GOLD DEMAND TO RETAIN HIGH GROWTH. In the first three quarters of 2011, China's jewellery demand shot up 34 percent on the year to 376.8 tonnes, while demand for coins and bars surged 89 percent to 204.1 tonnes, according to the WGC. Albert Cheng, Managing Director of the WGC, Far East, estimated total jewellery consumption would grow to 500 tonnes and physical investment demand exceed 250 tonnes in 2011, which would bring total demand up at least 18 percent from a year earlier. "In 2012, both investment and jewellery demand will retain growth, albeit at a lower pace," Cheng told Reuters in an interview. He estimated that investment demand would grow 25-30 percent, and jewellery demand 6-10 percent, in 2012. Volume on gold derivative trades could be 15 to 20 times physical investment demand, Cheng said. As a sign of surging demand for bullion, China's gold imports from Hong Kong in the first 11 months of 2011 more than tripled on the year. China has one of the world's highest saving rates, and the public faces few investment options. A volatile stock market and a property market under government crackdown are driving investors to seek alternative investment choices. "Chinese investors are looking for ways to protect their savings from negative real interest rates," said Nick Trevethan, Senior Commodity Strategist at ANZ in Singapore. "A diverse saving portfolio could help." Source
The UK has admitted for the first time that it was using a fake rock to spy on Russia six years ago. The chief of staff to the then British PM Tony Blair has made the revelation in an interview. In 2006 the UK dismissed the allegations that appeared in the Russian media. Source
"This video exposes Israel's increasing role in American politics, which has led to the Iraq war, September 11, 2001, and a great deal of other tragedies that have befallen the United States.Israel's lobby in America, AIPAC, is the only foreign agent in America that does not have to register under the Foreign Agent Registration Act. Almost every major American politician in the last decade has either met with AIPAC or flown to Israel to receive approval before running a campaign. Many of America's congressman have admitted that they constantly ask how Israel feels about a bill before voting on it.
And, on a side note, this video exposes how American zionists like Sheldon Adelson pay politicians such as Newt Gingrich to attack Ron Paul because he doesn't support Israel. Now we know why Gingrich called Paul's foreign policy "dangerous."
Goldman Sachs was the largest contributor to President Obama's 2008 Presidential campaign and it has been widely estimated that American supporters of Israel contribute between 35-75% of all political contributions in American elections." Source
"The greater good fascist crap."
Angelo: Still not convinced about Ron's anti abortion stance. That aside, he would seem to be the by far the sanest choice for the USA and the best candidate by miles for the rest of the world, including the 51st State UK. Perhaps then we will follow suit and abandon a majority of our overseas army bases stop attacking other countries to bolster our arms industry and deal with the real mess on our own doorstep. Perhaps then we will find the balls to vote for local independents if the same ilk as opposed to one or other of the heads of the fat government 1% corporate cabal coddling muzzled career politician Hydra. Speaking as a proponent of a free market.
Eastman Kodak Co., the photography pioneer that introduced its $1 Brownie Camera more than a century ago, filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors after consumers worldwide moved from film to digital technology. Olivia Sterns reports on Bloomberg Television's "On the Move" with Owen Thomas. (Source: Bloomberg)