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Trump Administration Seeks To 'Dismantle' The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Reader 12/03/2017 (Sun) 14:46:57 Id: 7bfc77 [Preview] No. 4013 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is now the star of a bizarre legal and bureaucratic drama, a Rome-versus-Avignon power struggle unfolding a block from the White House. The resignation of the bureau’s director, Richard Cordray, has created a soap-opera succession battle tailor-made for the frenzied Washington news cycle, with two dueling officials claiming his job and furious partisans arguing both sides. President Donald Trump’s tweet on Sunday trashing the CFPB as “a total disaster” got more attention than anything the bureau has done in its six-year existence. So did the donuts that Trump’s pick as acting director, White House budget chief Mick Mulvaney, brought to his first staff meeting at the bureau.

But with much less fanfare, the bureau has done quite a lot since President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats created it in response to the financial crisis of 2008. It has cracked down on predatory lenders, sleazy brokers, bullying debt collectors and Wall Street scammers, forcing financial firms to return $12 billion to 30 million ripped-off consumers. It has helped transform the mortgage market, the credit card industry, and other money-moving businesses that used to enjoy lax or non-existent government oversight. Its database of consumer complaints—online and publicly searchable— has helped more than a million disgruntled financial customers get corporate responses, while serving as a kind of government-run Yelp for money matters.

In its six years of existence, the CFPB has quietly established itself as the most powerful and consequential new federal agency since the Environmental Protection Agency opened its doors nearly half a century ago. In the process, the bureau has provoked ferocious blowback from financial lobbyists and Republican leaders, who have portrayed it as a rogue Soviet-style bureaucracy and Cordray as an unaccountable dictator. Several federal judges have also smacked down the bureau for overstepping its authority, bolstering the critics who have accused it of launching a lawless ideological crusade to tear down Big Finance.

Mulvaney is one of those critics; after his first day as acting CFPB director, he slagged his new workplace as “an awful example of a bureaucracy gone wrong,” announcing that he was freezing all new hiring, rulemaking, and fines. And no matter who wins the legitimacy battle of the moment between Mulvaney and Cordray’s hand-picked temporary successor, Leanne English, Trump will eventually get to pick a permanent director who will surely push for radical changes at the bureau. “Elections have consequences at every agency,” said Mulvaney, who won the first round of the court fight in front of a Trump-appointed judge.

It’s hard to predict what those consequences will be, now that the mortgage meltdown that birthed the bureau is no longer fresh in the public’s mind, and its critics are ascendant in Washington. A federal judge ruled last fall that the CFPB director had such “enormous executive power” that the agency’s structure violated the Constitution, a ruling that is now on appeal.

But regardless of the outcome of that case, Trump’s appointees might not find it so easy to reshape the bureau that Obama’s appointees have had six years to shape. Trump’s CFPB director will be his only political appointee at an agency with 1,600 career employees (though eventually he'll have more). Those employees were all recruited by Obama’s directors—first a liberal law professor named Elizabeth Warren, who dreamt up the agency and led it during its startup phase before running for Senate in Massachusetts, and then Cordray, the first and only director to hold the job on a permanent basis. Their hires tended to share their belief in aggressive consumer protection. They wanted to help the new sheriff clean up the Wild West.

Reader 12/03/2017 (Sun) 14:47:28 Id: 7bfc77 [Preview] No.4014 del
Politically, the bureau’s defeats in court have bolstered the industry’s arguments that the bureau itself needs reining in, arguments Trump and his aides are echoing as they seek to dial back its regulatory intensity. But Cordray was trying to build a lasting institutional culture, and he often told his staff he didn’t want to run the kind of agency that wins every fight.

The bureau’s defenders warn that Trump and other Republicans just want to gut it on behalf of corporate donors who don’t want a tough cop on the financial beat, even though Trump promised to fight Wall Street during his populist campaign. There’s some truth to that. Banks are enjoying record profits, and the mortgage market is healthy and growing. But the critics say the bureau is basically a progressive consumer advocacy group with virtually unlimited power to write rules, issue subpoenas and levy fines, as if Public Citizen or Consumer Union had carte blanche to target and punish firms they didn’t like. There’s some truth to that, too.

The legal fight over the future of the CFPB began on Cordray’s last day in office, when he ventured into another gray area to try to put English, his chief of staff, in charge of the bureau until Trump can get a permanent director confirmed. But the policy fight will continue long after the legal fight is settled. The White House is clearly eager to dismantle a pocket of liberal resistance inside Trump’s Washington, even though polls suggest that the public overwhelmingly supports the bureau’s work. It’s only been in existence for six years, but its early leaders have tried to make it dismantle-proof.

“We thought long and hard about this,” recalls Raj Date, the agency’s first deputy director. “We wanted to build something that would endure.”


Iceland's New Government Has Cunning Plan Of Tapping Banks To Boost Growth, Improve Infrastructure Reader 12/03/2017 (Sun) 14:20:50 Id: 1d3d02 [Preview] No. 4010 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
We like Iceland, we’ve never been there, but that doesn’t matter. Besides the outstanding natural beauty, Iceland, unlike the US, UK and practically everywhere else, holds bankers accountable. Last time we checked, 29 had been jailed. As we discussed, it also holds its leaders accountable (partially – see below) when they are complicit in exonerating convicted child rapists. Such an event brought down Iceland’s government in September.

Last week, it emerged that Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson knew of attempts by his father, Benedikt Sveinsson, to have the Ministry of Justice grant “restored honor” to a convicted child rapist. Benediktsson kept this secret as the rapist, a friend of his father’s was essentially exonerated.

Restored honor is the controversial process by which convicted criminals can have their crimes expunged and return to society with all rights and privileges restored. It requires that the convicted person serve between two to five years of their sentence on their best behavior and that they have multiple letters of recommendation. Sveinsson provided one such letter.

Iceland held new elections on 28 October 2017 and a new coalition government came in to power this week. Iceland’s economy has been booming, in part due to the influx of tourists visiting its thriving capital city, Reykjavik, along with the Geysir geyser and the Gullfoss waterfalls. On any given day, tourists are likely to account for about 10% of the island’s population. However, as the FT explains, Iceland is paying a price for its success.

These challenges include everything from the poor quality roads and overburdened infrastructure to a lack of accommodation and simmering popular discontent over how tourism is being handled. At Geysir and Gullfoss in central Iceland, dozens of buses and cars park at both attractions for free before disgorging tourists who pay no entrance fee. The roads across Iceland are under intense strain from hire cars and a tourist died just after Christmas in a head-on collision on a single-track bridge.

“What are we sacrificing when we don’t put a levy on tourists? The roads here are dangerous,” says Asta Helgadottir, an MP for the anti-establishment Pirate party…Accommodation is also a problem. Cranes everywhere in Reykjavik attest to the surge in hotel construction but the increase in rooms still lags behind the growth in tourism.

However, all is not lost. The new government has a plan…which involves Iceland’s banks and tapping their excess capital. According to Bloomberg.

Iceland’s new left-right coalition government is gearing up for a spending drive to fix the nation’s dilapidated infrastructure after years of austerity and it could tap its banks for the some of needed cash.

Iceland got a new government on Thursday, in a coalition between the Left Greens, the Progressive Party and the conservative Independence Party. The parties have pledged to spend more on roads and other infrastructure to catch up on an estimated 400 billion kronur ($3.9 billion) in missing investments.

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Reader 12/03/2017 (Sun) 14:21:28 Id: 1d3d02 [Preview] No.4011 del
Bloomberg spoke to the man himself, “According to Finance Minister Bjarni Benediktsson the government has an ace in the hole that can help finance the spending: the excess equity in its three largest banks, Arion Bank hf, Landsbankinn hf and Islandsbanki hf. The banks have leverage ratios in the 16 percent to 18 percent range at the end of June, far above the 3 percent minimum, according to Iceland’s central bank.

“We have hundreds of billions of kronur, way more than any other European nation, tied up in financial institutions,” said Benediktsson, a former prime minister who will now take over at the Finance Ministry, in an interview on Thursday “And we in the three parties are ready to shake loose this capital to use it toward an infrastructure build up.”

With a plan like that, the government must have considerable leverage over Iceland’s major banks... and it does.

We hadn’t fully appreciated how rapidly Iceland’s economy has been growing - last year it grew faster than China (6.7%) and even faster than India (7.1%). However, the growth rate is declining rapidly, so the coalition government’s plan might be timely, if it can be executed.

Despite the differing left-right ideologies in the new coalition government, Bjarni Ben and the new prime minister are cautiously confident, especially the former.

Internally, the government may find it hard to reconcile the policies of its two biggest party’s, the Left Greens and the Independence Party. But both party leaders on Thursday insisted they would make it work.

“The outer circumstances are working in our favor in forming this government,” Benediktsson. “We are the European nation that is growing at one of the fastest rates — we have no unemployment in Iceland to speak of, we have a budget surplus since 2014 and forecasts predict continuing growth, a great increase in tourism next year.”

Taking over as prime minister will be Left Green leader Katrin Jakobsdottir, the first time the party holds the top spot after emerging as the second biggest group in October’s election. While she faced some internal party turmoil for joining with the Conservatives, she is now “optimistic but realistic” that she can make it work.

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BUSTED: German Government Forcing Tech Companies To Install Spyware, Backdoors Into Every Digital Device Reader 12/03/2017 (Sun) 00:42:09 Id: c1d98a [Preview] No. 4008 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
The German government are forcing technology companies to install hidden digital ‘spy devices’ in cars, computers, phones and other devices, according to a leaked Interior Minister memo.

The RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland (RND) reports that Thomas de Maizière, Federal Minister of the Interior, has written up draft legislation which highlights “the legal duty for third parties to allow for secret surveillance.”

Thelocal.de reports:

According to the RND, the proposal would “dramatically extend” the state’s powers to spy on its citizens.

The Interior Minister has been motivated to propose a new law by the fact that it is becoming ever more difficult for the intelligence agencies to break through the security systems which protect privacy on digital devices.

For example, the modern locking systems on cars are so intelligent that they even warn a driver if their car is shaken a little bit. De Maizière wants the new law to ensure that these alerts would not be sent out to a car owner if the police determined it to be justified by their investigation.

But the parameters of the proposed law are reportedly much wider. De Maizière also wants the security services to have the ability to spy on any device connected to the internet. Tech companies would have to give the state “back door” access to private tablets and computers, and even to smart TVs and digital kitchen systems.

The security services would need the authorization of a judge to hack into any of these devices.

The proposal was met with astonishment by digital activists and politicians on Friday.

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Well That Didn't Last Long! Week After New 'Peace Agreement', Israeli and Syrian Militaries Clash Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 21:33:35 Id: f29caa [Preview] No. 4000 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
RELATED: >>>/news/3776

The Syrian army has fired at least four surface-to-air missiles at Israeli aircraft as the regime launched an attack against the western countryside of Syria’s capital Damascus, reports say.

The Arabic-language al-Masdar news agency, citing an unnamed source, said the Syrian military's anti-aircraft missiles were fired from the Mezzeh Airbase in rural Damascus in the early hours of Saturday.

The source added that an Israeli fighter jet was flying at a low altitude over Lebanon’s Baalbek region near Syria's border when the Syrian missiles were launched.

The news agency, citing an unnamed military source, reported that a number of Israeli missiles were fired toward the 1st Division ammo depot in the western countryside of Damascus, adding that the Syrian Air Defense managed to intercept some of the projectiles before hitting their designated target.

However, some of the missiles hit their intended target, causing loud explosions near the towns of Kesweh and Sahnaya, the source further added.

Over the past few years, the Israeli military has launched sporadic attacks against various targets on Syrian soil, in assaults slammed by Syria as attempts to boost the terror groups wreaking havoc on the country.

On September 7, at least two Syrian soldiers were killed after Israeli fighter jets targeted an army position in the west-central province of Hama, just days after the Syrian army broke the siege imposed by the Takfiri Daesh terror group on the eastern city of Dayr al-Zawr.

On several occasions, the Syrian army has also confiscated Israeli-made arms and military equipment from terrorists fighting the government forces. Israel has also been providing medical treatment to the extremist militants wounded in Syria.

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Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 22:15:05 Id: 72d669 [Preview] No.4001 del
(108.17 KB 1280x720 iraq war.jpg)
(310.98 KB 1024x1225 Iran.jpg)
When "Israelites" use lies to attack the capital city of Syria because of alleged Iranian air bases. Similar to Netanyahu's lies to the UN that Iran has WMDs with his ACME bomb drawing. The same scenario with Iraq.

Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 22:15:17 Id: f29caa [Preview] No.4002 del

Reader 12/03/2017 (Sun) 00:20:46 Id: 96df1f [Preview] No.4006 del
I find it so ridiculous when these people always go cry about it to the UN, like mommy Un is going to make it right. They do realize they're sending citizens to die in these pissing contests, right?

Reader 12/03/2017 (Sun) 00:26:34 Id: f29caa [Preview] No.4007 del
It is ridiculous, the UN was supposed to be an organization to prevent wars and war crimes. Now its just some corrupt globalist bureaucracy finding ways to consolidate more control for themselves.

Like the IMF is today, the UN should be snubbed and ignored by nations from now on.

President Duterte Suspends Vaccine Program In Philippines Due To Public Health Risks Reader 12/03/2017 (Sun) 00:15:35 Id: eae495 [Preview] No. 4005 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
President Duterte has suspended a vaccination program in the Philippines due to concerns that it poses a significant public health risk.

The degnue immunization program was found to actually infect people who were previously not infected.

Ponderwall.com reports: https://archive.fo/wZhMX

The decision comes after the announcement of the French pharmaceutical manufacturer Sanofi (link) that its vaccine, Dengvaxia, is efficient only if the subject had previously had been infected.

Otherwise, more cases of severe disease could occur.

“These findings highlight the complex nature of dengue infection.

We are working with health authorities to ensure that prescribers, vaccinators and patients are fully informed of the new findings, with the goal of enhancing the impact of Dengvaxia in dengue-endemic countries,” said Dr. Su-Peing Ng, Global Medical Head, Sanofi Pasteur.

The Health secretary, Mr. Francisco Duque, said that the suspension will not be revoked until the government consults medical experts and the World Health Organization.

740,000 school students have already received the vaccine as part of a national program, and about 200,000 people are infected with Dengue every year.

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HP Silently Installs Telemetry Spyware On Your PC: Here's How to Remove It Reader 12/01/2017 (Fri) 00:23:25 Id: 1f9654 [Preview] No. 3907 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
Do you own a Hewlett-Packard (HP) Windows PC or laptop?

Multiple HP customers from around the world are reporting that HP has started deploying a "spyware" onto their laptops—without informing them or asking their permission.

The application being branded as spyware is actually a Windows Telemetry service deployed by HP, called "HP Touchpoint Analytics Client," which was first identified on November 15.

According to reports on several online forums, the telemetry software—which the HP customers said they never opted to have installed and had no idea was continually running in the background—was pushed out in a recent update.

However, it's not yet clear whether the software has come with the latest Microsoft's Windows updates, or via HP's support assistant processes.

An official description of the software says that the program "harvests telemetry information that is used by HP Touchpoint's analytical services."

HP Touchpoint Makes Your Computer Slow

HP customers also complained that the installation slowed down their system significantly.

On HP's customer forum, one user even reported that due to more than 95 percent CPU usage by the analytics service, his system anti-malware software started checking for suspicious activity.

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5 posts omitted.

Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 00:27:30 Id: f146b3 [Preview] No.3961 del
I used to pirate as well. Letter agencies took down btjunkie, then kickass a few times, and piratebay has trackers all over their torrents. My ISP sent petty threats. About the 14th time, I decided to stick to streaming sites instead of torrents. That is, after coworkers informed me of the fines they've been charged with by ATT&T of $500-600. Not my ISP, but I'm not risking it anymore.

Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 00:51:54 [Preview] No.3962 del
>Its like a hobby to them.
you caught on

Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 13:31:22 Id: 477287 [Preview] No.3968 del
Dude, you must use a private VPN to pirate anything these days. That's EXACTLY why I'm "paranoid"... they are all over those piracy sites sniffing out traffic. If you don't use basic security measures (like I do) then your busted. Simple as that.

So I'm not so paranoid as I look or sound, its really common sense, and the computers that manufacture these days all have wifi-embedded backdoors so you can't hide offline from the alphabet gangs. Thats why I use older computer systems.

Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 22:26:20 Id: f146b3 [Preview] No.4003 del
(37.48 KB 329x270 wtf.jpg)
It's getting spooky how much ads know about you these days. This had my exact location I intentionally boxed out. They hit my age on the head. >skeletons.jpg

Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 23:45:12 Id: ada682 [Preview] No.4004 del
Whats more scary is there is no one simple solution to this problem, its much more complicated and most people don't know where to start. There are solutions, but note multiple things must be done to fix this problem.

I can try giving some simple tips though:

1) First off, obviously: IP address. This can be used to track your location (sometimes even exact location if inquired). Tor or VPN services do help. Regardless what some shills claim, it does help - but thats only one solution to many of the problems.

2) Browser cookies/cache. Every time you log into a website it collects information about all your browser history/activity. If you are not bleaching your sqlite databases (which hold modern cookies / logs) then every time you enter a website they know everything you have done in the past with that web browser. You must routinely bleach these cookies/cache logs deep within your browser directory. Use something like ccleaner or bleachbit.

3) The Browser user-agent string. Every browser gives out a huge chunk of metadata that can be used to uniquely identify YOUR BROWSER. This includes information about the OS you use, what browser and version of it you use, the default language settings too. If you use Firefox (or something similar) you may be able to install browser add-ons like "blender" or "random agent spoofer". These add-ons will spoof your browser agent routinely making it harder for websites to track exactly what you are using. This, combined with the other tactics can be critical for obfuscating your tracks pretty well.

4) HTTPS: not regular HTTP. "HTTPS Everywhere" is a good security add-on that will encrypt the HTTP protocol in your browser, making it harder for third parties to steal raw data from your communications.

5) Scripts. These things are ugly! Websites today have hundreds of third party scripts tracking your every move! Down to the scroll of your mouse. Trust me, this is the most scary shit out there. You'll want to install an add-on called "Noscript" ... default settings make it very convenient for the average user. If you want better security I recommend setting it to "Deny Global Scripts" and wiping out the Whitelist in Noscript settings. Then only allowing websites you trust to become Whitelisted so you can use them conveniently.

Canadian Prime Dick Justin Trudeau Cuts Pay For Injured Veterans, To Fund Jihadist Programs Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 21:13:44 Id: 7e1384 [Preview] No. 3999 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
A continuing pattern has emerged under Trudeau: Those who hate Canada get rewarded, while those who stand on guard for our country get betrayed.

Before Remembrance Day, I reported on a decision by the Trudeau government to slash the pay of injured Canadian special ops forces:

According to the report, “The new rules mean that personnel with the Canadian Special Operations Forces — many of whom work on top-secret missions across the globe — will lose the special compensation if illness or injury restricts their duties for more than 180 days.”

Additionally, “Paratroopers, submarine crews, pilots and air crews, rescue technicians and ships’ crews are also among the affected.” Some injured special ops forces members could lose up to $23,000 over a six month time period.

Those disgraceful cuts are sickening enough on their own. But in the context of the Trudeau government offering taxpayer funded “rehabilitation services” to returning ISIS fighters instead of eliminating them, or jailing/deporting them, it’s even more disgusting.

This means that at the very same time as injured Canadian Forces members in special ops units lose money, our taxpayer dollars could be spent on people who were just overseas trying to kill those same special ops forces and attack our allies.


US Petrodollar Undermined: Russia, China, India Unveil New Gold Trading Network Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 20:40:37 Id: 27dddc [Preview] No. 3995 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
RELATED: >>>/news/3597

One of the most notable events in Russia’s precious metals market calendar is the annual “Russian Bullion Market” conference. Formerly known as the Russian Bullion Awards, this conference, now in its 10th year, took place this year on Friday 24 November in Moscow. Among the speakers lined up, the most notable inclusion was probably Sergey Shvetsov, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s central bank, the Bank of Russia.

In his speech, Shvetsov provided an update on an important development involving the Russian central bank in the worldwide gold market, and gave further insight into the continued importance of physical gold to the long term economic and strategic interests of the Russian Federation.

Firstly, in his speech Shvetsov confirmed that the BRICS group of countries are now in discussions to establish their own gold trading system. As a reminder, the 5 BRICS countries comprise the Russian Federation, China, India, South Africa and Brazil.

Four of these nations are among the world’s major gold producers, namely, China, Russia, South Africa and Brazil. Furthermore, two of these nations are the world’s two largest importers and consumers of physical gold, namely, China and Russia. So what these economies have in common is that they all major players in the global physical gold market.

Shvetsov envisages the new gold trading system evolving via bilateral connections between the BRICS member countries, and as a first step Shvetsov reaffirmed that the Bank of Russia has now signed a Memorandum of Understanding with China (see below) on developing a joint trading system for gold, and that the first implementation steps in this project will begin in 2018.

Interestingly, the Bank of Russia first deputy chairman also discounted the traditional dominance of London and Switzerland in the gold market, saying that London and the Swiss trading operations are becoming less relevant in today’s world. He also alluded to new gold pricing benchmarks arising out of this BRICS gold trading cooperation.

BRICS cooperation in the gold market, especially between Russia and China, is not exactly a surprise, because it was first announced in April 2016 by Shvetsov himself when he was on a visit to China.

At the time Shvetsov, as reported by TASS in Russian, and translated here, said:

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Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 20:41:04 Id: 27dddc [Preview] No.3996 del
Also as a reminder, earlier this year in March, the Bank of Russia opened its first foreign representative office, choosing the location as Beijing in China. At the time, the Bank of Russia portrayed the move as a step towards greater cooperation between Russia and China on all manner of financial issues, as well as being a strategic partnership between the Bank of Russia and the People’s bank of China.

At the Moscow bullion market conference last week, Shvetsov also explained that the Russian State’s continued accumulation of official gold reserves fulfills the goal of boosting the Russian Federation’s national security. Given this statement, there should really be no doubt that the Russian State views gold as both as an important monetary asset and as a strategic geopolitical asset which provides a source of wealth and monetary power to the Russian Federation independent of external financial markets and systems.

Siluanov’s discussion covered the Russian government budget and sanctions against the Russian Federation, but he also pronounced on what would happen in a situation where a foreign power attempted to seize Russian gold and foreign exchange reserves. According to Interfax, and translated here into English, Siluanov said that:

“If our gold and foreign currency reserves were ever seized, even if it was just an intention to do so, that would amount to financial terrorism. It would amount to a declaration of financial war between Russia and the party attempting to seize the assets.”

As to whether the Bank of Russia holds any of its gold abroad is debatable, because officially two-thirds of Russia’s gold is stored in a vault in Moscow, with the remaining one third stored in St Petersburg. But Silanov’s comment underlines the importance of the official gold reserves to the Russian State, and underscores why the Russian central bank is in the midst of one of the world’s largest gold accumulation exercises.

Although the Russian Federation’s gold reserves are managed by the Bank of Russia, the central bank is under federal ownership, so the gold reserves can be viewed as belonging to the Russian Federation. It can therefore be viewed as strategic policy of the Russian Federation to have embarked on this gold accumulation strategy from late 2007, a period that coincides with the advent of the global financial market crisis.

According to latest figures, during October 2017 the Bank of Russia added 21.8 tonnes to its official gold reserves, bringing its current total gold holdings to 1801 tonnes. For the year to date, the Russian Federation, through the Bank of Russia, has now announced additions of 186 tonnes of gold to its official reserves, which is close to its target of adding 200 tonnes of gold to the reserves this year.

With the Chinese central bank still officially claiming to hold 1842 tonnes of gold in its national gold reserves, its looks like the Bank of Russia, as soon as the first quarter 2018, will have the distinction of holdings more gold than the Chinese. That is of course if the Chinese sit back and don’t announce any additions to their gold reserves themselves.

Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 20:41:37 Id: 27dddc [Preview] No.3997 del
The new gold pricing benchmarks that the Bank of Russia’s Shvetsov signalled may evolve as part of a BRICS gold trading system are particularly interesting. Given that the BRICS members are all either large producers or consumers of gold, or both, it would seem likely that the gold trading system itself will be one of trading physical gold. Therefore the gold pricing benchmarks from such a system would be based on physical gold transactions, which is a departure from how the international gold price is currently discovered.

Currently the international gold price is established (discovered) by a combination of the London Over-the-Counter (OTC) gold market trading and US-centric COMEX gold futures exchange.

However, ‘gold’ trading in London and on COMEX is really trading of very large quantities of synthetic derivatives on gold, which are completely detached from the physical gold market. In London, the derivative is fractionally-backed unallocated gold positions which are predominantly cash-settled, in New York the derivative is exchange-traded gold future contracts which are predominantly cash-settles and again are backed by very little real gold.

It seems that slowly and surely, the major gold producing nations of Russia, China and other BRICS nations are becoming tired of the dominance of an international gold price which is determined in a synthetic trading environment which has very little to do with the physical gold market.

The Shanghai Gold Exchange’s Shanghai Gold Price Benchmark which was launched in April 2016 is already a move towards physical gold price discovery, and while it does not yet influence prices in the international market, it has the infrastructure in place to do so.

When the First Deputy Chairman of the Bank of Russia points to London and Switzerland as having less relevance, while spearheading a new BRICS cross-border gold trading system involving China and Russia and other “major economies with large reserves of gold and an impressive volume of production and consumption of the precious metal”, it becomes clear that moves are afoot by Russia, China and others to bring gold price discovery back to the realm of the physical gold markets. The icing on the cake in all this may be gold price benchmarks based on international physical gold trading.


Officials Investigate /killcen/'s Survivalist Underground Bunkers Filled With Ammo And Bombs Deep Innawoods Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 17:07:46 Id: b1991e [Preview] No. 3978 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
A wildfire that burned 71,000 acres in southern Utah this summer led firefighters and other officials to uncover several explosive-filled bunkers hidden near makeshift cabins illegally built by a survivalist on public land, police say.

A Thursday news release from the Iron County Sheriff’s Office detailed how firefighters discovered the first bunker June 27 — 10 days after the Brian Head Fire began.

While working to suppress the blaze, firefighters near Henderson Hill heard “popping sounds,” the release said. At first, they thought the popping was rocks exploding from the heat of the wildfire, but as the sounds continued for about five minutes, the crews realized it was ammunition exploding.

After the popping stopped, the firefighters hiked to the source of the sound and found a cabin that had burned to the ground. Nearby, the release said, they found a bunker dug into the ground, containing what appeared to be novelty hand grenades that had been altered by drilling out the bottom and plugging the holes with threaded, galvanized pipe plugs. They also saw what appeared to be explosive powder, fuses and ammunition.

The bunker contained a “large number” of boxes and containers used as food storage, the release said. The firefighters took photos and informed law enforcement.

The discovery impacted the firefighting. Authorities deemed the items potentially dangerous to firefighters and would allow only airplanes or helicopters to suppress flames in the area.

On June 30, a bomb squad from Washington County and the FBI removed the explosives from the bunker, while other officers contacted a person of interest at his home in Parowan.

The person said he owned the cabin and bunker and was responsible for the explosives there. He said he’d purchased, drilled out and threaded the hand grenades and insisted they weren’t an explosive hazard to officials in the area.

He also told officers there were seven or eight such structures — four of which were cabins with bunkers hidden nearby — throughout the area. Most contain explosives and food storage, and were built over the course of several years, he said.

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Nancy Pelosi Suffers Bizarre Spasms and Mild Seizures Right Before GOP Passes Tax Reform, Repealing Obamacare Mandate Reader 12/02/2017 (Sat) 15:48:33 Id: 4ecda2 [Preview] No. 3977 [Reply] [Last 50 Posts]
RELATED: >>>/news/3970 ; >>>/news/3974

As the media focus has shifted to the alleged sexual harassers in the Democratic ranks, questions are not going away about Nancy Pelosi’s continued bizarre behavior.

The House Minority Leader held her weekly press conference, and while the media focused on her call for accused serial harasser John Conyers, they overlooked her frequent flubbed words, brain freezes, and face spasm that occurred seconds into the appearance.


Pelosi began the appearance by walking past a giant sign labeled “GOP tax scam.”

As she got to the podium, she looked over her left shoulder for the visual, before realizing she had just walked past it.

“There it is: the GOP tax scam,” she said, her face twitching.

Seconds later, she called it the “G-O-T” tax scam, before correcting herself.

Pelosi misread the sign, saying, “the ACA reform, reform, uh, uh, repeal. Sneaky ACA repeal.”

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