Amanda Knox: A Story of Media Depravity

I thoroughly recommend the new documentary Amanda Knox to anyone interested in either human nature or the role of the media – which should include most of us. Here is the chance to hear the main protagonists tell their stories. Don’t be put off by the lukewarm reviews. Journalists don’t much like this film because it reveals so much about how journalism works – and it isn’t pretty. The man feeding the media monster in the Knox case was Giuliano Mignini, the local prosecutor. He shifts uneasily in his chair as he justifies a series of poor decisions that led to Knox and boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito’s wrongful incarceration for four years for the murder of Meredith Kercher. Mignini gives every impression of being a man whose rigid Catholic upbringing left him easily persuaded that life is a struggle between good and evil, innocence and depravity. Knox did not conform to […] Read More

Hillary’s Scary New Cash Tax

Submitted by Brian Hunt via InternationalMan.com, Have you heard of “negative interest rates”? It’s become a phenomenon with economists and the media. There’s a good chance you’ve read an article about it. We’ve covered it many times in the Dispatch. I’m writing to tell you something about negative interest rates you haven’t heard. You certainly won’t hear about it in the mainstream press. What’s coming at you is a historic event. It’s something our grandchildren will hear stories about…much like the Great Depression or the Cold War. What’s coming could send the price of gold much higher in the coming years…and hand gold stock owners 500%+ gains. If you know what’s coming, it could mean the difference between having lots of free cash in retirement or barely getting by. To understand the gravity of this moment, let’s cover one of the most bizarre ideas in the world… negative interest […] Read More

One American’s Rage Spills Over: Shut Your Mouth & Start Fighting These Political Parasites

Warning: NSFW, for the weak of heart, look away… Submitted by Thad Beversdorf via First Rebuttal blog, I was shocked today by the absolute gaul of the Fed releasing a statement about Net Worth in America reaching record levels.  Now I get that they are under extreme pressure to sell the story that everything is rainbows and butterflies.  But surely they understand that working class Americans are going along with the story because they really don’t have any say in our nation’s policies anymore.  That doesn’t mean they want it thrown in their faces that the Fed has spent 6 years now inflating the wealth of the top 10% so much that it actually lifts the total wealth of the nation’s citizens to record highs. The ugly reality is that the bottom 80% of Americans experienced none of that gain.  That’s right a big ole goose egg.  And so when the Fed via its […] Read More

Only 17% Of Americans See The US As The World’s Economic Superpower

Submitted by Simon Black via Sovereign Man blog, Only hours ago, Gallup released a new poll showing that only a small minority (just 17%) of Americans still view the US as the world’s economic superpower. Echoing former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers’ quip, “There is surely something odd about the world’s greatest power being the world’s greatest debtor,” it appears that economic reality is finally beginning to set in for Americans. Yes, it turns out there are consequences when you habitually indebt future generations in order to buy bombs, drones, and body scanners. There are consequences when you regulate every aspect of society, from how much people can earn on their savings, to what they can/cannot put in their own bodies. The decline of the United States as the world’s dominant superpower was always inevitable. No nation or empire can hold the top spot forever. History is full of […] Read More

Eight Points on the Investment Climate and the Dollar

1.  The swing in the pendulum of expectations back toward a mid-year Fed rate hike is one of the key developments that will shape the investment climate.  The data in the week ahead, including the broader measures of the labor market, like the Fed’s new index (Labor Market Activity Index) and JOLTS (Job Opening and Labor Turnover Survey), and core retail sales will strengthen the view.   The rise in US interest rates will lend the dollar support and allow the appreciating trend to continue after a consolidating over the last few weeks.   Equity investors need to adjust to the rise in interest rates.  High dividend payers and utilities are vulnerable.  US companies have expanded overseas more by direct investment than exporting.  That means that while they earn revenues in foreign currencies they also incur local costs.  In addition, many producers price and invoice in dollars.  In any […] Read More

The End Of Exuberance?

Submitted by Sean Corrigan via True Sinews blog, Back in the halcyon days of summer, it seemed nothing could go wrong. Commodities were still things it was not utterly disreputable to own. Base metals had shaken off a springtime swoon to hit 18 month highs. Though still suffering from that enervating, post-bubble flatness, precious metals had just enjoyed a neat little 10% rally. Energy was threatening to print new 2 ½ year highs as WTI sold for more than $107 at the front and $86 at the back of the curve. Nor were people much interested in paying for downside protection: across the complex, options premia were as low as ever they had been in recent years. Volatility – and risk measures in general – were drifting ever southwards, everywhere you looked. The US equity market’s VXO index was being quoted in single figures, the lowest in its 29-year […] Read More

No Earthquake: Investors Not Daunted by Rise of Anti-EU Vote

Investors took the electoral success of nationalist and anti-EU parties in the EU Parliament in stride. The early results project these parties will secure around 130 of the 751 seats.  Some partisans are claiming it is a “political earthquake”, but this is not immediately clear. It may be an exercise in hyperbole.  The duopoly of the center-right and center-left will persist and still dominate the EU parliament.  This will likely become clearer when the new EC President and Commission are put together.  The first such discussions will be on May 27.  The anti-EU vote is far from a unitary bloc. They are a disparate collection of national parties. In addition, the voter turn-out of a little more than 43% of the eligible voters raises questions over the validity of drawing strong national implications.  Moreover, it is difficult to tell determine how much of the anti-EU vote was a protest […] Read More

After Killing The Biotech Bubble, Congress May Just Have Ended M&A Mania

Having pricked the Biotech bubble with the simple questioning of the ballooning prices of drugs, it appears Congress may be well on its way to bursting the M&A Mania as Senator Carl Levin pushes his anti-inversion legislation by increasing, once again, the complexity of the tax code: *SEN. LEVIN SAYS U.S. FACING `FLOOD OF TAX AVOIDANCE’ *LEVIN BILL INCLUDES TWO YEAR MORATORIUM TO ALLOW FOR TAX REVAMP *LEVIN BILL RAISES THRESHOLD FOR INVERSIONS TO 50 PERCENT “This is about leveling the playing field and rooting out flagrant tax abuse in our system that could lead to billions of dollars of lost revenue,” said Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va. “In order to fully restore budget certainty, we need to look at abuses in the tax code as much as spending. The fact that companies can change their tax liability to low-tax jurisdictions on paper while maintaining operations and ownership in the […] Read More

Wanna Be A Great Trader? Size Matters… Finger Size

Take a moment and look at your hands. Specifically, compare the length of your ring finger to the one you use to point.  Is the ring finger longer or shorter than your pointer, and by how much?  It turns out that the answer to that question can tell a lot about your mental abilities and appetite for risk. As ConvergEx’s Nick Colas details, a 2009 study of mostly male traders working in London found that the ones with longer ring fingers were generally more profitable than those with shorter ones. Traders with the largest fourth finger/second (pointer) finger ratios actually made 11 times more than those with the smallest.  Via ConvergEx’s Nick Colas, A 2012 study of entrepreneurs in Italy showed that highly successful female entrepreneurs tended to have longer ring fingers as well.  Researchers believe that the causal link between digits on your hand and in your bank […] Read More

The Secret Back Story to Russia and Ukraine that Americans Never Learned In School

Preface:  We believe that Soviet communism was an abomination.  Stalin was certainly a tyrant: he killed countless political enemies or threw them into insane asylums.   We also have littler tolerance for useful idiots who defend communism as a force for good.  In short, we hate Soviet era communism. And Putin also runs Russia like it’s his plaything, with little regard for the desires of his people. But U.S. warmongers have also been hyping the Russian threat with self-serving lies – and committing atrocities and telling lies – for some 70 years.  As an American, my concern is keeping America from destroying itself.  And – unless we learn our history – we could get in a lot of trouble. America Launched the Cold War Even Before World War II Had Ended Joseph Stalin and the Soviets were key in helping the U.S. to defeat the Nazis.  20 million Russians died […] Read More

Martin Armstrong Asks “Are We Headed Into Global Fascism?”

Submitted by Martin Armstrong via Armstrong Economics, Fascism has been a term applied to the manner of organizing a society in which a government ruled by a dictator/bureaucracy that is unelected or a republic with pretend “lifetime” politicians,  controls the lives of the people and in which people are not allowed to disagree with the government. Such systems have always placed the “good” of the state before the worth of an individual. The right to property is subject to constant search and seizure and courts only rule in favor of the state. That was the closing days of Rome. It was also the Soviet Union and especially the East Germany with respect to organization. I went behind the Berlin Wall before it fell. You could not speak freely on the street but had to wait until you were alone.The Soviet Union was a Communist/Fascist State where you could not […] Read More

2014: Poveglia | The Italian haunted island goes on sale

One of the scariest places in the world has ended up on an online auction to raise money to assist in paying the national debt of Italy. This small deserted island of Poveglia in the lagoon of Venice, that was once hit by plague, has been marked as haunted and was not an unfair definition.   The Italian government expects to collect about half a billion euro, hoping that the prospective owners will not get scared of its story. However, Poveglia not only was uninhabited but going to the island was prohibited, as it hosted people with infectious diseases. There, thousands of dead and patients with plague were thrown to bury or die. So it is no coincidence that many fear that the ghosts of the dead are still haunting the island. On the 17 acres of the island there are the ruins of a castle of the 15th […] Read More

The 5 Faces Of Income Inequality

Submitted by Lance Roberts of STA Wealth Management, Since Easter is a time of family, compassion, forgiveness and resurrection, I thought this would be a good weekend to think about the income inequality/wealth gap which will be part of the mid-term election debate. There are many questions that must be answered from not only “how” to solve the issue, but also “should” it be? There is no historical evidence that wealth redistribution leads to stronger economic outcomes as it discourages “hard work.” However, there is also little argument that the current state of crony capitalism and corporate greed has gotten more than just a bit out of hand. To start our thought process in this week’s things to ponder here is a study on the wealth inequality gap in America by Politizane: 1) Thomas Piketty, Whither The Bottom 90% by Scott Winship via Forbes “Piketty’s book lays his cards […] Read More