Bank confiscation in Cyprus: one year later
Dallas, Texas, USA
It was almost exactly one year ago to the day that an entire nation was frozen out of its savings... overnight.
Cypriots went to bed on Friday thinking everything was fine. By the next morning, they had no way to pay bills or buy food.
It's certainly a chilling reminder of how quickly things can change. And why.
The entire crisis sprang from a mountain of debt. The government had accumulated too much debt. The banking system had accumulated too much debt.
And banks had lost a lot of their customers' money making risky, stupid bets on things like Greek government bonds.
By March 2013, Cypriot banks were almost entirely devoid of cash.
Sure, customers could log on to a website and check their bank balances.
But there's a huge difference between a number displayed on a screen, and a well-capitalized bank that actually holds abundant cash.
The government was too insolvent to bail anyone out. And as a member of the eurozone, Cyprus didn't have the ability to print its own money.
So they did the only thing they could think of-- confiscate customer deposits.
And they imposed capital controls on top of that to make sure that people couldn't withdraw their remaining funds out of the banks as soon as the freeze was lifted.
It was a truly despicable act. But again, even though it all unfolded overnight, the warning signs were building for at least a year. Especially the debt.
When countries, central banks, and commercial banks accumulate too much debt, and specifically too much debt relative to assets, you can be certain there is trouble ahead in the system.
Think about it like your own personal finances. If you have a million dollars in debt, that seems like a lot. But if you own a home worth $5 million, you are still in good shape financially.
If, on the other hand, you have a million dollar mortgage for a home that's worth $250,000, you're in deep trouble.
The US government's official, 'on the books' debt now exceeds $17.5 trillion. This is an enormous figure.
If the Uncle Sam just happened to have $20 trillion or so laying around, however, this debt load wouldn't be a big deal. But that's not the case.
By the US government's own admission, their own financial statements show net equity (assets minus liabilities) of MINUS $16.9 trillion.
That's including ALL the assets: Every tank. Every bullet. Every body scanner. Every highway.
Then you have to look at the Central Bank, which is itself teetering on insolvency.
The Federal Reserve's balance sheet has exploded since 2008, and right now the Fed's net equity (assets minus liabilities) is about $56 billion.
That's a razor-thin 1.34% of its $4 trillion in assets (it was 4.5% before the crisis).
Here's the thing: in its own annual report, the Fed just admitted that it had accumulated 'unrealized losses' totaling $53 billion. This is almost the Fed's ENTIRE EQUITY.
So in the Land of the Free, you now have an insolvent government and insolvent central bank underpinning a commercial banking system that is incentivized to make risky, stupid bets with their customers' money.
To be fair, I'm not suggesting that bank accounts in the US are going to be frozen tomorrow morning.
But a rational person should recognize that the warning signs are very similar to what they were in Cyprus last year.
And if there is one thing we can learn from the Cyprus bail-in, it's that it behooves any rational person to have a plan B, even if you think the future holds nothing but sunshine and smiley faces.
Having a plan B can mean a lot of different things depending on your situation-- moving some funds abroad, securing a second source of income, having an escape hatch overseas, owning physical gold, holding extra cash, etc.
You're not going to be worse off for having a plan B based on the possibility that there -could- be some problems down the road.
But if those consequences are ever realized, and Plan B becomes Plan A, it might just turn out to be the smartest move you've ever made.
Obamacare leaves man owing $407,000 in doctor bills...
Pastor With Cancer: 'No Compassion in Affordable Care Act'...
Rule change lets insurance companies keep more profits, pay less for care...
California Forcing Guns Off the Market
Magma buildup causes new series of earth tremors on Canary islands
Fairbanks city council unanimously passes Fukushima monitoring resolution: Alaska and west coast of N. America in danger — 'No safe levels of radiation… constitutes grave risk' — Alaska Senator:'We need to be vigilant'
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 03/18/2014 - 13:53
So, "supporters" of one side that has promised not to escalate (but believes the region belongs to them based on an overwhelming vote) has killed a soldier from the other side (which has promised to respond) as he defended a military base for his country...
Another JPMorgan Investment Banker Jumps to His Death
Anti-Protest Law Passes in Australia – Punishment Includes Fines and Imprisonment
Homeland Security Pre-Staging A Domestic Military Force -
The U.S. Army is giving away 13,000 armored trucks, worth about $500,000 each.
The 20-ton MRAPs, or Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected trucks, were built specifically to save U.S. soldiers from roadside bombs in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
Now the trucks are patrolling U.S. city streets. U.S. law enforcement agencies have received the lion’s share of this high-powered military surplus.
Earth and Mars are converging for a close encounter in April 2014, an event astronomers call "opposition." At closest approach on April 14th, burnt-orange Mars will rise in the east at sunset and soar overhead at midnight shining 8 times brighter than a 1st magnitude star. Even now the view is impressive:
Read more at http://freedomoutpost.com/2014/03/new-york-protesters-burn-gun-registration-forms/
Crimea Back in ‘Home Port,’ Putin Tells Crowd in Red Square
Crimea is back in its “home port” after a long and difficult journey, the Russian president told a crowd of about 120,000 people, who gathered in Moscow’s Red Square to show their support for the breakaway peninsula. The Black Sea peninsula with a Russian ethnic majority signed a reunification treaty with Moscow after a referendum
U.S. orders Syria to close its embassy in Washington
The Obama administration marked the third anniversary of the start of Syria’s civil war Tuesday by ordering Damascus to close its embassy in Washington and expelling its diplomats, though it did not break diplomatic relations with President Bashar Assad’s government. The order was issued “in consideration of the atrocities the Assad regime has committed against the Syrian people” and because
Rash of finance-pro suicides baffles experts
The financial world has been rattled by a rash of apparent suicides, with some of the best and brightest among the finance workers who have taken their lives since the start of the year. A majority of the eight suicides of 2014 have been very public demonstrations, which has suicide-prevention experts puzzled. “Jumping is much
ARMED ALERT AS WAR FEARS GROW...
PUTIN VOWS TO BRING GLORY BACK TO RUSSIA...
Throws down gauntlet to West... Biden in Poland to 'reassure' allies...
Claims Russia 'alone, naked'...
White House pastry chef resigns...
'I don't want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs'...
Airplane pilots hit by 'nearly blinding' glare from massive solar facility...
FDA prevents 6-year-old boy from getting life-saving treatments...
Fmr. Gen. Doubles Down on Claim Malaysian Plane Could Be in Pakistan to Be Used for Terror
The Dominoes Begin To Fall In China:Forget tapering. Forget Ukraine. The largest single risk to the world economy and financial markets right now is China.
Rick Santelli: Dollar Index ‘A Ski Slope’
Pay Our Pensions Or We’ll Throw You in Jail: the Legalization of Looting
Must Watch – China Buying World’s Entire New Gold Supply – Mike Maloney
Tuesday, March 18, 2014
The legislature has overplayed their hand. They are accustomed to using law enforcement as thugs sent out to collect protection payments for their nefarious schemes. Some cops are thugs and like the role, but not all of them.
A few things the legislature might want to consider before they reap the whirlwind: the rights they intend to violate are not just those of the gun owners of Connecticut. An effective confiscation would set a precedent for every other state with the same idea, so Connecticut is poised to cross the Rubicon.
Very probably the legislators, whose addresses are known to Second Amendment advocates everywhere, have acted in a simple-minded and arrogant way. Perhaps they do not know the consequences of their actions. Call it stupidity, simplicity or arrogance, the result is the same. As soon as the first "new Ruby Ridge" takes place, they will be open to retaliation.
Typically, the concept of retaliation for passing a law would be unthinkable, but these foolish legislators, who have exploited the deaths of children to promote their careers, have failed to grasp the enormity of their actions.
Due to the current militarized nature of law enforcement, including SWAT type raids for such minor offenses as drug possession, where a presumption of firearms is used as an excuse to burst into homes unannounced shooting anything that moves, they have willingly, lustfully exposed innocents to the violence of such raids. They are doing nothing other than attempting to terrorize the gun-owning public. For what, a chance to win an election? To make a statement?
The most rational response would be to repeal this law before a lot of people get hurt. Law enforcement should encourage the legislature to back down, because it is their lives that are on the line. Of course, the police don't see it that way, because they are not considering that it will be a multi-directional firing range.
What law enforcement should be aware of is that a lot of veterans are on the other side of this issue. A lot of police officers are on the other side of this issue, some of whom might be providing intelligence on the most ardent supporters of the confiscation (probably to distinguish themselves from the others to avoid confusion when it gets hot). There are a lot of people's relatives in the state who might not restrain themselves when the enemies of liberty are so clearly defined.
It is a bad law: it is bad for Connecticut; it is bad for law enforcement; it is bad for gun owners, but where it gets bad for the legislators, is that it is bad for the families they have placed in harms way with their hubris. Sometimes the taste of crow is better than the taste of blood. Be reasonable, be responsible. Do the right thing.
Police roll out 8-ton tank armored military vehicles & claim it’s to confront hiding suspects
by Joe from MassPrivateI
Florida – As police confronted Antonio Cardoza, armed and barricaded in his home, onlookers were slack-jawed at the sight of a tank-like vehicle with turrets and sharpshooters that was stalking the neighborhood.
Twenty feet long, weighing close to eight tons, capable of nimble turns and hitting highway speeds, the imposing militarized machine trekked along Northeast 204th Street as negotiators tried to get Cardoza to stand down.
He didn’t, and was shot during an exchange of gunfire, then taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he remains in stable condition.
Two days later, the machine showed up in another residential neighborhood in Miami Gardens, less than a mile from where Cardoza was shot. This time, police spent more than six hours trying to talk Franklin Bain — wanted for false imprisonment and sexual battery — out of his home.
Cardoza was shot and Bain was tear-gassed from his home, but no officers were hurt in either incident —and that’s the point: The Miami-Dade County Police Department’s Bearcat is outfitted with enough body armor to withstand high-powered rifle shots and explosions, and carries enough weaponry to overpower most threats.
“When I saw it, I thought somebody’s gonna die,” said Amp Sheffield, 30, a neighbor of Cardoza’s who watched the confrontation unfold. “They going to war or something?”
The police department’s use of the Bearcat, at first, appeared to be top secret. Though the machine is now being used by federal and local law enforcement throughout country, county cops treated its uses with the sensitivity of a nuclear launch code.
“The information you are requesting regarding the deployment, use and criteria is information that is sensitive in nature and cannot be discussed,” Detective Elena Hernandez said.
Later, after several requests for information, county police owned up to having purchased three of the machines, two SuperBear Coms and a Bearcat.
“This vehicle not only assists tactical personnel during their deployment around a structure, but it also can be utilized to effect victim rescues where an individual may be pinned down as a result of rifle or handgun fire,” said Jorge Herrera, a lieutenant with the department’s Special Response Team.
The Bearcat, a ballistic engineered armored response counterattack truck that looks like a Humvee on steroids, is operated by SRT, and costs a whopping $250,000!
The war-like vehicle also has a rotating roof hatch that can support weaponry, an almost impenetrable shell, multiple gun ports, and bullet-proof glass. At about 10 feet tall, it can fit up to 10 passengers, and comes in four- or six-wheel configurations. New Hampshire legislators are considering banning it after a state representative introduced a bill last month. State Rep. J.R. Hoell believes far too many local police agencies spent an abundance of Homeland Security money on unnecessary militarized vehicles.
“There’s a large potential for abuse by having equipment intent for the battlefield in the hands of police,” Hoell said. “These are not vehicles on the current market intended for civilians to use. There’s no reason for these arms to be in the hands of civilian law enforcement.”
If the militaryesque machine looks familiar, it’s because national cable news stations couldn’t get enough of the vehicles as they patrolled Boston’s streets last April while law enforcement searched for marathon bombing suspects Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev.
It’s hard to get an exact take on how many local police departments have bought Bearcats. The owner of Lenco Armored Vehicles, which designs and manufactures the machines, couldn’t be reached this week and nobody was permitted to speak for him.
According to Lenco’s website, about three dozen agencies use the Bearcat, including New York City and Los Angeles. The only other agency listed in Florida that uses the Bearcat is the Tallahassee Police Department.
TSA police now showing up at parades:Portland ME – St. Patrick’s Day festivities are underway in Maine’s largest city. The celebration of Irish and Celtic heritage is not reserved for one single day, but rather the entire weekend.
The 8th annual St. Patrick’s Parade kicked off Sunday in honor of Ireland’s Patron Saint and the Irish American community in Maine.
Pipe Bands, dignitaries and the flags of all the counties of Ireland were on display.
The parade route stretched from the Portland Fish Pier to the Maine State Pier. About .8 miles on Commercial Street.
During the parade, Transportation Security Administration officers were visibly guarding the parade route. An estimated 10,000 people attended the parade this year.
Why would our gov’t. allow the TSA to harass & molest citizens in our streets, where’s the outrage? Why do local police go along with such an obvious Police State tactic? The TSA belongs in airports only! They don’t belong on buses, trains. parades & marathons!
WE HAVE NEARLY A MILLION POLICE OFFICERS IN THE ‘LAND OF THE FREE’!
State and local law enforcement agencies employed more than 1.1 million persons on a full-time basis, including about 765,000 sworn personnel (defined as those with general arrest powers). Agencies also employed approximately 100,000 part-time employees, including 44,000 sworn officers. Click here to read more.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is another branch with numerous federal law enforcement agencies reporting to it. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS), United States Secret Service(USSS), United States Coast Guard (USCG),Homeland security investigations (HSI), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) are some of the agencies that report to DHS. It should be noted that the United States Coast Guard is assigned to the United States Department of Defensein the event of war, and operates under the Department of Homeland Security during peacetime.
Gun owners being tracked in a national database accessible by police:Maryland – So there the Filippidises were on New Year’s Eve eve, southbound on Interstate 95 — John; wife Kally (his Gulf High sweetheart); the 17-year-old twins Nasia and Yianni; and 13-year-old Gina in their 2012 Ford Expedition — just barely out of the Fort McHenry Tunnel into Maryland, blissfully unarmed and minding their own business when they noticed they were being bird-dogged by an unmarked patrol car. It flanked them a while, then pulled ahead of them, then fell in behind them.
“Ten minutes he’s behind us,” John says. “We weren’t speeding. In fact, lots of other cars were whizzing past.”
“You know you have a police car behind you, you don’t speed, right?” Kally adds.
Says John, “We keep wondering, is he going to do something?”
Finally the patrol car’s emergency lights come on, and it’s almost a relief. Whatever was going on, they’d be able to get it over with now. The officer — from the Transportation Authority Police, as it turns out, Maryland’s version of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority — strolls up, does the license and registration bit, and returns to his car.
Finally the patrol car’s emergency lights come on, and it’s almost a relief. Whatever was going on, they’d be able to get it over with now. The officer — from the Transportation Authority Police, as it turns out, Maryland’s version of the New York-New Jersey Port Authority — strolls up, does the license and registration bit, and returns to his car. (Why is the TSA allowed to stop citizens on a public road?)
According to Kally and John (but not MTAP, which, pending investigation, could not comment), what happened next went like this:
Ten minutes later he’s back, and he wants John out of the Expedition. Retreating to the space between the SUV and the unmarked car, the officer orders John to hook his thumbs behind his back and spread his feet. “You own a gun,” the officer says. “Where is it?”
“At home in my safe,” John answers.
“Don’t move,” says the officer.
Now he’s at the passenger’s window. “Your husband owns a gun,” he says. “Where is it?”
First Kally says, “I don’t know.” Retelling it later she says, “And that’s all I should have said.” Instead, attempting to be helpful, she added, “Maybe in the glove [box]. Maybe in the console. I’m scared of it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I might shoot right through my foot.”
The officer came back to John. “You’re a liar. You’re lying to me. Your family says you have it. Where is the gun? Tell me where it is and we can resolve this right now.”