It is better to be an outcast, a stranger in one’s own country, than an outcast from one’s self. It is better to see what is about to befall us and to resist than to retreat into the fantasies embraced by a nation of the blind.
Chris Hedges

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Stock Tip - Buy Dow Global Technologies Inc.

Those looking for a hot stock to buy should consider a flutter on Dow Global Technologies Inc. (NYSE:DOW). They have developed a new technology to ferment vaccines much quicker than traditional methods, especially important in finding vaccines for recombinant strains of virus' such as H1N1. Merck and Pfizer have both signed agreements with DowPharma for the new technology.

They also hold a patent on a vaccine filed in 2006. Their production subsidiary is Serum Institute of India Ltd., the world's largest producer of vaccines.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The 1918 Flu in New Zealand

This carved wooden Maori cenotaph was erected at Te Koura marae in memory of those who died in the 1918 influenza pandemic. The cenotaph was designed and carved by Tene Waitere of Ngati Tarawhai. He also created a similar cenotaph at Te Ihingarangi marae, Waimiha. This photograph was taken in 1920 by Albert Percy Godber.

Serviceman returning from The Great War brought the flu to New Zealand with them. The population in 1918 was 1,150,000. One characteristic of the flu was that it came in waves. The first wave served to immunize communities to some extent. Many people were lulled into believing it was not the same flu as the one that had killed so many elsewhere. But it was the second wave of the flu, catching previously unaffected communities that caused the majority of the 8,600 deaths in New Zealand.
Maori were seven times more likely to die from the flu.

Maori suffered heavily: their overall rate of death was 42.3 per thousand people, seven times that of Europeans. In one community, Mangatawhiri in the Waikato, about 50 out of 200 local Maori died. Whina Cooper recalled similar suffering at Panguru, Hokianga:
Everyone was sick, no one to help, they were dying one after the other. My father was very, very sick then. He was the first to die. I couldn't do anything for him. I remember we put him in a coffin, like a box. There were many others, you could see them on the roads, on the sledges, the ones that are able to drag them away, dragged them away to the cemetery. No time for tangis. (writer's note: official statistics identify only 9 deaths in the Hokianga.)

But there was an exception. Mortality amongst Maori on the East Coast of the North Island was, according to historian Geoffrey Rice, ‘much less than expected in comparison with other North Island districts'. This may have been because they had received partial immunity from the first wave which was reportedly widespread in the district during August and September.

To date, nobody has died from the flu outside of Mexico. However health officials there cannot say whether the deaths there, which are now more than 100 people, are because what we are seeing is a second wave asserting itself.

Certainly, this H1N1 virus sweeping through Mexico bears striking similarities to the 1918 flu. Both have origins in swine and both are claiming the lives of healthy people between the ages of 19 - 35. What makes this virus more alarming than the 1918 variety is the hybrid nature of it: This virus contains elements of Avian Flu from two different continents, elements of different swine virus' from two different continents, along with a human influenza virus.

The last pandemic fear was during the SARS scare 3 years ago. That virus proved to be a false flag because it did not make the transition from, bird to human transmission, to human to human transmission. This new virus, almost certainly a virus that was manufactured in a laboratory, has combined the most dangerous elements of both the swine and avian varieties. Because of the exotic nature of this strain, it is highly unlikely that tamiflu or any other vaccine will be effective. A new vaccine - specific to this virus, is estimated to take months to develop; most of those who died in New Zealand, did so in the two months following the first outbreak wave.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

It's here.

New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall has this evening confirmed ten positive influenza results from testing carried out on 13 Rangitoto College students who returned from Mexico early yesterday morning.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Crisis is here.

On October 5th, 2005 the CDC announced they had successfully reconstructed the virus that caused the 1918 flu pandemic. The work, done in collaboration with Mount Sinai School of Medicine, the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Southeast Poultry Research Laboratory, determined the set of genes in the 1918 virus that made it so harmful. The 1918 pandemic killed an estimated 20-50 million people worldwide, including 675,000 in the United States. The pandemic’s most striking feature was its unusually high death rate among otherwise healthy people aged 15-34.

The Army's Criminal Investigation Command agents have been visiting Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, to investigate the disappearance of three vials of a virus. Christopher Grey, spokesman for the command, said this latest investigation has found "no evidence of criminal activity."

The vials contained samples of Venezuelan Equine Encephalitis, a virus that sickens horses and can be spread to humans by mosquitoes. In 97 percent of cases, humans with the virus suffer flu-like symptoms, but it can be deadly in about 1 out of 100 cases, according to Caree Vander Linden, a spokeswoman for the Army's Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. There is an effective vaccine for the disease and there hasn't been an outbreak in the United States since 1971.

The vials had been at the research institute's facility at Fort Detrick, home of the Army's top biological research facility, for more than a decade. The three missing vials were among thousands of vials that were under the control of a senior scientist who retired in 2004. When another Fort Detrick scientist recently inventoried the retired scientist's biological samples, he discovered that the three vials of the virus were missing. The original scientist's records about his vials dated back to the days of paper-and-pen inventories.

Health officials in Dallas County are urging anyone with upper respiratory ailments to be tested for a rare strain of swine flu after two cases surfaced in Texas.

Elsewhere across Texas, health departments are on the lookout for the illness, which sickened two high school students from Guadalupe County near San Antonio and a 10-year-old boy from San Diego who visited Dallas before his diagnosis. All three, and the other four victims in the U.S., have recovered and are fine.

"This virus that has been isolated has never been seen before," said Dr. John Carlo, medical director for Dallas County's health department. "The good news is this has been very mild."

It's unclear how anyone caught the virus that combines pig, bird and human viruses in an unusual way, he said. None of the seven people were in contact with pigs, which is how people usually catch swine flu. And only a few were in contact with each other.

Test results the state received from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed the Texas illnesses were caused by a swine influenza-A virus that appears to closely match the viruses from the five in Southern California.

It's not yet known whether those cases are related to the swine flu virus that may have killed 60 people in Mexico, sickened hundreds of others there and has health officials fearful of a possible global flu epidemic.

There have been no reported deaths in the United States and health officials say there's not yet cause for alarm here.

Monday, April 20, 2009

The day the earth stood still

This programme from PBS is a stunning look at the first days of the economic crisis. It is clear from this programme that Goldman Sachs engineering a short run on Bear Stearns that almost brought the whole shooting match down. It was a near run thing.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The End Game

I stumbled across this Vblog from an economist who experienced the collapse of the Argentine economy firsthand. Speaking today, he discusses how out-of-control shadow bankers are intent on a controlled dissolution of individual state governments.

Part One:

Part Two:

God help us all. This man is not alone... Marc Faber gives advice on how you can benefit from today's market, but there is little doubt he comes to a similar conclusion as to the endgame.

12 Trillion Dollars is transferred from the US Taxpayer to Bankers... So what does a trillion $ look like?

Thursday, April 09, 2009

How Globalization destroyed Argentina

This series of videos, found on You Tube, documented the effect of globalization on the people of Argentina. The same banking institutions responsible for today's crisis were present during decades of looting there. With very little imagination, a thinking person can gain a glimpse of how shadow bankers, conglomerates, the IMF, and the Western governments work in concert to pillage countries of their wealth and enslave working people. An amazing series, It is well worth the time to watch all 12 segments.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Credit Card Slaves

With employment in the US at 8.5% and increasing by more than 600,000 a month, the new focus is on credit card debt. The typical American consumer uses their credit card as a cash flow management device. When they lose their jobs, credit cards are used to carry expenses over. The banks know this and analyze each transaction for signs you may be having trouble. Use your card to pay for utility or food at the grocery store, or take out a cash advance and your credit line may be cut short... on the spot. At the very least your interest rates will get jacked up to the "high risk" level.

Hidden fees, credit line cuts and dramatic increases in rates has unfairly targeted people whose credit is good and has meant big profits for the banks. Currently three regulatory bodies have announced changes to the rules that allow banks to trap cardholders, but these changes don't take effect until mid 2010. In a bid to resurrect a badly damaged image, Chairman of the Senate Banking Services Committee, Senator Christopher Dodd, is fast-tracking legislation that would see changes happen now. You may remember that it was Dodd, whose Connecticut seat is home to AIG headquarters, who took out bonus restrictions from the TARP I bill and touched off the recent furor over AIG's bonus bonanza, last month.

This legislation could touch off another "shit-storm" in the banking sector.

Speaking with Steve Forbes, Meredith Whitney
believes that instead of a 'run on the banks', there is a high possibility of a 'run on the cards' by American consumers. The new legislation restricts card issuers from changing credit lines and interest rates on the fly, so when someone loses their job there are fears that person will max out their cards before the 24-day grace period featured in the bill. In anticipation of these changes, credit worthy holders are seeing their credit lines reduced ad-hoc.

Before any of the new regulations were introduced last year, credit line were chopped by $1 Trillion as banks reduced their exposure to credit card debt. A reduction in the $2.3 Trillion of existing credit lines in the US could do to the consumer what the banking crisis has done to the banking industry.

The average American owes more than $8,000 on their cards. With 1.5 billion credit cards in circulation in the US, half of the card holders pay the minimum each month.

Friday, April 03, 2009

G20 Capitulates to the bankers and shows US how to fudge the books

Two major decisions at the G20 conference locks in any doubt that governments worldwide have capitulated to the bankers.

First, the G20 have agreed to adopt International Accounting standards when banks issue reports. US accounting standards are much more strict; a protection for investors and a bulwark against the prevalence of lawsuits in the US, arising from misleading bank reports. This article, published last year in the Washington Post, shows how these standards allowed European banks to bilk investors. In short, International accounting standards allow banks to shift losses to another place in time. This means that when the expected bear rally fizzles in October, the collapse will be compounded by unreported losses floating their way back to the top at some time in the future.

The second move was to shift away from Mark to Market. This will permit US banks to backdate the value of the derivatives they are holding to the date they were purchased, not on their value today. One can only wonder how this will affect the outcome of Geithner's PPIP plan to purchase the toxic assets that has frozen the banks. Banks are afraid of exposing their assets in today's market because it will prove they are insolvent. Getting rid of Mark to Market will permit the banks to substitute bad assets for good cash... all at the expense of the taxpayer.

All this has done has moved back the day of reckoning. There has to be losers somewhere in the mix, but these two moves forestalls the collapse and does nothing to solve the problem.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Op-Ed Contributor - Obama’s Ersatz Capitalism -

Joseph Stiglitz:  Yet another nobel laureate in economics, whom believes  Geithner Plan II, (PPPIP) guarantees profits for the banks at the expense of taxpayers.






Wednesday, April 01, 2009


The future of the world economy hinges on trust:

How can anyone trust bankers, whom not only bankrupted their balance sheets, but used derivatives to bet on that very thing happening? And now we are being asked to suspend the evidence and trust that they will not use Geithner Plan II to jack up the value of their credit default swaps and cash out at the expense of future generations.

How can anyone trust the Federal Reserve, whom flooded the world economy with ridiculously low interest rates for more than a decade, to police the banking system?

How can anyone trust House and Senate representatives, so deeply indebted to banking lobbyists, whom poured billions in campaign contributions into both Republican and Democrat coffers, in return for a dismantling of every regulation put in place after the last Great Depression?

How can anyone trust President Obama, when he appoints a Treasury Secretary who was complicit in the breakdown as Governor of the New York Federal Reserve Bank, was an employee of Goldman Sachs, and didn't pay his taxes? This same president whom promised transparency, accountability, and a political system free of lobbying?

At some point, the injustice of it all will turn into public insurrection. More than the economy is at stake now; the very fabric of society hinges on a fragile hope that America's elites have the country's best interest at heart.