Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Uh-Oh Canada

Uh-Oh Canada
My trip yesterday was actually to Niagara Falls, to talk to the Canadian Bar Association. In preparation, I did some homework; and to be honest, I came away a little less sanguine about Canada than I started. Everything I and others have said about the Canadian banking system and its virtues is true. But in other respects, there do seem to be some worrying signs. First of all, Canadians borrow and spend like, well, Americans.

Ron Paul: Show Me The Gold

Ron Paul to Fed, Ft. Knox:
Congressman Ron Paul is in the news today doing what he does best: dropping firebombs on the Fed. The Republican from Texas told Kitco News that he plans to introduce a bill next year that will allow for an audit of U.S. gold reserves. Paul reportedly said that, in his opinion, it’s a “possibility” that there in fact isn’t any yellow metal in Fort Knox or the New York Federal Reserve.


Canada's Housing Bubble

Threat of Housing Bubble Has Resurfaced
Canada's housing market could still be in for a U-S style correction, despite a slow down in home sales across the country. The warning comes from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, which released a report that analyzed the factors that cause a bubble. A real estate bubble is an artificial increase in property values which maxes out a homeowners ability to pay. When the bubble bursts, and values drop, owners are stuck with mortgages worth more than their homes. The CCPA found that prices in six of the country's largest housing markets, including Calgary, have hit 30-year highs and are in bubble territory. It says home prices are roughly five to 11 times greater than Canadians' annual income -- much higher than historical comfort levels.

An Accident Waiting to Happen

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Biggest Company You've Never Heard Of

Terrorist Caught By Canadian Internet Monitoring Software

Parliament Hill Alleged Terror Goal
Parliament Hill and the Montreal subway system were the targets of an alleged terror plot foiled this week with the arrests of three suspects, says a former counterterrorism officer with the RCMP and Canada's spy agency.Michel Juneau-Katsuya said he has learned that at least one of the suspects used Ottawa Public Library computers to communicate with other members of the Ottawa-based cell. Internet messages between the men triggered computer "sniffers" used to monitor electronic signals at Ottawa's Communication's Security Establishment (CSE), the national cryptologic agency, which alerted the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS).

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Tillman Story

David Kelly's Death 'Textbook Suicide'

David Kelly's Death 'Textbook Suicide'
The death of Iraq weapons expert David Kelly was a "textbook case" of suicide, according to the pathologist who performed the post-mortem examination.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Foreclosures Rise In July

Foreclosures rise in July
The latest foreclosure numbers carried a mixed message: They're up 3.6% from the month before but down 9.7% from 12 months earlier. In July there were more than 325,000 foreclosure filings -- including notices of default, auctions notices and bank repossessions. That is the 17th month in a row total filings exceeded 300,000, said RealtyTrac's CEO, James Saccacio.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Social Security In The Red

Social Security In The Red This Year
Social Security will pay out more this year than it gets in payroll taxes, marking the first time since the program will be in the red since it was overhauled in 1983, according to the annual authoritative report released Thursday by the program's actuary.

40+ Million on Food Stamps

Food Stamp Use Hit Record 40.8m
The number of Americans who are receiving food stamps rose to a record 40.8 million in May as the jobless rate hovered near a 27-year high, the government reported yesterday.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

China Becomes Second Largest Economy

China's Economy Passes Japan
China is set to overtake Japan as the world's second-largest economy in a resurgence that is changing everything from the global balance of military and financial power to how cars are designed.By some measures it has already moved to second place after the U.S. in total economic output — a milestone that would underline a pre-eminence not seen since the 18th century, when the Middle Kingdom last served as Asia's military, technological and cultural power.China is already the biggest exporter, auto buyer and steel producer, and its worldwide influence is growing. The fortunes of companies from Detroit automakers to Brazilian iron miners depend on spending by China's consumers and corporations. And rising wealth brings political presence: Chinese pressure helped to win developing countries a bigger voice in the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.