US House Prices Have Now Fallen More Than They Did During The Great Depression

Falling Home Prices Hit Big Banks, Fannie, Freddie (CNBC, 31 May 2011):

Home prices began double-dipping months ago, but now that S&P/Case Shiller has chimed in, it really must be so.

This report is the most widely-followed home price index, equally quoted in bank boardrooms, Treasury Department back rooms, and Congressional Committees.

The report finds home prices in Q1 of this year are now 2.9 percent below the previous quarterly bottom in Q1 of 2009, effectively giving up all the gains of the past few years, which were of course fueled by the home buyer tax credit.

“Just about everybody agrees we’re going to miss the seasonally strong period in 2011, which we should be at the very beginning of right now with May, but nobody thinks that will make any difference,” says S&P’s David Blitzer. “Everybody’s now keeping their fingers crossed for 2012 and wondering whether people just don’t want to own homes anymore.”

Keeping your fingers crossed for the housing market is just the tip of the iceberg. Prices have now fallen, on this index, more than they did during the Great Depression. “On that occasion, the peak in prices was not regained until 19 years after they first fell,” notes Paul Dales at Capital Economics.

Read moreUS House Prices Have Now Fallen More Than They Did During The Great Depression

Goldman Sachs Traded $1.3 Billion In Libyan Funds (Reuters)

See also:

Matt Taibbi: The People vs. Goldman Sachs (Rolling Stone)

Matt Taibbi: Why is the Federal Reserve Bailing Out Gaddafi?

Goldman Traded $1.3 Billion In Libyan Funds – Report (Reuters, May 31, 2011):

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs invested more than $1.3 billion (786.1 million pounds) from Libya’s sovereign-wealth fund in currency bets and other trades in 2008 and the investment lost more than 98 percent of its value, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing internal Goldman documents.

When the fund, controlled by Col. Muammar Gaddafi, made huge losses Goldman offered Libya the chance to become one of its biggest shareholders, the Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Read moreGoldman Sachs Traded $1.3 Billion In Libyan Funds (Reuters)

Damn! Aussies To Be Fined For Swearing!!!

Damn! Aussies to be fined for swearing (AFP, May 31, 2011):

Australians may have a love of plain speaking but new laws are set to curtail some of their more colourful language with police issuing on-the-spot fines for obnoxious swearing.

The country’s second most populous state Victoria is due to approve new legislation this week under which police will be able to slap fines of up to Aus$240 (US$257) on people using offensive words or phrases.

Read moreDamn! Aussies To Be Fined For Swearing!!!

US To Classify Major Cyber-Attacks As Acts Of War

See also:

US: House Passes Authority for Worldwide War (ACLU)

Rep. Ron Paul: ‘The Fate Of The American Republic Is Now Sealed’

Pentagon: All options on table in cyber-attack (AFP, May 31, 2011):

The Pentagon said Tuesday that it would consider all options if the United States were hit by a cyber-attack as it develops the first military guidelines for the age of Internet warfare.

President Barack Obama’s administration has been formalizing rules on cyberspace amid growing concern about the reach of hackers. Major defense contractor Lockheed Martin said it repelled a major cyber-assault a week ago.

The White House on May 16 unveiled an international strategy on cyber-security which said the United States “will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country.”

“We reserve the right to use all necessary means — diplomatic, informational, military, and economic — as appropriate and consistent with applicable international law, in order to defend our nation, our allies, our partners and our interests,” the strategy said.

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said Tuesday that the White House policy did not rule out a military response to a cyber-attack.

“A response to a cyber incident or attack on the US would not necessarily be a cyber response,” Lapan told reporters. “All appropriate options would be on the table if we were attacked, be it cyber.”

Lapan said that the Pentagon was drawing up an accompanying cyber defense strategy which would be ready in two to three weeks.

The Wall Street Journal, citing three officials who said they had seen the document, reported Tuesday that the strategy would classify major cyber-attacks as acts of war, paving the way for possible military retaliation.

Read moreUS To Classify Major Cyber-Attacks As Acts Of War

Independent Scientist Leuren Moret On The Horrendous Events At Fukushima And The Ever Present Dangers Of Nuclear Energy

Leuren Moret, PhD

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The basis of this conversation is the horrendous events at Fukushima and the ever present dangers of nuclear energy. The positive note behind it all is that when we bond together, we can turn these disasters into opportunities and rise above the pathetic materialistic worldview, and grow into the wonderful spiritual beings that we really are. ..

May 29, 2011

Source: Argusoogradio

See also:

Examiner Interview With Independent Scientist Leuren Moret: Fukushima HAARP Nuclear Attack By CIA, DOE, BP for London Banks

High Levels Of Radioactive Iodine Found In Fukushima Nuclear Workers

Fukushima workers exposed to high radiation (ABC News, May 30, 2011)

High radioactivity found in Japan nuclear workers (AFP, May 30th, 2011):

TOKYO — Two workers from Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear plant have been contaminated by high levels of radioactive iodine, the operator said Monday, prompting fears over their long-term health.

The workers, reportedly men in their 30s and 40s, may have already been exposed to radiation levels higher than the recently boosted official annual limit, Japanese media suggested.

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said it had been measuring the internal exposure to radiation of all employees involved in emergency work at the Fukushima Daiichi plant crippled by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Internal exposure occurs when people take radioactive substances into their bodies through tainted air or food and drink.

Read moreHigh Levels Of Radioactive Iodine Found In Fukushima Nuclear Workers

An Inversely-Correlated Take On Corporate Profits And Dollar Destruction

An Inversely-Correlated Take On Corporate Profits And Dollar Destruction (ZeroHedge, May 31, 2011):

One of the more interesting correlations (not causations) to have emerged following the surge in corporate profit margins is that of the inverse relationship between now record corporate profit margins, and net exports & services originating from the US. While we certainly will not imply one is a cause of the other or vice versa, we would be remiss to not point out the irony of what would happen should this correlation preserve itself in an environment in which US exports end up being curbed due to a surge in the US dollar once the frailty of the Eurozone no longer allows the EUR to appreciate on desperate one-time (if recurring) rescue measures. And with China largely ignoring US demands to revalue its currency and import more US goods and services (no laughing), is it safe to say that this chart is the one most direct confirmation that the weak dollar policy adopted by the Fed has had it most proximal impact nowhere else than on surging corporate profit levels (and Wall Street bonuses of course).

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Hit By Explosion And Oil Spill

Japanese nuclear plant hit by explosion and oil spill (Guardian, 31 May, 2011):

An oil spill and a small explosion have caused limited damage, but no further radiation leaks, at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station in north-east Japan, the plant operator has said.

Workers at the crippled plant found an oil spill on Tuesday in the sea near reactors 5 and 6, which were shutdown when the earthquake and tsunami struck on 11 March, the Tokyo Electric Power Company said. The spill was contained by an oil fence, a Tepco spokesman, Taichi Okazaki, said.

An explosion workers heard at reactor 4 on Tuesday was likely to have come from a gas tank and did not cause any additional radiation leaks, Okazaki added. The cause was being investigated.

Read moreFukushima Nuclear Plant Hit By Explosion And Oil Spill