Making Unique Observations in a Very Cluttered World

Friday, 24 January 2014

JPMorgan's Gold Vault Has Biggest One-Day Withdrawal Ever -

JPMorgan's Gold Vault Has Biggest One-Day Withdrawal Ever - 

Curious why over the past few months JPM has quietly been accumulating a substantial amount of eligible physical gold (even as its registered gold inventory is the lowest it has ever been at just 87K ounces since December 13, 2013 when 147K ounces of gold was withdrawn - keep that date in mind for a few minutes)? This may have something to do with it: moments ago the daily Comex gold vault report confirmed what many expected, namely that the JPM accumulation was merely in advance anticipation of major withdrawals. How major? Well, on January 23, JPM saw 321,500 ounces of gold depart in one day. This was tied for the single biggest daily withdrawal in history!The last time JPM had an identically sized withdrawal? December 13.... 2012.

Read more -

British border guards told not to arrest travellers with cannabis... -

British border guards told not to arrest travellers with cannabis... - 

 Border guards have been instructed not to arrest travellers who bring small amounts of cannabis or other drugs into Britain, it has emerged.

Official guidance to Border Force staff at ports and airports says no action should be taken against people found with “personal use” quantities of Class B drugs such as cannabis, amphetamines and mephedrone, also known as meow meow.

The instruction was disclosed for the first time in a report on Stansted airport by John Vine, the Chief Inspector of Border and Immigration.

He criticised the Border Force after inspectors saw them deal with a passenger who arrived in the country while “under the influence of controlled drugs”.

The report said: “The passenger was arrested despite previously issued guidance stating that arrests for ‘personal use’ quantities of Class B drugs were not to be undertaken unless there were extenuating cuircumstances, which there were not in this case.

“The passenger was ‘de-arrested’ and released, even though they had been found in possession of prohibited drugs, and were perceived to be ‘under the influence’ of them.”

Describing the case as “unfortunate”, Mr Vine said freeing an intoxicated person raised “a number of concerns in relation to their health and safety”.

Personal use amounts of cannabis are normally defined as around an ounce. Police would normally deal with cannabis possession with a £90 fine or a warning, while possession of other Class B drugs can lead to up to five years’ imprisonment.

It is unclear why drug possession at airports should be treated with more leniency.

Mr Vine also criticised the way staff at Stansted handled “drug mules” suspected of smuggling Class A drugs by swallowing.

They were not given immediate medical attention and were allowed to visit the lavatory where they could have destroyed evidence including drugs, mobile telephones or documents, said the report.

The inspector also found members of the public had found a loophole to use duty free shops at Stansted.

Outbound passengers could buy duty free cigarettes and then “leave the airport without travelling abroad”, capitalising on lower tobacco prices in shops intended for international travellers.

He recommended the Home Office should move to prevent duty free shops being used in that manner.

A Border Force spokesman said: "Our message is clear: Importing cannabis is illegal and our officers will seize it and other illegal drugs if smugglers try to bring it into the UK.

"Like the police, Border Force officers have powers to deal with small seizures of class B and C drugs, in quantities consistent with personal use, without referring the matter to court.”


19 Numbers Which Prove That Americans Are Angrier And More Frustrated Than Ever -

19 Numbers Which Prove That Americans Are Angrier And More Frustrated Than Ever - 

Have you noticed that people are becoming angrier?  You can see it everywhere – in our homes, in our schools, in our workplaces, in our television shows, in our movies, and certainly in Washington.  In fact, many have said that there is an “epidemic” of anger in America today.  And it is undeniably true.  As you will see below, a whole host of surveys and opinion polls show that America has become a seething cauldron of anger and frustration unlike anything that we have ever seen before.  As a nation, we are more divided than we have been in decades, and economic conditions continue to deteriorate.  People are working harder than ever and Americans get less vacation days than anyone else in the world, but median household income keeps going down every year.  Americans are dissatisfied with their relationships, their jobs, their communities and their political leaders.  There is this growing sense that our country is steamrolling toward disaster, and yet there is very little agreement on what the solutions to our problems are.  Instead, blaming others for our problems has become a new American pastime.  The very fabric of our society is coming apart at the seams and the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted is beginning to disappear.  What is America going to look like if we continue to go even farther down this road?
The following statistics come from various surveys and opinion polls that have been conducted recently.  Without a doubt, these numbers show that Americans are angrier and more frustrated than ever…
#1 65 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the U.S. system of government and its effectiveness”.  That is the highest level of dissatisfaction that Gallup has ever recorded.
#2 66 percent of Americans are dissatisfied “with the size and power of federal government”.
#3 70 percent of Americans do not have confidence that the government will “make progress on the important problems and issues facing the country in 2014.”
#4 Only 8 percent of Americans believe that Congress is doing a “good” or “excellent” job.
#5 Only 4 percent of Americans believe that it would “change Congress for the worse” if every member was voted out during the next election.
#6 60 percent of Americans report feeling “angry or irritable”.  Two years ago that number was at 50 percent.
#7 53 percent of Americans believe that the Obama administration is “not competent in running the government”.
#8 An all-time low 31 percent of Americans identify themselves as Democrats.
#9 An all-time low 25 percent of Americans identify themselves as Republicans.
#10 An all-time high 42 percent of Americans identify themselves as Independents.
#11 Barack Obama’s daily job approval numbers have dipped down into the high thirties several times lately.
#12 Only 38 percent of Americans approve of the way that Obama is handling the economy.
#13 60 percent of Americans believe that the “economic system in this country unfairly favors the wealthy”.
#14 70 percent of Americans do not “feel engaged or inspired at their jobs”.
#15 Two-thirds of U.S. teens “admit to having anger attacks involving the destruction of property, threats of violence, or engaging in violence”.
#16 36 percent of Americans admit that they have yelled at customer service agents during the past year.
#17 73 percent of Americans believe that Obama’s efforts to “reform” the NSA “won’t make much difference in protecting people’s privacy”.
#18 77 percent of Americans believe that the state of the economy is either “not so good” or “poor”.
#19 65 percent of Americans are either “somewhat dissatisfied” or “very dissatisfied” with the direction of the country.
Are you starting to get the picture?
We have never seen anything like this in the United States during the post-World War II era.  People are fundamentally unhappy, and that has tremendous implications for the future of our society.
So what is causing all of this anger and frustration?
Well, of course the economic struggles that tens of millions of Americans are experiencing on a daily basis play a huge role.  The following is an excerpt from a recent local Fox News report…
Some are describing this as “America’s anger epidemic.” And there are a few reasons: uncertainty in the job market and the economy, working long hours — on average about one month more now than they did in the 1970s and with less vacation.
So if it seems like Americans are angrier these days it’s because we are.
And it is easy to understand why people are becoming increasingly frustrated with the incompetence and rampant corruption in Washington D.C.…
Grim findings have been coming thick and fast. Most Americans no longer see President Barack Obama as honest. Half think that he “knowingly lied” to pass his Obamacare health law. Fewer than one in five trust the government in Washington to do what is right all or most of the time. Confidence in Congress has fallen to record lows: in America, as in Italy and Greece, just one in ten voters expresses trust or confidence in the national parliament. Frankly straining credulity, a mammoth, 107-country poll by Transparency International, a corruption monitor, this summer found Americans more likely than Italians to say that they feel that the police, business and the media are all “corrupt or extremely corrupt”.
Americans are also turning on one another. Since 1972 the Chicago-based General Social Survey (GSS) has been asking whether most people can be trusted, or whether “you can’t be too careful” in daily life. Four decades ago Americans were evenly split. Now almost two-thirds say others cannot be trusted, a record high.
In addition, there are certainly other reasons why people are so angry these days as well…
The “Knockout Game” grows more popular. Athletes throw tantrums that would embarrass most 3-year-olds. Race relations simmer at a constant near-boil, while our leaders engage in enough posturing and name-calling to look more like a modern version of “West Side Story” than the servant-citizens who should inspire peace and mutual respect.
So what do you believe?
Why do you think that Americans are so angry and so frustrated these days?
Is there anything we can do about it?
And how bad will the anger and frustration in this country get when the economy completely collapses?
Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

Read more -