Gerald Celente the disintegration of Empire America

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GM’s lengthy plant closures will ripple out

General Motors’ decision to shut down 13 assembly plants for up to 11 weeks this summer will disrupt far more than the lives of nearly 24,000 workers, rippling out to damage part suppliers, local businesses and state economies.

The Detroit automaker had little choice. GM, surviving on $13.4 billion in federal loans, must steady itself, slash costs and align production levels with the shrunken demand if it wants to live much longer. The announcement Thursday comes as GM races the government’s June 1 deadline to squeeze deeper concessions from bondholders and the United Auto Workers union.

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Too big to fail? 5 biggest banks are ‘dead men walking’

America’s five largest banks, which already have received $145 billion in taxpayer bailout dollars, still face potentially catastrophic losses from exotic investments if economic conditions substantially worsen, their latest financial reports show.

Citibank, Bank of America , HSBC Bank USA , Wells Fargo Bank and J.P. Morgan Chase reported that their “current” net loss risks from derivatives — insurance-like bets tied to a loan or other underlying asset — surged to $587 billion as of Dec. 31 . Buried in end-of-the-year regulatory reports that McClatchy has reviewed, the figures reflect a jump of 49 percent in just 90 days.

The disclosures underscore the challenges that the banks face as they struggle to navigate through a deepening recession in which all types of loan defaults are soaring.

The banks’ potentially huge losses, which could be contained if the economy quickly recovers, also shed new light on the hurdles that President Barack Obama’s economic team must overcome to save institutions it deems too big to fail.

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NH patriots refuse to recognize new charges

A couple convicted of tax evasion said Thursday that the federal government has no right to bring 11 new charges against them, including gun violations and obstruction of justice.

Ed and Elaine Brown and at least four co-conspirators stockpiled explosives and firearms at the couple’s home for possible use against law enforcement, according to the indictment.

Officials entered not guilty pleas on the Browns’ behalf at a hearing Thursday in U.S. District Court in Concord.

They were convicted in January 2007 of failing to pay taxes on $1.9 million of income over eight years. The couple claims the federal income tax is not legitimate. Their argument — repeatedly rejected by courts — is that no law authorizes the federal income tax and that the 1913 constitutional amendment permitting it was never properly ratified.

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‘ Worst economic collapse ever’

Government Regulators Aided IndyMac Cover-Up, Maybe Others

A brewing fraud scandal at the Treasury Department may be worse than officials originally thought.

Investigators probing how Treasury regulators allowed a bank to falsify financial records hiding its ill health have found at least three other instances of similar apparent fraud, sources tell ABC News.

In at least one instance, investigators say, banking regulators actually approached the bank with the suggestion of falsifying deposit dates to satisfy banking rules — even if it disguised the bank’s health to the public.

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Financial Disaster Will Lead to Civil Disorder in 2009 or 2010, Says Secret Citibank Memo

An internal memo from a top Citibank analyst reveals what the banks really think about the global financial situation, and the outlook is grim.

“The world is not going back to normal after the magnitude of what they have done. When the dust settles this will either work, and the money they have pushed into the system will feed through into an inflation shock,” wrote Tom Fitzpatrick, Citibank’s chief technical strategist.

He goes on to explain that the massive money creation efforts by the Federal Reserve and other central banks will end with one of two things: A resurgence of inflation, or a fall into “depression, civil disorder and possibly wars.” Either outcome, he says, will cause the price of gold to skyrocket. Gold will push to well over $2,000 per ounce, he explains.

The timing on all this? Sometime in either 2009 or 2010, said the analyst.

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